Is the expiration of the period established for the preliminary investigation grounds for terminating a criminal case?

The Constitution of the Russian Federation (Part 1, Article 46) declares the right to judicial protection of human rights and freedoms. Every citizen, when facing a criminal charge, has the right to a fair and public hearing within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial tribunal established by law.

Taking into account the requirements of legislative norms and the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, criminal cases must be considered without undue delay, in strict accordance with the rules of legal proceedings and within specific deadlines.

Filing an application to initiate a criminal case

The period for consideration of a criminal case is regulated by the Criminal Procedure Code of the Russian Federation (hereinafter referred to as the Code of Criminal Procedure of the Russian Federation).

Based on Art. 140 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of the Russian Federation there are four grounds for initiating criminal proceedings and starting prosecution:

  1. Reporting a crime. Submitted orally or in writing. It is necessary to write down who the applicant is. In Art. 141 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of the Russian Federation states that an anonymous statement cannot serve as a reason to initiate a case.
  2. Confession. A voluntary statement by a person about the commission of a socially dangerous offense, formalized in the established manner (either a written statement where the applicant is registered, or a protocol drawn up according to the applicant’s words and signed by him personally). Confession is one of the grounds for mitigation of punishment.
  3. A message about a committed or impending offense that was received from other sources. In this case, a report is drawn up.
  4. The prosecutor's decision to forward the established facts to the preliminary investigation body . This step is necessary when the issue of persecution arises.

The application procedure is simple:

  1. You need to give an oral or written statement to the police department, to which you can attach evidence of the crime.
  2. You will be given a certificate indicating that your application has been accepted.
  3. Your testimony will be taken. Witnesses can be brought into the case.
  4. Documents are transferred to the prosecutor or investigator if he has written permission to conduct the case from the prosecutor.
  5. The prosecutor decides whether to initiate a case or refuse.

During the taking of testimony the following is noted:

  • object of crime;
  • its danger and illegality;
  • method of committing the crime;
  • means of assassination of the victim;
  • time and place of the crime;
  • the identity and age of the accused;
  • intent, motive, purpose.

A case will be initiated if the prosecutor identifies signs of a crime from the documents. The reason will also be a formalized confession.

Time limits for considering a crime complaint

The application must be reviewed within three days. During this same time, the prosecutor is obliged to make a decision whether to initiate a criminal case or refuse to do so.

According to Article 24 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of the Russian Federation, there are the following grounds for refusal:

  1. The facts prove that there was no crime.
  2. There is no evidence that indicates the possibility of committing a crime.
  3. The statute of limitations under Article 78 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation was not met.
  4. Death of the accused.
  5. Refusal of the victim to submit an application or its withdrawal.
  6. Insufficient age of the accused for criminal liability.
  7. The act is not criminal in nature, but, for example, administrative, civil.

The period for consideration of the application may be extended by 10-30 days. Reasons – the need to:

  • forensics;
  • checking the authenticity of documents;
  • checking murder weapons and other items;
  • examination of the corpse.

If more than a month has passed since the beginning of consideration of the application in a criminal case, it is necessary to contact the authorities that exercise control over the actions of law enforcement agencies.

Start of a criminal case

After completing the application process, an investigation begins, following which a decision must be made. As already mentioned, the investigation period is two months from the moment the case was opened.

The investigation process is long and difficult. Evidence is being prepared, witnesses are being questioned, crime scenes are being examined, examinations are being carried out, etc. The period of preliminary investigation may drag on for an indefinite period. But there are some limits.

Length of investigation

The main period for consideration of a criminal case by an investigator is two months, but it can be extended to three if such a decision was made by a higher-ranking official of the investigative body. The period may increase to 12 months if certain difficulties arise during the investigation process.

Important! The Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation is responsible for the timing of the extension of the criminal case.

The length of the preliminary investigation period is determined by the severity and complexity of the crime, its scale and the number of persons involved.

The duration of the investigation increases if more time is needed for the investigation, but this does not require significant requirements.

From this we can conclude that there is no maximum duration of investigation in a criminal case, since according to the law the period can be increased without any restrictions. This requires only decisions by high-ranking officials at various levels.

Time limit for reviewing the case for the parties to the process

According to the law, the parties to the process are given no more than five days to familiarize themselves. After this, a written protocol is drawn up, in which you can express your disagreements or share your opinion on controversial issues.

