Victim

Any one of us could fall victim to a criminal offence. You can obtain support once you have reported the offence. As a victim, you have the right to dignified and respectful treatment. In order to alleviate your experience as a victim, you will be provided with various types of assistance.
  • You have the right to be informed of the course of the proceedings, to ask questions and to receive explanations if you do not understand anything. All questions are welcome at any time. For a better understanding of criminal proceedings
  • If you are a victim of sexual or gender violence, or of a criminal offence committed in a close relationship, you can request that the person conducting the interrogation be of the same gender as you.
  • You have the right to refuse to give testimony that could incriminate you or persons closely related to you. You are also not required to give testimony if you have to adhere to a confidentiality requirement due to your professional activity.
  • You can read the reports of procedural acts, for example an interview report, and make comments concerning the procedural act. Notify the investigator of your wish to do so.
  • You have the right to view the criminal file once pre-trial proceedings come to an end. Ask the prosecutor for this.
  • If you are not sufficiently proficient in Estonian, you can receive help from an interpreter or, at your request, a written translation of important information free of charge (e.g. a court judgement or an order terminating criminal proceedings). Ask the investigator, prosecutor or judge for this.
  • You have the right to request to be notified of the arrest or release of a suspect. In addition, you have the right to be informed of the early release of a convicted offender or of their escape from a detention facility. You can communicate your wish during the interview.
  • You can participate in discussing the criminal matter during a court session.
  • You have the right to present evidence in pre-trial proceedings and in court concerning the crime or the damage caused. If you have submitted a claim for compensation of damage, you must provide the investigator or the Prosecutor’s Office with evidence that supports the claim (e.g. repair bills or receipts for medical expenses). You can also submit complaints and requests to the investigator and the prosecutor.
  • You have the right to be informed of the court judgement. If you have filed a claim for compensation of damage in proceedings related to you and the court judgement ordering the defendant to pay such compensation has entered into force, you can contact a bailiff to enforce the claim. You can find the contact details of bailiffs on the website of bailiffs and bankruptcy trustees at www.kpkoda.ee
  • You will have the opportunity to give anonymous feedback on how the state handled the provision of assistance to you and what we could do better: www.just.ee/et/kuriteoskannatanute-tagasiside
  • You can bring a supporting person along to the procedural act.
  • Victim support can provide information about available services and protective measures, psychosocial support and counselling as well as help in communicating with state and local government authorities. Depending on the case, it is also possible to obtain compensation for the damage caused by a criminal offence, mental health care to support recovery from trauma or referrals to various services. You and those close to you can contact victim support at any time, regardless of whether criminal proceedings are initiated. You can ask to be introduced to a victim support employee who usually works in the same building where the police station is located. Read more or use the webchat option at www.palunabi.ee You can call the victim support crisis helpline on 116 006 (EST, RUS, ENG 24/7, UA 16-20) or the emotional support and pastoral care helpline on 116 123 (10-24) or obtain mental health counselling online
  • You can apply for a restraining order to ensure that a person dangerous to you does not approach you, come to your home or workplace or communicate with you over the phone or online. The prosecutor will help you with this and you can also ask for information from the investigator. Read more about restraining order
  • You have the right to a representative and can apply for the appointment of a representative in criminal proceedings by way of state legal aid if you cannot afford to hire one yourself. To do this, submit an application to the county court. In order to obtain state legal aid, ask the investigator or prosecutor for help. Free legal advice is provided by HUGO.legal. For information about legal aid, call +372 688 0400 (Mon-Fri 9-16) or visit juristaitab.ee
  • You have a right to obtain compensation for damage caused by a criminal offence. To do this, you can file a civil court claim via the police or the Prosecutor’s Office, which will be examined by the court together with the criminal case. A civil court claim filed in criminal proceedings is exempt from the statutory fee. You can file a claim at the earliest opportunity, but no later than 10 days after examining the criminal file at the Prosecutor’s Office. If possible, bring the documents needed to prove the damage (invoices, receipts) to the interview. More detailed information will be provided by the investigator, who will also help you fill in the relevant form, to which you can later add details or make other amendments.
  • If you have fallen victim to a violent crime in Estonia and suffered serious damage to your health resulting in direct material damage (reduced income or additional costs related to recovery of health), the state will pay you compensation. The Social Insurance Board does not compensate for moral damage. Compensation is also paid to the dependants of a victim who died as a result of a violent crime.
  • You have the right to contest the failure to launch criminal proceedings or the termination of criminal proceedings. In order to do so, send a letter or e-mail to the Prosecutor’s Office ([email protected]) in which you explain, in free format, why the criminal proceedings should be initiated or continued, within 10 days of having received the order or notice. Contact details are available on the website www.prokuratuur.ee/et/prokuratuur/kontaktid.
  • You can provide your consent for a plea agreement procedure to be applied. In the case of a plea agreement procedure, the accused and the Prosecutor’s Office agree on the sentence and if the court confirms the agreement and convicts the accused, the accused also has to pay your claim for compensation of damage. You have the right to express your opinion on the sentence. You can obtain additional information from the prosecutor.
  • If the maximum sentence for the criminal offence according to the law is imprisonment of up to five years and the circumstances of the offence are clear, the case may be settled by mediation if there is no public interest in pursuing the case. Both parties must agree to mediation. Under a mediation agreement, the perpetrator of the offence assumes the obligation to pay the costs of the proceedings, remedy the damage caused and comply with any other conditions set out in the agreement. The mediation is conducted by a victim support employee.
  • Restorative justice can also help to reduce the damage caused by a criminal offence. It is based on solution processes in which the parties affected can be involved. Methods of restorative justice, such as conflict mediation and restorative consultation, enable the victim to obtain answers about what happened and help the perpetrator to take responsibility with respect to the victim, increase the sense of security of the parties and reduce the likelihood of new conflicts. For restorative justice to be used, all parties must participate voluntarily and the perpetrator must admit to their crime. Ask the prosecutor for additional information or read more here: www.sotsiaalkindlustusamet.ee/taastavoigus