Do you want to know when to expect that sound of boots knocking your door down? Currently, having this eerie feeling that a raid is going to happen soon? Have you heard of a victim’s experience? And you want factual information to at least get you mentally prepared for a raid, but the thing is.
Signs your house is about to get raided: All you need to know
There is no way of knowing exactly when that can happen or if your house is bound to be raided.
However, some careful observations of law enforcement activities happening around your house will help you to ascertain a raid in its planning stages. This is why you have to be observant by being aware of the activities and situations happening around your house because they are the least things you can do.
For example, be on the lookout for surveillance equipment pivoted to your apartment. Stay alarmed of any strange movement of police officers scouting your neighborhood taking pictures of your house, for it is an invasion of privacy. It gets to the extent that you will be surprised that there is already equipment for spying like wiretaps.
The preparatory process, usually done before a raid on a house, is via the following stages: information gathering on the target and analyzing the target before executing the raid.
However, you might begin to make confirmation when you notice these warnings signs that are best defined as unusual signs, and they are:
- Getting to notice this unfamiliar vehicle
- Your street or neighborhood being full of strangers walking around
- Encountering door-to-door scams
- Seeing unusual flyers and stickers
- Excuses being taken by strangers requesting help
- Noticing strange markings around your house
- When strangers suddenly come around your house to take pictures and then walk away
- Gut feelings that is when you can sniff out dangers that your house is about to get raided by potential Intruders
- Getting trails and scents left by the upcoming perpetrators.
Most importantly, it is best to remain or become a law-abiding citizen.
How should I behave if my home is raided?
You don’t need to panic when you get raided suddenly. Try to calm down if you are being rushed at and asked to open your door while inside your house, don’t be quick to do that immediately.
- Request that they show you their IDs and their search warrant through the spyhole; in the middle of that, you can contact your lawyer or your editor-in-chief. Don’t forget to try and calm down.
The above are the things you ought to do first, and then you can go on by:
2. Let your phone find its way into your pocket. This would even require the investigator to show you another warrant for a personal search because your phone in your pocket has already become personal belonging.
3. Insist that you want a personal search done by the same gender for the sake of when you want to communicate with other people, and they want to seize your phone.
4. Only adhere and agree if they allow you to take a picture or make a written copy of the search warrant.
5. Inquire that you want to know the grounds for the search by asking them to state what they are looking for, and if they don’t want to answer, then that is what noting.
6. Ask them to allow the search to be done in the presence of two attested witnesses.
You can demand a witness replacement if you find out that they are for the investigation team.
Allow them to do a consecutive search.
What documentation should the police provide me when entering my property?
In such a case like this, there is, of course, some documentation that the police should provide you when doing a thorough search at your house.
The police are expected to provide you with a Notice of Power and Rights; and they consist of the basis for the search, confirmation of whether the search is under a warrant.
The authority that is being bestowed on the officer of whether he should search the premises or not and then your legal right as the occupier.
It has to be given to you before the search begins or kept in a prominent place if you are not there during the raid.
Do the police require a woman to search my property?
The answer to this depends on the rules governing the search of a person. As long as any person is reasonably suspected of having or carrying anything chargeable, prohibited, or carrying any illegal articles, the police are given the authority and prowess to search the individual.
However, there is usually a strict rule about this search, which is ” a woman can only be searched by another woman” regarding decency.
Moreover, this is only based on the fact that it’s her body only, but a man can go ahead to search her purse, bag, etc. You might have this question running through your mind that “what of a man?” Is a woman allowed to search a man then?” But then, there is no statutory provision that a woman should not search a man. According to what is in practice, what goes for a man is, therefore, that a man should be searched by a man with strict regards to decency.
In addition, there is a special consideration which is given to women in Purdah, that is being regulated under the Islamic law in the Criminal Procedure Code, and it states that
if at all there is any place to be searched in an apartment which is being resided by a woman, who is not the actual person to be searched, but who happens to appear in public according to custom, then the officer in charge of the search should have made sure to give notice to such woman, that she is free not to get involved and then they can be able to enter the apartment.