If at the familiarization stage the accused does not have a defense attorney, he is provided with a public defender who will handle his case. If the presence of a defense lawyer is not necessary, the accused can familiarize himself with the documents in the case.

If the accused person deliberately refuses to familiarize himself (failure to appear), then the indictment is automatically sent to the prosecutor for making a legal decision.

In this process, the accused is presented with physical evidence or the necessary record. Various materials can also be presented - for example, photographs, video or audio recordings, etc.

What are the terms for consideration of a criminal case in the court of first and appellate instances?

Speaking about the procedural side of criminal law, one cannot fail to touch upon such an issue as the timing of consideration of a criminal case in court. Understanding the time period during which it is possible to change the outcome of the consideration on the merits is an important issue for the parties. The term of trial in a criminal case, according to the Code of Criminal Procedure of the Russian Federation, is an uncertain concept. The legislator interprets it as “reasonable,” giving the participants in the process the opportunity to take all possible actions to confirm their line, but prohibits the abuse of the time period of this “reasonableness.”

Grounds for initiating a criminal case

According to the law, the grounds for starting production are:

  • personal confession of committing the act;
  • a statement or message about a crime committed or being prepared;
  • a prosecutor's resolution sent to the preliminary investigation authorities to open criminal proceedings.

In this case, a mandatory condition for starting prosecution is the presence of the necessary signs of a crime in the act. The application (message) can come directly from the victim, a third party or a representative of law enforcement agencies in the form of a report or protocol, if for any objective reasons the applicant cannot do this independently do. It can be submitted either in writing or orally.

According to the law, there is a list of dangerous offenses, proceedings for which are opened upon the fact of their commission, regardless of the will of the victim.

Consideration of a crime report

Received statements (reports) about a crime are registered in the manner prescribed by law with the operational duty unit of internal affairs. If we are talking about the applicant’s personal appeal directly to a law enforcement agency.

In this case, the subject is given a written notification, which indicates the date of receipt of information about a committed or impending criminal offense, the number according to the registration log, and the details of the employee who registered the appeal.

The verification of the stated facts is carried out over 3 days and can be extended up to 10 days by the head of the relevant investigative unit or inquiry unit. If there are grounds for conducting a more thorough study (audits, documentation), the investigator or inquiry officer has the right to contact the above-mentioned officials with a request to extend the duration to 30 days.

Checking the information ends with the following decisions:

  • a resolution on the commencement of proceedings in the case (Article 140 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of the Russian Federation);
  • a decision to waive criminal prosecution, formalized in the form of a resolution (Article 148 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of the Russian Federation);
  • transfer of materials under jurisdiction (Article 151 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of the Russian Federation) or to the court, for criminal cases of private prosecution (Part 2 of Article 20 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of the Russian Federation).

We can only talk about the inaction of law enforcement officials if the response period has expired and none of the listed actions have occurred.

An appeal (in accordance with the requirements of the law) is carried out to the authorities that are entrusted with the function of monitoring the actions of first-level law enforcement agencies.

Time frame for investigation

Before the actual trial, the legislation gives a slightly blurry picture of the “reasonable” time frame for which, there are fairly clear time frames for the preliminary investigation and inquiry.

The following periods of investigation are distinguished:

  1. General, no more than 2 months from the date of commencement of criminal prosecution until referral to the prosecutor's office for imposition of a resolution on indictment and further transfer of materials to the court.
  2. Private: up to 3 months (if necessary, at the discretion of the head of the preliminary investigation body) and up to 12 months (in the case of conducting investigations in particularly complex cases, by decision of the superior head of the body conducting the preliminary investigation).
  3. Maximum extension of the duration by the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation.

Most often, when determining the duration of actions, the complexity of the crime, the scale of the acts committed, and the number of defendants are taken into account.

There is a classification period for an inquiry:

  • general (up to 30 days from the beginning of the persecution);
  • private: extended by the prosecutor for 30 days if necessary at the request of the investigator and extended by the prosecutor of a higher authority up to 6 months;
  • extended by a subject of the Russian Federation or a military prosecutor with the same status, up to 12 months.

At the same time, the extension of the investigation and inquiry occurs in the presence of certain grounds and should not be used by the authorities conducting certain procedural actions in order to delay the progress of the investigation and violate the principle of the inevitability of responsibility for the crime committed.

