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If you are the victim of a crime

If you are the victim of a crime, you should report it to the police as soon as possible. Go to your nearest police station or call 114 14, the national police telephone number for non-emergencies. The emergency number 112 should only be used in an emergency.

When a crime has been committed, the police investigate what has occurred, for example by questioning, examination of the crime scene and technical investigation. This is called a preliminary investigation and preliminary investigations at the Swedish Economic Crime Authority are always led by a prosecutor. The task of the courts is to assess whether the prosecutor is able to prove that the accused has committed the alleged crime.

The person against whom the crime was committed is known as the plaintiff.

Why should I give evidence?

You are summoned to the court to give evidence about the crime committed against you.  What you know is important and may be extremely significant for the court's decision.

Many people feel somewhat uncomfortable before going to court. This usually wears off during questioning. If you are frightened of anyone, for example the accused in a criminal case, or if you find it difficult to give evidence for any other reason when a particular person is present, you should contact the court in good time before the proceedings. The court can issue an order that the person you are afraid of should not be present during questioning.

The proceedings

If you are summoned to the proceedings, you have to appear. It is important that you turn up at the right place and at the right time, not just to enable the court to arrive at the right decision, but also because proceedings cost society a great deal of money.

If you do not turn up, the case may be adjourned. That does not mean that it will be abandoned. Instead, you and all the other parties concerned will be called to another hearing. You may be forced to pay a penalty or risk being brought in by the police if you do not turn up. You may even be forced to pay costs for others who did turn up at court.

If you have difficulties getting to the court, you should call or write to inform the court immediately!

A summons applies unless the court informs you otherwise. Please take the summons with you to the court. In order to confirm to the court that you have received it you must sign and return the letter of reply accompanying the summons. This is known as “serving” at the court.

The court may grant you a payment for travelling to the proceedings, for example.

The procedure at court

At most courts there is a special waiting room for plaintiffs and witnesses where you can stay if you do not wish to wait in the large waiting room. Ask at the court reception and they will direct you to the waiting room.

You enter the courtroom when the case is called and the proceedings begin. When you are questioned, the parties and the court will ask you questions. You must say what happened to you. How you tell it and how you express yourself is of minor importance. It is important for the court to ascertain what happened. The people you meet in the court will know what it's like to appear in a courtroom for the first time.

If, as plaintiff, you need personal support during the proceedings, you may take a suitable person with you to provide you with support. During the proceedings you sit beside the prosecutor, who will also be prepared to help you.

Published 2011-06-27. Updated 2011-06-27

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