Special features of environmental criminal law
Environmental criminal law primarily affects companies in certain sectors, such as industry, construction, agriculture and waste management. Environmental offences are mostly so-called endangerment offences and are often linked to a large number of administrative regulations. For criminal liability, it is often sufficient if there is an abstract environmental danger that exceeds a certain threshold of significance. This is because in the environmental field, actual damage and the question of causality are often difficult to prove.
Typical cases in practice
In practice, the following issues are frequently encountered in the area of environmental criminal law:
- Environmental pollution: The release of harmful substances into the soil, water or air can lead to severe penalties.
- Illegal waste disposal: The improper disposal of waste, especially hazardous waste, can be penalised with heavy fines and imprisonment.
- Damage to animal or plant populations: Protected wild animal species are listed in the EU Habitats Directive and the Birds Directive, for example. Violations can lead to judicial penalties if they exceed a certain threshold of significance.
Criminal Defense in Environmental Criminal Law
If you or your company are the subject of a preliminary investigation or main proceedings in the area of environmental criminal law, we provide professional Criminal Defense support. We have access to a network of proven specialists (experts and administrative lawyers) who can provide us with the best possible support in our defense work if required. We also prepare individual Risk Analyses and Legal Opinions and support companies discreetly in the Internal Investigation of possible violations.