Prosecution for a crime. Time limit for criminal prosecution

Criminal liability is the most severe type of punishment and is established only by the Criminal Code, and punishment is regulated by the Criminal Procedure Code.

Only the court is authorized to prosecute, admit guilt and pronounce a sentence.

The legislative framework identifies the mandatory signs of such a crime. These include:

  • guilt;
  • the danger of the committed actions to society;
  • criminal wrongfulness;
  • Punishability.

Let's look at each sign in more detail.

Guilt, as such, is the main prerequisite for the imposition of criminal liability. Only when guilt is established can a person be held accountable.

The material sign (social danger) of a crime is expressed in causing significant harm to certain social relations that are protected by criminal law.

The next sign for bringing to criminal liability is illegality. This feature acts as a formal one and finds a place in the legislative framework in the form of a specific act containing a definition of a crime and punishment for its commission.

Thus, public danger and illegality cannot exist separately from each other. Thus, it is impossible to consider an act dangerous to society, but not properly regulated at the legislative level, as a crime. Conversely, it is impossible to regard a crime as such if it falls under the provisions of an article of the Criminal Code only formally, but in practice does not pose any public danger.

The fourth and final criterion for criminal prosecution is punishability. This principle implies the possibility of assigning a penalty for a committed unlawful act.

According to Art. 15 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation distinguishes the following categories of crimes:

  • of minor or light gravity - intentional or negligent acts followed by imprisonment for up to three years;
  • moderate severity - intentional and careless, followed by punishment in the form of imprisonment for a term of up to 5 and 2 years, respectively;
  • grave - exclusively intentional acts with subsequent punishment in the form of imprisonment for up to 10 years;
  • especially serious - only deliberate intentional acts with subsequent punishment in the form of imprisonment of 10 years or more.

general information

A criminal code is a negative measure that society applies if a person has committed a violation of the established legal order. The one who committed the crime is subject to imprisonment. In some cases this is of a material nature, sometimes moral.

The main objective of criminal prosecution is to prevent future violations of the law by both this person and others capable of similar actions. The criminal justice is implemented in several stages; upon completion, selected specific measures are applied to the offender.

Character of the MA

The state establishes the MA. Government officials introduce legislation that prescribes the wording of prohibitions (criminal, legal). These prohibitions are essentially abstract, but if violated, they provoke consequences for the violator. The basis for formulating a prohibition is the assumption that some action may become dangerous to society. Often, laws prohibit actions that have already occurred once (or more than once) and are widespread, although in some cases regulations contain rules for bringing criminal liability even for such violations that have not yet occurred, but there is a high probability that they may happen.

Penal punishment is practiced in cases where other methods of punishment do not show effectiveness. However, even CR is not always effective as a preventive measure in the fight against crime. There is always a risk of illegal criminal prosecution.

Implementation of the TOS

Implementation consists of turning abstract concepts into real measures applicable in the punishment of the criminal. Implementation begins already at the second when a certain person has committed something that is prohibited by law, an action that poses a danger to society. The process of bringing a person to criminal responsibility is preceded by the initiation of a case, only after that the accused is found and a process is carried out in which guilt is proven. If the court decides to find a person guilty, a verdict is passed, after which penalties can be applied. The peculiarities of bringing to criminal responsibility for a crime are such that external reasons can provoke the termination of the process at any time.

Many legal sources are devoted to the implementation and features of the MA. The information they provide varies slightly. The number of stages that make up the process and their qualitative composition are excellent. One of the classic options suggests distinguishing five stages:

  • accusation;
  • study of circumstances;
  • selection of sanctions taking into account the requirements of the law;
  • application of sanctions;
  • existence of a penalty.

As soon as the legal restrictions provoked by the Criminal Code are lifted, criminal liability itself immediately ceases. This is caused by expungement and expungement of a criminal record.

Exemption from criminal liability

If government authorities refuse to continue criminal prosecution, then we can talk about releasing the person from responsibility for the crime committed. In different countries of the world, the grounds for exemption from criminal liability may differ, but most accept the following conditions:

  1. Expiration of the statute of limitations for the offense, as discussed above.
  2. Active repentance or voluntary actions of the perpetrator aimed at compensating or making amends for the harm caused.
  3. Official reconciliation with the victim with compensation for damage.

