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  #51  
Old Monday, February 1st, 2010, 10:25 AM
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Default Re: Crime In Aruba

Oh, thanks for clearing that up!
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  #52  
Old Monday, February 1st, 2010, 11:11 AM
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Default Re: Crime In Aruba

For your reading pleasure:

Dutch law can be divided in three categories, State laws (like the Constitution, our Criminal Code, criminal procedure code, civil code etc), Province law and municipality law. Some laws can be adapted to the specific needs of the Province and/or Municipality, without being contradictory to any of the state laws.

To give a simple example, State law determines that shops have certain opening times. Municipals are allowed to divert from that and allow certain shops in certain area’s of the city to be open on Sunday (when normally all shops are closed).

That being said, Aruba falls under Dutch law but has a bit more freedom in determining certain issues then the municipalities in Holland have. One of those areas, for example, is immigration (working and residence permits) and traffic law. Police regulations are another one of those areas that Aruba is free in determining the rules itself. Police regulations are all regulations meant to keep the peace and quiet on Aruba. I emphasize that Aruba is free in determining these rules themselves because it could mean that certain things that are for example allowed on Curacao may be forbidden on Aruba and vice versa. So you cannot compare these laws to another municipality within the Dutch Kingdom. Of course there will not be great differences, since they all basically determine the same thing.

Now, I don’t know how much is truth there is in the statement made that police is not allowed to enter a private property without the consent of the owner. That could be a local ruling and I don’t have the law at hand to check it. However I do know that in case of danger, or when the police have good reason to think that illegal activities are ongoing in a house, they are allowed to enter without the owners consent. This is regulated in our Criminal Code of which the local law cannot make an exception (as explained above).

So what happens if you get arrested on Aruba? First of all the Police can detain you for questioning for 6 hours. The hours from midnight till 9.00 in the morning are not counted. So if you are arrested at 9 in the evening, they can detain you until noon the next day. At this point you may ask for an attorney but the police are not obligated to get you one. You do have the right to remain silent. As in American law, you can refrain from answering questions if the answer will incriminate you. Now have you been arrested for an offense on which the penalty would be jail time of 4 years or more, the police can lengthen your detainment with 3 days with one extension of another 3 days. During this period an attorney will be appointed to you (or you can get your own). After this period a, what we call court commissioner, will determine if there are grounds to detain you any longer. He can “sentence” you to another 14 days, to which you have no appeal. After these 14 days a panel of judges will determine if your detention should be extended even more. They have the choice of 30, 60 or 90 days.

This will all depend on the time the attorney general needs to get all evidence against you in order. During all this time bail or any kind of release is not possible. If your detainment is extended with 30 days, it can be extended again and again until the 90 days are up. So the full period of detention you can have on Aruba is 110 day + 6 hours. After this you should either be released or brought in front of a judge to have your case heard. Bail, as known in the US, is not possible. If during your case you are sentenced for jail time, the time you spend in detention will be subtracted. So if you have spent your full time in detention and you are sentenced to 3 months jail time, you will be released immediately since you already served. If you are not convicted, you cannot sue the police, the government or anyone else for wrongful incarceration.

If you are released without being brought in front of a judge, it does not mean that you are free. When they have collected enough evidence against you, they can start their court case against you. Depending on the crime you will most likely be re-arrested. If the attorney general decides not to continue to investigate your “crime” he will inform you of this fact. They can also re-arrest you for questioning at any time.

Now I am not going into all the different crimes, suffice to say that anyone can understand that drugs possession is penalized more severely then a stupid parking violation. Like I said the above is only for crimes that can be sentenced with jail time for 4 years or more.

If you are arrested you are allowed to have contact with family to bring you clothes and food, however depending on the crime the attorney general can decide that contact will be limited. At such a point a lawyer will be your single point of contact.

I hope this answers some of the questions on what happens if you get arrested in Aruba.


Now I also got the question on what to do in case of an accident. Normally with an accident between two locals, if there is no personal injury, both parties will fill in an accident form, sign both of them and each of them will send the form to their insurance company. However if any dispute arises on how the accident happened and who is responsible the police should always be called in. It should be impossible for anyone to drive around on Aruba in an uninsured car, but unfortunately that is not the case.

If you find out the other party is not insured, always call the police.

As a tourist it is always wise to call the police to any accident and have them make up a report (and make sure you get a copy of that report!).

Any questions? Don’t hesitate to ask, I will do my best to answer them.
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  #53  
Old Monday, February 1st, 2010, 11:30 AM
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Default Re: Crime In Aruba

Sandra,

Thanks for the clear and concise explanation.

I will add to this that in a recent article in Amigoe
that the Aruban gov't estimates that 20% of the
cars have no insurance They are conducting
'stops' to check on insurance.

Also this time of year, the license plates have to
be changed to the new one. There are also stops
to check to see if you have the 'new' blue ones.
If you get a rental car that doesn't have a blue
license plate, you should ask them about it. I believe
it is just a ticket. But you should just know about that
in advance.
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  #54  
Old Monday, February 1st, 2010, 11:33 AM
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Default Re: Crime In Aruba

Sandra

Great explanation. Thank you. With the Aruban Govt indicating it is tightening up on policing and crime, this is timely and appreciated

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  #55  
Old Monday, February 1st, 2010, 11:47 AM
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Default Re: Crime In Aruba

thanks to sandra for the great explanation and liz, that was a great addition to it.

we really do appreciate this info.
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  #56  
Old Monday, February 1st, 2010, 12:51 PM
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Default Re: Crime In Aruba

Sandra, that was outstanding !
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  #57  
Old Monday, February 1st, 2010, 12:56 PM
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Default Re: Crime In Aruba

Quote:
Originally Posted by lizzardo View Post
Sandra,

Thanks for the clear and concise explanation.

