Penalties for Assault in SpainWhat penalties can be imposed on the person who commits an assault offence? Is the victim entitled to compensation?
Penalties for Assault in Spain – The penalty can be a fine or imprisonment and depends on the severity of the injury, the vulnerability of the victim (if the victim is a minor, disabled or elderly person, etc.) and the means used to cause the injury (if the aggressor used weapons or possesses a special skill such as being a karate black belt, for example).
In addition to the penalty imposed on the person who committed the crime, the victim has the right to be compensated (civil liability) for any damages that may have been caused. The amount of this compensation will depend on the injuries that have occurred and the time required for healing or the consequences that have arisen. Civil liability also includes repairing the damage by paying the corresponding amount if glasses, mobile phones, clothing, etc. have been broken when the victim was injured.
The severity of the penalty (fine or imprisonment) depends on the type of medical assistance that the victim must receive to achieve healing. If the victim only has to go to the doctor once, it is considered a misdemeanour assault or DELITO LEVE DE LESIONES. and if the victim requires medical treatment, we will be facing a felony assault or DELITO DE LESIONES, with more severe penalties.
Therefore, it will be a felony assault if the injury requires medical treatment, that is when the victim has to go to the doctor more than once. For example, the victim is admitted to the hospital or has to undergo surgery or has to receive stitches or an arm or leg is in plaster or he/she is receiving physiotherapy treatment. On the other hand it will be a misdemeanour, if the victim only goes to the doctor once for a first cure or has no apparent visible injury.
To make the calculation of the fine, the economic capacity of the accused/aggressor will be taken into account, his/her income from work or from others. The fine that can be imposed on an entrepreneur whose company has a profit of 10,000 euros per month is not the same as the one that can be imposed on a worker who only has a pay-cheque of € 1,000 per month. To determine the financial capacity of the accused, only the income, not the family or other charges of the person, are taken into account.
To make the calculation of compensation or civil liability to be paid to the victim, the severity of the injury, the days it has taken to return to full health (receive medical discharge) and the consequences that those injuries have left in the victim will be taken into account. The forensic doctor (doctor from the court) makes a report after studying the medical documentation provided by the victim and the doctor provides a report with the basis for calculating compensation for the injuries based on tables that are set-out in law.
The misdemeanour assault (hitting or mistreating another without causing injury) is punishable by a fine of one to two months. For example, a slap, kick, or punch, which does not involve stitches, plaster, or hospital admission, etc. is punishable by a fine to be paid to the court of approximately 200 euros and the payment to the victim of compensation of approximately 150 euros.
The felony assault is punishable by imprisonment for a period of between three months to three years or a fine of six to twelve months. For example, if the victim receives 3 stitches on the lip, it could be punished with a fine of 1,000 euros and compensation of approximately 2,000 euros.
The SERIOUS ASSAULT OFFENCE or DELITO DE LESIONES AGRAVADO is punishable by prison terms of between two to five years, if dangerous weapons, objects or means are used, there is cruelty, the victim is under twelve years old or especially vulnerable or if the victim is or had been the wife or partner of the aggressor. And it is punished with prison term of between six to twelve years if the injury involves the loss or permanent incapacity of a major organ, impotence, sterility, serious deformity or serious somatic or mental illness.
Rarely, in practice will the aggressor be condemned to go to prison after pleading guilty for an assault offence. For example, in a real case, a person who, after giving a tug to steal a 75-year-old woman’s purse, caused the woman to fall to the floor and break her hip, and she had to be admitted to the hospital, this aggressor was given a 2 year prison term.
Usually, in case of fights in which neither party is a vulnerable person, even if hospital admission or surgical interventions occur, the sentence will never be imprisonment. The sentence will normally be a fine that the aggressor should pay to the court and the victim will receive from the aggressor a compensation or civil liability.
However, if the convicted person does not pay the fine or does not pay civil liability, he could go to prison.