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  • Writer's pictureSam Kuhn


If you are under current investigation, it may be a requirement for the police to find, seize and hold any relevant ‘evidence’ for their case. This could mean that some of your property may be detained. What necessary law deems this power as legally acceptable?

Laying down the Law

First, what does the law say about police power and responsibility?

The Police Powers and Responsibilities Act 2000 – Sect 196, clearly defines the lawful power police hold in seizing evidence. It is as follows:

(1) This section applies if a police officer lawfully enters a place, or is at a public place, and finds at the place a thing the officer reasonably suspects is evidence of the commission of an offence.

(2) The police officer may seize the thing, whether or not as evidence under a warrant and, if the police officer is acting under a warrant, whether or not the offence is one in relation to which the warrant is issued.

(3) Also, the police officer may photograph the thing seized or the place from which the thing was seized.

(4) The police officer may stay on the place and re-enter it for the time reasonably necessary to remove the thing from the place.

How long can property be held?

Generally, police will reduce the need to withhold property wherever possible by opting to take photos instead. However, if your property has been taken the police can hold your property for 30 days unless a proceeding has started.

If your property has not been returned when you believe it should be, you will need to obtain professional legal support as soon as possible.

Can police enter without a warrant?

In short, yes, under certain circumstances police can enter your home without a warrant. This would be the case if they needed to:

• prevent or stop domestic violence in the home; • restrain a convicted felon who has escaped prison or soon-to-be arrested persons; • arrest a certain individual; or • conduct breathalyser tests on suspected persons; and more.

When you need a professional lawyer

If you have had police retain some of your property that has not yet been returned when you think it should be, or have recently been charged with a criminal or traffic-related offence, it’s time to obtain correct legal support.

Creevey Russell Lawyers

As a team of experienced lawyers with 40+ years of Criminal Law work behind us, we know Australian Law. We fight for you, no matter the situation. This kind of attention to detail, experience and determination is unmatched by other criminal lawyers, and you deserve the best.

Experienced Criminal and Traffic Lawyers in Brisbane, QLD

How do I get more information?

We understand that being charged with an offence or dealing with police can be daunting, and you want to receive assistance as soon as possible, without excess stress. This is why we’ve made it easy for you to reach out whenever you need. Please contact us on 1800-CRIME-LAW for 24/7 assistance. Alternatively, reach out to us via the contact form on our website, or email We look forward to being of help to you.


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