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Defendants (criminal proceedings)


Getting independent legal advice is very important when you are in some way involved in a criminal process. The factsheets tell you when and in what circumstances you are entitled to be represented by a lawyer. They also tell you what a lawyer will do for you. This general factsheet tells you how to find a lawyer and how the costs of the lawyer will be met if you cannot afford to pay.

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Finding a lawyer

Contact the Latvian Bar Council if you need a lawyer. They have a list of solicitors who practise law in Latvia.

Whether you are held in custody or not you can inform the authority in charge of the proceedings (investigator/prosecutor/court) that you want to seek legal advice. You will receive information about duty solicitors or a duty solicitor will be notified that you need legal advice, and you will be provided with it. 

The best option is for you or your relatives to reach an agreement with a lawyer who will handle your case for as long as is necessary. 

Paying for a lawyer

Lawyers require payment and the client and lawyer agree on remuneration in writing. If there is no agreement concluded with a lawyer, the state will provide the necessary legal advice for you and it will be paid from the state budget.

Related links

Law on criminal proceedings

Law on the bar association

Law on state provided legal aid

Regulation on state provided legal aid

Bar Association of Latvia

Legal aid authority

Last update: 12/07/2021

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