How should I behave in the event I am provisionally detained by the criminal police?

At the moment of seizure the police usually ask questions about the cause itself and the personal situation of the detained. You are not obligated to answer questions. Since at that point you will hardly be able to assess either the consequences of the accusation against you or of whatever you may say, you are well advised to assert your right to remain silent.

Avoid by any means to get involved in informal conversations with the policemen or examiners. Whatever you may say on such occasion will be put on record and can be brought forward and employed against you in the subsequent trial.

In the event the examiner tells you, that an early statement might give you an advantage in trial or even avert provisional detention, you should not feel prompted to disregard our recommendation and make statements. The dangers inherent in early statements during preliminary investigation, if made without legal assistence or knowledge of the documented state of affairs, usually outweigh the benefits promised to you.

Immediately after seizure you should insist that a lawyer be contacted and, if necessary, called in to assist in interrogation. Moreover, for this purpose the examiners are obligated to give you a phone book, if you should so require. Alternatively you should try to contact your qualified defence lawyer through third persons, friends or relatives.

While in custody, you should avoid anything which might give rise to the suspicion you were trying to influence witnesses or remove evidence (e.g. by mailing instructions to relatives or other persons). Such activities will only serve to reaffirm the effectiveness of the warrant for your arrest. If, until then, the sole reason for arrest was the risk of escape, it might now be extended by another one, i.e., the risk of collusion. Thus you would put at stake the success of appeal against the arrest warrant.

If you are on remand never discuss matters related to your arrest and the charge against you with your fellow inmates, however trustworthy they may seem to you. Keep your investigation record and your arrest warrant away from them. Experience has shown that fellow prisoners will try to capitalize on their knowledge by acting as informers to the prosecuting authorities. In trial it is in many cases impossible to make up for the consequent disadvantage.