For business entities, electronic document management is the norm in the modern world. Often, the original documents on paper are not stored carefully enough, and sometimes they are not available at the company's office at all. Unfortunately, this fact is also known to law enforcement agencies, which use this circumstance for their own purposes.
Electronic data carriers, in particular the server, may be seized at the company's office at the stage of pre-investigation verification during a public operational search event (inspection of premises, buildings, structures, terrain and vehicles), as well as during a search of the company's premises in a criminal case.
In accordance with Part 1 of Art. 182 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of the Russian Federation, the basis for conducting a search is "the availability of sufficient data to believe that in any place or any person can be tools, equipment, or other means of committing the crime, items, documents and values that may be relevant to the criminal case."
In other words, the search of the company's office can be carried out not only in the case of a criminal procedure check of the company's activities, but also in the case of law enforcement agencies showing such interest in contractors.
Often, it is in such cases that law enforcement officers with great zeal not only exercise the authority to inspect with the participation of a specialist, but also seize electronic media.
Author: Anna Cricyna Advocate, Head of Criminal law of GRATA International St. Petersburg