Under the Spanish Penal Code, the offence of assault is committed when anyone causes to another an injury that impairs their bodily integrity or their physical or mental health, provided that the injury objectively requires for recovery, in addition to initial medical assistance, MEDICAL OR SURGICAL TREATMENT.
If the injury requires only initial medical assistance but DOES NOT NEED medical or surgical treatment, it is considered as a misdemeanour. In this case the offence is less severe and the penalty is also less severe.
In order for the complaint to be submitted, the victim must go to a medical center as soon as possible and obtain a certificate of medical assistance, which must be passed to the national police (Policía Nacional) or civil guard (Guardia Civil) at the time the complaint is filed. Even when the injury is not serious, and it is only a bruise or a scratch or even when there were no physical signs at all, in any case, it is compulsory to report it with the complaint. Even in the case that the certificate of medical assistance states that the victim complains of pain to the doctor but there are no physical signs of injuries.
A victim may file a complaint without the assistance of a lawyer, although it is not recommended to do so. However, the accused or alleged aggressor has the right and the obligation to always be assisted by a lawyer, both in the proceedings before the police and those that take place in the Court.
It is important that the victim of an assault offence formulates the report correctly, providing all the necessary and essential data in an appropriate way. In this sense, it should be pointed out that, although it is not compulsory according to the law, it is highly recommended to be assisted by a lawyer to file the complaint, since mistakes made when filing the complaint later cannot be remedied and will impact the entire procedure. This is important, among other reasons, because normally in the legal proceedings that follow in an assault offence, both parties appear as complainants and defendants, as the existence of mutual attacks and injuries frequently takes place.
In these cases, it is very difficult to successfully maintain the claim that one of the two parties acted in self-defence. In fact, without proper legal assistance from the beginning, it is almost impossible to defend in front of the Court that one acted in self-defence.