Victims' rights - by country

Hungary

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Hungary

Can I appeal against a sentence or if the defendant is declared not guilty?

Is further appeal possible?

What rights do I have after the court sentence enters into force?

More information

Can I appeal against a sentence or if the defendant is declared not guilty?

As a victim, you are generally not entitled to appeal the decision of the first instance court before the second instance and your right depends on your capacity in the proceedings.

As a substitute private prosecutor (1) or private prosecutor (2), you may not ask the court to have the defendant acquitted, but may only ask for his/her conviction or for a more severe sanction. As a civil claimant (3), you may appeal against provisions of the first instance court decision on the merits of your civil claim. You may appeal, based on legal or factual reasons.

After the announcement of the judgment, the judge will ask you, if you are present, whether you want to appeal. You may make a statement in this regard on the spot but you may also have three days to decide. If you are not present and the judgement is delivered to you in writing, you have eight days to submit an appeal. You may submit written reasons for the appeal you have announced orally at least eight days before the session of the second instance court.

You are notified about the open sittings of the second (and third) instance court by post at least five days before the hearing.

Is further appeal possible?

As a substitute private prosecutor (1) or private prosecutor (2), you may appeal against the second instance court decision before the third instance court. You may not request the court to have the defendant acquitted, but may only ask for his/her conviction or for a more severe sanction. As a civil claimant (3), you are not entitled to appeal at the third instance.

Appeals may be submitted if the second instance court violated the provisions of criminal law and, as a result, the defendant was acquitted at the first instance and convicted at the second, or the other way round. After the announcement of the decision, the judge will ask you, if you are present, whether you want to appeal. You have a deadline of three days to decide. If you are not present and the judgement is delivered to you in writing, you have eight days from the delivery to submit an appeal.

What rights do I have after the court sentence enters into force?

As a victim or substitute private prosecutor (1), you receive a copy of the judgements/decisions on the merits of the case of all court instances. You are also entitled to have them translated free of charge. After the sentence enters into force, your role in the proceedings is generally over.

You may have copies of the case file within eight days of your making a request to the court.

You may be protected under the special Protection Programme (4), if the proceedings concern an especially serious crime.

If you had participated in the procedure as a civil claimant (3) and the offender’s property was frozen upon your request, you have 30 days after the decision in the case to initiate the procedure aimed at the enforcement of your claim, provided that the compensation was granted to you. If the criminal court has decided that your claim should be decided on in another procedure, you have 60 days to enforce your claim in front of a civil court. You have to notify the criminal court of any steps taken, otherwise the freezing of the property will be terminated. The deadlines of 30 and 60 days shall be counted from the communication of the decision.

More information:

  • Act XIX of 1998 on the Criminal Procedure (1998. évi XIX. törvény a büntetőeljárásról) – in Hungarian
  • Act LXXXV of 2001 on the Protection Program of those Participating in Criminal Proceedings and Supporting Jurisdiction (2001. évi LXXXV. törvény a büntetőeljárásban részt vevők, az igazságszolgáltatást segítők Védelmi Programjáról) – in Hungarian
Notes:

1. Substitute private prosecutor
You can join proceedings as a substitute private prosecutor, if you have submitted a report to the police or the prosecutor and your appeal against its rejection or the termination of investigation was rejected. You can do this within 60 days of the communication of the rejection only if:
· the report was rejected because (i) the act in question was not considered a criminal offence, or (ii) the alleged perpetrator is not legally punishable;
· the investigation was terminated because (i) the act in question was not considered a criminal offence, (ii) the criminal offence was not committed by the alleged perpetrator, or this may not be established, or (iii) the alleged perpetrator is not legally punishable.
After the end of the investigation, you may also act as substitute private prosecutor, if the prosecutor has decided not to file an indictment about some elements of the crime.
During the trial, you can become a substitute private prosecutor if the prosecutor drops the charges against the defendant in the course of the proceedings. The decision to drop charges is delivered to you by post. If you do not stand as a substitute private prosecutor within 60 days, the court terminates proceedings.
As a substitute private prosecutor, you have to be represented by an attorney, unless you have completed a bar exam. If you want act in the procedure as a substitute private prosecutor, you have the right to examine the case files after the rejection of your appeal. You have 60 days to file your request to become a substitute private prosecutor via your legal representative at the first instance public prosecutor. The request is decided on by the court.
If you cannot afford to retain an attorney, you may request personal cost exemption and free legal representation from the Legal Aid Service. You should notify the authorities about requesting these, since the 60-day deadline starts to run only after the communication of the decision on granting you free legal aid.

2. Private prosecutor
For crimes such as minor bodily harm, infringement of private or postal secrecy, defamation, libel and irreverence you can only initiate proceedings as a private prosecutor (by what is called a "private motion"). You will be able to exercise all the rights of the public prosecutor. To submit a report about such a crime, which will be considered as a motion to become a private prosecutor, you have 30 days once you know the identity of the offender. The private motion is a report in which you have to expressly state that you want the perpetrator to be punished. Evidence should also be indicated in the report. If an ordinary investigation has begun and it turns out that the offence falls into this category, you have 30 days to state whether you want to act as a private prosecutor.
Reports are usually submitted to the court in writing or orally. You can also submit one to the police or prosecutor and they will forward it to the court, unless the prosecutor decides that he/she wants to proceed with an ordinary investigation and takes over the prosecution. The court orders investigation if the perpetrator’s identity, personal data or place of residence is unknown or there is a need to search for a specific piece of evidence. If the identity of the unknown perpetrator could not have been established in the course of the investigation either, the court terminates the procedure.
The court orders a special hearing and if the reconciliation is unsuccessful, schedules a court hearing. You will be summoned both to the special hearing and the court hearing.. If you fail to show up in front of the court and fail to provide a well-grounded reason for that, the procedure is terminated. You may drop the charges in the course of the proceedings, in the case of which the procedure will be terminated by the court.
You may appeal both against the first instance and second instance decision, but only ‘against’ the defendant, thus with regard to the conviction or not of the defendant or for a more severe sanction to be imposed.

3. Civil claimant
If you have sustained damages as a consequence of the offence, you can act as a civil claimant and claim compensation from the offender in your crime report. Claiming compensation is free of charge. In this case the court decides in the same procedure on the question of criminal liability and on the claim for compensation and you do not have to initiate a separate lawsuit. If you have a well-grounded suspicion that the offender may frustrate your efforts, you can request in the report the freezing of his/her property.

4. Protection programme
You may participate in the special Protection Programme during and after criminal proceedings for an especially serious crime if:
· you will give testimony about significant elements of the crime or the offender/criminal group;
· your testimony will contribute to a great extent to proving the case or identifying the perpetrator;
· a violent crime or one endangering the public might be committed against you to prevent you from participating in the proceedings;
· you cannot be protected by means of simple personal protection.
Your family members and, exceptionally, other persons, may also take part in the Programme, if this is acceptable in view of the aim of the protection and your situation.
The Protection Programme may include the following measures:
· change of domicile or residence;
· change of identity;
· personal protection;
· making your personal data from public informational sources inaccessible for the public;
· changing your name, etc.
Last update: 05/07/2018

The national language version of this page is maintained by the respective Member State. The translations have been done by the European Commission service. Possible changes introduced in the original by the competent national authority may not be yet reflected in the translations. The European Commission accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever with regard to any information or data contained or referred to in this document. Please refer to the legal notice to see copyright rules for the Member State responsible for this page.

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