PRELIMINARY TITLE
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PRELIMINARY TITLE

Preliminary article

I. – Criminal proceedings must be fair and adversarial and preserve the balance of the rights of the parties.

It must guarantee the separation of the authorities responsible for public action and the judgment authorities.

People in similar conditions and prosecuted for the same offenses must be tried according to the same rules.

II. – The judicial authority ensures the information and the guarantee of the rights of victims during all criminal proceedings.

Presumption of innocence

III. – Anyone suspected or prosecuted is presumed innocent until his guilt has been established. Violations of his presumption of innocence are prevented, repaired and repressed under the conditions provided for by law.

She has the right to be informed of the charges against her and to be assisted by a lawyer.

The restrictive measures to which this person may be subject are taken by decision or under the effective control of the judicial authority. They must be strictly limited to the requirements of the procedure, proportionate to the gravity of the offense charged and not undermine the dignity of the person.

The accusation against this person must be definitively ruled on within a reasonable time.

Anyone convicted has the right to have their conviction reviewed by another court.

Preliminary title: On public action and civil action

PUBLIC ACTION

REP JUR PUBLIC ACTION

Article 1

The public action for the enforcement of sentences is moved and exercised by magistrates or officials whom it is entrusted by law.
This action can also be set in motion by the injured party, under the conditions determined by this code.

CIVIL ACTIONCONSTITUTION OF CIVIL PARTY

Articles 2 ,  85 , 86 and 87 of the Code of Criminal Procedure,

Article 2

 

(Ordinance nº 58-1296 of December 23, 1958 art. 1 Official Journal of December 24, 1958 in force on March 2, 1959)
The civil action for damages caused by a crime, an offense or contravention belongs to all those who have personally suffered damage directly caused by the offense.
The waiver of civil action may not stop or suspend the exercise of public action, subject to the cases referred to in paragraph 3 of article 6.

  V ° CIVIL ACTION BY ASSOCIATIONS

Article 2-1

(Law n ° 72-546 of July 1, 1972 art. 8 Official Journal of July 2, 1972)(Law n ° 85-10 of January 3, 1985, art. 99 Official Journal of January 4, 1985)(Law nº 87-588 of July 30, 1987 art. 87 Official Journal of July 31, 1987)(Law nº 92-1336 of December 16, 1992 art. 1 Official Journal of December 23, 1992 in force on March 1, 1994)(Law n ° 2004-204 of March 9, 2004 art. 42, art. 43 Official Journal of March 10, 2004)
Any association regularly declared for at least five years on the date of the facts, proposing by its statutes to combat racism or to assist victims of discrimination based on their national, ethnic, racial or religious origin, can exercise the rights recognized to the civil party as regards, on the one hand, the discrimination punishable by articles  225-2 and  432-7 of the penal code and the establishment or conservation of files punished by article 226-19of the same code, on the other hand, willful attacks on the life and integrity of the person, threats, theft, extortion and destruction, degradation and deterioration that have been committed to the prejudice of a person to because of their national origin, their belonging or not belonging, true or supposed, to a specific ethnic group, race or religion.
However, when the offense has been committed against a person considered individually, the association will only be admissible in its action if it can justify having received the agreement of the person concerned or, if the latter is a minor, the agreement of the holder of parental authority or legal representative, when this agreement can be obtained.Article 2-2

(Law n ° 80-1041 of December 23, 1980 art. 3 Official Journal of December 24, 1980)
(Law nº 90-602 of July 12, 1990 art. 12 Official Journal of July 13, 1990)
(Law nº 92-1336 of December 16, 1992 art. 2 Official Journal of December 23, 1992 in force on March 1, 1994)
(Law n ° 98-468 of June 17, 1998 art. 23 Official Journal of June 18, 1998)
(Law n ° 2004-1 of January 2, 2004 art. 14 Official Journal of January 3, 2004)
Any association regularly declared for at least five years on the date of the facts, whose statutory object includes the fight against sexual violence or against violence exerted on a member of the family, can exercise the rights recognized to the civil party, in as regards willful attacks on the life and integrity of the person, assaults and other sexual attacks, kidnapping and forcible confinement and the violation of home punishable by articles 221-1 to 221-4, 222- 1 to 222-18, 222-23 to 222-33, 224-1 to 224-5, 226-4 and 432-8 of the penal code when the victim of these offenses was of full age on the date of the facts. However, the association will only be admissible in its action if it can justify having received the victim’s agreement. If the latter is an adult under guardianship, the agreement must be given by his legal representative.

