How and where can I report a crime?
If you have suffered from a crime you can report it to the police orally or in writing. You can also ask another person to report the crime for you but you need to provide that person with a written authorisation signed by you. The written authorisation will be attached to the case file.
Your spouse and adult children as well as your lawyer can also report the crime instead of you. If you have suffered from domestic violence any member of the family can report the crime to the police.
You can report the crime if you are spouse or adult child of a victim who has died as a result of the crime.
If you choose to report orally you have to go to a police station. The police officer accepting your report will write it down in a record and will ask you to sign it. Written reports must also be signed. You can also report a crime by e-mail if you have a valid electronic signature to sign the report.
Your report has to include your name, occupation, home address and a detailed description of what happened. If you know who the offender is you have to provide all the information you have about him/her. If you have evidence related to the incident you have to attach it to the report. During the investigation of the crime you can also give additional information you consider relevant to the case.
There is no obligatory form to follow. The police have templates for reporting a crime, which are not obligatory and are aimed only to facilitate you.
The report has to be filed in Romanian. If you do not speak Romanian you will be provided with an interpreter free of charge.
In order to receive financial compensation from the State you have to report the crime within 60 days of its occurrence. If due to specific circumstances (e.g. illness) you are not able to report within the deadline you can file your report within 60 days after these circumstances have ceased to exist.
How can I follow up on what the authorities do after I report a crime?
You will receive the registration number, which the police have assigned to your report. You can check the progress of your case by making a written request to the police citing the registration number.
When the police forward the case to the public prosecution office it will be registered under a different reference number. From this point further you can check the progress of your case by submitting a written request to the public prosecution office using this number.
How can I be involved in the investigation of the crime?
You can be involved in the investigation of the crime as:
- a witness;
- a victim; and/or
- a civil party.
You may choose to participate in the proceedings only as a witness. In this case the police or the public prosecutor will call you for an interview and will ask you to describe everything you know about the incident.
If you choose to participate in the proceedings as a victim you have to submit a request to the public prosecutor or the police. You will be allowed to describe what happened and present evidence. The police officer will write down your explanation and will ask you to sign the document, which will then be used as evidence.
If you wish to claim compensation for damages from the offender you have to file a civil claim and thus become a civil party.
You can submit your request for participation as a victim and/or your civil claim at any time during the investigation.
As a victim or a civil party you will receive information about the completion of the investigation and a copy of the public prosecutor’s decision determining whether the case should go to court.
You can claim reimbursement for the expenses you have made in relation to your participation in the proceedings.
- If you have participated as a civil party you will receive reimbursement only if the case goes to court and the offender is convicted (the court will order the offender to reimburse you).
- If you have participated as a victim the court will decide what part of your expenses has to be reimbursed and by whom.
Irrespective of your role in the proceedings you will always be provided with an interpreter free of charge if you do not speak Romanian. You can also use the assistance of a lawyer throughout the proceedings. If you are not able to pay for the lawyer’s fee, you will receive legal assistance free of charge. If you wish, you may request the presence of a representative of the local Probation Service (specialised services attached to each court).
What are my rights as a witness?
You can be interviewed as a witness if you are not participating in the proceedings as a victim and/or civil party. When the public prosecutor or the police call you for an interview as a witness you have to appear and tell everything you know about the incident. You can refuse to give a statement as a witness if you are spouse or close relative of the alleged offender. You can also refuse to answer questions that may reveal a professional secret you are obliged to keep.
You have the right to be informed about the conditions and the procedure to benefit from protection as a witness.
I am a minor. Do I have additional rights?
If you are a child victim of exploitation, violence, abuse, negligence or maltreatment any person, including you, can report the crime to the police.
As a child you can receive assistance from the General Directorate for Child Protection. If you are in danger the General Directorate will request the issuance of an order to accommodate you in a safe place (e.g. another family or a special residential centre).
If you are called for an interview, your parents or guardian must also be present as well as a representative of the local Probation Service.
What information can I obtain from police or victim support organisations during the investigation of the crime?
When you report a crime the police will explain to you the procedure your case will go through. The police are obliged to make a written record indicating what information they have provided to you.
