A short glossary of terms

Source: the Criminal Code of the Republic of Croatia, Criminal Procedure Act of the Republic of Croatia, Law on Protection against Family Violence.


Accused person is a person against whom the indictment has become confirmed or trial scheduled due to the private charge.

Admonition – an admonition is a criminal sanction which can be applied as a non-custodial measure to the perpetrator of a criminal offense for which a punishment of imprisonment of up to one year or a fine is prescribed if, according to the perpetrator’s manner of acting, his culpability and the caused consequence, the offense is of an especially light character, and when, considering all the circumstances regarding the perpetrator and particularly his relationship towards the injured person and the compensation for damage, the conditions for the attainment of the purpose of non-custodial measures without punishment are fulfilled. For a criminal offense for which imprisonment of up to three years or a fine is prescribed, the statute may provide for the application of admonition when other conditions specified in Paragraph 1 of this Article are fulfilled. Admonition may also be applied for concurrently adjudicated criminal offenses, if for each offense the conditions specified in Paragraph 1 and 2 of this Article are fulfilled.

Aggravated Bodily Injury – Whoever inflicts a serious bodily injury on another or severely impairs a person’s health shall be punished by imprisonment of six months to five years.
Whoever commits referred criminal offence motivated by hate against a family member or a person particularly vulnerable because of her age, serious physical or mental disorder, disability or pregnancy, or an official in the performance of duty or public authority, shall be punished by imprisonment of one to eight years.
If by criminal offence of aggravated bodily injury life of the injured person is endangered, or if an important part of the person’s body or an important organ of the person is permanently weakened to a significant degree or destroyed, or if permanent work disability is caused to the injured person, or if permanent and severe damage to her health or permanent disfigurement or permanent reproductive disability is caused, the perpetrator shall be punished by imprisonment of one to eight years. If the injured person dies due to serious bodily injury, the perpetrator shall be punished by imprisonment for three to fifteen years.

Arrest is the compulsory detention of a person under suspicion of having committed a criminal offence.

Arrested person is a person against whom measure of arrest is applied.


Bail – pre-trail detention determined for reasons stated in the Article 123, Paragraph 1, Point 1 to 3 of this Act may be vacated if the defendant or anyone else for him gives a guarantee, and the defendant personally promises not to hide and not to leave his residence without the permission, not to interfere with the criminal proceedings and not to commit a new offense. In the ruling on the detention the court may determine the amount of bail that can replace pre-trail detention. Bail shall always be set in a pecuniary amount determined with regard to the gravity of the criminal offence, the personal and family circumstances of the defendant as well as the financial situation of the defendant.


Conditional release – the court may release the convict from serving imprisonment after having served at least one-half of the punishment to which he was convicted, but not less than three months, if it is reasonably expected that he will not commit a criminal offense, and if the convict agrees with it.
When deciding on the motion, the court shall take into account the personality of the convict, his previous life and convictions, is there another pending criminal proceeding against him, relationship towards committed criminal offence and a victim, behavior during serving the sentence of imprisonment, efficacy of application of a program of execution of imprisonment, has there been change in convicts behavior after the committed criminal offence or is it expected that those changes will occur through the application of measures of supervision during the conditional release and living circumstances and willingness of the convict for integration in life outside of prison.
With releasing to the conditional release the probation time begins for the convict which corresponds with the part of the sentence of imprisonment that was not served. If the convict, while on conditional release, commits one or more criminal offenses for which he is sentenced to imprisonment of one year or to a more severe sentence, the court which has pronounced the sentence shall revoke the conditional release and, by applying the provisions of Article 51 and Article 53, Paragraph 1 of Criminal Code, pronounce an aggregate sentence.

Criminal liability – Criminal legislation shall not be applied to a child who, at the time of committing a criminal offense, had not reached age of fourteen years.

Convicted person is a person who is found guilty for the commission of a criminal offence by a final judgment.

Costs of criminal proceeding are expenses incurred from the institution of criminal proceeding to its termination, including expenses for undertaking actions before instituting of criminal proceeding and expenses of providing legal aid.

