The victim of a crime is someone who has suffered an attack against their life, physical or mental injury, emotional suffering, or economic loss as a result of an action taken by another person that is considered a crime under penal law.
Close relatives and the people who, in trying to help the victim, suffered any sort of damage (ex : they were injured by the person who committed the crime) may also be considered victims of crime.
If you are or you were a victim of crime, it is very important that you report it to the authorities.
By doing so, you will help police find the person who committed the crime, preventing them from doing it again to you and/or others. To find out how to report a crime, click here.
You have every right to report the crime that you are or were the victim of and, in doing so, you will be recognized a set of rights to ensure that your participation in the process progresses the best way possible. To learn more about the rights of victims of crime, click here.
In the criminal proceedings that start after the report or complaint, the victim may play different roles:
• The victim is almost always called upon to participate as a witness. To learn more, click here.
• If the victim wants to be compensated because of damages caused by the crime, they may, in addition to participating as a witness, intervene in the proceedings as a civil party. While civil party, the victim will file an application for compensation and the evidence of the damage suffered. To learn more about the right to compensation, click here.
• If the victim wants to intervene more actively in the process, can become assistant. To learn more about the figure of the wizard, click here.
Assistant is the status given to victims of crime who collaborate with the Public Prosecutor and participate more actively in the process. The assistant may, among other things:
To take the role of assistant, the victim has to have a lawyer pay a court fee. If you do not have enough money to pay these expenses, you are entitled to apply for legal aid. To know more about this right, click here.
In private crimes the victim’s participation as assistant is mandatory to start the investigation phase.
In public crimes and semi-public crimes, the victim may choose to become an assistant if they want, but they are not required to do so.