In order to secure a proper course of the proceedings (and in exceptional cases - also to prevent commission of a new major crime by the defendant) so-called preventive measures can be applied. They can be used only when the evidence gathered indicates with high probability that the defendant/suspect has committed an offence. Preventive measures can be applied when there is a justified apprehension about flight or hiding of the defendant (especially when his or her identity cannot be determined or he/she does not have a place of permanent residence in the home country) and if there is a well-grounded fear that the defendant will incite others to give false testimony or explanations, or will obstruct criminal procedure in any other way. Thus, preventive measures can be used only towards a person for whom a decision to present charges has been issued. As a rule, the prosecutor decides on use of preventive measures during the preparatory proceedings, while in the judicial proceedings this decision is taken by the adjudicating court.
- is the most serious and the most acute among all preventive measures. It can be applied only on the basis of a court decision (also in the preparatory proceedings) against which a complaint can be lodged. A motion for pre-trail detention should give the circumstances and evidence supporting the claim that the suspect has committed a crime and that a correct course of the proceedings shall be threatened if pre-trial detention is not applied. Pre-trial detention is not used when another preventive measure is sufficient. Furthermore, the court can decide that this measure shall be changed if bail is given within the specified deadline.
Pre-trial detention is not used e.g. when it would cause a serious danger to life or health of the suspect or it would bring about exceptionally damaging effects to the suspect or to his or her closest family. Moreover, this measure is not applied when on the basis of the circumstances of the case it can be expected that the suspended sentence of imprisonment or a milder penalty shall be adjudicated, or a given offence is punishable by a penalty not exceeding two years of imprisonment (unless the defendant is in hiding or obstructs the proceedings). In general, pre-trial detention should not last longer than 3 months, but it can be prolonged by the court for subsequent periods (it is a rule that the total period of using this measure until the judgement of the first-instance court is delivered cannot exceed 2 years).
- a correct course of the proceedings can also be guaranteed by submitting property collateral by the suspect (in the form of money, securities, lien or mortgage). The amount and type of collateral and the due date to submit it should be specified in detail in the decision to apply this measure. In the event of flight or hiding of the suspect/defendant the collateral is forfeit.
- the suspect/defendant can be put under the police surveillance as a preventive measure. Then he or she is obliged to fulfil the duties specified in the decision of the prosecutor or the court. These duties can consist in e.g.: a ban on leaving a particular place of residence, an obligation to appear on given dates before the supervisory authority (e.g. at a police station) and to notify of an intended journey and date of return, a ban on contacting given people and approaching them, a ban on staying in specific places and so on.
A person put under the police surveillance is obliged to appear in a given police unit with the identity document and to carry out orders aimed at documenting the surveillance process. In the event the suspect does not fulfil the duties imposed, the authority conducting the proceedings is notified.
A ban on leaving the country
- in case of a justified apprehension about flight, a ban on leaving the country by the suspect/defendant can be used as a preventive measure. It can be accompanied by seizure of travel documents or a ban on issuing such documents to this person.
[Legal status as at July 2015]