Reasons for Arrest
An arrest can be based on
German Arrest Warrant
A German arrest warrant can be issued against you even if you are abroad. With an arrest warrant, a distinction is made between an:
- remand warrant,
- a security arrest warrant,
- Enforcement warrant,
- arrest warrant and
- an arrest warrant for presentation.
For an arrest warrant to be issued, there must be an urgent suspicion of a criminal offence. One of the following grounds for arrest must exist:
- risk of flight,
- risk of collusion or
- risk of repetition.
In addition, the arrest must be proportionate to the alleged offence. If you are abroad, this is not a sufficient reason to assume a risk of flight. However, you will likely be asked to return to Germany.
If you have assets or a residence permit in another country, this may be sufficient grounds for assuming a risk of flight.
Before you return to Germany, it is advisable to consult with our lawyers in advance. Our team will explain what to expect when you arrive at the airport and how you should behave best. Early advice can help avoid difficult situations while ensuring you know your legal options. If you enter the country and are arrested at the airport, our team of lawyers will provide you with comprehensive support in all legal matters.
Another reason for an arrest at an airport is an entry ban. An entry ban can be imposed, sometimes extending to the entire Schengen Area. Entry bans are often valid for two years but can sometimes be extended. An entry ban to Germany is regulated in Section 11 (1) of the German Residence Act (AufenthG) and reads as follows:
Entry or residence bans are to be issued for foreigners who have been expelled, removed or deported. As a result of the entry or residence ban, the foreigner is permitted neither to re-enter nor to stay in the federal territory, nor may the foreigner be granted a residence title, even if he or she is entitled to one under this Act.
Entering Germany despite an existing entry ban is risky, as there is a threat of heavy fines or imprisonment. However, entry bans to Germany can be lifted or shortened with the right legal advice. We recommend that you contact our German immigration lawyers before travelling to Germany.
If you are arrested at a German airport for allegedly violating an entry ban, you should seek legal advice immediately.
Interpol Notices, Red Notice and Diffusion
An Interpol Red Notice issued against you may be grounds for arrest at an airport. Red Notices restrict the freedom of the person against whom they are issued. As soon as you cross a border or enter a German airport, you risk immediate arrest and subsequent extradition.
Interpol Red Notices allow Interpol member states to enter a request to locate and provisionally arrest the person concerned for extradition in the national police databases. Most countries, including Germany, are members of Interpol.
The General Secretariat of Interpol issues Red Notices at the request of Member States. Interpol does not thoroughly examine the requests, meaning individuals with the necessary legal knowledge can challenge them. However, Interpol ensures the Red Notice does not violate the Interpol Statutes. Article 3 of the Interpol Statutes prohibits the organisation from any activity or involvement in political, military, religious or racial matters.
European Arrest Warrant
Arrests can also be made based on a European Arrest Warrant. The European Arrest Warrant serves to simplify extradition procedures within the European Union. It can be issued by a national judicial authority if the offence for which the wanted person is charged provides for a prison sentence of at least one year.
Such alerts can be issued in the Schengen Information System (SIS), a Europe-wide database. The SIS is used for cross-border European police cooperation by enabling member states to issue alerts on persons. An entry in the SIS triggers an international search for this person. Our lawyers advise on all questions relating to the European Arrest Warrant, the SIS, and the cancellation of an alert in the SIS.