If, after the receipt of a complaint, the state prosecutor assesses that criminal prosecution is not necessary if the suspect minimises or eliminates the harmful consequences of their actions in accordance with the state prosecutor’s instructions, the latter suspends criminal prosecution. If the suspect fulfils the agreed task, the state prosecutor dismisses the complaint. What is suspended prosecution?
Suspended prosecution is a procedure which is initiated if the data collected reveals that a certain person committed a criminal offence, and the state prosecutor assesses that criminal prosecution is not required if the suspect minimises or eliminates the harmful consequences of their actions in accordance with their instructions.
In this case, the state prosecutor offers the suspect an opportunity to fulfil certain tasks with the injured party’s consent. If the suspect fulfils them, the prosecutor closes the criminal matter without submitting it to the court for discussion.
The procedure of suspended prosecution is governed by Article 162 of the Criminal Procedure Act and the General Instructions on the Uniform Application of Provisions of Article 162 of the Criminal Procedure Act on the Suspension of Criminal Prosecution ( ). Splošno navodilo za enotno uporabo določb 162. člena Zakona o kazenskem postopku o odložitvi kazenskega pregona Which matters are resolved by suspended prosecution?
The procedure of suspended prosecution may be conducted for criminal offences for which a fine or imprisonment of up to three years is prescribed. And also when imprisonment of up to five years is prescribed in the event of special circumstances. Suspended prosecution is particularly suitable in cases against minors.
Cases of minor bodily harm, minor physical assaults against persons or property, minor offences against property, minor traffic accidents and the non-payment of child support are most frequently subject to suspended prosecution. When is suspended prosecution implemented?
Suspended prosecution is implemented when the state prosecutor assesses that the conditions are met for its instigation and the injured party and the suspect agree to it. The injured party’s consent must not be bound by the condition, e.g. fulfilment of a task they propose themselves. How does the procedure of suspended prosecution take place?
The suspect and the injured party receive an invitation to attend the suspended prosecution hearing. If they both agree, a hearing takes place at which the state prosecutor determines a task which the suspect has to fulfil, whereby the prosecutor may consider the injured party’s proposal. If the suspect agrees with the task, the state prosecutor issues a decision in which they define the task and the deadline for its fulfilment.
If the suspect submits evidence on the fulfilment of the task on time, the prosecutor dismisses the criminal complaint with a decision and the case is thus closed. The suspect goes unpunished, is not entered in the criminal record and bears no other costs. Which tasks can the state prosecutor determine?
Elimination of damage or damage compensation;
payment of a certain contribution to the benefit of a public institution, for charitable purposes or to a crime victims’ compensation fund;
settlement of child support;
treatment in a suitable health-care institution;
attendance of suitable psychological or other counselling;
observance of a restraining order prohibiting approach to a victim, another person or a particular location. What happens if the suspect fails to complete the task?
If the suspect fails to fulfil the task, the state prosecutor instigates criminal prosecution against them before the court (they file the indictment). In criminal proceedings, the suspect may be convicted, entered in the criminal record and obliged to pay the costs of criminal proceedings. What does it mean if I receive an invitation as a suspect and what do I do next?
If you receive an invitation as a suspect, it means that:
a criminal complaint has been filed against you and the state prosecutor has assessed on the basis of the data available that you have committed a criminal offence. Which criminal offence you are accused of is described and stated in the invitation;
the state prosecutor has assessed that the case is suitable for suspended prosecution and is giving you an opportunity to resolve the manner outside the court based on the injured party’s consent;
you are invited to a hearing, at which you will be able to propose the fulfilment of a certain task and demonstrate your readiness for an out-of-court resolution of the matter. What do I do?
If you do not wish to participate in the procedure of suspended prosecution, inform the prosecutor’s office which invited you to the hearing.
If you intend to attend the hearing, bring your invitation and an identification document. What does it mean if I, as an injured party, receive an invitation and what should I do?
If you receive an invitation as the injured party, it means that:
you suffered damage/were injured due to the action of the suspect;
you can decide on whether to give the suspect an opportunity to conclude the matter without a court hearing, provided that they follow the prosecutor’s instructions;
you have the opportunity to present the consequences of the suspect’s actions at the hearing;
you can propose to the state prosecutor which task(s) the suspect should fulfil. The state prosecutor is not obliged to observe your proposal. What to do?
If you agree with the suspended prosecution, complete, sign and return the consent form.
If you do not agree with it, inform the prosecutor’s office which sent you the invitation.
Your attendance at the hearing is not mandatory. You can attend if you wish. Do I need a lawyer in the procedure of suspended prosecution?
Suspended prosecution is an alternative method of resolving criminal matters and encroaches significantly less upon a person’s rights if compared to court (criminal) proceedings, which is why the presence of a lawyer is not mandatory by law. A lawyer may be present at the hearing and you bear their fee. What are the consequences of suspended prosecution?
If the suspect fulfils their task within the determined deadline, the state prosecutor closes the case with a decision on the dismissal of the criminal complaint. The suspect is considered unpunished with regard to the relevant action and is not entered in the criminal record.
If the suspect disagrees with the suspended prosecution, does not attend the hearing or does not fulfil the task determined by a decision, the state prosecutor files the indictment with the competent court. In criminal proceedings, the court will be able to deliver a judgment and a criminal sanction and impose the payment of criminal proceedings costs. What are the costs of suspended prosecution?
The injured party and the suspect bear their own costs, or they may agree otherwise.
The suspect’s or the injured party’s costs include their costs of transport to the suspended prosecution hearing, the costs related to their absence from work and the payment of a lawyer’s fee if they choose one.