Administrative offences proceedings
If you are charged with an administrative offence, you have been charged with a violation of the law, but your offence is not serious enough to be considered criminal.
example For example, the police may have charged you with speeding or the National Revenue Service may have charged you with minor tax evasion.
Your case will be examined in administrative offences proceedings, which is similar to a criminal trial. An administrative offense differs from a criminal offense in that the violation is considered less serious.
Appeal or summons to court
There are two situations which may involve you in administrative offences proceedings:
1. Where you wish to appeal an administrative penalty
If you disagree with an administrative penalty imposed on you by a state institution, you may appeal this decision in administrative offences proceedings. To do this, you must follow the regular complaints procedure first.
2. Where you are summoned to court
Some administrative offences have to be examined directly by the court. In such a situation, the state institution takes your case to the court. In turn, the court will invite you to take part in the trial. If, after the trial, you disagree with the outcome and you would like to appeal the decision of the court, you can do so in a higher court. Read more about appeals.
Right to a fair trial
The fundamental rights and guarantees you have in administrative offences proceedings are called the right to a fair trial.
There are a number of essential fair trial guarantees that apply to administrative offences proceedings in the same way as they do to a criminal trial. These guarantees include the equality of both parties to the case (you and the state institution), the right to a defence and the right to submit evidence. However, some guarantees may be applied less strictly than in a criminal case. The standard applicable to each case will depend on the gravity of the offence and the penalty that can be imposed.
example If you are charged with speeding you are subject to punishment by an administrative body rather than directly by a court, unlike in cases where you are accused of petty hooliganism.
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