On July 1, 2020, the Law on criminal misdemeanors comes into force ("Law").
The novelties will change the pattern of interaction with the law enforcement re minor crimes. They are most relevant for legal and security departments of businesses facing the need to regularly address various minor matters due to the nature of their activities (production, retail, logistics, construction, etc.).
If applied properly, the changes can significantly speed up the process of bringing to responsibility for commission of such minor crimes.
At the first glance, the developments seem not significant, but one should note that there is a risk of the law enforcement to receive a new tool enabling to keep seized property for an indefinite time without judicial control (in more details below).
The Law eliminates the contradiction in place in legislation since 2012 and introduces a new concept of a criminal misdemeanor.
As of today, the crimes of minor gravity (except of some) become criminal misdemeanors. For instance, the lightest forms of such crimes as theft, fraud, misleading the court or other authorized body, etc fall within criminal misdemeanors.
Sanctions of some minor crimes due to their importance to public interest were increased to prevent them from falling under the category of misdemeanor. For example, the maximum fine for the lightest form of tax evasion was increased.
New powers of the law enforcement
Along with concept of criminal misdemeanors, the Law introduces a new procedural person – investigative officer (having powers of an investigator).
Generally, inquiry (a simplified procedure for investigation of misdemeanors) can be distinguished from the pre-trial investigation of crimes as follows:
Please contact Asters Partner Sergiy Grebenyuk and Counsel Orest Stasiuk in case of any questions or a need to update the internal procedures and approaches to work with misdemeanors in view of the new requirements.