Criminal complaint to the police; reimbursement
You can file a report if you believe a crime has been committed. Online reporting is possible for online auction fraud and certain crimes involving bicycles or motor vehicles, among others.
A criminal complaint is the notification of facts to the competent law enforcement authorities which, in the opinion of the person making the report, could constitute a criminal offence.
Filing a report of a suspected criminal offence (e.g. theft or bodily injury, a form of cybercrime or other offences) triggers a police investigation. In principle, a report cannot be withdrawn.
Anyone is entitled to file a report, not just an injured party. Anonymous reports can only be made by non-personal means, as every witness is obliged to give his or her personal details. A report against unknown persons is admissible. It is also possible to report oneself.
There is no legal obligation for private individuals to report crimes that have already been committed. Private individuals are only required by law to report the planning of certain offences listed in Section 138 of the Criminal Code.
The criminal complaint can be filed with a police authority, a public prosecutor's office or a district court. Since investigations are usually carried out by the police, it is advisable to file a complaint there in order to speed up the investigation. It can be made orally or in writing. The oral report will be recorded.
The report is submitted by the police to the public prosecutor's office by means of an order. After the investigation has been completed, the public prosecutor's office decides whether charges will be brought against the accused or whether the proceedings will be discontinued. In the latter case, the complainant will receive a written decision informing him or her of any appeal possibilities.
When you file a complaint, the police may ask for various information:
- the personal details of the person making the complaint
- Description of the facts of the case
- Description of the course of events from your point of view
- Information about the place and time of the crime
- Information on weapons, tools, motor vehicles or other objects used in the crime
- if the perpetrator is known: his or her personal details
- if the perpetrator is unknown: give a precise description of the person involved
- Information on the motive
- information on the injured parties, the injured persons or the material damage caused
- Information on the personal details of witnesses
- Details of any measures already taken
Legal notice: Reporting a crime can have serious consequences. Anyone who fakes an illegal act or falsely suspects another by knowingly giving false information is liable to prosecution.
Furthermore: You damage successful police work if the police have to investigate a "faked crime" instead of dealing with actual crime during this time.
In principle none. However, in the case of certain minor offences, prosecution is not possible if the injured party does not declare his interest in prosecution to the authorities within three months of becoming aware of the offence and the offender. In all other respects, the general provisions on the statute of limitations apply.
Depending on the individual case, different documents (e.g. evidence) are necessary.
Responsible for editing: Bayerisches Staatsministerium des Innern, für Sport und Integration
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