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Criminal Procedure Law

 

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Section 6. Mandatory Nature of Criminal Proceedings
The official who is authorised to perform criminal proceedings has a duty within his or
her competence to initiate criminal proceedings and to lead such proceedings to the fair
regulation of criminal legal relations provided for in The Criminal Law in each case where the
reason and grounds for initiating criminal proceedings have become known.
[12 March 2009]

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Section 11. Language to be Used in the Criminal Proceedings
(1) The criminal proceedings shall take place in the official language.
(2) If a person who has a rights to a defence, a victim and his or her representative, a witness,
specialist, expert, auditor, as well as other persons who a person directing the proceedings has
involved in the criminal proceedings does not speak the official language, such persons have
the right to use the language that such persons understand during the performance of
procedural actions, and to use the assistance of an interpreter free of charge, whose
participation shall be ensured by the person directing the proceedings. In the pre-trial
proceedings, the investigating judge or court shall provide for the participation of an
interpreter in the hearing of issues that fall within the jurisdiction of the investigating judge or
court.
(3) In issuing procedural documents to a person involved in the criminal proceedings who
does not understand the official language, such person shall be ensured, in the cases provided
for by law, a translation of such documents in a language understood by such person.
(4) A person directing the proceedings may perform a separate procedural action in another
language by appending a translation of the procedural documents in the official language.
(5) In the criminal proceedings, complaints received in another language shall be translated
into the official language only in the case of necessity, which shall be determined by the
person directing the proceedings.
[19 January 2006]

Section 12. Guaranteeing of Civil Rights
(1) Criminal proceedings shall be performed in compliance with internationally recognised
civil rights and without allowing for the imposition of unjustified criminal procedural duties
or excessive intervention in the life of a person.
(2) Civil rights may be restricted only in cases where such restriction is required for public
safety reasons, and only in accordance with the procedures specified by this Law according to
the character and danger of the criminal offence.
(3) The application of safety measures related to the deprivation of liberty, the infringement of
the immunity of publicly inaccessible places, and the confidentiality of correspondence and
means of communication shall be permitted only with the consent of the investigating judge
or court.
(4) An official, who performs the criminal proceedings, has a duty to protect the
confidentiality of the private life of a person and the commercial confidentiality of a person.
Information regarding such confidentiality shall be obtained and used only in the case where
such information is necessary in order to clarify conditions that are to be proven.
(5) A natural person has the right to request that a criminal case does not include information
regarding the private life, commercial activities, and financial situation of such person or the
betrothed, spouse, parents, grandparents, children grandchildren, brothers or sisters of such
person, as well as of the person with whom the relevant natural person is living together and
with whom he or she has a common (joint) household (hereinafter – the immediate family), if
such information is not necessary for the fair regulation of criminal legal relations.
[12 March 2009]


Section 13. Prohibition of Torture and Debasement
(1) Debasement, blackmail, torture, the threatening of a person with torture or violence, or the
use of violence shall not be allowed in criminal proceedings.
(2) If a person resists the performance of separate procedural actions, hinders the progress
thereof, or refuses to duly fulfil his or her procedural duties, the security measures provided
for in the Law for the ensuring of a concrete procedural action may be applied to such person.
(3) In order to overcome the physical resistance of a person, a performer of procedural actions
or, on the basis of his or her invitation, employees of the State police may apply physical
force in exceptional cases, without needlessly inflicting pain on such person or humiliating
such person.


Section 14. Rights to the Completion of Criminal Proceedings in a Reasonable Term
(1) Each person has the right to the completion of criminal proceedings within a reasonable
term, that is, without unjustified delay. The completion of criminal proceedings within a
reasonable term is connected with the scope of a case, legal complexity, amount of procedural
activities, attitude of persons involved in the proceedings towards fulfilment of duties and
other objective conditions.
(2) A person directing the proceedings shall choose the simplest type of criminal proceedings
that complies with the concrete conditions, and shall not allow for unjustified intervention in
the life of a person and unfounded expenditures.
(3) Criminal proceedings wherein a security measure related to the deprivation of liberty has
been applied or a specially procedurally protected person is involved shall have preference, in
comparison with other criminal proceedings, in the ensuring of a reasonable term.
(4) Criminal proceedings against an underage person shall have preference, in comparison
with similar criminal proceedings against a person of legal age, in the ensuring of a
reasonable term.
(5) The inobservance of a reasonable term may be the grounds for the termination of
proceedings in accordance with the procedures specified by this Law.
[12 March 2009]


Section 15. Rights to the Adjudication of a Matter in Court
Each person has a right to the adjudication of a matter in a fair, objective, and
independent court.


Section 16. Rights to the Objective Progress of Criminal Proceedings
(1) Officials who perform criminal proceedings, interpreters, and specialists shall withdraw
from participation in criminal proceedings if such persons are personally interested in the
result, or if conditions exist that justifiably give persons involved in the criminal proceedings
a reason to believe that such interest may exist.
(2) A person who performs defence, a victim, the representative of the victim, and an official
who is authorised to perform criminal proceedings but is not the person directing the
proceedings has the right to raise an objection if the conditions referred to in Paragraph one of
this Section exist.
(3) A person directing the proceedings or the officials specified in the Law shall, on the basis
of the initiative thereof or on the basis of an objection, suspend the participation of the
persons referred to in Paragraph one of this Section in proceedings if such persons have not
excused themselves.


