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Law to Get More Lenient on Low-income Offenders

Posted December. 20, 2008 03:57,   


The Supreme Prosecutors` Office set forth yesterday measures to help low-income households and small companies ride out the economic crisis.

Small vendors and truck drivers guilty of minor offenses to earn a living will be exempt from heavy fines from Jan. 1.

Small companies and low-income households that bounce checks will be bailed out through the extension of credit recovery periods or settlement with creditors.

Drunk drivers and those who violate country of origin regulations, however, will face harsh punishment.

A meeting of senior prosecutors nationwide yesterday presented follow-up measures to implement “livelihood and security protection measures for citizens” released by the Justice Ministry and the Public Administration and Security Ministry Tuesday.

The new measures will be implemented for six months and a possible extension will be decided on later.

Fines will be cut two thirds for those on welfare and by a half or a third for those who commit minor crimes due to poverty.

If low-income people inadvertently break the law to make a living, their indictment will be suspended and get offered job training opportunities.

Minor offenders who cannot afford to pay fines will be allowed to defer them for six months.

The customary police crackdown on low-income people will be suspended, and investigations into law breakers will be done at night or weekends not to undermine the people’s livelihood.

Five major crimes affecting the people’s livelihood will be sternly prosecuted, however. They are robbery and larceny; illegal private lending and loan collection; credit fraud and the spread of malicious rumors; pyramid schemes; and illegal gambling.

Those wanted for private loan defaults can take advantage of a three-month amnesty period beginning Jan. 1. They will not face detention if they turn themselves in.