Criminal law

The aim of criminal law is to ensure peaceful social coexistence. To this end, criminal law defines behaviour, the disregard of which is punishable.

  • Are you involved in criminal proceedings and looking for a criminal defence lawyer?
  • Have you received a penalty order and would like to appeal against it?
  • Have you received a summons from the police or the public prosecutor's office?
  • Have you been the victim of a crime and would like to file a criminal complaint against the perpetrator?

In the aforementioned cases, you are in good hands with us. All lawyers in our firm are passionate criminal defence lawyers. We will be happy to accompany you to interviews with the police or the public prosecutor's office and represent you before the criminal court.

The commission of a criminal offence entails the opening of criminal proceedings. Criminal proceedings are initiated either ex officio or in response to a complaint. Criminal proceedings are governed by the provisions of the Swiss Code of Criminal Procedure (StPO) and serve to clarify the legal and factual situation. The criminal authorities are responsible for assessing offences that are only punishable by a fine (misdemeanours), while the police and the public prosecutor's office are responsible for misdemeanours and felonies.

In preliminary proceedings, the police establish the facts relevant to a criminal offence. They secure evidence, question persons involved in the crime and, if necessary, make arrests. As the head of proceedings, the public prosecutor's office is responsible in particular for the legal classification of the facts of the case.

Once the facts of the case have been sufficiently clarified, the public prosecutor decides whether to discontinue the proceedings, issue a penalty order or bring charges before the competent court. The issuance of a penalty order is only possible if the facts of the case have been sufficiently clarified and a relatively low penalty (imprisonment of up to six months) is demanded.

Swiss criminal law recognises the so-called "lawyer of the first hour". This principle grants the accused person the right to have a lawyer present at the first hearing. This makes sense insofar as criminal proceedings can be complex and the pressure exerted by the public prosecutor's office can be great. A lawyer can guarantee the accused person's rights of defence and ensure that the criminal proceedings proceed in accordance with the law.