Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 September 2014, 13:37 GMT

Finland: Penal Code (General Part)

Publisher National Legislative Bodies / National Authorities
Publication Date 1996
Cite as Finland: Penal Code (General Part) [Finland],   1996, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6b5614.html [accessed 16 September 2014]
Comments This is an unofficial consolidated translation. The latest amendment included here is Act No. 626/1996. With the acknowledgement of Buffalo Criminal Law Centre.
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Chapter 1 Scope of application of the criminal law of Finland (626/1996)

Section 1       Offence committed in Finland

Finnish law shall apply to an offence committed in Finland.

Section 2       Offence connected with a Finnish vessel

(1)  Finnish law shall apply to an offence committed on board a Finnish vessel or aircraft if the offence has been committed

(1)  while the vessel was on the high seas or in a territory not belonging to any State or while the aircraft was in or over such territory or

(2)  while the vessel was in the territory of a foreign State or the aircraft was in or over such territory and the offence has been committed by the master of the vessel, a member of its crew, its passenger or a person who otherwise was on board.

(2)  Finnish law shall also apply to an offence committed outside of Finland by the master or member of a crew of a Finnish vessel or aircraft if, by the offence, the offender has violated his/her or her special statutory obligations as the master or member of the crew of the vessel.

Section 3       Offence directed at Finland

(1)  Finnish law shall apply to an offence committed outside of Finland that has been directed at Finland.

(2)  An offence is deemed to have been directed at Finland

(1)  if it is an offence of treason or high treason,

(2)  if the act has otherwise seriously violated or endangered the national, military or economic rights or interests of Finland or

(3)  if it has been directed at a Finnish authority.

Section 4       Offence in office and military offence

(1)  Finnish law shall apply to an offence referred to in chapter 40 that has been committed outside of Finland by a person referred to in chapter 2, section 12 of this Code.

(2)  Finnish law shall also apply to an offence referred to in chapter 45 that has been committed outside of Finland by a person subject to the provisions of said chapter.

Section 5       Offence directed against a Finn

Finnish law shall apply to an offence committed outside of Finland that has been directed against a Finnish citizen, a Finnish association, foundation or other legal entity or a foreigner permanently residing in Finland if, according to Finnish law, the act may be punishable by imprisonment for more than six months.

Section 6       Offence committed by a Finn

(1)  Finnish law shall apply to an offence committed by a Finn outside of Finland. If the offence has been committed in territory not belonging to any State, it is a precondition for punishability that, according to Finnish law, the act may be punishable by imprisonment for more than six months.

(2)  A person who at the time of the offence was, or at the beginning of the trial is, a Finnish citizen is deemed to be a Finnish citizen.

(3)  The following are deemed to be comparable to a Finnish citizen:

(1)  a person who at the time of the offence had, or at the beginning of the trial has, his/her or her permanent residence in Finland, and

(2)  a person who is found in Finland and at the beginning of the trial is a citizen of Iceland, Norway, Sweden or Denmark or at this time has his/her or her permanent residence in one of these countries.

Section 7       International offence

Finnish law shall apply to an offence committed outside of Finland where the punishability of the act, regardless of the law of the place of commission, is based on an international agreement binding on Finland or on another statute or regulation internationally binding on Finland (international offence). More detailed provisions on the application of this section shall be issued by Decree.

Section 8       Other offence committed outside of Finland

Finnish law shall apply to an offence committed outside of Finland which, according to Finnish law, may be punishable by imprisonment for more than six months, if the State in the territory of which the offence has been committed has requested that charges be brought in a Finnish court or that the offender be extradited because of the offence, but the extradition request has not been granted.

Section 9       Corporate criminal liability

If, under this chapter, Finnish law applies to the offence, corporate criminal liability shall also be determined according to Finnish law.

Section 10    Place of commission of an offence

(1)  An offence is deemed to have been committed both where the criminal act was committed and where the consequence contained in the statutory definition of the offence became apparent. An offence of omission shall be deemed to have been committed both where the offender should have acted and where the consequence contained in the statutory definition of the offence became apparent.

(2)  If the offence remains an attempt, the offence shall be deemed to have been committed also where, had the offence been completed, the consequence contained in the statutory definition of the offence either would probably have become apparent or would in the opinion of the offender have become apparent.

(3)  An offence by an inciter and abettor shall be deemed to have been committed both where the act of complicity was committed and where the offence by the offender is deemed to have been committed.

(4)  If no certainty exists as to the place of commission of the offence, but there is justified reason to presume that the offence has been committed in the territory of Finland, it is deemed to have been committed in Finland.

Section 11    Requirement of double criminality

If the offence has been committed in the territory of a foreign State, the application of Finnish law may be based on sections 5, 6 and 8 only if the offence is punishable also according to the law of the place of commission and a sentence could have been passed for it also by a court of this foreign State. In this event no more severe sanction than what is provided by the law of the place of commission may be imposed in Finland.

Section 12    Prosecution order by the Chancellor of Justice

(1)  A criminal case must not be investigated in Finland without an order by the Chancellor of Justice

(1)  where the offence has been committed abroad or

(2)  where a foreigner has committed an offence on board a foreign vessel when the vessel was in Finnish territorial waters or on board a foreign aircraft when the aircraft was in Finnish air space and the offence has not been directed against Finland, a citizen of Finland, a person permanently resident in Finland or a Finnish association, foundation or other legal entity.

