Judgment

Judgment

A judgment in a criminal case is the court's decision as to your innocence or guilt and the punishment to impose on you.

The judgment will be delivered when the judges have considered the verdict (deliberated). They deliberate after all the evidence has been produced and your defence counsel and the prosecutor have made their closing arguments.

When a judgment is delivered and read out, everyone present must rise.

In some cases, the judgment is not delivered until a few days after the court hearing. The judge will announce the time and date of its delivery. Your defence counsel will contact the court to be informed of the outcome.

You are usually entitled to have your case heard in both the district court and the high court. If you disagree with the district court's decision, you may appeal against the decision and have the case brought before the high court. You will need permission from the Appeals Permission Board to appeal if you have been sentenced to less than 20 day penalties or a total fixed penalty of less than DKK 3,000. The prosecution service may also appeal the case to the high court.

You can file an appeal in your case by sending a letter to the prosecution service or the district court that heard your case. You cannot appeal by sending a letter to the high court. Your defence counsel and the district court can guide you on the appeal procedure.

The time limit for filing an appeal is within 14 days of the date the judgment was delivered. 

A victim in a criminal case cannot decide whether a judgment should be appealed to the high court. This is a decision made by you or the prosecution service.

Sentence

If the court finds you guilty, you can be sentenced to pay a fixed penalty or to imprisonment. A prison sentence may be unconditional or suspended. 

If the sentence is unconditional, you will have to go to prison for a period determined by the court. In some situations, you will be allowed to serve your sentence with an ankle tag. Click here to read about serving a sentence.

If the sentence is suspended, you will not have to go to prison if you comply with certain conditions for a period (the probation period). You must not commit any new offences while under probation. In some situations, you will also be required to comply with other conditions. For example, the court may decide to subject you to supervision by the Prison and Probation Service or your local authority, or order you to enter addiction treatment. The court may also decide that you have to perform community service. If you violate one or more of the conditions, the court may decide that you will have to serve your sentence in a prison.

In some situations, the court may decide that, in addition to serving your sentence, you will also be deprived of a right, such as the right to drive a car. The court may also decide to confiscate assets from you and/or order you to pay a compensation amount to the victim.

Costs of the case

If you are convicted, the court will normally decide that you have to pay the necessary costs related to your case.

This includes your defence counsel expenses. In addition, you may have to pay for forensic examinations such as DNA tests or for medical statements.

After the judgment, the public authorities will charge you for the case costs.

Acquittal

If, after having considered the evidence in the case, the court finds that you are not guilty of the charge raised against you by the prosecution service, the court will acquit you.

If the prosecution service disagrees with the court's decision, the prosecution service has the opportunity to appeal the case to the high court within 14 days of the date the judgment was delivered. 

In some situations, you will be able to claim compensation after having been acquitted. Read more about compensation.