You as civil claimant (1), private prosecutor (2) and subsidiary prosecutor (3) may appeal against a sentence or if the defendant is declared not guilty. Two types of appeal are available to you depending on your role in the proceedings and on the reason for the appeal.
An appeal may involve alleged mistakes in the interpretation or application of the law and alleged essential mistakes of the main proceedings (called “appeal for nullity”) or it may concern the determination of the penalty or civil law claim (“appeal”).
If the court acquits the defendant it will forward your civil claim to a civil court. You as civil claimant or subsidiary prosecutor may appeal for nullity if your civil claim was forwarded to a civil court and it is evident that the denial of a motion to take evidence had negatively affected the court’s decision on your civil claim.
You as civil claimant or subsidiary prosecutor may appeal if in case of a conviction the court forwards your civil claim to a civil court, even though it would have been well-founded and justified.
As a private prosecutor you have two options. If the defendant is acquitted at first instance you may file an appeal for nullity. If the defendant is convicted you have an appeal if you do not agree with the penalty and if the court refers your compensation claim to the civil court.
If you were not present at the hearing when the court announced its decision you can examine the file to find out if the defendant was found guilty or not. The sentence must provide reasons that are handed out in written form and signed by the judge within four weeks after the pronouncement.
If you have participated in the trial as civil claimant, subsidiary prosecutor or private prosecutor and you want to appeal against the court’s decision you have to state your intention within three days of the announcement of the decision. After you state your intention to appeal you will receive a copy of the court decision. You have to submit your appeal within four weeks of the announcement of the court’s decision.
You can apply for legal assistance and representation free of charge to file your appeal. If necessary this can include translation free of charge. It has to be granted by the court if the legal assistance is necessary and if your income is not enough to pay for the legal representation without endangering subsistence.
A case can only be appealed once. The Austrian criminal procedure only has two instances.
After the sentence enters into force you will not be given any information actively by the authorities.
Information about the release of the offender will neither be given nor be visible in the file you may inspect.
Regarding a prison sentence a new, separate file of imprisonment will be opened and you as victim, civil claimant, private or subsidiary prosecutor cannot gain access to this file.
The right to victim assistance services (4) ends after the final judgement.
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