(2)  However, the order by the Chancellor of Justice is not required

(1)  if the offence has been committed by a Finnish citizen or a person who, under section 6, is comparable to a Finnish citizen and it has been directed against Finland, a citizen of Finland, a foreigner permanently resident in Finland, or a Finnish association, foundation or other legal entity,

(2)  if the offence has been committed in Iceland, Norway, Sweden or Denmark and the competent public prosecutor of the place of commission has requested that the offence be tried before a Finnish court,

(3)  if the offence has been committed aboard a Finnish vessel while on the high seas or in territory not belonging to any State or aboard a Finnish aircraft while it was in or over such territory,

(4)  if the offence has been committed aboard a vessel or aircraft while it was in regular traffic between points in Finland or between points in Finland and in Iceland, Norway, Sweden or Denmark,

(5)  if the offence is to be tried as a criminal case in accordance with the Military Court Proceedings Act (326/1983) or

(6)  if there is a statutory provision to the effect that the President of the Republic or Parliament is to order any charges to be brought.

Section 13    Foreign judgment

(1)  No charges must be brought in Finland for an act committed abroad if a final judgment has already been passed in the State where the act had been committed and

(1)  the charges have been dismissed,

(2)  the defendant has been found guilty but punishment has been waived,

(3)  the sentence has been enforced or its enforcement is still in progress or

(4)  according to the law of the State where the judgment was passed, the sentence has lapsed.

(2)  The provisions of paragraph (1) notwithstanding, the Chancellor of Justice may order that charges be brought in Finland if the judgment passed abroad was not based on a request of Finnish authority and

(1)  under section 3, the offence is deemed to be directed against Finland,

(2)  the offence is an offence in office or a military offence referred to in section 4,

(3)  the offence is an international offence referred to in section 6, or

(4)  under section 10, the offence is deemed to have been committed also in Finland.

(3)  If a person is sentenced in Finland for an offence for which he or she has already served in full or in part a sanction imposed abroad, a reasonable amount shall be deducted from the sentence. If the sanction that has been imposed has been a custodial sentence, the court shall deduct from the sentence the time corresponding to the loss of liberty. The court may also note that the sanction that has been served is to be deemed a sufficient sanction for the offence.

Section 14    Reference provision

Separate provisions apply to extradition because of an offence and to other international legal assistance and to the immunity in certain cases of persons participating in a trial or a criminal investigation.

Section 15    Treaties and international practice binding on Finland

If an international treaty binding on Finland or another statute or regulation that is internationally binding on Finland in some event restricts the scope of application of the criminal law of Finland, such a restriction shall apply as agreed. Notwithstanding the provisions in this chapter, the restrictions on the scope of application of Finnish law that result from generally recognised rules of international law shall also apply.

Chapter 2 Punishments

Section 1

(1)  The general punishments shall be imprisonment, fine and summary penal fee. (67/1983)

(2)  The special punishments for public officials shall be dismissal and warning. (792/1989)

(3)  The disciplinary punishments for a soldier and another person subject to chapter 45 shall be detention, confinement to barracks, disciplinary fine and warning. Separate provisions apply to the same. Where provisions with disciplinary punishment as their sanction apply to a person not subject to chapter 45, that person shall instead be sentenced to a fine. (651/1991)

Section 2       (697/1991)

(1)  A sentence of imprisonment shall be passed either for a fixed period or for life. A sentence of imprisonment for a fixed period shall be at least fourteen days and at most twelve years or, when sentencing to a joint punishment in accordance with chapter 7, at most fifteen years.

(2)  A sentence of imprisonment shorter that three months shall be passed by the day. Other sentences of imprisonment for a fixed period shall be passed by the month and day, by the month, by the year or by the year and month and, when sentencing to a joint punishment, also by the year, month and day.

Section 3       (613/1974)

(1)  Where an offence is by law punishable by hard labour, a sentence of imprisonment shall be passed instead of the hard labour.

(2)  A sentence of life imprisonment shall be passed instead of hard labour for life. A sentence of imprisonment for a fixed period shall be passed instead of hard labour for a fixed period; the sentence scale provided for the hard labour shall be used. If no specific minimum and maximum periods have been provided, a sentence of imprisonment for at least six months and at most twelve years shall be passed instead of the hard labour.

(3)  Unless otherwise provided, the maximum period of imprisonment on the basis of a penal provision enacted before 1 July 1975 shall be four years.

(4)  The provisions on hard labour for life apply also to life imprisonment.

Section 4       (650/1976)

(1)  A sentence of a fine shall be passed in day-fines. The smallest fine shall be one day-fine and the largest one hundred and twenty day-fines. The maximum and minimum for a joint punishment to a fine are provided in chapter 7. (697/1991)

(2)  A specific minimum or maximum fine may, for a special reason, be provided by an Act. A specific minimum or maximum provided by an Act enacted before 1 June 1969 does not apply.

