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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 confers certain individual rights to you, before, during and after court proceedings (trial).
Criminal proceedings in Finland start with pre-trial investigation of the crime, conducted usually by the police. During this stage, it will be established whether or not an offence has actually been committed, under what circumstances it occurred and the identity of the parties concerned as well as the extent of the injury or damage caused by the offence and your claims as a victim will be examined.
If there is sufficient evidence that a criminal act was committed the prosecutor will press the charge and bring the case to the court. During the trial the court examines the evidence and either convicts the alleged offender or declares him or her not guilty. The criminal proceedings may continue with possible appeal before a higher court.
The following factsheets will take you through the different steps your case will go through, describing your rights during the investigation of the crime, during the trial or after the first trial. Also, read more about the help and support you can get.
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