People lose property all the time…jewelry, money, keys, etc. And the people who find that lost property are often so excited to do so. Little do they know that they could end up facing criminal charges under Penal Code 485 PC California’s law against appropriation of lost property if they keep the property despite the fact that there were clues as to the property’s true owner.
Penal Code 485 PC California’s law against appropriation of lost property makes it a crime to keep lost property if you can reasonably tell who the actual owner is. You don’t have to scour the Earth to locate the owner – just make reasonable attempts to do so if there are clues. If you find cash lying on a deserted street, you can pretty much keep it. If you find cash in a wallet with a driver’s license, you cannot.
And what attempts are considered reasonable will be up for debate. This is one reason why it is important to hire an attorney who knows how to present the most compelling case that any attempts you made were reasonable and sufficient.