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Elle, along with Alan, is the owner of Spain Buddy and the busy web design business - Spain Web Design by Gandy-Draper. Born a "Norverner", she then spent most of her life "Dann Saff" before moving to Spain in 2006. Elle's loves are Alan, the internet, dogs, good food, and dry white wine - although not necessarily in that order.


  1. Mary @ Green Global Travel
    August 2, 2015 @ 8:19 pm

    Oh no, I hope this post doesn’t come from personal experience. Remaining calm is always good advice.


    • Elle Draper
      August 3, 2015 @ 10:30 am

      No, don’t worry – not from personal experience. We have had a number of dealings with the police here. Most of those were because we used to live in a complex that was inhabited by a number of Guardia Civil… plus we went to court as witnesses too. Never been arrested. xxx


  2. Lillie
    August 7, 2015 @ 6:01 am

    Yipes! I hope I never have to use this, but it will likely be useful for some!


  3. michael sunny
    July 10, 2016 @ 2:11 am

    my frind was arrested in Spain , and he has no bail ! also they are keeping him
    in the jail and it is all accusing him with crime , they don’t have any proof or evedince
    to charge him with and he is been their for almost five month ,they are saying for investigation, can they keep him in the jail for how long ? with out the charge and court?
    and how long can they keep him in the jail until they can come up with proof ?or court date?
    thank you


    • Elle Draper
      July 11, 2016 @ 9:18 am

      Hello Michael. Your friend needs to get a lawyer.
      The police must feel they have something to have kept him this long – but a lawyer will be able to get more information.
      He should also be speaking to his Consulate.
      E x


  4. Name removed by site owner for privacy
    October 8, 2018 @ 11:31 am

    My girlfreind and I went to benidorm for a year we had a great time but one night we had a silly fall out the spainish police took me away from her and charged me with demestic breach of the piece basically how ever my girlfriend is pregnant and we both appoiligised told them sorry yet they told me I wasn’t allowed to see her for 18 months we both fought this desition as she is pregnant and it was a silly argument however 6 months later we were caught together witg our daughter they have told me I’m facing the jail for breaching there law that I wasn’t to see her I have a trial and face jail my girlfriend and I took our baby daughter to Britain and I won’t be back for trail what can happen to me?


    • Elle Draper
      October 8, 2018 @ 12:43 pm

      The Spanish police take incidents of this type very seriously – operating almost zero tolerance – so I wouldn’t underestimate the court process. I would strongly advise that you get a solicitor quickly. At the very least, speak to the British Consulate in Madrid and tell them you’re back in the UK. They will no doubt have handled situations like this before so should be better placed to help you. The court will probably ask your girlfriend to make a statement too, so ensure she’s happy to do that.
      At the very least you’d be facing arrest at the airport if you tried to enter Spain again without attending the court.
      Good luck and let us know how you get on (via email to if you prefer.
      elle x


  5. Selina
    January 9, 2019 @ 12:52 pm

    Hi so in 2012 I was arrested in spain along with my partner at the time. Held for 72 hours then released but the court date was the week after and we was back in the UK. We was having a domestic and police intervened. It was nothing serious But the local police turned up. I’m no longer with that person and am wondering if in was to go to drain on holiday would they still have that file open?


    • Elle Draper
      January 12, 2019 @ 10:34 am

      Hi Selina. Yes it would still be on file… along with your passport numbr. I would recommend you speak to a Spanish lawyer who can look into things andsee about getting it dealt with.
      E x


  6. Parry
    January 16, 2019 @ 7:33 pm

    Hi I was supposed to attend court in Barcelona in November for an incident which happened in the summer last year. I fell asleep in a bakery in the morning, drunk, admittedly, they physically ejected me and threw me onto the pavement, I went back in because this pissed me off and grabbed the guy by the shirt but it was absolutely not a fight, no punches etc. Anyway this soon ended, I walked out and stood outside. Next thing the Mossos turn up and arrest me for attacking this guy. They totally lied, saying I was punching this guy etc, but I did not have any way to object and was thrown into the slammer for the day. I was due in court in November but returned to the UK before that and never went back. I missed the court date but I don’t know what to do. I have emailed a lawyer… reply. I have called the Mossos… answer. What should I do? I have no money for anything, let alone a lawyer.


