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Rights of defendants in criminal proceedings - Hungary

The following factsheets explain what happens when a person is suspected of or accused of a crime which is dealt with by a trial in court. For information on minor offences like road traffic offences - which are usually dealt with by a fixed penalty like a fine – 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.

The stages of the criminal process

The investigation: during this phase, the prosecutor explores all the evidence surrounding the crime and decides whether to file charges. As part of this, the prosecutor attempts to establish the identity of the person who committed the crime and to locate all the evidence.

The prosecution phase: during this phase, based on the evidence collected, the prosecutor decides whether further investigation is necessary, or he files charges. The prosecutor may also decide to terminate the case.

The court of first instance: the court carries out the procedure of taking evidence (it hears witnesses, conducts witness confrontations etc.), then decides whether the accused is guilty of the criminal acts. If yes, it decides on a punishment, or applies some other measure (a lighter sanction).

The appeal: both the defence and the prosecution may appeal the decision of the court of first instance. It is the appeal court that decides about the appeal: it may hear or change the first instance decision, or – where ordering a new procedure – may annul the first instance decision.

The court of third instance: If the accused is acquitted at the court of first instance but is sentenced at the appeal court, or vice versa, a further appeal is possible at the court of third instance.

Information about the above stages of the criminal procedure and about your rights can be found in the factsheets. This information is not a substitute for legal advice and is intended for guidance only.

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 would like to seek a legal remedy. 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

  • Taking of evidence
  • Coercive measures and other restrictions of rights
  • The introduction of documents

Link opens in new window3 – My rights during the trial

Link opens in new window4 – My rights after the trial

Link opens in new window5 – Road traffic offences

Related links

Link opens in new windowLegal regulation search

Link opens in new windowThe Criminal Procedures Law

Link opens in new windowThe Police

Link opens in new windowThe Prosecutors’ Offices

Link opens in new windowThe Courts

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: 07/04/2017