What makes a prison sentence difficult

When is there a risk of imprisonment for bodily harm?

In addition to the imposition of a fine, a more far-reaching consequence in criminal law is the so-called Imprisonment provided. Here, the perpetrator can the Do not pay the penalty in the form of a cash payment. In some cases it is possible to convert a custodial sentence into a fine. However, this is only permitted in rare exceptional cases and must be approved by the responsible court.

According to the Federal Statistical Office, a total of 2,461 people were in prison in 2014 and had to serve a life sentence. This includes those in preventive detention.

But how is a prison sentence defined? Do offenders who have been sentenced to imprisonment automatically to jail? Is as punishment for one committed Bodily harm also a life imprisonment conceivable? You will learn this and more in the following guide.

What is a prison sentence? Meaning & definition

What does a prison sentence mean? As part of the criminal sanctioning of misdemeanors and crimes the law enforcement authorities have the option of imposing fines and imprisonment. The fines are usually less severe, but are sometimes associated with a large financial outlay.

Sentencing to a person who has committed a crime Imprisonment is to be applied above all for more serious offenses. This also includes the varying degrees of assault. Imprisonment can be imposed from simple to serious bodily harm.

A distinction must be made between life and early imprisonment (Section 38 (1) StGB): While a lifelong penalty only for that most serious crimes such as murder and manslaughter provided, most imprisonment sentences are limited in time.

An early prison sentence can have a maximum duration of 15 years; moreover it usually is not allowed, imprisonment of only one month to impose (Section 38 (2) StGB). An exception applies to juvenile criminal law and substitute custodial sentences.

A Imprisonment does not, however, automatically mean imprisonment - the So deprivation of liberty does not have to actually be implemented in every case.

Since the Criminal law reform in 1970 the custodial sentence replaces all forms of execution known up to that point.

Until 1969 there were still different forms of criminal enforcement in criminal law. These included the Prison sentencewhich involved hard physical labor for the inmates and was mainly imposed for serious crimes. Prison sentences were up to 15 years and in exceptional cases could even be extended to life sentences. There was also the Prison sentencewhich lasted a maximum of five years. The prisoners were allowed to take up a decent job here.

Detention is the actual deprivation of liberty. In such a case, the offender must serve the sentence in a penal institution - either open or closed. A prison sentence without staying in prison is not possible.

Small prison sentences can also suspended on probation become. But what does that mean? When can probation periods be granted after a criminal offense has been committed?

Probation in prison - when is it possible?

What does imprisonment mean now? As already noted, the imposition of a prison sentence is not automatically linked to the deprivation of liberty for the perpetrator. Are the Penalties not too high, there is a possibility that imprisonment too suspended on probation can be.

The Parole is, however, to the requirement bound that the court recognizes in the perpetrator that the conviction itself was already teaching enough for him and that Social forecast no repetition of such acts can be expected. Any Offender-victim balance, remorse and other positive signs on the part of the convicted person can influence the court positively in its opinion formation.

Indeed: The suspended sentence is only possible if the imprisonment imposed is no longer than two years (Section 56 Paragraphs 1 and 2 StGB)!

In the Probation period may the perpetrator no further criminal offenses to be guilty of. Otherwise the Suspended parole and he must be the imposed Full sentence of imprisonment serve in prison - the probation period is not offset against the sentence to be served.

It should be noted that the The duration of the probationary period does not correspond to the prison sentence itself! The court can determine the probation period itself. She is allowed to do not last longer than five years (Section 56a (1) of the Criminal Code).

The court can also add additional probationary measures pads which the condemned person has to fulfill. In addition to the offender-victim balance, this also includes Compensation for pain and suffering, financing of charitable institutions, social hours and, if necessary, participation in anti-aggression training.

Convert imprisonment into fine? A Imprisonment for a maximum of 6 months can in rare exceptional cases be converted into a fine. However, this is usually only at First-time offenders to suspect the one particularly positive social prognosis receive.

Is a More than two years' imprisonment has been imposed, the sentence cannot be suspended. But how high can the prison sentences be for a committed assault?

