Pardon of Penalties and Amnesty for Infractions

The Law no. 38-A/2023, published on August 2, 2023, and which will come into force this September 1, establishes a pardon of penalties and an amnesty for offenses on World Youth Day in Portugal.
Articles 22/08/2023

Law no. 38-A/2023 applies to individuals aged between 16 and 30 during the acts and covers crimes, misdemeanours, and disciplinary and military infractions committed until June 19, 2023.

On the one hand, amnesty is a measure of state clemency that extinguishes criminal proceedings and, if there is a conviction, interrupts the execution of the sentence and its effects. On the other hand, a pardon consists of extinguishing the penalty already imposed, in whole or in part.

The law now published grants a 1-year pardon for all prison sentences of up to 8 years, in addition to pardoning fine sentences of up to 120 days, as well as subsidiary imprisonment resulting from the conversion of the fine sentence and other substitute sentences and the pardoning of ancillary sanctions relating to administrative offences whose maximum applicable fine does not exceed €1,000.

In the same sense, it also provides amnesty for crimes punishable by no more than one year in prison or a 120-day fine and for disciplinary infractions (including military offences) that do not constitute crimes not amnestied by this law and for which the applicable sanction is no more than a disciplinary suspension or imprisonment.

However, it should be noted that amnesties and pardons do not apply to all crimes. More serious crimes such as murder, domestic violence, ill-treatment, serious physical harm, abuse of trust or fraud, and money laundering, among others, are excluded.

Likewise, it also does not apply to specific individuals, such as repeat offenders, members of the security forces, military authorities and officials who have committed offences during their duties, or those who have committed crimes under the influence of alcohol or psychotropic substances.

In addition, the benefit of the pardon or amnesty is also subject to the condition that the beneficiary does not intentionally commit any infraction in the year following the law’s entry into force and pays any compensation they have been ordered to pay within 90 days.

It should also be mentioned that, in any case, the civil liability arising from the amnestied facts is not extinguished, thus allowing those affected by these offences to file civil compensation claims.

Defendants who do not wish to benefit from this pardon or amnesty can apply within ten days of the law’s entry into force on September 1, 2023.

The content of this information does not constitute any specific legal advice; the latter can only be given when faced with a specific case. Please contact us for any further clarification or information deemed necessary in what concerns the application of the law.


Practice Areas

  • Criminal