Concepts and definitions

Ban on animal keeping

The ban on the keeping of animals can be imposed on an aggravated animal welfare offence (Criminal Code, Chapter 17, 14a), animal welfare offence (Criminal Code, Chapter 17, 14), and petty animal welfare offence (Criminal Code, Chapter 17, 15). A ban on animal keeping may also be imposed on an animal welfare violation (Animal Welfare Act 247/1996) or an animal transport violation (Animal Transport Act 1429/2006) or if the person is to be deemed unfit or unable to see to the welfare of animals. A ban on the keeping of animals is imposed at the request of the prosecutor. A ban on the keeping of animals may be imposed for a fixed period of at least one year or permanently. (Criminal Code, Chapter 7, Section 23).

Business prohibition

A business prohibition can be imposed on a private practitioner of trade, whose business involves the accounting obligation decreed in the Accounting Act (655/1973), on a partner in a general partnership, a liable partner in a limited partnership and a member of a European economic interest group and those, who are corporation board members or managing directors or in other comparable positions, similarly as those, who in actual fact direct the activity of the corporation or foundation or a foreign branch or manage its administration.

A business prohibition can be imposed on the above-mentioned person if he or she has in his or her business activity essentially neglected his or her statutory duties or has been found guilty of a criminal activity. A business prohibition may also be imposed for the following offences: distribution of a sexually offensive picture (Criminal Code, Chapter 17, Section 18), aggravated distribution of a sexually offensive picture depicting a child (Criminal Code, Chapter 17, Section 18a), possession of a sexually offensive picture depicting a child (Criminal Code, Chapter 17, Section 19), trafficking in human beings (Criminal Code, Chapter 25, Section 3), and aggravated trafficking in human beings (Criminal Code, Chapter 25, Section 3a). A business prohibition may also be imposed for the offences of pandering (Criminal Code, Chapter 20, Section 9) and aggravated pandering (Criminal Code, Chapter 20, Section 9a) if the object is a person aged under 18.

A business prohibition may be imposed for at least three years and for at most seven years. (Act on business prohibitions 1059/1985).

Case lapsed

A case lapses when the prosecutor or complainant withdraws the charges. The charges can be withdrawn, for example, if in the light of new evidence, there are no longer grounds for accusing the accused or if the complainant no longer wishes to demand punishment.

Charged dismissed

A charge is dismissed when the court deems that no offence took place or the court considers there was not sufficient evidence of guilt so that the accused could be sentenced.

Community service

Community service is a punishment imposed in place of unconditional sentence of at most eight months. Community service can be sentenced unless unconditional sentences of imprisonment, earlier community service orders or other weighty reasons are to be considered bars to the imposition of the community service order. (Criminal Code, Chapter 7, Section 11).

Community service may not be sentenced for the following offences: refusing military service (1438/2007), refusing civil military service (1446/2007), and a civil military service offence (1446/2007).

Community service may be imposed for 14 to 240 hours. Community service may also be imposed alongside an over eight-month long conditional punishment of at most 90 hours.

Conditional driving ban

The district court may also issue a driving ban as conditional if the right to drive is necessary for the person for whom the driving ban is imposed due to profession or other weighty reason, and the act did not cause any danger to the safety of others. The term for the conditional driving ban is at least one year and at most three years. (Driving Licence Act 386/2011).

Conditional imprisonment

A sentence of imprisonment of no more than two years can be imposed as a conditional sentence as long as there are no reasons, such as previous offences, on the basis of which the court must impose an unconditional sentence. When the imprisonment is sentenced as conditional, the enforcement of the punishment is postponed for a probationary period. The probationary period for conditional imprisonment is at least one year and at most three years. The probationary period begins at the pronouncement or the issue of the judgment. (Criminal Code, Chapter 2b, Sections 3 to 5).

A supplementary fine may also be imposed in connection with conditional imprisonment. If the conditional imprisonment is over one year long, community service may also be imposed.

Confinement to barracks

Confinement to barracks is a disciplinary punishment for a soldier or other person subject to Chapter 45 of the Criminal Code (Criminal Code, Chapter 6, Section 1). Confinement to barracks is ordered or sentenced for one to 15 days or if there are several offences, for at most 25 days (Act on military disciplinary procedure and crime prevention in defence forces 255/2014).