    • Elle Draper
      January 19, 2019 @ 2:34 pm

      Try chatting to your local Citizens Advice – they may know of free or cheap ways to do this.
      In the meantime, don’t risk a trip to Spain.
      Good luck!
      E x


  7. geoff
    February 10, 2019 @ 7:18 am

    i was arrested following a domestic and refusal of arrest in november 2008, i was due to attend court in february 2009 but had to return before this,,i rang the court but they offered no x partner attended the hearing but wasnt clear on the outcome as the police didnt attend…reading the above i dare say i shouldnt return to spain at the moment?


    • Elle Draper
      February 11, 2019 @ 12:39 pm

      Yeah – I’d avoid it… unless you come into some money and can pay a lawyer to do some digging for you. It may also be worth you chatting to your local Citizens Advice Bureau in case they can do something on your behalf.
      Good luck!
      E x


  8. kerry
    July 1, 2019 @ 3:23 pm

    Hi my partner was arrested in Benidorm in 2016 after the bouncers attacked him. He was kept in custody for 72 hours then let go, he did receive a letter to attend court a year letter but he didn’t realise until after the court date. What would happen if he was to return to Spain, also do you think it would be fine to visit other countries which are not Spain?
    I have tried embassy but no response, also citizens advice have no idea either.


    • Elle Draper
      July 2, 2019 @ 10:48 am

      He would likely be arrested when returning to Spain – we’ve seen others arrested for less. It is best to hire a Spanish lawyer who can check it for you.
      He should be fine going to other countries though – he’s not a mass murderer so it’s unlikely that a European arrest warrant has been issued.
      It is rather unusual for the Embassy not to respond though – do give them another try. xx


  9. Jack
    July 11, 2019 @ 6:00 pm

    I was detained in magaluf for 72 hours in magaluf for fighting in a group of friends however I was the only person picked up by the guardia and was taken into custody. The final day of me being detained I was taken to court in Palma to sit in front of a judge but it wasn’t like a large room it was just on a small desk next to my lawyer and the judge said that the person who had reportedly been hit by myself had dropped charges against me, I was therefore released and flew home the next day, uncharged and wasn’t fined. I have had no further communication from anyone and have not received any letters regarding a court date, the main question is whether or not I can return to Spain, will they allow me entry?
    Thank you


    • Elle Draper
      July 12, 2019 @ 11:33 am

      From your info – I’d say you’ll be fine.
      The informal court setting is normal when they’re going to drop charges. They won’t want to tie up a courtroom.
      If still in doubt though – contact the lawyer you used.
      E x


  10. (Name removed for privacy)
    February 10, 2020 @ 4:57 am

    Hi, I was arrested by Guardia Civil during a random stop and search, while in ibiza summer 2019 for being in possession of 28grams (all in one bag) of Ketamine and 300 Euro’s.

    I was taken to court the next day, seen a Judge with my legal aid solicitor and an interpreter. I was bailed for free, with a drogas trafico charge, but told I will have a second court date that I will need to attend or I will be guilty for not turning up.

    Whilst still in ibiza, I had a consultation with a solicitor I was recommended too, I told him that I wanted to try and beat the case as it was genuinely possession, I love Spain, and taking in all the circumstances of the arrest, I felt there was simply not enough evidence to prosecute as ‘drogas trafico’.

    My solicitor at this point made it clear to me how serious the charge was, in the next court date they would be trying to prosecute me for roughly 3-6 years & a €8000 fine. He told me he would try and defend me and get this down to about 1-2 years & no fine.

