Executive Summaries » Top Five Mistakes Companies Make When Confronted With a Search Warrant

Top Five Mistakes Companies Make When Confronted With a Search Warrant

April 19, 2012

If your company is ever the subject of a search warrant, there are several mistakes that are certain to make a bad situation worse, according to the author, the Chair Elect of the ABA’s Criminal Justice Section.

The first thing to remember is that you are no longer in control of your office or factory. The court has seized your premises to allow law enforcement to search it. You cannot stop what is about to happen. A containment strategy handled by experienced criminal counsel may be possible, but a misstep could lead to arrest for interfering with the execution of a search warrant. That would be a major mistake.

The most common mistake a criminal defendant makes is engaging in conversation. Business-crime search warrants rarely result in a change in “custody status,” and if you are not in custody you will not be given a Miranda warning.

Without that reminder, people tend to make regrettable offhand comments and explanations, but gab is just a gift to the authorities.

Instead, note the agencies involved in the search, who is in charge, whether or not a prosecutor is on scene, and if the search is being filmed.

This kind of intelligence is often the one positive that can come from the search, but to acquire it you will need to keep quiet and observe carefully.
Remain composed. Screaming, weeping, arrogance and demeaning comments to investigators only confirm the stories of your accusers.

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