Victim of crime in Germany
If you or members of your family are victim of a crime in Germany, there is a variety of rights you have.
Of course you can ask for compensation from the person convicted for the crime.
There might also be a possibility to get compensation from State or similar Organizations.
What is very important is that you can actively take part in the trial against the person who committed the crime against you or your loved on. This can happen in accordance with Section 395 of the German Criminal Procedural Code. Upon this right, you can take part in the court sessions on the side of the prosecution and you are furnished with the same rights as the prosecution. Thus you can make submissions, request the court to check special evidence, give statements, put questions and so forth.
Since usually the victims are legal laymen, they can also appoint a lawyer to make use of their rights. The costs can be paid for by the State, if the crime has reached certain weight. It is also very advisable to employ a lawyer, particularly if your command of the German language is not sufficient to follow a serious criminal procedure.
If you make use of your right to take part in the procedure as so-called „private accessory prosecutor“, you can of course still be a witness on the trial. Your role on the side of the prosecution has no impact whatsoever on your role as witness. But here again it is more advisable to let your lawyer sit on the bench beside the prosecutor, because as a witness it might be more wise not to be in the court-room, before you take the stand as a witness.
If you choose representation by a lawyer, it is advisable to employ a lawyer who is also an experienced defender, since s/he will then know better how to act in a criminal procedure and might be able to counteract the maneuvers of the persons who did harm to you or your loved one.
If you have an issue with German Criminal Law, we will assist you in English. Here you find our contact details.