Fines and damages
It is possible for the court to impose a fine for any criminal offence. If damages are awarded, the person convicted has to pay a sum of money to compensate for the harm incurred by the victim.
In the case of minor offences, the fine payable is a fixed amount. More serious offences are assigned to separate categories; a maximum fine is fixed for each category. It is up to either the court or the public prosecutor to determine the actual fine to be paid. Fines are collected by the Central Fines Collection Agency (CJIB).
In the case of minor offences, the fine payable is a fixed amount. For instance, someone who travels by train without a ticket is fined € 90, someone found to be drunk and disorderly is fined € 90, and someone who urinates in public is fined € 140. These fines are dealt with administratively, which means that the courts are not involved.
More serious offences
In some cases, more serious offences may also be punished by the imposition of a fine. By law, every criminal offence is assigned to one of six categories. A maximum fine is fixed for each category, as follows:
- Category 1: € 410
- Category 2: € 4,100
- Category 3: € 8,200
- Category 4: € 20,500
- Category 5: € 82,000
- Category 6: € 820,000
For instance, theft is a fourth-category offence. That means that if a fine is imposed, the maximum sum payable would be € 20,500. The maximum fines are index-linked and are adjusted every two years.
Fines imposed by the Public Prosecution Service (OM)
The OM may impose fines without the need for a court ruling. This procedure is regulated in the Disposal of Cases (Public Prosecution Service) Act.
If damages are awarded, the person convicted has to pay a sum of money to compensate for the harm he caused the victim. The CJIB collects the damages and transfers the money to the victim’s bank account. This prevents offenders from finding out victims’ personal details.