The costs and duration of the proceedings depend on several factors, such as the complexity of the case, the number and nature of the steps to be completed, the corresponding judicial procedures and any appeal. Criminal procedure involves three stages: investigation, examination and trial. The investigation may not take more than six or eight months, depending on whether or not someone is in prison (Article 276 PPC). It concludes with a final decision to commit to trial or to dismiss the case (Articles 277, 285 and 283 No. 1 PPC).
The examination phase is optional, is conducted by an examining judge and takes place only at the request of the accused and the co-prosecutor. The purpose of this phase is to verify the decision concerning whether or not to commit to trial (Articles 286, 288, 289, 268, 269 and 290 PPC).
The judge must conclude the examination and decide the question of committal to trial within two months, if there is someone in prison, or four months, if there is not (Article 307 PPC). If it is decided to commit the accused to trial, the case is referred to the competent court (Article 311 No. 1 PPC). There is an opportunity for a final appeal against this decision (Articles 399, 400, 427 and 432 PPC).
As regards the cost of the proceedings, criminal procedures are also subject to a court tax and charges (Article 374 PPC and Articles 74, 82, 83, 85, 86, 87 and 13 CCC).
A person found guilty is liable for the payment of court tax and costs (Articles 513, 514, 524 PPC and Article 96 No. 3 CCC).
The liability of the co-prosecutors and parties claiming damages with respect to court tax is determined by Articles 515, 518, 519 and 520 PPC.
Failure to pay costs gives rise to execution proceedings for which the Public Prosecutor's Office is competent (Articles 116, 117, 123 CCC and Articles 467 and 469 PPC).