Explanation of the concepts of fines, standard criminal proceedings and administrative proceedings
You will receive a fine if you have committed an offence against the road traffic law as listed in the Ordinance on Fines. The fine procedure does not apply if the offence endangers or injures a person or causes damage to property. Examples: exceeding the permitted parking time, stopping at a place that obstructs visibility, speeding, not wearing a seat belt, etc. Confederation's list of fines - not available in English!
If the punishable act is not included in the list of fines due to its greater severity, or if the fine is not paid by the deadline, standard criminal proceedings apply. An offender often fails to realize that any traffic offense not covered by a fine will be reported to the vehicle licensing office in their canton of residence, which must then check if – in addition to the criminal sanction – the road user will receive a warning or have his driver's license withdrawn ("administrative proceedings"). Our factsheet contains additional information. If you disagree with the penalty, you can use the sample letter included in our factsheet to file an objection.