Property & Evidence
The Evidence Unit is the central repository for all property and evidence held by the Nassau County Sheriff’s Office as related to criminal and non-criminal matters. The main function of the Evidence Unit is to establish the legally responsible and accountable entity for the control of all evidence including found/recovered property. Evidence is preserved and kept safe ensuring the integrity that is required by the judicial process. The Evidence Unit receives thousands of items a year from the Sheriff’s Deputies as well as other law enforcement agencies. The bulk of this evidence is case evidence with a small percentage of items that are found or unclaimed property.
The Evidence Unit makes every attempt to notify the rightful owner, in accordance to Florida State Statute, if the item is abandoned or found property. Pursuant to Florida State Statue when these items remain unclaimed, the Sheriff’s Office has the right to sell, reassign, destroy or retain the item for the agency use.
The Evidence Unit is designed to be a custodial unit for preserving items submitted by law enforcement personnel. Evidence release is based on various levels of authorization. Property will only be released once allowed by statute and release by court order. The evidence custodian must allow for the law enforcement personnel who submitted the item to authorize the release. Without that clearance the item being held may not be disposed of.
Claiming Your Property
In the event you own property that is classified “Found” or “Safekeeping” (with the exception of firearms) and it has been placed into the evidence facility you may claim it, at the Evidence Unit during normal business hours. While an appointment is not required it is the preferred method so that you may be served as efficiently as possible.
“Found property is any item or article that has been found or surrendered to a law enforcement agent for safekeeping until such time that the rightful owner can be identified. Found Property will be held for 90 days from the date of submission.”
If you are listed as the owner on the property receipt, you must present the receipt with the case number on it along with a valid photo identification in order to claim the return. If you are not listed as the owner, you must present proof of ownership, such as a bill of sale from the store where you purchased the item or a notarized bill of sale; if the item was purchased from a private individual.
Safekeeping Property (Excluding Firearms)
If you are listed on the property receipt as the owner, present the receipt and a valid photo identification to claim the property.
If the owner of the property is incarcerated or unable to pick up the items, they may complete a written and notarized authorization letter that requests a relative or friend to retrieve the property.
If an individual has a “Power of Attorney” or “Legal Guardianship” for someone who has property in the facility, they must present positive proof of the authorization to release the item(s) to them.
Safekeeping Property (Excluding Firearms) is a result of a law enforcement officer taking control of property for the purpose of public safety or for the purpose of holding the property for a short period of time. Safekeeping property will be considered abandoned property after 60 days and may be disposed.
Evidence Property is any item or article that has been collected by a law enforcement agent who conducted a criminal investigation. Any item or article to be released must have a written release by the case agent, prosecuting attorney or a lawful court order.
—- Domestic Violence / Injunctions for Protection —-
Domestic Violence or Injunction for Protection cases are criminal in nature and any items or articles that has been collected by a law enforcement agent during an investigation will be held until an authorization to release the item is obtained from a court order signed by a judge overseeing the case.
The release of firearms is governed by how the weapon is classified:
- Court Ordered Domestic Violence or Injunction for Protection.
If you are uncertain as to the classification assigned to your property, check with the detective or deputy who is handling your case.
If you need more information regarding the release of the firearm and weapons contact the Evidence Unit at 904-548-4045.
All persons requesting to claim a firearm are subject to a background check for prior felony convictions and active domestic violence orders. Firearms may not be released to a convicted felon or if the claimant has an active domestic violence order or injunction for protection against them or anyone in their household. If there is a question about adjudication of a charge(s), the weapon will not be released until the issue is resolved.
All firearms forfeited as provided under F.S.S. 790.08 may be disposed of after a (6) six month waiting period from the date of forfeiture, after an attempt to notify the owner has been documented.
Evidence firearms will only be released to persons named in a court order, probate court order, or designated by the case agent.
In order to have a firearm released that is classified as safekeeping, one must obtain authorization from the law enforcement professional handling the case.
Firearms Subject to Court Ordered Domestic Injunctions
Release requires a certified copy of the court order issued by a Judge lifting the injunction.
If the owner of found property cannot be located and if the finder does not elect to take ownership of the property, the agency has the option of donating the property to a “charitable Organization” as means of distribution. Bicycles may only be released according to the 90 day time schedule required by state statute.
Evidence/Property Contacts & Hours
The Evidence/Property hours are Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Located at 77151 Citizens Circle, Yulee, Fl, 32097
For contact information call (904) 548-4045.
Q. Do I need an appointment to pick up property?
A. Appointments are not necessary, but they are preferred. Calling ahead will help ensure that someone is available to help you and that your property is ready for release. Please have your case number available.
Q. Do I need to bring Identification?
A. Yes, you will need to bring a valid government issued picture identification with your correct address.
Q. How long is Property held?
A. Different types of property are held for different lengths of time. Found Property is held for a period of 90 days unless it is claimed by the owner. Evidence items are held until such time as they are no longer needed for trial or the statute of limitation expires. Statute of limitations may vary depending on the seriousness of the crime. Some items can be released pursuant to a court order or written authorization from the State Attorney’s Office.
Q. What happened to unclaimed Property?
Unclaimed property which remains unclaimed, by the legal owner, will be disposed of by destruction, conversion to county property, donation to charity, public auction, or returned to the finder if a claim was made when the property was recovered.
Q. Can I get my property back if I am a minor?
The property can be released to a legal guardian or parent. Proof of legal guardianship must be shown prior to release or any property.
Q. Can someone else other than myself pick up my property for me?
Yes, you may assign another adult person to retrieve your property with a notarized letter of authorization and photo identification. The letter must be address to the Nassau County Sheriff’s Office and include your case number, the name of the person you are granting authority and your notarized signature.
Q. I have been notified that the agency has property belonging to me and I no longer want it. What should I do?
Just send a notarized letter, to the listed address, stating that you no longer want the property and we will dispose of the items for you. If the items are sold you are not entitled to any of the proceeds.
Q. How can I claim my firearm you are storing?
Please review the above section that addresses firearms. The return of firearms requires special and specific documentation.
Q. Can I claim something that I found and turned into the Nassau County Sheriff’s Office?
Yes, providing that certain conditions are met. Please find the information previously listed.
Still have a question?
You are more than welcome to contact us directly at: The Nassau County Sheriff’s Office, Evidence and Property Unit, (904) 548-4045.