Frequently Asked Questions - Sagué Abogados penalistas
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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Criminal Law?

Criminal law is the branch of public law that regulates the punitive power of the State, establishing and regulating the punishment of criminal conduct through the imposition of penalties, such as imprisonment, fines or disqualifications. The conducts typified as crimes are regulated in the Penal Code, which also establishes the specific penalty for each crime.

What is a Crime?

We can define a crime as a conduct, included in criminal legislation and associated with a criminal sanction, that damages or endangers a legal asset and seriously undermines the essential ethical, social, legal, political and economic conceptions of a society.

Criminal law determines as criminal those conducts that represent a serious violation of the social-ethical conceptions at a given moment in the history of a society.

The criminal legal system provides a response to non-compliance with the rules, determining that the commission of a crime entails consequences that are materialized through penalties and security and social reintegration measures.

What is criminal procedural law?

Criminal procedural law consists of a set of legal rules that regulate criminal proceedings. These rules are set out in the Criminal Procedure Law.

The function of criminal procedural law is to make criminal law effective: it investigates facts that apparently could be criminal (and therefore would fit into one of the crimes described in the Penal Code), identifies the perpetrators and punishes them.

In this way, two goals are pursued: to respond to crime and also to respond to the victims.

There are different rights inherent to the criminal process: the most important are the right to accuse, the right to defend oneself and the right to punish.

What is parole?

This is the last phase of serving the sentence, which is also called “fourth degree”. This phase allows the convicted person to serve the remainder of his sentence in freedom, as long as he does not commit any crime and also meets any additional behavioral requirements that may be imposed.

However, the fulfillment of such requirements does not result in an automatic granting of parole, because an assessment by the Treatment Board is necessary.

Consequences of a criminal record?

When someone has a criminal record in his or her personal file, this has consequences not only in the criminal field but also in the labor field. When you pass any competitive examination or intend to work in the Administration, whatever it may be: regional, state or local, the first official document that is requested is the criminal record sheet. In the criminal sphere, the consequences may be of various kinds and affect the subject with a criminal record both in the pre-trial and trial phases.

What are the degrees in Prison Law?

In Spain there are three degrees of internment depending on the type of crime committed and its dangerousness. Each of them entails a series of measures that vary enormously, such as the visiting regime, or their situation within the prison itself. Therefore, it is important to have a constant advice to know what are the conditions to obtain the third degree by which the prisoner will be able to have a regime of semi-liberty.

When do I need a criminal lawyer?

Whenever a person is detained he has the right to appoint or have appointed counsel for its defense. In these cases, the assistance of the lawyer will consist of to request to be informed of the rights of the detainee or prisoner, to request the statement or expansion of the extremes it deems necessary, to request that any incidents that may have occurred be reflected in the record, and also to have a confidential interview with the detainee.

The presence of the lawyer is mandatory during the entire judicial procedure and he/she will also represent the person under investigation.

However, the intervention of a lawyer is not necessary, although it is highly advisable, in the processing of misdemeanor trials, unless such misdemeanor involves penalty of fine whose maximum limit is at least six months, in which case the general rules of defense and representation shall apply.

When do I need an attorney?

Court attorneys are those professionals with a degree or diploma in law, in charge of the technical representation of of the parties in the Court and in the Courts. The intervention of the procurator is advisable even in those legal proceedings in which his intervention is not mandatory due to the complexity and technical nature of the operation of these proceedings.

In the criminal field, the voluntary nature of the attorney’s intervention extends up to the moment of the opening of the oral trial, from this stage the intervention becomes mandatory.

If I withdraw the complaint, are the proceedings closed?

No, except for the crime of libel or slander, the rest are public crimes and therefore the Public Prosecutor’s Office has to carry out the necessary investigations to clarify the facts.

What penalties can be imposed on minors?

Minors are not subject to penalties, but to security measures, which are adopted according to age, personal, family and social circumstances of the minor and his personality, always seeking those that are most appropriate for his training and education.