Life imprisonment possible for bodily harm?

In the 17th section of the Criminal Code, the different qualifications of bodily harm are considered. The corresponding is in each case Statutory penalty for the respective offense. The presiding judges in criminal proceedings can move within this penalty framework with regard to sentencing.

Only in the case of a simple or negligent bodily harm however is as possible Minimum penalty a Fine scheduled. All other qualifications are punishable by a minimum of three months' imprisonment.

In very rare exceptional cases, imprisonment of up to a maximum of six months can also be used converted into fines become. In doing so, however, the respective individual cases and their circumstances as well as the social prognosis of the perpetrator are to be used.

in the Maximum can imprisonment of three years (in the case of negligent bodily harm), five years (in the event of minor bodily harm) and ten years (e.g. in the event of dangerous bodily harm).

However, there is also in the StGB two forms of bodily harm for which there is no information on the maximum penalty. Here you can then early prison sentences of up to 15 years be imposed (Section 38 of the Criminal Code). It concerns the facts

But: A life sentence is not provided in any case. It is always a question of early imprisonment, which according to § 38 StGB may only be a maximum of 15 years.

In case of a Youth penalty is a Incidentally, never to obtain life imprisonment. The juvenile criminal law provides that the imposed sentences include a maximum of ten years imprisonment allowed to. In a particularly serious case of bodily harm resulting in death, juvenile criminal law could then outweigh the StGB and reduce the sentence.

Table: How high can the prison sentence be for bodily harm?

Below is a Summary of the penalties that are set for the individual forms of bodily harm in the Criminal Code. Exist in two cases no information (n / a) in terms of the maximum. This means that in particularly serious cases, a early imprisonment up to 15 years can be pronounced.

OffenseMinimum penaltyMaximum penalty
Section 233 StGB - (simple) bodily harmFine5 years
Section 224 of the Criminal Code - dangerous bodily harm6 monthsten years
... in a less severe case3 months5 years
Section 225 of the Criminal Code - mistreatment of those under protection6 monthsten years
... if there is a risk of death or significant damage1 yearten years
... in a less severe case3 months5 years
Section 226 of the Criminal Code - serious bodily harm1 yearten years
... with direct intent with regard to the consequences3 yearsten years
... in a less severe case6 monthsten years
Section 226a of the Criminal Code - mutilation of female genitals1 yeark. A.
... in a less severe case6 months5 years
Section 227 of the Criminal Code - bodily harm resulting in death3 yearsk. A.
... in a less severe case1 yearten years
Section 229 of the Criminal Code - negligent bodily harmFine3 years
Section 231 StGB - participation in brawl (in the event of fatal or serious bodily harm)Fine3 years

Does "lifelong" actually mean the rest of life?

Yes and no. A life sentence means one in Germany indefinite term of imprisonmentthat the offender has to serve in prison. Lifelong means at least 15 years Stay in a penal institution.

Depending on forecast From psychologists, prison employees, the public prosecutor's office, judges and Co., the convict can hope for parole after 15 years. The crime itself is also always considered here. The remainder of the sentence is released on probation. However, this is only possible if rehabilitation is recognizable or possible and it can be ruled out that the perpetrator will repeatedly commit criminal offenses.

So a life sentence can mean that a non-resocializable - d. H. who cannot be reintegrated into society - perpetrators in case of doubt up to his End of life can stay in jail.

However, every inmate has that Right to have his release from prison checked at regular intervals. If, however, the “particular severity of guilt” was determined when the verdict was reached, the convicted person cannot hope for parole, even in spite of the favorable social prognosis.

Preventive detention: Is in the sentence of one "Life imprisonment with subsequent preventive detention" the speech, then it is, so to speak, a actual life imprisonment. If the reasons for imprisonment expire after about 20 years, the perpetrator must continue to spend his time in closed security institutions. This is particularly the case if the convicted person is at risk to society and appears to be incapable of treatment himself.
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When is there a risk of imprisonment for bodily harm?
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