Traffic fines in Romania
What do we do if we have been fined in Romania?
No matter how hard we try to be responsible citizens, we sometimes end up in a situation where we are fined for parking in the wrong place, speeding, traveling by bus without a ticket, or any other offense that is punishable by a ticket. Of course, there are situations where we are fined even though we are not guilty of the offense, which is why it is important to know how to appeal the ticket.
The document drawn up by the official, namely the report of the offense, must comply with several rules. It must contain:
- the date and place where it is concluded;
- name, forename, capacity, and institution of the official responsible for the report;
- the name, first name, address, and personal identification of the number of the offender or, where applicable, the name, registered office, commercial registration number and tax code of the offender, legal person, and the identification data of the person representing it;
- a description of the offense, indicating the date, time and place where it was committed, as well as the circumstances which may be used to assess the seriousness of the offense and the damage caused;
- indication of the legal act establishing and sanctioning the offense;
- An indication of the insurance company, if the act resulted in a traffic accident;\
- the possibility of paying within 15 days from the date of delivery or communication of the official statement of offense, half of the minimum fine provided for in the act;
- the time limit for complaining about the report and the court where the complaint is lodged;
- the recording of the offender’s objections; when drawing up the report, the official is obliged to inform the offender of the opportunity to make objections and is also obliged to record them.
The absence of information on the name and surname of the investigating officer, the name and surname of the offender, his identification number, and, in the case of a legal person, the absence of its name and registered office, the act committed. The date of its commission, the signature of the investigating officer, or the recording of objections shall render the report null and void. To have the administrative offense report declared null and void, a complaint against the administrative offense report must be lodged with the competent court within the legal time limit provided by law.
The sanction received must also be within limits imposed by the law providing for it, be proportionate to the seriousness of the offense, and take account of all the circumstances considered in the report. If the penalty is disproportionate to the offense committed, the court may also be asked to replace the fine with a warning by means of an administrative complaint. For example, if you have been fined for not having a valid car registration document, if you are a first offender and you have bought a valid car registration document immediately after the offense was detected, there are cases where the courts have accepted that the offense is of low social danger and that the damage to the protected social value has been limited by immediately correcting the offending behavior and have therefore accepted the request to replace the fine with a warning.
The offense report may be handed over on the spot or subsequently communicated to the offender. The notification shall be made by sending the report by post or, if such notification is not possible, by posting the report.
If, for example, you were not stopped in traffic at the time of committing the offense in order to complete the ticket, the question arises when can the ticket be completed, and the fine is imposed?
Firstly, from the date of the offense, the authorities are obliged to draw up the report within a maximum of 6 months. If the report is drawn up after this date, the penalty is time-barred. So if you are served with an administrative offense report and it appears from the report that it was issued more than 6 months after the offense was committed, you can lodge an administrative offense complaint requesting that the statute of limitations has expired and that the report be cancelled.
Once the report is drawn up, it must be communicated to the offender within 2 months. The same conclusion is reached after this period, i.e., the statute of limitations has expired, and the court may be asked to annul the report.
How is the complaint against the fine notice made?
In Romania, a contravention complaint shall be made and shall contain the identification details of the parties – name, surname, address, identification details, as well as of the representatives of the parties if applicable, the number and date on which the report was issued, the grounds of the complaint, in fact, and in law, the evidence adduced in support of each count of the complaint and the signature of the offender. This, together with the evidence itself and a copy of the report, shall be sent to the court in whose district the offense was committed. At the same time, if the fine has been paid, a claim may also be made for reimbursement. The stamp duty for filing a complaint is 20 lei.
Attention! You have 15 days from the delivery date or communication of the report to complain to the court.
The contravention complaint shall be lodged against the body issuing the official report. If applicable, the body or authority having legal personality, as defined by law, shall also be summoned as a defendant.
How is the administrative offense complaint judged?
In Romania, the infringement complaint follows the course of an ordinary civil law dispute, time limits will be set for the hearing of the case, and evidence may be given, such as documents, expert opinions, or witnesses.
Once the first instance, in this case, the court has decided on the infringement complaint, the decision can be appealed to the higher court within 30 days from the time when you are notified of the first instance decision.
As a rule, lodging a complaint suspends the enforcement of the penalty contained in the administrative offense report until the court has given a final judgment.
Have you been fined and want to appeal the fine in court because you think you have been wrongly punished or the penalty is disproportionate to the offense? A Romanian lawyer from Blaj Law team can help you draft your complaint and represent you before the competent court.