Arrested in SpainGiving a Statement

Have you experienced the situation of being informed that your son/brother (or any other close relative) has been arrested in Spain?  This situation could be very distressing for different reasons:

  • The main one, you do not understand the language.
  • Your close relative / the person who contacts you in order to let you know that he/she has been arrested does not provide you with enough information.
  • You do not know anything about Spanish Law.
  • Therefore, you do not know the consequences of the arrest, the legal proceedings involved or the rights that your family member has during the arrest and the subsequent declaration in the police station
  • You do not know how to find a lawyer in Spain who can represent your family member.

We have had many desperate calls from clients who have contacted us for the reasons above. Many lawyers deal with criminal matters, but not all of them are used to dealing with clients who are under these circumstances.

First of all, when a person is arrested by the police in Spain, they will ask him/her to appoint a private lawyer. In case the arrested person does not know any lawyer, the Government will be able to appoint a legal aid lawyer to assist him/her, so if a friend or family member is arrested in Spain, they will be assisted while in the police station by a lawyer who does not know him/her and you cannot know whether this professional is used to working with non-Spanish clients or if they have a good command of English. It may be that this professional does not speak English at all!

Note: once arrested, the detained person will be given an opportunity to contact a friend or family member. Often it is that person who contacts Advocate Abroad on behalf of the detained person.


The Procedure

In accordance with Spanish procedural Law, the individual under arrest has the right to be assisted by an interpreter during the declaration in case he/she does not speak Spanish. However, it could be that the interpreter is not present during the moments before the formal statement is taken, which is the most important moment to prepare the defence of the arrested person. Certain facts should not be mentioned, or directly the fact that you must state that you do not want to make a statement– this is a right that the arrested person has when placed under arrest and sometimes this can be the best line of defense.

A lawyer in Spain only needs a Court reference number (Diligencias Urgentes/previas) in order to go to the Court and review the paperwork, which will contain the evidence and charges against the arrested person.

We consider that this situation requires a lawyer who can keep the arrested person updated as well as their family during the entire proceedings, explaining the situation to them and especially, comparing the process with the equivalent process in Common Law, so everyone has a good understanding of which stage they are at.


Specialist Criminal Lawyers in Spain

We are highly specialized in assisting English-speaking clients who have been taken to the police station on Spain as well as representation in Criminal proceedings in Court. We operate across all touristic areas of Spain.

Sometimes, the best option for the client is to negotiate with the prosecutor and reach an agreement with him; in this case the penalty could be reduced considerably, with a high possibility of avoiding a term of imprisonment, being relegated to a release on license, conditional on not getting involved in criminal activity for a period of two years. This can happen with several offences such as Drug Trafficking.

28 Lawyers Offering Services in Spain

Testimonials for Criminal Law
  • Elin Dahms Konig
    Elin Dahms Konig, Seville

    I recommend Rafa who helped me through a tough situation where I was wrongly accused in a case of fraud. His advice, support and professionalism were outstanding!

    Feb 28, 2020
  • Stefan Olivier
    Stefan Olivier, Ibiza

    Rosa was incredibly helpful and also patient with me. I would recommend her to anyone as she is incredibly professional and knows how to advise a distressed client brilliantly.

    Sep 07, 2019
  • Jason McNabb
    Jason McNabb, Fuengirola

    Very professional and a first class service at very short notice.

    Everything was under control in a short space of time. Alvaro was a man of his word. Anything he said he would do he done it. Me and my family appreciate everything you done for my brother thank you so much.

    Jul 16, 2019
  • Clare Parlour
    Clare Parlour, Mallorca

    Initially I had a lot of communication but as time went on it was difficult to get prompt responses and I felt frustrated by the Spanish system and lack of understanding.

    It has now been transferred to the UK but this was done through the court and not the solicitor. it took 3 months for our file to turn up in the UK and I think that was more by luck.

    More regular communication especially as we didn't know the Spanish legal system.

    Jul 09, 2019
  • Breda McMahon
    Breda McMahon, Gran Canaria

    Esther provided a very professional and efficient service.

    I would certainly recommend her!

    Jun 25, 2019
  • Andy and Diane Heston
    Andy and Diane Heston, Fuengirola

    We have recently had to employ the services of a lawyer, to deal with a very serious and distressing problem. We found Alvero and made a phone call to him ,within seconds of speaking to him he proved to be the lawyer to represent us.

    His knowledge of our particular problem was in depth and precise he listened carefully and gave us really sound and honest advice. His professionalism in handling our case has been impressive to say the least but he has also remained sympathetic and constantly kept us up to date with everything he has been doing at every stage.

    This has helped to minimize the stress at this extremely stressful time I would have no hesitation in recommending Alvero. His professionalism and whole attitude towards his clients is second to none

    May 24, 2019
  • John Grant
    John Grant, Arrecife, Lanzarote

    Very sympathetic. Excellent advice.

    May 16, 2019
  • Rhys Keely
    Rhys Keely, Mallorca

    Rosa was very understanding and helpful in all matters. She explained everything and went above and beyond to assist.

    So lucky to have found her at a difficult time.

    Jan 29, 2019
  • Samuel S Perrie
    Samuel S Perrie, Scotland

    Great service, always very attentive communication, was excellent via email and Skype, always let me know what was happening stage by stage.

    Nov 20, 2018
  • David Grundy
    David Grundy, UK

    Jose was very polite and we received an excellent service from him.

    Nothing was to much trouble and his communication was 2nd to none. Highly recommended!

    Aug 24, 2018
  • Martina
    Martina, Plymouth

    Erardo was fantastic and helped immensely during a very difficult situation.

    He consulted with my lawyer in the UK and explained to her what needed done. Without him the situation would not have been resolved. He was very understanding and I would have no hesitation whatsoever in recommending him. Outstanding.

    Mar 05, 2018
  • John Wedlake
    John Wedlake, Murro de Alcoi, Spain

    Very satisfied with Jose-Antonio's service, in particular I appreciated the completely honest appraisal of the situation. Will definitely use this service again.

    Jul 30, 2017
  • Andriy Shevchuk
    Andriy Shevchuk, Ukraine, Lviv

    Jose Antonio is a very professional lawyer. He have very good experience and clear vision of case. Also digging deeply in all details.

    Very professional Lawyer.

    Apr 05, 2017
  • Harold Thomas
    Harold Thomas, Manchester UK

    The help I received from Juan on behalf of my sister in law Sandra, was invaluable.

    He is an excellent professional who I can highly recommend, if I was ever in need of legal assistance in Spain he would definitely be the first person I would contact.

    Many thanks Juan for your help.

    Jan 13, 2017
  • Kenneth Madden
    Kenneth Madden, Gran Canaria

    Very professional, very helpful and always responded promptly to any queries I had.

    Oct 23, 2016
  • KSC
    KSC, Ireland

    She was very helpful, always happy to assist.

    I was very satisfied with the service.

    Oct 18, 2016
  • Martin Rawlings
    Martin Rawlings, Baza

    I am very pleased with the time and trouble taken by Álvaro in advising me and acting on my behalf.

    His English was more or less fluent and I would definitely use his services again.

    Apr 07, 2016