What to Do If You’re Detained as a Tourist in Spain: A Comprehensive Guide

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What to Do If You’re Detained as a Tourist in Spain: A Comprehensive Guide
Abogado detención
Abogado detención

Travelling to Spain as a tourist can be a marvellous experience, but facing detention in a foreign country can be utterly overwhelming. If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of being detained as a tourist in Spain, it’s crucial to understand your rights and know how to act. This guide will provide you with vital information on what to do if you’re detained as a tourist in Spain.

Understand Your Rights If You’re Detained as a Tourist in Spain

If you’re detained as a tourist in Spain, it’s fundamental that you’re aware of your rights. Spanish legislation guarantees certain rights to all detained individuals, regardless of their nationality. According to Article 520 of the Spanish Criminal Procedure Act:

«Any person detained or imprisoned shall be informed in writing, in simple and accessible language, in a language they understand and immediately, of the acts attributed to them and the reasons for their deprivation of liberty, as well as of the rights to which they are entitled […]»

Basic Rights If You’re Detained as a Tourist in Spain:

  1. Right to remain silent
  2. Right to be informed of the reasons for your detention
  3. Right to a solicitor
  4. Right to an interpreter if you don’t speak Spanish
  5. Right to have your detention communicated to your country’s embassy or consulate

Steps to Follow If You’re Detained as a Tourist in Spain

1. Keep Calm If You’re Detained as a Tourist

If you’re detained in Spain as a tourist, the first thing to do is remain calm. Remember that you have rights and there are legal procedures that must be followed.

2. Request an Interpreter If You Don’t Speak Spanish

As a detained tourist in Spain, you have the right to an interpreter if you’re not fluent in Spanish. Insist on this right to ensure you understand everything that’s happening.

3. Exercise Your Right to Remain Silent as a Detained Tourist

You’re not obliged to incriminate yourself. If you’re detained as a tourist in Spain, you can exercise your right to remain silent until you have legal counsel.

As a tourist detained in Spain, you have the right to a solicitor. If you can’t afford one, you’ll be assigned a duty solicitor. Contact a specialist criminal law solicitor as soon as possible.

5. Communicate with Your Embassy or Consulate

If you’re detained as a tourist in Spain, you have the right to have your embassy or consulate informed. They can provide you with additional assistance and guidance.

6. Don’t Sign Documents You Don’t Understand

As a detained tourist in Spain, don’t sign any documents you don’t fully comprehend. Wait until you have legal assistance or an interpreter who can explain the content to you.

7. Cooperate, but with Caution

Cooperate with the authorities, but remember your right to remain silent. Don’t offer information that might incriminate you if you’re detained as a tourist in Spain.

The Spanish Criminal Code and Criminal Procedure Act clearly establish the rights of detained individuals. It’s important to be aware of these rights if you’re detained as a tourist in Spain.

Article 520.2 of the Criminal Procedure Act

This article details the rights of the detained, including:

«a) Right to remain silent, not declaring if they don’t wish to, not answering some or any of the questions put to them, or stating that they will only declare before a judge.

b) Right not to incriminate oneself and not to plead guilty.

c) Right to appoint a solicitor, without prejudice to the provisions of paragraph 1.a) of Article 527 and to be assisted by them without undue delay. […]

e) Right to have a family member or person of their choice informed, without undue delay, of their deprivation of liberty and the place of custody where they are at any given time. Foreigners shall have the right to have the above circumstances communicated to the consular office of their country.»

The consequences of being detained as a tourist in Spain can vary depending on the nature of the offence. It’s important to understand that:

  1. Some minor offences can be resolved with a fine.
  2. More serious offences may result in a trial and possible imprisonment.
  3. In some cases, you could face a ban on entering Spain or the Schengen Area.

Conclusion: Protect Your Rights If You’re Detained as a Tourist in Spain

Being detained as a tourist in Spain can be a stressful experience, but knowing your rights and how to act can make a significant difference. Remember that you have the right to legal assistance, an interpreter, and to communicate with your embassy.

If you find yourself in this situation, don’t hesitate to seek specialised legal advice. A solicitor expert in criminal law can guide you through the Spanish legal process and help you protect your rights if you’re detained as a tourist in Spain.

Remember, the best defence is to be informed and to act calmly and prudently. With the proper support, you can navigate this difficult situation and protect your legal rights in Spain.

What to Do If You’re Detained as a Tourist in Spain: A Comprehensive Guide

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