Criminal law


The driven team of lawyers around associates Walter Van Steenbrugge, Christine Mussche, and Johan Heymans assists both defendants and victims with in-depth legal knowledge, a thoughtful (trial) strategy and an open mind. This involves notions of neurology, psychiatry, psychology and sociology, among others (for more information, click here) and regularly calls on traffic experts, toxicologists, specialised doctors and accountants, among others. The criminal cell also handles certain cases (particularly in corporate criminal law) closely associated with VSA's corporate cell.
That way, VSA knows how to turn over every stone in a case.


VSA accompanies its clients from the start of a criminal investigation (and even acts in certain cases preventively ) until the final ruling, the penalty end and the handling of any insurance claim.

In which

VSA's criminal cell is particularly specialised in the following matters, among others:

Get timely assistance

A lawyer's early intervention in your case can make all the difference, whether you are a suspect or victim of a crime. Any person interrogated as a suspect has the right to the assistance of a lawyer during or prior to the interrogation. The lawyer ensures that the interrogation is conducted in accordance with the rules and that the suspect's answers are correctly recorded in the court record. The statement made has an important value, as it helps determine the course of the criminal investigation and can later influence the judge's verdict. The basis of a successful complaint by a crime victim often lies in building up a file and safeguarding evidence immediately after the crime has taken place. While an immediate report to the police is obviously always advisable, the advice of a lawyer at, shortly before or shortly after this report can help move the case forward. Moreover, if desirable, the lawyer can mediate with the offender or victim at an early stage of the criminal investigation, or negotiate an amicable settlement with the prosecution, thus avoiding criminal proceedings. Of course, you can also always turn to VSA for initial strategic advice. Companies can call on our team specialised in the corporate criminal law seek advice on potential criminal law risks they or their directors may face, due to any weaknesses in their structures, policies in place, communication channels and/or oversight mechanisms based on a thorough, tailored due diligence exercise.


VSA act throughout Belgium (in both Dutch and French) before all judicial, administrative and disciplinary bodies. At the international level, VSA defends your interests before the European Court of Human Rights. You can also turn to VSA for foreign criminal proceedings, since it has contacts and partnerships with law firms in several other countries.

No one is completely
good, nobody is
completely bad.


If you or one of the people you live with has family (civil liability) insurance that provides legal aid, you may be entitled to a free lawyer of your choice. This is usually the case when you are the victim of a crime.
If you are prosecuted for a traffic violation, your car insurance may cover the cost of your criminal defence. In case of disciplinary proceedings, you may in certain cases rely on your professional liability insurance for your disciplinary defence. If you are prosecuted in your capacity as a director of a company, you may benefit from legal assistance under your directors' liability insurance.

In other cases too, you may be able to appeal for free legal assistance. We can check whether your insurance and the applicable policy conditions provide this for your case.