Criminal Justice - Adult perpetrators of criminal offences







Source and methods of data collection




On the basis of the Official Statistics Act (NN, Nos 103/03, 75/09, 59/12 and 12/13 Ė consolidated text), data on criminal offences of adult reported, accused and convicted persons are collected by regular statistical surveys, which use the following statistical reports: the Statistical Report for an Adult against Whom Criminal Proceedings Based on Crime Report and the Interlocutory Proceedings Have Been Concluded (SK-1 form) and the Statistical Report for an Accused Adult against Whom Criminal Proceedings Have Been Validly Concluded (SK-2 form).




Statistical reports are filled in by competent public prosecutorís offices after the final decision has taken place as well as county and municipal courts of first instance that act after the criminal procedure was validly concluded. Observation units are adult perpetrators of criminal offences.

 If a perpetrator commits several criminal offences (merger), the major criminal offence is considered the main criminal offence. If several persons participate in a commitment of a single offence, each participant (perpetrator) is considered a unit of observation.



On 1 January 2013 the new Penal Code (NN, Nos 125/11, 144/12, 56/15, 61/15 Ė correction and 101/17) entered into force. This code, besides implementing new and modifying existing general institutes of material criminal law, prescribes a new catalogue of criminal offences.








Statistical surveys cover all adult perpetrators of criminal offences, whether reported, accused or convicted, in order to examine the volume and spread of crime for the whole territory of the Republic of Croatia.








Crime, in terms of statistical surveys, ranges from reporting a criminal offence to the valid conclusion of legal proceedings by a public prosecutorís office, that is, to pronouncing a valid court decision.




Adult perpetrators of criminal offences are persons who turned 18 at the time of committing the criminal offence and against whom proceedings based on crime report and interlocutory proceedings have been concluded as well as accused persons (including those who were charged on the basis of a private suit) against whom legal proceedings have been validly concluded.


Younger adult person is a person who turned 18 but not yet 21 years of age at the time of committing a criminal offence, to whom court may pronounce educational measures consisting of special obligations, increased supervision and juvenile imprisonment. In case a perpetrator has not turned 21 years of age yet, court may also pronounce educational measure of assignment to a centre for disciplinary development and correctional institution measure. To a perpetrator who turns 21 years of age during the trial, court may pronounce imprisonment instead of juvenile imprisonment sentence, within the boundaries that apply for the duration of juvenile imprisonment.




Person reported as known perpetrator is an adult perpetrator of a criminal offence against whom proceedings based on crime report and interlocutory proceedings have been concluded with a decision by which either the crime report is rejected, or the investigation was interrupted, or the investigation was terminated, or indictment was submitted.




Person reported as an unknown perpetrator is, starting with the 2015 reference year, an unknown person who has been reported for a criminal offence to the public prosecutorís office.




Accused person is an adult person against whom an indictment, accusatory motion or private suit is filed before the court, against whom criminal proceedings have been concluded with a valid court decision by which the proceedings are terminated, indictment is dropped, the person is acquitted, the accusation is rejected, a mentally incompetent person is assigned to a coercive accommodation or outward treatment or a perpetrator is convicted.



Convicted person is a convicted adult person against whom the following criminal penalties or other measures have been pronounced: imprisonment, fine, educational measures, judicial admonition (milder act principle) and a convicted person, but no sentence has been imposed.


The perpetrator of a criminal offence is sentenced by a court within the limits prescribed by law regarding the committed criminal offence. In doing so, the purpose of sentencing and all circumstances that influenced the severity of the penalty are taken into consideration. The criminal penalty may be reduced even below the minimum foreseen for a certain criminal offence if conditions for the reduction are provided for in Articles 48, 49 and 50 of the Penal Code.


Imprisonment sentence may be pronounced only as a major penalty. Imprisonment may not be shorter than 3 months or longer than 20 years. For the most serious and dangerous forms of serious criminal offences, the imprisonment sentence of 21 to 40 years may be prescribed and, exceptionally, in case of the merger of criminal offences, and under other conditions foreseen in the Penal Code, even up to 50 years (a long-term imprisonment).


Fine sentence may be pronounced as a major or secondary sentence. It is prescribed and pronounced in daily receipts. The fine may neither be lower than the amount of 30 nor higher than 360 daily receipts. For criminal offences perpetrated out of self-interest, and for those for which such a possibility has been explicitly foreseen in the Penal Code, the fine can be pronounced in the amount of 500 daily receipts.


The imprisonment up to one year and the fine may be pronounced in suspension (Article 56 of the Penal Code) and shall not be executed if a convicted person does not commit another criminal offence in the period from one to five years.


The imprisonment for a term longer than one but shorter than three years and the fine may be pronounced partially suspended. In the case of the imprisonment, at least six months of penalty must remain unconditional, while the maximum unconditional part may be one half of the penalty sentence. The unconditional part of the fine may neither be lower than one-fifth or higher than a half of the penalty.


Judicial admonition is not foreseen by the new Penal Code, but may nevertheless be represented as a statistical value due to the application of the milder act principle.


The juvenile imprisonment (Article 24 of the Juvenile Courts Act) may be pronounced only for criminal offences for which the law prescribes a three-year penalty or a more severe one and may neither be shorter than six months nor longer than five years. Only exceptionally it may be up to ten years for criminal offences for which a long-term imprisonment penalty has been prescribed or in case of a merger of at least two criminal offences with prescribed imprisonment above ten years.


Educational measures are prescribed in Article 7 of the Juvenile Courts Act (NN, Nos 84/11, 143/12, 148/13 and 56/15) and are applied to younger juveniles based on Article 105.