The government supported a proposed reform of the misdemeanor procedure this week. The changed procedure would make it possible to fine fewer people in the future, and to better correct the behavior of those who commit dangerous misdemeanors.
The reform was based on three important principles, Minister of Justice Urmas Reinsalu (IRL) was quoted in a press release. “We want to punish people less with fines, influence those the most who commit more dangerous misdemeanors, and make the misdemeanor procedure more effective and economical,” Reinsalu said.
The changes include reducing the number of punishable misdemeanors. For instance, in the future police officers will be able to issue verbal warnings, and not enter less dangerous misdemeanors into the criminal records database. In addition, fewer minors are to be fined.
“Nearly half of Estonia’s residents have an entry in the criminal records database because violations such as driving with a broken rear registration plate lamp, or crossing the road in the wrong place can result in an entry. Such punishment is not proportional or sensible,” Interior Minister Andres Anvelt (SDE) said, adding that it was sometimes more effective to just talk to people.
In cases where punishing an individual couldn’t be avoided, the new system would help reduce the time it takes to write a misdemeanor report from 20 minutes to just five minutes.
Editor: Dario Cavegn