Criminal Law

Criminal penalties in Spain: General information 

 

Types of penalties

Serious penalties

Less serious penalties

Minimum penalties

Types of penalties

The severity of punishment to be imposed depends upon the seriousness of the crime committed. The distinction affects the question of legal procedure.

As regards the seriousness of an offence, there are three levels of punishments that could be imposed:


 

Serious penalties

These could be imposed for committing the most serious offences(delitos) in Spain, which involve greater amounts of harm or threat. Certaincrimes committed against life, such as murder or manslaughter; against property such as theft of valuable items committed under certain circumstances; other crimes involving national security, drug trafficking…

Penalties consist on:


 

  • Jail by a term which exceeds 3 years.
  • Suspension of employment or public occupation for a term whichexceeds 3 years.
  • Driving license deprivation by a term which exceeds 6 years.
  • Weapons' use and hold deprivation by a term exceeding 6 years.
  • Convicted may be forbidden from living or visiting a specific placeduring 3 years or more.

Less serious penalties

The commission of less-serious offences such as involuntary manslaughter, theft of certain items under certain circumstances, driving a motor vehicle in Spain under the influence of drugs or alcohol may result in the imposition of penalties as follows:


 

  • Jail from 6 months to 3 years.
  • Suspension of employment or of public occupation for 3 years or less.
  • Driving license deprivation by a term from 1 to 6 years.
  • Weapons' use and hold deprivation by a term from 1 to 6 years.
  • Convicted may be forbidden from living or visiting a specific place by a term from 6 months to 3 years.
  • Fines of 12 months or more; which are calculated using the system called "Días multa": it is the number of days for which the accused is sentenced to pay a prescribed percentage (between € 1.2 and € 300.51).
  • House arrest from 7 to 24 weekends (The weekend's duration is 36 hours, equivalent to 2 days of freedom deprivation).
  • Community service from 96 to 384 hours.

Minimum penalties

This level includes penalties to be imposed in case of commission of minor offences or misdemeanors, such as theft offenses, if property value exceeds € 300,51.

Penalties will be as follows:


 

  • Driving license deprivation from 3 months to 1 year.
  • Weapons' use and hold deprivation by a term from 3 months to 1 year.
  • Fines of 5 days to 2 months; which are calculated as for less serious penalties.
  • Community service from 16 to 96 hours.
  • House arrest from 1 to 6 weekends (It is considered weekends' duration, 36 hours, 2 days of freedom deprivation).

These are only general guidelines and not definitive statements of the law, all questions about the law's applications to individual cases shall be directed to a Spanish Lawyer