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The position of a victim of a crime during a criminal trial

July 17, 2010

Many people here in Aruba don’t know their rights when they have been a victim of a crime and/or what actions a victim can take during a criminal trial.

Anyone who has suffered damage as a result of a crime can inform the police he wants to be considered as a “damaged party”. A police officer is obligated to receive such notice from a victim. The victim can also inform the police officer that he or she wants to submit a claim for damages as a result of the crime and that he or she wants to receive information about the trial.

The damaged party must be informed by the prosecutor about his decision whether or not to prosecute the defendant and the relevant information regarding the trial. The damaged party can also ask to give his view during the trial.

In case the prosecutor decides not to prosecute a defendant, the prosecutor must inform the damaged party of his or her right to submit a complaint against non-prosecution of the defendant.

The damaged party, or his legal representative, can view the court documents, provide proof of the damage suffered and elaborate on his claim during the trial.

A claim can only be granted if the defendant has been found guilty. The maximum amount that can be claimed in a criminal trial is 50,000.00 Aruban Florins and the claim cannot be submitted during the trial if a claim has already been submitted in a civil procedure. It the claim is granted, the defendant can be sentenced to pay the court costs of the damaged party or part thereof.

If the claim is too complicated to be evaluated in a criminal trial it will be declared inadmissible and will then have to be submitted in a normal civil procedure. However, if the claim is dismissed (for example because there is no proof of any damage), then a claim cannot be submitted anymore in a civil procedure.

For assistance in these kinds of matters contact us at www.gobiklaw.com.

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From → Criminal Law

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