What does it check?
This check establishes if an individual has a criminal record.
This check provides what is referred to as an Excerpt from the Criminal Record Register.
The Swiss Register of Criminal Records lists persons who have legally binding convictions against them in Switzerland, as well as Swiss citizens who have legally binding convictions against them abroad. The records cover:
- Convictions for felonies or misdemeanours, provided a penalty was imposed
- Convictions for contraventions of the law, provided a fine of more than 5,000 Swiss francs was imposed or the individual concerned was
sentenced to more than 180 hours of community service
- Convictions for contraventions of the law, provided the convicting authority is expressly authorised or obliged by the relevant federal legislation to impose a certain minimum fine, or a further monetary penalty or custodial sentence in addition to a fine if the offence is repeated
- Convictions for contraventions of the law, provided a ban on certain types of activity, or a contact prohibition and exclusion order was imposed
- Convictions for contraventions of the law, provided they form part of a judgment which must be entered in the Register.
A total of 1,160,000 convictions, relating to 798,000 individuals, were entered in the Swiss Register of Criminal Records as of 31 March 2020.
In addition, the Register lists persons against whom criminal proceedings for a felony or misdemeanour are pending in Switzerland.
Under Swiss criminal law, the following definitions apply:
Felonies = Offences that carry a custodial sentence of more than three years
Misdemeanours = Offences that carry a custodial sentence of up to three years or a fine
Contraventions = Offences that carry a fine only
The length of time that entries remain in the Register depends on the sentence that has been imposed. These periods are fixed with the aim of striking a balance between the interest in enforcing the law and protecting society on the one hand, and interest of the individual concerned in achieving complete rehabilitation and reintegration on the other.
Convictions are deleted from the excerpt automatically after:
20 years for Non-suspended custodial sentences of over 5 years
15 years for Non-suspended custodial sentences of 1 to 5 years
15 years for Non-suspended custodial sentences of less than 1 year
The duration of sentence as per conviction and the duration of custodial sentence already entered are added on top.
10 years for All other sentences: suspended and partially suspended custodial sentences, monetary sanctions, community service, and fines
10 to 15 years for Special ruling in the cases of inpatient treatment, or if outpatient treatment only is ordered.
In special rules for national expulsion orders, Conviction remains in the Register until the death of the individual concerned. If the individual was not resident in Switzerland, the entry is removed no later than 100 years from their date of birth.
Convictions involving a ban on certain types of activity, or a contact prohibition and exclusion order, are removed ten years after the end of the ban.
Once removed from the Register, a conviction may no longer be used against the person concerned. The data that has been removed is not archived, but is destroyed.