Fines for drunk driving in Germany

Fines for drunk driving in Germany

For drunk driving in Germany obviously fines are imposed rather than prison punishments. The amount to be paid depends on a variety of factors, such as the blood alcohol, was anyone endangered, did an accident happen, are there any previous convictions etc.

The fine itself is calculated in a system of daily rates. The number of daily rates depends on the seriousness of the trespassing, the amount depends on the income of the accused.

We often find numbers of daily rates varying between 30 (which would be very mild) and 120. But higher or lower numbers are possible. 

For calculating the amount the net income of the person is taken and divided by thirty. But not only tax has to be reduced from the income, but also other aspects will be taken into account.

For these other factors, there are no strict rules by law, it depends to a great deal on the practice at that certain court or judge. From a general experience you might say that if a person is married, 20 % of the income are subtracted, for each child it could be ten %. 

Other factors might also be taken into account like regular obligations for compounding debts etc.

What is really important is that those factors are communicated to the prosecution at an early stage. This is particularly true, if the case is not brought to court for an oral hearing, but might be finished with an „order of punishment“ – which is a written procedure. 

If you have an issue in Germany with a criminal procedure of any kind, you should contact a competent lawyer – with whom you can really communicate in English.

If you need us, you can find all availabilities here

 

Dr. Donat Ebert
Rechtsanwalt
Lawyer in D and HU
office-ebert@email.de

credo of a defense lawyer

credo of a defense lawyer

The other day I read in of my favourite law-books (I read other stuff also, well, sometimes). It is „letters to a young lawyer“ by Alan Dershowitz. In the chapter: „should good lawyers defend bad people“ he writes:

„Overzealous lawyers are a pain in the ass to some judges. I know. I am one. We make their job harder by contesting every issue, demanding every right and disputing every prosecutorial allegation, so long as it is in the best interest of the client (both short-term and long-term). That is the key to defining appropriately zealous advocacy: It must always be in the legitimate interest of the client. Its purpose is not to make you feel good or virtuous, but to help the client win by any ethical and lawful means.“

(Alan Dershowitz, letters to a young lawyer, Basic Books, 2005, page 56).

I fully agree with this attitude. But, mind you, do not mix up an „overzealous lawyer“ with a professional trouble-maker – who annoys the court and will bring no advantage to the client. 

You have to know when to make trouble and when to be more like a lamb. 

In German criminal cases it might often be useful to cut a „good deal“ than to make the procedure drag along and risk a high sentence. 

Which tactics to choose has to be discussed with the client. It is his/her decision. And then let the defender proceed in the way he finds best.

If you have an issue with German Criminal Law, you can pick up contact here. We will assist you in English.

Dr. Donat Ebert Rechtsanwalt Lawyer in D and HU office-ebert@email.de

Dr. Donat Ebert
Rechtsanwalt – Lawyer (D and HU)
office-ebert@email.de

Remission for „good behaviour“ in German Criminal Law

Remission for „good behaviour“ in German Criminal Law

In Germany a prisoner can be released after serving two-thirds of his/her sentence for „good behaviour“.

The conditions are named in section 57 of the German Criminal Code: 

„Section 57
Conditional early release—fixed-term imprisonment

(1) The court shall grant conditional early release from a fixed-term sentence of imprisonment under an operational period of probation, if

1.  two thirds of the imposed sentence, but not less than two months, have been served; and

2.  the release is appropriate considering public security interests; and

3.  the convicted person consents.

The decision shall particularly consider the personality of the convicted person, his previous history, the circumstances of his offence, the importance of the legal interest endangered should he re-offend, the conduct of the convicted person while serving his sentence, his circumstances and the effects an early release are to be expected to have on him.“

(Quoted from here, translation by Prof. Dr. Michael Bohlander.)

In practice it usually means that the prisoner did not „behave badly“, the release after two-thirds is rather the rule than the exception. 

If you have an issue in German Criminal Law, do not hesitate to contact us here

Dr. Donat Ebert

Dr. Donat Ebert
Lawyer (D)
office-ebert@email.de

 

Arrest warrant from UNMIK

Arrest warrant from UNMIK

What is an UNMIK and „where to put“ an arrest warrant from them. The short video gives some insight: 

 

If you have an issue with an arrest warrant from UNMIK, you can get into contact with us here

Dr. Donat Ebert Rechtsanwalt Lawyer - Avokat office-ebert@email.de

Dr. Donat Ebert
Rechtsanwalt
Lawyer – Avokat
office-ebert@email.de

Victim of crime in Germany

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. 

