A person suspected of having committed a criminal offence may be arrested. However, the arrest has to be carried out lawfully and respecting human rights.

If the police suspect that you have committed an offence, you may be arrested. In such situations, you may be kept for a maximum of 48 hours without special permission from a judge. After this time has passed, you must be released or you may be detained longer with the special permission of an investigative judge.

If you already have the official status of a suspect or of an accused in an offense, you may also be arrested. This can happen if the authorities have a reason to ask the judge to detain you on remand. In such a case you may be kept for up to 12 hours before being brought to the person directing the proceedings or to the investigative judge.

You can read more about the exact grounds of arrest in the Criminal Procedure Law.

Arrest deprives people of their liberty and may cause them to feel particularly helpless and vulnerable. Therefore, the police should not arrest people frivolously and without a lawful reason.

About this Guide

This Guide will explain situations in which you may be arrested and how, the basic rights you have when arrested, where you will stay and how you must be treated, and what should happen regarding your release. It will also explain how you can complain about issues related to your arrest. However, not every restriction of your physical liberty will be considered to be an arrest. Read more below.


Last updated 02/11/2018