It is in line with our self-concept as criminal defence lawyers that general criminal law is a core area of our work. The term "general criminal law" is used for offences contained in the Criminal Code (StGB). These include:
Property and ownership offences
In the area of property and ownership offences, there are numerous acts that are often not thought to be punishable: For example, if internet orders are placed although one's account is not sufficiently covered, fraud comes into consideration. The same applies to false allegations made in the course of civil litigation when the intention is to gain a financial advantage (so-called litigation fraud).
Another example of embezzlement is when a private car is fuelled using an employer-issued fuel card, even though this is forbidden by the employer. If a court-appointed guardian transfers the assets entrusted to him or her to his own account, this may also give the prosecutor's office reason to suspect embezzlement.
The different facets of theft range from simple shoplifting to residential burglary by a gang.
Violent offences include not only serious crimes such as robbery, manslaughter and murder, but also negligent assault, for example in a road traffic accident.
If you get behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol and cause an accident that results in personal injury or property damage, you could face severe penalties for drunk driving and endangering road traffic. If someone is convicted of such offences, their driving licence will usually be revoked and they will have to wait several months, sometimes even years, before it can be reinstated.
The range of sexual offences is also broad and extends from sexual harassment to rape as well as the possession and distribution of child pornographic content.
Documentary offences (forgery of documents, indirect false certification)
Changing the reference of the last employer in one's favour in order to give a better impression in a job application constitutes forgery of documents. The criminal offence of causing false records is already committed if deliberately false information is given when applying for a new identity card and subsequently the wrong year of birth is subsequently noted on the identity card.
Witnesses in court proceedings are obliged to tell the truth. In the case of untruthful statements in court or to the police, the criminal offenses of unsworn false testimony or false suspicion may come into consideration. If a witness makes false statements in order to protect a friend, this may also constitute (attempted) obstruction of justice. Experience shows that testimonial offenses are prosecuted particularly severely.
Offences involving insults
Numerous situations can lead to spontaneous statements that the other person interprets as an insult or as defamation of a third party. Insults in road traffic can have serious consequences, such as the ordering of a driving ban.