We implement OU: forms

Ultimately, a statement of criminal prosecution may lead to the imposition on the accused of measures that he perceives as negative, restrictive, or unprofitable. Punishment, conviction in which no punishment is imposed, criminal record - all this can follow one statement if the process reveals the guilt of the accused. In some cases, the punishment is condemnation by society, which does not require additional reinforcement from the laws. Sometimes they resort to measures prescribed in the country's regulations. Be sure to take into account the timing of criminal prosecution of the Criminal Code.

The TOS applies to individuals, but does not apply to legal entities - such restrictions are contained in Russian legislation. An organization may engage in criminal activity, but in this case, punishment will be borne by management or those personnel representatives who are directly involved in illegal acts.

Forms of implementation of criminal liability

It was already mentioned above that the legislation clearly defines the forms of criminal liability, that is, those types of punishments that follow the commission of certain offenses. These include:

  1. Fines, that is, monetary penalties of a certain amount.
  2. Deprivation of the right to engage in certain activities or hold a certain position in state or local government bodies.
  3. Deprivation of military or special rank, awards or titles, restriction of military service.
  4. Compulsory work that the offender is obliged to perform in his free time for the benefit of society for free.
  5. Correctional work, which differs from the previous paragraph in that it may be the only punishment.
  6. Forced labor can replace imprisonment and is carried out in places designated by authorities.
  7. Restriction of freedom. During this period, the offender is obliged, for example, not to leave his home at a certain time of the day or to travel outside the municipality.
  8. Arrest or isolation of the suspect from society for a period of 1 to 6 months.
  9. Imprisonment for a specific term or for life.

And how will they be punished?

For a legal entity, criminal prosecution may result in the following consequences:

  • fine (annuity, fixed, variable - depending on the income of the organization);
  • deprivation of licenses and certificates allowing the company to enter the selected market;
  • forced liquidation;
  • exclusion of benefits.

If, as part of the investigation, it was revealed that the accused (individual) committed a crime and is guilty of it, but this happened at a time when the person was insane, then compulsory medical measures may be prescribed against him. To this day, legal scholars argue whether this should be considered criminal liability, since such interference in a person’s fate is aimed at his treatment, and not at punishment, that is, there is no censure as such.

Functions of criminal liability

In legal law, the onset of criminal liability is intended to perform the following functions:

  1. Regulatory
    . That is, citizens of the state must understand the boundaries between acceptable and illegal acts.
  2. Preventive
    . This includes crime prevention.
  3. Punitive
    . That is, imposing punishment on a person who has already committed a crime.
  4. Educational
    . This function is related to the preventive one and consists in the formation of norms and beliefs about the inadmissibility of certain types of acts.
  5. Restorative
    . Punishment of the criminal is intended to restore broken social relations.

Will they be punished or not?

The EOL does not always apply to all offenses. The law defines the concept of “statute of limitations”. It differs for different offences. For some there is no such thing at all, for others it is a fairly short period of time. As soon as the deadline for criminal prosecution under the article expires, it is not possible to apply punishment to the one who is guilty of the crime. The person either avoids punishment or is released from the punishment.

Should there be a time limit for criminal prosecution? To this day, this issue causes controversy among legal scholars; there is no final clarity. Some are firmly convinced that after some time, violation of the law ceases to be harmful to society, as a result of which it is necessary to introduce statutes of limitations and crimes that occurred long ago should be forgotten and forgiven. Others are convinced that activities dangerous to society are always dangerous and even after long periods of time, their danger does not lose. There are those who are convinced that the expiration of the period for bringing to criminal responsibility is due to the fact that the expediency of bringing to justice disappears. There is also such a position: when a certain person who has committed a crime then behaves safely for society for a long time. There is no need to prosecute him for an offense if it was discovered late.

○ Who can obtain information about a criminal record, how does the employer find out?

Only law enforcement agencies have access to criminal records. When an applicant gets a job with them, he is necessarily checked against the GIAC database of the Russian Federation. And not only him, but also his close relatives.

