Investigation during arrest

Various investigative activities may be carried out during the arrest period, but this all has to be done lawfully and respecting your human rights.

Investigative activities

During the period of your arrest, which can be a maximum of 24 hours long, the police or other relevant authorities are allowed to carry out certain investigative activities. For example, they may conduct “investigative talk” with you, as well as other “operative” activities of which you can read in the Law on the Ministry of Interior. You must be careful. Despite the requirements of the European law, you will not be informed about your right to remain silent. Although you will be informed about your right to contact a lawyer and about your right to legal aid, whatever your answer, this will not prevent the police to continue with investigative activities. The information you give cannot formally go directly into your criminal file. But this can happen indirectly – through the subsequent testimonies of the police officers.

Body searches

Body searches are sometimes necessary after your arrest and are, therefore, allowed by law. However, if you are searched, this must be done by a person of the same gender as you. Body searches must not be carried out for the sole purpose of humiliating you.

Investigation & Forceful methods

It is very important to know that the police must not treat you in an inhumane or degrading way, or torture you during these investigative activities. For example, it means that they must not beat you or threaten to beat you to get your confession. But the police may force you to comply with your duties under the law.

What human rights violation may there be?

Prohibition of torture, inhumane or degrading treatment

Mistreatment during the investigation may violate the prohibition of torture, inhumane or degrading treatment. However, every time you feel humiliated does not necessarily mean that you are being treated in an inhumane or degrading manner. You may feel humiliated simply from being arrested and thus feeling helpless and vulnerable.

The mistreatment has to reach a minimum level of severity to result in an inhuman or degrading treatment. When assessing whether you have been treated in an inhumane or degrading way, such criteria as the duration of the mistreatment, the physical and psychological effects, your age, gender and the condition of your health would be taken into account.

 For mistreatment to be considered torture, the actions have to be particularly serious and cruel and cause very severe suffering. Read more about how to evaluate whether your rights have been violated.

Right to life

If the police use excessive, unnecessary force, which results in the loss of life of the arrestee, it may result in a violation of the right to life. Read more about how to evaluate whether right to life has been violated. 

Human Rights Guide

A European platform for human rights education