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Defendants (criminal proceedings)


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Can I appeal?

Can I appeal against the decision at the trial?

You are always entitled to challenge the decision of the court of first instance, by way of a legal remedy. Usually, the first legal remedy available is the appeal. In exceptional cases, certain decisions may be challenged directly by final appeal.

To whom do I appeal? What time limits apply?

The appeal can be declared verbally at the hearing, when the decision is pronounced, or is presented in writing, by filing a notice of appeal to the court that pronounced the decision that you are challenging. The general time limit for appeal is 10 days. When caught in the act of committing the crime, the time limit for appeal is 3 days.

What are the grounds of appeal?

To appeal means to retry the case, therefore the grounds of appeal are not restricted by law. The court has to examine all aspects of the matter, both, factual and legal.

What happens if I appeal?

Who will hear the appeal?

The appeal will be tried by a higher court than the court which made the first decision.

What happens if I am in prison when I appeal?

If you are in prison, you may appeal to the detention unit administration and your presence at the appeal hearing is mandatory.

How long will it be before the appeal is heard?

Appeals are usually heard within a short time. Cases involving detained persons are given priority and are tried with urgency.

Can I produce new evidence for the appeal?

When the matter is retried in appeal, you can produce new evidence. Regardless of whether you produce new evidence or not, the Court of Appeal may also reconsider the evidence produced in the court of first instance.

What happens at the hearing of the appeal? What rules apply?

You may explain your grounds of appeal during the hearing. Essentially, the same rules apply as in the first instance trial. You have the right to respond to new information or evidence which is revealed during the appeal.

What can the court decide?

The court can decide to allow or dismiss the appeal. If the appeal is dismissed, the original decision stands. If the appeal is allowed, the decision challenged is cancelled. Under these circumstances, the court may retry the case and decide to convict or to acquit, or may send the case back to the court of first instance for retrial.

What happens if the appeal is successful/unsuccessful?

If your appeal is successful, you can expect a second appeal from the prosecutor. If your appeal is unsuccessful you are entitled to a second appeal. The second appeal will be tried by a higher court.

If the first decision was wrong, will I get any compensation? What for? How?

If the first decision was wrong, you are not automatically entitled to compensation, unless the decision was a final one and it was corrected by way of appeal. If, during the trial, you were subjected to unlawful restriction or deprivation of liberty, you are entitled to compensation. To this end, you may bring an action to the court against the state represented by the Ministry of Public Finance in this case.

If my appeal is successful, will a record be kept of the conviction?

No, only records of final convictions will be kept.

Is further appeal possible if the first appeal fails?

If the first appeal is dismissed, you have the right to a second appeal. The second appeal is filed with the court that pronounced the decision which you are challenging and it will be heard by a higher court.

When is the conviction final?

The conviction is final when the second appeal court makes its decision, confirming the decision of the lower court or, if it retries the case, pronouncing a decision itself.

I am from another Member State. Can I be sent back there after the trial?

Under what circumstances?

If your conviction is final, you can be sent back to your home country, in order to carry out the sentence.

Is the transfer automatic?

The transfer is not automatic. You have to apply for transfer to the convicting country or to the country where the sentence will be carried out.

What conditions apply?

The conviction must be final, you must have at least 6 months remaining on your sentence (in exceptional cases, this time can be shorter), the actions you were convicted for must also be considered crimes in the state where the sentence will be carried out, and both countries must agree to the transfer.

Who examines the petition to send me back? Can I appeal the decision?

The petition for transfer will be considered by the Court of Appeal in the area where you are imprisoned or where you live if the prison sentence has not yet started. You can appeal the decision within 5 days (Articles 128-139 of Law 302/2004).

If I am convicted, can I be tried again for the same crime?

This is impossible. If a final decision has been made, the matter is considered to be resolved and a retrial is not possible.

Information about the charges/conviction

Will information about the charges and/or the conviction be added to my criminal record?

The information about initiating an investigation or arresting a person will be temporarily added to the criminal record until the final decision is reached. The information about final convictions will be added to the criminal record.

How and where will that information be held?

The criminal record is administered by the Ministry of Administration and Interior and is maintained by the territorial units of the Romanian Police.

How long will it be held?

Criminal records are only purged in certain cases, such as: rehabilitation, amnesty, activity no longer a crime under the law, etc.

Can it be held without my consent?

The information is held by virtue of the law, and your consent is not required.

Can I object to the holding of the information? How, to whom?

You may apply for the correction of the information in your criminal record if it does not match the actual circumstances or the information was not entered in accordance with the law. The application for correction must be justified and filed with the police unit that issued the criminal record (Law no. 290/2004, on criminal records).

Last update: 15/02/2012

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