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Defendants (criminal proceedings)


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What is a misdemeanour?

A misdemeanour is misconduct which:

  • breaches or threatens the interests of society;
  • is defined as a misdemeanour by the Act on Misdemeanours;
  • is not any other minor offence or a crime.

It can be defined as less serious unlawful conduct than a criminal offence. It is handled in administrative proceedings.

You can, for example, cause a road traffic misdemeanour, if you:

  • drive your car without a driving licence;
  • drink and drive, or use drugs and drive;
  • drive your car above the speed limit;
  • leave the scene of a car accident;
  • cause a car accident, etc.

Who deals with misdemeanours?

Misdemeanours are handled by various offices of state administration or self-governing bodies, in particular:

What is the procedure?

The representative of the administrative body will first explain the misdemeanour, then it will commence misdemeanour proceedings by setting the date for an oral hearing where the matter will be heard and a decision made; either you will be found guilty of the misdemeanour or the process will be closed.

What decision can the administrative body make?

The administrative body will close the process if it determines that the offence was not committed or that it was not committed by you.

The administrative body may find you guilty of the offence but waive the fine, or, based on the gravity of the offence – it can impose one of the following sanctions:

  • a reprimand;
  • a fine up to €33 and for road traffic offences up to €1 300;
  • disqualification for up to 5 years (for example, from driving a motor vehicle);
  • seizure of an item, if the item was used for committing the offence, etc.

Can I appeal the decision of the administrative body?

Yes, you can file an appeal to the administrative body which issued the decision within 15 days of the date when you received the notification. The appeal will be dealt with by a higher level body which will examine the correctness and lawfulness of the decision issued by the lower level body.

If you also believe that the decision of the higher level body is incorrect you may file a complaint with a court which will examine the lawfulness of the decision made by the administrative body.

Are such offences pursued against nationals of other Member States?

Any person who commits an offence on the territory of the Slovak Republic bears responsibility for doing so.

How are road traffic misdemeanours dealt with?

Some misdemeanours (particularly road traffic misdemeanours, for example speeding or parking) will be handled directly at the site by issuing a fine statement, collecting a fine on the spot (up to €650), and/or with a verbal reprimand. The administrative body can apply this procedure only if the offence has been reliably ascertained and you are willing to pay the fine. You can appeal against such a decision. If you do not agree with the procedure, misdemeanour proceedings (see above) will be commenced.

If you agree with the fine but you cannot pay it on the spot (you do not have enough cash), the police officer or administrative body will issue a fine statement and instruct you about the next steps (typically, you must pay the fine within 15 days) and about what happens if you fail to pay the fine (your driving licence will be suspended).

Is information about misdemeanours added to criminal records?

The Road Traffic Police keep records on every driver. They include the driver's personal details and information about misdemeanours and criminal offences committed by breaching the road traffic rules. Information about misdemeanours is kept only if the fine exceeded €100 or the police issued a disqualification.

Last update: 18/05/2020

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