    I was about to pay the solicitor about €1700 in legal fee’s before he told me the above and the following. He was Spanish and basically said to me that no matter how much he loves Spain, he loves his family/friends/freedom more and would just move to another country and never go back to Spain.

    At the time I just thought it was best to take it on the chin and never go back to Spain, rather then risk even getting the lesser charge of 1-2 years.

    I have still not received anything from the Spanish courts in the post or via email, so I am unaware to when the next court date should even be.

    This has been on my mind since the arrest in September 2019, I really want to resolve the issue but don’t know who to turn to for guidance. I also do not want this to go on to my UK record and so I am trying to find help on the what I should do next? I also have a Friend getting married in ibiza next year and want to attend, but I am worried I will get arrested when entering the country.

    Any help would be much appreciated.


    • Elle Draper
      February 10, 2020 @ 10:18 am

      Hi there.

      Yes, you would almost certainly be arrested when entering Spain again. With regard to it appearing on your UK criminal record – that will depend on what deals are agreed as part of the Brexit process. It’s a serious charge as you know – so it could happen if the UK and EU decide to exchange details of crimes of particular types in the future.

      I would contact a solicitor as soon as possible, so that you can get things started. They can take quite a while to sort out. Or try speaking to the British Consulate. I don’t know your personal financial situation (nobody’s business but your own) but maybe some legal aid would be available.

      Aside from that – we can’t really advise. Just do get things rolling as soon as you can if you want to be able to enter Spain again.

      Good luck.


  11. Helen
    August 8, 2020 @ 4:23 am

    Hi , my son inlaw go into a bit of bother in spain last year and my son inlaw brother inlaw has persued the case cause of the things he was accused of were not true. They all paid 900 to get bail and now they have to pay 5000 up front before going to court.
    The uncle hit a police office and his brother inlaw is accused of hitting a bounce with a bottle. Which is not true. My son inlaw did get punched and he punch back some bouncer.
    What I’d like to know will he end up serving time in spain for fighting and will the others also end up serving time if found guilty. Even though some of it is a pack of lies.

    Yours Sincerly

    Helen Cameron

    Mrs H Cameron


    • Elle Draper
      August 18, 2020 @ 10:22 am

      Hi Helen.
      They take fighting very seriously here in Spain – so he is definitely at risk. I would strongly recommend that he speaks to a lawyer as soon as possible.
      Good luck!


  12. karen
    August 18, 2022 @ 12:31 pm

    My son was arrested in Magaluf approx. 4-5 years ago and he was asked to pay a fine. He was assaulted with blood coming out of his ear, he had to have a brain scan, but the bar owner said he assaulted him which wasnt true. I have a receipt to prove I paid this but the courts didn’t give us a reference number so they payment was stuck in the banks system and was eventually returned to me months later. I have all the paperwork and the receipt to prove I did pay this, he’s not allowed to enter Spain and we really want to resolve this issue can you help ? Will he


  13. Lee
    January 2, 2023 @ 9:00 pm

    Hi, I was arrested in Benidorm back in 2011 after a fracas with another group, i was very drunk and the police interviened and i fell down and broke one of the coppers arms, i was taken to the cells and released about 36 hours later with some paperwork i signed without knowing what it said. The police let me go and basically said not to come back. I wasnt fined , but i havent been back to Spain but would like to visit again in the future, but dont want to be arrested on arrival. Do you think i would be ok?


    • Elle Draper
      January 3, 2023 @ 10:58 am

      Hi Lee.
      I’m afraid that you would likely be rejected at the airport because they almost certainly took your passport information at the time.
      You could try using a Spanish lawyer to see if they can apply to the courts on your behalf, but that could be pricey. They would almost certainly need to see any associated paperwork too. If you do still have that paperwork… have a look to see if it contains any kind of expiry date. I appreciate that it’s in Spanish… but you should still be able to work out any dates on it.
      Good luck!
      Elle x


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