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When can the police search my home or business?
The police can search your home or business if:
- they have a search warrant
- they have reasonable grounds to believe there is evidence of a criminal offence, illegal drugs, or weapons inside your home or business that might be destroyed or removed if they wait for a search warrant
- you or another person in charge of the property gave the police informed consent
A search warrant gives police the power to search a specific place for specific items. The search warrant will have:
- the address of the place the police are allowed to search
- the dates and times when the police are allowed to search
- the items the police are looking for
The police are only allowed to look for evidence in places where they might find it. For example, they can't look for a stolen car in your kitchen cupboards.
The police are allowed to take the items listed in the search warrant. They can also take any items that you're not legally allowed to have. For example, they can seize illegal drugs or property that is evidence of another crime.
For permission to be considered informed consent:
- the police must have told the person that they don't have to give permission,
- the person must understand what the police are asking for, and
- the person must understand what might happen if they agree to the request.