NOTE: Law 2004-1 of January 3, 2004 art. 16: The provisions of article 2-2 of the Code of Criminal Procedure are applicable in New Caledonia, French Polynesia and the Wallis and Futuna Islands.
Article 2-3

(Law n ° 81-82 of February 2, 1981 art. 19-ii Official Journal of February 3, 1981)
(Law n ° 85-772 of July 25, 1985 art. 7 Official Journal of July 26, 1985)
(Law nº 92-1336 of December 16, 1992 art. 3 Official Journal of December 23, 1992 in force on March 1, 1994)
(Law n ° 98-468 of June 17, 1998 art. 24 Official Journal of June 18, 1998)
(Law n ° 2004-1 of January 2, 2004 art. 15 Official Journal of January 3, 2004)
Any association regularly declared for at least five years on the date of the facts and whose statutory object includes the defense or assistance of the child in danger and victim of all forms of abuse may exercise the rights recognized to the civil party by as regards willful attacks on life and integrity, assaults and other sexual assaults committed on the person of a minor and offenses of endangering minors punishable by articles 221-1 to 221-5, 222-1 to 222-18-1, 222-23 to 222-33-1, 223-1 to 223-10, 223-13, 224-1 to 224-5, 225-7 to 225-9, 225- 12-1 to 225-12-4, 227-1, 227-2, 227-15 to 227-27-1 of the penal code, when thepublic action has been initiated by the public prosecutor or the injured party.
Any association, registered with the Ministry of Justice under conditions set by decree in the Council of State, is admissible in its action even if the public action has not been set in motion by the public prosecutor or the injured party in with regard to the offense mentioned in article 227-23 of the penal code. The same applies when the provisions of the second paragraph of article 222-22 and article 227-27-1 of said code are applied.

NOTE: Law 2004-1 of January 3, 2004 art. 16: The provisions of article 2-3 of the Code of Criminal Procedure are applicable in New Caledonia, French Polynesia and the Wallis and Futuna Islands.Article 2-4

(Law n ° 81-82 of February 2, 1981 art. 88 Official Journal of February 3, 1981)
(Law n ° 83-466 of June 10, 1983 Official Journal of June 11, 1983 in force on June 27, 1983)
Any association regularly declared for at least five years which proposes, by its statutes, to fight crimes against humanity or war crimes or to defend the moral interests and the honor of the Resistance or of the deportees can exercise the rights recognized to the civil party with regard to war crimes and crimes against humanity.Article 2-5

(inserted by Law n ° 83-466 of June 10, 1983 art. 36-ii Official Journal of June 11, 1983 in force on June 27, 1983)
Any association regularly declared for at least five years on the date of the facts which proposes, by its statutes, to defend the moral interests and the honor of the Resistance or of the deportees can exercise the rights recognized to the civil party with regard to either the defense of war crimes or crimes or offenses of collaboration with the enemy, or the destruction or degradation of monuments or the violations of graves, or the offenses of defamation or insults, which have caused direct or indirect damage to the mission it fulfills.Article 2-6

