In accordance with article 185 of the National Code of Criminal Procedures, the abbreviated procedure aims to conclude a certain judicial process in advance. That is, it seeks to end the judicial process before reaching the oral stage, with the judge taking control of it to rule on the sentence.
The abbreviated procedure is a special criminal process that seeks to speed up the investigation, prosecution and ruling of certain crimes. It is used for offenses punishable by up to nine years in prison, as described in article 757 and following of the Law of Criminal Procedure.
Expedited procedure requirements
As established in article 201 of the National Code of Criminal Procedures, the abbreviated procedure has a series of requirements, which we list below:
1. The Public Ministry must request it. The document must collect the accusation and present with evidence on what the request is based. It is then that the facts attributed to the accused are listed, as well as the penalties and the degree of intervention.
2. The victim must not object. For the abbreviated procedure to be effective, the victim cannot oppose the request. If he does, he must justify her position. Thus, article 204 of the National Code of Criminal Procedures shows that the opposition of the victim or offended party will only be appropriate when it is proven before the Control Judge that the repair of the damage is not duly guaranteed.
3. The accused must know his right to an oral trial and the scope of the Abbreviated Procedure. The defendant will have to expressly waive the oral trial, as well as accept the abbreviated procedure and admit his responsibility in the crime for which he is being tried.
Characteristics of the abbreviated procedure
The abbreviated procedure has a series of singularities that differentiate it from the common procedure, as we can see below:
1. Agility in the procedure. In order to shorten some terms of the process, a series of measures are carried out to achieve more fluidity. Such as the agile treatment of competition issues, suppression of some procedures and a maximum period of 30 days for the suspension of the procedure or the possibility of holding the oral trial without the presence of the accused when the sentence is less than two years.
2. Reinforced guarantees for the victim. The Public Prosecutor is in charge of protecting the rights of the victim, but also of the investigated.
3. Outstanding functions of the Police and the Ministry. In this process, both the Local Police and the Public Prosecutor's Office play a greater role.
Phases of the abbreviated procedure
In the first place, the abbreviated procedure begins with the opening of the proceedings to be carried out in the preliminary investigation at the time the crime is detected. At this point where the Public Prosecutor contacts the victim and checks the facts.
The second phase corresponds to the instruction, carried out by the judge. At this stage, preliminary diligence is carried out to collect all the necessary information.
The preparation of the oral trial is the third part of the abbreviated procedure, at which time it is analyzed whether it is necessary to establish the procedure and the competent body for the trial.
The last phase is the oral trial. At this time, the judge analyzes the evidence and assesses whether he admits or rejects it. Subsequently, the parties are notified to appear with their legal representatives. The oral trial concludes with the practice of the evidence and the final arguments.
How does the abbreviated procedure help the accused?
In accordance with article 202 of the National Code of Criminal Procedures, the defendant who receives a sentence through the abbreviated procedure may see the sentence of the crime for which he is accused reduced:
"When the accused has not been previously convicted of a malicious crime and the crime for which the abbreviated procedure is carried out is punished with a prison sentence whose arithmetic mean does not exceed five years, including its mitigating or aggravating qualifiers, the Public Ministry may request the reduction of up to one half of the minimum sentence in the case of intentional crimes and up to two thirds of the minimum sentence in the case of negligent crimes, of the prison sentence that corresponds to the crime for which he accuses.
In any case, the Public Ministry may request the reduction of up to one third of the minimum in the case of intentional crimes and up to one half of the minimum in the case of negligent crimes, of the prison sentence.”
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