The fine is a criminal sanction ( penalty ), which can only be ordered by a judgment or by penal order. It is thus to be distinguished from fines, administrative fines, penalties or other filing systems. Likewise, they must be distinguished from the money circulation in a process setting.

Fined on a daily rate

The fine shall be sized in Germany in daily rates. This daily rate system comes from the Scandinavian region. Background of this regulation is the endeavor to adjust the penalties to the different economic circumstances of the offender.

Calculation of the fine

The fine results partly from the level of the individual daily rate and the second the number of day-fines imposed.

The height of the individual daily rate is calculated according to the social circumstances ( income, alimony, etc.) of the offender and vary between one and 30,000 € ( before 4 July 2009: € 5,000 ). It is based on the net income (see § 40 of the Criminal Code ), but also takes into account stresses such as maintenance of the persons living in the household or actually worked alimony payments to persons living outside the household, such as children from previous relationships. The extent to which the family situation is actually taken into account in the calculation of income, also on whether and to what extent the partners achieved their own income depends. Also received alimony payments in the calculation of income are taken into account. The aim of the calculation is ultimately to determine the amount that is actually available per month. A daily rate is roughly equivalent to 1/30 of that amount. A day set height below 10 € is rarely imposed, this corresponds to about the benefits and rights under the unemployment benefit II If the actually available income still below this limit, but this is to be only in exceptional cases, the daily rate amount but also further lowered.

About the number of day-fines imposed, the court decides as part of the actual sentencing. Legally possible are 5-360 daily rates, with formation of an overall penalty under § 54 of the Criminal Code to 720 daily rates.

The amount to be paid by the offender finally results from a multiplication of daily rate and number of days set height. From a judgment of 30 daily rates of € 10 each so follows a fine of € 300. A well -situated offender who is sentenced to 30 daily rates of € 200 is charged for a comparable indeed a fine of € 6,000.

Fines of up to 90 daily

Fines of up to 90 daily rates are not included in the certificate, the convicted person shall be deemed not criminal, unless added another entry.

Eradication of fine

The fine is primarily by payment of. If a convicted person not able to pay the fine in amount, he may request an installment payment will be granted (see § 42 StGB). The applicable rate should be such that the punitive nature of the sanction is not lost. With regard to the maximum duration of the installment payment, there is no uniform standard. Is a convicted because of his financial circumstances unable to make payments, so it can be made possible by charitable activity at the request following the settlement. Further details are necessary directives in the provinces. In Berlin, for example, then it wipes out, each with 6 hours of community activities ( in individual cases may also be a more favorable recognition mode are defined ) a daily rate of penalty imposed.


Can not be introduced the fine, it shall be replaced Imprisonment in their place. A day in prison corresponds to a daily rate.

Replacement fine

The replacement fined according to § 47 paragraph 2 of the Criminal Code shall be imposed if the law on the one hand, the imposition of a fine of not providing, on the other hand, the imposition of a so-called " short terms of imprisonment " under § 47 Section 1 of the Criminal Code is not essential. Such " replacement fines " are often in cases of grievous bodily harm imposed 1 SCC in minor cases, according to § 224 para because the provision does not provide for a fine.

This regulation was made ​​under Article 12, Section 1 of the Introductory Act to the Criminal Code ( EGStGB ).

No fines

No money penalty in the strict sense are the property fine, which has since been declared unconstitutional in Germany, and the decay, which is a measure of reform and prevention.

European law

Since 2005, the EU Framework Decision on the mutual recognition and enforcement of financial sanctions in force.

  • Sanctions law ( Germany )
  • Punishment