Criminal cases

In a criminal trial it is established whether the suspect has committed an offence and decided what punishment is to be imposed on the person found guilty. Usually criminal cases are handled in an oral hearing of the District Court, but simple cases where the defendant has pleaded guilty may be decided also on the basis of written procedure.

A person will stand trial before a district court if he or she is charged e.g. with theft, driving while intoxicated, assault or some other punishable act. Normally, also the victim’s (injured party’s) claim for compensation is decided in connection with the criminal case.

The participants in a criminal case are the public prosecutor, the defendant and the victim, i.e., the injured party. Often also witnesses are heard in court.

Already before trial a criminal case may be subject to mediation. The offender and the victim may enter into an agreement on the compensation for the damage arising from the offence. However, mediation does not preclude a criminal trial in the matter, especially if a serious offence is concerned.

Under the Act on Compensation for Crime Damage, a crime victim may in certain cases receive a compensation for personal injury, material damage and other damage to property caused by a criminal offence. Further information is available on the website of the State Treasury.

Published 8.9.2017