Provisional charge

Provisional charge
Seats for audience in the courtroom

If the police find reasonable cause to suspect that a specific person committed a crime, they will bring provisional charges against that person. If you are provisionally charged, the police will tell you which crime you are charged with.

As a person who is provisionally charged in a criminal case, you have a number of rights about which the police will inform you.

It is voluntary for you to make a statement to the police. This means you are not obliged to contribute information to the investigation of the case. You do, however, have to state your name, address, and date of birth. If you do not provide the police with this information when asked, you risk being given a fixed penalty and arrested.

As a provisionally charged person, you generally have a right to a defence counsel. Read more about the defence counsel. For example, you can talk to your defence counsel about whether you should say anything to the police. If you do make a statement to the police, the interview with you will become a part of the case. Read more about the police interview.

While it is voluntary for you to make a statement to the police, you do have a right to be heard in order to safeguard your own interests. You are therefore entitled to make a statement about the case and the information in the case. You – or your defence counsel – can also ask the police to take investigative steps that you believe are relevant to the case. This could include witness interviews or technical examinations – fingerprints, DNA traces, telecom data, or video surveillance recordings.

You do not have a duty to show up for an interview with the police. However, if court hearings are held in the case you are involved in, you may be ordered to be present.

Your defence counsel has access to the police reports and other materials in the case. If you do not have a defence counsel, you may be permitted to review the case material at the police station. In some situations, you may be able to get a copy of the material. In certain special circumstances, the police may completely or partly deny you access to the case documents until after the case is closed.

If you are under 18 and provisionally charged in a criminal case, the police will notify the social authorities in the local authority district where you live. A representative from the social authorities will be allowed to be present during any interviews with you at the police station or when you testify in court. The police will also notify your parents who, in some cases, may be present during an interview.