Section 17. Separation of Procedural Functions
The function of a control of restrictions of human rights in a pre-trial proceedings, and
the function of prosecution, defence, and court adjudication in criminal proceedings shall be
separate.
[21 October 2010]


Section 18. Equivalence of Procedural Authorisations
Persons involved in criminal proceedings have authorisation (rights and duties) that
ensures for such persons equivalent actualisation of the tasks and guaranteed rights specified
in regulatory enactments.
[12 March 2009]


Section 19. Presumption of Innocence
(1) No person shall be considered guilty until the guilt of such person in the committing of a
criminal offence has been determined in accordance with the procedure specified by this Law.
(2) A person who has the right to assistance of a defence counsel shall not need to prove his or
her innocence.
(3) All reasonable doubts regarding guilt that it is not able to eliminate shall be evaluated as
beneficial for the person who has the right to defence.


Section 20. Rights to Assistance of Counsel
(1) Each person regarding whom an assumption or allegation has been expressed that such
person has committed a criminal offence has the right to assistance of a defence counsel, that
is, the right to know what offence such person is suspected of committing or is being accused
of committing, and to choose his or her position of defence.
(2) A person may implement the right to assistance of counsel by him or herself, or invite as a
defence counsel, at his or her own choice, a person who may be a defence counsel in
accordance with this Law.
(3) The participation of a defence counsel is mandatory in the cases specified in this Law.
(4) If a person may not invite a defence counsel due to his or her financial situation, the State
shall ensure assistance of a defence counsel for such person and decide on the remuneration of
the defence counsel from State resources, completely or partially discharging such person
from such payment.


Section 21. Rights to Co-operation
(1) A person who has the right to assistance of a defence counsel may co-operate with an
official authorised to perform criminal proceedings in order to promote the regulation of
criminal legal relations.
(2) Co-operation may be expressed in the following ways:
1) in the selection of the simplest type of proceedings;
2) in the promotion of the progress of proceedings;
3) in the disclosure of criminal offences committed by other persons;
(3) Co-operation is possible from the moment of the commencement of criminal proceedings
until the execution of a punishment.


Section 22. Rights to Compensation for Inflicted Harm
A person upon whom harm has been inflicted by a criminal offence shall, taking into
account the moral injury, physical suffering, and financial loss thereof, be guaranteed
procedural opportunities for the requesting and receipt of moral and financial compensation.


Section 23. Court Adjudication
In criminal cases, court shall be adjudicated by a court, examining and deciding, in
hearings, the validity of a prosecution brought against a person, acquitting innocent persons,
or recognising persons as innocent in the committing of a criminal offence and determining
the compulsory execution, by State institutions and persons, of a regulation of criminal legal
relations that, if necessary, shall be implemented by forced execution.


Section 24. Defence of a Person and Property in the Case of a Threat
(1) A person who is threatened in connection to the execution of the criminal procedural duty
thereof has the right to request that a person directing the proceedings carry out the measures
provided for by law for the defence of such person and the property thereof.
(2) In receiving the information referred to in Paragraph one of this Section, a person
directing the proceedings shall, depending on the concrete circumstances, decide on the
necessity to perform one or more of the following measures:
1) the commencement of another criminal proceedings for the investigation of the
threat;
2) the selection of a corresponding security measure for the persons in the interest of
whom the threat has taken place;
3) the institution of the determination of special procedural protection for the person
who has been threatened;
4) the assigning of law enforcement institutions the task of performing protection of
the person or the property thereof.
(3) If the measures referred to in Paragraph two of this Section are not able to prevent an
actual threat to the life of a person, a person directing the proceedings shall refuse the use of
the evidence that is the case of the threat.


Section 25. Inadmissibility of Double Jeopardy (ne bis in idem)
(1) A person may be tried and punished for one and the same criminal offence only the one
time.
(2) Repeated trial is not:
1) a repeated adjudication of a criminal case in a court of any instance, if the previous
court adjudication has been revoked, in accordance with the appeal procedures specified in
the Law, before the entering into effect thereof;
2) a new adjudication of a criminal case on the basis of newly disclosed circumstances
in accordance with the procedures and in the cases specified by law.
(3) In the cases provided for in the Law, a criminal case may be repeatedly adjudicated, with a
judgment that has entered into effect, for the improvement of the condition of a convicted
person.
(4) Within the meaning of this Section, punishing is the determination of a punishment
provided for in The Criminal Law, a security measure, or the determination of a mandatory
duty in an adjudication with which a concrete criminal proceedings are terminated.
(5) If in punishing a person it is determined that an administrative punishment has been
applied to such person regarding the same offence, such administrative punishment shall be
revoked and taken into account in determining a criminal punishment.
(6) A person may not be tried and punished in Latvia if such person has been convicted or
acquitted for the same offence in a foreign state with which Latvia has an agreement
regarding mutual recognition of criminal judgments or an agreement regarding the observance
of the principles of ne bis in idem. If a person has been convicted in a foreign state, the part of
the punishment that has already been served is to be included in the punishment in the case of
repeat adjudication.
(7) The principle of ne bis in idem is not violated if in punishing a legal person, a natural
person is also punished who has committed a criminal offence in the interest of the legal
person, operating individually or as a member of a collegial authority of the relevant legal
person, based on the right to represent the legal person, operate under the order thereof, or
take decisions on behalf of the legal person, or also in implementing control within the
framework of the legal person or in the service of the legal person.

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