5 - Road traffic offences
How are road traffic offences dealt with?
Minor offences are dealt with in a fast-track procedure by bodies authorised to deal with minor offences ("minor offence bodies"), such as the police and municipal traffic wardens. In an ordinary procedure, minor offences are dealt with by courts.
A body authorised to deal with minor offences collects evidence and issues a written decision. The offence body will issue a fixed penalty notice if you violate stopping and parking regulations or drive against the rules; this may be observed by the offence body itself or by using technical devices.
If you want to challenge a fixed penalty notice, you must lodge an objection within eight days the notice being served. Your objection will be decided on by the offence body by issuing a decision. You can lodge a request for judicial protection against this decision (and in certain cases directly against the fixed penalty notice) within eight days of having received it.
Within eight days of the decision or when the fixed penalty notice has become final, you can pay one-half of the fine. However, if your request is rejected, you will also have to pay the other half.
You should lodge a request for judicial protection with the offence body. The request will be dealt with by the court. The court issues a judgement by which it either rejects the request as unjustified, or upholds the request and changes the decision on minor offences with a new judgement. As a rule, no appeal is possible against this judgement.
Ordinary judicial procedure
This procedure is used in certain cases (e.g. conditions exist to issue a secondary sentence; juvenile offender etc.). The court acts on the basis of an accusatory complaint.
In the procedure, you must be questioned at a hearing and must be able to present evidence. If you admit the offence, the court does not have to collect other evidence.
After conducting the procedure for taking evidence, the court can decide that you are liable and issue a sanction for the minor offence. In all other cases, the court stops the procedure with a judgement. You can appeal against the judgement to a higher court within eight days of having been served with the judgement.
Final decisions on minor offences are deleted from the records kept by the Ministry of Justice three years after they became final.
What sanctions can be passed?
The usual sanction passed with respect to road traffic offences is a fine. For very minor offences, an admonition can also be issued. In addition to a fine, other sanctions are possible: penalty points combined with the revocation of a driving licence and a driving disqualification.
If you do not pay the fine, the payment can be collected with force. Another option is the so-called "compliance imprisonment" ordered by a court. This means you can be kept in prison until the fine has been paid, but for a maximum of 30 days. Even after you have served the "compliance jail sentence", you will still be liable to pay the fine. If you are in a very difficult financial situation you can ask the court – before the compliance imprisonment is due – to replace the fine with community service.
Penalty points in road traffic are imposed for serious offences against public traffic safety. If you acquire 18 penalty points or more in three years, the court can under certain other conditions also decide to revoke your driving licence.
If you commit serious offences against public traffic safety, you can be banned from driving for a period from one month to one year.
What happens if I am a citizen of another country?
If the police catch you committing a minor offence and you could avoid the penalty by going abroad, you will be brought before a competent judge. If you are caught in the act when courts do not operate and the police think you might want to escape, you can be held in police custody for a maximum of 12 hours.
If you do not have a place of permanent abode in Slovenia and there is a risk that you would want to avoid punishment, the court may decide after interrogation that you can deposit bail money or can immediately execute the decision, regardless of an appeal. Personal documents and other movables may be seized.
The court must decide on any request for judicial protection or appeal within 48 hours.
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Last update: 16/02/2012