Conduct of the proceedings before the police court

Verified 11 March 2022 - Directorate of Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister), Ministry of Justice

The police court has jurisdiction to try infringements less serious criminal offenses: contraventions. In the simplest cases, the public prosecutor may decide proceedings without a hearing in the form of a penal ordinance. The most complex contraventions may give rise to ordinary proceedings before the police court. The victim may form civil party and seek compensation for his loss.

The police court has jurisdiction to try the perpetrators of police contraventions of the 1era at 5è class.

Contraventions are offenses for which the law provides for a fine not exceeding €3,000.

They can be associated with additional penalties (suspension of licenses, immobilization of vehicles, confiscation of weapons, withdrawal of hunting licenses, prohibition of issuing checks, etc.).

The public prosecutor shall refer the matter to the competent police court, which may be one of the following:

  • Place of the infringement
  • Place of residence of the perpetrator
  • Place of the company's seat
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The police court shall be seised in accordance with one of the following procedures:

  • Quotation or summons in writing by the public prosecutor
  • Direct Quote at the initiative of the victim of the offense
  • Order of Reference of the Judge of instruction
  • Voluntary appearance of the perpetrator following the notice issued to him by the public prosecutor
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The Hearing Officer shall hear the parties (defendant, civil party) and any witnesses.

It shall examine the evidence and the various documents produced by the parties.

He can conduct interrogations or confrontations.

The lawyer is not obligatory for the parties.

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The public prosecutor's office takes its requisitions to seek a penalty for the defendant or requests its relaxation.

The last word goes to the accused.


minutes or reports drawn up by judicial police officers font belief until proven otherwise. That means that we have to bring back testimony or written evidence to prove otherwise.

The President of the Tribunal shall render a judgment on the offenses and the damages requested by the civil party.

It may decide immediately or make its decision at a later date, which it shall determine.

He can impose a fine and possibly a supplementary sentence. It may involve suspension of the driving license, immobilization of the vehicle, withdrawal of the hunting license. It can issue a ban on issuing checks or confiscation of the thing used to commit the offense (weapon...).

If the accused has not committed an offense, he pronounces his relaxation.

The remedy depends on the qualification judgment and pain pronounced.

This qualification must be stated in the decision.

It depends on whether the person was properly summoned and whether or not he or she was present at the hearing.

The judgment may be challenged by call if it's a five-year ticketeme class. The appeal in cassation is available to challenge contraventions of section 1era at 4eme class. The Opposition concerns judgments given by defect (parties who were not aware of the summons and were absent from the hearing).

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Decisions subject to appeal are those judgments for which the parties have been regularly summoned.

It's about judgments contradictory (attendance at the hearing) and of the judgments contradictory to be served (absence from the hearing).

The appeal concerns convictions for contraventions of 5eme class (penalty incurred up to €1,500 or €3,000 in case of recurrence).

It may cover judgments that have suspended the driver's license and convictions with a fine of more than €150.

The appeal may be made by:

  • Defendant or his lawyer
  • Person responsible for civil matters (e.g. employer of a truck driver)
  • Civil party (only on damages)
  • Public Prosecutor's Office (Public Prosecutor, attorney general)

The time limit for appealing is 10 days from the delivery of the judgment (contradictory judgment) or service of the judgment (contradictory judgment to be served).

The statement of appeal shall be made at the graft of the court which gave the decision.

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The case is retried by the Court of Appeal.


The case is being retried by the police court that issued the judgment.

The Opposition concerns judgments given by defect (parties who were not aware of the summons and were absent from the hearing).

The parties have 10 days from the service of the judgment to lodge an objection.

The opposition is either:

  • By letter addressed to graft who issued the criminal order (the postmark proves the date)
  • Or by oral declaration to the Registry, which shall register it. It is signed by the defendant or his lawyer.
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Appeal in cassation

An appeal on a point of law shall be the only possible remedy for judgments given in last resort. These are the judgments sanctioning the offenses of the 1era at 4eme class (up to€1,500 of fine).

The time limit for filing an appeal shall be 5 days from the date of delivery of the decision or of its significance.

The appeal in cassation shall be made at graft of the police court.

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Please note

the court of cassation don't try the case again. It verifies that the law and the procedure have been followed.

The victim may form civil party and request damages.

The lawyer is not obligatory.

If it is under-resourced, it may apply for legal aid to cover all or part of these costs.

The victim may seek damages at the time of filing the complaint or in writing prior to the hearing. It may also request them on the day of the hearing.

In some cases, for example, for contraventions of 5è class, it can claim the refund of non-repetitive costs. These are the expenses incurred by the trial (fees lawyer's fees, travel expenses).

If the victim has difficulty recovering damages, it may seize the Service d'aide au recovery des victims d'infraction (Sarvi).

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in the event of an abusive procedure, the accused relaxed may claim compensation. It shall be at the expense of the State or of the civil party if the latter has instituted proceedings by direct quotation.

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