Olive Press columnist Antonio Flores, of Lawbird, explores Spanish police warrants

MOST people are aware that a European Arrest Warrant (EAW) is an arrest warrant valid throughout all member states of the European Union.

Once issued, it requires another member state to arrest and transfer a criminal suspect or sentenced person to the issuing state so that the person can be put on trial or complete a detention period.

Spain, being part of the EU, is no exception when applying foreign EAWs in all its territory. But there are other types of warrants that are largely unknown and yet are used by Spanish Police Forces regularly. This is the list they use, with the associated code:

Code 1 – Ascertainment of domicile and whereabouts: applied when a person is being sought after to notify them, officially, of impending legal action. This warrant can mature and become an arrest warrant.

Code 2 – Search, arrest and attendance: applied when a person has allegedly committed a serious offence or a defendant has not turned up when requested to do so, either by the police or the courts. It is commonly known as an ‘arrest warrant’.

Code 3 – Search, arrest and imprisonment: applied when a person has been convicted but later absconds.

Code 4 – Prohibition to leave the country: applied to persons that are subject to legal action or minors, where there is risk of parental child abduction.

Code 5 – Prohibition to enter the country: applied to non-EU citizens that have an entry ban.

Code 6 – Protection of a person: applied to people under 18 years of age or incapables.

Code 7 – Specific surveillance: applied to people that have a residence ban in a specific area, or are being investigated, and it includes verifying the origin, destination, itinerary, belongings, habitual domicile and identity documentation.

Code 8 – Discreet surveillance: without attracting attention, as much evidence as possible is gathered on the suspect (as above).

Code 9 – Search and arrest for extradition: commonly carried out in cooperation with the Interpol Service or the Sirene Office. The arrested person is taken to court, which then on the merits of the case.