Whom can the police arrest?

The police may arrest you if you are reasonably suspected of having committed a crime.

The police may arrest you to secure your presence, to prevent you from committing further crimes, or to prevent you from influencing an investigation. This means that the arrest must be necessary.

The police may check if you have any objects on you that can be used for violence or escape or can otherwise endanger yourself or others. The police may also seize any cash you may have on you and retain it for the duration of your arrest. Read about body searches here.

An arrest must be carried out as considerately as possible, and the police must tell you what you are provisionally charged with as soon as possible after the arrest.

The duration of the arrest

The arrest may last from a few minutes to 24 hours. The police must release you as soon as there is no longer a reason to keep you detained.

If the police find there are grounds for detaining you for more than 24 hours, a judge must decide in a preliminary statutory hearing if the conditions for remanding you in custody are satisfied. This means you must be arraigned before a judge no later than 24 hours after you were arrested. In court, the judge will decide whether you need to be kept in custody or released. Read more about preliminary statutory hearings and custody.

The judge can also choose to keep you arrested if he or she deems there is insufficient information to decide whether you should be remanded in custody. You can be arrested for a maximum of 3 x 24 hours after the court hearing.