Criminal Assets Bureau Act 1996

Search warrants.

14

14. (1) A judge of the District Court, on hearing evidence on oath given by a bureau officer who is a member of the Garda Síochána, may, if he or she is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for suspecting that evidence of or relating to assets or proceeds deriving from F14 [ criminal conduct ], or to their identity or whereabouts, is to be found in any place, issue a warrant for the search of that place and any person found at that place.

(2) A bureau officer who is a member of the Garda Síochána not below the rank of superintendent may, subject to subsection (3), if he or she is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for suspecting that evidence of or relating to assets or proceeds deriving from F14 [ criminal conduct ], or to their identity or whereabouts, is to be found in any place, issue a warrant for the search of that place and any person found at that place.

(3) A bureau officer who is a member of the Garda Síochána not below the rank of superintendent shall not issue a search warrant under this section unless he or she is satisfied that circumstances of urgency giving rise to the need for the immediate issue of the search warrant would render it impracticable to apply to a judge of the District Court under this section for a search warrant.

(4) Subject to subsection (5), a warrant under this section shall be expressed to and shall operate to authorise a named bureau officer who is a member of the Garda Síochána, accompanied by such other persons as the bureau officer thinks necessary, to enter, F15 [ within a period to be specified in the warrant ] (if necessary by the use of reasonable force), the place named in the warrant, and to search it and any person found at that place and seize and retain F15 [ any material (other than material subject to legal privilege) found at that place, or any such material ] found in the possession of a person found present at that place at the time of the search, which the officer believes to be evidence of or relating to assets or proceeds deriving from F14 [ criminal conduct ], or to their identity or whereabouts.

F16 [ (4A) The period to be specified in the warrant shall be one week, unless it appears to the judge that another period, not exceeding 14 days, would be appropriate in the particular circumstances of the case. ]

(5) Notwithstanding subsection (4), a search warrant issued under F17 [ subsection (2) ] shall cease to have effect after a period of 24 hours has elapsed from the time of the issue of the warrant.

F18 [ (5A) The authority conferred by subsection (4) to seize and retain any material includes, in the case of a document or record, authority

( a ) to make and retain a copy of the document or record, and

( b ) where necessary, to seize and retain any computer or other storage medium in which any record is kept. ]

(6) A bureau officer who is a member of the Garda Síochána acting under the authority of a warrant under this section may—

( a) require any person present at the place where the search is carried out to give to the officer the person's name and address, and

( b) arrest without warrant any person who—

(i) obstructs or attempts to obstruct that officer or any person accompanying that officer in the carrying out of his or her duties,

(ii) fails to comply with a requirement under paragraph (a), or

(iii) gives a name or address which the officer has reasonable cause for believing is false or misleading.

F19 [ (6A) A bureau officer who is a member of the Garda S í och á na acting under the authority of a warrant under this section may

( a ) operate any computer at the place which is being searched or cause it to be operated by a person accompanying the member for that purpose, and

( b ) require any person at that place who appears to the member to have lawful access to the information in the computer

(i) to give to the member any password necessary to operate it,

(ii) otherwise to enable the member to examine the information accessible by the computer in a form in which it is visible and legible, or

(iii) to produce the information to the member in a form in which it can be removed and in which it is, or can be made, visible and legible, ]

(7) A person who obstructs or attempts to obstruct a person acting under the authority of a warrant under this section, who fails to comply with a requirement under subsection (6) (a) or who gives a false or misleading name or address to a bureau officer who is a member of the Garda Síochána, shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding F20 [ 3,000 ], or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding 6 months, or to both.

(8) The power to issue a warrant under this section is in addition to and not in substitution for any other power to issue a warrant for the search of any place or person.

F21 [ (9) In this section

computer at the place which is being searched includes any other computer, whether at that place or at any other place, which is lawfully accessible by means of that computer, and

material includes a copy of the material and a document or record. ]

Annotations:

Amendments:

F14

Substituted (12.02.2005) by Proceeds of Crime (Amendment) Act 2005 (1/2005), s. 16(a), commenced on enactment.

F15

Substituted (12.02.2005) by Proceeds of Crime (Amendment) Act 2005 (1/2005), s. 16(b), commenced on enactment.

F16

Inserted (12.02.2005) by Proceeds of Crime (Amendment) Act 2005 (1/2005), s. 16(c), commenced on enactment.

F17

Substituted (12.02.2005) by Proceeds of Crime (Amendment) Act 2005 (1/2005), s. 16(d), commenced on enactment.

F18

Inserted (12.02.2005) by Proceeds of Crime (Amendment) Act 2005 (1/2005), s. 16(e), commenced on enactment.

F19

Inserted (12.02.2005) by Proceeds of Crime (Amendment) Act 2005 (1/2005), s. 16(f), commenced on enactment.

F20

Substituted (12.02.2005) by Proceeds of Crime (Amendment) Act 2005 (1/2005), s. 17, commenced on enactment.

F21

Substituted (12.02.2005) by Proceeds of Crime (Amendment) Act 2005 (1/2005), s. 17, commenced on enactment.

Editorial Notes:

E2

The comma at the end of subs. (6A) appears to be in place of a full stop.

E3

Provision for applications for search warrants to be made otherwise than in public made (23.07.2010) by Criminal Justice (Amendment) Act 2009 (32/2009), s. 26 (commenced on enactment).