Enforcement of national penalties - fines


Criminal Code 1995 (2013)

General provisions on felonies and misdemeanours, the persons responsible, the penalties, security measures and other consequences of criminal offences

On penalties

On punishments, their types and effects


Article 50

1. Punishment by fine shall consist in sentencing the convict to pay a pecuniary punishment.

2. Punishment by fine shall be imposed, except if the Law states otherwise, by the day-fine system.

3. The minimum length shall be ten days and the maximum two years. Fine penalties against legal persons shall have a maximum length of five years.

4. The daily quota shall be a minimum of two and a maximum of four hundred euros, except in the case of fines imposed on legal persons, in which the daily quota shall have a minimum of 30 and a maximum of 5,000 euros. For the purposes of calculation, when the term is set by months or years, it shall be construed that months are of thirty days and years of three hundred and sixty days.

5. Judges or Courts of Law shall duly determine the extent of the punishment within the limits established for each offence and pursuant to the rules of Chapter II of this Title. They shall also set the amount of these quotas in the judgement, for which they shall only take into account the financial situation of the convict, deducting, revenue, family obligations and charges and his other personal circumstances from his assets.

6. When justified, the Court of Law may authorise payment of the fine within a term that does not exceed two years from the final judgement, either as a lump sum, or in the instalments.

In such case, failure to pay two such instalments shall give rise to maturity of the remaining sums.

Article 51

If the financial status of the convict were to change after sentencing, the Judge or Court of Law, exceptionally, and after duly investigating the situation, may amend both the amount of the instalments, as well as the terms for payment thereof.

Article 52

1. Notwithstanding the terms set forth in the preceding Articles and when the Code so determines, the fine shall be established in proportion to the damage caused, the value of the object of the offence, or the profit obtained from it.

2. In such cases, the Judges and Courts of Law shall establish the fine within the limits set for each offence, considering not only the mitigating and aggravating circumstances of the fact to determine the amount in each case, but mainly the financial situation of the offender.

3. Should the financial situation of the convict worsen after sentencing, the Judge or Court of Law, exceptionally and after due investigation of the situation, may reduce the amount of the fine within the limits set by the law for the offence concerned, or authorise its payment subject to the terms to be determined.

4. In cases in which this Code foresees punishment by fine for legal persons in proportion to the profit obtained or facilitated, to the damage caused, to the value of the object, or to the sum obtained unduly or by fraud, if it is not possible to calculate such on the basis of those items, the Judge or Court of Law shall justify the impossibility to proceed to that calculation and the fines foreseen shall be replaced by the following ones :

a) Fine of two to five years, if the offence committed by a natural person has a prison sentence established in more than five years ;
b) Fine of one to three years, if the offence committed by a natural person has a prison sentence established in more than two years, not included in the preceding Section ;
c) Fine of six months to two years, in the rest of cases.

Article 53

1. Should the convict not pay the fine set, voluntarily or by enforcement, he shall be subject to a subsidiary personal liability of one day of custodial sentence for every two daily quotas not paid that, if a misdemeanour is involved, may be fulfilled by means of permanent traceability. In such case, the limitation on duration established in Article 37.1 of this Code shall not apply.

The Judge or Court of Law may also, with the convict’s prior approval, order that the subsidiary accountability be served by community service. In such case, each day of custodial sentence shall be equivalent to one day of work.

2. In cases of proportional fines, the Judges and Courts of Law shall establish the appropriate personal subsidiary liability at their own discretion, which may not exceed one year in duration, in any case. The Judge or Court of Law may also order community service to be done, when previously agreed with the convict.

3. Such subsidiary liability shall not be imposed on convicts imprisoned for more than five years.

4. Settlement of the subsidiary liability extinguishes the obligation to pay the fine, even though the convict’s financial situation were to improve.

5. The fine imposed on a legal person may be paid by instalments over a period of up to five years, when its amount is proven to endanger the survival thereof, or maintenance of the jobs existing thereat, or when this is advisable in the general interest.

Should the legal person convicted not pay the fine imposed within the term set, voluntarily or by enforcement, the Court of Law may order it to be intervened until it is fully paid.

Rome Statute

Article 109 Enforcement of fines and forfeiture measures

1. States Parties shall give effect to fines or forfeitures ordered by the Court under Part 7, without prejudice to the rights of bona fide third parties, and in accordance with the procedure of their national law.

2. If a State Party is unable to give effect to an order for forfeiture, it shall take measures to recover the value of the proceeds, property or assets ordered by the Court to be forfeited, without prejudice to the rights of bona fide third parties.

3. Property, or the proceeds of the sale of real property or, where appropriate, the sale of other property, which is obtained by a State Party as a result of its enforcement of a judgement of the Court shall be transferred to the Court.