The procedure for familiarizing yourself with the materials of a criminal case

The legislation specifies up to 5 days from the date specified by the investigator for bringing the case materials to the interested parties. Based on its results, a protocol is drawn up, in which contradictory points can be voiced by any participant in writing.

In the absence of a defense attorney at the stage of familiarization with documents without a good reason for up to 5 days, the defendant is provided with another defense attorney, of which he is required to be notified.

If the presence of a defense lawyer during the proceedings is not mandatory for a given crime, the accused can independently familiarize himself with the materials. When a person who is not in the pre-trial detention center, without good reasons sufficient for failure to appear upon notification of the investigator, avoids familiarization, after providing the materials to other participants or after 5 days, the indictment is sent to the prosecutor for making a legal decision.

Today, the code of criminal laws of the country defines the terms of familiarization with the case materials as “reasonable”.

This provision in the legal system has:

The latter talk about possible preconditions for the creation of corruption of certain officials due to the uncertainty of the time period for the parties to study the materials, the postponement of consideration of criminal cases on the merits, and the creation of schemes for illegal activities based on omissions of the judicial system.

Those who support this position claim the possibility of collecting evidence and sufficient preparation for court hearings, as well as the elimination of delays at the trial stage.

Despite the provisions of Article 217 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of the Russian Federation, which provide for the necessary time frame for studying the case materials, in the event of a deliberate increase in time on the part of the accused, the court may decide to appoint a special procedure, namely: a specific time period is determined that limits the abuse of the law.

Time limits for consideration of a criminal case

As already mentioned, the code does not define specific time frames for consideration of a case in court, making it possible to take all measures to ensure that the parties are able to collect the necessary evidence and ensure the attendance of all witnesses and other necessary participants in the process at the hearing.

According to Article 227 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of the Russian Federation, the judge appointed by the chairman of the court to hear a specific criminal case independently decides on the start date of the hearing. At the same time, the complexity, the presence of circumstances related to the case under consideration, the volume of materials that the defense and prosecution have to familiarize themselves with, the resonance of the act, and the workload of the minister of Themis himself are assessed.

From the moment the documents are received by the court, the trial judge (magistrate) is given 30 days to determine the start date of the hearing. When the accused is kept in a pre-trial detention center, if such was determined by a preventive measure, this period is reduced to 14 days.

Despite the specific time periods allotted to servants of the law to make decisions on the commencement of consideration of a case, even at this stage there are precedents for the creation of artificial obstacles to the administration of justice.

During the trial, using the powers assigned to him by the state, the judge is obliged to:

  • ensure a comprehensive review of the crime;
  • use legal methods of influencing participants in the process.

It is for this reason that the code does not establish a time frame, using the term “reasonable” time limits.

Procedure for appealing court decisions

If any of the parties participating in the meeting disagrees with the decision of the court of first instance, the legislator reserves the right to protest the outcome by filing an appeal. This right is valid until the deadline for filing an application expires and the verdict or other conclusion adopted directly during the hearing comes into force.

Depending on the authority considering the appeal, the following time periods are distinguished:

  • up to 15 days (for a district court);
  • up to 30 days (for a regional or regional court, the supreme court of a republic, a city court with federal status, autonomous courts, a military naval court of a district);
  • up to 45 days (for the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation).

The persons participating in the process can prepare an appeal, even if the results of the consideration resulted in a verdict acquitting the accused. The decisions taken during the hearing of the case, essentially the decisions of the justice body, are also subject to appeal.

A cassation appeal is filed against the verdict of the court of both the first and second (appeal) instance of either party and is considered: within two months by the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation and within a month (by other cassation courts).

To challenge decisions of lower courts, the main condition is compliance with the deadlines for preparing and filing complaints with the appropriate authorities. In case of non-compliance with them for reasons that, in the opinion of the applicant, are valid, he may apply for the renewal of the deadlines he missed and provide evidence of his request.

Appealing a decision in criminal cases

If the participants in the process are dissatisfied with the court's decision, they can appeal it. This can be done by both the victim and the defendant through their representatives. The periods for this are:

  • up to 15 days (for district court);
  • up to 30 days (for the regional or supreme court of the republic);
  • up to 45 days (for the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation).

If the convicted person is in a pre-trial detention center, he can appeal the verdict after he receives a copy of it - the period will be counted from the moment of receipt.

