Can I appeal against a sentence or if the defendant is declared not guilty?
The trial will conclude with a final court decision on the case. If there is sufficient evidence that the offender has committed the crime the court will convict him/her and impose a penalty. Otherwise the defendant will be acquitted and released. You will be informed of the court’s decision and you will receive a copy of it.
As a victim, if you are not satisfied with the court’s decision you can appeal against it. You have to submit your appeal in writing. The deadline for the submission of the appeal is 10 days following the date on which you have received the copy of the decision or 20 days if the court has extended the deadline. You should formally address your appeal to the court superior to the one that issued the decision but submit it to the court whose decision you are appealing against. A full list of courts is available online at the Latvian Judicial Portal.
You will be informed about the time and place of the court hearing. You can attend the hearing and you can benefit from the same rights that are available to you during the trial.
Is further appeal possible?
If you are not satisfied with the decision on your appeal and you believe the court has not observed the relevant legal provisions you have the opportunity to appeal before the Senate of the Supreme Court. The deadline for appeal is ten days after you have been informed about the decision. You can ask the court to extend the deadline up to 20 days.
The Senate of the Supreme Court may decide to examine the case in a so-called “written procedure” without holding a hearing. In this case you can present your arguments only in writing.
You can also object to the written procedure and request the holding of a hearing. If the court agrees to hold a public hearing you will receive information about its time and place. You can attend the hearing and present your arguments orally to the court.
What rights do I have after the court sentence enters into force?
The court’s decision will enter into force after all opportunities for appeal are exhausted. You can request and receive a copy of the final court’s decision. If the offender has been ordered to pay you compensation for damages the court will provide you with a document called “writ of execution”, which you can use if the defendant refuses to pay compensation.
The law does not provide you with the opportunity to receive information about the release of the offender or to make a statement when early release is being discussed but you can continue to benefit from protection measures if you are still in danger.
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