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2020 Florida Statutes
Return of property taken under search warrant.
Return of property taken under search warrant.
933.14 Return of property taken under search warrant.—
(1) If it appears to the judge before whom the warrant is returned that the property or papers taken are not the same as that described in the warrant, or that there is no probable cause for believing the existence of the grounds upon which the warrant was issued, or if it appears to the judge before whom any property is returned that the property was secured by an “unreasonable” search, the judge may order a return of the property taken; provided, however, that in no instance shall contraband such as slot machines, gambling tables, lottery tickets, tally sheets, rundown sheets, or other gambling devices, paraphernalia and equipment, or narcotic drugs, obscene prints and literature be returned to anyone claiming an interest therein, it being the specific intent of the Legislature that no one has any property rights subject to be protected by any constitutional provision in such contraband; provided, further, that the claimant of said contraband may upon sworn petition and proof submitted by him or her in the circuit court of the county where seized, show that said contraband articles so seized were held, used or possessed in a lawful manner, for a lawful purpose, and in a lawful place, the burden of proof in all cases being upon the claimant. The sworn affidavit or complaint upon which the search warrant was issued or the testimony of the officers showing probable cause to search without a warrant or incident to a legal arrest, and the finding of such slot machines, gambling tables, lottery tickets, tally sheets, rundown sheets, scratch sheets, or other gambling devices, paraphernalia, and equipment, including money used in gambling or in furtherance of gambling, or narcotic drugs, obscene prints and literature, or any of them, shall constitute prima facie evidence of the illegal possession of such contraband and the burden shall be upon the claimant for the return thereof, to show that such contraband was lawfully acquired, possessed, held, and used.
(2) No intoxicating liquor seized on any warrant from any place other than a private dwelling house shall be returned, but the same may be held for such other and further proceedings which may arise upon a trial of the cause, unless it shall appear by the sworn petition of the claimant and proof submitted by him or her that said liquors so seized were held, used or possessed in a lawful manner, and in lawful place, or by a permit from the proper federal or state authority, the burden of proof in all cases being upon the claimant. The sworn affidavit or complaint upon which the search warrant was issued and the finding of such intoxicating liquor shall constitute prima facie evidence of the illegal possession of such liquor, and the burden shall be upon the claimant for the return thereof, to show that such liquor was lawfully acquired, possessed, held, and used.
(3) No pistol or firearm taken by any officer with a search warrant or without a search warrant upon a view by the officer of a breach of the peace shall be returned except pursuant to an order of a trial court judge.
(4) If no cause is shown for the return of any property seized or taken under a search warrant, the judge shall order that the same be impounded for use as evidence at any trial of any criminal or penal cause growing out of the having or possession of said property, but perishable property held or possessed in violation of law may be sold where the same is not prohibited, as may be directed by the court, or returned to the person from whom taken. The judge to whom said search warrant is returned shall file the same with the inventory and sworn return in the proper office, and if the original affidavit and proofs upon which the warrant was issued are in his or her possession, he or she shall apply to the officer having the same and the officer shall transmit and deliver all of the papers, proofs, and certificates to the proper office where the proceedings are lodged.
History.—s. 14, ch. 9321, 1923; CGL 8516; s. 1, ch. 29676, 1955; s. 42, ch. 73-334; s. 1573, ch. 97-102; s. 41, ch. 2004-11.