(3)  Separate provisions apply to a summary penal fee, which is of a fixed amount in FIM. (67/1983)

Section 4a    (650/1976)

(1)  A day-fine shall be set in full FIM at an amount that is to be deemed reasonable, at the time of sentencing, with regard to the solvency of the person fined.

(2)  One third of the average gross daily income of the person fined is deemed to be a reasonable day-fine, unless the day-fine is to be set at a larger or smaller amount due to the wealth or maintenance liability of the person fined, or to other circumstances affecting his/her solvency. However, the day-fine shall not be set at an amount larger than what is left to the person fined after payment of state and local income taxes. Provisions are issued by Decree on the minimum amount of the day-fine and on the guidelines for taking the maintenance liability into consideration.

(3)  Gross income means the sum total of all wages and salaries, professional income, capital income and other income of the person fined, subtracted by the expenditure incurred by the acquisition or maintenance of income, where such expenditure has an essential effect on his/her solvency.

Section 4b    (650/1976)

(1)  The provisions in section 4 and section 4a apply to a threat of a fine, where enforced as a punishment.

(2)  Where imposed as a coercive measure, the threat of a fine shall be imposed as a lump sum, taking into consideration also the solvency of the person in question. For special reasons, such a threat of a fine may be enforced at an amount smaller than the one set.

Section 4c     (1082/1989)

A minimum for the sum total in FIM of day-fines may be fixed by Decree for situations where the sum total of day-fines set according to section 4a would be less than the summary penal fee set for a similar but less serious offence.

Section 5       (650/1986)

(1)  A person who has been sentenced to a fine and from whom the collection of the fine has failed, shall be sentenced to imprisonment in lieu of the fine (conversion sentence). A day-fine that is only partially paid, shall, when passing a conversion sentence, be considered unpaid. When passing a conversion sentence, every full FIM 50 of a threat of a fine, imposed as a lump sum, shall correspond to one day-fine.

(2)  When passing a conversion sentence, two unpaid day-fines shall correspond to one day's imprisonment. However, a conversion sentence shall be passed for at least four days and at most ninety days. If there is an odd number of day-fines to be converted, one day-fine shall be left unconverted.

(3)  If two or more fines are to be converted at the same time, only one conversion sentence shall be passed, by converting the total number of unpaid day-fines as provided in paragraph (2).

(4)  If, with regard to the reasons for the failure to pay the fine, or for another special reason, it is deemed reasonable, a shorter conversion sentence than what is provided in paragraph (2) may be passed; however, it shall not be shorter than four days. The court may waive a conversion sentence for special reasons concerning the personal circumstances of the person fined, unless it is necessary to pass it in order to uphold the general obedience to the law.

Section 6

If a punishment is to be set on the basis of the value of given property, the value of the property at the time of the commission of t he offence shall be decisive.

Section 7       (792/1989)

(1)  Dismissal shall comprise the loss of the public office or function in which the offence was committed. If a public official who is in the service of, or in a comparable employment relationship with, a public corporation or an independent public institution has transferred from the office in which the offence was committed to another corresponding office, the dismissal shall comprise the loss of the said latter office.

(2)  In cases referred to in section 10 the dismissal shall comprise the loss of the public office function or the public offices and functions that the offender has at the time when the sentence is passed.

Sections 8 - 9           (repealed)

Section 10

(1)  A public official sentenced to life imprisonment shall also be sentenced to be dismissed. The same applies when the public official is sentenced to imprisonment for a fixed period of at least two years, except if the court deems that the offence does not indicate that the offender is unsuitable for public office.

(2)  If a public official is sentenced to imprisonment for an offence not resulting from negligence for less than two years, he/she may at the same time be sentenced to dismissal, if the offence indicates that he/she is manifestly unsuitable for public office. (792/1989)

(3)  However, a member of a representative of a public corporation, elected in a general election, shall not be sentenced to dismissal from the said office by virtue of this section. (792/1989)

Section 11    (repealed)

Section 12    (792/1989)

(1)  In this Act public official means:

(1)  a person who is in the service of, or in a corresponding employment relationship with, one of the following; the state, a municipality, a federation of municipalities, another organ of municipal co-operation, the Evangelical Lutheran church, the Greek Orthodox church, a congregation of one of the said churches, an organ of congregational co-operation, the Province of Åland, the Bank of Finland, the Social Insurance Institution, another independent state institution, the Institute of Occupational Health, the Pensions Institute of Local Authorities and the Commission for Local Authority Employers;

(2)  a municipal councillor, another member of a representative body of a public corporation mentioned in subparagraph (1), elected in a general election, except for a Member of Parliament in his/her parliamentary duties, as well as a member of an organ, e.g. a municipal executive board, panel, board of directors, committee, board and advisory board, of a public corporation or institution mentioned in subparagraph (1), and another elected official of a public corporation or institution mentioned in subparagraph (1); and

(3)  a person who on the basis of an Act, a Decree or an order based on an Act or Decree exercises public authority in a corporation other than those mentioned in subparagraph (1), and a person, who elsewhere exercises public authority on the said basis.

(2)  In this Act employee of a public corporation means a person who is employed under contract by a public corporation or institution mentioned in paragraph (1)(1).

