Summary administrative penal proceeding
The administrative penal authority (usually the district administrative authority or the provincial police directorate) may authorise specially trained law enforcement officers (e.g., bodies of the police or road supervisors), to impose and collect fines of up to 90 Euro for certain administrative offences noticed by them on duty or personally admitted to them, by means of a summary penalty notice.
You can be issued with a summary penalty notice if you park illegally or if, as the driver of a motor vehicle, you use a mobile phone without a hands-free device while driving.
It is not possible to appeal against a summary penalty notice.
If you fail to pay the fine within two weeks, the summary penalty notice becomes ineffective. A report will be rendered to the administrative penal authority, which shall initiate the administrative penal proceedings. In such cases, a higher fine may be imposed than the one specified in the administrative penalty notice.
The highest governing body or officer may accelerate the proceeding by designating certain administrative offences through administrative regulation, for which the authority may impose a fine of up to 365 Euro by means of an anonymous penalty notice, if the report on the offence is based on observations that a law enforcement officer (e.g., bodies of the police or road supervisors) made on duty, or on traffic surveillance by means of image-processing technical device (e.g., radar monitoring, section control).
The anonymous penalty notice is used for certain offences (e.g., minor speeding or disregarding a red traffic light signal). It is not addressed to a specific person but is served to a person that may be assumed by the administrative penal authority to know or to be able to easily identify the offender.
In the case of administrative offences in road traffic the anonymous penalty notice is usually sent to the licence plate holder.
Payment of the imposed fine can be made either by means of the original receipt attached to the anonymous penalty notice or by transferring the amount to be collected or a higher amount (in which case the difference less two euros is to be repaid) to the account indicated on the receipt. If the amount of the fine is paid by the due date, the authority shall dispense from investigating the offender and the proceedings are concluded.
It is not possible to appeal against the anonymous penalty order. If you consider yourself innocent, you are merely required to refrain from paying the penalty amount.
If no payment has been received on the account of the competent authority after the expiry of a four-week period, the anonymous penalty notice becomes ineffective, and the offender is investigated (e.g., by means of a driver survey). In this case, the licence plate holder has two weeks to name the driver. Subsequently, either a penalty notice may be issued against this person, or a regular penal proceeding may be initiated. In such cases, a higher fine may be imposed than the one specified in the anonymous penalty notice.
The administrative penal authority may impose a fine of up to 600 Euro by means of a penalty notice in the following cases:
- Whenever a court, an administrative authority, a law enforcement officer (e.g., the police force or road supervisors) or a military officer on surveillance duty reports an administrative offence, either on the basis of direct observation or the basis of an admission of guilt made to them.
- Whenever the offence has been established on the basis of traffic surveillance by means of image-processing technical device (e.g., radar monitoring, section control).
A penalty notice is always directed at a natural person. You can receive a penalty notice if, for example, you have exceeded a speed limit by more than just a minor margin.
The penalty notice is no longer served by means of a registered letter with return receipt/personal delivery (RSa-Brief or ‘blue letter’German text). Since the first of July 2013, delivery by RSb-Brief (‘white letter’)German text has been provided for - i.e., the letter can also be delivered to a substitute recipient. The day of delivery is considered to be the day of personal delivery by the deliverer (e.g., postman or postwoman). If the penalty notice cannot be delivered personally, it is to be deposited at the competent office (e.g., post office), the municipal office or the administrative penal authority. The penalty notice will be held there for collection for a minimum of two weeks - it is generally considered to have been served on the first day of this period.
You may appeal the penalty notice by writing or verbally within two weeks after having been served. The appeal may be directed against the following points:
- The extent or the nature of the penalty notice imposed
- The decision on the costs
- The verdict of guilty
If the appeal expressly contests only the extent of the penalty notice imposed or the decision on the costs, the penalty notice continues to be effective in all other regards. In this case, the administrative penal authority shall decide on the appeal and, if applicable, modify the penalty notice; the parts not contested, in particular the conviction, shall become final. In all other cases the appeal cancels the penalty notice altogether.
You must file the appeal with the authority that issued the penalty notice. In the appeal, you can submit the evidence that serves your defence. If the appeal has been filed in due time and is not withdrawn or limited within two weeks, the penalty notice becomes ineffective, and a regular administrative penal proceeding shall be initiated. In this proceeding, no higher penalty may be imposed than in the penalty notice.
If no appeal is filed, the penalty notice becomes final and can be enforced.
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