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Special proceedings
In addition to the ordinary criminal proceedings, there are three special types of proceedings:
 
 
 
 
Summary judgment procedure

The summary judgment procedure is used to judge people who are caught in the act of committing a crime punishable by up to five years in prison, have just committed the crime or, immediately after the crime, have been pursued by any person or found with objects or signs which show clearly what they had just done.

It is extremely likely that the defendant committed the crime and, consequently, no investigation stages are necessary and the trial is held 48 hours after the defendant’s arrest.

This period can be extended to 5 days if it includes a weekend or a holiday. However, the trial of the defendant may be postponed for up to a maximum of 20 days after the arrest if he/she requests time to prepare a defence, when the Public Prosecutor takes the view that it is necessary to collect essential evidence to uncover the truth, or when this is essential to ensure the presence of witnesses or to file exams, expert witness reports or documents, which the judge considers vital for the court's decision.

The victim can be named as an assistant or act as a civil party if he/she requests this, even if only orally, at the beginning of the trial.

 

 
     
 
The fast-track procedure

The fast-track procedure is, as the name implies, shorter than the ordinary procedure. Where there is clear and simple evidence that the offence committed is one punishable with a fine or a term of imprisonment of not more than five years (for example, some cases of bodily harm, threats, petty theft, etc.) and as to who committed the crime, the Public Prosecutor may charge the defendant in the 90 days after the crime, on the basis of the charge sheet prepared by the police or after a brief investigation.

Clear and simple evidence essentially includes document evidence or the evidence of witnesses who were present and have identical versions of what happened.

Upon receiving the charge, the judge schedules a date for the trial, which takes precedence over ordinary trials (except urgent proceedings).

This type of proceeding was created to deal with crimes such as bouncing a cheque or media libel where the proof is practically already available as it consists of documents. Hence, the intention is to speed up these proceedings by shortening the different stages in the case.

 

 
     
 
The simplified procedure

The simplified procedure applies in cases involving crimes punishable with either a term of imprisonment of not more than five years or only a fine (for example, non-aggravated bodily harm, threats, petty theft). Its purpose is to simplify criminal proceedings by reaching a consensus.

At the end of the inquiry stage, the Public Prosecutorat the request of the defendant or after questioning the defendant and taking the view that in this particular case, the penalty to be imposed should not be a term of imprisonment, files an application with the court in which, after describing the facts, the evidence and the laws infringed, he/she justifies the reasons for not imposing a term of imprisonment, and closes with the proposed penalty.

Afterwards:

  • If the judgeagrees, he/she notifies the defendant of the application filed by the Public Prosecutor and asks whether or not the defendant agrees with the proposed penalty. If the defendant agrees, he/she is convicted accordingly and the case comes to an end.
  • If the judge does not agree or if he/she agrees but the defendant does not accept the penalty proposed by the Public Prosecutor, the case will proceed as a different kind of proceeding.
    There are no civil parties allowed in this kind of proceeding but the court may grant financial reparation to the victim.

In summary, as this form of proceeding is based on an agreement between the judge, the Public Prosecutor and the defendant (and the assistant, in private crime cases), there is no trial.