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hhvgoetz, Rechtsanwalt, LL.M.
Category: German Law
Satisfied Customers: 2910
Experience:  LL.M. in International Trade Law (Newcastle upon Tyne, UK)
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Hi There, I am a Canadian citizen who was visiting Germany

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Hi There,

I am a Canadian citizen who was visiting Germany this past March/April.

While visiting Munich, I was involved in an altercation on the early morning of 31.03.13 at a pub which resulted with me being charged as bodily injury pursuant to Sections 223 para. 1, 230 para. 1 StGB (German Criminal Code).

I feel that I was rather defending myself and was not provoking the altercation however 3 witnesses (friends/ family) of the other person involved all claim that I threw the first punch.

I received the Strafbefehl yesterday (5.06.13) which indicates that "due to the special public interest given in the criminal prosecution of this actions, the Public Prosecutors' Office considers its official interference to be required".

The letter further indicates the following:

"A fine of 40 daily rates shall be imposed upon you. One daily rate shall be set at 5.00 EUR so that the fine amounts to a total of 200.00 EUR. You shall also bear the costs of the proceedings and your expenses. The security furnished by you on 31.03.2013 amounting to 263.50 EUR will count towards the fine." I paid 263.50 EUR the morning of 31.03.2013 while at the police station.

Since I am back in Canada and do not wish to accrue additional expense from having to appeal the Strafbefehl, I may just accept the guilty verdict if your advice warrants me to do so.

I have noticed a couple of errors though. One is that my occupation is noted incorrectly and listed on the Strafbefehl as a student when in fact I am no longer a student and have a full time occupation. I assume this could have happened during the process at the police station as there was a language barrier as I am unable to speak German and the police had a hard time speaking English.

I should mention that I have a clean record with no prior convictions and this would be a first time offence.

My questions are:

1. What are the long term legal consequences of this conviction and what will the implications be? (i.e. future travel/ background checks/ etc).

2. Will the number of daily rates and daily rate fluctuate in accordance to the occupational error noted on the Strafbehel?

3. What do you anticipate the outcome (i.e. fine amount) for this situation?
4. Can you explain the process of the Strafbefehl including potential outcomes should I choose to accept the implication of being convicted guilty.

Thank you for your time in this matter.




for future travel there will be no consequences, unless you try to enter illegally into Germany and then try to legalize your status. However, in case of you will be involved in a similar incident again, the fine (the amount of daily rates) will be considerably higher. When reaching 90 daily rates the criminal offence will be registered in a way that may appear in normal background checks. Lower fees will only play a role in very special occasions (job in a German authority, etc.).



Yes. 5 Euros is the lowest amount possible, equivalent to a monthly salary of 150 Euros. As you said there are several witnesses against you, I would accept the Strafbefehl.



The fine depends on your salary after tax. 30 daily rates = salary of 1 month



If you accept, the 40 daily rates will be internally registered in case you may commit a similar criminal offence. In the latter case the fine will be higher.

When appealing to the Strafbefehl, the issue will go to court. Usually the fine will be higher if you are not held unguilty. In your case, I just won't recommend it.

An isolated appeal against the daily rates (for example the amount) is possible, but does not make sense in your case.


I would forget the whole issue.



Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for the timeliness to your response. Much appreciated. One last question, since my occupation was noted in error, will my fine be re-adjusted?


I'm assuming that since I already paid the 263.50 EUR and it was noted in the Strafbefehl that the fine amounts to a total of 200.00 EUR, I am now finished with this matter? Or should I be expecting a new fine to be imposed that I will be responsible for paying?



Yes, your fine would be readjusted. This is one principal reason why I would not appeal in any way. This would only make sense if you could be sure to be held not guilty. Any other solution would become very expensive.


Yes, as you already paid 263,50 Euros, you are finished with the matter.



Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Exactly the response that I am happy to hear :)

Thank you once again and have a great week.



You're welcome. Please do not forget to rate my answer.



hhvgoetz and other German Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Once again thank you very much. Does the opportunity exist where this case could progress into a civil lawsuit and if so how should I protect myself?

Could you recommend lawyers in or around Munich who could assist with my case should this escalate?


If you haven't heard of the "victims", it is extremely unlikely to face a civil lawsuit.

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