Criminal Law Practice

Practice Overview

MR. BAS A.S. VAN LEEUWEN (LL.M., ESQ) provides assistance to enterprises and physical persons who are suspected or victim of crime, in particular economic and financial crimes (white collar crime). The attorney is active, among other things, in matters relating to money laundering, swindle, bribery, misuse of corporate assets, abuse of confidence, bankruptcy crimes, tax evasion, inheritance fraud, public procurement fraud, customs and excise duty fraud, and gambling fraud. He guarantees quality, efficiency and discretion. He strives to reach a successful resolution for all dossiers in the shortest possible term, if possible by means of an amicable settlement. 


The police can arrest someone who is suspected of committing a criminal offence and question him. In the Netherlands, a suspect can be held without charge for questioning as part of an investigation for up to six (6) hours. If someone is arrested for the purpose of establishing his or her identity, the period can be extended once, by another six (6) hours. The suspect has the right to consult an attorney for half an hour before being questioned by the police for the first time. While he is being detained as part of an investigation, he can also ask…

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Once the investigation has been concluded, the public prosecutor may decide to prosecute a suspect. In this case, the suspect will be issued with a notice of summons and accusation, detailing the precise charges against him as well as his rights. It also states when and where the district court will hear the case. The public prosecutor may also decide not to prosecute, for example if there is insufficient evidence against the suspect.…

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At the hearing, the court either acquits or convicts the defendant, or discharges him from prosecution on a point of law. When someone is convicted, a sentence, such as a fine, an alternative sanction, or a term of imprisonment, or a non-punitive order will be imposed. Furthermore, the person then has a criminal record for a specified period of time.…

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Appeal or final and unappealable judgment

Someone who has been convicted and wishes to challenge the court’s judgment can lodge an appeal if the law permits. If an appeal is possible, the person who has been convicted (or his attorney) must lodge an appeal with the court registrar within 14 days. The appeals procedure is free of charge. The administrative body has plans to ensure that anyone who has been convicted of a serious crime of violence or a sex offence will not be released while an appeal is still pending.…

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On appeal, a different (higher) court reviews the case. This court may convict or acquit the person previously convicted, or discharge him from prosecution on a point of law. Someone who has been convicted can only lodge an appeal once. After that the option remains of lodging an appeal in cassation with the Supreme Court, if the law permits. The public prosecutor too may appeal the district court’s judgment. If this happens, the defendant will be notified and summonsed again to appear in court.…

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Victims of a crime

If perpetrators are to be brought to justice, it is important for the victims to go to the police as soon as possible to lodge a criminal complaint. They can do so at the police station, or in the case of minor offences by telephone or online. Once a suspect has been found, the Public Prosecution Service takes over. Suspects are questioned, and if there is due cause, they will be held in pre-trial detention and prosecuted.…

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The rights of victims in criminal proceedings

The Dutch administrative body is working to strengthen the rights of victims in criminal proceedings. One way of doing so is to give victims the right to information, both about the proceedings and about the scope for claiming damages. In addition, victims and surviving relatives have the right to be treated with respect, to be given the assistance of an interpreter and/or attorney, and in certain cases to present their point of view in court. These rights are laid down in the Victims’ Status (Legal Proceedings) Act. The administrative body’s plans include an undertaking to strengthen the position of the…

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Witnesses of criminal offences

In some cases, the police will ask someone who has witnessed a criminal offence to make a statement. You can present yourself as a witness and give as many details as possible. Ask the police officer for his name, so that you can phone him if you suddenly remember something you forgot in your statement. During proceedings the court may also wish to hear witnesses. Witnesses who have been summonsed are obliged to appear and to tell the truth; failure to do so is a criminal offence. Witnesses who believe that they are at risk can ask to be excused…

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Disposal of cases by the Public Prosecution Service (OM): penalties imposed by the OM

In the Netherlands, the Public Prosecution Service has the authority to impose penalties for a number of common criminal offences. The Public Prosecution Service may not impose custodial (i.e. prison) sentences. Municipal authorities and special enforcement officers also have the authority to impose penalties of this kind. They can issue an administrative penalty for antisocial behaviour; for instance, they can fine someone for noise nuisance. They can also issue a ‘police penalty’ for so-called ‘P offences’, which are offences like speeding that used to be punished with on-the-spot fines. The Public Prosecution Service may impose a range of penalties. Examples…

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Related Expertises within this practice area

White collar crime

Corporate Crime & Investigations

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Municipalities (Preferential Rights) Act

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Personal and Family law and Family assets law

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