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

If the police have reasonable grounds to suspect that you have committed an offence, you may be arrested and taken into police custody. In such situations, you may be kept in police custody 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.

You can read more about the exact grounds of police custody in the Criminal Procedure Act.

Police custody 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 taken into police custody and how, the basic rights you have when in police custody, 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 a police custody. Read more below.


Last updated 08/09/2021