Who deals with road traffic offences?
A number of minor motoring and related offences may be dealt with administratively by the imposition of a fine prescribed by law.
In the case of speeding or use of a mobile phone whilst driving and some other minor offences, penalty points are also added to your driving licence. When the penalty points exceed twelve, your case must be referred to court. If you do not agree to the imposition of a fine and penalty points, a criminal case will be filed against you in court.
A policeman or a municipal or local authority traffic warden may notify you that a fine has been imposed. In the case of a parking offence, the notice must state the offence and inform you that if you do not pay the fine within 15 days, it will increase by one half.
If the fine is not paid within 30 days, a prosecution may be mounted. Fines can be imposed for traffic offences committed by pedestrians and cyclists, as well as motorists. The level of the fine is set by law.
An administrative fine cannot be appealed if you consent to it. If on the other hand you deny committing the offence, the authorities may go to court in order to prove the offence. The court’s decision may be appealed, like any other decision for a criminal offence.
A fine which is imposed administratively may be collected like a fine imposed by a court of law. It does not give rise to a criminal record.
What happens if the case goes to court?
The district court of the area where the traffic offence is committed has jurisdiction to deal with it.
The procedure used at the trial of minor traffic offences is the same with any other offence.
The penalties that may be imposed by the court are:
- disqualification from driving a motor vehicle.
Citizens of other Member States are equally liable as nationals to be prosecuted for minor traffic offences.
A conviction as well as the sentence imposed for a minor traffic offence can be appealed in the same way and for the same reasons as any other case.
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