I will add to this that in a recent article in Amigoe
that the Aruban gov't estimates that 20% of the
cars have no insurance They are conducting
'stops' to check on insurance.

Also this time of year, the license plates have to
be changed to the new one. There are also stops
to check to see if you have the 'new' blue ones.
If you get a rental car that doesn't have a blue
license plate, you should ask them about it. I believe
it is just a ticket. But you should just know about that
in advance.
Like I said in principal it should be impossible to drive around with new plates and be uninsured. When you go to the tax office to pay your road tax for the year you have to present evidence of being insured.

However lot's of plates get stolen and put on a different cars. Especially rental cars have their plates stolen since they are more difficult to check and since they are pulled over less often by police. So if you get in an accident with another rental car, be extra careful.
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  #58  
Old Monday, February 1st, 2010, 12:59 PM
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I Love Aruba Re: Crime In Aruba

Excellent info Sandra, thanks. One other thing I thought about on the car insurance issue....it is my recollection that most US car insurance does not cover you when you are driving in another country, so it is a good idea to purchase the additional insurance through the rental agency. Did I remember that correctly? I also know that most of our credit cards provide some sort of coverage as well (when you use that card to rent the car), but I don't remember whether it applies to driving in foreign countries. This issue is on my mind, as I plan to rent a car in Aruba for the first time in June.
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  #59  
Old Monday, February 1st, 2010, 01:07 PM
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Default Re: Crime In Aruba

Quote:
Originally Posted by lmccollom View Post
Excellent info Sandra, thanks. One other thing I thought about on the car insurance issue....it is my recollection that most US car insurance does not cover you when you are driving in another country, so it is a good idea to purchase the additional insurance through the rental agency. Did I remember that correctly? I also know that most of our credit cards provide some sort of coverage as well (when you use that card to rent the car), but I don't remember whether it applies to driving in foreign countries. This issue is on my mind, as I plan to rent a car in Aruba for the first time in June.
Always check if you are covered with your credit card or in any other way. If not, take additional insurance. If you are still take the minimal insurance you can get with the car rental. it will often cover your own risk.
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Old Monday, February 1st, 2010, 01:49 PM
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Default Re: Crime In Aruba

Quote:
Originally Posted by lmccollom View Post
Excellent info Sandra, thanks. One other thing I thought about on the car insurance issue....it is my recollection that most US car insurance does not cover you when you are driving in another country, so it is a good idea to purchase the additional insurance through the rental agency. Did I remember that correctly? I also know that most of our credit cards provide some sort of coverage as well (when you use that card to rent the car), but I don't remember whether it applies to driving in foreign countries. This issue is on my mind, as I plan to rent a car in Aruba for the first time in June.

We had 1 accident and 1 vandalism event within the last I would say 7-8 years? And our credit card company covered both. When we checked with cc co. last year, it was still the same.
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  #61  
Old Monday, February 1st, 2010, 04:15 PM
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Default Re: Crime In Aruba

Like I said in principal it should be impossible to drive around with new plates and be uninsured. When you go to the tax office to pay your road tax for the year you have to present evidence of being insured.

You don't pay 'road tax' per se you pay for your license plate.
The first time you apply for your plate you have to supply
proof of insurance.

In other years for us to renew, you didn't. Now you do have to show it for renewals.

In Sept/Oct when I sold my dad's car, the guy who bought it
did not have to show his insurance. I think they changed that now
too.
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  #62  
Old Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010, 03:23 AM
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Default Re: Crime In Aruba

Quote:
Originally Posted by lizzardo View Post
Like I said in principal it should be impossible to drive around with new plates and be uninsured. When you go to the tax office to pay your road tax for the year you have to present evidence of being insured.

You don't pay 'road tax' per se you pay for your license plate.
The first time you apply for your plate you have to supply
proof of insurance.

In other years for us to renew, you didn't. Now you do have to show it for renewals.

In Sept/Oct when I sold my dad's car, the guy who bought it
did not have to show his insurance. I think they changed that now
too.
You pay your road tax and get your license plate as evidence that you did. If you have the big plate you paid the first half year if you have both the big plate and the little plate you paid for a full year. On the receipt you get it says "wegenbelasting" which means road tax.

The proof of insurance is something of the last few years. Back in 2002 I did not need to present it, in order to get my new plates. In 2003 I had to. I couldn't even pay in December for the coming year but had to wait to receive my proof of insurance because it ran from January to January. But I also know the tax people are not always as diligent in asking for your insurance papers as they should be.
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Last edited by Sandra; Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010 at 08:11 AM.
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  #63  
Old Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010, 07:22 PM
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Default Re: Crime In Aruba

Well I have been coming to Aruba for over 20 years. And yes things have changed. Otrher than driving through town to and from the airport, we have not been downtown in 4-5 years. We stay at the Palm Beach area and walk to local places.
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