FAQ: What should you do in the case of search in IT company?
Every year the IT business in Ukraine expands more and more. Modern technologies have already taken up the whole of the lives of almost every Ukrainian.
With the success of any line of business, the risks of doing it are growing. This is especially true for enterprises that have substantial profit and whose activities are associated with the intellectual activity of workers.
Today we are going to discuss such, unfortunately, a widespread phenomenon as a search in an IT company.
Why can they come to you with a search?
The law provides for a number of reasons on which law enforcement agencies can pay you a visit. However, as practice shows, such reasons are often a little too formal. After all, all the investigator or prosecutor needs to get a warrant from the investigating judge on the search.
The warrant of the investigating judge - is exactly the document, when presented, that will force you to allow the authorities to search your premises. Without it, an investigator or prosecutor coming to your premises and carrying out any actions is out of the question.
How to prevent a search from the get-go?
In fact, carrying out such an action as a search is almost impossible to avoid. This is due to the fact that according to the rules of conduct, it must be unexpected and secret.
So that means that it is difficult to prevent it. You have to always be prepared. To do this, several proven options can be offered :
- Typically, large IT companies have attorneys and lawyers working under a subscription service agreement, who can come at any time to protect the interests and provide their legaal support of the search. This is not so expensive if critical situations do not arise, however, it brings a good result.
- A good option is to conduct a training for the company’s employees with a lawyer on the topic: “What should you do if they came to you with a search?” In this case, you can not only gain theoretical knowledge and learn the rules of behavior, but also acquire practical skills.
Sometimes, we are asked:
- "And what if you immediately give the investigator / prosecutor all the documents that he/she wants willingly - will this help to avoid a search of the entire company and reduce moral pressure?"
In theory, it will. This should stop the search. After all, if the goal of the search is achieved, why should the investigator or prosecutor continue to spend his/her time searching for who knows what? However, in practice, the prosecutor or investigator may think that you have not given him/her all the documents or not in full and keep on searching for “the things he/she needs”.
In fact, this option does not solve the problem of protecting your business and commercial information.
Related article: Provided legal advice on the organization of IT-business in Ukraine
How to prepare for a search in advance and pass it right?
Setting up a so-called security system in your company can also be good preparation. What is there to improve?
If items containing important and valuable information, which was password-protected, have been seized during the search, then in the future law enforcement officers will not be able to access such information.
You are not required to give them passwords to your PCs or laptops, or provide explanations about them. The same applies to your personal items, such as your telephone.
Getting a lawyer involved during the search.
If it so happened that during or after the search, the prosecutor or investigator decided to conduct a personal search and seize your mobile phone or other personal items, then the first thing you need to do is call a lawyer and tell the policeman what you want to bring into the process you lawyer.
The procedural law gives you three hours for the arrival of a lawyer. If during this time he/she did not have time to get to you - a personal search will be carried out without his/her presence.
Remember, we are always in touch and ready to support you in a difficult situation.
Ensuring the availability of witnesses.
Not a single search can do without witnesses. Often there are cases when law enforcement officers get the so-called "their witnesses" involved, which can turn a blind eye to some violations.
Remember! You have the right to replace them if there is a suspicion that they have a bias in the search. To do this, it is advisable to notify the investigator or prosecutor in writing. It is a good idea to invite your office or building neighbors with whom you have a good relationship.
Will a lawyer’s involvement help with a search?
Of course, it is difficult to guarantee a painless search. However, a lawyer 100% will be able to:
- minimize the risks of leakage of the information you need;
- help prepare for the search in advance, which in general can offset its consequences.
According to the results of the search, they must provide you with a search report, in which all the actions of the investigator and their results have been recorded. It happens that such reports are drawn up incorrectly and do not meet the requirements of the current legislation, as well as the actions of the investigator during the search. And this already gives you a chance to appeal the actions of the investigator.
Therefore, you or your lawyer can make comments in the search report and make your observations regarding non-compliance with the law by the investigator or prosecutor.
In order to make it easier for the owners of IT companies to prepare and survive the search, we prepared a leaflet in which we put together all the Tips that have been accumulated over the years. We advise you to print it out and put it somewhere at hand. In case "unexpected guests" should show up.
If you want to secure your business during the search or arrange subscription legal services for your company - you should give us a call!