When can the police search me?

3. Decide if you want to give permission

Even if you’re not being or , the police can search you if you give them a special type of permission called . Your permission is considered to be informed consent if:

  • if you know that you don’t have to give them permission,
  • you understand what the police are asking you to do, and
  • you understand what might happen if you agree to their request.

You only have to allow the police to search you or your property if you’re being detained or arrested. The police must tell you right away if you’re being detained or arrested.

If the police approach you for another reason, and ask if they can search you or your property, you have the right to say no. Think carefully before you agree to be searched when you’re not being detained or arrested. If you want to talk to a lawyer about what might happen if you give the police permission to search, you should.

 

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