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How to press charges

Warning : This section summarizes the steps to be taken. NPNS advises victims to write to juridiquenpns@gmail.com or to consult a lawyer to accompany them throughout the procedure.


Who can file a complaint?

Anyone who has been the victim of a crime can lodge a complaint. Filing a complaint with the authorities allows the launch of an investigation.

What are the deadlines for filing a complaint?

There are deadlines beyond which we can no longer complain. We are talking about limitation periods. Except in special circumstances, these times are as follows:

  • 1 year for contraventions (abnormal neighborhood disorder, insult);
  • 6 years for offenses (theft, assault and battery, fraud);
  • 20 years for crimes (murder, rape, infanticide).

How to file a complaint?

In a police station or a gendarmerie brigade:

If you wish, you can ask to be heard by a woman. If no woman is present on the premises, do not hesitate to change gendarmerie brigade or police station. The police officer or the gendarme will record your statements and write a report that you will have to sign. You may refuse to sign the minutes if it does not include the words with which you have recounted the offense. A copy of the complaint will be given to you at the end of your testimony.

By writing a letter to the Public Prosecutor:

Registered letter with acknowledgment of receipt which must contain:

  • Name, address, telephone number, …;
  • The facts, date and place of the offense;
  • The name of the supposed author if you know him (otherwise, you have to file a complaint against X);
  • Evidence documents: medical certificates stating injuries, work stoppages, findings in case of material damage,…

Can we refuse to register your complaint?

The police officer or the gendarme can not refuse the registration of your complaint.

What is the difference between a handrail and a complaint? The handrail makes it possible to denounce and date certain facts of which you have been victim or witness. In principle, the alleged perpetrator will not be informed and no investigation will be opened against him, contrary to the complaint.

If you wish, you can be accompanied in the administrative procedures by a volunteer of the association Ni Putes Ni Soumises. For more information, go to the Platform for the reception of victims of violence.