Section 13    (352/1990)

(1)  If a prisoner, while in a penitentiary or otherwise under the supervision of a prison authority, commits an offence that according to the general law would be punished by a fine, he/she shall be subjected to a disciplinary punishment within the institution, as separately provided. If the offence is deemed to require a more severe punishment than a fine, charges against the offender shall be brought before a court.

(2)  If a person referred to in paragraph (1) is sentenced by a court for an offence, the disciplinary punishment for which he/she has served completely or partially, the sentence shall be subject to a reasonable reduction, unless there are justifiable grounds for not reducing the sentence of for considering the disciplinary punishment a full punishment for the act.

(3)  If a prisoner commits an offence outside of an institution, charges against him/her shall be brought before a court.

Section 14    (repealed)

Section 14a  (578/1995)

A person sentenced for treason or high treason, or sentenced to imprisonment for another offence for at least two years, shall be sentenced to forfeit his/her military rank, unless such forfeiture, with regard to the nature of the offence, its causes and effects and the other consequences of the loss of military rank to the offender, is to be deemed unreasonable. (578/1995)

Section 15

(1)  The times to be determined on the basis of this Code by the year or month shall be counted by the calendar. A day shall equal 24 hours.

(2)  (repealed)

Section 16    (143/1932)

(1)  The financial benefit of the offence to the offender or to the person whom he/she has been acting for or on behalf of shall be estimated at the discretion of the court and declared forfeited regardless of whether charges have been brought against the person whom the offender has been acting for.

(2)  If the offence is habitual or professional, the amount to be declared forfeited shall be estimated taking the scope of the criminal activity into account as a whole.

(3)  If an offence has been committed, an object or property which belongs to the offender or to the person whom he/she has been acting for or on behalf of and which was used in the commission of the offence or which was solely or primarily prepared or procured for the commission of the offence, may be declared forfeited even if such a sanction is not specifically provided for the offence.

(4)  The amount forfeited and the value of the object or property which the court has declared forfeited without ordering the object or property to be destroyed shall pass to the state. However, any damages that cannot be collected from the offender shall be taken from the value of the object or the property. An action for such damages shall be brought within one year of the date when the judgment declaring the object or the property forfeited became final. When an object or property is declared forfeited by virtue of paragraph (3), also a person who has in good faith obtained a mortgage, lien or attachment to the object or the property, as security for a debt, shall receive payment from the value of said object or property, regardless of whether the debt has become due; however, an action for such payment shall be brought within the period referred to above, under threat of annulment of the mortgage, lien or attachment. (413/1974)

(5)  Separate provisions apply to the retention of the forfeited object or property, as such, for the state, at the same time rendering the state liable for the damages or debt referred to in paragraph (4).

Section 17

If the contents of a publication, document or pictorial presentation are declared to be offensive, the copies in the possession of the author, publisher, editor, producer, distributor, exhibitor or seller, as well as the plates and the patterns which are solely intended for the production of said product, regardless of their ownership, shall be declared forfeited and rendered unusable. If only a part of the said product is found to be offensive and if it can easily be separated from the other parts, only the offending part and the corresponding plates and patterns are to be declared forfeited and rendered unusable.

Section 18

In certain cases also sanctions other than those referred to here shall be used, as separately provided in this Code.

Chapter 3 Vindication and mitigation

Section 1       (263/1940)

(1)  An act which is otherwise punishable shall remain unpunished when committed by a child younger than fifteen years of age.

(2)  The measures that can be applied to such a child are provided in the Child Protection Act.

Section 2       (613/1974)

A person who is fifteen but not yet eighteen years of age and commits an offence shall be sentenced, when said offence may be punishable by life imprisonment, to imprisonment for at least two and at most twelve years. If the punishment in the provision in question is a fixed term of imprisonment or a fine, the sentence shall be at most three fourths of the most severe punishment provided and at least the minimum punishment provided in chapter 2.

Section 3

(1)  An act of an insane person and an act by a person mentally deficient due to senility or another similar reason shall remain unpunished.

(2)  If someone is temporarily deranged so that he/she is not in possession of his/her mental faculties, an act that he/she commits while in such a condition shall also remain unpunished.

Section 4

(1)  If someone is regarded as not having been in full possession of his/her mental faculties at the time he/she committed an offence, but he/she cannot be regarded as totally irresponsible in accordance with section 3, the general punishment shall be that provided in section 2.

(2)  In this case the state of voluntary intoxication or other such self-induced mental aberration shall not by itself be a reason for such reduction of punishment.

Section 5

(1)  An act which is regarded as having occurred more through accident than through negligence shall not be punishable.

