What You Need To Know About Search Warrants
Search warrants, you’ve heard of them, but does your knowledge extend beyond an episode of your favourite crime drama?
While the law does vary between different jurisdiction there are some important points you should keep in mind. A consultation with one of our experienced solicitors could be a safeguard if your property has been searched, or if you fear that it’s likely.
A search warrant is a written order which has been applied for, and granted, allowing police to search a premises. For Police to be granted a warrant, they must have reasonable grounds to suspect that they will find something related to a searchable offence on the premises, this must also be specified in the warrant.
Some of the offences that are commonly connected to search warrants are illegal drugs, weapons and firearms, property that has been stolen and child abuse material (pictures, videos, computer data etc.). Material related to indictable or serious offences are also grounds for a warrant to be issued.
One form of warrants that has been highlighted with recent media attention is criminal organisation warrants under s46A(1)(c) of the Law Enforcement (Powers and Responsibilities) Act 2002. This has seen many members of Outlaw Motorcycle Clubs subject to search warrants.
If the Police seek entry to a premises, they must present the occupier an occupier’s notice, which must include certain information including the name of the applicant for the warrant, the time and date of the warrant, and the address in relation to the warrant.
Covert warrants may also be sought be certain police officers which allow a search without the occupier’s knowledge in certain circumstances.
If you have been subject to a warrant, please book a free consultation with one of our solicitors who can provide you with information regarding any potential charges you are facing, or if your rights have been unfairly violated in the warrant process.