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Rights of defendants in criminal proceedings - Czech Republic

Please note that the original language version of this page Czech has been amended recently. The language version you are now viewing is currently being prepared by our translators.

Under the Constitution of the Czech Republic punishment may be imposed on you only in accordance with the law and in the manner laid down by the relevant laws. These laws are Link opens in new windowthe Criminal Code , Link opens in new windowthe Act on Juvenile Justice, and  Link opens in new windowthe Criminal Procedure Code, which establish the rules for criminal proceedings, including specific conditions for exercising and enforcing your rights.

These factsheets explain what happens when a person is suspected or accused of a crime. For information on minor offences like road traffic offences, which are usually dealt with by a fixed penalty go to Link opens in new windowFactsheet 5.

If you are the victim of a crime, you can find full information about your rights here.

Summary of the criminal process

The following is a summary of the normal stages in the criminal process.

1.             Preparatory process

The preparatory process is the first stage of the criminal process. It has two parts:

  • The procedures of the authorities responsible for the criminal process prior to the start of a criminal prosecution, known as the examination stage; and
  • The investigation stage, the part of the criminal prosecution from its start to the filing of a charge or its termination in a different manner (see )Link opens in new window#Podstránka_2Link opens in new window.

2.             Preliminary discussion of the charge

During the preliminary discussion the court will examine whether the case was properly clarified in the preparatory process and whether the charge provides a proper basis for further proceedings.  It also decides whether the court has jurisdiction to decide the case.

3.             The trial itself

This is the most important part of the criminal process. Evidence is examined and a decision in the case is made. During this stage of the criminal process the defendant(s) and any witnesses and the injured party or parties are questioned in court. The trial is public, oral and is conducted in Czech. If you do not speak Czech, you have the right to an interpreter.

4.             Appeal proceedings

The defendant, his family, lawyer, public prosecutor or the injured party have the right to appeal  within 8 days.  If an appeal is lodged, the court of appeal reviews the decision of the court of first instance

Role of the European Commission

Please note that the European Commission has no role in criminal proceedings in Member States and cannot assist you if you have a complaint. Information is provided in these factsheets about how to complain and to whom.

Click on the links below to find the information that you need

Link opens in new window1 – Getting legal advice

Link opens in new window2 – My rights during the investigation of a crime and before the case goes to court

  • Examination
  • Investigation
  • Custody
  • Decision in the preparatory process, a charge
  • Abbreviated preparatory process

Link opens in new window3 – My rights during the trial

  • Court trial
  • Sentences; rights of the victim

Link opens in new window4 – My rights after the court makes its decision

Link opens in new window5 – Traffic and other minor offences

Related links

Link opens in new windowCzech Ministry of Justice

Link opens in new windowCzech Ministry of Interior

Link opens in new windowCzech Bar Association

Link opens in new windowInformation on Human Rights

Link opens in new windowLegal information for all

The national language version of this page is maintained by the respective Member State. The translations have been done by the European Commission service. Possible changes introduced in the original by the competent national authority may not be yet reflected in the translations. The European Commission accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever with regard to any information or data contained or referred to in this document. Please refer to the legal notice to see copyright rules for the Member State responsible for this page.

Last update: 16/09/2020