Page 5 - If-you-are-suspected-of-a-criminal-offence
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If you are suspected of a criminal offence

       Probation service

            If you are detained in custody, the Probation Service will be informed
            accordingly. Probation officers deal with all those who come into contact with
            the criminal justice system. Their primary task is to prevent re-offending.
            A probation officer visits every suspect held in custody. You will be able to
            discuss any problems you have, and the probation officer will devise an ‘action
            plan’ to resolve those problems. The probation officer is able to report your
            personal circumstances to the prosecutor at an early stage of the proceedings.
            This information may be important when deciding whether or not you are to be
            placed on remand awaiting trial.

       Further extension of police custody

            In principle, you can be held in police custody for up to three days. During this
            period, the police will consult the public prosecutor, known as the ‘Officer of
            Justice’, to determine what is to happen next. There are three possibilities:
            •   The Officer of Justice decides that you must be detained even longer in the
              interests of the police investigation. He is able to order a further extension of
              police custody of up to 72 hours. You will be given a copy of the extension order.
            •  The Officer of Justice decides that further detention will serve no useful
              purpose and will order your release pending trial.
            •  The Officer of Justice is unable to reach a decision because insufficient
              progress has been made in the investigation thus far. He will then order you
              to appear before him for further questioning (see page 6).

       Rights and restrictions

            If necessary, the police can impose certain restrictions on you while you are in
            custody. You may, for example, be prohibited from making telephone calls or
            sending post. The police have the right to search you and can confiscate
            certain objects and items of clothing. They can also restrict or prohibit contact
            with certain individuals. You may be photographed and your fingerprints taken.
            The police are also entitled to seize objects and property that they consider
            important to their investigation. If do not wish to relinquish these items, you
            may lodge an objection with the court. Your lawyer can advise you further.
            (Note that this list of restrictions is not exhaustive.)

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