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Last update: 24-10-2007
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Compensation to crime victims - Hungary

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. Obtaining compensation in the form of damages from the offender 1.
1.1. Under what conditions can I make a claim for damages in the trial against the offender (the criminal proceedings)? 1.1.
1.2. At what point of the procedure should I put forward the claim? 1.2.
1.3. How should I put forward the claim, and to whom? 1.3.
1.4. How should I present my claim (indicate a total amount and/or specify the individual losses)? 1.4.
1.5. Can I get legal assistance before and/or during the proceedings? 1.5.
1.6. What evidence will I be required to present in support of my claim? 1.6.
1.7. If I am awarded damages by the court, is there any special assistance available to me as a crime victim for the enforcement of the judgment against the offender? 1.7.
2. Obtaining compensation from the state or by a public body 2.
2.1. Is it possible to obtain compensation from the state or by a public body? 2.1.
2.2. Is the possibility limited to victims that have suffered certain types of crime? 2.2.
2.3. Is the possibility limited to victims that have suffered certain types of injury? 2.3.
2.4. Can relatives or dependents of victims that have died as a result of the crime obtain compensation? 2.4.
2.5. Is the possibility of obtaining compensation limited to persons of a certain nationality or persons residing in a certain country? 2.5.
2.6. Can I apply for compensation from Hungary if the crime was committed in another country? If so, under what conditions? 2.6.
2.7. Is it necessary to have reported the crime to the police? 2.7.
2.8. Is it necessary to await the outcome of any police investigations or criminal proceedings before I can apply? 2.8.
2.9. If the offender has been identified, is it necessary to first try to obtain compensation from the offender? 2.9.
2.10. If the offender has not been identified or convicted, is it still possible to qualify for compensation? If so, what evidence do I need to supply in support of my application? 2.10.
2.11. Is there a time limit for making the application for compensation? 2.11.
2.12. For which losses can I be compensated? 2.12.
2.13. How will the compensation be calculated? 2.13.
2.14. Is there a minimum and/or maximum amount that can be awarded? 2.14.
2.15. Will compensation that I have received, or can receive, for the same losses but from other sources (such as insurance) be deducted from the compensation paid by the state? 2.15.
2.16. Are there other criteria that may influence my chance of receiving compensation, or how the amount of compensation is calculated, such as my own behaviour in relation to the event that caused the injury? 2.16.
2.17. Can I get an advance on compensation? If so, under what conditions? 2.17.
2.18. Where can I get the necessary forms and further information on how to apply? Is there a special help line or website I can use? 2.18.
2.19. Can I get legal assistance for making the application? 2.19.
2.20. Where do I send the petition? 2.20.
2.21. Are there any victims' aid organisations that might offer further assistance? 2.21.

 

1. Obtaining compensation in the form of damages from the offender

1.1. Under what conditions can I make a claim for damages in the trial against the offender (the criminal proceedings)?

Under Act XIX of 1998 on criminal proceedings, the victim (as a private party) can enforce a civil claim against the offender for damages arising directly from the act that forms the grounds of the indictment - in other words, in the criminal proceedings the accused is liable only for damage caused by the criminal offence.

1.2. At what point of the procedure should I put forward the claim?

A civil claim can be filed from the date of initiation of the criminal proceedings up until (at the latest) the date of the council meeting for first instance sentencing.

1.3. How should I put forward the claim, and to whom?

A civil claim can be filed by the injured party or, if he/she dies, by the heir/heiress. In certain cases it can be enforced by the prosecutor.

The injured party can file the civil claim with the investigating authority or the prosecutor’s office before the indictment is submitted, and with the court after it has been submitted.

1.4. How should I present my claim (indicate a total amount and/or specify the individual losses)?

There is no legal provision concerning how the claim should be lodged or its amount. In addition to actual damages, a private party may claim compensation for profit lost, interest, out-of-pocket expenses and the representative's fee.

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1.5. Can I get legal assistance before and/or during the proceedings?