(Law n ° 85-772 of July 25, 1985 art. 1 V Official Journal of July 26, 1985)
(Law nº 92-1179 of November 2, 1992 art. 4 Official Journal of November 4, 1992)
(Law nº 92-1336 of December 16, 1992 art. 4 Official Journal of December 23, 1992 in force on March 1, 1994)
(Law n ° 2000-516 of June 15, 2000 art. 106 Official Journal of June 16, 2000)
(Law n ° 2001-397 of May 9, 2001 art. 22 Official Journal of May 10, 2001)
Any association regularly declared for at least five years on the date of the facts, proposing by its statutes to fight discrimination based on sex or morals, can exercise the rights recognized to the civil party with regard to the discriminations repressed by articles 225-2 and 432-7 of the penal code, when they are committed because of the sex, family situation or morals of the victim, and by article L. 123-1 of the labor code.
However, with regard to breaches of the provisions of the last paragraph of Article L. 123-1 of the Labor Code and of Article 6 ter of Law No. 83-634 of July 13, 1983 on the rights and obligations of civil servants , the association will only be admissible in its action if it can justify having received the written consent of the person concerned, or, if the latter is a minor and after the latter’s opinion, that of the holder of parental authority or the legal representative.
The association can also exercise the rights granted to the civil party in the event of willful attacks on the life or integrity of the person and destruction, degradation and deterioration punishable by articles 221-1 to 221-4, 222 -1 to 222-18 and 322-1 to 322-13 of the penal code, when these acts were committed because of the sex or morals of the victim, as soon as she can justify having received the victim’s consent or , if the latter is a protected minor or adult, that of his legal representative.Article 2-7

(inserted by Law nº 87-565 of July 22, 1987 art. 35 Official Journal of July 23, 1987)
In the event of criminal proceedings for arson committed in the woods, forests, moors, scrubland, plantations or reforestation, legal persons governed by public law may become a civil party before the trial court in order to obtain reimbursement, by the condemned, the costs they incurred in fighting the fire.Article 2-8

(Law n ° 89-18 of January 13, 1989 art. 66 Official Journal of January 14, 1989)
(Law nº 90-602 of July 12, 1990 art. 7 Official Journal of July 13, 1990)
(Law n ° 91-663 of July 13, 1991 art. 7 Official Journal of July 19, 1991)
(Law nº 92-1336 of December 16, 1992 art. 5 Official Journal of December 23, 1992 in force on March 1, 1994)
(Law n ° 2005-102 of February 11, 2005 art. 83 Official Journal of February 12, 2005)
Any association regularly declared for at least five years on the date of the facts having, by virtue of its statutes, vocation to defend or assist sick or disabled people can exercise the rights recognized to the civil party with regard to the discriminations repressed by Articles 225-2 and 432-7 of the Criminal Code, when they are committed because of the victim’s state of health or disability. In addition, when the public action has been set in motion by the public prosecutor or the injured party, the association may exercise the rights recognized to the civil party with regard to willful attacks on life, attacks on physical or mental integrity, assault and other sexual assault, neglect, abuse of vulnerability, hazing, extortion, swindling, destruction and degradation and non-denunciation of ill-treatment, provided for by articles 221-1 to 221- 5, 222-1 to 222-18, 222-22 to 222-33-1, 223-3 and 223-4, 223-15-2, 225-16-2, 312-1 to 312-9, 313- 1 to 313-3, 322-1 to 322-4 and 434-3 of the penal code when they are committed because of the state of health or the handicap of the victim. However, the association will only be admissible in its action if it can justify having received the consent of the victim or, if the latter is a protected minor or adult, that of his legal representative. extortion, swindling, destruction and degradation and non-denunciation of ill-treatment, provided for by articles 221-1 to 221-5, 222-1 to 222-18, 222-22 to 222-33-1 , 223-3 and 223-4, 223-15-2, 225-16-2, 312-1 to 312-9, 313-1 to 313-3, 322-1 to 322-4 and 434-3 of the code criminal when committed because of the victim’s state of health or disability. However, the association will only be admissible in its action if it can justify having received the consent of the victim or, if the latter is a protected minor or adult, that of his legal representative. extortion, swindling, destruction and degradation and non-denunciation of ill-treatment, provided for by articles 221-1 to 221-5, 222-1 to 222-18, 222-22 to 222-33-1 , 223-3 and 223-4, 223-15-2, 225-16-2, 312-1 to 312-9, 313-1 to 313-3, 322-1 to 322-4 and 434-3 of the code criminal when committed because of the victim’s state of health or disability. However, the association will only be admissible in its action if it can justify having received the consent of the victim or, if the latter is a protected minor or adult, that of his legal representative. 222-22 to 222-33-1, 223-3 and 223-4, 223-15-2, 225-16-2, 312-1 to 312-9, 313-1 to 313-3, 322-1 to 322-4 and 434-3 of the penal code when they are committed because of the state of health or the handicap of the victim. However, the association will only be admissible in its action if it can justify having received the consent of the victim or, if the latter is a protected minor or adult, that of his legal representative. 222-22 to 222-33-1, 223-3 and 223-4, 223-15-2, 225-16-2, 312-1 to 312-9, 313-1 to 313-3, 322-1 to 322-4 and 434-3 of the penal code when they are committed because of the state of health or the handicap of the victim. However, the association will only be admissible in its action if it can justify having received the consent of the victim or, if the latter is a protected minor or adult, that of his legal representative.
Any association duly declared for at least five years on the date of the facts having, by virtue of its statutes, vocation to defend or assist disabled people may also exercise the rights recognized to the civil party with regard to infringements of the article L. 111-7 of the construction and housing code, provided for and repressed by article L. 152-4 of the same code.
Article 2-9