(2)  If the penalty provision contains a specific minimum for imprisonment, the court may, unless the public interest demands otherwise, and for special reasons which are to be mentioned in the judgment, pass a sentence shorter than the minimum period or, when no punishment more severe than a fixed term of imprisonment is provided, pass a sentence of a fine. (613/1974)

(3)  A court can waive the punishment in cases where

(1)  the offence, when assessed as a whole, considering its harmfulness and the degree of culpability of the offender indicated by it, is to be deemed of minor significance;

(2)  the offence is to be deemed excusable because of special reasons concerning the act or the offender;

(3)  punishment is to be deemed unreasonable or pointless, considering the action taken by the offender to prevent or remove the effects of his/her offence, or to further its being cleared up, his/her personal circumstances, the other consequences of the offence to him/her, the actions by the social security and health authorities, or other circumstances; or

(4)  the offence would not have an essential effect on the total sentence owing to the provisions on the concurrence of offences. (302/1990)

(4)  In addition of the provisions in paragraph (3), a court can waive the punishment for an offence committed while the offender was under 18 years of age, if the act is deemed to be the result of his/her thoughtlessness or imprudence rather than his/her being heedless of the prohibitions and commands of law. (302/1990)

Section 6

If someone has committed an act to protect himself/herself or another or his/her or another's property against an ongoing or imminent unlawful attack, and this act, though otherwise punishable, was necessary for the repelling of the attack, he/she shall not be sentenced to a punishment for such self-defence.

Section 7

Self-defence shall also be justified when someone forces his/her way unlawfully into the room, house, estate or vessel of another, or when someone caught in the act resists another who is trying to take back his/her own property.

Section 8       (621/1967)

(1)  Where a person who has been assigned to maintain public order meets resistance in the performance of his/her duty, he/she shall be entitled to use such forcible measures that can be deemed justified in view of the nature of the duty, the seriousness of the resistance and the other circumstances prevailing in the situation. (496/1995)

(2)  When a person being apprehended, arrested or detained attempts to avoid capture by resisting or escaping, or when a prisoner or another person apprehended, arrested or detained attempts to escape or resists the prison guard or other person who is assigned to prevent escape or keep him in order, the use of forcible measures shall also be allowed so as to capture the aforesaid, to prevent the escape, or to keep order, when these measures can be justified in view of the circumstances. The same applies when the resisting person is someone other than the aforesaid person.

(3)  When someone has the right, according to paragraph (1) or (2), to use forcible measures, those assisting in the official function shall also have this right.

(4)  Also a person who has apprehended another person by virtue of chapter 1, section 1 of the Coercive Measures Act shall have the right, as referred to above, to use forcible measures, if meeting resistance. (496/1995)

(5)  (repealed)

Section 8a    (321/1983)

(1)  A soldier who is on duty as a sentry, in the day detail or as military police and who meets resistance shall have the right to use such forcible measures as can be deemed justified in view of the security of the military unit or the object being guarded or otherwise in view of the nature of the duty or service and the seriousness of the resistance. On the grounds mentioned above a sentry shall have the right to use forcible measures also if someone, despite a command to stop, approaches a guarded area to which entry is prohibited.

(2)  If in combat, distress at sea or in another similar situation that is especially dangerous to the military unit or its functioning, and despite the prohibition of a superior officer, a subordinate deserts, violently resists his/her superior officer or does not obey an order that a superior officer has given to repel the danger, even though this order was repeated, the superior officer shall have the right to use such forcible measures against the subordinate to achieve obedience and discipline as can be considered justified in view of the seriousness of the act of the subordinate and also otherwise in view of the situation.

(3)  Should a prisoner of war attempt to escape, the person who is assigned to prevent an escape shall have the right to use the forcible measures referred to in section 8(2).

Section 9       (621/1967)

(1)  If someone has in a situation referred to in section 6 or 7 committed an act which was not necessary to repel the attack, to protect the sanctity of the home or to retrieve his/her property, he/she shall be sentenced for exaggerated self-defence, in accordance with the discretion of the court, either to full punishment or to punishment reduced in accordance with section 2(1). If the circumstances were such that he/she could not retain his/her self-control, he/she shall not be sentenced to a punishment.

(2)  In situations referred to in section 8 or 8a of this Code or section 27 of the Police Act, where more forcible measures have been used than what can be deemed justified under the said sections, the sentence may be reduced, on the basis of special mitigating reasons, as provided in paragraph (1) or, if there are very persuasive reasons for the same, it may be waived. (496/1995)

Section 10

If someone has committed a punishable act in order to save himself/herself or another, or his/her or another's property, from an apparent danger, and if it would otherwise have been impossible to undertake the rescue, the court shall consider, in view of the act and the circumstances, whether he/she shall remain unpunished or whether he/she deserves full punishment or a punishment reduced in accordance with section 2(1).

Section 10a  (321/1983)

(1)  A subordinate soldier shall be sentenced to punishment for an act that he/she has committed in accordance with the order of a superior officer only if he/she has clearly understood that by obeying the order he/she would be breaking the law or his/her duty or service. If, however, the act has occurred under circumstances in which the subordinate could not have disobeyed the order, he/she may be left unpunished.

(2)  A person shall not be punished for disobeying an order if obeying said order would have resulted in an act that is clearly in violation of duty or service or otherwise clearly in violation of the law.

Section 11    (577/1973)

If a sentence of fixed-term imprisonment is passed for an act for which the offender has been deprived of his/her liberty for a continuous period of at least one day, the court shall deduct a period corresponding to this deprivation of liberty from the punishment, or deem this deprivation of liberty as service of the full punishment. The same shall be done when the deprivation of liberty was due to the defendant having been taken into custody because of charges or a criminal investigation relating to the same matter or because of a court order to the effect that the defendant was to be brought before the court. If the sentence involves a fine or dismissal, the deprivation of liberty shall be taken into consideration in a reasonable amount as reduction or as complete service of the punishment; however, the amount is to be at least as long as the deprivation of liberty.

