As a fan attorney, I am primarily a criminal defense attorney. A large part of the work therefore takes up the study of files. You have an advantage over the court, but especially over the public prosecutor, if you know the files better than the others. That’s why I read them on the train, on the terrace at the weekend or in the office in a very disgraceful way. And thoroughly. How important this is became apparent when a football fan once came to me. He should have been involved in a small scuffle in the stadium. The police tried to bring the situation under control and filmed everything. It wasn’t my client’s very best idea to look into the camera and shout words in the direction of “Team Blue” that were not only not suitable for minors – the cameraman thought he had to initiate criminal proceedings for insult.
So I quickly requested file inspection and started reading. The indictment indicated that a criminal complaint had been filed and thus apparently all the conditions for the indictment were met. Now, of course, every criminal defense attorney knows that such a criminal complaint must be filed within three months. Since the client had been arrested on site, the deadline expired from this point in time. In the meantime the main hearing had been scheduled. So I read the file and found that the complaint had not been filed until a few days after the deadline had expired. Either the court and the public prosecutor’s office had overlooked that, or the data hadn’t been checked at all, motto: it’ll be true.
You can do anything, but not with a defense attorney who reads files carefully. I called the responsible judge and pointed out the legal situation to him: He had a case with a complaint without an effective criminal complaint on the table. On the phone he looked nervous because he had overlooked it too, so he assured me that I would be checked. Proceedings for insult without an effective criminal complaint cannot of course be negotiated because there is a procedural obstacle. The proceedings were discontinued, and the state treasury also had to bear my legal costs.
What does that tell us? If you are accused of criminal proceedings, you should always exercise your legal right to inspect files. This not only gives you the same level of knowledge as the court and public prosecutor’s office, but you also get approaches for a successful design of the procedure. Happy client, happy defender.
“Sport free!” From the fan lawyer.