Criminal penalties in Spain

1. Overview

The severity of punishment to be imposed depends on the seriousness of the crime committed. Distinction affects the kind of legal proceedings.

With regards to the seriousness of an offence, there are three levels of punishment that can be imposed, which are as follows.

2. Serious penalties

These could be imposed for committing the most serious offences (delitos) in Spain, which involve greater amounts of harm or threat. Certain crimes committed against life, such as murder or manslaughter; against property such as theft of valuable items committed under certain circumstances; other crimes involving national security, drug trafficking;

Penalties consist on:

  • Jail by a term which exceeds 5years.
  • Suspension of employment or public occupation for a term which exceeds 5 years.
  • Driving license deprivation by a term which exceeds 8 years.
  • Weapons’ use and hold deprivation by a term exceeding 8 years.
  • Convicted may be forbidden from living or visiting a specific place during 5 years or more.

3. Less serious penalties

The commission of less-serious offences such as involuntary manslaughter, theft of certain items under certain circumstances, driving a motor vehicle in Spain under the influence of drugs or alcohol may result in the imposition of penalties as follows:

  • Jail from 3 months to 5 years.
  • Suspension of employment or of public occupation for 5 years or less.
  • Driving license deprivation by a term from 1 to 8 years.
  • Weapons’ use and hold deprivation by a term from 1 to 8 years.
  • Convicted may be forbidden from living or visiting a specific place by a term from 6 months to 5 years.
  • Fines of 2 months or more; which are calculated using the system called “Dí­as multa“: it is the number of days for which the accused is sentenced to pay a prescribed percentage (between € 1.2 and € 300.51).
  • Community service from 31 to 180 days.

4. Minimum penalties

This level includes penalties to be imposed in case of commission of minor offences or misdemeanors, such as theft offenses (when the value of the item/s stolen does not exceed € 400.00).

Penalties will be as follows:

  • Driving license deprivation from 3 months to 1 year.
  • Weapons’ use and hold deprivation by a term from 3 months to 1 year.
  • Fines of 10 days to 2 months; which are calculated as for less serious penalties.
  • Community service from 1 to 30 days.

5. Getting legal help

Our lawyers provide solid legal advice and assistance regarding any criminal case or issue in Spain:

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