Chapter 4 Attempt

Section 1

(1)  When, by law, an attempt is punishable, and no specific punishment is provided for it, the sentence shall be passed according to the penalty provision for a completed offence; however, this punishment shall be reduced as provided in chapter 3, section 2 for offenders over fifteen but not yet eighteen years old.

(2)  The provisions on dismissal and other sanctions for the completed offence shall also be used in punishing for an attempt. (2/1969)

Section 2

(1)  If the offender, on his/her own free will and not owing to external hindrances, has withdrawn from the completion of the offence, or prevented the consequence of the offence which makes the offence completed, the attempt shall not be punishable.

(2)  If such an attempt involves an act which in itself is a separate offence, a sentence shall be passed for this offence.

Section 3

(1)  The preparation of an offence shall be punishable only where it is specifically so provided.

(2)  The provisions in section 2 on attempt apply to punishable preparation.

Chapter 5 Participation

Section 1

If two or more persons have committed an offence together, each shall be punished as an offender.

Section 2

A person who orders, employs, harasses or otherwise intentionally induces or entices another person into an offence shall be punished, if the offence is completed, or constitutes a punishable attempt, for incitement as if he/she himself was the offender.

Section 3

(1)  When another person is committing an offence, a person who intentionally furthers the act through advice, action or exhortation, shall be sentenced for complicity in the offence should the offence be completed. If this offence remains an attempt, and an attempt and the completion of the offence are similarly punishable, the said person shall also be punished for complicity in the offence. In both of these cases the said person shall be sentenced according to the provision that would have been used if he/she himself was the offender; however, a general punishment shall be reduced as provided in chapter 3, section 2 for offenders over fifteen but not yet eighteen years of age. If the offence remained an attempt punishable under chapter 4, section 1, the accomplice shall be sentenced to at most half of the punishment he/she could have received had the offender completed the offence.

(2)  In punishing the accomplice, the provisions on dismissal as well as the other sanctions for the offence shall apply.

(3)  Incitement to punishable complicity shall be punishable as complicity.

(4)  What is provided in this section on complicity shall not apply in relation to offences referred to in chapters 42, 43 and 44, or to comparable offences.

Section 4

Where a special circumstance vindicates an act or mitigates or aggravates this, it shall apply only to the offender, inciter or accomplice who is under the said circumstance.

Section 5

The above provisions on punishing an accomplice do not apply if otherwise provided in this Code.

Chapter 6 Sentencing (466/1976)

Section 1

(1)  In sentencing, all the relevant grounds for increasing and reducing the punishment and the uniformity of sentencing practice shall be taken into consideration. The sentence shall be passed so that it is in just proportion to the damage and danger caused by the offence and to the culpability of the offender manifest in the offence.

(2)  In addition to the relevant circumstances referred to elsewhere in law, the grounds referred to in sections 2 and 3 of this chapter shall be grounds for increasing or reducing punishment.

Section 2

The following shall be grounds for increasing the punishment:

(1)  the degree to which the criminal activity was planned;

(2)  the commission of the offence as a member of a group organised for serious offences;

(3)  the commission of the offence for remuneration; and

(4)  the criminal history of the offender, if the relation between it and the new offence on the basis of the similarity between the offences or otherwise shows that the offender is apparently heedless of the prohibitions and commands of the law.

Section 3

The following shall be grounds for reducing the punishment:

(1)  significant pressure, threat or similar influence affecting the commission of the offence;

(2)  strong human sympathy leading to the offence or exceptional and sudden temptation or a similar factor which has been conducive to lowering the capability of the offender to obey the law; and

(3)  the voluntary attempt of the offender to prevent or remove the effects of the offence or to further the clearing up of his/her offence.

Section 4

If the offence or the resulting judgment has caused to the offender another consequence which, together with the sentence passed on the basis of the application of the grounds mentioned above in this chapter, would lead to a result that is unreasonable in comparison with the nature of the offence, such a situation is to be taken into consideration as is reasonable when passing the sentence.

Chapter 7 Joint punishment (697/1991)

[Repealed]

Chapter 8 Statute of limitations (138/1973)

Section 1

(1)  A sentence shall not be passed if charges have not been brought

(1)  within twenty years, if the most severe punishment provided for the offence is fixed-term imprisonment for over eight years,

(2)  within ten years, if the most severe punishment is imprisonment for more than two years and at most eight years,

(3)  within five years, if the most severe punishment is imprisonment for over a year and at most two years,

(4)  within two years, if the most severe punishment is imprisonment for at most a year, or a fine.

(2)  There is no statute of limitations for offences where the most severe punishment is life imprisonment.

(3)  The most severe punishment referred to above means the maximum punishment provided for the offence in the applicable provision, taking into consideration the circumstances manifested in the offence.

