If you or your company is suspected of being involved in criminal activity, your premises could be raided.
Dawn raids usually occur in business premises if they’re a suspected location for illegal activity. Although less common, raids can also take place at the homes of employees, associates, customers, or senior people at your company.
Dawn raids can result in fines, disqualification of company directors, prosecution, and imprisonment. You can’t predict if or when you might be raided, but you can be prepared for the possibility.
To prepare for a possible raid and navigate the impact raids can have, you need an experienced law firm. We’ve got the legal expertise needed to protect your interests and minimise the impact of a raid.
Our lawyers can also help with managing your reputation and advise you of your rights and obligations.
What Are Dawn Raids?
Dawn raids are unannounced inspections carried out when authorities suspect that the law has been broken.
They allow authorities to obtain materials that could be used in legal or regulatory investigations of a company or person.
Dawn raids take place at the premises of companies suspected of illegal activity. If you’re a director or senior member of a company, your home might be raided as well as your business premises.
Despite what the name suggests, a dawn raid will take place during normal business hours.
Several authorities can carry out dawn raids, including:
- Serious Fraud Office
- Competition and Markets Authority
- Financial Conduct Authority.
What Are The Legal Issues Of Dawn Raids?
Dawn raids are often the beginning of legal proceedings that can lead to:
- Criminal prosecution
- Disqualification of directors
- Damages actions.
Raids can form part of a coordinated operation that involves searching other locations. This can include your own home if it’s suspected you’re involved in criminal activity.
If you’re raided, it’s important to know what your rights are. You should also know how to deal with inspectors and be aware of what you’re legally obliged to do. If you don’t fulfil your legal obligations, your company could be fined.
Other issues can arise, such as preventing unlawful access to documents. If you have overseas premises, these can also be raided as part of the same investigation.
Who Do We Help?
We help both individuals and companies who’ve been raided.
Our lawyers are also here for you if you think you’re at risk of being raided and want to prepare.
How Do We Help?
We help by:
- Advising you of your legal obligations and rights to ensure you’re prepared for any dawn raid
- Advising companies to ensure your dawn raid procedures are updated. We help to adapt these procedures to address changes in dawn raids following COVID-19
- Drafting and implementing necessary plans and procedures
- If needed, attending dawn raids and/or establishing immediate contact with the investigators
- Deciding whether the investigation is civil or criminal. This informs which procedural rules apply to the raid and how much power the inspectors have
- Challenging the legality of the raid, if appropriate
- Managing the likes of regulatory obligations, reputation management, and securing the return of any seized property
- Minimising the impact of day-to-day business
- Ensuring inspectors act within their powers and making sure you know your rights.
Why Choose Us?
A dawn raid is a complex legal issue that can leave you feeling anxious. Whether you’ve been raided or are worried about the possibility, you can rely on us to help you navigate this issue.
One of the biggest hurdles faced by companies who’ve been raided is reputational damage. We work discretely and efficiently, doing everything possible to protect your professional reputation.
Dawn raids can also hinder the day-to-day running of your business. We can help you to prepare and implement a procedure for any possible dawn raid. This includes making sure each member of staff knows what to do in the event of a raid and ensuring you know what you’re obliged to disclose. Having a procedure in place helps to minimise the impact a raid has on the daily running of your company.
We've a strong understanding of the procedures involved in raids, as well as the powers authorities have. This means we know how to best prepare you for a dawn raid and advise you of your rights.
Successfully negotiating a dawn raid is essential to the survival of your business. If you’ve been raided and need a legal team with the expertise to prove your innocence and protect your reputation, call us now on 0114 2947983.
Similarly, if you feel you’re at risk of a dawn raid and would like expert advice on how to prepare, you can call us today.
You can also contact us online. We’ll get back to you as quickly as possible.