(inserted by Law nº 90-589 of July 6, 1990 art. 1 Official Journal of July 11, 1990)
Any association regularly declared for at least five years on the date of the facts which proposes, by its statutes, to assist the victims of offenses can exercise the rights recognized to the civil party with regard to the offenses falling within the scope of application of article 706-16 when public action has been initiated by the public prosecutor or the injured party.
Article 2-10

(Law n ° 90-602 of July 12, 1990 art. 8 Official Journal of July 13, 1990)
(Law nº 92-1336 of December 16, 1992 art. 6 Official Journal of December 23, 1992 in force on March 1, 1994)
Any association regularly declared for at least five years at the date of the facts having, by virtue of its statutes, vocation to fight against the social or cultural exclusion of people in a state of great poverty or because of their family situation can exercise the rights recognized for the civil party with regard to the discrimination punishable by articles 225-2 and 432-7 of the penal code. However, the association will only be admissible in its action if it can justify having received the consent of the victim or, if the latter is a protected minor or adult, that of his legal representative.Article 2-11

(inserted by Law n ° 91-1257 of December 17, 1991 art. 1 Official Journal of December 19, 1991)
Any association, regularly declared for at least five years on the date of the facts and registered with the National Office for Veterans and War Victims under conditions set by decree of the Council of State, which proposes by its statutes to defend the moral interests and the honor of veterans and victims of war and of the dead for France can exercise the rights recognized to the civil party with regard to the degradation or destruction of monuments or the violations of graves, which have caused prejudice direct or indirect to the mission it fulfills.Article 2-12

(inserted by Law nº 93-2 of January 4, 1993 art. 1 Official Journal of January 5, 1993)
Any association regularly declared for at least five years on the date of the facts which proposes by its statutes to fight road crime and to defend or assist the victims of this crime can exercise the rights recognized to the civil party with regard to crimes of manslaughter or unintentional injuries committed while driving a land motor vehicle when public action has been set in motion by the public prosecutor or the injured party.
However, the association will only be admissible in its action if it can justify having received the agreement of the victim or, if the latter is a minor, that of the holder of the
Article 2-13

(Law nº 94-89 of February 1, 1994 art. 16 Official Journal of February 2, 1994 in force on February 2, 1994)
Any association regularly declared for at least five years on the date of the facts and whose statutory object is the defense and the protection of animals can exercise the rights recognized to the civil party with regard to the offenses punishing serious mistreatment or acts of cruelty and mistreatment of animals as well as willful attacks on the life of an animal provided for by the penal code.
Article 2-14