In addition, police authorities are obliged to:

“32) Make an opinion on the possibility of admitting persons to perform work directly related to ensuring transport security;

39) provide, upon interdepartmental requests of state authorities, local governments providing state or municipal services, information about the presence of an outstanding or unexpunged criminal record, if the provision of state or municipal services requires the provision of such information or a document containing such information to the specified state bodies or local government bodies” (Article 12 of the Law “On the Police”).

That is, authorities and the administration of transport enterprises can theoretically find out whether an applicant has a criminal record. Although, as for the authorities, it is not entirely clear in what form this information is provided, since today they cannot send requests for police clearance certificates according to clause 2 of Administrative Regulation No. 1121.

Other employers do not have access to information about citizens. The most they can do is request a criminal record certificate from the candidate. But only those employers who are required by law to check the fact of a criminal record have the right to forcefully demand this document (Article 65 of the Labor Code of the Russian Federation).

Of course, in some cases, the administration of enterprises somehow finds out that a person has a criminal record. Usually this happens in a not entirely legal manner through information leakage from the Ministry of Internal Affairs. However, even in this case, a person cannot be fired because of a criminal record, so the employer comes up with various reasons to get rid of an employee who committed a crime, even if it was a very long time ago.

An employee whose labor rights have been violated in this way has the right to appeal his dismissal in court.

Viewpoints vary

In general, there are a lot of opinions regarding statutes of limitations; the positions of legal scholars diverge significantly. As a rule, after a long period of time, the crime ceases to be relevant to society, which means that the criminal justice system becomes ineffective, since it will not prevent either the repetition of the act by the same person or its repetition by others. And from the point of view of fair restoration of the rights of someone whose interests and rights were infringed by the crime, the belated criminal procedure looks like a rather pointless event.

Certain calculations are related to the nature of the criminal process. When a lot of time has passed since the commission of the offense, it becomes difficult to obtain true, truthful, accurate data about what happened. This makes it difficult to prove the guilt of the accused and casts doubt on whether witnesses are giving accurate testimony.

Types of criminal liability

Many lawyers support the theory that this form of legal liability can be considered in two aspects:

  1. Positive
    criminal liability. That is, this is the absence of offenses on the part of a person who complies with all the requirements of the current legislation. It can be considered as a positive assessment of an individual’s behavior by the state, excluding the use of punishment and encouraging such actions and lifestyles.
  2. Negative
    , also called retrospective. This includes repressive measures of punishment by the state for committing illegal actions specified by law.

Is it always like this?

The laws contain different standards, including, for example, regulating the age of criminal responsibility, stipulating for which offenses at what age what criminal code is possible, and stipulating for which offenses it is impossible to forgive what was committed simply because a lot of time has passed.

There are offenses that are dangerous for society, no matter how much time has passed since the commission of the illegal act. This means that the application of statutes of limitations is unacceptable. Some of them are established within states, while others are declared internationally. This includes war crimes and those from which humanity has suffered.

Statute of limitations: when does it start?

According to current laws, the statute of limitations begins to count from the moment when the unlawful act occurred (if we are talking about bringing the criminal to justice). If the process involves the issuance of an indictment that must be executed, then the period begins to run at the moment the verdict comes into force.

A situation is possible where a person planned to commit an illegal act, but this activity was interrupted at an early stage for various reasons. For example, a certain person wanted to kill another, began to prepare for this and was discovered doing so. Here, the statute of limitations begins with the last event committed as part of the preparations.

In some cases, an unlawful act involves several actions that form a closed cycle, the purpose of which is to continue criminal activity. The statute of limitations begins to count from the moment the last action occurred. If the act is extended over time, then the statute of limitations is counted from the moment when the activity was stopped and it was interrupted.

Types of EO

The classification of criminal liability is quite diverse. When considering the types of criminal liability, we should first return to its concept. For example, positive responsibility provides for compliance with all requirements and rules established by law. In the case of negative liability, law enforcement agencies and other organizations come into play and are charged with determining the degree of guilt and prescribing punishment.

