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Search and seizure – Kanzlei Dr. Schmitz is there to help!

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Corporations may be liable in criminal law in many different ways. This is often not immediately apparent, e.g. when a competitor reports a crime. The principle of compulsory prosecution requires prosecutors to press charges if evidence is reasonably plausible. The Augsburg Regional Court ruled on 12 September 2017 (1 Qs 339/17) that a crime which is reported anonymously does not in itself constitute sufficient evidence to initiate investigations. In the relevant case there was “no objective evidence of any kind whatsoever of a suspected crime”. In such a case a search warrant based on an anonymous report would have been illegal.

In corruption cases, e.g. an offence reported by a competitor, it may be sufficient for the purpose of initiating criminal investigations, even if there is little immediate evidence for the commission of a crime. The company will then only discover that investigations are under way when search measures are actually taken. In cases such as these, Kanzlei Dr. Schmitz can be reached on an emergency number and will come immediately to the location of the search, inspect the search warrant, monitor proper performance of the search and provide legal advice. All the objection and complaint options available are also examined. Codes of conduct hinder incorrect conduct with regard to the authorities and help to avoid arrests. A check list can be downloaded here. Kanzlei Dr. Schmitz is available if you have any questions.

Search and seizure checklist

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