You are a victim of crime if you have suffered harm of any kind, such as a violent act or damage to or removal of your property, as a result of an act classified as a crime under national law. As a victim of crime, under the law you have certain rights before, during and after criminal proceedings.
Criminal proceedings in Portugal take place in two stages: investigation and trial. During the investigation, the police and the Public Prosecution Service (Ministério Publico) investigate the case and attempt to collect evidence that identifies who committed the crime. If there is sufficient evidence to consider that the suspect committed the crime, the Public Prosecution Service will forward the case to court for trial. The court, in turn, will examine the evidence collected and rule accordingly, acquitting or convicting the suspect.
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