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Search Warrants

If the police wish to search either your home or vehicle to obtain evidence, in most cases, they must first obtain a Court Order in the form of a search warrant. If this is granted, then the police must adhere to strict regulations set out by the law and if these are not followed, they may not be able to rely on any evidence obtained.

At Cartwright King, we acknowledge your right to seek legal advice about these matters. In some cases we can challenge the seizure of items by judicial review where procedures have not been followed. If you have been subjected to a search by the police, it is vital that you contact us as a matter of urgency. Our solicitors are able to give advice immediately, in some cases whilst the Police action is taking place. We are available to represent you and will defend your case for you in court if necessary.

Free initial telephone consultation

Our highly skilled Fraud team are here to take the worry off your hands. We can provide an initial telephone consultation to see how we can assist in your case. For more information, please call us on 0808 168 5550 or email

Search warrants and the law

If the police have suspicions that you are involved in criminal activity such as fraud or drug possession, then they will have to attain a search warrant before they can legally search, or “raid” your house or vehicle. Before a police action can go ahead, a Magistrate must be satisfied that on the evidence that has been put before them there are grounds to issue a search warrant. The most common procedures for this to happen are for the police to seek warrants under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act [PACE] or under the misuse of drugs legislation.

In order for the police to attain a search warrant in the UK, they must convince the Magistrate:

  • That any material that could be found would be vital to the investigation
  • Any evidence found would be relevant at trial
  • That the owner of the premises/vehicle would not consent to the search
  • Any evidence found would not consist of legally privileged and/or material that would be excluded at trial

Once satisfied, the Magistrate must then examine the following questions:

  • Is the warrant justifiable
  • Is any material that could potentially be found relevant to the investigation
  • Whether or not the warrant outlines what the investigators can or cannot seize
  • If the search warrant is granted, then the investigators must adhere to criteria which would involve a specific time frame, only seizing materials that have been authorised from specific locations and not being allowed to seize any excluded materials. At Cartwright King, we are available to advise you of any concerns you may have and answer any queries that you have in relation to a police search that has been conducted against you.

Can an appeal be made?

It is essential that the investigators adhere to the proper legal procedures. If they do not there may be available appeals by way of Judicial Review which can result in the return of seized property. Any appeal must be lodged promptly and it is very important to take early legal advice.

If your appeal is successful, the Court may order for your property to be returned and can order that any losses incurred by you are repaid. At Cartwright King, we are available to guide you through the appeal process if required.

How we can help

If the police are in the process of searching your property, our experienced Fraud solicitors are available to put forward your case in the best possible light and advise you throughout the process. We promise to:

  • Advise you throughout the entire process
  • Advise you on a confidential basis about any concerns you have
  • Represent you in an interview under caution
  • Prepare and collate all required documents
  • Represent you in court if necessary
  • Take the worry off your hands
  • Argue your case
  • Prepare an appeal if necessary

Given the broad area of law surrounding search warrants, we will ensure to deal with your case by finding all of the facts and circumstances.

Why Choose Us?

At Cartwright King, our solicitors understand the stress a police search can cause and the long term consequences that could potentially affect you, your family and your future. We are available to support you throughout the entire process, explain the likely outcomes and fight on your behalf.

How to make contact

If you require any legal advice or if you would like a no obligation, free initial telephone discussion, then please call us on 0808 168 5550. Alternatively you can email the Fraud team on and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Our Fraud solicitors can provide advice across the country and are happy to meet at a time and location that suits you. We also have a network of offices in BirminghamBedfordDerbyLeedsLeicesterLondon TempleLutonManchesterMiddlesbroughNorthamptonNottingham and Sheffield.

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