You will be considered a victim of crime if you have suffered as the result of an offence which carries a penalty under criminal law; for example, if you suffer injury or your property is lost due to damage or theft. As a victim of crime, you have certain legal rights both during and after criminal proceedings. You may also receive various forms of assistance and support and receive compensation or damages arising from the offence.
In Poland, criminal proceedings consist of a preliminary investigation and court proceedings. Preliminary investigations are undertaken before court proceedings. Their purpose is to determine the facts of the offence committed and identify the perpetrators. The police and the prosecution service gather evidence. If the evidence they gather is sufficient, the perpetrators will be charged. If not, the case will be dropped. The prosecution service’s indictment will be examined by the court.
During the trial, the court examines the evidence gathered to establish whether the accused is guilty. If the accused is found guilty as charged, he or she will be subject to the penalty provided for by law. If not, he or she will be cleared of all charges.
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