It is not enough to file a complaint to initiate legal proceedings. This choice is up to the prosecutor.
But, sometimes the classification will be imposed on him for legal reasons.
If he refuses to initiate proceedings, he will render a reasoned decision explaining to the victim why no action was taken on his complaint and whose cause is necessarily listed below.
- Absence of offense: It is not enough to claim to be a victim to file a complaint. The facts complained of must constitute a reprehensible criminal offense. Very often certain facts which are however damaging cannot be prosecuted in criminal proceedings but in civil proceedings.
- Insufficiently characterized offense: In this case, the charges do constitute a criminal offense, but it is not sufficiently characterized to consider prosecution. An element (material or intentional) provided for by the legislator is missing.
- Author unknown: The facts took place in undetermined circumstances (when, for example, during a fight the investigation did not allow to know precisely the author of the violence)
- Insufficient evidence
- Amnesty: the amnesty law having extinguished public action prevents any prosecution.
- Transaction: The victim obtains compensation
- Death of the respondent,
- Prescription of the denounced facts
- Modification of the law: the facts are no longer prosecuted
- Res judicata: The charges have already been judged
- Criminal composition: If the perpetrator of an offense has agreed to submit to a criminal composition and respected the obligations imposed on him, in particular those to compensate the victim, this will terminate the public action.
- Immunity: They concern diplomats, politicians and the family.
- Force majeure.
- Irresponsibility of the author established by expertise.
- Underage accused whose capacity for discernment is not established.
- Procedural irregularities: If the case is vitiated by a procedural irregularity, it would have no chance of ending up in court which will declare the procedure null and void.
- Failure of the complainant: The victim files a complaint and then loses interest in the legal action. She does not go to the summons of the investigators ...
- Fault of the victim: If she provoked the acts of violence of which she would have to complain.
- Reparation of the victim: The perpetrator compensates the victim
- Regularization of the perpetrator of an offense: Obtain the authorization of the competent administrative services from the discovery of the offense (building permit, hunting permit, etc.).
- Alternative to prosecution (article 41-1 of the Code of Criminal Procedure): The respondent is involved in a case liable to prosecution, and which has benefited from an alternative measure to prosecution such as mediation, recall to the law or warning.
- Referral to a health, social or professional structure at the request of the prosecution. The therapeutic injunction measure provided for in Article L.3423-1 of the Public Health Code.
Note: Unlike the penal composition, the law does not envisage the termination of public proceedings in the event of an alternative measure to prosecution.
The measure, followed by a mediator or the delegate of the prosecutor, makes it possible to ensure that the perpetrator has complied with his obligations (disinterest the victim, restore order, etc.) before closing the case. Otherwise he will be prosecuted in court.
After a classification, the prosecutor can always change his mind and initiate proceedings in the event of new facts and as long as the facts are not prescribed.