Essential issues on relations with the representatives of law enforcement agencies
A representative of law enforcement agencies (Such as policeman) is authorized to determine the identity of the person in order to protect public safety. For that matter suspending the person by the representative, asking for the personal data and submission of identity documents is permitted. In order for this action to be justified and legitimate, several of law-defined prerequisites must be met.
In this case one should take into account couple of important details for extra protection:
A) One should not resist a representative of law enforcement agencies. Resistance does not include stating and protecting ones rights but verbally and physically offensive actions.
Policeman might be asked to present authorization documents (It is not necessary when identification of the policeman is possible by the signs of appearance). In case citizen requests documentation confirming the authority, it must mandatory for policeman to authorization documents.
B) Signing documents – Signing a document may be used as a valid proof against the signatory. Therefore, it is essential that the content of the document is disclosed and notes are included in the protocol before signing. Any kind of compulsion (which is directed towards signatory) constitutes a violation of the law;
C) Interviewing - A person has the right to refuse having a formal interview at the police station, but the person may be interrogated in court. In such case, giving detailed explanation of the possibility of summoning into court and the rights concerning interrogation is essential;
D) Detention - The person is deemed to be detained from the moment of restriction of the freedom of movement. From the moment on, the person is considered to be legally accused. The defendant has the right to inform the family member or close relative about the arrest or detention and its whereabouts;
E) The defendant's rights- At the moment of detention or if the person is not detained, immediately after accusation, and before any interrogation, the defendant must be informed that s/he has the right to be represented by an attorney, remain silent, not to self-incriminate. Defendant must be informed that anything s/he says can be used against him / her in court.
F) Drug Testing – submitting the sample is optional. Accordingly, the person has the right to refuse giving it. However, the person might still be transferred into the specific institution under the administrative detention procedure regardless his / her will. Even after the transportation, onc can still refuse giving samples because it is forbidden to make someone submit them, or get them by using force. According to article 42 of the Constitution of Georgia, one has the right to not give testimony against himself / herself. That means that giving samples can be considered as creating proof against oneself. That is why s/he cannot be forced.
Administrative detention must not exceed 12 hours.
By 30.11.2017 decision of the Constitutional Court of Georgia, normative meaning of the words „"Illegal consumption without a doctor's prescription“ (Article 273 of the Criminal Code of Georgia) that includes criminal liability for marijuana consumption, was considered unconstitutional in relation to Article 16 of the Constitution of Georgia.
Author: Jaba Kotchlamazashvili