Your rights when reporting a crime and during the pre-trial investigation
You shall have the following rights when reporting a crime and during the pre-trial investigation:
You shall have the right to receive a written confirmation that your report of the crime has been received by the police station. The confirmation is made by either making a copy of your report or by preparing a certificate confirming the receipt. The confirmative document will be sent to you within two working days by e-mail or post mail.
You shall have the right to receive a notification on the investigation which was opened according to your report or refusal to open an investigation. When refusing to open an investigation, the officer writes down his decision by indicating the reason for refusing to open an investigation, as well as indicating the procedures under which this decision can be appealed against. This decision must be sent to you by mail.
If a decision is made to refuse to open an investigation based on your report, you shall have the right to appeal against this decision if you do not agree to it. You may file a complaint to the prosecutor within twenty days. If the prosecutor does not satisfy the complaint, you shall have the right to make another appeal to the judge against the decision. You shall also have the right to have access to all the material on the basis of which a decision was made to not open a pre-trial investigation.
This person can be anyone whom you trust – a friend, a close relative, or a specialized support centre employee. He/she shall have the right to be with you when you report a crime and when you are questioned.
A police officer shall inform the person who is accompanying you about the established procedures which he (she) must follow, for example, how to act during questioning. The investigator or prosecutor may not allow the accompanying person to participate in the process if a decision is made that his/her participation could be detrimental to your interests or the interests of the case, for example, when the person is interested in a certain outcome of the case.
If you do not speak the national language, you shall have the right to receive a translation of all the most important documents of the process to your native language or to a language that you understand. You shall also have the right to receive interpretation services during pre-trial investigation questioning and when giving evidence to the court.
You shall have the right to receive the contact details of the investigator responsible for your case, in order to maintain communication with him. If the case is transferred to another officer, you must be informed and new contact details must be provided to you.
You shall have the right to receive information from the officer carrying out the investigation on the progress and stage of the investigation, for example, whether questioning is carried out, evidence is collected, or whether the investigation is already complete and the case is brought to court.
You and your lawyer shall have the right to have access to the material of the investigation, excluding the personal data of other participants of the process. You shall also have the right to make copies of the documents of the investigation material.
You can access the material of the investigation at any time of the investigation, by submitting a written request to the prosecutor. The prosecutor may not grant access to the material of the investigation if he believes that this could harm the investigation. The investigator or the prosecutor will provide you with detailed information on the procedures of accessing the pre-trial investigation material.
You shall have the right to request to be informed if the suspect is released from custody or has escaped.
You shall have the right to submit requests related to the investigation, for example, request for a specific witness to be questioned, request for expert conclusions and similar.
You shall have the right to request for a pre-trial investigation officer, prosecutor, pre-trial investigation judge, expert, interpreter or specialist to be suspended. This is performed in writing, by providing the motives of such a request for suspension.
You shall have the right to appeal against the actions and decisions of the pre-trial investigation officer, prosecutor or pre-trial investigation judge, for example, decision to not question your witness or decision to prevent you from accessing the pre-trial investigation material.
Even though a pre-trial investigation officer will question you in order to collect data necessary for the investigation, you may provide items or documents significant to the investigation and the case upon your own initiative, for example, extracts from medical institutions, video footage, e-mails, messages, etc.
If the prosecutor or judge decides to terminate the pre-trial investigation, you must be informed and shall have the right to appeal against such a decision. If such a decision is made by a prosecutor, it can be appealed against within twenty days to the senior prosecutor. If such a decision is made by a pre-trial judge, it can be appealed against within seven days to a higher court – county court.