Accused | In Principle

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What rights does the accused have?

The accused is a person against whom an arraignment has been brought in court, or a person against whom the prosecutor has requested a conditional discontinuance of proceedings or filed an application for surrender to serve a sentence and impose punishments agreed with the accused. The accused is a party to criminal proceedings before the court. A basic right of the accused is the right to a defence. The accused can defend himself personally or with the assistance of counsel. In certain cases the accused must have defence counsel (see the article “Suspect”).

If the accused is under provisional arrest, he can communicate with his defence counsel in the absence of other people or by mail, but in the investigation phase the prosecutor may in particularly justified cases require the presence of the prosecutor or the prosecutor’s representative. This condition cannot be made or upheld more than 14 days after a provisional arrest.

The accused may, among other things:

  • Submit written or oral motions and other statements for the record
  • File evidentiary motions
  • Question witnesses
  • Provide explanations, but the accused may also refuse to answer specific questions or provide explanations without giving any reason, and must be informed of this right
  • Provide explanations with each piece of evidence submitted
  • File an application for court-appointed counsel
  • Review the case file during the proceedings and make copies of it
  • Obtain photocopies of documents from the case file for a fee (or make photocopies of the case file free of charge)
  • Take part in any taking of evidence outside the trial, but an accused deprived of liberty is brought in only when the court deems it necessary
  • Apply for correction of the hearing and session record, indicating inaccuracies and omissions
  • Request preparation of a written justification of the judgment and delivery of a copy of the judgment together with the justification
  • Enter appeals
  • Seek damages for losses or compensation for injury from the State Treasury
    • Resulting from enforcement against him in whole or part of a punishment which should not have been imposed on him
    • Related to application of preventive measures, or
    • In the event of undoubtedly unwarranted provisional arrest or detention.