The many amendments in the Administrative Violations and Sanctions Act (AVSA), which have been the subject of years of development by a number of lawyers, come into force on 24 December 2021. Last year they were adopted by the deputies, along with amendments to the Civil Procedure Code and the Criminal Procedure Code, which have introduced e-justice. The innovations are multiple. Some regulate the process of action of administrative penalties, also new definitions and penalties are introduced.
Amendments about fine or property sanction reduction
One of them is about the possibility of paying 20% less of the fine’s cost, if it is done within 14 days from the date of service of the penalty order.
There is yet another major amendment, which stimulates individuals not to appeal against penalty orders but to comply with them within short notice. It is admissible to conclude an agreement as a conclusion to the administrative proceedings. That kind of possibility won’t be admissible for traffic offences, though. The fine, in the cases provided for, shall be 70/100 of the amount determined for the offence. That lower-cost fine has to be paid within 14 days, if it hasn’t, the agreement is forfeited and penalty notice is issued.
Amendments in appeal deadlines and definitions of a minor case
The appeal time limits for penalty offences have been increased from 7 to 14 days.
Definitions of “minor case”, “manifestly minor case” and “violation of the same type by individual or failure to comply with obligation to the state or municipality of the same type by a sole trader or legal entity” are also introduced.
There has been introduced an amendment about the deprivation of the right to practice certain profession or activity in Article 16, sentence 2 – the words “under the influence of alcohol or any other highly intoxicating substance” are replaced by “for all types of transport done under the influence of alcohol, drugs or their analogues”.
The new type of penalty – Unpaid labor for the benefit of society
The newly created Article 16a defines a new type of sanction – unpaid labor for the benefit of society, which is imposed without restriction of other rights of the person. It can be imposed in case of repeated or systematic offences – alone or together with another penalty. The duration of the penalty can not be less than 40 hours or more than 200 hours yearly, for no more than 2 consecutive years. The case, in which this penalty is imposed, will be heard by a single panel of the District Court and its decision will be subject to appeal to the Administrative Court in a 14-days period.
The Administrative Court will hear the case in a panel of three judges in open session, no later than three days from the date of receiving the appeal or protest.
The penalty of unpaid labor shall be carried out by the probation service at the current address of the offender. It is proclaimed in AOPA that there can not be unpaid labor implemented in favor of individuals or companies, in which there is no state or municipal participation. If the offender
works under a contract of employment, he will be assigned to work up to three hours a day in non-working hours or full-time on one of the holiday or weekend days. During a paid annual leave or if unemployed, there can be assigned work for no more than 56 hours per month. If after the calendar period for unpaid labor for the benefit of society has expired, not all working hours have been imposed, the obligation for them is extinguished. Also, the new penalty shall be imposed for repeated offences of petty hooliganism under the Minor Hooliganism Control Ordinance (MHCO), as well as for some violations of the Forestry Act.