It is your Charter-protected right to be secure against unreasonable search or seizure. However, there are some instances where police can search your person, car or home.

Usually, search and seizure is authorized by law through a warrant signed by a Justice of the Peace. Under this circumstance, the police would have to demonstrate to the Justice of the Peace that they had reasonable and probable grounds for the search in order to get the warrant.

In other cases, police are permitted to conduct a search even without a warrant. The power to search without a warrant is limited, to ensure our Charter rights are protected as often as possible. However, one example is if you have been detained by the police for an investigation – the police may choose to conduct a “pat down” of your person to determine if you have anything on you that could harm the officer. Sometimes during these pat downs, people are found with drugs, weapons, or other illegal items on them that can cause them to become charged with an offence – even if it had nothing to do with the initial reason the police detained them.

Remember, your protection against unreasonable search and seizure is stated in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Any time you are searched, the Crown must prove that the search was reasonable, and if it wasn’t reasonable, why the evidence should not be thrown out. Do you have questions about search and seizure? Contact Cassandra at DeMelo Law for a free consultation.