Can the police hold you without arresting you?

What should I do if I am arrested / arrested?

Anyone who is unexpectedly arrested by police officers usually feels taken by surprise. Hardly anyone is able to keep a "cool head" in this situation.

Regardless of whether the victim is aware of why he is being arrested or whether he feels innocent, the detainee should behave as calmly as possible in any case.

Anyone who defends themselves “with hands and feet” against the police officers runs the risk of receiving a complaint for resisting enforcement officers in accordance with Section 113 of the Criminal Code, assault or insult. Police officers in particular, who tend to “grab a little harder” when there were physical confrontations during arrest, often report their own misconduct against law enforcement officers. If the testimony of a police officer stands against the testimony of an arrested person, then the person who defends himself against police attacks usually loses out.

Why was I arrested?

The police can arrest a person either temporarily or on the basis of an arrest warrant.

A provisional arrest within the meaning of § 127 StPO comes into consideration if a person is arrested immediately during or after a criminal offense and there is a suspicion of having escaped or the identity of the perpetrator cannot be determined.

In other cases, the person concerned is located and arrested by the police on the basis of an arrest warrant.

The arrest warrant is issued by the investigating judge at the request of the public prosecutor if the person concerned is urgently suspected of a criminal offense and there is a reason for detention. Possible reasons for detention are: escape, risk of flight, risk of blackout, the gravity of the offense and risk of repetition.

If there is an urgent suspicion and a reason for arrest, and if the pre-trial detention is proportionate to the crime committed and the expected punishment, an arrest warrant is issued. The suspect must be given a copy of the arrest warrant upon arrest or - if this is not possible - he must be informed immediately of the allegations made and the reasons for arrest.

Do I have to talk to the police officers?

The person concerned is well advised to behave cooperatively but at the same time passively. Active resistance to the arrest is not advisable. The arrested person is not obliged to provide any information about the matter and should exercise his right to refuse to give evidence. Often the person concerned does not know at the time of arrest what exactly he is being accused of.

The first uncontrolled statements made by the arrested person are often sufficient to substantiate the allegation. Spontaneous remarks made in the excitement of the situation are precisely documented like any other behavioral problem. Errors that are made in the context of the exceptional situation of arrest can usually no longer be corrected later.

Many police officers try to get into a chat with the person concerned in order to get them - mostly unconsciously - to incriminate themselves. Smalltalks should therefore not be involved in an arrest or an apartment search.

The police officers first take the arrested person to the police station. There an attempt is made to formally question the arrested person. Here, too, the person concerned should stand firm and continue to exercise his right to refuse to testify.

The “good cop - bad cop” tactic is popular. The person concerned must not allow himself to be wrapped up in such games. The detainee should not trust promises made by the "good cop" ("If you give a testimony now, you can go home faster"). The police officers themselves have no influence on the release; only the investigating judge decides on this. The police officers even more have no influence on the later outcome of the proceedings. This is solely in the hands of the public prosecutor and the court.

Statements by police officers that they will put in a "good word" with the public prosecutor or judge are mostly only used to deceive, with the aim of "leading the accused onto the ice".

What information do I have to provide?

While the arrested person can rely on his right to refuse to give evidence when providing information on the matter, he is obliged to provide personal information - also to the police. This includes information about name, address, date and place of birth, nationality, marital status and occupation.

Do i need a defense attorney?

In the event of arrest, the person concerned should insist on his or her right to consult a criminal defense lawyer immediately.

Especially at this early stage of the procedure, a statement without consulting the defense lawyer is usually a catastrophic mistake.

The defense attorney will first request access to the investigation file and then discuss a suitable defense strategy with you.

Anyone who already knows a criminal defense attorney has the opportunity to inform him by phone. In other cases, the police are required to help select a defense attorney. Outside of the usual office hours, i.e. at night or on the weekend, the defense attorney's emergency number can be alerted. A relative can also be commissioned to find a suitable defense attorney. The relative should know which police station the arrested person is at and ask for the police file number.

Can I call my loved ones?

In most cases it is possible to inform a relative of the arrest. A relative can get a criminal defense attorney for the person concerned.

In addition, in agreement with the defense lawyer, relatives can take care of important matters relating to the arrested person in the event that remand detention is ordered.

How long can I be held?

After the arrest, the person concerned must be brought before the investigating judge within 24 hours. If the arrest is carried out in the afternoon, the demonstration is in most cases only possible the next day. The person concerned has to spend the first night in a cell.

At the time of the presentation, the investigating judge decides whether the arrested person is to be placed in pre-trial detention or released.