(inserted by Law n ° 94-665 of August 4, 1994 art. 19 Official Journal of August 5, 1994)
Any regularly declared association proposing by its statutes the defense of the French language and approved under the conditions fixed by decree in the Council of State can exercise the rights recognized to the civil party with regard to the infringements of the provisions of the texts taken for the ‘application of Articles 2, 3, 4, 6, 7 and 10 of Law No. 94-665 of August 4, 1994 relating to the use of the French language.
Article 2-15

(Law n ° 95-125 of February 8, 1995, art. 51 Official Journal of February 9, 1995)
(Law n ° 2002-1138 of September 9, 2002 art. 33 Official Journal of September 10, 2002)
(Law n ° 2004-204 of March 9, 2004 art. 76 Official Journal of March 10, 2004)
Any regularly declared association having as its statutory object the defense of victims of an accident occurring in public transport or in a place or premises open to the public or in a private property for residential or professional use and bringing together several of these victims may, if it has been approved for this purpose, exercise the rights recognized to the civil party with regard to this accident when the public action has been initiated by the public prosecutor or the injured party.
The conditions under which the associations referred to in the first paragraph may be approved, after consulting the public prosecutor, taking into account their representativeness, are fixed by decree.
Any federation of associations, regularly declared for at least five years on the date of the facts and registered with the Ministry of Justice, under conditions set by decree of the Council of State, whose statutory object is the defense of victims of Collective accidents, may exercise the rights recognized to the civil party, with regard to a collective accident occurring in the circumstances referred to in the first paragraph, when the public action has been initiated by the public prosecutor or the injured party.
Article 2-16

(inserted by Law nº 96-392 of May 13, 1996 art. 19 Official Journal of May 14, 1996)
Any association regularly declared for at least five years on the date of the facts which proposes, by its statutes, to fight against drug addiction or drug trafficking may exercise the rights recognized to the civil party with regard to the offenses provided for by the articles 222-34 to 222-40 and by article 227-18-1 of the penal code when public action has been initiated by the public prosecutor or the injured party.
Article 2-17

(Law n ° 2000-516 of June 15, 2000 art. 105 Official Journal of June 16, 2000)
(Law n ° 2001-504 of June 12, 2001 art. 22 Official Journal of June 13, 2001)
(Law n ° 2004-800 of August 6, 2004 art. 31 Official Journal of August 7, 2004)
Any association recognized as being of public utility regularly declared for at least five years on the date of the facts and proposing by its statutes to defend and assist the individual or to defend individual and collective rights and freedoms may, on occasion acts committed by any natural or legal person within the framework of a movement or organization having the aim or effect of creating, maintaining or exploiting a psychological or physical subjection, to exercise the rights recognized to the civil party in this which concerns offenses against the human species, willful or involuntary attacks on the life or physical or mental integrity of the person, endangering the person,violation of personal freedoms, violation of personal dignity, personal injury, endangering minors or attacks on property provided for in articles 214-1 to 214-4, 221-1 to 221-6, 222-1 to 222-40, 223-1 to 223-15, 223-15-2, 224-1 to 224-4, 225-5 to 225-15, 225-17 and 225-18, 226-1 to 226-23, 227-1 to 227-27, 311-1 to 311-13, 312-1 to 312-12, 313-1 to 313-3, 314-1 to 314- 3, 324-1 to 324-6 and 511-1-2 of the penal code, the offenses of illegal practice of medicine or pharmacy provided for by articles L. 4161-5 and L. 4223-1 of the code of public health, and the offenses of false advertising, fraud or falsification provided for in Articles L. 121-6 and L. 213-1 to L.213-4 of the Consumer Code.
Article 2-18

(inserted by Law n ° 2000-516 of June 15, 2000 art. 107 Official Journal of June 16, 2000)
Any association regularly declared for at least five years which proposes, by its statutes, to defend or assist the victims of work accidents or occupational diseases can exercise the rights recognized to the civil party with regard to the foreseen offenses. by articles 221-6, 222-19 and 222-20 of the penal code committed during a professional activity, when public action has been initiated by the public prosecutor or the injured party.
However, the association will only be admissible in its action if it can justify having received the consent of the victim or, if the latter is a minor, that of the holder of parental authority or the legal representative.Article 2-19

