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Defendants (criminal proceedings)

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How are minor road traffic offences dealt with?

A common penalty for minor road traffic offences is a fixed fine. It may be imposed for offences where the most severe penalty is a fine or up to six months’ imprisonment. The size of a fixed fine may be 10–115 euro. A fixed fine can be imposed by a police officer, a Border Guard or Customs officer.

If you do not accept the fixed fine imposed on you, you have the right to take the matter to the District Court. You must then inform the Registry of the District Court of the place where the offence took place. You must do so within a week of the date on which you received notification of the fixed fine. You cannot appeal against the District Court’s decision about the fixed fine.

If a fixed fine is not possible for the traffic offence in question, the police may also issue a summary penal order and send it to the prosecutor for confirmation. In this case, the fine is not fixed. The penalty is determined as unit fines. You have the right to object to the summary penal order. You do this by notifying the prosecutor of your objection.

If you object to the summary penal order and the prosecutor decides to bring charges, the District Court will deal with the matter as a normal criminal matter. In this case you also have the right to appeal as in a normal criminal matter (see Factsheet 4).

The fixed fines and summary penal judgments issued for traffic offences may be enforced in another Member State as well.

If you break the rules about stopping and parking a vehicle, you will have to pay a parking ticket.  The ticket can be issued by the police or a municipal traffic warden. The sum on the ticket varies between 10 and 50 euro, depending on the locality. In Helsinki, for example, the payment is 50 euro in the city centre and 40 euro in other areas.

You have the right to object to a parking ticket. In that case, you must present your objection to the traffic warden’s office within two weeks of the date of the payment request. If the traffic warden’s office allows your objection, it will withdraw the payment request. If the objection is not allowed, you have the right to complain about the payment to the Administrative Court. You must do so within 30 days of the date on which you were notified of the negative decision. The decision of the Administrative Court is final.

A parking ticket may not be enforced in another Member State because it is considered an administrative sanction.

Are such offences entered in the Criminal Records?

Fines are not entered in the Criminal Records. So, if you receive a fixed fine or a summary penal judgment, they will not be entered in your Criminal Records. A parking ticket is not a fine, it is an administrative sanction, and so it will not be entered in the Criminal Records, either.

Related links

Automatic speed surveillance

Last update: 15/01/2020

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