MINOR THREATS IN SPAIN: CONCEPTS AND TYPES OF OFFENCES

Minor threats in Spain: Concepts and types of offences

Minor threats in Spain: Concepts and types 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 includes expressing the intention to cause future harm to an individual or their relatives.

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

Anyone who threatens another person with harming them, their family and other persons with whom they are 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 someone to five years, if the threat has been made by demanding a sum of money or imposing any condition, even if it is not unlawful, and the guilty party has achieved their aim. If he hasn't succeeded, the penalty shall be imprisonment for a term of half a year to three years.

The penalties set out in the last paragraph will be increased by half if the threats are created in writing, by telephone or by any means of communication or reproduction, or with respect to real or supposed entities or groups.

2. With a prison sentence of between half a year and 2 yrs once the threat was not conditional.

Article 169 of the Criminal Code

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

Requirements for a threat to become a criminal offence

This really is one of the very subjective of all of the offences within the Criminal Code.

One person can understand as a risk something that another individual might not do; therefore, it is essential to have 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 has occurred. Along with this, there has to 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.

Quite simply, it's not enough just to threaten to commit the offence. It is also necessary that the action that is supposed to cause harm to another, that action with that the threat is created, is classified as a criminal offence.

An offense of threats is committed when, along with 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: each time a person says to some other person "I'm likely to kill you!", he is threatening and, in addition, the actual fact of killing constitutes a crime of homicide, so we're dealing with a crime of threats.

Example: when a person says to a different person "I'm not speaking with you any longer, don't ever talk if you ask me again!", this threat doesn't constitute a crime and therefore can not be classified as a frightening offence.

Kinds of threatening offences and penalties

● Threats made by demanding an amount or imposing a number of conditions, even if these conditions are not 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 manufactured in a non-conditional manner. Example: "I'll 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 necessitate the commission of terrorist acts:
○ Penalty of 6 months to 3 years imprisonment.

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

● If the offender achieves his objective: The penalty will be imposed in the upper 1 / 2 of the sentence.

● Once the threat consists of receiving a reward as a swap for not publishing or disseminating factual statements 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 does not succeed: 4 months to 2 years imprisonment.
If a threat is made 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 insultos y amenazas sin testigos (complaint for insults and threats without witnesses).

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