A criminal case may have one of two different outcomes.

If it is found that the defendant is not guilty of the act referred to in the charge, the charge will be dismissed and the defendant has the right to compensation from state funds of his or her legal costs.

If the defendant is found guilty of a criminal offence, the penalty imposed on him or her will be:

  • a fine
  • victim surcharge
  • imprisonment
  • suspended imprisonment
  • community service
  • monitoring sentence
  • driving ban
  • a juvenile punishment
  • business prohibition
  • forfeiture.

It is also possible that the defendant is found guilty of a criminal offence but nevertheless no penalty is imposed on him or her. This is possible e.g. in the case of underage defendants, if the court deems that they will mend their ways also without a penalty.

Persons without legal capacity are never sentenced to a punishment.

A summary penal fee is imposed by a police officer, a frontier guard, a customs officer or a fish and wildlife officer.

The criminal records are a nationwide central register that contains data on persons sentenced to imprisonment. The data are collected, stored and delivered for the imposition and enforcement of criminal penalties. The data may also be delivered for the checking and evaluation of a person’s trustworthiness or suitability for a given position or task. For more information on criminal records, see the web pages of The Legal Register Centre.

Published 19.6.2018