What to do if you are detained by the police

Why You Should Read This Material

There are two reasons why it may seem that you do not need to read such texts: blind faith in the law or disbelief in it.

In the first case, you think that the police will never be interested in you, because you are not violating anything. But alas, the reasons for the interest on the part of law enforcement agencies can be completely different. For example, in Moscow, a human rights activist was detained while playing petanque.

In the second case, unfortunately, it is not easy to convince you. Further text will be built on the norms of the law and will tell you how everything should be. But there is no guarantee that these norms will be strictly observed. At the same time, you need to know your rights: it will be much more difficult to violate them, because at least you can demand their observance.

Therefore, the text is worth reading. It would be even better if you never need it.

Why You Can Be Detained

By law , a police officer cannot approach the first person they meet and wring his hands. The grounds should already be in order to simply check your documents. The police officer may ask you to show your passport if:

  • He suspects you of committing a crime.
  • You have committed an administrative offense.
  • There are reasons to believe that you are a wanted man.
  • There are reasons to detain you.

As for the last point, these grounds are also spelled out in the law . You may be detained if:

  • You are suspected of committing a crime.
  • The court has ruled that you should be taken into custody.
  • You are evading punishment or court-ordered compulsory treatment.
  • You are wanted.
  • You tried to enter a protected facility (but for a period not exceeding 3 hours).
  • You tried to kill yourself.
  • You have signs of mental illness , you can be dangerous to others.

What to look for at the time of arrest

When checking documents or arresting, a police officer is obliged to announce his position, rank and surname, present an official ID, and explain the reason for the appeal.

Try to remember these data and the details of what will happen in the future. The information will be useful when meeting with a lawyer and drafting complaints and appeals.

First, ask directly if you are detained. If not, theoretically you can safely move on. In practice, it all depends on how law enforcement officials themselves treat the rules.

By the way, the law does not prohibit filming a policeman on duty. It will most likely be problematic to do this on your own. But if you were walking with someone, let the companion take advantage of this opportunity. It is better to choose such an angle so that you can see what exactly the law enforcement officer is doing.

If the police stopped you and then let you go, look around and check your pockets. But not with bare hands. There is a risk that there will be something in your pocket that does not belong to you and that you should not leave fingerprints on. If something is found, if possible, the find should be disposed of, but there is no universal way to do this. In any case, it is not worth carrying the “foundling” further. You cannot be sure that a colleague of the previous policemen is not waiting for you around the corner with this cargo.

In general, if the police ask you to show what is in your pockets, after some suspicious interaction, it is better not to go there with your bare hands. Cherish your prints.

Leading lawyer of the European Legal Service Oleg Cherkasov advises to write down and save the helpline of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of your region. You can find it on the website of the department, in the “Contacts” section.

Oleg Cherkasov

Leading lawyer of the European Legal Service.

If a police officer is knowingly acting illegally, it is likely that after you call, he will give up his intentions.

How to behave when arrested

Try to remain calm, do not be rude or make sudden movements that can be qualified as violence against a representative of authority. Don’t try to hide from the police.

Try not to pick up anything that does not belong to you, even if you are persistently holding out some kind of bag or weapon with a request to identify it.

Try to find out what exactly you are accused of. The more serious the responsibility for this offense or even a crime, the more attention should be paid to protecting yourself in the following stages. If we are talking about an illegal fine of 500 rubles, this is unpleasant, but not fatal. But the prospect of a large fine or imprisonment definitely makes you act more actively.

What to do first after arrest

If you feel something is wrong, it is important to find a lawyer as soon as possible. Do not count on a state-provided lawyer: he may not be materially interested in the success of the case, since he will receive his fee anyway. Plus, he sees you for the first time, and he still has to work with the police.

When detained in a criminal case, the law gives the right to one telephone conversation with relatives (husband, wife, parents, children, adoptive parents, adopted children, siblings, grandfather, grandmother, grandchildren).

It is important that we are talking about the conversation. If you do not get through the first time, they do not have the right to refuse you in repeated attempts.

Call that loved one who will not waste time lamenting and will find you a lawyer as quickly as possible. Now this is more important than emotions, since the purpose of the call, prescribed by law, is to notify of the detention and location. Although the duration of the conversation is unlimited, it is unlikely that you will be given time for lengthy explanations.

The police must give you the opportunity to contact your relatives no later than 3 hours after the arrest.

In an administrative case, the police must , at your request, notify your relatives or defense counsel about the incident as soon as possible, but the law does not say which one.

What to say and what to sign

Within 3 hours, a protocol of detention must be drawn up. It indicates the date and time of the document; date, time, place, grounds and motives for the detention of the suspect; the results of his search and other circumstances.

A lot depends on the papers that you sign before meeting with a lawyer, so be careful.

Mistakes in the protocol will help to extend the time until the meeting with the human rights activist. If the circumstances from your words are recorded incorrectly, the facts are distorted, it is your right not to sign the document. True, it will be difficult to use it if they put pressure on you.

Finding a lawyer in time is very important: it is he who will help prevent violations during detention. Unfortunately, mistreatment of detainees and torture are not horror stories for adults, but a possible reality .

In addition, your refusal to sign the protocol has no significant legal significance.

Oleg Cherkasov

Leading lawyer of the European Legal Service.

It is better not to refuse to sign the protocol, since in this case you do not express any objections regarding its content. The fact of refusal to sign in any case will be certified by witnesses, your position will remain unheard and will not be reflected in the documents in any way.

If you sign the protocol, make sure that everything is recorded correctly in it, and fill in the empty spaces with dashes: this will help to avoid falsification. Ask for copies of the protocols so that you have the documents in their original form in case something is added there. Or indicate under the protocol what exactly is written incorrectly, and sign only after that.

Remember: you can refuse to testify against yourself on the basis of Article 51 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation. You may be told that it is beneficial to cooperate with the investigation. But if you are not guilty of anything, you simply do not have the opportunity to compromise and not slander yourself.

How long can you be detained

The term of administrative detention should not exceed 3 hours. The period may increase to two days if it is necessary to establish your identity or if the violation involves administrative arrest.

When detained within the framework of a criminal case, the term is 48 hours . If during this time you have not been charged and the court has not issued a decision on a measure of restraint in the form of detention or an extension of the period of detention, you must be released.

If the court decides to extend the period of detention, its total time cannot exceed 120 hours.

What other rights do you have

In addition to the right to call and not testify against yourself, you can qualify for:

  • Translation services.
  • Medical help.
  • Hot food if you are delayed more than 3 hours.
  • A place to sleep if you are detained at night.

What to remember

  • Do not resist the police and do not try to escape.
  • Try not to touch with your hands what does not belong to you.
  • Find out who is detaining you and why.
  • Demand as soon as possible to give you the opportunity to call loved ones.
  • During a conversation with relatives, decide the most important question – about a lawyer.
  • Be careful what you sign.

Read also 🧐

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.