You will also receive information about:
- the organisations you can approach for assistance and the services they provide;
- how and where you can report a crime;
- your right of legal assistance and how to find a lawyer;
- the conditions and the procedure for getting legal aid free of charge;
- your rights during the criminal proceedings;
- how you can receive protection;
- the conditions and the procedure for getting financial compensation from the State.
You can also receive information about your rights as a victim of crime by calling the free hotline 0800 800 886. The hotline works from Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. If you feel in danger you can tell the operator of the hotline who will immediately inform the police.
Can I receive legal aid?
You can receive legal aid free of charge if all of the following conditions are present:
- you are a victim of a specific crime (1) or you are a spouse, child or another person dependant on the victim who has died as a result of such a crime;
- your monthly income per family member before tax does not exceed the minimum monthly wage determined by the Government;
- you have reported the crime to the police within 60 days of its occurrence or within 60 days after the serious circumstances (e.g. illness) that have prevented you from reporting on time have ceased to exist;
- you are the injured party and/or the civil party and the judge decided that you would not be able to take care of your own defence.
Legal aid free of charge is available until the end of the proceedings.
How can I get protection, if I am in danger?
If you have been called for an interview as a witness and you are afraid that your testimony may create danger for your life or health or the life and health of your close relatives you can ask to be interviewed through audio or videoconference without appearing before the police officer or the public prosecutor.
Your personal data can be omitted from the case file and your identity can be kept secret.
If you wish so, a representative of the local Probation Service (specialised services attached to the courts) can be present during your interview.
You can also ask the police officer or the public prosecutor in charge of your case to place you under a special witness protection programme, which may include the following measures:
- secret identity, including participation in hearings with your voice and/or image being distorted by special means;
- police protection of your home and police escort when you have to go to the police or the public prosecutor;
- change of identity, including plastic surgery.
If you enter a special witness protection programme you will be able to benefit from additional assistance such as:
- reinsertion in a different social environment;
- acquiring new professional qualifications;
- new job;
- financial support until you find a new job.
If necessary, your close relatives (spouse, children, parents, etc.) can also be covered by the witness protection programme.
Additional protection is available depending on the type of crime you have suffered from:
- If you are a victim of domestic violence you can ask the court to ban the offender from staying at your shared home. Alternatively, you (and your children if necessary) can be accommodated in a centre for victims of domestic violence. Such accommodation is available only in urgent cases when your safety requires isolation from the offender or when there is a written approval from the family assistant in charge of your case. Once in the centre you will receive accommodation, protection, medical care, food, psychological counselling and legal assistance free of charge.
- If you are a victim of human trafficking you can be accommodated in a centre for victims’ protection. Accommodation is usually available for a period of 10 days but the court may extend your stay until the end of the proceedings. If necessary, the police may provide physical protection during the proceedings.
What services and assistance can I be given during the investigation of the crime?
You can get medical or psychological help but you have to pay for it unless it is covered by your insurance. Citizens of the 27 EU Member States, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland can benefit from the European Health Insurance Card.
If you are a victim of a specific crime (1) you can receive psychological counselling (up to three months for adults and up to six months for children under 18 years of age), medical help and other assistance free of charge. You can benefit from such assistance free of charge only if you have reported the crime to the police. You can apply for assistance at the local Probation Service immediately after filing your report.
If you are a victim of domestic violence you can turn for help to one of the family assistants working for the Ministry of Labor, Family and Social Protection. The Ministry offers various types of assistance to victims of domestic violence during criminal proceedings (e.g. psychological counselling, protection of identity, etc.). As a victim of domestic violence you can also ask to be accommodated in a centre for victims of domestic violence where you will receive protection and counselling.
Are there opportunities to reach settlement/conciliation or to start mediation between the offender and myself?
Mediation is possible only for less serious crimes listed in the law. You as well as the offender can ask for a mediation procedure at any time during the investigation. The procedure is voluntary and can be applied only if both you and the offender agree to participate. During the mediation procedure you will be invited to a serious of meetings with the offender to discuss the possibilities for reconciliation. A person called a mediator will facilitate the meetings. If the procedure concludes with reconciliation you can withdraw your complaint against the offender and the case will be closed. Otherwise, if the procedure has not been successful, the criminal proceedings will continue as if no mediation has ever started.
If you are a victim of domestic violence you can resort to mediation by the family council (all the adult members of the family) or by a professional mediator. This type of mediation will not affect the criminal proceedings.
