On the eve of the massive protest actions planned in September the article reminds to citizens their rights during detention or arrest.



On the eve of the massive protest actions planned in September we want to remind our readers about citizens’ rights during detention or arrest
Your rights during detention or arrest


According to Article 29 of the Ukrainian Constitution you have the right for freedom and personal inviolability. Law-enforcers have no right to arrest you or to keep you under custody without the corresponding motivated court decision.

The Constitution of Ukraine permits detention without such court decision only in the special cases, where it is needed to prevent a crime or to stop it immediately.

The Ukrainian laws stipulate that law-enforcing organs may detain you without any court decision when:
•  You commit an administrative felony
, if all other milder means are exhausted, and you do not stop your felonious actions.

•  You have committed an administrative felony
, and the protocol must be compiled, but you have no ID and there are no witnesses, who can identify you.

Administrative detention may not last more than three hours.

You may be detained for the term up to three days only in the exceptional cases connected with violation of the frontier regime or violation of the rules concerning narcotic drugs. You may be also detained up to the trial, if you committed petty hooliganism, malicious resistance to law-enforcers, insult of law-enforcers or public appeals not to obey the demands of law-enforcers.

In all other cases you must be released at once after the identification of your person and compiling the protocol, but not later than after three hours.

The Ukrainian laws envisage that law-enforcing organs may detain you without a court decision, if there is a well-grounded suspicion that you committed a crime, but only if such suspicion is based on the circumstances determined by law, viz. :

•  When you were caught red-handed in the cause of committing the crime or immediately after it.

•  When eyewitnesses including the victim will directly point at you as the culprit.

•  When they will find obvious traces of the crime on you, on your clothes or in your flat.

If there are no these circumstances, but law-enforcers have other grounds for suspicion, they may detain you without a court decision only if you:

•  tried to escape or

•  have no permanent living accommodation or

•  you were not identified.

In any other cases your detention without a court decision is illegal.

During the detention with a court decision or without it the law-enforcers must introduce themselves, inform you which offense you committed or in committing which offence you are suspected, to explain your rights and duties stipulated by law.


Being detained under the suspicion in committing a crime you have the following rights:

•  not to give evidence against yourself or your relatives;

•  to give evidence or to refuse to give it and to answer any questions;;

•  to have an advocate and to meet him before the first interrogation;

•  to present proofs, to hand petitions and estops;

•  to demand from court to check the legality of the detention;

•  to take part personally in the court session concerning taking you under custody.

The law-enforcers must tell you your rights and compile the protocol about this, as well as the protocol about your detention as a person suspected in committing a crime.

After the detention your person may be searched and your documents and personal things may be taken away. Such a search may be conducted only by a person of the same sex as you.

Remember:You must not prove your innocence!

Know!Your investigating officer must inform your spouse or other relatives about your detention and the place, where you are kept. Demand to do this at once!

If you state that you want to invite your advocate, the law-enforcers must help you in contacting him or the persons, who can contact him. If you state that you want to invite an advocate, but you cannot do this because of the lack of money or other important reasons, the officials must appoint an advocate gratis.

Demand an advocate at once after your detention! Remember: you have the right for advocate’s services from the very moment of detention!

If you are detained under the suspicion of committing a crime, you must be as soon as possible, but not later than after 72 hours, be either released or taken to court, where you may participate in the consideration of your further keeping under custody.

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