What are misdemeanour proceedings and what are the rights of victims in such proceedings?

Misdemeanour proceedings

Apart from criminal offences, the Croatian legal order distinguishes another big group of punishable behaviours - misdemeanours. 
Misdemeanours are less severe violations of law than criminal offences, so the punishments envisaged for misdemeanours are milder than those faced by perpetrators of criminal offences. 
This is also reflected in the misdemeanor procedure, which is simpler and faster than the criminal procedure.
For some unlawful behaviours it is difficult to determine if it is a misdemeanour or a criminal offence. 
Such an assessment depends on a number of specific circumstances of each case. 
In the Croatian legal system, this problem is particularly pronounced in domestic violence, which in some, milder, cases is considered a misdemeanour, while more severe forms of domestic violence are prosecuted as a criminal offence.

Rights of victims in misdemeanour proceedings

Whether misdemeanor or criminal proceedings are conducted, the rights of victims are basically equal. 
In practice, it is realistic to expect that victims of misdemeanours will more often face difficulties in exercising their rights. 
Those difficulties are due to the fact that the Misdemeanor Act does not specifically regulate the rights of victims. 
However, the lack of explicit legal provisions does not prevent victims from exercising their rights, either through an adequate application of the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Act or through the direct application of the provisions of the Victims' Rights Directive. 
When it comes to victims of domestic violence, such difficulties should not occur in practice, as the Act on Protection against Domestic Violence explicitly guarantees a wide range of rights to victims of such misdemeanours.