Criminal or Deportation Procedure in Japan
1. Arrest to Detention:
If you are arrested by the police, you will be interviewed by a police investigator/officer, and within 48 hours (2days), your case will be submitted to a prosecutor. The prosecutor will examine your case based on the interview, and he/she will interview you, then, if he/she finds necessary, he/she will submit a pre-indictment detention request to a judge within 24 hours (1 day). You can ask for an attorney in this period (from arrest to detention). When you ask for an attorney, the police officer will contact the relevant bar association to arrange an attorney for you. (Please see the Attorney section below for the details.) However, you are NOT allowed to contact anyone, except an attorney, during this period, including your family and/or friends (72 hours – 3 days), and you will be kept in a holding cell at the police station.
If the prosecutor finds it unnecessary, you will be released.
2. Detention to Prosecution:
If a pre-indictment detention request is submitted to a judge, the judge will interview you, and decide whether you will be detained or not. If the judge finds it unnecessary, you will be released.
In principal, you will be detained for 10 days from the date when the pre-indictment detention request is submitted, and this period can be extended up to another 10 days, if deemed necessary by the judge. During this detention period, the police investigator/officer or/and the prosecutor will interview you to investigate the case. During this period (Detention to Prosecution), you can also ask for an attorney. If you ask for an attorney, the police officer will contact the bar association to arrange an attorney for you. (Please see the Attorney section below for the details.) During this period (up to 20 days), you will be held in the holding cell at the police station. You will be allowed to see your family or friends, but the visitation time will be limited and will be under the police’s surveillance.
During the detention period, when the investigation is finalized, the prosecutor will decide whether you will be indicted or not.
In short, the police can hold you in the custody up to 23 days, even if you are not indicted.
3. Prosecution to Trial:
Based on the collected facts and evidences, the judge will decide if you are guilty or not. If you are convicted, you will be punished by imprisonment and/or you will need to pay some penalty.
4. Visa Problem (deportation):
If the visa expires before the judgement, you will be detained by the Immigration Office, and then will be deported after the judgement entry, even if you are granted probation. Or, depends on the crime (especially drug related crime), even if your visa is still valid, you will be detained by the Immigration Office, and then deported immediately after the judgement entry, even if you are granted probation. In any of the above cases, if you are sentenced to imprisonment without a stay of execution (without probation), after serving the time, you will be detained in the Immigration Office, and then will be deported. If you committed a drug related crime, you will not be allowed to land in Japan again.