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Ugrin Svyatoslav

Head of problem debt practice, criminal lawyer

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Probably everyone has faced this question. During a search, the law defines such an investigative action, the purpose of which is to identify and record information about the circumstances of a criminal offense, find a weapon of criminal offense or property obtained as a result of its commission, and establish the location of wanted persons.

In modern realities, the search is faced not only by individual citizens, but also by entire business structures and enterprises. And no one knows whether you will not have to deal with law enforcement during the search in the near future.

According to court practice, during a search, law enforcement agencies very often violate the requirements of the criminal procedure law and, accordingly, your rights, in particular by unjustified seizure of property.

It is worth remembering that a search is possible only on the basis of the relevant decision of the investigating judge. Not the investigator, not the prosecutor, but the court.

However, searches are often conducted without the decision of the investigating judge, with reference to Article 233 of the CPC, which states that a search without the decision of the investigating judge is possible if there is a threat to life and health, rescue or prosecution of a criminal suspect.

What do you need to know if you were searched?

  • First, it is not necessary to answer the questions of the investigator and other persons involved in the search, to enter into dialogues with them. It is worth remembering that everything you say during the search may be used against you in the future.
  • Secondly, it is necessary to remain calm and closely monitor the actions of operatives and, if possible, record everything on video. All actions carried out by the task force must be understood. It is necessary to watch whether anybody from operatively-search group leaves the room which is searched.
  • Thirdly, you have to get acquainted with the decision to conduct a search and obtain a copy of it before it is conducted. The investigator, if there is a decision, may conduct a search without the personal presence of the person, while leaving the decision in a prominent place.
  • Fourth, you have the right to make remarks during the search, which must be included in the search report. A copy of which must also be provided.

Well, do not forget about the lawyer. In the presence of a lawyer, investigators are more restrained and try to abide by the CCP’s rules, as they understand that their actions can be challenged. That is why you need to declare your intention to hire a lawyer as soon as possible.

Summing up the above, it is worth remembering that emotions during a search are not helpful. It is important to keep calm and cool, to study in detail the decision to conduct a search, to get acquainted with the list of things that can be seized during the search and to use the legal assistance of a lawyer.

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