From the point of view of the social development of the criminal, the criminal justice is divided into internal and external. In the first case, a person controls his own behavior and does not commit actions that are contrary to the law, and external responsibility contributes to the development of internal responsibility.

The UO has three functions:

  1. Compensatory. The guilty person must compensate for all damage caused.
  2. Warning. This function can be personal or general. Law enforcement and other government agencies seek to show that committing crimes is an anti-norm, and that such behavior is strictly punished, thereby encouraging citizens to live by the law.
  3. Punitive. This function of the MA allows you to restore social justice by punishing a person who has violated the law. In this case, the criminal has to endure a number of deprivations, individually or in combination. We are talking about material, physical and moral deprivation. They are used not as bullying, but for educational purposes, encouraging the offender to reconsider his behavior in later life.

The punitive function also ensures that victims' rights to fair justice are respected.

DU in relation to foreign citizens

Quite often, crimes on the territory of the country are committed by citizens who have arrived from another state for some time (the purposes of the visit vary significantly). In recent years, projects have been actively promoted that would allow foreigners who commit crimes to be punished on Russian territory. Currently, legal standards do not provide for more or less serious punishment, which is why the likelihood of a criminal act on the part of a visiting person increases.

The Criminal Code states that a foreigner cannot be put behind bars, just as someone who does not have citizenship or permanent residence cannot be punished in this way. That is, someone who came to Russia and committed an illegal act is sent to his home country. Sometimes this is deportation, sometimes the criminal is handed over to authorized representatives of the state. This person can be brought to justice in his homeland, if, of course, they consider it necessary. Punishment will be imposed according to the laws of that country. Of course, with frivolous measures, this person, once again in Russia, can do something similar again. The situation gives rise to special problems in light of the fact that there is a contingent arriving in the Russian Federation specifically to commit crimes. Such acts are not only isolated; criminals participate in organized groups. Consequently, distrust is born in the entire population of another country as a whole. There is also a certain negativity in the perception of illegal migration.

Circumstances mitigating criminal liability

In all countries, criminal liability can be mitigated by a number of circumstances. That is, such factors that facilitate punishment for what they have done. These may include:

  1. The offender is a minor.
  2. The perpetrator is pregnant or has young children.
  3. Misdemeanors of minor or moderate severity, committed for the first time.
  4. Crimes that an individual committed out of compassion or due to difficult life circumstances.
  5. The illegality and immorality of the victim’s actions that led to the commission of the crime.
  6. Acts committed under duress or against one’s will due to being dependent on other persons.
  7. Turning in and assisting the investigation.
  8. If the criminal, immediately after committing an offense, provides assistance to the victim or voluntarily agrees to compensate for the harm caused and some others.

What if you're not 18?

What is the age of criminal responsibility? Is it possible to punish a minor if he commits a crime? According to the laws in force in our country, a minor can be released from punishment or given educational measures. In some cases, the punishment may be slightly more severe. At the same time, it is impossible to assign a criminal offense to someone who was not yet fully 16 years old at the time of committing the unlawful act.

Anyone over the age of 16 faces a criminal offense if the person is convicted under the following articles:

  • murder;
  • causing grievous or moderate harm, if it can be proven that this happened intentionally;
  • kidnapping;
  • rape;
  • theft, assault, robbery;
  • car theft;
  • damage to property, destruction, if there are aggravating factors;
  • terrorism;
  • taking another person hostage;
  • hooliganism;
  • fraudulent terrorism warning;
  • vandalism;
  • theft, extortion of drugs, weapons and related valuables;
  • damage to transport and roads.

Features of criminal liability

Experts in the field of jurisprudence are convinced that criminal liability is a special form of influence of the state on society, especially on persons who break the law. Therefore, it has its own characteristics:

  1. A criminal is considered a person whose guilt in committing an unlawful act is proven in accordance with the procedure established by law.
  2. The forms of implementation of criminal liability are strictly regulated by law for each specific offense.
  3. Specially created state institutions are responsible for the execution and imposition of punishments.
  4. Society’s negative assessment of an unlawful act lies not only in the punishment itself (fine, arrest, imprisonment), but also in the very fact of having a criminal record.

At what age does criminal responsibility begin?

