Main Areas of Practice
Benjamin Derin is active primarily in the legal fields of criminal defense and constitutional and civil rights law.
Being charged with a criminal offense can happen to anyone. A defense attorney affords the legal expertise and support needed during this difficult time and will assure that your rights are protected when confronted by police, prosecutors and in court.
The criminal procedure starts with the preliminary stage of the investigations and might go on to include a court trial and the appeal process. Investigative measures (such as interrogations, searches or wiretapping) undertaken by law enforcement agencies are of great importance for the progression of the case. However, they might not always be completely lawful. In any case, a person confronted with a criminal investigation has rights that can help protect them. Therefore, it is advisable to talk to a defense attorney as soon as possible. In particular and perhapts most importantly, it is strongly advised against making any statements to the police or prosecution without having consulted your defense attorney beforehand.
If German is not your first language, you might be entitled to an interpreter in any stage of the investigation or trial in order to better communicate with your attorney.
In many criminal cases that are deemed to be not very complex from a legal standpoint, the prosecution will request the court to make its decision without a trial. In these cases, the ruling is made based upon the results of the preliminary investigation, and instead of a verdict, the defendant is sent a letter notifying him of the sentence. This is referred to as “Strafbefehl” (summary punishment notice or penalty order). If the defendant contests this letter, a regular trial is conducted. However, if the defendant does not contest the decision within two weeks of receiving this letter, it becomes final. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to take action shortly after receiving a Strafbefehl notice. A defense attorney will help you decide whether to contest the decision and thoroughly explain to you any potential consequences of your case.
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW AND CIVIL RIGHTS
Constitutional law governs the organization and political order of the state concerning its fundamental principles and the relations of its entities to each other, as well as the relationship between the state and its citizens as laid out by the constitutional rights. It not only affects the question of how we want our society to be structured and which power dynamics exist therein, but also – and perhaps of even greater significance – has a direct impact on the individual legal standing of every citizen. The fundamental civil rights defined in the constitution are of vital importance in protecting against government infringement and limiting the state’s power.