Minor threats in Spain: Concepts and kinds of offences

Minor threats in Spain: Concepts and kinds of offences

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The crime of threats includes the action or expression that anticipates the intention of harming or endangering another person. It's typified and regulated in the Spanish Penal Code in articles 169 to 171.

Crime of threats

The crime of threats includes expressing the intention to cause future injury to a person or their relatives.

The Penal Code states that anyone who threatens to cause harm to a different person, their family or other persons with whom the latter is intimately linked might be committing the crime of threats.

Anybody who threatens someone else with harming them, their family or other persons with whom they're intimately linked, which constitutes crimes of homicide, injury, abortion, against freedom, torture and against moral integrity, sexual freedom, privacy, honour, property and socio-economic order, shall be punished:

1. A prison sentence of someone to five years, if the threat has been made by demanding a amount of money or imposing any condition, even if it's not unlawful, and the guilty party has achieved their aim. If he hasn't succeeded, the penalty will probably be imprisonment for a term of 6 months to three years.

The penalties put down in the last paragraph will probably be increased by half if the threats are manufactured in writing, by telephone or by any means of communication or reproduction, or on behalf of real or supposed entities or groups.

2. With a prison sentence of between six months and couple of years once the threat was not conditional.

Article 169 of the Criminal Code

However, a crime is not always committed when threatening another person. The Penal Code specifies certain requirements for threats to become a criminal offence or not.

Requirements for a risk to be always a criminal offence

This really is one of the most subjective of all of the offences included in the Criminal Code.

One person can understand as a risk a thing that someone else might not do; therefore, it is essential to possess reliable proof what happened (documents, witnesses, recordings, etc.) to be able to have the ability to clarify prior to the judge what each individual understands as a risk and under what circumstances it's occurred. As well as this, there should be certain requirements within the threat itself for the act to be understood as a crime.

In addition to carrying out the action of threatening, the alleged perpetrator must carry out the threats with actions that constitute a crime.

In other words, it's inadequate just to threaten to commit the offence. It is also necessary that the action that is supposed to cause harm to some other, that action with which the threat is created, is classified as a criminal offence.

An offense of threats is committed when, along with the threat, this threat takes its crime of: homicide, injury, abortion, against freedom, torture, against moral integrity, against sexual freedom, intimacy, honour, patrimony or socio-economic order.

Example: when a person says to some other person "I'm likely to kill you!", he's threatening and, additionally, the actual fact of killing constitutes a crime of homicide, so we're working with an offense of threats.

Example: each time a person says to some other person "I'm not conversing with you any more, don't ever talk in my experience again!", this threat doesn't constitute an offense and therefore can't be classified as a threatening offence.

Kinds of threatening offences and penalties

● Threats created by demanding an amount or imposing more than one conditions, even when these conditions aren't an offence. Example: "I will kill you if you may not pay me your son's debt" ;.
○ When the offender achieves his objective: 1 to 5 years imprisonment.
○ If the offender does not achieve his objective: 6 months to 3 years imprisonment.

● Threat produced in a non-conditional manner. Example: "I will kill you and your household!
○ Sentence of 6 months to 2 years imprisonment.

● Threats made towards populations, ethnic, cultural or religious groups, a collective or any other number of persons:
○ Penalties higher in degree than those foreseen above.

● If the threats publicly demand the commission of terrorist acts:
○ Penalty of 6 months to 3 years imprisonment.

● Threatening with an evil that will not constitute danger when they are serious and with the objective assessment of the reality:
○ Penalty of 3 months to one year imprisonment or perhaps a fine of 6 to 24 months.

● If the offender achieves his objective: The penalty will probably be imposed in the upper 50% of the sentence.

● When the threat includes receiving a reward as a swap for not publishing or disseminating facts about the private life or family relations of another:

● When the offender achieves his objective: Penalty of 2 to 4 years imprisonment.

If the offender doesn't succeed: 4 months to 2 years imprisonment.
If a risk is built to report an offense:

The prosecutor may not charge the offence if the offence is punishable by 2 years' imprisonment or less.

For more details please visit denuncia por amenazas (complaint for threats).

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