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When can the police search my home or business?

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When can the police search my home or business?
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Office of the Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD)
Metro Toronto Chinese & Southeast Asian Legal Clinic
Office of the Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD)

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When can the police search my home or business?
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Reviewed: 
November 2, 2018
Answer

The police can search your home or business if:

Search warrant

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.

Informed consent

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.

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