(inserted by Law n ° 2000-516 of June 15, 2000 art. 108 Official Journal of June 16, 2000)
Any regularly declared departmental association of mayors, affiliated to the Association of Mayors of France, and whose statutes have been filed for at least five years, may exercise the rights recognized to the civil party in all the instances introduced by elected municipal officials to the result of insults, contempt, threats or assault and battery by reason of their functions.
However, the association will only be admissible in its action if it can justify having received the agreement of the elected representative.
Article 2-20

(inserted by Law n ° 2003-239 of March 18, 2003 art. 63 Official Journal of March 19, 2003)
Any association regularly declared for at least five years on the date of the facts which proposes, by its statutes, to defend the moral and material interests of the tenants, owners and lessors of collective buildings for residential use can exercise the recognized rights to the civil party in the event of willful attacks on the integrity of the person or destruction, degradation and deterioration punishable by articles 222-1 to 222-18 and 322-1 to 322-13 of the penal code when public action has been set in motion by the public prosecutor or the injured party and that the offense was committed in a building forming part of its associative object.
However, the association will only be admissible in its action if it can justify having received the consent of the victim or, if the latter is a protected minor or adult, that of his legal representative.

Article 2-21

(Ordinance n ° 2004-178 of February 20, 2004 art. 5 Official Journal of February 24, 2004)
(law n ° 2004-1343 of December 9, 2004 art. 78 XIV d Official Journal of December 10, 2004)LAW n ° 2008-696 of July 15, 2008 – art. 34

Any approved association declared for at least three years, with the aim of studying and protecting the archaeological heritage, may exercise the rights granted to the civil party with regard to the facts punishable by article 322-3-1. of the penal code and causing direct or indirect damage to the collective interests that it aims to defend.
A Council of State decree fixes the conditions under which the associations mentioned in the preceding paragraph can be approved.

Article 3

Civil action can be brought at the same time as public action and before the same jurisdiction.
It will be admissible for all heads of damage, whether material, bodily or moral, which will result from the facts which are the subject of the prosecution.

Article 4

Law nº 2007-291 of March 5, 2007 art. 20 Official Journal of March 6, 2007)

Civil action for compensation for damage caused by the offense provided for in article 2 may be brought before a civil court, separately from public action.
However, the judgment of this action is suspended until it has been definitively pronounced on the public action when it has been set in motion.
The setting in motion of the public action does not impose the suspension of the judgment of the other actions brought before the civil jurisdiction, of whatever nature, even if the decision to intervene in the penal one is likely to exert, directly or indirectly, an influence on the solution of the civil lawsuit.

Article 4-1

(inserted by Law n ° 2000-647 of July 10, 2000 art. 2 Official Journal of July 11, 2000)
The absence of unintentional criminal misconduct within the meaning of article 121-3 of the penal code does not preclude the bringing of an action before the civil courts in order to obtain compensation for damage on the basis of the article 1383 of the civil code if the existence of the civil wrong under this article is established or in application of Article L. 452-1 of the code of social security if the existence of gross negligence under this article is established.

Article 5

   The party which has brought its action before the competent civil court cannot bring it before the criminal court. It is only otherwise if the latter has been seized by the public prosecutor before a judgment on the merits has been rendered by the civil court.

Article 5-1

(inserted by Law n ° 83-608 of July 8, 1983 art. 2 Official Journal of July 9, 1983 in force on September 1, 1983 corrigendum JORF of July 14, 1983)
Even if the plaintiff is a civil party before the criminal court, the civil court, seized in summary proceedings, remains competent to order all provisional measures relating to the facts which are the subject of proceedings, when the existence of the obligation n is not seriously questionable.

