People often under estimate the investigative powers of the Queensland Police Force or in fact, police forces generally state or commonwealth.
But remember this,Police don’t have the right to search you or your property unless you consent to the search, they have a search warrant, or a law specifically gives them that right. For example, the Corrective Services Act in Queensland provides such a right to officers and their interaction with certain people.
However, police do have the power to search you without a warrant should they believe you are carrying a weapon, stolen property, drugs, tools to commission an offence or something that may harm yourself or another.
They are very broad powers.
But when responding to a request by the Police to conduct a search, you have the right to ask them why they want to search you. It’s important you remember their response, because it may prove to be useful information for your lawyer in the future. If it helps, write their response down.
The other thing you need to remember in all your dealings with Police, is that the Police record everything, be it through audio or video. These recordings may well form a part of their evidence against you. So, you’re always best to be polite and say nothing. While you may be frustrated that the Police wish to conduct a search, the lawfulness of that search is best left to your lawyer to consider, rather than you becoming upset and acting in a way that you may later regret.
This is legal information relating to Queensland, Australia only. It is not legal advice. Such advice can only come from a lawyer who understands the specific circumstances of your matter. This information is current at October 2010.
Dan Toombs is one of Australia’s Most Awarded Lawyers. He was admitted as a Barrister of the Supreme Court of Queensland in 1997 and despite a budding career in personal injuries litigation, he became increasingly disillusioned and ever since, has spent his time enhancing the rights of disadvantaged Australians to justice.
His focus now is ensuring injured Australians are properly appraised of their legal issues with quality legal advice and similarly represented by effective, efficient and caring lawyers.