Right to complain

The grounds and procedures for arrest in cases of criminal suspicion are explained in this Guide. There could be situations where the police did not follow these grounds and procedures. In such situations you have the right to complain about the police behaviour.

What can you claim?

Since the period of arrest can only be a maximum of 48 hours, it is not feasible to complain about the unlawfulness of the arrest in order to get released. However, you may request compensation for being arrested unlawfully. In most cases, in order to receive compensation, you should complain about the unlawfulness of the arrest after you have been released or detained on remand.


The following two situations may occur:

  • You have been arrested but you are later acquitted or the criminal case is terminated against you because of exonerating circumstances. In such cases you can ask for compensation for damages according to a special law.
  • You believe that you have been arrested unlawfully, but you don’t know the outcome of your case. In such a situation, you can complain about the unlawfulness of your arrest to the prosecution. Please note that you have to complain within 10 days of the arrest. The prosecution will decide who is competent to consider your claim. However, the prosecution can only issue a decision, which states whether you have or have not been unlawfully arrested. They cannot decide to grant you compensation for damages.
    In this case, you can raise a claim to a court of general jurisdiction (civil court) against the State based on Article 92 of the Constitution of the Republic of Latvia. You can use the decision of the prosecution as the evidence that an unlawful activity took place, as a result of which you sustained damages.

Human Rights Guide

A European platform for human rights education