Article 6

(Ordinance nº 58-1296 of December 23, 1958 art. 1 Official Journal of December 24, 1958 in force on March 2, 1959)
(Law n ° 99-515 of June 23, 1999 art. 4 Official Journal of June 24, 1999)
Public action for the application of the penalty ends with the death of the accused, prescription, amnesty, abrogation of criminal law and res judicata.
However, if prosecutions resulting in conviction have revealed the falsity of the judgment or of the judgment which declared the public action extinguished, the public action may be resumed; the prescription must then be considered as suspended from the day on which the judgment or judgment became final until that of the conviction of the guilty of forgery or use of forgery.
It can, moreover, be extinguished by transaction when the law expressly provides for it or by the execution of a penal composition; the same applies in the event of withdrawal of a complaint, when this is a necessary condition for the prosecution.

JURISPRUDENCE Cass. 1st civ. June 4, 2008    Cass. 1st civ. 25 October 2005

Article 6-1

(inserted by Law nº 95-125 of February 8, 1995 art. 55 Official Journal of February 9, 1995)
When a crime or misdemeanor allegedly committed in connection with legal proceedings would involve the violation of a provision of criminal procedure, public prosecution may only be brought if the unlawful nature of the prosecution or the act accomplished on this occasion was noted by a decision which became final of the criminal court seised. The limitation period for public action runs from this decision.

Article 7

(Law n ° 57-1426 of December 31, 1957 Official Journal of January 8, 1958 in force on April 8, 1958)
(Law n ° 89-487 of July 10, 1989 Official Journal of July 14, 1989 art. 16)
(Law nº 92-1336 of December 16, 1992 art. 7 Official Journal of December 23, 1992 in force on March 1, 1994)
(Law n ° 95-116 of February 4, 1995, art. 121 Official Journal of February 5, 1995)
(Law n ° 98-468 of June 17, 1998 art. 25 Official Journal of June 18, 1998)
(Law n ° 2004-204 of March 9, 2004 art. 72 I Official Journal of March 10, 2004)
(Law n ° 2006-399 of April 4, 2006 art. 14 III Official Journal of April 5, 2006)
In matters of crime and subject to the provisions of article 213-5 of the penal code, public action is prescribed by ten years completed from the day on which the crime was committed if, during this interval, it has not no act of investigation or prosecution has been made.
If it has been done in this interval, it is prescribed only after ten years from the last act. This is the case even with regard to persons who are not involved in this act of investigation or prosecution.
The statute of limitations for public prosecution of the crimes mentioned in article 706-47 of this code and the crime provided for by article 222-10 of the penal code, when they are committed against minors, is twenty years. and only starts running from the majority of these.

Article 8

(Law n ° 95-116 of February 4, 1995, art. 121 Official Journal of February 5, 1995)
(Law n ° 98-468 of June 17, 1998 art. 26 Official Journal of June 18, 1998)
(Law n ° 2003-239 of March 18, 2003 art. 38 Official Journal of March 19, 2003)
(Law n ° 2004-204 of March 9, 2004 art. 72 II Official Journal of March 10, 2004)
(Law n ° 2006-399 of April 4, 2006 art. 14 IV Official Journal of April 5, 2006)
In matters of misdemeanor, the limitation period for public action is three full years; it is accomplished according to the distinctions specified in the preceding article.
The limitation period for public action for the offenses mentioned in article 706-47 and committed against minors is ten years; that of the offenses provided for by articles 222-12, 222-30 and 227-26 of the penal code is twenty years; these deadlines do not begin to run until the majority of the victim has reached the age of majority.

Article 9

   In matters of contravention, the limitation period for public action is one year over; it is accomplished according to the distinctions specified in article 7.

Article 10

Ordinance nº 58-1296 of December 23, 1958 art. 1 Official Journal of December 24, 1958 in force on March 2, 1959)

(Law n ° 80-1042 of December 23, 1980 art. 1 Official Journal of December 24, 1980)
(Law n ° 81-82 of February 2, 1981 art. 82 Official Journal of February 3, 1981)
Civil action is prescribed according to the rules of the Civil Code. However, this action can no longer be brought before the criminal court after the expiry of the limitation period for public action.
When a ruling on public action has been taken, the investigative measures ordered by the criminal judge on civil interests only obey the rules of civil procedure.

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