Court, unless otherwise provided in this Act, is the judicial body that makes the decisions, undertakes an action or before which the proceeding is conducted.


Defendant is person against whom the preferred indictment has not yet been confirmed, person against whom is preferred a private charge and person against whom is issued a criminal order by a judgment.
Defense counsel – a member of the Bar who can be replaced by the attorney apprentice who has passed Bar examination pursuant to the Criminal Procedure Act.

Detainee is a person against whom the measure of detention is applied.

Detention – by a written and reasoned ruling States Attorney orders the detention against arrested person if he determines that there is reasonable suspicion that the arrested person committed an offence which is subjected to public prosecution, and there are some of the reasons for investigative detention under the Article 123, Paragraph 1, Point 1 to 4 of this Act and the detention is necessary in order to determine the identity, check the alibi and collect data on items of evidence. The detainee has a right to appeal within 6 hours against the ruling on detention. The investigative judge rules about the appeal within 8 hours. The appeal shall not prevent the execution of a ruling.
Detention referred to in Paragraph 1 of this Article may not exceed forty-eight hours from the time of arrest. On the motion of the State Attorney, the investigating judge, by reasoned ruling, may extend the detention for next 48 hours if that is necessary in order to collect evidence about the criminal offence punishable by imprisonment for a term of more than 12 years. The detainee may appeal against the ruling of the investigative judge on extent of detention within 6 hours. The council shall decide on appeal within 12 hours. Detainees may file the appeal on the record.

Detention Supervisor is a police officer appointed by a special law.

Diminished Mental Capacity – the punishment of a perpetrator may be mitigated if at the time of the perpetration of a criminal offense, due to a condition referred to in Article 24, Paragraph 2 of this Criminal Code, the perpetrator was of substantially diminished mental capacity, provided that the mental deficiency was not voluntarily produced in accordance with Article 25 of Criminal Code.


Expert witness testimony – shall be ordered when, with a view to determine or assess relevant facts it is necessary to obtain findings and the opinion of a person who has the necessary expert knowledge or skill.


Family – under the Law on Protection against Family Violence, family is constituted of: women and men in marriage, their joint children and children of each of them, a woman and a man in common law union, children of each of them and their joint children, blood relatives in a direct line without restrictions, blood relatives in lateral line to the third degree, in-laws ended with second degree in marriage and common law union, people who have children together, guardian and ward, foster career, the user of placement in a foster family and their family members, while such a relationship lasts. In terms of this Law, the family also consists of a man and woman who lived together in a marriage or common law union, the children of each of them and their joint children, if a motive of conflict after braking of marriage or cohabitation were former marital or common-law relations.

Family violence is any form of physical, psychological, sexual or economic violence, in particular: physical violence or the use of physical force, regardless of whether bodily injury occurred, bodily punishment and other forms of degrading treatment of children for educational purposes, psychological violence and application of psychological pressure that caused a sense of fear, danger, distress or violation of dignity, verbal violence, verbal assaults, insults, swearing, name calling, or otherwise rough verbal harassment, stalking or harassment through all available means of communication or through electronic and print media or in any other manner or communication with third parties, illegal isolation or threat to freedom of movement (hereinafter referred to as stalking and harassment), sexual violence and sexual harassment, economic violence, being the damage or destruction of personal and joint property or banning or disabling the use of personal and joint property or attempting to do so, and deprivation of rights or prohibition of disposing with personal income and property acquired by inheritance or personal work, disabling the employment or work, enforced economic dependence, denial of funds for the maintenance of common household and childcare or other household dependents.

