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What to Do if Arrested by the Indonesian National Police?

News & Blog

Understanding the Indonesian Criminal Code and your legal rights is essential if you are facing
arrest. This guide aims to inform but does not replace professional legal advice. It is highly
advisable to request the assistance of a qualified and trusted lawyer during police questioning.

Grounds for Arrest

An arrest usually requires an arrest warrant, and the arresting officer must present an appointment
letter to the individual being arrested. The warrant is generally issued based on “sufficient
preliminary evidence,” which could be as minimal as a police complaint corroborated by a single
piece of evidence. Article 17 of the Criminal Procedure Code states that “An arrest warrant is
carried out against a person suspected of committing a crime based on sufficient preliminary
evidence.” Article 18 specifies the information that should be included in the arrest warrant.
According to Article 18:

  1. Officers must show their appointment letters and provide the suspect with the arrest warrant,specifying their identity, the reason for the arrest, and a brief explanation of the criminal offense.
  2. If a person is caught in the act, an arrest without a warrant is permitted. However, the arresting officer must immediately transfer the arrested individual and any evidence to the nearestinvestigator
  3. A copy of the arrest warrant must be delivered to the arrested person’s family immediately afterthe arrest.

Failure to adhere to these procedures could provide grounds for legal defense.

Absence of the Right to Remain Silent but Right to Legal Assistance

Unlike what is often portrayed in Hollywood movies, there is no right to remain silent in Indonesia.
However, two specific rights are granted: (a) the right to be informed of one’s legal rights, and (b)
the right to legal representation. Since you don’t have the right to remain silent, it’s essential to
consult with a qualified and experienced lawyer before responding to any police questions.
Remember, anything you say may be used against you in court.

Arrest Procedures as per Regulation of the Chief of Indonesian National Police No. 8 of 2009

When conducting an arrest, a police officer must:

  1. Clearly identify themselves as an INP officer.
  2. Present a valid arrest warrant, unless capturing a suspect in the act.
  3. State the reason for the arrest.
  4. Explain the charges and potential penalties to the suspect.
  5. Take into account the legal status of minors and notify their parent or guardian immediately.
  6. Respect the privacy of the detainee.
  7. Inform the suspect of their rights, including the right to legal assistance and to be accompanied
    by legal counsel, as outlined in the Penal Procedural Code.

Detention Limits as per the Criminal Procedure Code

  1. Arrest and Preliminary Investigation: Up to 24 hours
  2. Investigation Period: 20 days, extendable by another 40 days.
  3. Pre-Trial Detention: 20 days, extendable by another 30 days.
  4. Detention During Trial: 30 days, extendable by another 60 days.

If the legal limits for detention are exceeded, this could provide additional grounds for legal defense
and grounds for release.

An individual cannot be detained for more than 24 hours after the initial arrest without being named
a suspect. Once named, the detention period can extend to a maximum of 60 days and can be further
extended upon request to the public prosecutor. The absolute maximum period of detention before a
court verdict is 400 days.

Suspension of Arrest

Article 31(1) of the Indonesian Criminal Procedure Law allows for the suspension of arrest under
certain circumstances. This provision enables a suspect or defendant to avoid detention if they can
demonstrate compelling reasons why they should not be arrested. Such reasons might include
severe medical conditions that require immediate attention or other urgent personal matters. The
decision to suspend an arrest is ultimately at the discretion of the judicial authorities and typically
requires the submission of supporting documentation.

In Summary

Understanding the legal procedures and your rights during an arrest in Indonesia is crucial for
ensuring fair treatment and due process. While you don’t have the right to remain silent, other
essential rights, such as legal representation, are available. Awareness of these details can
significantly impact your case’s outcome. Consult a qualified and trusted lawyer at all stages, from
arrest to trial. In case of emergency, please contact our hotline listed on our website.