We use our own cookies and third parties ones to offer our services and collect statistical data. If you continue browsing the internet you accept them. More information


I've been robbed. Should I file a complaint?

Criminal Law
I've been robbed. Should I file a complaint?

What is the crime of theft? What can I do if I have been robbed? What kinds of theft are there? What are the penalties for the crime of theft? All of these and other questions will be resolved.

What is the crime of theft?

The crime of theft is regulated in art. 237 of the Penal Code. Theft is a crime against the patrimony, consisting of the seizure of other people's property, using for it force in things or violence or intimidation in people.

Therefore, according to the Penal Code, those who for profit, seize the movable things of others, using force in things to access or leave the place where they are found, or violence or intimidation in people, whether by committing crime, to protect flight, etc.

What is protected in the crime of theft is property and possession. Through this criminal protection, what is sought is the defense of domain and possession.

As we see, theft has a very broad legal meaning that can cover more than one category, and various degrees of crime. Theft can also be defined as the unauthorized theft of another person's property with the intention of permanently depriving them of it.

Robbery crime example

Miguel goes to Mr. Antonio's cell phone store, takes out a knife and tells him to give him all the cell phones in the store. Mr. Antonio gives him all the cell phones, and Miguel keeps them in a bag with the intention of keeping them and runs away from the store. Miguel can be accused of robbery done with intimidation. In addition, since the robbery has been done through the use of a white weapon (dangerous instrument), you can be charged with a crime of robbery with intimidation with aggravating circumstances.

What can I do if I have been robbed?

There are different kinds of theft and depending on the kind of theft you are in; you will have to act in one way or another.

If you arrive at your house and the door is forced or it is late at night, it is recommended that you do not enter the home. The thieves who stole from you could be inside. In this case, call the police and the next day contact a criminal lawyer to advise you on the criminal strategy to follow.

It is very important to act quickly and do not allow more than 72 hours to pass since the robbery has been committed to file a complaint and contact a criminal lawyer.

If you are robbed on the street or at work, either through assault or intimidation, report it to the police as soon as possible and contact a criminal lawyer later for criminal advice from the start.

When the robbery has occurred, it is recommended that you make a visual recognition of everything that has been stolen from you (money, wallet, jewelry, mobile phone, cards, etc.) and recognize or describe the person who stole from you.

It is also recommended to take photographs, videos, audio recording, and other means to present them as evidence at a later time. The more evidence there is, the easier it will be to find the criminal and recover all the stolen objects.

What kinds of theft are there?

There are two kinds of theft:

1)- Robbery with force in things: This type of robbery occurs when there is escalation, breaking of wall, ceiling, floor, door, window, cabinets, furniture, or even the use of false keys, or use of alarm systems or guard.

Therefore, if the thief enters the house and forces the lock, the robbery is applied with force.

The concept of force in things is a criminal legal concept and does not coincide with the common concept of force in things. That is, not all force in things to commit a subtraction makes the facts theft, it is necessary that force is one of the assumptions regulated in the Penal Code.

2)- Robbery with violence or intimidation of people: This kind of robbery occurs when physical force or coercion is used on the victim to carry out the robbery. Therefore, it is an essential requirement that violence or intimidation be used to overcome the obstacles that the victim offers.

What are the penalties for the crime of theft?

The penalties for the crime of robbery will vary according to the circumstances in which the robbery has occurred, as well as the value of the abducted, the damage committed, etc.

In general, for crimes of robbery with force in things, a prison sentence of 1 to 3 years is established as a general rule for those who commit this robbery.

For crimes of robbery with violence or intimidation, the Penal Code punishes them with a sentence of 2 to 5 years, without prejudice to the one that may correspond to the acts of physical violence carried out.

Contact us, and our lawyers specializing in criminal law will study your specific case. 

At Forcam Abogados we have offices in BarcelonaMadrid and Reus.