Convertible

Unconditional imprisonment is deemed to be convertible to community service if it is at most eight months long and it has not been passed for the following offences: refusing military service (1438/2007), refusing civil military service (1446/2007), and a civil military service offence (1446/2007).

Corporate fine

A corporation may be sentenced to a corporate fine if a person who is part of its statutory organ or other management or who exercises actual decision-making authority therein has been an accomplice in an offence or allowed the commission of the offence or if the care and diligence necessary for the prevention of the offence have not been observed in the operations of the corporation. A corporate fine is imposed as a lump sum. The corporate fine is at least EUR 850 and at most EUR 850,000. More details on corporate criminal liability are provided in Chapter 9 of the Criminal Code.

Detention

Detention is a disciplinary punishment for a soldier or other person subject to Chapter 45 of the Criminal Code (Criminal Code, Chapter 6, Section 1). Detention can be passed only by a court in a procedure as intended in Sections 5 and 6 of the Military Court Procedure Act and it is sentenced for at least one and at most 30 days (Act on military disciplinary procedure and crime prevention in defence forces 255/2014).

Disciplinary fine

A disciplinary fine is a disciplinary punishment for a soldier or other person subject to Chapter 45 of the Criminal Code (Criminal Code, Chapter 6, Section 1). A disciplinary fine is imposed for at least one day and for at most thirty days. The monetary amount of the disciplinary fine is one-fifth of the average daily earnings of the person being fined, however at least equal to the highest daily allowance of a person performing military duty under the Conscription Act. (Act on military discipline procedure and crime prevention in defence forces 255/2014).

Discipliniary punishments

Disciplinary punishments for soldiers and other persons subject to Chapter 45 of the Criminal Code are reprimand, extra duties, warning, confinement to barracks, disciplinary fine and detention. When applying to other persons not subject to Chapter 45 of the Criminal Code the provision decreeing as sanction a disciplinary punishment, they are sentenced to a fine instead of a disciplinary punishment.

Dismissal from office

Dismissal from office is a special penalty for a public official. A public official can be dismissed from office if he or she is sentenced to life imprisonment or to imprisonment for a fixed period of at least two years and the offence demonstrates that the sentenced person is unsuitable to serve as a public official. A public official sentenced to imprisonment for a period of less than two years can be dismissed from office if the offence indicates that he or she is particularly unsuitable to serve as a public official. The dismissal comprises the office or functions the sentenced person holds at the time when the sentence was passed. Dismissal from office intended in the penal provisions of Chapter 11 or 40 of the Criminal Code comprises the office in which the offence was committed. (Criminal Code, Chapter 2, Sections 7 and 10).

Driving ban

A driving ban is issued by the police or district court. A driving ban issued by the district court is almost without exception preceded by a temporary driving ban ordered by a police officer.

The district court must impose a driving ban on a driver of a motor-driven vehicle in case the driver is found guilty of the following offences: aggravated endangering of traffic safety (Criminal Code, Chapter 23, Section 2), drunken driving (Criminal Code, Chapter 23, Section 3), or transport offence of hazardous materials (Criminal Code, Chapter 44, Section 13).

The district court may impose a driving ban on a driver of a motor-driven vehicle for at most five years. A driving ban is imposed on a driver guilty of drunken driving or transport offence of hazardous materials for at least one month and those guilty of aggravated endangerment of traffic safety or aggravated drunken driving for at least three months. (Driving Licence Act 386/2011).

Fine

A fine is passed as day fines, the minimum number of which is one and the maximum number is 120. (Criminal Code, Chapter 2a, Section 1). A joint fine may be at most 240 day fines. (Criminal Code, Chapter 7, Section 3).

One sixtieth of the average monthly income of the person fined, less the taxes and fees defined by a Government Decree and a fixed deduction for basic consumption, is deemed to be a reasonable amount of a day fine. The maintenance liability of the person fined may decrease the day fine. (Criminal Code, Chapter 2a, Section 2).

The total amount of the fine is equal to the number of day fines times the amount of a day fine, but a fine for speeding must always equal at least the highest possible summary penal fee passed for speeding. However, a joint fine may not be greater than the sum of the maximum punishments for separate offences.

