Legal protection and assistance


The services we offer in the penal law

“Everyone charged with a criminal offence shall be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law.”

Bulgarian criminal code

From the assistance of a lawyer in criminal proceedings for the protection of rights and legitimate interests needs any person who has committed a crime or any person who considers himself or herself to have suffered a crime, if you are a suspect, an accused in a criminal case or a victim of a crime, look for our cooperation.

Criminal law is the body of law that relates to crime. It proscribes conduct perceived as threatening, harmful, or otherwise endangering to the property, health, safety, and moral welfare of people inclusive of one’s self. This includes detention of suspects, as well as protecting Defendants’ Rights. During the process, we will monitor and fight for the observance of all legitimate rights and interests of our clients, the gathering of all evidence in its favor and the achievement of a favorable outcome.

Some will say victory is not everything, but we do not think so. We rely on the principle of achieving the best possible results of our work for our clients. To achieve these results we offer high-quality lawyers services and build relationships of mutual trust with our clients.

The services we offer in the field of the penal law are the following

  • Initial legal protection of those are detained for 24 hours, which are not of procedural quality yet;
  • Legal protection of citizens attracted as accused in the pre-trial phase;
  • Procedural representation and defense of a defendant, civil plaintiff, private prosecutor, witness, in the criminal procedure;
  • Protection and representation of victims of crimes pursued on a complaint of the victim in a private criminal case;
  • Assistance to provide a translator if necessary;
  • Legal assistance during investigative actions;
  • Possibilities for release from serving the imposed punishment;
  • Full legal representation of defendants in front of the City Court, District Court, Specialized Court and Appellate Court and the Supreme Court of Cassation;
  • Protection against imposing detention measures as well as their appeal;
  • Consultations in relation to criminal law and committed crimes;
  • Consultations on unlawful acts or crimes of individuals or public authorities and possibilities of protection;
  • Representation and lawyer protection before a court for imposing of measures of procedural coercion;
  • Preparation of complaints against issued punitive decrees;
  • Assistance to reach an agreement on the voluntary settlement of the dispute;
  • Assistance to conducting a shorten court investigation;
  • Assistance for exemption from criminal liability under Art. 78a of the Criminal Code.

The right to defense in criminal proceedings

A basic human right

arrested in Bulgaria

The Constitution of the Republic of Bulgaria, the Code of Penal Procedure, as well as a number of international instruments to which the Republic of Bulgaria is a party state that the accused has the right to protection and violation of this right is an essential procedural violation that may compromise the entire criminal process.

In the Constitution of the Republic of Bulgaria the right of defense is proclaimed as a fundamental right. According to the Constitution, everyone has the right to legal counsel from the moment of his or her detention or attracting as a defendant (art. 30,para. 4 of the CRB). The Constitution also ensures that the secrecy of communications between lawyers and their clients is maintained by proclaiming that everyone has the right to meet in private with the person who protects it and that the secrecy of their communications is inviolable (art. 30, para. 5 of the CRB).

The Code of Criminal Procedure provides for a number of rules that detail the rights of the defense and the various ways in which it can be exercised.

You are constituted as a CITIZEN CLAIM or a PRIVATE PROSECUTOR

The private prosecutor is the person who has suffered material or non-pecuniary damage from the crime and who is constituted in the relevant procedural capacity in the judicial phase of the cases of a general nature. After the death of the person, this right transmit to his heirs. He supports the prosecution in court. He can also keep the accusation if the prosecutor chooses does not support it. The private prosecutor has the possibility to initiate judicial review of the final act of the court. If you are constituted as a PRIVATE PROSECUTOR or a CITIZEN CLAIM, you have the following rights in criminal proceedings:

  • To participate in court proceedings;
  • To get know the case and make the necessary statements;
  • To request the removal of a judge, a prosecutor or a court secretary, an expert or an interpreter if you have reason to doubt their impartiality;
  • To represent and want to gather evidence, to call witnesses, to ask for the appointment of experts;
  • To be present during the judicial investigation;
  • To question the accused and the witnesses and to object to the hearing of some witnesses;
  • To request the court to to convict the defendant to pay your costs in the case if the criminal proceedings end with a conviction;
  • To have a lawyer, to represent you and protect your legitimate rights and interests.

The rights you have as a ACCUSED

The right to protection in the criminal proceedings belongs only to the accused – to the person who has been formally charged with a criminal offence under the rules of criminal proceedings (art. 15, para. 1 of the Criminal Procedure Code).

The status of the defendant

The figure of the accused may arise in two ways – firstly, by a decree of attracting an accused, and secondly by a protocol of the first act of investigation against the person. Once a person has acquired the status of accused at that time, all the rights provided for the accused have arisen for him, and procedural coercive measures may also be imposed against him.

We will assist with:
  • Initial legal protection;
  • Full legal representation;
  • Preparation of complaints;
  • Assistance to reach an agreement;
  • Exemption from criminal responsibility.

The right to remain silent

The accused is the only person against whom the accusation is directed. He can participate permanently throughout the criminal process. The accused is the only subject of the process to which the presumption of innocence applies and thanks to which, he has no burden of proof. The accused’s explanations are a means of proof and a means of protection, so he can not be questioned as a witness. The refusal and the giving of false explanations can not be taken into account when determining the penalty as an aggravating circumstance.

As defendant you have the following rights:

  • You have the right to authorize a attorney of your choice;
  • You have the right to change your authorized attorney at any time in the criminal proceedings because the defense in the criminal proceedings is based on the personal trust between you and your defense attorney;
  • Your attorney in the criminal proceedings has the right to participate in all procedural actions that take place with you or with your presence.

