Every year, law enforcement officers increase the number of conducted searches, which constantly affects the work of businesses and IT companies. Official statistics do not provide an answer to the question of how many searches are conducted annually by law enforcement officers in companies, searching offices and other premises. But overall figures from 2019 to 2023 show that the number of searches has almost doubled.
Searches became more frequent through pincreasing the procedure for initiating criminal proceedings, a simple procedure for obtaining a court order for a search.
In addition, if the employees are not prepared for the search, it becomes an additional source of information for the investigator in case of their interrogation on the spot and at the same time creates great risks for the company's management.
What do you need to know about the search?
- ✅ Tell your lawyer. Searches are always unexpected, so the company should take care of concluding a contract with a lawyer or a lawyer's association in advance. The presence of a lawyer deters abuse by investigators and operatives. The investigator is obliged to admit the lawyer to the search.
- ✅ We do not give any explanations. Employees, contractors, management - everyone who is at the scene of the search must clearly know - no explanation can be given to the investigators or any other person, even if they insist on it. Upon request to communicate - refusal to testify on the basis of Art. 63 of the Constitution of Ukraine. The only option is through the delivery of a summons 3 days before the date of the interrogation and the interrogation only after preparation with the defense attorney.
- ✅ Request a copy of the search warrant. The address in the decision must match your address. If the court ruling has expired, no search is conducted. Already at this stage, it is possible to legally prevent a search, only after carefully reading the court decision!
- ✅ Require identification. Only an investigator or prosecutor can conduct a search, it is possible to find out about the status of a person only from a certificate. In addition, if there is an abuse on the part of the participants in the search, you need to know exactly who conducted it, so that it is then possible to bring a particular person to justice.
- ✅ Concerning mobile phones and data carriers. They should not be in a prominent place or on the desktop. It is best to keep it with you, the phone must be put on silent mode. Whether to give the phone to the investigator depends on the specific situation, on this matter consult with the lawyer who will be there. Voluntary surrender and de-pairing of the phone does not mean that it will not be seized by investigators.
- ✅ We don't pass anything at militiamen. You do not have to tell anyone your passwords.
- ✅ If the investigator wants to conduct a personal search. Demand that it be conducted only in the presence of a lawyer. In this case, the investigator must wait 3 hours until the lawyer arrives.
- ✅ Seized property must be entered in the search report. Be sure to make sure that all seized equipment or documents are accurately described in the search protocol, otherwise it will be impossible to collect them later.
Following these simple tips will help you get searched with minimal risk to the team and the leader.
Do you have any questions?
Lawyers of YF Bargen can conduct training for your company "How to protect yourself during a search?" and share the experience of protecting clients during searches, talk about the first actions in case of an unexpected visit by law enforcement officers to conduct a search.
The training is interactive, involves the use of presentations and consideration of practical situations.
Questions we will consider:
1. What is a search?
2. Who can conduct a search?
3. What can law enforcement officers seize?
4. How are the children during the search?
5. Examples of searches and the purpose of the search