What happens if you are held in Police Custody in Singapore?
- You will be interviewed on the facts and circumstances of the case and a statement may be recorded from you.
- You may be brought to the scene of the crime or any other places to recover pieces of evidence that may be relevant to the investigations.
- You may be asked to undergo a polygraph examination (or lie-detector test).
- You may be asked to take part in an identification parade
- You can choose not to undergo a polygraph examination or to take part in an identification parade.
- If you are interviewed, the interview will be conducted in a language that you understand and the statement will be recorded in English with an interpreter and translation provided if needed. You will be required to sign on the statement recorded.
- Before you sign the statement, you must be allowed to read it or have it read to you in a language that you understand to make sure that the contents are true and correct.
What happens if you are ill or injured during Police Custody?
If you are sick or injured during Police custody, you can ask the Police to send you to the hospital for medical treatment. Police will also give you food and drink while you are in their custody.
What happens if the Police decide to charge you in Court?
If you are charged with an offence or officially informed that you may be prosecuted for it, you will be served with the charge which will be read to you. You will then be served with a notice of warning in writing to the following effect:
“You have been charged with/informed that you may be prosecuted for (offence). Do you want to say anything about the charge that was just read to you? If you keep quiet now about any fact or matter in your defence and you reveal this fact or matter in your defence only at trial, the judge may be less likely to believe you. This may have a bad effect on your case in court. Therefore it may be better for you to mention such fact or matter now. If you wish to do so, what you say will be written down, read back to you for any mistakes to be corrected and then signed by you.”
After the charge and notice of warning have been read to you, you will be asked to acknowledge that you understand the charge and notice of warning. If you do not speak or understand English, the charge and the notice of warning will be interpreted to you in the language of your choice.
How must you answer the charge when it is read to you?
- You will be asked to make a statement in answer to the charge. Similarly, if you do not speak or understand English, the statement would be recorded with interpretation.
- If you decide to make a statement, the Police officer will record your statement.
- After the statement is recorded, it will be read over to you and interpreted if you do not speak or understand English.
- You must read through your statement to make sure that it is true and correct and make corrections if needed before signing it.
- After this, you will be asked to sign your statement to confirm that the contents are true and correct and make any necessary corrections if he so wishes, before signing it.
Will you be given a copy of the documents that you have signed?
Yes, you will be given a copy of the charge, notice of warning and his statement in answer to the charge.
Can you ask for copies of other documents in relation to the investigations, such as the Police Report?
When you have been charged in Court, you or your lawyer can ask for copies of certain reports from the Police before the criminal proceedings. For example, you can ask for a certified true copy of the Police report relating to your case. You can obtain certified true copies of other relevant documents by formally requesting them from the Police paying the necessary fee. Your request will be subject to the guidelines applicable to the Police for the release of such documents.
If you would like to understand more about Criminal Law in Singapore how the issues discussed in this article may affect you, contact Singapore Criminal Defence Lawyer Jonathan Wong at [email protected] or +65 9424 6208 today.