14.Can I get my property back before the forfeiture case is decided?

It is usually possible to temporarily get your property back after it’s seized and before the forfeiture case is decided. Common exceptions to this rule, when you can’t get your property back, include if the property is:

  1. evidence in a pending criminal investigation/case; or 
  2. money or a check.   

To temporarily get property back after it has been taken, you will need to "post a bond" by paying the court an amount equal to the value of the seized property. The court will only agree to temporarily give you your property back in place of the bond if (1) you promise to return the property to the custody of the State on the day of the forfeiture trial and (2) you will abide by the decision that is made at the end of the case. If you lose your forfeiture case, you will have to return the property and will have no further rights to the property.

In our example, because Steve's seized property is $900, he will most likely not be able to get his property back while he waits for the court to hear his case.