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How to report a crime of threats in Spain? - Helpful guide

Criminal Law
How to report a crime of threats in Spain? - Helpful guide

Discover with this useful guide what threats in Spain consist of, the types of crimes that exist according to our Penal Code and the legal consequences of reporting them.

Currently there are many ways to receive and suffer threats, whether through WhatsApp, in person, by email, by audio, by telephone, through third parties, etc. 

If you receive a threat, it is recommended to report it as soon as possible, to avoid greater harm, and so that the crime does not go unpunished.

What types of threats exist in Spain?

The first thing of all is to know that it is a crime of threats. Well, it is a crime defined in the Penal Code, specifically in articles 169 and 171, the purpose of which is to cause danger or harm to someone, or to the people around them.

  • Article 169 of the Penal Code classifies threats that are produced with intimidation and violence, which refers to threats that threaten moral integrity, sexual freedom, honor, injuries, homicides, among others.
  • Article 170 classifies threats against a group, whether it is an ethnic, cultural or religious group, as well as a social or professional group. The same article criminalizes violent conduct by terrorist organizations or groups.
  • Article 171 classifies a threat that does not constitute a crime classified in the Penal Code, so such conduct implies a prison sentence of 3 months to one year or, depending on the case, a fine of 6 to 24 months. This article includes blackmail, minor threats, the crime of gender violence, domestic violence, among others.

How to report a crime of threats in Spain?

If you have been a victim of any type of threat (via WhatsApp, by email, verbally, by audio, through third parties, etc.) typified in the Penal Code, in its articles 169 to 171, we recommend that you report it the form explained below. 

First of all, it is recommended to go to a law firm to clarify the situation and explain how to proceed at all times. It is important to do so, because by receiving expert criminal advice, the complaint may have further progress in the criminal procedure, and more possibilities of conviction for the threats suffered.

Secondly, the complaint will be filed with the Police or directly before the Police Court closest to your home. You must report the events as they happened so that the complaint can be accepted for processing and a procedure can be initiated in this regard.

Once the complaint has been processed and accepted for processing, if you have not done so before, you must hire the services of a lawyer and a solicitor to be able to have representation throughout the procedure, with the hiring of the services of both being mandatory, both the lawyer and a solicitor. 

Subsequently, it will be the court that must carry out the pertinent investigation to consider whether or not the events that occurred constitute a crime.

What happens if the Court determines that the reported threats constitute a crime?

If the Court considers that the reported threats constitute a crime, the parties will be summoned to the Court, along with their lawyer, to testify about the reported facts. The victim of the complaint will testify as the complainant, and the alleged criminal who has committed the threats will testify as being investigated. 

After the declaration process, which will be brief, the victim who has suffered threats, through his lawyer who specializes in threats, will be able to present the evidence they consider appropriate, with the aim of proving the threats.

Subsequently, a day will be appointed to begin an oral trial to which you must attend represented by a lawyer.

In the event that the court considers that it is not a crime of threats, the procedure will be archived and a dismissal of the proceedings will be ordered. In the unlikely event that this happens, and as long as we are not satisfied with the decision made by the judge, an appeal may be made.

What are the penalties for threats made with intimidation or violence?

As we have mentioned, there are different types of threats and, therefore, depending on the threat we face, the penalty will be one or another.

In the event that the threats have been made with intimidation and violence, which include the crimes of homicide, injuries, abortion, against freedom, against honor, property, among others.

The penalties that would be applied in this case would be the following:

  • Prison sentences of 1 to 5 years if the crime has been completed.
  • If it had only ended in an attempt, the sentence would be 6 months to 3 years.
  • If the threat were not conditional, the penalty would be 6 months to 2 years in prison.

What are the penalties for threats made by terrorist organizations or groups?

In the case of threats made against a group, two types are distinguished, frightening a group or a public complaint.

In the first case, higher penalties will be applied and in the second case, a prison sentence of 6 months to 2 years will be applied.

In this criminal case, those who, with the same purpose and severity, publicly demand the commission of violent actions by terrorist organizations or groups are punished.

What are the penalties for minor threats?

In the case of threats that do not constitute a certain type of crime, prison sentences of 3 months to one year or fines of 6 months to 24 months will be applied if the purpose of the threats has not been achieved. If the goal is not achieved, a penalty will be imposed in the upper half.

What are the penalties for blackmail?

In the case of blackmail, there are two types: the basic type or revelation of the commission of crimes. In the case of the basic type, the penalty will be imprisonment of 2 to 4 years if the purpose of blackmail has been achieved; and if he had not achieved blackmail, the sentence will be from 4 months to 2 years. 

In the case of the revelation of the commission of crimes, it will be the Public Prosecutor's Office who will decide whether to refrain from accusing the guilty party, and the Court may reduce the sentence imposed by one or even two degrees.

What are the penalties for threats in the area of ​​gender violence?

The penalties depend on whether it is gender violence, domestic violence or others. If it is gender violence, the penalty will be imprisonment of 6 months to 1 year. In the case of domestic violence, the penalty may range from 3 months to 3 years depending on the type. 

In the case of other minor threats, the penalty will be a fine of 1 to 3 months. 

Do not let threats intimidate you, if you have been a victim of threats in Spain and want to report them, contact Forcam Lawyers, and our criminal lawyers will study your specific case. We offer quality criminal assistance and advice in Spain

We report all types of threats that have occurred in Spain and represent the interests of our national and international clients before the Police and Criminal Courts. In addition, we have:

Law firm in Barcelona
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