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New Spanish Criminal Code

Although the new Spanish criminal code that is entering into force on July 1st  2015  dedicates most of its new Articles to internal issues, such as illegal financing of political parties, criminal actions during strikes and demonstrations,  or the imposition of life sentences for very serious crimes or terrorist attacks, some of the new laws might affect foreign nationals and companies.

 

This new penal code substitutes the one approved 20 years ago (November 23rd 1995) and has some new features that should be taken into consideration by those with corporate interests in Spain, tourists and residents from abroad, such as the following:

 

  1. A new law specifies that a citizen of the European Union may be expelled from Spain if they represent a serious threat to public safety. So far this measure could only be applied to foreigners who are not citizens of EU countries.
  2. The age of sexual consent is raised to 16 years of age, instead of the previous 14 years required for having sex being an adult (An exception is provided where there is consent and it is between people of a similar age.
  3. Animal abandonment will entail the payment of a fine, while for the first time the penal code criminalizes exploitation or abuse of animals, such as in cockfights or dogfights.
  4. Corporate Compliance Programs. Article 33 of the new Spanish criminal code sets forth the 6 elements to be met by a Compliance Program established by a national or foreign company which would exempt legal entities from being held criminally liable. In Spain, since 2010, an officer or employee of a company can be held personally liable for the following offences:
  • Crimes against privacy and computer trespass (art. 197)
  • Proper and improper scams (art. 251 bis)
  • Punishable Insolvency: uprisings and punishable contests (Article 261 bis.)
  • Computer hacking and damage (art. 264)
  • Crimes against intellectual property (art. 288)
  • Offences against the market and consumers (art. 288), which is a wide are that includes:
    • Discovery and disclosure of company secrets (arts. 278-280).
    • Shortage of raw materials (art. 281).
    • Misleading advertising (art. 282).
    • Fraud investors and credit (art. 282 bis).
    • Mispricing (art. 283).
    • Handling market prices (art. 284.1 and 2).
    • Insider Trading (arts. 284.3 and 285).
    • Illegal access to radio and television (art. 286).
    • Corruption between private business and sports (art. 286 bis).
    • Money laundering (art. 302).
    • Offences Against the Treasury and Social Security (art. 310 bis).
    • Crimes against the rights of foreign citizens (art. 318 bis).
    • Crime on spatial planning (art. 319).
    • Crimes against natural resources and the environment (art. 327 and 328).
    • Offences relating to nuclear energy and ionizing radiation (art. 343).
    • Crimes risk caused by explosives (art. 348).
    • Bribery (art. 427).
    • Trading in influence (art. 430).
    • Foreign Official Corruption (art. 445).
Provided that the Compliance Program has been adopted before a crime is committed by any of its officers or employees and includes the following components:

 

  1. Risk assessment of the crimes that should be prevented.
  2. Standards and controls to mitigate any criminal risk.
  3. Financial management system in place to prevent the economic crimes.
  4. Obligation to report to the Compliance Body any violation of the standards and controls.
  5. Disciplinary system to sanction the violation by officers and employees of the Compliance Program.
  6. Periodical review of the Compliance Program, making the necessary adjustments when serious violations occur or when the company undergoes organizational, structural or economic activity changes.

In addition, the Spanish Criminal Code establishes that any foreign company will need to prove that it’s officers and employees have received proper training on the compliance program, in order for it to be effective.

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Assault Charges

Available in the following locations: Alicante, Arrecife, Barcelona, Benidorm, Cadiz, Castellon, El Campello, Estepona, Fuengirola, Gandia, Girona, Granada, Jaen, L`Eliana, La Manga del Mar Menor, Las Palmas, Los Alcázares, Los Cristianos, Madrid, Maspalomas, Mazarron, Murcia, Nerja, Orihuela Costa, Oviedo, Palma de Mallorca, Puerto del Rosario, Puzol, Seville, Torrevieja, Valencia, Velez Malaga, Vera, Vigo.

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Being accused with carrying-out an assault can result in a range of offences -from relatively minor charges to the most serious on the country’s statute books.

In any case, the presence of an experienced criminal lawyer, who speaks your language, can be absolutely vital in determining the severity of any sentence or indeed receiving an acquittal

2What does this service consist of?

  • Discussion with an experienced English-speaking lawyer to determine the nature of the charges
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Support services

3Free Support Services Included

When combined with the free and innovative Advocate Abroad support services you can be sure that you are obtaining completely transparent legal services from registered and regulated English-speaking lawyers abroad.These support services include:

  • Verification of the regulatory status of your professional.
  • Fees as recommended by the Local Professional Body
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Criminal Damage Charges

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A common offence among young people can be the possession of drugs.

Such legal convictions can impact later life opportunities and it is important to deal with them with the appropriate level of seriousness.

More serious offences involving the production and/or trafficking of prescribed drugs can result in the deprivation of liberty for considerable periods of time in a remote country, without local language abilities.

Representation by an experienced criminal defence lawyer is absolutely vital to obtain the best result possible.

2What does this service consist of?

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3Free Support Services Included

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  • Verification of the regulatory status of your professional.
  • Fees as recommended by the Local Professional Body
  • Fees specified in advance and legally guaranteed.
  • Service levels agreed in advance and guaranteed.
  • All professionals must hold professional indemnity insurance.
  • Professionals' proficiency in English monitored.
  • Continuous quality controls and reviews.
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Drink Driving Offences

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Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs normally will constitute an administrative infraction, though in certain cases may result in criminal charges.

