01 September 23 | Lisboa
Amnesty Law (Law 38-A/2023)

Published on 2nd August 2023, the Amnesty Law (Law 38-A/2023) establishes the pardon of sentences and amnesty for offences committed by young people within the scope of World Youth Day, covering crimes and offences committed until June 19th by young people between the ages of 16 and 30.

In this regard, the following are pardoned:

  • fines up to 120 days as a principal offence or as a substitute for prison sentences;
  • subsidiary imprisonment resulting from the conversion of a fine;
  • imprisonment for non-compliance with the substitute fine;
  • other substitute sentences, excluding the suspension of enforcement of prison sentences that require the fulfilment of certain duties;
  • house arrest sentences;
  • one year's imprisonment of all prison sentences up to eight years.

In the event of a conviction resulting in concurrent sentences, the pardon applies to the single sentence. The pardon’s beneficiary must not commit any intentional offence in the year following the entry into force of the Amnesty Law, otherwise the pardoned sentence will be added to the subsequent one.

The pardon is granted under the resolutive condition of payment of compensation or reparation to which the beneficiary has also been sentenced and which must be fulfilled within 90 days of notification to that effect.

Additionally, amnesty is granted to criminal offences with a penalty of up to 1 year in prison or a fine of 120 days. Ancillary sanctions relating to administrative offences for which the maximum applicable fine does not exceed €1,000 are also pardoned. This category includes offences against the Highway Code and complementary legislation, benefiting drivers required to hand their driving licence to the authorities, for example.

The law also establishes that anyone convicted for certain types of crimes cannot benefit from a pardon or amnesty, namely for homicide, domestic violence, arson, criminal association, money laundering and corruption.

Defendants covered by this law can request not to be granted amnesty within 10 days of its entry into force.

The Amnesty Law comes into force on 1st September 2023.

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