MINOR THREATS IN SPAIN: CONCEPTS AND KINDS OF OFFENCES

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 contains 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 contains expressing the intention to cause future injury to an individual 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 another person 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, will probably be punished:

1. A prison sentence of anyone to five years, if the threat has been produced by demanding a amount of money or imposing every other condition, even if it is 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 six months to three years.

The penalties set out in the last paragraph will probably be increased by half if the threats are made 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 wasn't conditional.

Article 169 of the Criminal Code

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

Requirements for a risk to become a criminal offence

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

One person can understand as a threat something that someone else mightn't do; therefore, it is vital to have reliable proof what happened (documents, witnesses, recordings, etc.) in order to have the ability to clarify ahead of the judge what each individual understands as a threat and under what circumstances it's occurred. In addition to 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.

Put simply, it's inadequate simply to threaten to commit the offence. It can be necessary that the action that's supposed to cause harm to a different, that action with that your threat is manufactured, is classified as a criminal offence.

An offense of threats is committed when, as well as the threat, this threat constitutes a 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 another person "I'm likely to kill you!", he is threatening and, additionally, the fact of killing is really a crime of homicide, so we are working with an offense of threats.

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

Kinds of threatening offences and penalties

● Threats made by demanding an amount or imposing more than one conditions, even though these conditions are not an offence. Example: "I'll kill you if you do 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 some other number of persons:
○ Penalties higher in degree than those foreseen above.

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

● Threatening by having an evil that does not constitute danger when they're serious and with the objective assessment of the reality:
○ Penalty of 3 months to at least one year imprisonment or a fine of 6 to 24 months.

● If the offender achieves his objective: The penalty shall be imposed in top of the 50% of the sentence.

● When the threat includes receiving a reward in exchange for not publishing or disseminating details about the private life or family relations of another:

● Once 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 threat is designed to report a crime:

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

For more details check out insultar es delito (insulting is a crime).

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