Discharged charges may be used against you

Evidence Procedure

The evidence procedure should be comprehensible for the parties, the court and the public clarity about the act and the perpetrator. The Code of Criminal Procedure (StPO) provides for the following evidence:

Questioning of the accused   

Defendants have that Right to be silent and must not be forced to make a statement. Nobody is forced to incriminate themselves.

After the indictment was read out by the Prosecutor the accused will be judged by the judge on the content of the indictment heard. If the accused considers himself innocent, he can now explain the facts from his own perspective and make his comments on any evidence in the later course of the proceedings.


With the accused Young people between 14 and 18 years of age the legal representative is entitled to object to the indictment on behalf of the juvenile, even against his will. If the court knows that someone other than the legal representative is responsible for the care and upbringing of the young person, this person is also entitled to the right.

If the accused deviates from his earlier statements, he will be asked about the reasons for this deviation. In this case, the presiding judge can read out all or part of the minutes recorded on the earlier statements and have recorded recordings of the interrogation of the defendant shown.

The accused may also speak to the Discuss defense attorneys. However, the defendant is not permitted to consult directly with the defense attorney about the answer to the questions asked.

Examination of witnesses and experts

Witnesses and experts are called individually and in principle in presence of the defendant questioned.


Witnesses who, due to significant reasons, such as disability or a stay abroad, are unable toto appear in court can be questioned using video equipment prior to the trial.

The judge can also judge the accused while a witness is being questioned from the hall point. Afterwards, however, the accused must be informed of the statements made in the meantime.

Protocols and documents on the previous interrogation of co-accused and witnesses as well as expert reports are only allowed misread or technical recordings of interrogations will only be presented, if

  • the stay of the interrogated unknown, her personal appearance impossible is or she in the meantime died are,
  • those questioned in the main hearing differed in essential points from their earlier statements differ,
  • Witness the testimony at the main hearing legitimatelydeny and the parties had the opportunity to take part in the judicial examination of the witness at which the record to be read was drawn up,
  • Witnesses or co-accused unjustifiably the statement deny or
  • both the public prosecutor's office and the accused with the reading or the presentation I Agree are.

After each reading, the accused asked if he would like to comment. He can also deal with other parts of the files presented and request that these or other files that are relevant to the matter be read out.


After receiving instruction, victims can declare at any stage of the criminal proceedings that they will forego further notifications and summons. The victim then refrains from further involvement in the proceedings. However, if a victim is also to be questioned as a witness and is summoned to the main hearing, this summons must of course be obeyed.

When all evidence has been gathered, the presiding judge will declare the evidence procedure closed.

Adversarial interrogation (video interrogation)

An adversarial interrogation (video interrogation) of a Accused or one Witnesses is possible if the hearing in a main hearing is not possible for factual or legal reasons.

Victims in their violates sexual integrity could have been an adversarial interrogation in the preliminary investigation and in the main hearing desire. An adversarial questioning must always be carried out for victims of sexual offenses who are under 14 years of age.

The adversarial interrogation is carried out by the court at the request of the public prosecutor.

The accused and the witness do not meet directly. This type of questioning enables the person to be questioned Not in direct Eye contact must file the testimony with the accused.

The Interrogation of the witness by the judge takes place in one Adjoining room and will be broadcast live via video in the negotiating room. In addition to the accused and his defense counsel, the public prosecutor is also present in the hearing room. The video transmission ensures that the accused or his defense counsel see and hear the testimony and that questions can be asked by the defense directly after the interrogation.

Young people between 14 and 18 years of ageand young adults up to 21 years can for adversarial questioning if they are not represented by a defense counsel, a confidant take.

Confidants of the adolescent or young adult

  • the legal representative,
  • a legal guardian,
  • a relative,
  • a teacher
  • an educator or
  • a representative of the child and youth welfare agency, juvenile court assistance or probation assistance.

Although the relationship of a defense attorney is not currently mandatory when conducting the adversarial interrogation, it is advisable to call in a defense attorney to protect interests.

Related Links

Legal bases

For all personal designations, the selected form applies to both genders and thus corresponds exactly to the legal terminology of the Code of Criminal Procedure in this text (Section 515 (2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure).

Last updated: February 24, 2021

Responsible for the content: oesterreich.gv.at-Redaktion