Points of attention GENERAL CRIMINAL LAW
- Always consult a lawyer before you, as a suspect, answer questions by the police, Public Prosecutor or judge.
- A suspect does not have to answer questions and may always invoke his/her right to remain silent.
- There is no such thing as an “off the record” conversation with the police or judicial authorities. Everything can be taken down and used against you at a later stage. Remember that all phone conversations by detainees can be wiretapped by the authorities!
- Have you been summoned or subpoenaed as a witness? Prior consultation with a lawyer is advisable. Sometimes you are under no obligation to make a statement (legal privilege).
- A lawyer is not always allowed to be present during police interviews. This can be resolved if the suspect immediately indicates that he/she will only make a statement in the presence of his/her lawyer.
- A criminal case does not always get to court. Given the circumstances, your lawyer may negotiate a ‘dismissal’ or ‘transaction’ with the Public Prosecutor’s Office.
- If you have been arrested but cannot afford a lawyer, you can make a ‘preference statement’. If the preferred lawyer is available, he/she will assist you at the government’s expense.
- Consult our specialists for more information.