Family member arrested in Germany – what can you do?
Everyone arrested in Germany has to have a lawyer – whether he wants or not. That is what the law says, no way around it.
But what can you do, if the colleague does not give you information or you are not satisfied with him/her or your relative is not? You are afraid s/he does not do a good job, because s/he is “only” allocated by the state, not a freely chosen one.
First thing: try to calm down! Most German lawyers do a good, committed job, whether they are freely chosen or paid by the state.
Second: Try to get someone involved who is a German lawyer and can provide you with information and who speaks your language, even if it is only through an interpreter.
In Germany, everyone can have a maximum of three lawyers, so there is no obstacle that another lawyer also takes the case and gives you the information you need – on condition the client, your relative who is in detention, agrees to that. If not, no chance!
In our office we usually take care that the one in prison can somehow keep informed about home. Because otherwise it is very hard for them to be in prison: In a country where you do not speak the language and when they do not know what is happening at home. How is their family? Their wife? Their partner, fiancé? Their kids? We take care that they get this information.
Our communication with clients in prison is privileged, which means we can write to them, our letters get to them quicker, because authorities are not allowed to read or even open them. We are allowed to give them basic information about their family at home – but obviously no misuse of this privilege will ever take place from our side.
And we do not have a problem to cooperate with other colleagues – on the contrary, we know that it can be very good for the client and the case. Even if it costs more, it is well-invested money. For the sake of your relative and for your own sake.
Do not hesitate to contact us, we are happy to help.