Can I appeal?
If the court has convicted you, you can appeal to the Court of Appeal within two weeks. An appeal is lodged by filing a notice with the registry of the court that tried your case. You can also ask your lawyer to do this for you. There are no costs for lodging an appeal.
If you have not lodged an appeal within fourteen days, the district court’s judgment becomes final.
After lodging your appeal, you have two weeks within which to say in writing why you disagree with the verdict and what further investigations you wish to have done. If you have only been sentenced to pay one or more fines totalling no more than €500, you must state within this period and in writing why you disagree with the verdict. The appeal court will then decide whether or not it will hear your appeal.
The public prosecutor may also lodge an appeal against the district court’s verdict, for example if you have been acquitted. In that case he must say why he lodged an appeal within two weeks after lodging the appeal.
What happens if I appeal?
If you lodge an appeal, the judge’s verdict does not become final. If a sentence has been imposed on you, it will not be enforced. If you were held in custody during the trial, you may have to stay in custody during the appeal proceedings. The period of detention should not exceed the prison sentence the court imposed. The appeal court will periodically review your continued detention.
The appeal will be heard as soon as possible. In due course you will receive a summons to appear before the appeal court.
What happens at the appeal hearing?
The appeal court will try your case again based on the district court’s verdict and the objections you (or the public prosecutor) have put forward against it. You have the same rights as at the district court trial. This means that you can present new evidence and call new witnesses.
What happens if the appeal is successful/unsuccessful?
The appeal court can acquit you or convict you. You can be convicted even though the district court acquitted you. If the district court convicted you, the court of appeal may convict you and pronounce the same sentence as the district court but it may also impose a higher, lower or different sentence.
If you want you can appeal to the Supreme Court against the appeal court judgment within fourteen days.
The Supreme Court will examine whether the law was applied properly. It will not examine the facts. You cannot present new evidence or call new witnesses. The Supreme Court can either confirm the appeal judgment or quash it.
If the Supreme Court says your appeal is well-founded, it will either say the appeal court has to examine the case again, or it may dispose of the case itself.
If the appeal court acquits you, you can apply for compensation for your detention, lawyer’s fees and other costs, but only if you are acquitted of all charges. To obtain compensation, you or your lawyer must file an application with the court of appeal within 90 days.
I am from another Member State. Can I be sent back there after the trial?
After the trial the Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Service (“IND”) may, in exceptional cases, decide that you will be forcibly deported to your country of origin. In that case you will be detained for the purpose of deportation and you will be assigned a lawyer free of charge. Forcible deportation does not have any consequences for a future stay in the Netherlands.
In exceptional cases, if you have been convicted and you are a national of another Member State, the Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Service can decide you are an “undesirable alien”. You can appeal against this decision.
If you are declared an undesirable alien, you must leave the Netherlands and you are not allowed to return. If you do, you will be liable to punishment when you enter the Netherlands.
Information about the charges / conviction
Information about the charges and/or the conviction in your case will be kept in a central register in the Netherlands. This also happens if you are acquitted. Your permission is not needed to keep this information and you cannot object to it being kept. You can ask to inspect the information and ask for it to be corrected if you think it is incorrect.
Information relating to a conviction for a crime (with the exception of sex crimes) is kept for 30 years after the end of your trial. In exceptional circumstances this period can be extended by up to ten years. The information will be deleted in any case (regardless of the nature of the crime) when you reach the age of 80, or twenty years after your death.
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