Can Police conduct a search without a Warrant?

As most people are no doubt aware, the Police normally require a Warrant to undertake a search of a private premise or to conduct a personal search on a person.  However, there are some circumstances when the Police do not require a warrant to search a premise or person.

A Police Officer may enter a residence without a Warrant for the purposes of arrest or if they reasonably believe that it is necessary to end or prevent a breach of peace.

Search Rights on private premises

If a person has been arrested on the premises, the police then have the right to conduct a person search of the person arrested.  However, the police may not be able to conduct a broader search of the wider premises.

Search Rights on the basis of Domestic Violence

If a Police Officer believes on reasonable grounds that a domestice violence offence is being or may have been committed, or is imminent, or is likely to be committed in a dwelling, the police officer may enter the dwelling only if invited by any person who lives in the dwelling to investigate whether a domestic violence offence has been committed, or to prevent the commission of a domestic violence offence.

Personal Searches

When searching a person, the police may stop, search and detain any individual reasonably suspected of having in their possession:

  1. Anything that is stolen;
  2. Anything obtained unlawfully;
  3. Anything intended for use in committing a serious offence;

Personal searches for dangerous weapons

The Police, on reasonable grounds, may search any person suspected of having a dangerous implement that can include knives, firearms or any implement that is made or adapted to cause injury to another person.

Search after arrest

After a person has been arrested, the police may conduct a search immediatly on the person and any property considered to be dangerous, or related to an offence may be seized.

Search after being charged

Where a person has been charged with an offence and are in lawful custody, then anything found on the person may be seized.

With over 30 years experience in law, firstly as a Police Officer and since 2000, as a solicitor specialising in criminal law, Murray Edwards is able to assist his clients to find their way through this complex area of law, call Murray Edwards now on 43247699 for a confidential chat on the phone.