Victims' rights - by country


Content provided by:

You will be considered a victim of crime if you have suffered damage, e.g. you have been injured or your property has been damaged or stolen, etc., as a result of an incident, which constitutes a crime according to national law. As a victim of crime, the law grants you certain individual rights before, during and after court proceedings (trial).

Criminal proceedings in Austria start with the investigation of the crime. The police and the public prosecutor carry out the investigation. After the investigation is completed the public prosecutor may decide to close the proceedings, to order alternative measures to conventional criminal proceedings or to continue the proceedings by bringing the case to the court. For certain criminal offences the trial starts only if you as a victim lodge a complaint to the court. In these cases no pre-trial investigation is carried out.

During the trial, the court holds a hearing and examines the collected evidence. Depending on the seriousness of the crime the case may be heard by:

  • a single judge; or
  • a panel of one judge and two lay judges who decide on the question of guilt and on the penalty; or
  • a jury court consisting of three judges and an eight-member jury where the jury decides on the guilt of the defendant and the judges together with the jury determine the penalty.

You as a victim can take a significant part in criminal proceedings and thus benefit from a variety of rights available to you. You can participate as a victim without a specific legal status or have a more active role by formally becoming a civil claimant, subsidiary prosecutor or private prosecutor.

Click on the following links to find the information you are looking for:

1 - My rights as a victim of crime

2 - Reporting a crime and my rights during the investigation or trial

3 - My rights after trial

4 - Compensation

5 - My rights to support and assistance

Last update: 06/11/2018

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.
Member States in charge of the management of national content pages are in the process of updating some of the content on this website in the light of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union. If the site contains content that does not yet reflect the withdrawal of the United Kingdom, it is unintentional and will be addressed.


Use the form below to share your comments and feedback on our new website