Our factsheet explains the difference between a fine, standard criminal proceedings and administrative proceedings.
If you commit a minor infringement against the Road Traffic Act, you will receive a fine. This applies if the infringement does not endanger or injure any persons and there is no material damage. 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check if – in addition to the criminal sanction – the road user will receive a warning or have his driver's license withdrawn ("administrative proceedings").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.