Openbaar Ministerie-Curacao-Sint Maarten-BES Islands

St. Maarten

To make traffic safer the police carry out regular traffic controls. Think hereby of the fining for driving without a license, driving through a red light, driving without a seat belt, making calls during driving.
Also a check on the possession of the car approval card is included. In this way, every owner of a vehicle is stimulated to check his or her vehicle biennially on road safety at the Local Inspection.

Traffic controls are not only held for the prevention of accidents. The police also regularly monitor the possession of an insurance certificate and the carrying of the correct licence plate. If every traffic participant has properly insured his or her vehicle, any damage can be settled easier. As for the taxes it is simply imperative that taxes need to be paid for owning a vehicle.

Yearly a large amount of traffic fines are drawn up by the police. Payment of a traffic fine takes place at the Receiver’s Office. If the fine has not been paid in a timely manner, one has already been summoned to appear before the Court. The date and hour of the hearing have already been included on the traffic fine. During the traffic hearing the Judge first will state a number of formal questions, such as: are you the one to whom the fine has been written out? Then the suspect is informed that he is not obligated to answer. Then the Judge will ask questions to the suspect and the suspect is allowed to give an explanation.

The Public Prosecutor will have time to make his point of view known and formulates the demanded sentence.

Finally the Judge makes a decision in the form of a verdict. The verdict can be:
1. Acquittal or
2. Guilty statement without imposition of penalty;
3. Fine and or (replacement) custody.
Usually a fine is increased by the Judge and an alternative sentence of imprisonment is also imposed. The alternative imprisonment sentence can be executed if the fine is not paid. In the verdict of the Judge per each NAF 50, - imposed fine, an alternative sentence of one day is imposed. With a fine of NAF 300, - it means that for non-payment one may be taken for 6 days into alternative imprisonment.

From January 2013, a Bailiff is in service at the Public Prosecutor’s Office. The Bailiff will be set in actively to execute money fines. The Public Prosecutor advises to pay fines in a timely manner at the Receiver’s Office. At non-payment one risks the execution of alternative imprisonment.