Pre-trial detention in Germany – what to do?
Very regularly wives, girl-friends, siblings, parents turn to my office, because one of their loved ones is remanded in Germany .
Often they are desperate, because their partner is in pre-trial detention in Germany and they have no clue what to do, what to expect, what could be the punishment etc.
The colleagues abroad often cannot really help, because obviously they have litte – if any – experience with German criminal procedures and they do not dare give advice or information – which is understandable and correct. The legal systems even within the EU are to different from each other to give advice concerning a prosecution in another country.
First thing: You should not be afraid that „your guy“ would be mistreated, beaten or anything like this in Germany. Within nearly twenty years of practice in this field, I have never experienced any such case – even if sometimes you can read in the media about it: But these are very exceptional cases.
Try and get as much information as possible:
Which prison is he in? What is the case-number? What is the suspicion against him?
As soon as the person is remanded, he will be assigned counsel by the court. Do you have the colleague´s name? Have you spoken to him? How can you reach him? Telephone number? E-mail address?
In the first place, it is a good thing that he has a defender beside him. This will prevent the worst mistakes, like confessing without counsel etc. Defenders assigned by the court do not have to be bad – many of them are as committed and competent as the chosen ones.
Be prepared that the pre-trial detention will probably be upheld for several months.
Show him that you are beside him! That definitely matters and might prevent him from giving up and in.
If you need further information or advice, do not hesitate to contact me. I will try to help.