Powers of Police to Search for Drugs in Adelaide

Traditionally, police require a drug search warrant to search your premises. In South Australia we are unique in that detectives in the police force are issued General Search Warrants which allow them to search your house provided they entertain certain suspicions. In more recent times police have been provided with unprecedented powers to search you in declared public precincts.

This includes areas such as Hindley Street between certain hours. The powers are wide and no suspicion is required. In our view this impedes your rights but our complaints will fall on deaf ears. The power to search a person has always been based upon a reasonable suspicion or belief. Invasion of citizens rights continues.

Sniffer dogs have been allowed to explore people at venues and the courts have not considered this an actual search.

Often the reaction of the person to the dog is the basis for the suspicion. At Woods & Co we can advise you whether the search was illegal and protect your rights. Search arguments are complex but we will continue to challenge illegal searches.

Can my assets be seized from my car or home?

Be aware that the new attack on drugs is to restrain and seize assets. If you are convicted of a serious offence, then all of your assets could potentially be forfeited, even if you can show that you came by them honestly. A serious offence includes any indictable offences and a number of drug offences that can be heard in the summary courts.

This is a very complex area of the law and you should seek legal advice if charged with a drug offence. There are recent powerful laws that give the prosecution power to make application to forfeit your assets despite not being able to prove a criminal charge against you.

There are many things we can do at Woods & Co Lawyers to assist you in this area and you should ask one of our solicitors about your particular case.

Powers of Police to Search for Drugs in South Australia

If you would like to learn more about the ‘powers of police to search for drugs’ in Adelaide then please give us a call on

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