When can the police search my home or business?

1. Ask if they have a search warrant

A is a legal document that allows the police to search a specific place for specific items. The police must show you the search warrant if you ask to see it. If the police don't show you the search warrant, ask to see it.

The search warrant will have information such as:

  • the address of the place the police are allowed to search
  • the dates and times when the police are allowed to search
  • the items the police are looking for

The warrant will also list:

  • the offences related to the items they're looking
  • the signature or name of the judge or justice of the peace who ordered the warrant
  • the date, time, and place the warrant was signed

Most warrants are for searches to be done during the day. Judges only give warrants for searches to be done at night if they have for thinking a night search is necessary.

What you should do

Check that the search warrant has:

  • your correct address
  • the current date and the correct time
  • the name or signature of the person who authorized it

If you notice mistakes on the warrant, tell the police. You have the right to ask the police to leave if the warrant contains errors. But you should never try to make the police leave or stop them from entering. Usually, a warrant is still valid even if it has a small mistake such as a spelling error.

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