4 December 2018

How does a criminal trial?

Most people do not know how the trial. They accompanied us mostly just an idea built on the basis of watched movies and series – to a large extent the US. The real process in the Polish reality goes out otherwise. It is less spectacular and runs in a strictly defined by the criminal law the way that I present below. More details can be known in the seat of my office in Zielona Gora.

The first hearing

Everything starts with the so-called. call hearing, the names are read out by the clerk in the hallway “the case of the accused X”. Those interested in entering the hall, and the chairman of the checks that:

  • turning up all called (it is necessary to verify the presence of the appropriate list)
  • there are no obstacles to hear the case,
  • they were allowed to process all the evidence.

At this stage, it can be concluded the judge. Then the witnesses are asked to leave the room, because under Polish criminal law those who have not yet heard, can not participate in the hearing of other witnesses. They remain, in turn, experts, unless the judge orders otherwise and the victim. The court interrogates him as the first.


An important moment is, of course, hearing the prosecutor read the indictment, or rather its summary. From now on, during the trial of the case is being dealt with in an open and oral. The chairman shall apply directly to the accused, in order to:

  • instruct him of the right to provide explanations or their refusal and the same – to answer questions,
  • ask if you admit to the charges and if he wants to make a clarification (if so – what?).

On the question of the alleged acts of the accused can answer briefly: “I understood the content of the charges set for me.” If it finds that it does not admit guilt, may refuse to give further clarification or widely present his version of the events, along with an indication of the evidence supporting his arguments. Then the accused are questions asked by the public prosecutor, prosecutor, attorney prosecutor, private prosecutor, attorney private prosecutor, civil plaintiff, the plaintiff’s attorney, a certified entity, a lawyer, co-accused, members of the bench. Criminal law also specifies that after the interrogation of the accused is obliged to instruct the chairman of the right question witnesses. The accused may submit explanations for each of the presented evidence in the courtroom.

Procedure evidence

The next step is to take decisions on the Court requested the parties evidence. These include m.in .:

  • witness statements,
  • documents,
  • recordings,
  • photos.

Conducting documentary evidence indicates that the court previously acquainted with its contents and take it into account when sentencing. Pages also have a chance to get acquainted with them, but sometimes also as the court reads some interrogation reports or official letters and private correspondence. After hearing the accused’s time on the testimony of witnesses who can testify as to his advantage. Witnesses are heard in the same way as the accused, but the members of the arbitral tribunal shall have the right to ask additional questions, beyond the accepted order. After the entire procedure, that is, closure of the trial, followed by a final speech prosecutor and defense. The last defender takes the floor, and he accused.


After hearing both sides of the court they retire to deliberate and vote on the award. It is prepared in writing by the President, and then signed by the entire panel. The Chairman read it in public, giving as its justification. Judgment may be issued on the same day or seven-day postponement. Presented above is a simplified diagram, vague representation of what to expect in the courtroom. If you have more questions about criminal law – and not only – I invite you to consult my office in Zielona Gora.