Criminal proceedings start with a simple suspicion that a crime has been committed, and they end when the said suspicion is confirmed to be true or false. A suspicion arises when there are concrete signs that an act that is deemed as a crime has been committed in any way.
Criminal proceedings focus on substantial truth rather than procedural truth. In other words, while civil judges are bound by the parties’ claims and the evidence put forward, criminal judges are tasked with shedding light on the exact circumstances of the events and in this respect, they have the authority to procure evidence.
While the purpose of criminal proceedings is to discover the substantial truth, there are limits to the judge’s authority to research. The judge must search for the substantial truth based on the basic principles set out by the law and the constitution. For example; a suspect’s confession cannot be extracted by torture. Whereas prior to the French revolution the body of a suspect used to be considered merely as a means to discover the substantial truth, today suspects and defendants are subjects just like the prosecution; and they have legal and constitutional rights.
Elimination of the suspicion is possible by first investigation, then by prosecution. An investigation ends either by the prosecutor dropping charges or filing charges against the suspect, starting the prosecution phase. The prosecution phase is conducted by the criminal court and ends by a judgment.
The main purpose of the investigation is to determine whether the suspicion of a crime is sufficiently high to require a trial. In this sense, the prosecutor investigates whether there is sufficient evidence and whether the acts in question are considered as criminal by the criminal law.
The public prosecutor leads the investigation. At the end of the investigation, the charges are dropped in the event of lack of sufficient evidence or lack of access, the death of the suspect, statute of limitation or if the alleged act does not constitute a crime. On the other hand, if there is sufficient suspicion to officially charge the suspect with a crime, the public prosecutor issues an indictment. The phase from the issuance of the indictment until the finalization of the verdict is called prosecution (trial before a criminal court).
A criminal lawyer or a criminal law firm offers legal representation to the victims and suspects of a crime in criminal proceedings. A victim advocate represents the victim; however neither the victim nor the victim advocate is a party to the criminal proceedings. A victim advocate’s job is to assist the public prosecutor to prosecute the suspects/defendants. A criminal lawyer, on the other hand, is a party to the criminal prosecutions and sits on the opposite site of the prosecutor.
Antalya Criminal Lawyer and Antalya Victim Advocate Barış Erkan Çelebi and his Antalya Criminal Law Firm offer legal representation to the victims of all crimes, whether they are violent crimes or financial crimes. These services include gathering the evidence of the crime against the suspect, assisting the prosecutor in the investigation stage, making sure that the prosecutor issues an indictment, and then duly pursuing the prosecution phase before the criminal court until the perpetrator is convicted of the accused crime.