Dr. Donat Ebert Rechtsanwalt, Lawyer (D) office-ebert@email.de

Dr. Donat Ebert
Rechtsanwalt, Lawyer (D)
office-ebert@email.de

 

Spent conviction in Germany

Spent conviction in Germany

When do you have to disclose a former conviction in Germany, e.g. to an employer if s/he asks you in an interview, whether you have a former conviction?

The German BZRG (Federal Law on Registry of Convictions) says that an ordinary „criminal record disclosure“ („Führungszeugnis“) will not reveal a former conviction, if the fine imposed did not consist in more than 90 daily units and there is no other punishment registered.

If justified because of the kind of employment, the employer may ask for more detailed information, but that depends on the individual case. 

If you have any issue with German Criminal Law, do not hesitate to contact us here. We are happy to assist you in English.

Dr. Donat Ebert Rechtsanwalt - lawyer office-ebert@email.de

Dr. Donat Ebert
Rechtsanwalt – lawyer
office-ebert@email.de

compensation for imprisonment in Germany

Compensation for imprisonment in Germany – how much do you get?

One would think that Germany is a rich country and therefore pays a lot as compensation for imprisonment, if their authorities arrest somebody who later on turns out to be innocent. 

The bad news is: compensation in Germany is quite modest, it amounts to 25,- € for every day spent in custody.

If there is a pecuniary loss that goes beyond the 25,- € per day, this also has to be settled by the state, but here it is usually quite difficult to prove the close connection between the loss and the imprisonment. 

If you have any issue in German Criminal Law or you have a criminal procedure going on in Germany, do not hesitate to contact us here.

Dr. Donat Ebert Rechtsanwalt - Lawyer germanlawyer@email.de

Dr. Donat Ebert
Rechtsanwalt – Lawyer
germanlawyer@email.de

Hungarian Arrest Warrant

Hungarian Arrest Warrant

On this website I have expressed several times that Hungarian courts and judges are a lot better than their reputation. But I also keeping criticizing  facts that need to be criticized and I keep warning from certain behaviours that will bring you trouble. 

Concerning criminal law there is one thing that needs to be clear: Summons from Hungarian authorities have to be followed, also if the summons is „only“ from the Hungarian police. Other than in other jurisdictions – for example Germany – in Hungary the suspect has to appear in front of the police, if he is officially called upon to do so. Nonobservance of such an invitation might – and usually does – lead to the issuance of a Hungarian Arrest Warrant in the form of a European Arrest Warrant. The consequence can be severe: The addressee of the Warrant might be arrested at home in front of his children or at his workplace. 

Once in custody the arrested stays there for usually thirty days until his transfer to Hungary is administered. In Hungary then he will be interviewed and then possibly released – because he confessed and the offence is a comparatively light one. Believe me, this can happen, I have seen it several times. The principle of proportionality is not always observed by Hungarian authorities. To formulate it a bit more strikingly: It is often not paid attention to. I keep criticising that this before Hungarian courts – to be honest: with little success. 

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has recently decided – 05. April 2016, C-404/15 – that the extradition to Hungary can be refused by the other national authorities, if it is not guaranteed that the arrested person will meet with conditions in his custody that are in respect of his Human Rights. Background of this judgement are the overcrowded prisons in Hungary. In the prison you see on the picture for example – the infamous „Gyorskocsi“-prison in Budapest – suspects are kept in cells with 8 people. But there are also other things to complain about – prisons often have not been renovated for decades, their condition is accordingly.

 Yet the judgement from the ECJ in Luxembourg is not a guarantee that the person will not be transferred to Hungary. But it is an argument to convince the national authorities not to send the individual to Hungary. It is definitely worth trying.

In case you have such constellation as described above – Hungarian Arrest Warrant – or any other problem with Hungarian Criminal Law you can contact us here. We are happy to help and support your case.  

Dr. Donat Ebert Rechtsanwalt - Lawyer germanlawyer@email.de

Dr. Donat Ebert
Rechtsanwalt – Lawyer
germanlawyer@email.de

Biased interpreter

The biased interpreter – an often undiscovered problem in German criminal procedures

Before I have written about the „incompetent interpreters“ in German court-rooms – today we deal with the biased interpreter.