Fine – the fine shall be imposed in daily amounts. It cannot be less than thirty nor more than three hundred sixty daily amounts, except for offenses committed for personal gain when it may be imposed up to five hundred daily amounts or when a fine of five hundred daily amounts is expressly stipulated by the Criminal Code. Daily amount shall be determined by taking into account the perpetrator’s income and assets and the average cost of subsistence necessary for the offender and his family. Daily amount cannot be less than twenty kunas or more than ten thousand kunas. Perpetrators income, assets and other information necessary for determining the daily amount can be determined on the basis of discretion if its determination is associated with disproportionate difficulties or if imposition of a fine is proposed in the procedure for issuing criminal order. Perpetrator is required to pay the fine within the period set by the court, which cannot be less than thirty days nor more than six months, and may be ordered payment in installments within one year. The court can determine that the repayment installment will be vacated if the perpetrator does not pay a single installment regularly. If the convict cannot pay fine in full or in part within the period determined in the judgment due to the significant deterioration in the financial conditions that has, without his fault, occurred after delivering the judgment, the court may, on convicts request, extend the deadline for payment of up to twenty-four months or determine installments within that period. When the fine is not paid in full or in part within the period determined in the judgment, and there are no conditions set out in Article 42. Paragraph 7. of Criminal Code, the fine will be forcibly collected through the Tax Administration of the Ministry of Finance. If the fine can not be forcibly collected within three months, the court will, with the consent of the convict, make the decision to substitute fines with community service, in the manner that the amount of one day is replaced with four-hour of work, whereby community service shall not exceed one thousand four hundred and forty hours.


Hate crime – criminal offence committed for reasons of hatred on the basis of race, skin color, religion, national or ethnic background, disability, sex, sexual orientation or gender identity of another person. Such conduct shall be taken as an aggravating circumstance if the Criminal Code does not explicitly prescribe more severe punishment.


Imprisonment – imprisonment may not be shorter than three months nor longer than twenty years. Imprisonment up to six months shall be imposed in full months and days. Imprisonment for a term exceeding six months shall be imposed in full years and months, except in case of application of provisions on concurrence, when it can be imposed in full days. When the law for a criminal offense prescribes prison sentence up to three years, the court may impose a fine as a major punishment. For more severe and deadly forms of serious criminal offenses, severe punishment of long-term imprisonment may be prescribed. The long-term imprisonment shall not be shorter then twenty-one nor longer than forty years. Exceptionally, for a concurrently adjudicated criminal offense under the conditions stipulated by the Criminal Code, an aggregate sentence of long-term imprisonment can be imposed for a period of fifty years. Long-term imprisonment shall be imposed in full years. Long-term imprisonment shall not be imposed on a perpetrator who, at the time of the perpetration of the criminal offense, has not reached the age of eighteen years. Under the conditions prescribed by special statute on young perpetrators of criminal offenses juvenile prison may be imposed. Juvenile prison in its purpose, nature, duration and manner of execution represents a special penalty of deprivation of liberty.

Indictment prefers the State Attorney after the investigation was completed. The State Attorney prefers the indictment without conducting an investigation if the collected data relating to the offense and the perpetrator for which the law does not prescribe mandatory investigation provide a sufficient basis for an indictment. Before preferring the indictment accused must be interrogated except in the case when the indictment proposes a trial in absence (Article 402 of the Criminal Procedure Act). In regards to summoning and interrogation of the suspect, the provisions about summoning and interrogation of the defendant shall be applied.

Injured person as a prosecutor is the person who took over prosecution from the State Attorney who has not instituted or has desisted from criminal prosecution.

Apart from the victim, the injured person is a person whose personal or financial right has been infringed or jeopardized by the criminal offence, and participates as an injured person in criminal proceedings.


Joint investigation involves actions of the police, State Attorney and the court pursuant to international treaty.


Legal representative is a member of the Bar who can be replaced by the attorney apprentice who has passed Bar examination pursuant to the Criminal Procedure Act.


Mental Incapacity – mentally incapable person shall not be culpable and no criminal sanction shall be imposed on such a person. A mentally incompetent person may be placed in a psychiatric institution in accordance with the provisions of the Law on the Protection of Persons with Mental Disorders. A mentally incapable person is one who at the time of the perpetration of an illegal act was incapable of understanding the significance of his/her conduct, or cannot control his/her will due to mental illness, temporary mental disorder, mental deficiency or some other severe mental disturbance.


Person under house arrest is the person against whom the measure of house arrest is applied.

Personal data, within the meaning of this Act, is information relating to a particular natural person or a natural person who can be determined.

