Criminal law

Criminal
Law

Delphine MEILLET is specialized in criminal law and has extensive experience in sentence reduction. Her expertise can be used to guarantee you a fair trial.

Defense of victims

If you were the victim of a crime, Delphine MEILLET can assist you throughout the legal procedure.

In order to exercise your rights, and have the person responsible for the damage you suffered convicted, you first need to file a complaint either at a police station, or by mail addressed to the “Procureur de la République” (District Attorney).

The police will then investigate to find the culprit and have him appear before a court.

If the « procureur » chooses not to investigate, you have several options to seek justice:

You can take the case directly to the competent court, be it a “tribunal de police” or “tribunal correctionnel”, through a “citation directe”. However, you need to already have sufficient evidence, since there will be no further investigation and your case will be tried as is.

You can bring your case to an examining magistrate through a “plainte avec constitution de partie civile”. This option is only valid if the “procureur de la République” has refused to investigate, or has remained silent for at least three months.

Regarding your right to compensation following the damage cause by the crime you suffered, it is strongly advised to go through specialized organisms, as a criminal trial can take a long time before money is awarded to you:

The CIVI (Commission d’Indemnisation des Victimes d’Infraction), which deals with:

  • Crimes which caused death, a permanent disability, or a work disability longer than one month
  • Sexual offenses or human trafficking

The SARVI (Service d’Aide au recouvrement des Victimes), which deals with victims that have suffered damage to themselves or their belongings, and who cannot be compensated by the CIVI.

There are other organisms that are specialized in specific crimes : the FGAO (Fonds de Garantie des Assurances Obligatoires de dommages), the FGTI (Fonds de Garantie des victimes des actes de Terrorisme et d’autres Infractions) for acts of terrorism, and the FIVA (Fonds d’Indemnisation des Victimes de l’Amiante) for asbestos-related injuries.

Delphine MEILLET can represent and assist you when dealing with the relevant organism in order to guarantee that you are compensated fairly for the damage you suffered.

Defense of perpetrators

You were arrested by the police for committing a crime? You need to be assisted by a lawyer, whose expertise in criminal procedure make sure that your rights are respected. Delphine MEILLET is specialized in criminal law, and can therefore follow your case in all stages of the procedure.

Police custody

The law states that if the police suspect that you committed, or tried to commit, a crime, or if it is necessary to the investigation, they can put you in custody. This custody can last 24 hours, renewable once for an additional 24 hours. In certain cases, such as organized crime or terrorism, custody can be prolonged for up to 72 hours.

While in custody, you have some basic rights:

  • The right to know the crime you are accused of
  • The right to remain silent
  • The right to ask for a medical examination
  • The right to ask for a lawyer, from the first hour of custody (except in matter of organized crime, terrorism, and drug trafficking) and during all police interrogations

It is therefore essential for you to have a counsel that is aware of all the mechanisms of the criminal justice system. Delphine MEILLET can put her expertise at your service.

Trial phase

Following your custody, several procedures can be put into action:

  • The charges against you can be dropped if the evidence is not sufficient
  • If the investigation has discovered sufficient evidence, and you can be sentenced to at least 2 years in prison (or 6 months if you were caught in the act), you can be brought up for immediate trial
  • If you, your lawyer, the district attorney, or the investigating judge proposes it, you can plead guilty to committing a crime and therefore have a reduced sentence offered by the district attorney, which you can then accept in front of a judge
  • You can be brought to an investigating judge, who will then decide if you are to be charged with a crime, following the evidence that was assembled
  • You can be summoned to court at a later date; you will be set free pending your trial

Whatever procedure is chosen, the help of a lawyer is extremely precious to make sure you get the best defense possible: Delphine MEILLET has the necessary knowledge to guide you throughout your case.

Sentence reduction

If you are imprisoned, whether in jail or prison, Delphine MEILLET can act in your favor with the relevant judge (“juge de l’application des peines” ou “juge des libertés et de la detention”) to get the measure you seek;

You can be paroled, and be set free before the end of your sentence, if you can show sufficient signs that you can be rehabilitated. You are eligible for parole if you served more than half of your sentence, or more than 2/3rds if you are a repeat offender. You will then have to follow certain obligations, such as having a job or going to see a doctor regularly.

Day parole allows you to get out of prison during the day in order to work, study, take an essential part in your family life, or follow the course of a medical treatment. You are eligible for day parole if you have less than two years to serve, or one year if you are a repeat offender.

You can also be set free with an electronic tag. This measure is the same as day parole, except that instead of coming back to prison at night, the inmate has to stay in his or an agreeing party’s home. The eligibility rules are the same as day parole.

Specialized in criminal law and having extensively practiced sentence reducing laws, Delphine MEILLET can offer you her expertise to make sure you are treated fairly.

 

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