Your rights during a police interrogation

Your rights during a police interrogation

Right to the assistance of a lawyer

When you need to be interrogated, you always have the right to a prior confidential consultation with a lawyer and the assistance of your lawyer during the interrogation. This both as a suspect, victim or witness.

For juvenile suspects, the presence of a juvenile lawyer during questioning is even mandatory.

Notification of charges

At the start of the interrogation, the police services should give you a brief communication of the offences you will be questioned about.

You should know what offences you are charged with, as well as where and when the offences are alleged to have occurred.

The police should further inform you that you may request that all questions and answers be recorded in your own words. You should also be informed that your statements can be used as evidence in court, that you have the right to request that a certain investigative act be carried out, that you can have documents added to your statement and that you are not obliged to incriminate yourself.

Right to silence

You always have the right to remain silent under Article 6.1 ECHR. You cannot be obliged to incriminate yourself. This means that you can always refuse to answer the questions asked.

After all, the prosecution has to prove that someone is guilty. A suspect cannot be obliged to prove his own guilt or innocence.

You cannot be punished (more severely) for lack of cooperation. However, the public prosecutor or the criminal judge who will ultimately have to rule on the case can infer some suspicions from the silence (e.g. no clear explanation, no alibi…).

Right to an interpreter

If you wish to make your statement in a language other than the language that will be used in the proceedings, you have the right to be assisted by a sworn interpreter. If you are being questioned as a suspect, this is free of charge.

If no interpreter is available, you can record your statements yourself in your own language.

Right to leave

As long as you have not been arrested by the police, you always have the right to go wherever you want. If you wish to end the interrogation and leave, you may do so.

Review of your statement

At the end of your interview, you always have the right to read your statement. You can also ask the police officer to read your statement to you.

You have the right to have your statement amended. You can improve your statements, omit pieces or add things.

You will be asked to sign your statement, but you are not obliged to do so.

Copy of your statement

The police should always give you a copy of your statement afterwards, free of charge.

Only in certain exceptional situations can they refuse to give you this immediately.


Do you still have questions about the conduct of a police interrogation or would you like assistance from our lawyers during a police interrogation? Contact us at We will be happy to help you.