Arrested at a German Airport

Lawyers for German Criminal Law

Arrested at a German Airport

Lawyers for German Criminal Law

An arrest at a German airport is not uncommon and can happen unexpectedly. If you have been arrested or taken into custody at a German airport based on a national or European Arrest Warrant or an Interpol Red Notice, immediate legal assistance is essential to protect your rights in such an exceptional situation effectively.

The German law firm Schlun & Elseven Rechtsanwälte offers skilled and committed legal defence in the entire spectrum of German criminal law. Our legal team consists of experienced criminal defence lawyers, including former public prosecutors. We advise you on your rights as an accused person and support you in filing the relevant applications so that the national or European Arrest Warrant or Interpol notice can be removed as quickly as possible. Our lawyers will develop a defence strategy tailored precisely to your case.

You are here: Home » Criminal Defence Lawyer in Germany » Arrest at a German Airport: Legal Advice

Google Rating | Based on 419 reviews

Arrest at a German Airport: How you should behave

  1. Remain calm and collected at the moment of arrest or detention. Do not make any further statements to the police until you have spoken to a lawyer, as anything you say at this point can be used against you. As a result, you must refuse to make any statement until you have spoken to a lawyer. Even jokes or sarcastic remarks can lead to problems for the accused.
  2. Make as many notes as possible about the measures taken and the authorities’ actions. If you can, you should record everything in writing. These notes or descriptions will help you when you consult our lawyers.
  3. As soon as you can, contact our criminal law team. By using a lawyer, you are not admitting guilt. Instead, it compensates for your disadvantages towards the state and protects your rights.
  4. If the police or another authority tries to interrogate you, wait for your lawyer, and follow the instructions you are given over the phone. Our lawyers will support you in cases where you are still in custody or have already been released.

If you contact our law firm, you will benefit from comprehensive legal advice from our experienced lawyers. We are familiar with the challenges of being arrested at a German airport, especially for non-German citizens. As criminal defence lawyers, we aim to achieve the best possible legal outcome for you, depending on the situation. Our clients’ goals range from an acquittal to negotiating a light sentence to the recovery of confiscated property. There is also the possibility of compensation, e.g. for additional costs incurred due to a missed flight or treatment by security personnel.

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:

  • Escape,
  • 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.

Entry Bans

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.