Police is police officer of the ministry competent for the internal affairs or authorized official of the ministry competent for the defense within the rights and duties stipulated by special laws and foreign police officer who, in accordance with international law and based on a written consent of the minister competent for internal affairs, undertakes measures on the territory of the Republic of Croatia, its ship or aircraft.

Precautionary measures – prohibition to leave a residence, prohibition to visit a certain place or a territory, obligation of the defendant to call periodically a certain person or authority, prohibition to approach a certain person and prohibition to establish or maintain contacts with a certain person, prohibition to engage in a certain business activity, temporary seizure of a passport or other document which serves to cross the state border, temporary seizure of a license to drive a motor vehicle. Precautionary measures may not entail the restriction of a defendant’s right to his own apartment, to unimpeded connections with members of his household, spouse or common-law spouse, parents, children, adopted child or adoptive parent, except where the proceedings are conducted on account of a criminal offence committed to the detriment of any of these persons. The prohibition of the pursuit of a business activity may also include a lawful professional activity if the proceedings have been instituted for the criminal offence committed within the activity in question.

Prisoner on remand is the person against whom the measure of detention on remand.

Private prosecutor is the person who filed a private charge for the prosecution of criminal offences prosecuted upon a private charge.

Prosecutor is States Attorney, subsidiary prosecutor and private prosecutor.

Protective measure of vacating apartment, house or other housing facility – Protective measure of vacating apartment, house or other housing facility under the Law on Protection against Family Violence may be applied to the perpetrator of family violence who committed violence against a family member that he lives with in an apartment, house or other living facility, if there is a danger that without the implementation of this measure perpetrator might commit violence again. Person that this measure is imposed on is obligated to vacate apartment, house or other housing facility immediately in the presence of police officer. The measure shall be ordered for a period that cannot be neither shorter than one month nor longer than two years. Minister competent for the interior shall prescribe the conduct of police officer in execution of measure of vacating apartment, house or other housing facility by implementing regulation.

Purpose of punishment – the purpose of punishment is to express social condemnation of a committed criminal offense, strengthen public confidence in the legal system based on the rule of law, to deter the perpetrator and all others from committing criminal offenses in the future, by the implementation of statutory punishments to increase the consciousness of citizens of the danger of criminal offenses and of the fairness of punishing perpetrators and providing the perpetrator reintegration into society.


Recognition is the determination of the identity of a person, an object, a space, a sound or other ways of moving or other attribute observed by defendant or a witness, which is determined by comparison with another person, object, space, sound, way of moving, or other attribute. Items that can serve to clarify the matter would be presented to the defendant and, if necessary, to witnesses and experts.


Security measures are: compulsory psychiatric treatment, compulsory treatment of addiction, prohibition to engage in a profession, activity or duty, prohibition to drive a motor vehicle, expulsion of aliens and forfeiture. Purpose of security measures is to eliminate the conditions, which enable or encourage the perpetration of another criminal offense.

Self-defense – There shall be no criminal offense when the perpetrator acts in self-defense. Self-defense is a defense, which is absolutely necessary for the perpetrator to avert an imminent or immediate unlawful attack on him or on another person. If the perpetrator exceeds the limits of self-defense, the punishment can be mitigated. There is no guilt if the excess of the limits of self-defense occurs due to strong fright caused by the attack.

State Attorney – The basic power and main function of the State Attorney shall be the prosecution of perpetrators of criminal offences subject to public prosecution.

Statute of limitations for criminal prosecution – statute of limitations for criminal prosecution commences on the date the criminal offense was committed. The statute of limitation of criminal prosecution shall not run during the time criminal prosecution, which pursuant to the law, cannot be undertaken or continued. The statute of limitation for criminal persecution is: 40 years for criminal offenses for which a punishment of long- term imprisonment or more than 15 years of imprisonment is prescribed; 25 years for criminal offenses for which a punishment of more than 10 years of imprisonment is prescribed, 20 years for criminal offenses for which a punishment of more than 5 years of imprisonment is prescribed, 15 years for criminal offenses for which a punishment of more than 3 years of imprisonment is prescribed, 10 years for criminal offenses for which a punishment of more than 1 years of imprisonment is prescribed and 6 years for other criminal offenses. Crime of genocide (Article 88 of Criminal Code), crime of aggression (Article 89 of Criminal Code), crime against humanity (Article 90 of Criminal Code), war crime (Article 91 of Criminal Code) and other criminal offenses which, pursuant to the Constitution or international law, are not subject to the statute of limitations.

