Consideration of charges

The prosecutor conducts a consideration of charges based on the evidence obtained during the pre-trial investigation. The prosecutor decides whether he or she will bring charges for the suspected offence or not. If the prosecutor brings charges, he or she draws up an application for a summons. It describes the offence that the charge concerns. The charge is processed at a court. If the prosecutor decides not to bring charges, he or she draws up a written decision to waive charges, including the grounds for his or her decision.

The prosecutor may waive charges if there is insufficient proof of the suspect's guilt. If, however, there is probable cause to support the suspected offence, charges must usually be brought. Even in such cases, however, the prosecutor may decide to waive charges, for example if the offence is minor in nature, the suspect is a minor or if a penalty should be considered to be unreasonable or purposeless.

Autonomous and independent prosecutor

A prosecutor is an autonomous and independent administrator of justice in his or her decision-making. Even the Prosecutor General, who is the head of the Finnish Prosecution Service, cannot order how a prosecutor should act in a matter in hand.

The prosecutor must conduct the consideration of charges impartially. He or she must also consider the evidence against bringing charges.

During the consideration of charges, the prosecutor is not bound to the offences suspected in the matter according to the assessment of the head of the pre-trial investigation.

Plea bargaining

In extensive criminal matters, the prosecutor may also conduct plea bargaining about a confession with the suspect. As its result, the prosecutor may propose a more lenient punishment to the court. The prosecutor may also waive charges for some of the offences.