Arrested in France - Legal Framework of Police detention
According to the French Code of Criminal Procedure, the police is authorized to arrest and detain for a limited period of time any person against whom it exists one or more plausible reasons to suspect that they have committed or attempted to commit a criminal offence.
The police custody is called in French "garde à vue".
The duration and purpose of a “garde à vue” is controlled by the District Prosecutor to whom the police detective in charge of the investigation must report.
In most of cases, the maximum length of the detention allowed by the French Code of Criminal Procedure for a “garde à vue” at a police station is 24 hours. However, in case of the investigators need more time, the detention can be extended for another 24 hours period (i.e. 48 hours in total) upon written authorization of the District Prosecutor only.
For most serious and complex criminal offences (like drug trafficking, organized crimes etc.) the duration of the police custody can be extended even after the initial 48 hours for additional 24 hours periods up to 6 days (only in case of suspicion of terrorist activities) provided that the extensions has been authorized in written by a special judge called judge of liberties and detention.
The time allowed by the "garde à vue" must in any case be used by the police to investigate the alleged criminal offence and collect evidences regarding the possible involvement of the suspect.
Rights of the person detained in custody at a police station
Immediatly after having been placed under police custody the detainee must be informed in a language he can understand (trough a translator if the need arises) of the following rights :