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Languages and communication

If you have experienced a crime, you will want to and have to talk with many persons in authorities and other institutions about it.

As a matter of principle, the mandatory language of the criminal proceedings shall be German. Not everybody can speak, read and write the German language sufficiently. As the aggrieved person, however, you may request translating and interpreting services free of charge during the investigative proceedings and the judicial proceedings. This applies not only to foreign languages, but also to sign language interpreters and other problems regarding the processes during the investigative and criminal proceedings.

If you have not only language problems but are also uncertain as to whether you understand or can understand everything, you may seek advice in the offices of your municipality or obtain advice and support from the support facilities in your vicinity, which are described in the List of Support Facilities . Some support facilities also have personnel who can speak a foreign language in addition to the German language. You can ask for this.

According to Section 191a of the German Courts Constitution Act (Gerichtsverfassungsgesetz -GVG), you may submit an application for support if you are blind or visually impaired and need assistance with the reading of documents and papers. In this case, documents and papers which are important for you will be made available to you in a form accessible to you. There shall be no charge for this. Possibilities include a written form in braille or a communication in acoustic or oral form or a communication by telephone.