DEFINITIONS

1st degree offence – an offence the maximum punishment prescribed for which in the Penal Code is imprisonment for a term of more than five years, life imprisonment or compulsory dissolution (Criminal Code – imprisonment for a term exceeding eight years).

2nd degree offence – an offence the punishment prescribed for which in the Penal Code is imprisonment for a term of up to five years or a pecuniary punishment (Criminal Code – imprisonment for a term not exceeding eight years).

Additional punishment – court can impose one principal penalty together with one or more additional punishments. The principal penalty and the additional punishment cannot be of the same kind. Court can impose as an additional punishment a fine, deprivation of the right to be employed in a particular position or to operate in a particular area of activity and deprivation of the right to wear national decorations of merit.

Cleared offence – person(s) who committed the offence has (have) been found out.

Court of 1st instance – county, city or administrative court.

Court of 2nd instance – circuit court.

Court of higher instance – the Supreme Court.

Criminal offence – an offence which is provided for in the Penal Code and the principal punishment prescribed for which in the case of natural persons is a pecuniary punishment or imprisonment and in the case of legal persons, a pecuniary punishment or compulsory dissolution.

Definitively sentenced – if an appeal or protest was not filed, the court judgment enters into force upon the expiry of the time limit established for filing the appeal or protest. In case the appeal or protest was filed, the court judgment enters into force, unless it is disaffirmed, after the criminal case has been examined by the court of higher instance.

Intentionally committed criminal offence – intent is deliberate intent, direct intent or indirect intent. A person is deemed to have committed an act with deliberate intent if the aim of the person is to create circumstances which belong to the necessary elements of an offence and is aware that such circumstances occur or if he or she at least foresees the occurrence of such circumstances. A person is also deemed to have committed an act with deliberate intent if the person assumes that the circumstances which constitute the necessary elements of an offence are an essential prerequisite for the achievement of the aim. A person is deemed to have committed an act with direct intent if the person knowingly creates circumstances which belong to the necessary elements of an offence and wants or at least tacitly accepts the creation of the circumstances.

Juvenile – under 18-year-old person.

Misdemeanour – an offence which is provided for principal punishment prescribed for which is a fine or detention.

Offence – criminal offence and misdemeanour, what is punishable act.

Offender under probation – see Probationer.

Principal penalty – court can impose the following principal penalties: fine, deprivation of the right to be employed in a particular position or to operate in a particular area of activity, arrest, imprisonment (incl. conditional sentence).

Probationer – a convicted offender who has been given a conditional sentence or released on parole and whom a court has placed under the supervision of a probation supervisor for a probationary period pursuant to the procedure provided for in the Criminal Code.

METHODOLOGY

Statistics Estonia receives data on recorded criminal offences, their clearance and suspension of pre-trial investigation together with the data on offenders from the Police Board as an excerption from their central database. Until 2002 the data included offences recorded at the Security Police Board, from 1998 also those recorded by the General Staff of the Defence Forces and from 1999 those recorded by the Tax and Customs Board, the Border Guard Administration and the Labour Inspectorate.

The new Penal Code entered into force on 1 September 2002. Therefore the data on some types of criminal offences are not comparable with those of the previous year. Also the definitions of the degrees of criminal offences were changed. The maximum punishment prescribed for a criminal offence in the first degree is imprisonment for a term of more than 5 years, in the Criminal Code the corresponding term was 8 years. Starting from 2003 the term ‘administrative offence case’ has been replaced by the term ‘misdemeanour matter’.

Since 2002 the data for which the Criminal Code and the Penal Code are homologous are conventionally summed up in review, if this was not the case the category is shown as not applicable.

An offender is known only for cleared offences. Until 1999 among cleared offences only offences committed and cleared during the same year were shown. From 1999 offences committed in earlier years and cleared in the surveyed year were added.

The Department of Courts of the Ministry of Justice presents data on the total number of administrative, civil and criminal cases heard in courts of first and second instance together with the data on persons (separately on juveniles) definitively sentenced for criminal offences in all courts by type of offence and type of punishment imposed.

Information on persons incarcerated in prisons is received from the Department of Prisons of the Ministry of Justice and on offenders under probation from the probation supervision and crime prevention division of the Department of Courts of the Ministry of Justice.

The Public Prosecutor’s Office and the Supreme Court present the data on their activities and the Tax and Customs Board present data on violations of customs rules.

Changes in legislation directly influence crime statistics. The Criminal Code as well as other acts are continuously being improved. When analysing the represented data this should be taken into consideration.

MORE DATA

Eesti statistika aastaraamat. Statistical Yearbook of Estonia

Maakonnad arvudes. Counties in Figures

Eesti Statistika. 2005. Estonian Statistics. Kuukiri, nr 5.

Eesti Statistika Kuukiri. 2006. Monthly Bulletin of Estonian Statistics, No 4.

CONTACT PERSON

Maali Käbin

Population and social statistics department

Tel +372 625 9315

maali.kabin@stat.ee

Updated: 19.11.2019