Prosecution – Finland

1. Crimes
2. Making a Police Statement
3. After Questioning


1. Crimes

Prostitution is not penalised as a crime in Finland.
However, being an offence against administrative law, street prostitution in public places is prohibited.
If a woman is caught working as a prostitute on the streets, she will be fined, and expelled if she is staying in Finland with a visa or as a visa-free visitor.
For details please see section ”Sex work”.

2. Making a Police Statement

A. Right to Remain Silent

Apart from being obliged to give personal information, the accused has the right to remain silent.

B. Translator

The accused is entitled to the services of a translator in her own language. If she feels unable to trust the translator, she should tell the police even though she is not legally entitled to change the translator.

C. Lawyer

The accused is entitled to her lawyers’ presence at the hearing.
Hint: Memorise a lawyer’s telephone number!

D. Custody

The accused may be held in police custody if she is not arrested or remanded for trial. But she cannot be held in custody for longer than 12 hours at a time. There has to be a 12 hours break between the interrogations during which the person is free to go.

E. Victims of Trafficking in Women

The woman may be not only accused, but also a victim of trafficking in women or other serious offences.
Should this be the case, she should insist that police establish contact to an advisory centre.
According to Finnish penal law criminal proceedings against her will not be halted.
However no case of trafficking has been reported in Finland so it is not possible to say how the situation will be handled in reality.
In this context it is important to note that there is a la concerning trafficking in human beings under preparation in the Ministry of Justice. The situation will change after this law has been enacted.

3. After Questioning

If a woman has committed administrative offences she will be fined.
See above under 1.”Crimes” and section ”Sex work” .

A. Immigration Offences

If a woman has committed immigration-related crimes she will face expulsion and a fine.

B. Crimes

Where other crimes have been committed the investigation authorities will initiate proceedings against the woman. A criminal charge and legal proceedings may follow. If a sentence is passed, the woman may lose her right to residency. This depends on the severity of the sentence and the type of residence permit she holds.
If investigation proceedings are initiated against the woman she should always seek a lawyer’s advice!
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