What prevents you from going to jail

How do you prevent a substitute custodial sentence?

Anyone who is sentenced to a fine has to pay it at some point.

A few weeks after the judgment has become final and the proceedings have been concluded, the public prosecutor, as the competent enforcement authority, sends a request for payment of the fine including the costs of the proceedings. You should definitely respond to this request! Otherwise it can get very uncomfortable and there is a risk that someone will be ordered Replacement custodial sentence.

As a rule, the public prosecutor's office is cooperative and grants the fine to be paid in installments or enables non-profit working hours to be performed. However, the convicted person must take action himself for all payment facilities.

So the worst thing you can do is not do anything.

Summons for custody and arrest warrant

If the convicted person does not react at all, and ignores the public prosecutor's request for payment and reminders, the suddenly flutters "Summons to begin the substitute custodial sentence" into the house. Then one day of imprisonment is set for each daily rate of the fine, which one “may” spend in a correctional facility (JVA).

In principle, this summons must be obeyed. Any application to the public prosecutor's office or to the court (Section 459 f StPO) has no suspensive effect.

Anyone who does not present this summons to the prison must expect that an arrest warrant will be issued at short notice. As a result, the condemned person will be arrested by the police at the next opportunity and taken to prison.

Avoidance of imprisonment

But even after a summons to take up detention, not everything is too late.

In principle, the substitute custodial sentence can always be averted by paying the entire sentence to the State Justice Fund. If the convicted person can raise and pay the fine, he is to be released immediately from custody or not to be shown at all. It is important that the payment only relates to the pure fine - the procedural costs are not taken into account.

If the fine cannot be paid in full, partial payments are also possible. Each payment on the outstanding fine reduces the number of days to be served. If, for example, "only" half of the fine is paid, the term of detention to be served is also reduced by half ...

First and foremost, an attempt should therefore always be made to raise at least "any" amount of money in order to avoid or shorten imprisonment.

Often, even after a summons, it is still possible to make an installment payment agreement with the public prosecutor. As a rule, however, this is made dependent on at least a partial amount being paid in the short term.