Fixed-term imprisonment

Fixed-term imprisonment refers to unconditional or conditional imprisonment, a monitoring sentence and community service.

Hunting prohibition

A hunting prohibition is imposed on a person convicted of an aggravated hunting offence (Criminal Code, Chapter 48a, Section 1a) for at least three years and at most ten years. A hunting prohibition can be issued for a person convicted of a hunting offence (Criminal Code, Chapter 48a, Section 1) who with his or her action has demonstrated manifest heedlessness of the provisions on hunting. A hunting prohibition is ordered on the request of the prosecutor. (Criminal Code, Chapter 48a, Section 6).

Juvenile punishment

A person aged under 18 can be sentenced to a juvenile punishment if a fine is considered to be insufficient punishment and there are no weighty reasons requiring the imposing of an unconditional sentence of imprisonment, and conditional imprisonment with supervision is not deemed to promote sufficiently social adaptation or prevent further offences. A juvenile punishment may also be imposed on such offences of which only part have been committed under the age of 18 years. (Criminal Code, Chapter 6, Section 10). A juvenile punishment includes functions promoting social capacity and orientation to working life.

Monitoring sentence

A monitoring sentence is a punishment of at most six months imposed in place of unconditional imprisonment. A monitoring sentence can be imposed if the offender cannot be sentenced to community service, no bar arises from the nature of previous offences and punishments and a monitoring sentence is deemed to be justified for the maintenance of promotion of the social adaptation of the offender. (Criminal Code, Chapter 6, Section 11a). Those sentenced to a monitoring sentence live at their home but they are monitored during the punishment with technical devices and in other ways. A monitoring sentence is converted back to unconditional imprisonment if the conditions of punishment are breached.

Penal order

A penal order refers to a decision by which the public prosecutor imposes a fine and forfeiture on the basis of an order for a fine or punishment.

An order for a fine or punishment is issued by a police officer. An order for a fine refers to an order given to the suspect by which a fine and forfeiture are demanded of him or her for the violation. An order for punishment refers to a fine or summary penal fee served to the suspect and an order concerning a forfeiture in a situation where the suspect is not willing to process the matter in proceedings according to the Act on the imposition of a fine and summary penal fee (754/2010).

A police officer can also issue a fine. A fine refers to a pecuniary penalty imposed by a police officer. A fine can be a pecuniary penalty or a forfeiture of at most 20 day fines and it can be imposed for infractions of the acts and regulations listed in Chapter 1, Section 3, Sub-paragraphs 1 to 13 of the Act on the imposition of a fine and summary penal fee (754/2010).

A fine can be ordered for infractions for which not a more severe penalty is provided than a fine or imprisonment for at most six months. In addition to a fine, a forfeiture of EUR 1,000 can be ordered.

Processing the matter in the procedure according to the imposition of a fine and summary penal fee (754/2010) requires the assent of the injured party and the meaning of the assent has to be explained to the injured party when requesting the assent.

Penalty payment

A penalty payment is set by imposing the primary obligation to be abided by the complainant at risk of a fine. A different penalty payment must be imposed to reinforce each primary obligation. An official having imposed the penalty payment may sentence the penalty payment to be paid if the primary obligation has not been abided by and no valid reason is given for not abiding by it. (Act on penalty payments 1113/1990).

In the statistics, a person sentenced to a penalty payment is included in the group “found guilty”.

Persons sentenced in court

The statistics include data on those convicted in courts of first instance. Courts of first instance are generally district courts and in some cases courts of appeal are also courts of first instance.

Previous sentence a suffient sanction

If a person sentenced to unconditional imprisonment, a monitoring sentence or community service is charged with another offence committed before the sentence was passed, the court may deem that the previous sentence is a sufficient sanction also for the act which was later taken up for a hearing. (Criminal Code, Chapter 7, Sections 6 to 7).

Principal offence on which the sentence is based

In the statistics, data are presented on the principal offence on which the sentence is based. According to the rule, each person accused, convicted or fined with a summary penal judgment is most often described by the most serious offence under the severest punishment decision category of the court.

The concept of a principal offence is defined in detail in the quality description of the statistics.

