Defense PDF Print E-mail

 

Right to defense of a person, against whom criminal proceeding is conducted, is an embodiment of the requirement to guarantee full protection of lawful interests and rights of this person. The right to defense is an instrument designed to ensure that innocents are exonerated and the perpetrators condemned only for the crime they have committed, and that the crime is awarded with a just sentence.

 

The right to defense comprises:

- right for personal defense

- right of the accused person to request all authorities involved in criminal proceedings to ascertain all matters of fact objectively

- tight to choose a defense counsel and to consult him.

 

Right of personal defense means the accused person has the right to defend himself personally in criminal proceedings. He has the right to comment on all matters he is charged with, to propose producing evidence attesting his innocence. The accused person also has the right not to testify. He has the right to make proposals and file petitions, in particular to make evidentiary proposals and apply remedial measures.

 

Right of the accused person to request all authorities involved in criminal proceedings to ascertain all matters of fact objectively corresponds to the obligation of authorities involved in criminal proceedings to ascertain matters of fact attesting the innocence of the accused person, i.e. not only matters of fact proving his guilt.

 

The right to choose a defense counsel and to consult him consists in the fact that the accused person may consult his defense counsel at any time in any stage of criminal proceedings. If the accused person is in custody or serving a sentence of imprisonment, he may consult his defense counsel without the presence of any third person. No other person may be present to such conversation. Moreover, the accused person has the right to have a defense counsel appointed to him and the right to have the defense counsel present in procedural actions.

 

There is also a new possibility for the accused person to participate in negotiating an agreement on the guilt and punishment, whereas he must be mandatorily represented by an attorney.

The Code of Criminal Procedure stipulates also other cases, in which the accused person must have a defense counsel, even though he did not choose one or even does not wish to have one (mandatory defense).

 

Precedence is always given to the defense counsel chosen by the accused person before the defense counsel chosen by another person or appointed by the court.

 

The Code of Criminal Procedure guarantees that the accused person may be entitled to representation by defense counsel free of charge or at a reduced rate. In such cases the costs of defense are fully or in part borne by the state.

 

Authorities involved in criminal proceedings (police authorities, public prosecutor, court) are obliged in each stage of criminal proceedings to advise the accused person of his rights allowing him to fully utilize his defense and to allow him to fully exercise these rights.

 

The Code of Criminal Procedure stipulates the right of any person to use their mother language when dealing with authorities involved in criminal proceedings, or more precisely to use a language they know. If they do not know the Czech language, an interpreter will be appointed. Not appointing an interpreter in such case constitutes a violation of the right to defense.

 

Insufficient ability of the juvenile to duly defend himself is reflected in broadly designed institution of mandatory defense. The Juvenile Justice Act provides that juveniles must be represented by a defense counsel from the moment the measures provided for in the Juvenile Justice Act or actions stipulated in the Code of Criminal Procedure are applied against him, including urgent and unrepeatable actions, unless the action cannot be delayed and notification of the defense counsel cannot be secured. Juveniles must always be advised on his rights and provided with the opportunity to fully exercise them.

 

 
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