In the course of judging a civil claim, the private party must be informed about the consequences of that claim.

The Justice Office (overseen by the Ministry of Justice) offers assistance to victims, providing information and advice to the injured party at his/her request before criminal proceedings commence.

1.6. What evidence will I be required to present in support of my claim?

Proof of the damages for which the claim is made must be given by the private party. For this purpose the party must produce the corresponding pieces of evidence. In the course of the proceedings the private party may, with the court's permission, directly question the accused and the witness.

1.7. If I am awarded damages by the court, is there any special assistance available to me as a crime victim for the enforcement of the judgment against the offender?

At the private party's request, sequestration may be arranged in order to secure the civil claim. Sequestration may also extend to assets that are not related to the criminal offence. The detailed rules for enforcing a civil claim awarded by the court are set out in Act LIII of 1994 on judicial enforcement.

2. Obtaining compensation from the state or by a public body

2.1. Is it possible to obtain compensation from the state or by a public body?

Yes. Under Act CXXXV of 2005 on crime victim support and state compensation, compensation may be claimed from the Justice Office's Victim Support Service.

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2.2. Is the possibility limited to victims that have suffered certain types of crime?

Yes. Compensation for damages is payable only to natural persons who have suffered a violent intentional crime against their person.

2.3. Is the possibility limited to victims that have suffered certain types of injury?

Compensation for damages is payable only if the injured party died or sustained serious damage to their physical integrity or health as a result of the criminal act.

2.4. Can relatives or dependents of victims that have died as a result of the crime obtain compensation? 

Yes. Compensation is payable to a natural person who, at the time of the offence, is a next of kin, adoptive parent, foster parent, adopted child, foster child, spouse or common-law spouse of a deceased or an injured party and lives in the same household as the person who died/suffered damages to his/her physical integrity or health as a result of a violent intentional crime. Compensation is also payable to a natural person who is required to support any of the above under the law, a court or authority decision or a valid agreement.

2.5. Is the possibility of obtaining compensation limited to persons of a certain nationality or persons residing in a certain country? 

Compensation can be obtained by Hungarian citizens, citizens of any EU Member State, displaced persons legally staying in the territory of the Republic of Hungary, victims of human trafficking, persons entitled to receive compensation under an international agreement or reciprocity between the State of his/her nationality and Hungary, and persons domiciled or having their habitual and legal place of residence in any EU Member State. Compensation is also payable to victims who have a residence or immigration permit for Hungary.

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2.6. Can I apply for compensation from Hungary if the crime was committed in another country? If so, under what conditions?

Yes. An application can be submitted in any EU Member State if the crime was committed in Hungary. In such cases, compensation for damages is payable if the applicant satisfies the requirements set out in Act CXXXV of 2005 on crime victim support and state compensation.

2.7. Is it necessary to have reported the crime to the police?

Yes. If no criminal proceedings are in progress, an application for compensation cannot be approved.

2.8. Is it necessary to await the outcome of any police investigations or criminal proceedings before I can apply?

No. An application may be submitted during the criminal proceedings.

2.9. If the offender has been identified, is it necessary to first try to obtain compensation from the offender?

No.

2.10. If the offender has not been identified or convicted, is it still possible to qualify for compensation? If so, what evidence do I need to supply in support of my application?

A victim is eligible for compensation even if the offender has not been identified.

If the accused has been acquitted, compensation for damages is payable only if the acquittal was on grounds of minority, mental incapacity, force or threat, error, legal protection, extreme necessity, the order of a superior officer, death of the offender, lapse, clemency, or if the danger to society posed by the act has ended or become negligible; or if the acquittal was on any other grounds provided for by Act IV of 1978 on the Criminal Code.

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2.11. Is there a time limit for making the application for compensation?

Yes.

Applications for compensation must be lodged within three months from the date the criminal offence was committed. There are three exceptions to this rule:

If the application was not submitted owing to unavoidable difficulties, it can be submitted within 3 months from cessation of the difficulties.

