What is a search warrant used for?
House Search: What Authority Do the Police Have?
Sometimes it comes unexpectedly, in other cases you could count on it: the police house search. If you have nothing to hide, you may be annoyed by strangers entering your own apartment. However, if a crime is suspected, the police could find additional evidence. But no matter what the initial situation of those affected is: Everyone should know their rights in this regard! Because they are not simply lost even with a judicial decision.
When can the police search my house?
In Section 13 of the Basic Law, special protection is given to one's own home. A house search thus represents an encroachment on your personal area of life. And not only your own four walls are in the sights, the general living and acquaintance environment could also be involved.
The good news, however, is: an encroachment on the inviolability of an apartment must not just take place preventively. There is a need for compelling reasons. The starting point is usually the Suspicion of a crimewhich must be supported by factual facts or evidence. Otherwise a house search would be inadmissible. In addition, the investigation must be proportionate to the crime in order to justify it.
The following reasons for a police search may exist:
Anyone who is suspected of having committed a crime should find out about the course of criminal proceedings by means of legal advice.
Is a house search permitted without a search order?
A police search according to §§ 102 ff. StPOmay only take place if there is a search warrant. Unless the person concerned voluntarily agrees to a house search beforehand. If this is not the case, a judge must be called in. Without Search warrant the intrusion of police officers is only lawful when danger is imminent. A search warrant sets limits and sets goals for the house search. The person concerned can thus check the decision beforehand, control the search and prevent the officials from exceeding the search competencies. In the decision itself, the allegation, the actual circumstances, the exact motives, evidence that is being searched for and the object to be searched must be precisely described. It must be evident that a judge ordered the house search. It is important to know, however, that a search warrant can also be issued orally or by telephone and is not formal.
How does a police search work?
Usually be House searches early in the morning carried out. However, officials also have to adhere to certain times. In summer, searches cannot take place between 9 p.m. and 4 a.m. In winter the same applies to 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. However, there are house searches also possible on weekends. The public prosecutor's office issues a judicial search warrant with which the police officers are finally standing on the doorstep. A drug detection dog can also be present, which is especially the case when drugs are to be found.
The police will secure specific finds and evidence. After the search, those affected should have a list made of all finds or objects that have been secured. In this way, both the police and the person concerned can be certain that no incorrectly assigned finds will be made afterwards. Incidentally, random finds may also be used for investigative purposes. The targeted search for random finds is not permitted!
Which rooms can the police search?
All premisesthat the suspect inhabits may be searched. It doesn't matter whether you rent your own apartment or own the apartment. Nor is it important whether the person concerned only sublet lives here. In fact, it also includes operating and business premises as well as hotel rooms.
Cell phones and smartphones may only be seized in the case of serious criminal offenses, for example if the house search is carried out due to murder or tax evasion. As far as the motor vehicle is concerned, this can also play a role in the house search.
If you are not sure what police officers are allowed to examine in an individual case during a search, you are welcome to contact the in advance Legal advice from KLUGO.
Own rights and behavior in the event of a house search
Anyone who is affected should open the door for the officers and ask for one Copy of the search warrant ask. Otherwise the police officers have the right to hire a locksmith. It is not worth defending yourself against a house search here. It is important to know, however, that the person concerned is subject to an obligation to tolerate, but not to an obligation to cooperate. And the duty to provide information is also not part of a police search.
Now the victim should have one Contact a lawyer. However, the police do not have to wait to search. In general, it makes sense to connect the lawyer with the on-site operations management team so that he can be familiarized with the situation. During the search, those affected should rather show themselves to be cooperative, but without talking about the alleged offense. In general, the accused have the right to be present and to accompany the search.
Likewise, it is often advised to object to the search or the seizure of things - but always in a friendly but determined tone.
Right to compensation
When a house is searched, those affected may feel that they have been treated unfairly or that property may even be damaged. If you deny entry to the officers, for example, they can break open the door. However, there is only compensation for damages from a damage of 25 euros and only if the criminal proceedings have been discontinued or if an acquittal occurs. Compensation for damages must be submitted to the competent local court within one month.
It is absolutely essential to know your rights during a police house search. Because police officers are not allowed to do everything across the board, even if it initially appears to be. At KLUGO, we offer extensive support and advice on legal issues relating to house searches Initial consultation. If there is a need for advice beyond the initial consultation, our partner lawyers will clarify all of your further questions in the first conversation.
Do you have a legal question?
Then simply use KLUGO legal advice. Legal advice is a telephone conversation with a certified lawyer from our network.
Article legally checked by the KLUGO editorial team
The article was created with great care by the KLUGO editorial team and legally checked. In addition, we supplement our guide with valuable tips directly from the experts: Our specialized partner lawyers show what is important for the respective topic.
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