This is done to preserve and protect women’s privacy of the Muslim faith. Therefore, when a search warrant has to be executed on a woman, it has to be done by another woman irrespective of her religion or culture.
When can the police enter my property without a warrant?
Generally, it is right for police to enter your apartment or other private property with a warrant. Still, it becomes unheard of when they barge into your privacy without a warrant. It is only right if they are given the individual’s consent to go ahead even without a warrant.
However, there are cases whereby they can enter without a warrant, and they are:
- When in pursuit of an already attempted criminal or whenever there is a cry for help or distress
- When given an invitation by an occupant.
- The fact is that there is a need to enforce an arrest warrant.
- When there is a condition that leaves the police with no choice but to gain entry into several different kinds of premises.
What must the warrant contain?
Things that a warrant must contain are certain information. However, there are ten(10) things a valid warrant must contain, and they are as follows:
- It must have been signed and sealed by the issuing judge
- Must include a specific time and date of issuance
- It must contain the actual information needed to obtain it and be corroborated by another source aside from the same witness.
- Must have an affidavit of probable cause or reason attached to it, which should have the information of the person issuing the warrant.
- It must be according to the reliable information provided by a reliable source.
- must contain the specificity of the property to be seized
- It must be able to describe the suspected person particularly
- Must not exceed two(2) days before its execution from the date of issuance.
- It must be issued only during daylight unless there is an authorized order on the warrant.
- Lastly, it must state the title of the Judicial officer who issued the warrant.
Does the warrant allow for individuals to be searched?
It is a relevant criterion that must be presented first before a search is carried on an individual. It is also a tool for the investigation of all forms of crime like terrorism, rape, fraud, murder, and child sexual.
When must the warrant be shown?
The right time for showing or presenting a search warrant is usually when conducting a search in a practical manner and most of the time when asked by the individual. However, if it is not being asked, there is no need for the officer to display the warrant quickly.
What if the raid takes place in a shared house?
It is a bad decision to allow your landlord to be the first person to get consent from, and rather the police is to seek this from someone the right person.
For example, if you live in an apartment with multiple occupancies and the police seek to arrest you, there is no need for consent. However, it is left for the police to do well to search where it is only reasonable to find evidence.
Can I record a raid?
You can record a raid because it is a legal right in the “First Amendment” that allows for an individual to record videos, audio, and pictures of police officers exercising their duties in public. This act is only disallowed if you are caught doing it discreetly or found interfering with the officers.
For example, you can do it right if it’s in a case whereby you observe an officer talking to someone on the street, and things are already getting heated by the looks of things.
As a concerned citizen that you are, it is already known to you how helpful a bystander’s video can be of great help in determining whether a police officer acted lawfully or not. This is you exercising a civic duty to document the interaction.
If I am asked a question during a raid, do I have to answer them?
If you are arrested and prompted to do this, you should first seek legal advice, and you are not obliged to answer questions.
However, there are some cases whereby you do not need to answer them; for example, if you are not arrested, you might be asked questions in theory by the police. Although, this may make the police destroy or damage your property in a forced search.
What can the police seize during a search?
The things that police seized during a search are usually the ones not specified in the warrant, and more so, it’s only if they appear in plain view during the search.
Can you sleep in a freshly painted room
When will I get my items back?
Wondering when you will recover your seized items back after a search has been done? It all depends on the particulars relevant to your case. Most likely, if the seized item is contraband, it is certainly not to dream of the police returning it and if it is being held as evidence, then be rest assured as it would be returned when the case’s conclusion is already done. It might take weeks, months, or even years.
How do I get my items back?
To get your items back, you may need to:
Contact a lawyer if possible and when the police refuse even after a thorough investigation has been made.
Provide your personal information and proof of ownership
Contact the police officer in charge of the case.
In addition, try and persuade the police to allow you to take photos of the items.
But you should also bear in mind that getting items can be difficult and can also take a long time too.
What else can happen?
It is quite safe for you to stay calm and silent, and that is if you get arrested or detained. Ask for a lawyer immediately. Make sure not to mention anything or make any rash decision without a lawyer.
In every step you want to take in every raid case, always carry along a lawyer request a warrant from the police officers before proceeding.