Criminal Law

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Aims of a successful defence

If you ever receive a letter from either the police or federal prosecutor (Staatsanwalt) and find yourself facing criminal charges, or if your own home is subjected to a police search, you will begin to think about entrusting an attorney with your defense. You will wonder about the advantages of having a defense attorney and whether they are worth the cost. Below we have set out a summary of how criminal proceedings work and explain our aims as defense attorneys.

Criminal procedure essentially comprises a preliminary hearing/investigation (Ermittlungsverfahren) and a main hearing (Hauptverfahren). Preliminary hearings/investigations are conducted by the federal prosecutor. The police conduct inquiries by order of the federal prosecution service (Staatsanwaltschaft). If at the end of a preliminary hearing/investigation there is found to be so-called “reasonable suspicion of an offence“, the federal prosecution service either prefers charges (Anklage) at the appropriate local or regional court, or requests an order of summary punishment (Strafbefehl). If it admits the charge, the court will then set a date for a public main hearing or will issue the requested order of summary punishment.

The aim of a successful criminal defence is, if at all possible, to prevent a public main hearing with all its negative baggage.

So long as you have not been convicted by a judge, you are presumed innocent. The prosecution must provide evidence that you are responsible for a criminal act. Our task as defense attorneys is to use all means provided by due process to protect you from receiving a false or rash judgment.
Even when there may in fact be grounds for an accusation of guilt, there are other ways besides preferring charges, in which the federal prosecution service or the court can bring proceedings to a close. We are constantly committed to getting you the best possible decision with the fewest possible drawbacks.

If avoiding a main hearing proves impossible, you will have at your service a defense attorney resolved upon ensuring that the proceedings brought against you are at all times conducted fairly and in accordance with due process.

Advantages of hiring a defense attorney

At any stage of criminal proceedings (Strafverfahren) you have the right to call on a lawyer to act as your defense attorney. As a rule, it is worth enlisting the help of a lawyer at an early stage in the proceedings. Calling on the services of a defense attorney early on has, inter alia, the advantages:
that you have beside you at all times a competent adviser, one who is exclusively on your side, who observes the strictest confidentiality and in whom you can trust;
that your attorney is able to take a look at official criminal investigation records, and to do so regularly during the course of preliminary proceedings, so that you are constantly kept informed via your attorney of all information concerning the current status of the proceedings being taken against you;
that your attorney, by talking with both the federal prosecutor and police, as well as by making well-directed requests, is able to exert some influence over the course the preliminary proceedings take.
that your attorney often succeeds in bringing a criminal proceeding quietly to close before the preferment of charges and preventing any damage to reputation that might have been caused by a public trial.

At our offices we are pleased to offer legal advice in English, Russian, or French . If necessary, we will use a sworn interpreter. Contact us via eMail.

vpmk Rechtsanwälte Legal Services PartmbB
BERLIN

Monbijouplatz 3a
10178 Berlin-Mitte

Telefon +49 (0)30 536 33 99 0
Telefax +49 (0)30 536 33 99 8

STUTTGART

Blumenstraße 32
70182 Stuttgart

Telefon +49 (0)711 252 69 370
Telefax +49 (0)711 252 69 379

mail [at] vpmk.de

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