Have the police arrested you while you were sightseeing in Spain? Believe it or not, it is something that happens frequently.

Generally, in Spain, tourists are arrested for different reasons: gender violence, damage to public property, fights, etc.

Tourists can also get involved in crimes like anyone else. What a tourist who has been arrested in Spain should ask himself is:

How should I act?

Most tourists who are arrested in Spain are taken to cells for a period of between a few hours and two days. After this, the police take them to the investigative court. Once in court, the judge almost always orders release and the detainee can go home.

However, what a tourist should ask themselves is:

Does my freedom mean that I will no longer have problems in Spain?

Obviously, the answer is NO.

Clearly, you need to follow the case’s evolution.


In Spain they have started a criminal procedure against this tourist and if he is not attentive to its development he can return to the cell or even go to jail.

Most crimes committed by tourists are not serious and if the investigated tourist hires a lawyer, it is very unlikely that he will go to jail. The lawyer will take care of various matters, such as making sure that the client knows the case, informing him when he has to go to court, proposing evidence for the client’s defense or negotiating with the prosecutor.

But, what can happen if you do not have a lawyer with whom you can talk and pursue the case?

If the client does not speak to his lawyer, the lawyer will not be able to inform him when he has to contact or go to court. Likewise, the lawyer will not be able to properly defend his client if the lawyer cannot discuss doubts with said client. The court will try to locate the client but if the client does not receive the letter from the court, the court may consider him or her as a “fugitive.”

What would happen if they consider him a fugitive?

The judge could order the arrest warrant of the fugitive.

If the court does not find him in Spain, the judge could order a European search and arrest or even extradition. If the client is detained abroad, the client could remain in jail in the country in which he is detained until the extradition is carried out and he is taken to Spain.

For all of the above, we recommend that all tourists, if they have been arrested in Spain, hire a lawyer they trust or at least speak frequently with their lawyer to avoid unpleasant surprises.

Piñera del Olmo

 Aribau 114, entlo 2a
 08036 Barcelona

 Phone: +34 93 514 39 97

 Fax: +34 93 127 07 66