detention(redirected from detentions)
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in Soviet law, the deprivation of freedom for a short period (not exceeding 72 hours) of a person suspected of committing a crime in order to prevent him, before the measure of restraint has been decided upon, from escaping, continuing his criminal activity, or hindering the establishment of the truth. Detention is applied only to persons suspected of committing a crime for which punishment in the form of deprivation of freedom may be assigned.
Detention is carried out by an agency of inquiry or by an investigator. Detention is permitted if the suspect was caught during commission of the crime or immediately after; if eyewitnesses, including victims, directly indicate the person as the one who committed the crime; and if traces of the crime are discovered on the suspect, on his clothing, or in his dwelling. In other instances the suspect may be detained if he attempted to escape, if he has no permanent residence, or if his identity has not been established.
Since detention is connected with the deprivation of freedom, the law provides for the necessary procedural guarantees of the legality and validity of this investigative action. An agency of inquiry or an investigator must draw up a record of any instance of detaining a suspect, indicating the grounds and reasons for detention, and notify the procurator of the detention within 24 hours. Upon receiving the notification the procurator is obliged, within 48 hours, to sanction confinement under guard or to free the person detained.
I. D. PERLOV