To start with we can state that court-room interpreters are not the „cream of the crop“. Their pay is not high enough to satisfy the really good one. Of course there are excellent interpreters who enjoy the work in the court-room. But they are hard to find.

Most interpreters you meet with in a criminal or civil procedure live from that kind of profession. And this is where it starts becoming delicate. They depend on getting jobs from the court and from the prosecution. Which might lead them to be a bit „kinder“ towards their employer. Be a person like the one on the picture above.

I do not want to say that they misinterpret intentionally. This would be against their oath and against their professional honor. I do not want to say that – here there should be no misunderstanding here.

But I do say that there is a danger that they might – subconsciously – tend to say rather what they think the prosecutor or the court wants to hear than to go into a conflict. Because the party or the defendant says something nobody would expect. 

I have never seen an interpreter in an argument with the court or the prosecutor – though there would have been reason for that. 

It is hard to detect such constellation and even harder than to get this across to the listener – the authorities. Because the court would rather believe the interpreter than the lawyer. Therefore it is essential that the lawyer has profound knowledge of the language his/her client speaks and can convey this to the person in charge – again the judge or court.

If you have to stand in court in a criminal procedure against you where you do not speak the official language of the court, it could be do unrepairable damage if you are not understood in the way you should. Try to avoid this by hiring a lawyer speaking your language.

If you have an issue in the German legal system and you speak English, you can contact us for help and support here

Dr. Donat Ebert Rechtsanwalt - Lawyer germanlawyer@email.de

Dr. Donat Ebert
Rechtsanwalt – Lawyer
germanlawyer@email.de

Incompetent interpreter in a criminal procedure

Incompetent interpreter in a criminal procedure with a non-native speaker as defendant

One would think that in Germany English-interpretation in a criminal procedure should not be a problem.

Unfortunately my experience tells otherwise.

I will never forget the criminal procedure, where the judge asked the defendant whether he knows the witness – a plain-clothes policeman who had tried to sell him drugs. The defendant – an African citizen – said in English in a defiant voice: „I know him, right?“ Which was translated into German: „I know him very well!“

It was not only a nuance which was wrong. The whole essence of the answer was interpreted in a totally wrong way! And the judge would not even realize it!

Do not expect German judges or prosecutors to speak proper English. In general I am often shocked how downright lousy the knowledge of basic English in Germany is. So as a result, the opposite side – judges, prosecutors – will often not even be aware that something is wrong with the interpretation. And even if they do, they often do not care. 

The work of an incompetent interpreter can make your chance much dimmer in a criminal procedure – right from the beginning. 

You should avoid such unfairness by hiring a lawyer for yourself who speaks your language. Not just a bit. Properly. Who understands nuance. And who can discern when the incompetent interpreter makes a mistake. And protect you against the consequences of such amateur work. 

If you have an issue in German criminal law and need a competent, committed and discreet defender, you can contact us here.

Dr. Donat Ebert Rechtsanwalt - Lawyer germanlawyer@email.de

Dr. Donat Ebert
Rechtsanwalt – Lawyer
germanlawyer@email.de

 

 

summons by Hungarian police

Summons by Hungarian police – what to do?

Have you received summons by Hungarian police to come to an interview as suspect? It is difficult to decide whether you should go, this of course depends on the circumstances that only you know. But what you should be aware of is that if you do not turn up to the interview, it is very likely that the authorities will issue a European arrest warrant. 

We have it often in our practice that citizens from abroad do not follow the invitation to come to an interview, maybe because in their jurisdiction you do not have to follow such summons by the police (as for example in Germany). But in Hungary, you have to appear upon an invitation for interview as a suspect. There is no way around it. 

So you should be aware of the result, which might be that you get arrested in your home country and have to spend several weeks (usually nearly 30 days) in a cell until you are extradited. 

If you are in such situation, you should consult a competent lawyers who knows the Hungarian system and practice and who speaks your language.

Being a German and Hungarian lawyer, I am ready to give advice and help you go through this procedure. 

If you have any further question, do not hesitate to contact me here

Dr. Donat Ebert Rechtsanwalt - Lawyer - Ügyvéd (D, HU) germanlawyer@email.de

Dr. Donat Ebert
Rechtsanwalt – Lawyer – Ügyvéd (D, HU)
germanlawyer@email.de

Family member arrested in Germany – what can you do?

