Under the Constitution of the Czech Republic punishment may be imposed on you only in accordance with the law and in the manner laid down by the relevant laws. These laws are the Criminal Code , the Act on Juvenile Justice, and the Criminal Procedure Code, which establish the rules for criminal proceedings, including specific conditions for exercising and enforcing your rights. These factsheets explain what happens when a person is suspected or accused of a crime. For information on minor offences like road traffic offences, which are usually dealt with by a fixed penalty go to Factsheet 5. If you are the victim of a crime, you can find full information about your rights here.
The following is a summary of the normal stages in the criminal process.
1. Preparatory process
The preparatory process is the first stage of the criminal process. It has two parts:
2. Preliminary discussion of the charge
During the preliminary discussion the court will examine whether the case was properly clarified in the preparatory process and whether the charge provides a proper basis for further proceedings. It also decides whether the court has jurisdiction to decide the case.
3. The trial itself
This is the most important part of the criminal process. Evidence is examined and a decision in the case is made. During this stage of the criminal process the defendant(s) and any witnesses and the injured party or parties are questioned in court. The trial is public, oral and is conducted in Czech. If you do not speak Czech, you have the right to an interpreter.
4. Appeal proceedings
The defendant, his family, lawyer, public prosecutor or the injured party have the right to appeal within 8 days. If an appeal is lodged, the court of appeal reviews the decision of the court of first instance
Please note that the European Commission has no role in criminal proceedings in Member States and cannot assist you if you have a complaint. Information is provided in these factsheets about how to complain and to whom.
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