Administrative Offenses Law

The law on administrative offenses deals with minor violations of the law, the so-called administrative offenses, which are usually sanctioned with a fine and the associated regulations on the fine procedure.

According to the legal definition, an administrative offense is § 1 para. 1 OWiG an illegal and reprehensible act that constitutes the offense of a law that allows punishment with a fine. Administrative offenses under administrative offense law are therefore not criminal offenses which, unlike administrative offenses, result in a penalty (usually a fine or imprisonment). In terms of legal system, administrative offense law is a sub-area of administrative law. According to According to Section 35 OwiG, the administrative authorities are responsible for imposing fines under administrative offense law. The administrative authority issues a fine; under administrative offense law, you can object to this within 14 days, and a court hearing may then take place.

Administrative offenses include, in particular, violations of road traffic regulations such as speeding. There are also many other administrative offenses in administrative offenses law, which are standardized in the various individual laws that are difficult to understand.

Beispiele für Ordnungswidrigkeiten im Ordnungswidrigkeitenrecht sind unter anderem:

  • Traffic violations (StVO, StVG)
  • Labor law violations (ArbschG, JArbSchG)
  • Violations of commercial law (GO)
  • Violation of the reporting obligation (reporting laws of the federal states)
  • Violations of waste law (AbfG)
  • Administrative offenses in food law (LFGB)
  • Commercial criminal offenses


The law on administrative offenses is regulated in particular in the OWiG, which contains the general provisions on administrative offenses and the fine procedure, as well as in various laws in which administrative offenses are standardized.

On the following pages we will try to provide you with as much information as possible about the basic principles of administrative offenses law.

We also recommend the following pages on the subject of administrative offense law: