Whom ID can be checked by the Police and Why?

In discharging his/her tasks, the police officer may check the identity of a person whose identity needs to be established in order to protect the public order and public security, for the purposes of crime prevention or law enforcement, during traffic police measures and also in order to protect the rights of natural, legal and other persons. Therefore the Police has a high degree of autonomy and freedom of choice regarding whom ID needed to be checked. It is very important that the ID checking shall not be self-serving or harassing.

What does a legal ID check?

The police officer shall begin with a greeting appropriate for the time of day, an address appropriate for the citizen's sex and age and if the officer is wearing uniform with a salute and with stating the proposed action unless due to the nature of the action or the circumstances this is not reasonable. An officer acting while in civilian clothes shall prove his police status and – unless it jeopardizes the efficiency of the action - his authority to act by showing his service identity card. In course of an ID check the police officer requests the identity card or any other document certifying the identity of the person subject to the measure. In case of doubt about the document’s authenticity the police officer may ask check questions. The officer may also requests the person to state his particulars and compare these with those in the document. If circumstances justify this, the particulars of the person should also be checked against the Register of Wanted Persons. Personal identity is verified primarily by the identity card; also any other document may be accepted by which the identity of the checked person may be determined with credibility. The Police Officer may also accept the statement of a person known to him or another person of verified identity who is present at the ID check. In course of an identity check the identity of a person has to be established and, where this is required for further action or measures or by other circumstances, the particulars of the person involved have to be recorded on an Identity-check Sheet.

How can I certify my identity?

There are three types of an ID card, depending on the time when it was issued. Newest ID cards are card format and called as “személyazonosító igazolvány”. If the person cannot present the ID card, any other document can be presented, which is appropriate for personal identification (i. e. it includes personal data and a photo). These other documents are basically driving licenses and passports (private, diplomat, sailor, service, etc. passports). The document shall not be damaged or defective, because if it is the person’s identity cannot be checked.

What does enhanced control mean?

Enhanced control means a coordinated and concentrated police action when the whole or a part of the territorial capacity of the police organ is closed and the ID, clothes, luggage can be checked of the persons who is staying there.

What can a police officer do during enhanced control?

In order to prevent or stop unlawful acts endangering the security of an event or the traffic or the order of a public place, the Police may search the clothes and vehicles of persons there selected by the head of the police department, and check compliance with the regulations of the operator, seize any substances, devices presenting danger to public security or prohibit the bringing of the same to the venue of the program or event.

When and whom clothes, baggage and car can be searched?

According to the law a search of clothing, baggage and vehicles could take place especially during:

a) identity checks, with whom against the police action is performed;

b) enhanced control, who is staying in the closed area;

c) when arresting or detaining a person;

d) when a person entering into a closed area, where an event is taken place;

e) when a person entering or exiting into an important facility, which is essential regarding to the functioning of the state or to the supply of the population.

What is the main difference between search and body search?

The search is one of the activities of the Police, which is regulated by the Police Act. The search of clothes, baggage and vehicle aims to find physical evidence in the case of a suspicion of a crime or pretty offences; or to filter devices, which are dangerous for public safety.

In contrast the body search is the notion of criminal procedure. It is a coercive measure, which can be ordered by the prosecutor or the investigating authority. It aims to obtain hidden material evidences and things, which are forfeitable or falls under the confiscation of property. The member of the authority is not only entitled to search the body, clothes and objects of the person, but his / her luggage and vehicle.

Who can be brought to the authority?

There are two main types of bringing to the authority: (1) when bringing to the authority is mandatory and (2) when the police officer has the discretion to decide whether to apply this action or to use other less intrusive measure.

a) mandatory reasons:

With a view to further measures, the police officer may capture and bring to the competent authority any person

- who has been caught in a wilful criminal act;

- against whom a warrant has been issued on the basis of a separate law or an international treaty or whose capture was ordered by a police warrant;

- whose detention or pre-trial custody was ordered, or for whom a temporary forced medical treatment or observation of mental status was ordered;

- who escaped during the implementation of arrest, pre-trial custody, imprisonment or detention, or who has not returned to the detention center after leaving with permission, or who evaded temporary forced medical treatment or observation of mental status, forced medical treatment or reformatory education;

- whose bringing to the authority was ordered in accordance with the provisions of a separate law.

b) reasons of discretion:

In order to protect public security, the police officer may bring to the authority or other competent organization any person

- who cannot identify him/herself in a conclusive manner or refuses to identify him/herself when requested to do so by the police officer;

- who can be suspected of committing a criminal act;

- from whom a urinary sample or blood-sample - for the purpose of blood-alcohol test - or any other sample is to be taken due to the suspicion of a criminal act or to prove an offence where the sample-taking does not qualify as a surgical operation;

- who leaves parental supervision or legal custody or reformatory education without a permit;

- who breaches the rules of probation set out in a separate law and falling within the competence of the Police;

- who does not stop an offence despite warning to do so, or against whom a procedure can be immediately conducted, or from whom a piece of evidence is to be obtained or an object subject to confiscation is to be withheld;

who is searched for as a missing person.

How long can the bringing to the author last?

The Police may limit personal freedom only for the necessary duration which shall not exceed 8 hours. If the aim of the person's bringing in was not realized, the head of the competent police department may extend this duration once by 4 hours. The duration of custody shall be counted from the commencement of the police measure.

Can the police officer enter into my private home without my permission?

The police officer shall not enter a private home, whether normally or by forceful means, without the owner's consent or an authority permit unless in order to:

a) prevent a suicide after an emergency call;

b) prevent or stop the commission of a criminal act or arrest and bring to the authority the perpetrator or suspect of the crime;

c) eliminate danger to public security or direct danger of life or corporeal integrity, or to rescue people in such a danger;

d) take measures in connection with a death case that occurred under extraordinary or unclear circumstances;

e) enforce a distrait procedure if participation therein is an obligation of the Police pursuant to the law;

f) enforce the escorting of a person;

g) perform a crime prevention check in the home, residence or known place of stay of a person subject to the crime prevention check;

h) bring in a person who continues an offence despite a warning;

i) enforce a measure to protect a person or an establishment or;

j) if the bringing in of the person is necessary for any other reason set out in the law.

Can the police officer record the action against me with a camera?

In connection with the police measure, the Police may make image and sound recordings of the person concerned, the environment and any other circumstance or object relevant to the police measure.

What will happen with my personal data, which has been recorded during the police measure?

The data recorded during the ID check shall be destroyed on the 180th day from the measure completed, except it is being used in criminal or pretty offences procedures. This regulation shall not be used for the deleting time of the data recorded according to Art. 24. Par. 4 and 5.

[Art. 24. Par. 4 of the Police Act: A police officer may be requested by any person to have another person identify him/herself in order to enforce the first person's rights. If the person requesting identification of another person gives reasonable grounds for his/her interest in such identification and identifies him/herself, the police officer shall perform the request. The data of the person identified shall be disclosed by the police department to the person requesting the identification if the latter appropriately certifies his/her entitlement to such data.

Art. 24. Par. 5 of the Police Act: If the person requesting the identification does not request disclosure of the data within 8 days of the identification or does not certify his/her entitlement, the data of the person identified recorded in accordance with paragraph (4) shall be destroyed.]