Crimes under the Bulgarian PENAL LAW

Assistance when most needed

crime in Bulgaria

“Vasilev – Dobrinov & Associates” has a proven reputation in Bulgaria for the services we offer in the area of criminal law and process. By covering practically all aspects of matter, we advise and protect our clients before a court in the field of:

Drug offenses

The crimes that relate to the drug refer to the production, processing, acquisition, distribution, storage, possession, transport and transfer of narcotic substances and their analogues without duly authorized, persuade someone else to use drugs, others to use drugs, systematically supplying premises to different persons for the use of such substances and others. Here is the whole range of possible uses and abuses of narcotic substances in accordance with the international conventions to which Bulgaria is a party.

The circumstances which define the acts as unlawful, are provided in the Penal Code of the Republic of Bulgaria (art. 354, art. 354а, art. 354б and art. 354в of the Penal Code). Depending on the type and severity of the crime the punishments may be:

  • A fine of up to BGN 300,000;
  • Imprisonment – for up to 20 years;
  • Imprisonment and a fine;
  • Probation;

Additional penalties may be imposed for deprivation of the right to occupy a particular state or public office, deprivation of the right to practice a particular profession or activity.

Crimes of hooliganism

The hooliganism is a crime and its consequences are like any other. Criminal responsibility lies with any “mistake” that violates public order. According to the Constitutional Court in Bulgaria „public order“ is the order established by normative acts, which provides normal calmness and opportunity to exercise the respective civil rights. If you are accused of “violating public order”, you must take into account everything that is described in laws, ordinances, decrees, etc., and is related to the calm, normal life of the citizens.

To be treated as a hooligan, you must have committed acts of indecency which clearly contradict what is perceived in society as moral and proper (for example, desecrate the faces of national heroes in a public place or the Constitution of the Republic). With your actions, you must:

  • To grossly violate public order;
  • To express utter disrespect for society.
Hristo Vasilev penal lawyer
[VIDEO]
Our co-founder on TV2 talks about the criminal case (credit card fraud) of its clients and about the meaning of appealing the detention measure (remanded in custody) in the Court of Appeal Plovdiv. Click to open the video in new window.

You have to keep in mind that you will be more severely punished if:

  • Add to your actions resistance to a body of authority or a representative of the public (for example a policeman);
  • Your actions are characterized by particular boldness and cynicism – cynicism is a behavior in which you are particularly naive and shameless, grossly violating morality;
  • In the above two cases, given the fact that they are treated as more severe, the term of imprisonment is up to 5 years;
  • If you act for the second time as a hooligan. If there are no aggravating circumstances or the actions are not marked by boldness and cynicism, the punishment of deprivation of liberty is up to 3 years. Otherwise, you risk being in prison for a minimum of one year and spending there for up to 5 years.

Crimes against the financial and tax system

The crimes against the financial, tax and social security systems are presented in the Penal Code. Crime in the financial sphere is mainly money laundering or non-target use of budget funds. According to par. 1 of Art. 253 of the Criminal Code, which carries out a financial transaction or a property transaction, or conceals the origin, the place of residence, the movement or the real rights over property for which it knows or supposes that it was acquired through crime or other publicly dangerous act shall be punished for money laundering.

According to Art. 253, para. 2 of the Penal Code shall be imposed on a person who acquires, receives, holds, uses, transforms or assists in any way the transformation of property for which he knows or supposes at the moment of receiving it that he has been acquired through a crime or another socially dangerous act.

Driving while using drugs or alcohol

The law forbids driving of motor vehicle under the influence of narcotic substances or their analogues. It does not matter whether as a result of this unlawful behavior there have been some negative consequences – for example, I have bumped and I have distorted a road sign or a traffic barrier, I have hit someone with a stopped car and others. Driving in this state is a crime even if something bad has not happened to you or to other members of the public. It is forbidden to provide your vehicle to a person under the influence of drugs or their analogues. As the owner or user of the vehicle, you are responsible for its irregular use, even if there are no negative consequences of driving in such a condition. While the car driver in this hypothesis committed a crime, the owner committed an administrative violation.

Which substances are drugs and which substances are their analogues?

A narcotic substance is any narcotic and psychotropic substance, as well as any other natural and synthetic substance that can cause a state of dependence and has a stimulatory or depressive effect on the central nervous system, causes hallucinations or disorders of motor function, mental activity, behavior, perceptions and mood, etc. Substances that are legally considered to be narcotic drugs are listed in 3 complete lists of their medical names. Among the most common drugs are marijuana, hashish, amphetamines, heroin and cocaine. All of them cause the inability to properly assess the traffic situation.

An analog of a narcotic substance is any substance not included in the lists mentioned above but has a similar chemical structure with a narcotic substance and causes the same action on the body. Analogues are also called designer drugs or structural drugs. The most popular drug analogues are LSD, Ecstasy (also called MDMA) and Ketamine.

What happens if it is found that you are driving under the influence of a narcotic substance or its analogue?

You may be required to take a forced administrative measure by taking away your license. Such a measure is imposed by a motivated order from an employee of the Control of the Administrative Transport.

A fine of 100 to 300 leva will be imposed if it is found that you are giving your car for use to a person who has used a drug. If the violation is repeated, a fine of BGN 300 to 1500 is imposed. The administrative penalty is imposed by an employee of the Traffic Police with an act, which is drawn up before a witness. Witness may be another traffic police officer.

Once it is established that you have been driving after using a narcotic drug or an analogue, the traffic police send a message to the appropriate prosecutor’s office, which serves as a legitimate reason for pre-trial proceedings. If there is a message from a traffic police officer and sufficient evidence that you have committed this crime, the prosecutor initiates proceedings and starts an investigation. If the prosecutor submits an indictment and the court decides that you are guilty, you may be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 1 to 5 years, a fine of BGN 500 to 1 500, and deprivation of the right to drive for a certain period of time.