Finnish courts -
District courts -
Criminal cases -
Fine is the most lenient sanction imposed by the district court. In addition to the district court, fine can also be imposed by the police in the form of a penal notice, which is confirmed by the prosecutor. If the fine is not paid either voluntarily or through recovery proceedings, the district court may convert the fine into imprisonment, so that one day’s imprisonment corresponds to three unit fines.
A fine is imposed as unit fines (uf). For instance, 20 uf at 10 euro = 200 euro. The more blameworthy the act, the more unit fines are imposed. The statutory maximum number of unit fines is 120 or, if the fine concerns several offences, 240 euro. There is no general, statutory minimum number of unit fines, but for certain offences a minimum number has been determined.
The amount of one unit fine depends on the income of the convict. The amount of a unit fine is based on a person’s net income. The net income is the amount left to the person of his or her monthly income after the subtraction of taxes, compulsory insurance premiums and the unemployment insurance premium. Thereafter, 255 euro is subtracted from the net income. The amount arrived at is divided by 60. In addition, each minor child lowers the amount of the unit fine by 3 euro. The minimum amount of a unit fine is 6 euro.
For certain traffic violations, the police may impose a fixed fine. Unit fines cannot be converted into imprisonment.
Example on calculating the amount of the unit fine:
A person earns 1,500 euro per month. After taxes and other levies he is left with 1,000 euro.
Subtract 255 euro = 745 euro.
The amount of the unit fine is 745 euro divided by 60 = 12 euro.
If he has two children, subtract 2 x 3 euro = 6 euro.
The amount of the unit fine is 6 euro.
If he has been sentenced to 20 day fines for the offence, the total amount of the fine is 20 uf at 6 euro = 120 euro.
Updated on 18 April 2013