The police can arrest someone who is suspected of committing a criminal offence and question him. In the Netherlands, a suspect can be held without charge for questioning as part of an investigation for up to six (6) hours. If someone is arrested for the purpose of establishing his or her identity, the period can be extended once, by another six (6) hours. The suspect has the right to consult an attorney for half an hour before being questioned by the police for the first time. While he is being detained as part of an investigation, he can also ask the police if he can contact his attorney. A suspect who is a minor also has the right to ask for an attorney or confidential adviser to be present while he or she is being questioned.

If six (6) hours proves insufficient for the purposes of investigation, the assistant public prosecutor may order the suspect to be remanded in police custody for a maximum of three (3) days. To obtain a further 3-day extension of this period, the suspect must be brought before the public prosecutor. After the period of remand in police custody, the public prosecutor may apply to the examining magistrate for an order to remand the suspect in custody. This order means that the suspect can be held for a period of fourteen (14) days. At the end of this period, the public prosecutor can apply to the district court for a detention order for a period not exceeding ninety (90) days. The total time spent in pre-trial detention may not exceed hundred and ten (110) days.

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