A search warrant is a Court Order which allows the police to conduct a search of premises in a criminal investigation – including fraud cases, cases involving drugs offences or stolen goods, immigration offences or violent crime or kidnapping.
A search warrant must be executed within the law, however – if not, a claim may be brought against the police for trespass, or breaching the right to privacy and a family life under Article 8 of the Human Rights Act.
The police also need to show sufficient evidence to justify applying for a search warrant – or a claim for malicious procurement of a search warrant could be made against the police.
In a case of HMRC investigation into tax fraud, it is likely that investigators will arrive at premises in the early hours.
Where professionals have a duty of confidentiality towards clients – as in an investigation by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) – disclosure of Legal Professional Privilege (LPP) material may be required under the law.
Duncan Lewis criminal solicitors can advise individuals, companies and professionals on their rights if police execute a search warrant to search premises.
It is vital to contact the Duncan Lewis criminal law department as soon as possible – and especially if items have been removed by the police, or LPP materials have been accessed or taken away.
The Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE) sets out the law on excluded materials which the police cannot seize – and some materials and documents can only be seized if the search warrant has been granted by the Crown Court.
Because of the legal complexities involved in police search warrants, taking legal advice as soon as possible is vital to ensure the warrant has been executed lawfully – and the rights of the owners of premises, property and confidential materials are protected.
The Duncan Lewis Crime Department is ranked in Legal 500 2014 for its General Crime and White Collar Fraud Work.
Duncan Lewis criminal solicitors have acknowledged expertise in case building based on a sound knowledge of the criminal justice system – and have a successful track record in advising on search warrants and the law.
Duncan Lewis represents clients at Police Stations, Magistrates’ Courts, Crown Courts, and at Appeal Courts such as the Court of Appeal – and has highly experienced Higher Court Advocates with a background in conducting serious fraud cases.
There are Duncan Lewis offices nationwide in England and Wales – and a criminal defence solicitor from Duncan Lewis can usually reach a client at a police station or court within 45 minutes.
We aim for the best possible outcome for clients subject to a search warran,t or who may wish to make a claim against the police for unlawful execution of a search warrant – call Duncan Lewis motoring offence solicitors 020 7923 4020 for expert legal advice on police search warrants or HMRC search warrants.
For 24/7 help at a police station, call the Duncan Lewis Emergency Hotline on 020 7275 2036.
Duncan Lewis advises clients whose premises have been searched under a search warrant to contact us as soon as possible.
Duncan Lewis Criminal Solicitors can advise even before a criminal charge is brought following a search warrant – as well as advising on making a claim if a search warrant has not been executed lawfully.
Duncan Lewis criminal solicitors are a leading provider of Legal Aid criminal defence services.
However, Legal Aid is means tested and may only be available in certain circumstances – Duncan Lewis can advise further on Legal Aid at the initial client meeting.
In cases where a client may not be eligible for Legal Aid, Duncan Lewis criminal solicitors offer competitively-priced fee levels for private client representation – with fixed fees and advance notice of any costs whenever possible.
In some cases, after the event insurance may also be a funding option.
Call Duncan Lewis Criminal Solicitors to discuss any matters involving Search Warrants on 020 7923 4020.