Police are able to stop and search a person without a warrant, but there are certain limitations.
Police are able to stop and detain, conduct a frisk search and seize an object if they suspect on reasonable grounds that:
- the person is carrying a thing that is stolen/otherwise unlawfully obtained or relevant to a serious offence (evidential material) AND
- the ‘stop and search’ power is necessary to prevent the thing from being concealed, lost or destroyed AND
- it is necessary to exercise the power without the authority of a search warrant because the circumstances are serious and urgent.
Crimes Act 1900 (ACT) s 207
What can they search?Edit
A person, or clothing that is being worn by a person, or property in the immediate control of a person.
What can they seize?Edit
Police may seize any thing s/he suspects on reasonable grounds to be connected with an offence that is found in the course of the search.
This can only be done if the search was
- performed by a police officer after obtaining the person’s <a href="#consent">Consent to the search </a>
- taking the person into lawful custody in relation to an offence OR
- under a warrant issue OR
- in circumstances of seriousness and urgency OR
- under a court order, or otherwise under a provision of an ACT law.
Drugs and Dependence Act 1989 (ACT) s 184
<a name="consent"> ===Consent to the search===</a>
Before obtaining the consent of a person to seize their property, the police officer must inform the person that s/he may refuse to give his/ her consent.
A police officer who obtains the consent of a person for s 184 shall ask the person to sign an acknowledgment
(a) that the person has been informed that s/he may refuse to give consent; and
(b) that the person has given his/her consent; and
(c) of the date and time when the person gave his/her consent.
There is a presumption that person did not give consent, unless acknowledgment produced in evidence (but this presumption is rebuttable)