If an act previously investigated as part of administrative proceedings later proves to be a criminal offence, the application can be submitted within three months from the initiation of criminal proceedings.

If a causal link between the damage to the victim's physical integrity or health and the criminal offence becomes evident at a later stage, the application can be submitted within three months from that date.

2.12. For which losses can I be compensated?

So that the damages can be determined, the application must specify the amount of material damage suffered as a result of the criminal offence, the loss in income (with proof) and any costs incurred as a result of the criminal offence or to repair the damage caused by the criminal offence.

2.13. How will the compensation be calculated?

Compensation is payable in a lump sum or as a monthly allowance.

Amount of compensation paid as a lump sum:

  • 100% of the damage not exceeding five times the basic amount,
  • for damage between five and ten times the basic amount, the lump sum is five times the basic amount,

and 75% of the part that is above five times the basic amount.

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  • In the case of damages exceeding ten times the basic amount, payment is 8.75 times the basic amount and 50% of the part above ten times the basic amount, but a maximum of 15 times the basic amount.

If the injured person's incapacity for work resulting from the criminal offence is expected to last for more than 6 months, he or she may claim an allowance as partial compensation for the drop in their regular income. The amount of the allowance is as follows:

  • 75% of the certified drop in income if the victim is under 18 years of age or is reliant upon others' care,
  • 50% of the certified drop in income if the victim is not reliant upon others' care.
2.14. Is there a minimum and/or maximum amount that can be awarded?

Yes.

The law recognises a basic amount, which represents 43% of the gross average national monthly income published by the Central Statistical Office for the year preceding the previous one (in 2006 this was HUF 62 651).

Total or partial reimbursement of the material loss caused by the criminal offence can be claimed by the victim in the form of a lump sum. A maximum of fifteen times the basic amount can be granted as lump-sum compensation.

The maximum amount of compensation paid in the form of a monthly allowance is equivalent to the basic amount. An allowance can be paid for a maximum of three years.

2.15. Will compensation that I have received, or can receive, for the same losses but from other sources (such as insurance) be deducted from the compensation paid by the state?

Yes.

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2.16. Are there other criteria that may influence my chance of receiving compensation, or how the amount of compensation is calculated, such as my own behaviour in relation to the event that caused the injury?

Yes.

A further condition for state compensation is the victim's means. The applicant's income situation is therefore assessed. A claimant whose net income (individual income, if he/she is member of a household) does not exceed twice the basic amount is eligible for compensation. (In 2006 the means threshold was HUF 125 302.)

The law rules out compensation in some instances on the grounds of the victim's behaviour: certain acts or omissions exclude him or her from damage compensation even if he or she is below the means threshold. Accordingly, the victim is not entitled to compensation if damages have already been recovered or if the insurance claim from which full or partial recovery of the damages could be expected has not been enforced; if the victim provoked the criminal act or contributed to the occurrence of damages; if the victim does not cooperate with the authorities in the criminal proceedings or damage compensation procedure; or if the victim committed a criminal offence in connection with the crime that gave rise to the damages.

2.17. Can I get an advance on compensation? If so, under what conditions?

No.

2.18. Where can I get the necessary forms and further information on how to apply? Is there a special help line or website I can use?

The necessary form can be downloaded from the Internet:

http://www.im.hu/

The form is also available from the regional bodies of the Justice Office. The contact details for the regional bodies can be obtained by calling this phone number (free of charge): 06-80-244-444.

2.19. Can I get legal assistance for making the application?

The regional Victim Support Services of the Justice Office offer help with completing the application.

2.20. Where do I send the petition?

The application can be submitted to the regional Victim Support Services of the Justice Office.

2.21. Are there any victims' aid organisations that might offer further assistance?

There are a number of civil organisations in the Republic of Hungary that offer help to crime victims. Some assist a particular category of victims (e.g. women), while others help persons who have become victims as a result of specific criminal offences (e.g. relating to the home).

« Compensation to crime victims - General information | Hungary - General information »

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Last update: 24-10-2007

 
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