The age of criminal responsibility established by the legislation of many CIS countries is 16 years. That is, when it is achieved at the time of the commission of an offense, a person is obliged to fully answer for his unlawful acts. It is believed that sixteen-year-old persons subject to criminal liability are sane and capable of realizing the offenses committed. This is why it is important to use legal enforcement measures.

However, for serious and especially serious crimes, this threshold is reduced to 14 years. Such offenses include:

  • murder or kidnapping;
  • intentional infliction of harm to health of moderate and severe severity;
  • rape;
  • robbery;
  • robbery;
  • terrorism and some others.

Features of criminal liability of minors

In the legislation, criminal liability of minors is considered a special type, applicable to persons who were between 14 and 18 years old at the time of the crime. In some situations, it also applies to people aged 18 to 20 years. It has specific nuances:

  1. A limited number of punishments, which include only a fine, deprivation of the right to engage in certain activities, work (compulsory or correctional), restriction or imprisonment.
  2. Reducing the terms and amounts of punishment applied, in contrast to the same for adults. So, for example, the maximum term of imprisonment is 10 years.
  3. Juvenile offenders serve their sentences in special correctional institutions.
  4. By a court decision, penalties may be changed to compulsory educational influence in state educational or closed-type treatment and educational organizations.
  5. The conditions for applying parole also differ.
  6. For minors, the statute of limitations for committing a crime and the periods for expunging criminal records have been reduced.

Special Moments

A minor may be 16 years old, but assessed at a different age. This occurs if a medical report has established a retarded development of a person’s psyche or the presence of disorders that provoked an incorrect assessment of the offenses committed by the criminal. That is, the person simply did not understand what he was doing, did not realize that this was an illegal act, dangerous for others. If the medical examination determines such a situation, the TOS is not applicable.

In general, reaching the legal age is one of the key conditions for applying the EO. In the system of laws of our country, age and the ability to understand what a person is doing are inseparable phenomena. This means that the minor is insane. Holding him accountable for offenses the danger of which remained unrecognized is pointless and does not correspond to the goals pursued by punitive measures.

Grounds for criminal liability

The Criminal Code specifies certain grounds when criminal liability may be applicable:

  1. Criminal liability arises for the commission of a particularly dangerous act that has signs of a crime. That is, specific actions are taken into account, not thoughts or intentions.
  2. Not any illegal action, but only what is prescribed in the Criminal Code can be considered as such. After all, there are disciplinary, administrative and civil offenses.
  3. This type of punishment is applied only when the guilt of the offender is proven by the court after a legal investigation process.
  4. The existence of a crime is also considered a prerequisite for application. It includes the criminal himself, his act and attitude towards the crime, as well as social relations that were endangered due to the offense committed.

You can't escape the law!

It is possible to be held criminally liable for alimony, possible punishment in the form of imprisonment, and other measures are used, assessing the risk to others, the level of danger of the crime, the consequences for the criminal himself, the victims and others. It must be remembered that in some cases liability can be awarded even to those who have reached the age of 14 years, but have not crossed the 16-year mark. This applies only to crimes that are exceptionally dangerous to society. The situations are completely rewritten in the law. Moreover, the crimes are such that even a 14-year-old is able to understand their danger to society. This includes situations in which the health, life, freedom of others, the safety of society, and property are encroached upon.

If the crime was committed due to negligence (at least if the court decided that this was the case), then the Criminal Code does not apply at either 14 or 16 years of age, regardless of the offense. The exception is a deliberate violation of traffic rules that provoked someone's death or serious injury.

Principles of criminal liability

All applied criminal liability measures must be implemented in accordance with generally accepted principles:

  1. Legality
    . That is, all punishments should be applied exclusively on the basis of laws adopted in the state.
  2. Equality of all citizens
    before the law, regardless of social characteristics.
  3. The inevitability of responsibility
    . Every offense is subject to punishment unless there are circumstances excluding it.
  4. Personal guilt
    . That is, everyone is responsible only for crimes that are committed by him, and not by someone else.
  5. Justice
    , that is, a person is responsible for one crime only once.
  6. Humanism
    . Law and law are aimed at protecting man as the highest value
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