Procedure for appealing a decision:

  1. Drawing up an appeal.
  2. This document must be sent to the higher court through the body in which the decision was made.
  3. The participant in the process who filed the appeal receives notification of the transfer of the document to higher authorities.
  4. If approved, preparation for a new process.

How do the parties familiarize themselves with the case materials?

The victim and suspect have 5 days to familiarize themselves with the case materials. The countdown begins from the date specified by the investigator when transferring the files. Based on the results of the review, a protocol is written. In this document, participants in the process can set out those points with which they disagree.

If the suspect does not have a defense lawyer, then during the period allotted for familiarization with the case materials, he is provided with a state lawyer who will explain incomprehensible points. But if the presence of a defense attorney in the case is not necessary for such a crime, then the accused can familiarize himself with the results of the investigation on his own.

If the suspected person is not in the pre-trial detention center and does not appear at the station upon notification of the investigator without good reason, then after 5 days the indictment will be sent to the prosecutor for review and transfer of the case to the court, and the right to familiarize himself with the case materials will be lost.

The five-day deadline has both advantages and disadvantages. On the one hand, participants in the process have enough time to familiarize themselves with the case materials and prepare for court hearings. At the same time, this period creates the preconditions for corruption among officials, stimulates delays in the consideration of criminal cases, and allows interested parties to create schemes for illegal actions.

Therefore, despite the provisions of Article 217 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of the Russian Federation, the court may decide to appoint a special order - to establish a specific time period if it turns out that the accused is deliberately delaying the deadline for reviewing the case materials.

Violation of all deadlines and filing a complaint

If any time frames in the conduct of a criminal case are violated, it becomes necessary to file a complaint with higher authorities and the prosecutor's office.

If a real violation of deadlines in criminal cases is revealed, the supervisory authority does everything possible to provide the citizen with the necessary funds. Those who violate the accepted periods are subject to disciplinary action. Reprimands, reprimands, and possibly even dismissal may be issued.

Reasonable term for a criminal case

In Art. 6.1 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of the Russian Federation states that the period for consideration of a criminal case in court, as well as pre-trial proceedings, must be reasonable.

When determining the timing, the following nuances are taken into account:

  • the factual and legal complexity of the case;
  • actions of participants;
  • the adequacy and productivity of the work of the court, the prosecutor, the head of the investigative body, the investigator and other persons, carried out within the prescribed period for the implementation of criminal prosecution or consideration of a criminal case;
  • total duration of criminal proceedings.

In case of violation of reasonable deadlines for criminal proceedings during pre-trial proceedings in a criminal case, participants in criminal proceedings and other persons associated with the process may contact the prosecutor or the head of the investigative body with a complaint, which must be considered, in accordance with Art. 124 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of the Russian Federation, within three days. If it is necessary to request additional facts or take other measures - 10 days.

According to Part 1 of Art. 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of the Russian Federation, the inaction of the inquirer, investigator, head of the investigative body and the prosecutor, which can cause damage to the constitutional rights and freedoms of participants in criminal proceedings or impede citizens' access to justice, can be appealed in the district court at the place where the offense was committed.

This is interesting:

Criminal liability under Article 199.1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation for failure to fulfill the duties of a tax agent.

Responsibility for inappropriate spending of budget funds under Article 285.1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation.

How long can an investigation take?

Unlike criminal proceedings, where deadlines are not clearly established, inquiry and investigation procedures have clear time frames. There are the following periods of investigation:

  1. General – no more than 2 months. The standard procedure assumes that the investigator has 2 months to carry out all investigative activities. The starting point is the moment of the beginning of criminal prosecution. The case materials are then sent to the prosecutor, who will submit them to the court.
  2. Private – up to 3 months (at the discretion of the head of the investigative authorities, if there is such a need) or up to 12 months (by decision of senior management, when the investigation concerns particularly complex crimes).

Other deadlines for the investigation of particularly serious or large-scale crimes are established by the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation. When determining the duration for special cases, a special commission will take into account the complexity of the crime, the number of defendants, and the cruelty of their act.

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Since simpler cases are under the jurisdiction of the investigative bodies, the time frame allocated for investigative measures is much shorter:

  • general – up to 1 month;
  • private - up to 2 months or up to six months (extended at the request of the investigator by the prosecutor of the highest instance);
  • extended - up to 1 year (only with the permission of the military prosecutor or the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation).

The period for conducting investigative measures can be extended only if there are compelling reasons. This opportunity should not be used by investigators to delay the investigation.

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