Concepts




Grounds for non-prosecution


Grounds on which a prosecutor may decide not to prosecute include the following:
- The act is not an offence; the act does not fulfil the essential elements of an offence and the law provides no punishment for it.
- No evidence; there is not sufficient evidence of guilt.
- The right to institute criminal proceedings has fallen under the statute of limitations: charges must be brought within the time period specified in the Penal Code.
- No right to institute criminal proceedings: in certain cases the prosecutor's right to institute criminal proceedings is limited.
- The public prosecutor may decide not to prosecute where a penalty more severe than a fine is not anticipated for the offence and the offence is deemed of little significance in view of its detrimental effects and the degree of culpability of the offender manifest in it - Non-prosecution on grounds of insignificance is provided for in chapter 1, section 7, sub-section 1 of the Criminal Procedure Act.
- The public prosecutor may decide not to prosecute where a person under 18 years of age has committed the offence and a penalty more severe than a fine or imprisonment for at most six months is not anticipated for it. Additionally, the offence must be deemed to be the result of lack of judgment or incaution rather than heedlessness of the prohibitions and commands of the law. - Non-prosecution on grounds of young age is provided for in chapter 1, section 7, sub-section 2 of the Criminal Procedure Act.
- Unless an important public or private interest otherwise requires, the public prosecutor may, in addition to the events referred to in section 7, not prosecute where the trial and punishment are deemed unreasonable or pointless. When evaluating such grounds, a settlement reached by the offender and the injured party, some other action of the offender to prevent or remove the effects of the offence, the personal circumstances of the offender, the other consequences of the offence to the offender, the welfare or health care measures undertaken and the other circumstances must be taken into consideration. - Non-prosecution on grounds of reasonability is provided for in chapter 1, section 8, sub-section 1 of the Criminal Procedure Act.
- The public prosecutor may decide not to prosecute if, under the provisions on joint punishment and the consideration of previous punishments in sentencing, the offence would not have an essential effect on the total punishment. - Non-prosecution on grounds joint punishment is provided for in chapter 1, section 8, sub-section 2 of the Criminal Procedure Act.
The prosecutor may decide to not prosecute also on grounds of: chapter 9, section 7, chapter 21, section 17(repealed 2004/712, entry into force 1.10.2004) chapter 35, section 7 and chapter 50, section 7 of the Penal Code.



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Validity of the definition

  • Valid until (31 December 2078)

Source organisation

  • Tilastokeskus

Jaa