How are traffic offences dealt with?
As a rule, traffic offences in Lithuania are not treated as crimes. They will only be treated as crimes if you cause an accident and injure another person. Such liability will also arise if you drive a car when drunk and cause an accident resulting in serious damage to the property of another person.
In other cases, traffic offences will be dealt with administratively. If you receive an administrative penalty, this information will not be included in your criminal record. If an administrative penalty has already been imposed on you, a police officer can take this into account when he decides on a new penalty.
It is normally the police who deal with traffic offences. If the violation is more serious, your case will be heard by the court.
You have the right to familiarise yourself with the material collected in the case, give explanations and testimony, and file petitions. You may also be represented by a lawyer in administrative cases.
You are entitled to speak in your native language, or the language you understand, or use the services of an interpreter if you do not speak Lithuanian.
What will happen if I am stopped by the police for a violation?
The police officers must introduce themselves when they stop you. If they believe that a breach of law has taken place, they will draw up a document setting out the details of the breach. You will be given a copy of the document. A decision on the fine to be imposed will be taken later at the police office or the court.
You may participate in the procedure when the decision is taken. If you do not participate, the decision will be taken in your absence.
If you do not dispute the circumstances of the violation of the traffic rules, and the fine imposed does not exceed 200 LTL, the document setting out the breach of the law might not be drawn up.
If you have parked your car in an unauthorized manner, you may find a notice on your car, advising you that you have broken the law. The notice will tell you when and where you must attend to deal with the breach. Officers may also put a wheel clamp on your vehicle in order to ensure that the breach is properly dealt with.
Sometimes the police may tow your car away if it is blocking vehicle or pedestrian access, or otherwise breaching other people's rights.
Can I make a complaint?
If you disagree with the decision taken by the police, you may challenge this decision within 10 days. You can appeal to the regional administrative court. If your case was decided by the court, you may make a complaint to the Supreme Administrative Court of the Republic of Lithuania.
What are the penalties for traffic offences?
The penalty for traffic offences is usually a fine. However, in certain circumstances, when the violations are serious, an administrative arrest may be imposed or your driving licence withdrawn. In rare cases, your vehicle may be confiscated. If the violations are insignificant, the police officer may give you a reprimand.
The penalty imposed depends on the nature of the violation. If you are convicted of drink driving (blood alcohol content over 0.41 per mille), you will receive a fine, and in all cases, your driving licence will be withdrawn. Your driving licence may also be withdrawn for exceeding the permitted speed limit by more than 50 km/h. The police officer will tell you the amount of the fine which is applicable to the violation committed. You can find a list of violations and penalties which attach to them on the website of the Lithuanian Police Traffic Supervision Service.
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