Pre-trial detention of a board member – changes in custodial visits and making phone calls

plpolski (Polish)

On January 1st, 2023 most of the changes in Executive Criminal Code provided by the Act dated August 5th, 2022 came into force. Some provisions were made effective already in September, 2022. The changes are supposed to, among other things, streamlining procedures of pre-trial detention. A board member who has been detained should be aware of two changes that are very important from his perspective. The first one is stated in Article 217 § 1g e.c.c. It concerns the possibility of granting an approval for multiple custodial visits. The second one is connected with the possibility to make phone calls from the detention facility.

An approval for multiple custodial visits

The new regulation of Article 217 § 1g e.c.c. makes it much easier and allows to save time. The group mostly benefiting from it are probably the attorneys who have to visit their clients in the detention facility. When the detainee is a company’s board member it raises a question if this can be used to run the company from behind the bars. Can the company’s staff also apply for multiple custodial visits? In theory, yes. But it doesn’t mean that the approval will be granted. The main problem is the concern for obstruction if the reason for pre-trail detention is connected with the company’s activity. Unfortunately only family members can file a complaint against refusal when it comes to custodial visits.

Making phone calls from the detention facility

In general, the detainees can use the phone once a week in accordance with the schedule. The new provision of Article 217c § 1a e.c.c. allows to make urgent calls if the dates set for procedural actions justifies that. It is a great convenience when it comes to conducting defence. However, one must remember that the phone calls can only originate from the detention facility, not the other way around.

Another new regulation of Article 217c § 1c e.c.c. allows making phone calls to other persons than the attorney. However, an approval for it can only be granted if there are some special circumstances. The main condition is that the direct contact is impossible or hindered. Sometimes the reason for granting the approval might be a special circumstance concerning one’s personal life. It is within the authority’s decision whether to treat maintaining family bonds as a special circumstance. Similar problem arises when it comes to running a company. If the charges are connected with the company’s activity it becomes even more difficult. Obviously, the main concern of the authorities is always ensuring the proper course of action in the criminal proceedings.


Full article is available in Polish here.

plpolski (Polish)

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