Strafverteidigung bei europäischen Haftbefehl aus Deutschland

The European arrest warrant

Our law firm has now been active in international criminal law for over 20 years. In this article, we would like to inform interested readers in detail about the European arrest warrant. In international criminal prosecution, the European arrest warrant is an important instrument of the investigating and executing authorities. It has enabled cross-border prosecution within the European Union for over 20 years now.

1. Issuance of a European arrest warrant

The European arrest warrant is issued as part of criminal proceedings in the respective member state of the European Union. In Germany, European arrest warrants are issued in two cases. A European arrest warrant is issued in preliminary proceedings in which the accused is threatened with more than 12 months’ imprisonment. Whereas a European arrest warrant is issued in the context of enforcing final judgments if a prison sentence of more than four months is to be enforced against the convicted person. It should therefore be clear to every accused and convicted person that in many cases the investigating authorities and law enforcement bodies of the member states of the European Union have the possibility of taking cross-border action.

2. Communication of the European arrest warrant to other member States

If the whereabouts of the suspect or convicted person are known, the issuing country transmits the European arrest warrant to the competent authority of the requested person’s place of stay or residence. In cases in which the whereabouts of the suspect or convicted person are unknown, the national SIRENE Bureau enters the European arrest warrant in the SIS.

3. Proceedings upon arrest of the accused or convicted person

If the requested person is arrested in one of the other member states, the accused or convicted person will first be questioned about the charges raised in the European arrest warrant. The early engagement of an expert criminal defense lawyer is important here. This is the only way to safeguard the procedural rights of the accused or convicted person and the guarantees to be granted by the issuing state. If possible, defendants in ongoing preliminary proceedings in particular should also engage a criminal defense lawyer from the issuing country before being questioned. Statements made by the accused or convicted person during questioning are included in the criminal files. This is where important foundations are already laid for the criminal proceedings in the issuing country. The accused and his defense counsel in the extradition proceedings of the requested member state are advised to take particular care when the accused is arrested. In the best case scenario, the extradition proceedings are conducted in the issuing state. Against this background, the defense lawyer of the issuing state should then also take over the management of the defense.

4. Procedure if execution of the European arrest warrant is refused

If the execution is refused by the requested Member State, the requested person is released and the issuing State is informed of this decision. In this context, it should be noted that the decision only has national effect. The requested person would therefore be arrested in another Member State on the basis of the European arrest warrant.

5. Procedure in case of execution of the European arrest warrant

The requested person may consent to their surrender to the issuing state. This consent will then be communicated to the issuing state within 10 days.

By contrast, if the requested person does not consent to surrender to the issuing State, the competent authority in the requested Member State will take a decision on the surrender of the accused or convicted person to the issuing State within 60 days. In this context, it should be noted that only in very rare cases the execution of the EAW is declared inadmissible. The competent court only examines the formal requirements and these are met in most cases.

If the surrender of the accused or convicted person to the issuing state is declared admissible, the court will communicate its decision to the issuing state. The transfer shall then take place within 10 days. The extradition detention suffered by the accused or convicted person in the requested State will be deducted by the issuing State from any sentence to be served. The competent court in the issuing state will determine the ratio in which the extradition detention is to be offset against the sentence to be served.

Our appeal to accused and convicted persons

If Germany is looking for you with a European arrest warrant as a defendant or convicted person in German criminal proceedings, please contact us at an early stage.

Our appeal to criminal defense lawyers

If you are representing an accused or convicted person as a criminal defense lawyer in the context of extradition proceedings, please contact us at an early stage. The defense strategy can then be coordinated in good time in the interests of the client. When defending your client in extradition proceedings, never forget that the main proceedings will be conducted in the country where the European arrest warrant was issued.

For further information on this topic, click here.

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We, Barba & Partner Rechtsanwälte (Registered business address: Germany), process personal data for the operation of this website only to the extent technically necessary. All details in our privacy policy.