How will my case continue after the end of the investigation?
After the completion of the investigation the police officer will forward the case to the public prosecutor who will decide how the case should proceed. Based on the collected evidence the public prosecutor may bring the case to court for trial or close it at this stage.
Can I appeal if my case is closed without reaching the court?
If the public prosecutor decides to close the case without bringing it to court, you can appeal against his/her decision and demand continuation of proceedings. Your appeal has to be submitted before the superior prosecutor within 20 days of receiving a copy of the decision. The superior prosecutor has to decide on your appeal within 20 days. The decision of the superior prosecutor can be appealed in court.
I am a foreigner. How are my rights and interests protected?
If you are a foreigner who has suffered from a crime in Romania you can benefit from all the rights explained above. You also have some additional rights to facilitate your participation in the procedure.
If you do not speak Romanian you will be provided with an interpreter free of charge to assist you when you report the crime and when you communicate with the authorities during the proceedings.
If you are a victim of human trafficking you can be accommodated in special shelters where you will be protected. You will receive information about the procedure in a language you understand and you can benefit from psychological counselling and medical assistance. Authorities will do their best to help you get to your home country as soon as possible and provide secure transport to the Romanian border.
You can also claim financial compensation from the state, if you have been the victim of: murder, attempted murder, aggravated murder, injury, rape, sex with a minor.
- Code of Criminal Procedure (Codul de procedură penală) – in Romanian and English
- Law no. 678/2001 regarding the prevention and countering of human trafficking (Legea 678/2001 privind prevenirea si combaterea traficului de persoane) – in Romanian and English
- Government Decision 299/2003 regarding approval of the Regulation for implementation of the Law 678/2001 (Hotararea de Guvern 299/2003 privind Regulamentulul de aplicare a Legii 678/2001) – in Romanian
- Government Decision 1216/2001 for the approval of National Action Plan regarding the prevention and countering of human trafficking (Hotararea de Guvern nr. 1.216/2001 privind aprobarea Planului national de actiune pentru combaterea traficului de fiinte umane) – in Romanian
- Government Decision 1295/2004 regarding the National Action Plan to prevent and combat child trafficking (Hotararea de Guvern 1295/2004 privind aprobarea Planului national de actiune pentru prevenirea si combaterea traficului de copii) – in Romanian
- Law 211/2004 regarding some measures to protect victims of crime (Legea 211/2004 privind unele masuri pentru asigurarea protectiei victimelor infractiunilor) – in Romanian
- Emergency Ordinance 113/2007 to modify Law 211/2004 regarding some measures to protect victims of crime (Ordonanţă de Urgenţă nr.113/2007 pentru modificarea şi completarea Legii nr. 211/2004 privind unele măsuri pentru asigurarea protecţiei victimelor infracţiunilor) – in Romanian
- Government Decision 1238/2007 regarding the approval of national specific standards for assistance services to victims of trafficking (Hotărârea Guvernului nr. 1238 din 10 octombrie 2007 pentru aprobarea Standardelor naţionale specifice pentru serviciile specializate de asistenţă a victimelor traficului de persoane – in Romanian
- Law no 129/2002 for the approval of Government Ordinance no 92/2000 regarding the organization of the Services for perpetrator’s social reintegration (Legea 129/ 2002 pentru aprobarea OG nr. 92/2000 privind organizarea si functionarea serviciilor de reintegrare sociala a infractorilor) – in Romanian
- Law 217/2002 regarding the prevention of domestic violence (Legea 217/2003 pentru prevenirea si combaterea violentei in familie) – in Romanian
- Government Decision 686/2005 for the approval of National Strategy against family violence (Hotararea de Guvern 686/2005 pentru aprobarea Strategiei National in domeniul prevenirii si combaterii fenomenului violentei in familie) – in Romanian
- Law 272/2004 for promoting and protecting the child rights (Legea 272/2004 pentru promovarea si protectia drepturilor copilului) – in Romanian and English
- Law 682/2002 regarding witness protection (Legea 682/2002 privind protectia martorilor) – in Romanian
- Law 192/2006 regarding mediation and the organisation of the mediator profession (Legea 192/2006 privind medierea si organizarea profesiei de mediator) - in English
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