Accelerated procedure (criminal proceedings, Germany)

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In German law, accelerated proceedings are a special form of criminal proceedings by the judiciary. It is used to negotiate criminally relevant facts quickly and effectively with simple evidence. The punishment should follow the act, so to speak, "on the foot".

The differences to normal criminal proceedings lie in the following points:

  • The accelerated procedure is only permitted if it has only been a short time since the act.
  • The notice period for summons is only 24 hours, Section 418 (2) sentence 3 StPO, not 7 days as in the normal procedure.
  • In the accelerated procedure, there is no decision to open the main procedure. Instead of a written indictment, the public prosecutor's office can also raise the indictment orally on the record of the main hearing . The main hearing is usually held no later than six weeks after receipt of the application by the court. ( § 418 StPO.)
  • A higher sentence than a one-year imprisonment may not be imposed ( Section 419 (1) sentence 2 StPO). If a prison sentence of at least six months is to be expected, the court must appoint a public defender for the defendant if he does not yet have a defense attorney ( Section 418 (4) StPO). Withdrawal of the driver's license is permissible, other measures of improvement and security may not be imposed.
  • The taking of evidence is simplified, in particular the criminal judge (but not the lay judge's court) can reject applications for evidence without being bound by the legal grounds for refusal to be observed in normal proceedings and is only bound by the official duty to provide information ( Section 420 StPO).


The public prosecutor's office submits the application for the expedited procedure to the criminal judge or the lay judge at the local court if the matter is suitable for immediate hearing due to the simple facts or the clear evidence ( Section 417 of the Code of Criminal Procedure ). If the matter is suitable for negotiation in these proceedings, the court must comply with the public prosecutor's request for the accelerated procedure ( Section 419 (1) of the Code of Criminal Procedure). In the case of detention cases in which the accused is in repressive police custody (only provisional arrests ), the locally competent high-speed court decides on the continuation.

If the court either does not consider the accused sufficiently suspicious or does not consider the matter to be suitable for the accelerated trial (e.g. because the evidence is difficult or a higher sentence than a year imprisonment is to be expected), it does not negotiate in the accelerated proceedings, but decides on the opening of the main proceedings ( § 201 , § 203 StPO). If the indictment is then admitted to the main hearing, the rest of the proceedings will take place in the normal procedure, in which the special regulations of the accelerated procedure cannot be applied. If the court rejects the opening of the main proceedings, the public prosecutor's office can lodge an immediate appeal . In response to the appeal, however, the appellate court can only admit the indictment and open the main proceedings, but not order the execution of the accelerated proceedings. The decision of the court not to carry out the expedited procedure is therefore not open to appeal.

According to the wording of the law, accelerated proceedings can also be carried out before the lay jury . Since, however, according to § 25 , § 28 GVG, the lay judge's court is only competent if either a prison sentence of more than two years is to be expected or if a crime is charged (for which the minimum sentence is one year imprisonment by law, § 12 para . 1 StGB ), but in accelerated proceedings a higher sentence than one year imprisonment may not be imposed, accelerated proceedings before the lay judge's court practically do not occur.

The public prosecutor and the accused can lodge normal legal remedies ( appeal and appeal ) against the verdict issued in the accelerated procedure . In appeal proceedings, the special provisions for accelerated proceedings no longer apply. By filing an appeal, the accused can force a new taking of evidence, this time without the restrictions of § 420 StPO.

Until 1994 the procedure was regulated in §§ 212 ff. StPO. The Crime Prevention Act reformed the rules to encourage public prosecutors and local courts to make greater use of the type of procedure.

Meaning in practice

The accelerated procedure is numerically completely subordinate to the procedure with a normal main hearing. In 2006, 819,048 criminal proceedings were dealt with before the local court in Germany (excluding youth protection matters, private lawsuits and accelerated proceedings), in contrast to only 24,085 proceedings that  had been initiated according to § 417 ff. StPO. This is less than 3%. The practice in the individual federal states is also very different; The 8,619 criminal proceedings in Saarland are compared to only four accelerated proceedings. In 2015 there were more than 2,000 accelerated indictments in Berlin. The accelerated procedure is also used more frequently in Saxony. In 2019 there were a total of 650 such procedures there.


  • Tolksdorf in: Karlsruhe Commentary on the Code of Criminal Procedure. 5th edition 1999, §§ 417-420.
  • Holm Putzke : Accelerated procedure for adolescents. Diss. Iur. (Bochum 2003), Holzkirchen / Obb. 2004

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Draft of a law amending the Criminal Code, the Code of Criminal Procedure and other laws (Anti-Criminal Law) (PDF; 1.6 MB), BT-Drs. 12/6853, p. 34 ff.
  2. Federal Statistical Office: Criminal Courts Special Series 10 Series 2.3 - 2006  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , Pp. 18, 21@1@ 2Template: Toter Link /  
  3. ^ Leipzig: First trial after New Year's riots