Family member arrested in Germany – what can you do?

Everyone arrested in Germany has to have a lawyer – whether he wants or not. That is what the law says, no way around it.

But what can you do, if the colleague does not give you information or you are not satisfied with him/her or your relative is not? You are afraid s/he does not do a good job, because s/he is “only” allocated by the state, not a freely chosen one.

First thing: try to calm down! Most German lawyers do a good, committed job, whether they are freely chosen or paid by the state.

Second: Try to get someone involved who is a German lawyer and can provide you with information and who speaks your language, even if it is only through an interpreter.

In Germany, everyone can have a maximum of three lawyers, so there is no obstacle that another lawyer also takes the case and gives you the information you need – on condition the client, your relative who is in detention, agrees to that. If not, no chance!

In our office we usually take care that the one in prison can somehow keep informed about home. Because otherwise it is very hard for them to be in prison: In a country where you do not speak the language and when they do not know what is happening at home. How is their family? Their wife? Their partner, fiancé? Their kids? We take care that they get this information.

Our communication with clients in prison is privileged, which means we can write to them, our letters get to them quicker, because authorities are not allowed to read or even open them. We are allowed to give them basic information about their family at home – but obviously no misuse of this privilege will ever take place from our side.

And we do not have a problem to cooperate with other colleagues – on the contrary, we know that it can be very good for the client and the case. Even if it costs more, it is well-invested money. For the sake of your relative and for your own sake.

Do not hesitate to contact us, we are happy to help.

Dr. Donat Ebert Rechtsanwalt - Lawyer (D) germanlawyer@email.de

Dr. Donat Ebert
Rechtsanwalt – Lawyer (D)
germanlawyer@email.de

car accident in Germany

car accident in Germany – we take care of all your legal problems.

Be it on a holiday-trip to Germany or when you are there on business, having a car accident in another country is always a challenging experience.

Possibly you do not speak the language on a sufficient level, but very probably you do not know the law and how solve the situation with all the parties involved, be it people who got harmed (bodily or financially), the insurance of the opponent, the police, other authorities, maybe even the prosecution office. And of course you want to get your own compensation to the full extent of what is your right. 

In such situation it is good to know a lawyer by your side with whom you can communicate in your language, whom you give an authority and then are freed from a large burden. 

If you need any help after an accident in Germany, do not hesitate to contact us. 

Dr. Donat Ebert

Dr. Donat Ebert
Rechtsanwalt
office-ebert@email.de

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What is a victim´s lawyer in Germany?

A victim´s lawyer in Germany can represent you in the criminal procedure against the wrongdoer

If you are the victim or the close relative of a very serious crime being tried in Germany, you can choose a lawyer to represent you in the criminal procedure. 

Crimes where such representation is possible are of the most serious nature, e.g. rape, causing of bodily harm, human trafficking, murder (then a close relative), attempted murder or manslaughter. Economic crimes (like embezzlement, fraud) do not fall into this category unless they have very serious consequences. Also some infringements from patent, trademark and intellectual property law can belong to this category. 

As a victim of such crimes you can join the side of the prosecution as a so-called „private accessory prosecutor“. And you can ask to be assigned a lawyer to represent you in the procedure. If the conditions for that are met, the assigned colleague will be paid by the State and you are not burdened with any costs. Also your own costs will be reimbursed (travel expenses etc.)

The rights the „private accessory prosecutor is vested with are totally like the ones a prosecutor has in the court-room: to ask questions to witnesses, experts etc, give statements, file motions of any kind admissible, ask for replacement of judges for suspected bias, give objections to what other participants in the trial do or say. 

To have a lawyer representing you at an early stage might be very useful to get access to the dossier of the case and to intervene at an early stage of the investigation, if necessary. This might be very useful to get full information about what direction the case is taking, why is take so long etc.

A victim´s lawyer – if he is usually a defender himself – will understand the steps the defense is taking and can object or try to obstruct possible maneuvers by the defense. 

A good victim´s lawyer will also be able to give information as to how to get compensation, be it from the defendant or the State. 

If you have any further questions, do not hesitate to contact us.

Dr. Donat Ebert Rechtsanwalt -Lawyer germanlawyer@email.de

Dr. Donat Ebert
Rechtsanwalt -Lawyer
germanlawyer@email.de

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