know your rights

Unlawful Search


Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for the police to conduct a search of a person, their car or their residence which is unlawful.

An unlawful search can be challenged prior to trial and a Judge or Magistrate has a discretion to exclude any evidence which was obtained during a search which has been found to be unlawful.

Legislation gives police certain powers to stop and search people and their property without a warrant. A lot of people are under the misunderstanding that police have an open discretion to conduct a search however this is incorrect.

Police can exercise their power to conduct a search pursuant to the following legislation:

  • Summary Offences Act 1953
  • Controlled Substances Act 1984
  • Road Traffic Act 1961

It is important to be familiar with your rights. Quite often police will ask you for permission to search your property and most people consent because they do not know their rights. You are within your right to not give permission to police to search your property, even if you have nothing to hide.

If you think police have conducted an unlawful search of you or your property, it is important to seek legal advice. Contact one of our experienced criminal law specialists and we will be happy to help you.

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