How do you find out that you are being prosecuted in Spain for a motoring offence?
Unlike in the UK, be aware that in Spain there is not time limit within which a notice of intended prosecution should be issued.
It may happen that one committs a motoring offence in Spain and you only hear from the Spanish authorities 2 years after that. Why? Be aware that in Spain there is a statute of limitations of 3 years for this type of criminal offences to be processed before Spanish courts, within which you may be summoned any time.
Minor motoring offences are dealt with by the Spanish Traffic authorities.
What is considered a serious offence and what are the penalites under Spanish law?
- Driving a motor vehicle in Spain under the influence of alcoholover the level of 0.60 mg is penalized with either imprisonment or a fine or social works, and with deprivation of the driving licence for up to 4 years.
- Speeding: exceeding 80 km/h over the legal limit in motorways, or exceeding 60 km/h over the legal limit in city roads will be penalized with the punishments aforementioned.
- Refusal to cooperate to take a breathlizer test to analyse the amount of alcohol in their blood will be treated as disobedience, punishable with imprisonment of 6 months up to 1 year and deprivation of the driving license.
- Rash driving endangering other people may be punishable by a term of imprisonment of 6 months to 2 years and deprivation of driving licence for a term of 1 to 6 years.
Generally all serious motoring offences are dealt with in the Spanish Criminal Courts. Whether you intend to plead guilty or not, you should seek legal advice in Spain and in both cases you need to attend the court.
If you are in any doubt as to what to do, seek expert legal advice in Spain.