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Published: 30 September 2016

Number of petty fines decreased

According to Statistics Finland's data, 240,700 petty fines were issued in 2015, which is nearly eight per cent lower than one year earlier. The increases in petty fines entered into force on 1 September 2015, and since then the amount of a petty fine can have been EUR 20, 40, 70, 100, 120, 140, 170 or 200. The total accrual of petty fines was EUR 24.4 million, which is 19 per cent more than one year before.

Fines, summary penal orders and petty fines by courts of first instance in 1995 to 2015, number

Fines, summary penal orders and petty fines by courts of first instance in 1995 to 2015, number

In 2015, there were 178,550 fines sentenced by a summary penal order, nearly nine per cent more than in 2014. About 43 per cent of summary penal orders were caused by endangerment of traffic safety. Nearly four per cent fewer fines were passed by district courts than one year before, in total 38,200 fines (incl. disciplinary fines, petty fines sentenced in court and supplementary day fines).

Total accrual of fines, summary penal orders and petty fines in courts of first instance in 1995 to 2015, EUR

Total accrual of fines, summary penal orders and petty fines in courts of first instance in 1995 to 2015, EUR

The accrual of fines for all fines was in total over EUR 86 million in 2015, over eight per cent more than a year ago. The accrual of fines for petty fines and summary penal orders grew compared with 2014. The total accrual of fines for summary penal orders was EUR 43 million, which is ten per cent more than one year earlier. The accrual of fines sentenced in district courts in 2015 was over five per cent lower than in 2014. In total, district courts issued fines to the value of EUR 18.7 million.

Imprisonment sentences numbered 20,700

In 2015, a total of 5,454 sentences of unconditional imprisonment were passed. Thirteen of these were sentences of life imprisonment and 372 were sentences where previous unconditional imprisonment was regarded as a sufficient sanction. Seventy-four sentences of fixed-term unconditional imprisonment of eight years or longer were passed. Thirty-six per cent of all unconditional imprisonment sentences were for under three months. Of them, 41 per cent were results of traffic offences, 33 per cent of property offences and 11 per cent of offences against life and health.

Imprisonment in 1976 to 2015, number

Imprisonment in 1976 to 2015, number

Unconditional imprisonment of at most six months can be passed as a monitoring sentence. In 2015, a total of 236 unconditional imprisonment sentences were converted into monitoring sentences.

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 34 per cent of all convertible unconditional imprisonment sentences were converted into community service in 2015. Community service was clearly used most when passing a sentence for drunken driving.

Altogether 13,230 sentences of conditional imprisonment were passed, a little fewer than one year earlier. Around 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.

Number of acquittals was 2,948

In actual trials, a punishment was waived for 470 persons found guilty. The defendant's young age was the reason for waiving punishment in 99 cases, criminal irresponsibility in 25 cases and reduced criminal responsibility in one case. In all, 2,948 defendants were acquitted and for 735 persons the charge was withdrawn.


Source: Prosecutions, sentences and punishments 2015, Statistics Finland

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

Director in charge: Jari Tarkoma


Updated 30.9.2016

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Prosecutions, sentences and punishments [e-publication].
ISSN=2343-1679. 2015. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 3.3.2024].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/syyttr/2015/syyttr_2015_2016-09-30_tie_001_en.html