Prison term

A sentence of imprisonment is passed either for a fixed period or for life. A sentence of fixed-term imprisonment is imposed for at least fourteen days and at most twelve years or, when imposing a joint sentence pursuant to Chapter 7, for fifteen years. A court of justice will impose a punishment within the sentence scale set by the legislator for each offence. When imposing a sentence of imprisonment, years, months and days are used as the units of time. Sentences of less than three months are imposed in days. A year includes 365 days and a month 30 days. (Criminal Code, Chapter 2c). In the tables, average prison terms are given in months, except for community service which is also given in hours.

Punishment

The general punishments (which can be imposed on anyone subject to the Criminal Code) are summary penal fine, fine, conditional imprisonment, community service, monitoring sentence and unconditional imprisonment.

Juvenile punishment is a specific sentence for offenders under the age of 18. Special punishments for public officials are warning and dismissal from office. Disciplinary punishments for soldiers are warning, confinement to barracks, disciplinary fine, extra duties and detention.

A corporation, foundation or other legal entity may be sentenced to a corporate fine.

Sentenced to supervision for a probationary period in addition to imprisonment

A person who has committed an offence when under 21 years of age may be subjected to supervision for one year and three months in order to reinforce conditional imprisonment, where this is to be deemed justified in view of the promotion of the social adaptation of the perpetrator and the prevention of further offences. (Criminal Code, Chapter 6, Section 10, Sub-section 2).

Summary penal fee

A summary penal fee or petty fine is a pecuniary penalty of a fixed amount and less severe than a fine. The summary penal fee may have a size of EUR 20, 40, 70, 100, 120, 140, 170 or 200 and since 1.9.2015 size of EUR 20, 40, 70, 100, 120, 140, 170 or 200. If the person commits two or more infractions at the same time, the summary penal fee is imposed for the offence for which the summary penal fee provided is the highest. A joint punishment must not be passed for a summary penal fee and a fine or a sentence of imprisonment for a fixed period. An unpaid summary penal fee must not be converted into imprisonment.

A summary penal fee is imposed by a police officer or another official carrying out a statutory supervision function. Those sentenced to a summary penal fee may submit the matter to the district court. The imposition of a summary penal fee is decreed in the Act on the imposition of a fine and summary penal fee (754/2010).

The scope of the summary penal fee is decreed in Chapter 2, Sections 8 to 11 of the Criminal Code and in the Act on summary penal fee infractions (756/2010) and Government Decree of the summary penal fee offences (1081/2015).

Supervised right to drive

The district court must impose a supervised right to drive on those guilty of drunken driving (Criminal Code, Chapter 23, Section 3) or aggravated drunken driving (Criminal Code, Chapter 23, Section 4) intended in the Act on driving right monitored with a alcohol interlock if requested by the person for whom the driving ban is issued. The driving ban must be issued as conditional. (Driving Licence Act 386/2011).

Supplementary fine

A supplementary fine imposed as day fines may be sentenced in addition to conditional imprisonment.

Unconditional imprisonment

Unconditional imprisonment refers to a sentence served in prison.

Waiving of punishment

Under certain conditions, a court may waive punishment for the suspect even if it deemed the suspect to be guilty of an offence. A court may waive punishment if the offence, when assessed as a whole, taking into account its harmfulness or the culpability of the perpetrator manifested in it, is to be deemed of minor significance, the perpetrator has committed the offence under the age of 18 years and the act is deemed to be the result of lack of understanding or of imprudence, the act is excusable due to special reasons, or punishment is to be deemed unreasonable or the offence would not have an essential effect on the total sentence. (Criminal Code, Chapter 6, Section 1/Sections 1 to 5).

In the statistics, waiving of punishment mainly comprises the cases in which a court of justice has imposed the sanction that "punishment for the offence is waived".

Warning to a public official

Warning is a special punishment for a public official (Criminal Code, Chapter 6, Section 1). A written warning can be issued to a public official who acts against his or her official duties or neglects them (State Civil Servants Act 750/1994).

Warning to a soldier

Warning is a disciplinary punishment for a soldier or other person subject to Chapter 45 of the Criminal Code (Criminal Code, Chapter 6, Section 1).

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Prosecutions, sentences and punishments [e-publication].
ISSN=2343-1679. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 24.7.2019].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/syyttr/kas_en.html