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Administrative Offence

If the results obtained from the breathalyser test exceed 0.25 milligrams per litre (0.15 for professional drivers and drivers with less than two year's driving experience), the driver will receive a €500 fine.

Should the test register an amount above 0.5 milligrams (0.3 for professionals and inexperienced drivers) or if the driver has been fined for the same reason in the previous 12 months, the fine doubles to €1,000. The driver will also lose their driving license for a specified period of time.

Criminal Offence

Criminal charges for driving while under the influence of alcohol in Spain will be pressed against any driver with a blood-alcohol level in excess of 0.60 milligrams per litre, as measured in a breathalyser test. A criminal offence may also be committed if the driver’s faculties are clearly affected by the ingestion of alcohol or drugs affecting the driver's ability to drive - even where the measured rate is below 0.60 milligrams per litre, or indeed if the driver refuses to take a breathalyser test.

Penalties

The penalties will depend upon the circumstances of the case, if anyone was injured or killed, if damage was done to property, if it is not a first offence etc

There will certainly be a fine and removal of your driving license as well, potentially, as a community service order or a prison term. You will also have a criminal record.

Important Advice!

Do not refuse to take a breathalyser test. To do so is an independent criminal offence, for which you will be charged, in addition to the prior offence of driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

3What does this service consist of?

  • Discussion with an experienced English-speaking criminal lawyer to determine the nature of the charges
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  • Representation in court proceedings

4Free Support Services Included

When combined with the free and innovative Advocate Abroad support services you can be sure that you are obtaining completely transparent legal services from registered and regulated English-speaking lawyers abroad.These support services include:

  • Verification of the regulatory status of your professional.
  • Fees as recommended by the Local Professional Body
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  • Service levels agreed in advance and guaranteed.
  • All professionals must hold professional indemnity insurance.
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Drugs Offences

Available in the following locations: Alicante, Arrecife, Barcelona, Benidorm, Cadiz, Castellon, El Campello, Estepona, Fuengirola, Gandia, Girona, Granada, Jaen, L`Eliana, La Manga del Mar Menor, Las Palmas, Los Alcázares, Los Cristianos, Madrid, Maspalomas, Mazarron, Murcia, Nerja, Orihuela Costa, Oviedo, Palma de Mallorca, Puerto del Rosario, Puzol, Seville, Torrevieja, Valencia, Velez Malaga, Vera, Vigo.

* If your local town is not listed, a lawyer from our nearest office will be happy to assist you.

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1Who is this Service for?

A common offence among young people abroad is to be charged with possession - or the more serious offence of 'trafficking' - of drugs.

Such legal convictions can impact later life opportunities and it is important to deal with them with the appropriate level of seriousness.

More serious offences involving the production and/or trafficking of prescribed drugs can result in the deprivation of liberty for considerable periods of time in a remote country, without local language abilities.

Representation by an experienced criminal defence lawyer is absolutely vital to obtain the best result possible.

2What does this service consist of?

  • Discussion with an experienced English-speaking lawyer to determine the nature of the charges
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  • Representation in local courts and advice throughout the trial

 

Support services

3Free Support Services Included

When combined with the free and innovative Advocate Abroad support services you can be sure that you are obtaining completely transparent legal services from registered and regulated English-speaking lawyers abroad.These support services include:

  • Verification of the regulatory status of your professional.
  • Fees as recommended by the Local Professional Body
  • Fees specified in advance and legally guaranteed.
  • Service levels agreed in advance and guaranteed.
  • All professionals must hold professional indemnity insurance.
  • Professionals' proficiency in English monitored.
  • Continuous quality controls and reviews.
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"We were provided with excellent professional service at all times. We are delighted with the service provided. Many thanks!"

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Anyone may be detained pursuant to a warrant for their arrest issued by another country – most commonly in Europe under the auspices of the European Arrest Warrant.

A successful defence can arise where the specific offence does not existing in the country where the individual is detained.

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  • Discussion with an experienced English-speaking lawyer to determine the nature of the charges
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Support services

3Free Support Services Included

When combined with the free and innovative Advocate Abroad support services you can be sure that you are obtaining completely transparent legal services from registered and regulated English-speaking lawyers abroad.These support services include:

  • Verification of the regulatory status of your professional.
  • Fees as recommended by the Local Professional Body
  • Fees specified in advance and legally guaranteed.
  • Service levels agreed in advance and guaranteed.
  • All professionals must hold professional indemnity insurance.
  • Professionals' proficiency in English monitored.
  • Continuous quality controls and reviews.
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* If your local town is not listed, a lawyer from our nearest office will be happy to assist you.

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1Who is this service for?

Depending on the amount of money involved, and the impact on any victims, this offence can attract a wide range of potential sentences, ranging from fines to long terms of imprisonment.

A lawyer who can understand you and your role – if any – in the events that you are accused of undertaking is crucial to ensuring the best possible defence.

2What does this service consist of?

  • Discussion with an experienced English-speaking lawyer to determine the nature of the charges
  • The lawyer will develop a defence strategy based on the facts of the case and the circumstances
  • Representation in local courts and advice throughout the trial
Support services

3Free Support Services Included

When combined with the free and innovative Advocate Abroad support services you can be sure that you are obtaining completely transparent legal services from registered and regulated English-speaking lawyers abroad.These support services include:

  • Verification of the regulatory status of your professional.
  • Fees as recommended by the Local Professional Body
  • Fees specified in advance and legally guaranteed.
  • Service levels agreed in advance and guaranteed.
  • All professionals must hold professional indemnity insurance.
  • Professionals' proficiency in English monitored.
  • Continuous quality controls and reviews.

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