Enforcement of national penalties - fines


Swiss Criminal Code 1937 (2017)

Book One: 4 General Provisions

Part One: Felonies and Misdemeanours Title One: Scope of Application

Title Three : Sentences and Measures

Chapter One : Sentences

Section One : Monetary Penalties, Community Service, Custodial Sentences

Art. 34

1 Unless the law provides otherwise, a monetary penalty amounts to a maximum of 360 daily penalty units. The court decides on the number according to the culpability of the offender.

2 A daily penalty unit amounts to a maximum of 3000 francs. The court decides on the value of the daily penalty unit according to the personal and financial circumstances of the offender at the time of conviction, and in particular according to his income and capital, living expenses, any maintenance or support obligations and the minimum subsistence level.

3 The authorities of the Confederation, the cantons and the communes shall provide the information required to determine the daily penalty unit.

4 The number and value of the daily penalty units must be stated in the judgment.

Art. 35

1 The executive authority shall specify that the offender make payment within a period of between one and twelve months. It may stipulate payment by instalments and on request may extend the period allowed.

2 If there is justified suspicion that the offender will fail to pay the monetary penalty, the executive authority may request immediate payment or the provision of security.

3 If the offender fails to pay the monetary penalty within the specified period, the executive authority shall instruct the debt collection proceedings provided their success is expected.

Art. 36

1 In the event that the offender fails to pay the monetary penalty and it is not recoverable through debt collection procedures (Art. 35 para. 3), the offender shall serve a custodial sentence as the alternative to the monetary penalty. A daily penalty unit corresponds to one day in custody. The retrospective payment of the monetary penalty leads to a corresponding reduction in the alternative custodial sentence.

2 If the monetary penalty has been imposed by an administrative authority, the court decides on the alternative custodial sentence.

3 If the offender is unable to pay the monetary penalty because the circumstances relevant to the assessment of the daily penalty unit have worsened since conviction through no fault of his own, he may request the court to defer the execution of the alternative custodial sentence and instead to :

a. extend the deadline for payment for up to 24 months ; or
b. reduce the daily penalty unit ; or
c. order community service.

4 If the court orders community service, Articles 37, 38 and 39 paragraph 2 apply.

5 In the event that the offender fails to pay the monetary penalty despite being granted an extended deadline for payment or a reduced daily penalty unit or fails to perform the community service despite being warned of the consequences, the alternative custodial sentence is executed.

Art. 37

1 The court may, with consent of the offender, order community ser-vice of a maximum of 720 hours as an alternative to a custodial sen-tence of less than six months or a monetary penalty not exceeding 180 daily penalty units.

2 Community service is performed for the benefit of welfare institutions, projects in the public interest or persons in need. No remunera-tion is paid for the work done.

Art. 38

The executive authority shall stipulate a period of no more than two years in which the offender must perform the community service.

Art. 39

1 If, despite being warned of the consequences, the offender fails to perform the community service in accordance with the judgment or the conditions and requirements imposed by the competent authority, the court shall convert the community service order into a monetary penalty or a custodial sentence.

2 Four hours of community service corresponds to one daily penalty unit of a monetary penalty or one day of a custodial sentence.

3 A custodial sentence may only be imposed if it is to be expected that a monetary penalty may not be paid.

Art. 40

The duration of the custodial sentence is normally no less than six months ; the maximum term is 20 years. Where the law expressly provides, the custodial sentence is for life.

Art. 41

1 The court may impose an immediate custodial sentence of up to six months only if the requirements for a suspended sentence (Art. 42) are not fulfilled and it is to be expected that a monetary penalty may not be paid or community service not completed.

2 It must explain why it has decided to impose this form of penalty.

3 The right is reserved to impose a custodial sentence in place of a monetary penalty (Art. 36) or uncompleted community service (Art. 39).

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.