Administrative offences proceedings

You can implement administrative offences proceedings if you disagree with an administrative penalty given to you a by a state institution. You may also be summoned to court if you are charged with an administrative offence which has to be considered directly by the court.


If you are charged with an administrative offence, you have been charged with a violation of the law, but your offence is not serious enough to be considered criminal. 

example For example, the police may have charged you with speeding or the State Tax Inspectorate may have charged you with minor tax evasion.

Your case will be examined in administrative offences proceedings, which is quite similar to a criminal trial. An administrative offense differs from a criminal offense in that the violation is considered less serious and dangerous. 

Appeal or summons to court

There are two situations which may involve you in administrative offences proceedings:

1. Where you wish to appeal an administrative penalty
If you disagree with an administrative penalty imposed on you by a state institution, you may appeal this decision in administrative offences proceedings. To do this, you must follow the regular complaints procedure first.

2. Where you are summoned to court
Some administrative offences have to be examined directly by the court. In such a situation, the state institution takes your case to the court. In turn, the court will invite you to take part in the trial. If, after the trial, you disagree with the outcome and you would like to appeal the decision of the court, you can do so in a higher court. Read more about appeals.

Right to a fair trial

The fundamental rights and guarantees you have in administrative offences proceedings are called the right to a fair trial

There are a number of essential fair trial guarantees that apply to administrative offences proceedings in the same way as they do to a criminal trial. 

These guarantees include the equality of both parties to the case (you and the state institution), the right to defence and the right to submit evidence.

However, some guarantees may be applied less strictly than in a criminal case. The standard applicable to each case will depend on the gravity of the offence and the penalty that can be imposed.

example If you are charged with smoking inside in a non-designated area and request an oral hearing in a court of appeal, the court will be given more freedom to decide whether such a hearing is necessary as compared to such a need when examining a charge of drunk driving. 

About this Guide

This Guide will only explain what guarantees you have when your case is examined by the court.

Human Rights Guide

A European platform for human rights education