Right to information

Human rights demand that when you are being arrested, the police must inform you about the reasons for your arrest and any charges against you. It is a very important safeguard because if you know what you are accused of and why you are held, you have the opportunity to more effectively challenge the basis and need for your arrest. This information has to be given to you or to your lawyer.

What information must be given and when?

The arresting officer has to inform you about the reasons for your arrest and the charges at the very moment of arrest. However, it is sometimes impossible to give you more detailed information about your charges at the moment of arrest. Human rights state that you may be informed about the reasons for your arrest and given information about the charges within a few hours of your arrest. Human rights do not require that you are provided with a complete and finalised description of all charges at this stage.

Arrest protocol

In Latvia, the police will write an arrest protocol at the moment of arrest or immediately after bringing you to the police station. The protocol must explain why you are being arrested and how to challenge your arrest. You have the right to read and sign the protocol. Before signing it, you also have the right to supplement the protocol with your opinion about whether you believe the arrest and its execution was lawful. You should also verify whether the time of arrest indicated in the protocol corresponds with the actual time of your arrest as the permissible length of your arrest will be counted from the time indicated in the protocol.

The reasons for your arrest and the charges have to be explained to you in simple and non-technical language. In addition, if you do not understand the language in which the protocol is written, the police have to explain to you the reasons for your arrest and the charges against you in a language that you do understand.

What human rights violation may there be?

If you are not informed promptly and adequately of the reasons for the arrest and the charges against you, this may result in a violation of the right to liberty and security of a person.

Human Rights Guide

A European platform for human rights education