Criminal proceedings in district court

What happens before a trial?

Police investigates the offence

When an offence has been reported to the police, they start investigating it. The person suspected of the offence and the victim are questioned. Other persons who may know something that can help determine the course of events are also questioned.

During the criminal investigation carried out by the police, the victim is also inquired whether he or she has any claims for damages.

The decision on whether a case investigated by the police will be taken to court is made by the prosecutor.

Prosecutor decides whether to bring a charge

If the prosecutor considers that there are grounds to bring a charge against the suspect, he or she submits an application for a summons and other related documentation to a district court. The application for a summons indicates the charge brought against the suspect.

If the offence is petty, the prosecutor may, under conditions laid down in the law, decide not to bring a charge. If the victim of the offence considers the prosecutor's decision to be wrongful, the victim may bring a charge himself or herself.