Preliminary statutory hearing

Preliminary statutory hearing

If the police arrest you on a provisional charge in a criminal case, they can detain you for a maximum of 24 hours. Read more about arrest.

In some situations, the police may need to detain you for more than 24 hours. A judge will have to decide whether you can be detained for an extended period. This means you have to be arraigned before a judge in court within the 24-hour limit. This is called a preliminary statutory hearing. You will always have a defence counsel if you are arraigned at a preliminary statutory hearing. Read more about the defence counsel.

During a preliminary statutory hearing, a judge and a prosecutor will be present in court besides yourself and your defence counsel. As a rule, all court hearings in Denmark are open to the public. This means that other people (including your relatives) and journalists have access to all court hearings. In some situations, however, it may be necessary to close the hearing to the public for some or all of the hearing.

When the preliminary statutory hearing begins, the judge will ask you for your name and date of birth. Then the prosecutor will state the provisional charge and present the case. The prosecutor will explain why you need to be detained in custody. You will also get an opportunity to speak, and your defence counsel will explain your position in the case.

Then the judge will decide whether the conditions for remanding you in custody are satisfied. Read more about custody.