detention & custody

A person suspected of having committed a criminal offence may be detained and taken into custody. However, the detention and taking into custody has to be carried out lawfully and respecting human rights.

A person may be detained in relation to suspicion of having committed a criminal offence. In Estonia, the grounds for detention and taking into custody are explained in the Code of Criminal Procedure. The police can detain you for a maximum of 48 hours. After this time has passed, they must release you or take you into custody with the special permission of a judge. 

Detention, taking into custody & Human rights

Human rights protect the right to liberty and security of a person. Therefore, unlawful and arbitrary detention and taking into custody are prohibited. It means that the police need to have a lawful reason to detain and take you into custody, they need to follow clearly set procedures and they must not treat you disrespectfully. 

During detention and taking into custody processes, such human rights as the right to liberty and security, the right to fair trial, the right to life, the prohibition of inhumane or degrading treatment, or torture and the right to private life may be affected.

About this Guide

This Guide will explain situations in which you can be detained and taken into custody, the procedure that should be followed, how you should be treated and what human rights violations may occur in particular situations during the process.

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