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Let’s start by first defining what an investigation is, in law terms an investigation basically means to conduct an official inquiry and close systematic examination. An investigation is conducted for the purpose of establishing a probable cause and it will usually begin before a charge is brought against that particular person. Only a person that has been empowered by the law has the legal rights to conduct an investigation into a particular matter. These people include anti-corruption agency officers, police officers, custom officers and drug enforcement officers.
Malaysian Police officers have been given the power to conduct searches based on a few circumstances and they can only conduct such searches if they have already obtained a valid search warrant from the magistrate that shows that they have probable cause to suspect any form of criminal activity. However if they do not have a search warrant but instead you have provided them with permission to search your premises then that is also considered legal as well. The police officer who does not have a search warrant may also enter the premise of the person that they intend to arrest and the may enter by force also if they have been denied entry. This means that under extenuating circumstances the police officer has the legal right to conduct a search.
A police officer may also frisk a suspect and if they find any article which they believe can be used as evidence to a crime then they can detain you until the release. This includes the officers patting down your outer clothing the make sure that you are not armed and any item that can be used as an offensive weapon shall be seized. However members of the public should be aware that a frisk is not an arrest but the police are still able to stop and question an individual relating to a certain matter. Other situations in which you may be searched includes when you are in lawful custody and you are unable to give a reasonable account of yourself due to incapacity, then you may be searched to ascertain your personal particulars such as your name and address.
A search warrant is basically an official order that has been released by a magistrate that is used to authorize a search of that person that is currently being investigated so that the police can search the person’s home or any other location related to the criminal act for any sort of objects at a specific time. If you are that person that is under investigation and you want to verify the legality of the search warrant you will find the information on the search warrant.
In order to obtain a search warrant an ex parte presentation has to be provided by a law enforcement officer. They must submit an affidavit which is actually a form of written statements with information suggesting to the magistrate that the warrant should be issued based on probable causes that some sort of criminal activity is occurring or about to occur. Then the magistrate will consider whether a search warrant should be issued based on the reliability as well as the persuasiveness of the information that has been provided by the officer. You will find that an official search warrant has the hand and seal of justice as well as being dated.
If the police officer has obtained a search warrant then you must let the police officer or any other lawfully authorized officer to search the premise as well as any other place that has been specified in the warrant. However before you let them into the house make sure that you ask to see the warrant first. If they have issued the warrant to you and you still refuse to let them in, the police officers have the legal rights to break open any outer or inner door of your house so that that can execute the search. Once they have entered the premises and have found any articles that they believe are linked to the crime then they will seize it as evidence and arrest anyone that is occupying the space at that particular time. However if they do not have a search warrant, the police officers are still able to enter your home especially in cases of emergency.
Make sure that you carry your identity card with you at all times this is because under the National Registration Regulations 1990, it is considered an offence when you do not carry your identity card. The police officer will request for it as well when they are questioning you. However while you are obligated to provide them with your identity card you can refuse to answer any questions that the police asks of you. This is not considered a crime but it will make the police even more suspicious of you. If you are stopped for questioning does not run as this may lead to your arrest and you have the right to ask the police officer if you are under arrest.
If you are not under arrest but have been called into questioning by the police then you are obligated to state the truth and answer the questions the police officer has for you. As mentioned before if you are not certain whether you are under arrest, you have the right to ask the police officer of your status. Another thing which you should be aware of is that you have the right to self-incrimination; this is where you do not have to answer any questions that have exposed you to a criminal charge, forfeiture or penalty.