Trials in criminal cases

A crime is conduct for which a penalty can be imposed according to law. If you have been a victim of a crime you should notify the police as soon as possible.

In non-emergency situations you should usually contact the local police in the area where the crime has occured. To contact your local police you should either phone them, 114 14, or go to the nearest police station that has a front office open to the public. The emergency number 112 should only be used in the case of emergency situations.

Preliminary investigation

When a crime has been committed the police will investigate what has happened, for example through questioning, investigation of the crime scene and a technical investigation. This is known as the preliminary investigation and it will be led by a police officer or prosecutor. Preliminary investigations are always subject to secrecy.

The police or prosecutor can also decide that a preliminary investigation should be discontinued. This will be done in those cases where, for example, it is not possible to find sufficient evidence for a decision to be made regarding prosecution or where there are no surveillance leads.

What does the court do?

If the preliminary investigation is not discontinued it may result in the prosecutor deciding to prosecute a person for the crime. This means that there will be a trial at the district court.

The function of the court is to consider whether the prosecutor, supported by the investigation, can show that the accused has committed the particular crime alleged by the prosecutor.

Summary penalty order

In the case of less serious crimes, the prosecutor may decide on a so-called summary penalty order instead of prosecuting. This means that the prosecutor, without a trial, decides that the suspect should pay fines. A precondition for this is that the person suspected of the offence has confessed to it. Summary penalty orders are common in the case of traffic offences, for example speeding.




Senast ändrad: 2009-11-27
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Read more at Polisens webbplats (website of the Swedish Police).