In the investigation stage the defendant is called suspect, following charges accused and following the final sentence convicted. The defendant has the right to defence.
Rights of the defendant
The defendant has the right
- to be informed about the suspicion, the subject of charges and their modification;
- to be present during the procedural actions and to have access to the files of the case concerning him or her;
- to be provided with adequate time and opportunity to prepare for the defence;
- to present facts in his or her defence at any stage of the proceedings, to make motions and observations;
- to seek legal remedy;
- to be informed by the court, the public prosecutor or the investigating authority about his or her rights and obligations in connection with the criminal proceedings.
The defendant may defend his or herself in person or can be defended by a defence attorney at any stage of the proceedings. If defence is mandatory in the proceeding and the defendant has not mandated any defence attorney, a defence attorney is mandated ex officio; however the defendant has the right to mandate a defence attorney as well.
If the proceeding of a defence attorney is not mandatory during the proceedings but the defendant cannot ensure proper legal defence due to his or her income, he or she may request the appointment of a defence attorney.
Obligations of the defence attorney
The defence attorney shall contact the defendant without delay; use all lawful instruments and ways of defence in due time in the interest of the defendant; inform the defendant about the legitimate means of defence; inform the defendant about his or her rights; as well as to urge investigation of facts that relieve the defendant and mitigate the defendants responsibility. The defence attorney may gather information about the case, obtain or collect information within the framework of possibilities and conditions provided by law.
Attorney acting in the interest of the witness
In the interest of the witness an authorized attorney may act if the witness considers it necessary for the purpose of gathering information on his or her rights. During the hearing of the witness the attorney may be present, may provide information about his or her rights, but may not conduct any other activity and may not influence the witness in any way. After questioning the defence attorney acting in the interest of the witness may examine the minutes of the hearing and may submit his or her observations in writing or orally.