Forensic Seals: Sealing materials
Sealing is used in various procedures: commercial, criminal, administrative, civil... It is carried out by a competent authority that respects the law: judicial police officer, chief clerk, bailiff, customs officer...
Judicial seizure: definition
Seizure means the act by which a judicial police authority confiscates documents or objects during a search, a search or at the scene of an offence. Once seized, such property is immediately placed under seal. They will be used as evidence in criminal proceedings and will be examined by the Court of Justice.
Sealing : operation and procedures
When assets are seized, they are first placed under the authority of the judicial police and then under the authority of the magistrate in charge of the investigation. At the same time, they are also under the responsibility of the district court or the high court and thus under the protection of the examining magistrate. The confiscated objects are then stored in boxes and kept in a storage room. Valuables are stored in safes or under lock and key. In the case of drugs, a sample will be taken and the rest completely destroyed.
Each seized item is assigned a double sealing number and an information sheet. The procedure for opening or closing a seal is governed by the Penal Code.
The different types of seals
Property subject to confiscation may be sealed: covered, uncovered or open..
• Covered seals concern small items (e.g. clothing, jewellery, etc.) which may be contained in a security envelope, box or bag. To open it and access the goods, it will be necessary to break the seal.
• Opened seals concern documents that can be opened like a book (e.g. documents, accounting books, photos, etc.).
• With the advent of technology and its corollary, cybercrime, there is more and more talk of digital seals.
• Seals that are discovered concern large items (e.g. furniture, cars, etc.) and weapons. When they are seized, officers of the judicial police or gendarmes will affix a seal sheet to them. They are entrusted to a third party who becomes the custodian.
• Traditionally, wax seals have been used to affix official seals, and thus seals, to goods to be consigned. Although they are becoming increasingly rare, they can still be used for some sealing purposes.
• Nowadays, the void seal is used much more, which is a tamper-proof anti-fraud seal with many applications: police control, security of evidence, security of confidential envelopes, authenticity of luxury goods... The fields of application of a VOID security labels VOID are numerous.
• We can also mention the security seal (customizable), which can take the form of a permanent link, a simple secured link or even a cable seal with progressive tightening or not.
• In order to close certain types of seals, you will need a pair of sealing pliers.
What is the shelf life of a seal ?
The shelf life of a property under seal depends on the investigation, the investigation and the final judgement. In other words, the sealed goods remain sealed for the duration of the legal proceedings. The court decision can then decide on the return or destruction of the recorded items. A right of appeal with a very short deadline is granted before the destruction of the seals.
There is, however, a limitation period in cases where the commencement of the trial is delayed. In the absence of a final judgement, the limitation period is 3 years for misdemeanours and 10 years for a felony/homicide. At this term, the lifting of the seals is immediate. In view of the many constraints linked to the preservation of this evidence, the courts have opted for software that enables them to collect information on the property under seal and thus to sort it.