Serious Offences

Serious Offences in Europe

Contributing to the Discovery or Prevention of Serious Offences in Germany

Provisions relating to contributing to the discovery or prevention of serious offences in the German Criminal Code [1]: This criminal issue is covered by Chapter Three Sanctionsunder the Second Title, Sentencing,” located in Section 46b Contributing to the discovery or prevention of serious offences, which reads: (1) If the perpetrator of an offence punishable by an increased minimum sentence of imprisonment or a sentence of life imprisonment, has contributed to the discovery of an offence under section 100a(2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure by voluntarily disclosing his knowledge, or 1. voluntarily discloses his knowledge to an official authority in time for the completion of an offence under section 100a(2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the planning of which he is aware of, to be averted, 2. the court may mitigate the sentence under section 49(1); a sentence of life imprisonment shall be replaced with a term of imprisonment over ten years. In order to determine whether an offence is punishable by an increased minimum sentence of imprisonment, only aggravations for especially serious cases but no mitigations shall be taken into account. If the offender participated in the offence, his contribution to its discovery must exceed his own contribution. Instead of a reduction in sentence the court may order a discharge if the offence is punishable by a fixed-term sentence of imprisonment only and the offender would not be sentenced to a term of more than three years. (2) In arriving at its decision under subsection (1) above the court shall have particular regard to: the nature and scope of the disclosed facts and their relevance to the discovery or prevention of the offence, the time of disclosure, the degree of support given to the prosecuting authorities by the offender and the gravity of the offence to which his disclosure relates, as well as 1. the relationship of the circumstances mentioned in No. 1 above to the gravity of the offence committed by and the degree of guilt of the offender. 2. (3) A mitigation of sentence or a discharge under subsection (1) above shall be excluded if the offender discloses his knowledge only after the indictment against him has been admitted by the trial court (section 207 of the Code of Criminal Procedure).

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Notes

  1. The content of the translated German penal code in relation to contributing to the discovery or prevention of serious offences is current as of 2010

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