Suspect is a person against whom criminal report was filed or the inquiries are conducted, or is under investigation or actions of evidence collecting are being conducted before the start of criminal proceedings.

Suspended sentence – by a suspended sentence shall be ordered that the punishment on which the perpetrator is sentenced will not be executed if the perpetrator does not commit another criminal offense and fulfill certain obligations. The court may apply a suspended sentence to the perpetrator who is sentenced to imprisonment up to one year or to a fine when it establishes that the perpetrator, even without the execution of the punishment, will not commit criminal offences in the future. In so doing the court shall take into account the personality of the perpetrator, his previous life, particularly the previous convictions, family circumstances, the circumstances of a commission of the criminal offence and behavior after committed criminal offence, particularly the relationship of the perpetrator towards the injured person and the effort to compensate the damage. Probation period cannot be shorter than one or longer than five years, and such time shall be assessed in full years and begins on the date of final judgment. Afterwards the court may shorten the period of probation and respectively extend it to the maximum duration before its expiration in the procedure prescribed by a special law. Along with the suspended sentence the court may order one or more special obligations independently pursuant to the Article 62 and Article 63 of Criminal Code or with supervision pursuant to Article 64 of Criminal Code.

Supervision – the court shall impose protective supervision for the perpetrator when it establishes that the perpetrator needs assistance, guidance and supervision of the probation officer with a purpose to avoid perpetrators future criminal offences and to alleviate perpetrators inclusion into society. Protective supervision is based on the individual program of conduct. Probation Office creates helps to implement and supervises the implementation of that individual program.
With the suspended sentence, community work or conditional release the court will, as a rule, order protective supervision if pronounced sentence of imprisonment more than 6 months or in the case when convicted person is under the age of twenty-five.
Supervision may, by a court order, be canceled sooner if the requirements for assistance, guidance and supervision have ceased to exist or, if there is a requirement, extended to the maximum duration prescribed by Criminal Code. During the protective supervision perpetrator must: 1. regularly report to the competent probation officer, 2. accept visits of probation officer at home and provide all the necessary information and documents, 3. ask the consent of the judge for the infliction of sanctions for traveling abroad, 4. notify the probation officer of change of employment or address, within two days of that change, and about the travel of more than eight days and the day of return.


Types of Punishments – punishments are a fine, imprisonment and long-term imprisonment. A fine may be imposed both as the principal and a supplementary punishment. Imprisonment and long-term imprisonment shall be imposed only as the principal punishment. When the law for certain criminal offence prescribes imprisonment up to three years, the court may impose the fine as principal punishment. For criminal offenses committed for personal gain, a fine may be imposed as a supplementary punishment, even when it is not prescribed by law, or when the law prescribes that the perpetrator is to be punished by imprisonment or by a fine, while the court pronounces imprisonment as the principal punishment.


Union is common-law union and same-sex union. Common-law union in terms of Law on Protection against Family Violence is the life union of man and woman without marriage, which lasts for a longer period, or such a union that lasts for a shorter period if the child was born in it. Same-sex union is a union that is regulated by law.


Victim of the criminal offense is the person who, due to commission of criminal offense, suffers from physical and mental consequences, property damage or substantial violation of fundamental rights and freedoms.

Voluntary Intoxication – a perpetrator who, due to the consumption of alcohol, narcotic drugs or other substances, culpably brings himself into a state in which he is incapable of understanding the significance of his conduct or of controlling his own will shall not be deemed mentally incapable if, at the time of bringing himself into such a state, his intent encompassed the offense committed, or if at this time he was negligent in regard to the offense, provided that the statute prescribes punishment for such a form of culpability as well.

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