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Published: 30 September 2015

A total of 5,200 years of unconditional imprisonment were sentenced in 2014

According to Statistics Finland's data, slightly more than 5,000 persons were sentenced to unconditional imprisonment by district courts in 2014, which was nearly the same figure as in 2013. The number of those sentenced to unconditional imprisonment has fallen every year during the past ten years. The prison term for those sentenced to unconditional imprisonment in 2014 totalled 5,200 years, around seven per cent more than one year earlier.

Number and duration of prison sentences (year) in 1994 to 2014

Number and duration of prison sentences (year) in 1994 to 2014

A total of 82 unconditional sentences of eight years or longer were passed, mainly for homicides and narcotics offences. Sixteen sentences of life imprisonment were passed for homicides. Thirty-five per cent of unconditional imprisonment sentences were for under three months. Of them, 41 per cent were results of traffic offences, 32 per cent of property offences and 12 per cent of offences against life and health.

Starting from 2011, unconditional imprisonment of at most six months can be passed as a monitoring sentence. A monitoring sentence in place of unconditional imprisonment was passed 222 times, of which nearly 40 per cent were issued for aggravated drunken driving.

Unconditional imprisonment of under eight months can be sentenced as community service if it is not caused by refusing military or civil military service, or a civil military service offence. Nearly 36 per cent of all convertible unconditional imprisonment sentences were converted into community service. Community service was clearly used most when passing a sentence for drunken driving. Nearly 50 per cent of them were sentenced as community service in 2014.

Use of community service in different offences in 2010 to 2014

Use of community service in different offences in 2010 to 2014

Around 13,600 sentences of conditional imprisonment were passed, only a little fewer than one year earlier. Over 40 per cent of sentences of conditional imprisonment were caused by aggravated drunken driving. The second most sentences of conditional imprisonment were passed for assaults.

Acquittals numbered 3,139

In actual trials, a punishment was waived for 528 persons found guilty. The defendant's youth was the reason for waiving punishment in 103 cases. A punishment was waived for 35 persons for criminal irresponsibility and for four persons for reduced criminal responsibility. In all, 3,139 defendants were acquitted and for 661 the charge was withdrawn

More petty fines were issued than a year before

In 2014 were issued 261,300 petty fines , which is nearly three per cent more than a year ago. Of all petty fines, almost 63 per cent were issued without stopping the vehicle. Most petty fines were passed for not abiding by the speed limit sign, over 86 per cent of all petty fines. Of them, 72 per cent were issued without stopping the vehicle. The second most petty fines were passed for not using the safety belt, slightly over five per cent of all petty fines.

Number of petty fines without stopping the vehicle and others in 2007 to 2014

Number of petty fines without stopping the vehicle and others in 2007 to 2014

In 2014, around 36,700 fines were passed by district courts, which is 524 sentences fewer than one year ago. The number of those receiving a summary penal order was still lower. In 2014, a total of 164,400 summary penal orders were issued. In 2007, the number of persons receiving a summary penal order was still more than 258,000, which is over 36 per cent more than in 2014.

Fines by courts of first instance, summary penal and petty fines in 1995 to 2014 (number)

Fines by courts of first instance, summary penal and petty fines in 1995 to 2014 (number)

The total accrual of fines for summary penal orders was EUR 39.2 million in 2014, over five per cent less than in 2013. In 2014, the total accrual of fines for petty fines was EUR 20.5 million, which is nearly five per cent higher than in 2013. The accrual of fines issued by courts, EUR 19.8 million, was nearly one per cent higher than in 2013.

Fines by courts of first instance, summary penal and petty fines in 1995 to 2014 (EUR)

Fines by courts of first instance, summary penal and petty fines in 1995 to 2014 (EUR)

Source: Prosecutions, sentences and punishments 2014, Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Salla Tuominiemi 029 551 3242, rikos@stat.fi

Director in charge: Riitta Harala


Updated 30.9.2015

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Prosecutions, sentences and punishments [e-publication].
ISSN=2343-1679. 2014. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 24.2.2024].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/syyttr/2014/syyttr_2014_2015-09-30_tie_001_en.html