Pre-trial investingation officer

Pre-trial investigation is the first stage of criminal procedure devoted to gathering of evidence that would be necessary to hold a trial. Pre-trial investigation is led and supervised by a prosecutor, however most of the actions are performed by pre-trial investigation officers. Usually pre-trial investigation officer is the one that injured parties (victims) are in constant contact with. In most cases pre-trial investigations are performed by police officers. However the laws establish that pre-trial investigations can also be performed by other institutions, such as State Border Guard Service under the Ministry of the Interior, Special Investigation Service of the Republic of Lithuania, Financial Crime Investigation Service under the Ministry of the Interior, and some others. Prosecutors can also perform pre-trial investigations fully or partially themselves.

Pre-trial investigation officers decide whether the pre-trial investigation shall be commenced (however they cannot decline to start the pre-trial investigation, this decision can only be taken by the chief of the pre-trial investigation institution or a prosecutor).

They also usually perform all actions of pre-trial investigations: question injured parties, witnesses, and suspects, take samples of various materials (blood, saliva, clothing, etc.) for forensic examination, organize face-to-face confrontations, etc. In the end of a pre-trial investigation, the last word belongs to the prosecutor – only he or she can take decisions either to terminate investigation or to present charges against the culprit and to forward the case file to court. The functions of pre-trial officers end there. They can participate in court hearings, however they are considered to be witnesses and not state officials there.

I was a victim of crime: consequences and reactions The rights of victims of crime Criminal proceedings Who’s who in criminal proceedings


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