(4)  The above provisions apply to offences in office. However, the minimum time of limitation for such an offence is five years. (792/1989)

Section 2

(1)  Charges are deemed to have been brought when the charged person has been legally summonsed to court or a request for his/her punishment has been submitted with him/her present in person. (1256/1988)

(2)  The bringing of charges in a case which later is dismissed without prejudice or where prosecution is not continued shall not be considered as regards the statute of limitations.

Section 3

(1)  The periods mentioned above in section 1 are calculated from the commission of the offence. If a certain consequence is a condition for the punishability of an act, the period shall be calculated from the day when the consequence became evident.

(2)  If charges cannot be brought until an annulment of marriage is sought, the period shall be calculated from the day when the annulment action was brought.

Section 4       (697/1991)

If the same act comprises several offences, a sentence for all the offences may be passed as long as it may be passed for one of them.

Section 5       (466/1976)

No offence for which the most severe punishment is other than imprisonment for life shall be punishable thirty years after the day mentioned in section 3. If the most severe punishment for the offence is imprisonment for a maximum of two years, dismissal or a fine, no sentence shall be passed fifteen years after the day mentioned in section 3.

Section 6       (466/1976)

(1)  When the public prosecutor is not to bring charges unless the complainant has requested that charges be brought, no sentence shall be passed unless the complainant has brought charges or has requested that charges be brought within one year of the day he/she gained knowledge of the offence and of the offender.

(2)  If the complainant has deceased within the period mentioned in paragraph (1) without bringing charges or requesting that charges be brought, or if the complainant had not gained knowledge of the offence and of its offender before deceasing, no sentence for an offence referred to in paragraph (1) shall be passed unless the spouse, children, parents or siblings of the complainant have brought charges or requested that charges be brought within one year of the day of the death of the complainant. If the complainant wished that no charges be brought, the relatives mentioned shall not be entitled to bring charges.

(3)  If an offence was subject to public prosecution under an earlier law and has, under the new law, become an offence referred to in paragraph (1), the period provided in this section shall be calculated at the earliest from the date on which the new law entered into force. (769/1990)

(4)  However, no sentence shall be passed for an offence referred to in this section after the period of limitation referred to in sections 1 and 5 has ended. (769/1990)

Section 7

A sanction involving forfeiture shall not be imposed if no sentence is to be passed due to the termination of the period of limitation. The shortest period of limitation for a claim of forfeiture, however, is five years. If the claim of forfeiture involves an object or substance which, due to its special properties or characteristics, and with due consideration to the other circumstances manifest in the matter, is in danger of being put to criminal use, the claim shall not be subject to the statute of limitations.

Section 8

Separate provisions apply to the statute of limitations with regard to penal orders.

Section 9

(1)  A sentence of imprisonment shall lapse if its enforcement has not been started within the time periods below, counted from the date when the sentence became final:

(1)  within twenty years, if the punishment is a fixed term of over eight years,

(2)  within fifteen years, if the punishment is for more than four years and at most eight years,

(3)  within ten years, if the punishment is for more than one year and at most four years,

(4)  within five years, if the punishment is for at most one year.

(2)  A sentence of imprisonment for life shall not lapse.

(3)  A conversion sentence for unpaid fines shall lapse if its enforcement has not been started within three years of the date when the decision became final. If a postponed conversion sentence is ordered to be enforced, the period mentioned above commences from the date when the final enforcement decision was given.

Section 10

If the enforcement of an imprisonment sentence or of a conversion sentence for unpaid fines has been interrupted, or an offender on parole has been ordered to lose his/her liberty, the provisions in section 9 shall be applied in continuing the enforcement. In fixed-term imprisonment, the period of limitation shall be determined on the basis of the remaining punishment and, if several punishments have been combined for enforcement, the period of limitation shall be determined on the basis of the remaining combined punishment. The period of limitation shall be calculated from the day of interruption and, if a parole is ordered revoked, from the day the final decision of revocation was given.

Section 11    (466/1976)

Enforcement of a fine shall lapse after five years from the day the final judgment was given. If a conversion sentence has been passed, the offender is entitled to pay the fine even after the period of limitation, in accordance with what has been separately provided. The above provisions on fines apply also to the threat of a fine.

Section 12    (466/1976)

Enforcement of a sanction of forfeiture shall lapse after ten years from the day the final judgment was given. If the forfeiture involves an object or substance which, due to its special properties or characteristics, and with due consideration to the other circumstances manifest in the matter, is in danger of being put to criminal use, the forfeiture shall not be subject to limitation.

Section 13    (466/1976)

Regardless of what is provided above in sections 11 and 12, enforcement in which distraint is carried out within the limitation period may be completed for the part of the distrained property.

Section 14    (466/1976)

A fine and a threat of a fine shall lapse upon the death of the offender. Enforcement involving distraint which was carried out while the offender was living may be completed for the part of the distrained property.

Section 15    (466/1976)

(1)  Upon the death of the offender or another person liable for forfeiture, the sanction shall be judged to be enforced on the estate of the deceased, unless such a judgment would be obviously unreasonable.

