Is a Personal Search Without a Warrant Lawful?

Police man with a police car in the backgroundCommon law doesn’t permit police officials to perform a personal search without giving you a warrant first. The main reason for this is that body searches could be invasive, so the police should have clear and reasonable grounds to perform one.

However, under certain circumstances, police officials could perform a body search on you without handing you a warrant.

When Police Officers Could Perform Body Searches Without a Warrant

Police officers could search you without getting a warrant or consent from you in the event that they believe that you have in your possession any of the following items:

  • Illegal drugs;
  • A dangerous or deadly weapon;
  • Illegally obtained or stolen property; or
  • An item used for committing a crime or harming yourself or others.

Federal statutes likewise allow police officials to perform body searches if they have reason to believe that you might be involved in terrorist activities, says renowned solicitors in Townsville. According to the Commonwealth Crimes Act, the police could either do a frisk search or an ordinary search.

During a frisk search, a police officer could roam his or her hands over your clothes and check items that you could easily remove or those that could be inspected easily without being removed. With an ordinary search, on the other hand, you need to remove outerwear including overcoats, jackets, hat, shoes and gloves so that the police officer could check them as well.

While the law provides powers to police officers to perform searches without a warrant, police officers must strictly observe specific procedural requirements for the search to be considered legal. The police officer should give you his or her name, the location of duty and rank, and give you a clear reason for performing the search, she adds.

Your Legal Right to Personal Privacy

Both federal and state laws recognise how vital personal privacy is that’s why the police are only authorised to perform searches on people without a warrant if they have reasonable grounds to do so.

Otherwise, seek help from an experienced solicitor if you think that a police officer violated your rights during a search or he or she took your property that should have been returned to you during a search.

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