(2)  If the offender sentenced to forfeiture has deceased, the enforcement shall be directed on his/her estate. However, the heirs of the deceased shall have the right, within three months from the day when property belonging to the estate has been placed under distraint for the enforcement of the sentence, or when said property had been taken into the possession of the state, to bring the matter before the court of first instance that heard the case against the offender, said court to decide whether the enforcement is to lapse due to the manifest unreasonableness of the forfeiture.

(3)  The sanction of forfeiture of the financial benefit deriving from an offence, when imposed or enforced on the assets of the estate liable for the forfeiture, shall not exceed the simple amount of the benefit.

Chapter 9 Corporate criminal liability (743/1995)

Section 1       Scope of application

(1)  A corporation, foundation or other legal entity, in whose operations an offence has been committed, may on the demand of the public prosecutor be sentenced to a corporate fine, if such sanction has been provided in this Code.

(2)  The provisions in this chapter do not apply to offences committed in the exercise of public authority.

Section 2       Prerequisites for liability

(1)  A corporation may be sentenced to a corporate fine, if a person belonging to a statutory body or other management thereof has been an accomplice to an offence or allowed the commission of the offence or if the care and diligence necessary for the prevention of the offence has not been observed.

(2)  A corporate fine may be imposed even if the offender cannot be identified or otherwise is not punished. However, no corporate fine shall be imposed for a complainant offence which is not reported by the complainant so as to have charges brought, unless there is a very important public interest in the bringing of charges.

Section 3       Connection between offender and corporation

(1)  The offence shall be deemed to have been committed in the operations of a corporation, if the offender has acted on the behalf or for the benefit of the corporation, and belongs to its management or is in a service or employment relationship with it or has acted on assignment by a representative of the corporation.

(2)  The corporation shall not have the right to compensation from the offender for the corporate fine that it has paid, unless such liability is based on separate provisions on corporations and foundations.

Section 4       Grounds for sentencing

When the sentencing of a corporation to a corporate fine is being considered, especially the following shall be duly taken into account:

(1)  the nature and extent of the corporate neglect and the participation of the management in the offence, as referred to in section 2(1);

(2)  the status of the offender as a member of the organs of the corporation;

(3)  the seriousness of the offence committed in the operations of the corporation and the extent of the criminal activity;

(4)  the other consequences of the offence to the corporation;

(5)  the measures by the corporation to prevent new offences, to prevent or remedy the effects of the offence or to further the investigation of the neglect or offence; and

(6)  where a member of the management of the corporation is sentenced to a punishment, the size of the corporation and the share of the corporation held by the offender, as well as the personal liability of the offender for the commitments of the corporation.

Section 5       Corporate fine

A corporate fine shall be imposed in full FIM. The corporate fine shall be at least FIM 5 000 and at most FIM 5 000 000.

Section 6       Basis for calculation of the corporate fine

(1)  The amount of the corporate fine shall be determined in accordance with the nature and extent of the neglect and the participation of the management, as referred to in section 2, and the financial standing of the corporation.

(2)  When evaluating the significance of the neglect and the participation of the management, the following shall be duly taken into account: the nature and seriousness of the offence; the status of the offender as a member of the organs of the corporation; whether the violation of the obligations of the corporation manifests heedlessness of the law or the orders of the authorities; as well as the bases for sentencing provided elsewhere in law.

(3)  When evaluating the financial standing of the corporation, the following shall be duly taken into account: the size of the corporation; its solvency; as well as the earnings and the other essential indicators of the financial standing of the corporation.

Section 7       Prosecutor's discretion

(1)  The public prosecutor may waive the bringing of charges against a corporation, if:

(1)  the corporate neglect or participation of the management, as referred to in section 2, are of minor significance, or

(2)  only minor damage or danger has been caused by the offence committed in the operations of the corporation

(3)  and the corporation has voluntarily taken the necessary measures to prevent new offences.

(2)  The bringing of charges may be waived also if the offender, in cases referred to in section 4(6), has already been sentenced to a punishment and it is to be anticipated that the corporation for this reason will not be sentenced to a corporate fine.

(3)  The provisions in sections 15b(1), 15b(3), 15c and 15d of the Decree on the Enforcement of the Penal Code on the waiver of charges apply correspondingly to the decision to waive the bringing of charges against a corporation. In cases referred to in section 15b(3) of that Decree, the prosecutor shall submit, instead of the question of culpability, the question of the existence of grounds for corporate criminal liability to be considered by a court.

Section 8       Joint corporate fine

(1)  If a corporation is at the same time to be sentenced for two or more offences, a joint sentence of corporate fine shall be passed in accordance with the provisions in sections 5 and 6.

(2)  No joint punishment shall be passed for two offences, one of which was committed after a corporate fine was imposed for the other. If charges are brought against a corporation which has been sentenced to a corporate fine by a final decision, for an offence committed before the said sentence was passed, a joint corporate fine shall also not be imposed, but the prior corporate fine shall be duly taken into account when sentencing to the new punishment.

Section 9       Statute of limitations

(1)  If the offender shall not be sentenced to a punishment due to the statute of limitations, also the corporation on whose behalf he/she has acted shall not be sentenced to a punishment. However, the minimum statute of limitations as regards corporate fines shall be five years.

(2)  The enforcement of a corporate fine shall lapse in five years from the date of the final decision imposing the fine.

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