The crime of damage is a crime that our courts see on a daily basis. At A&O Abogados, your criminal law firm in Marbella, we explain it to you. Crimes against property are a fundamental part of the legal system in any country, and Spain is no exception. One of the most common property-related crimes is the crime of Damage, which is regulated in Article 263 of the Spanish Penal Code (https://www.boe.es/buscar/act.php?id=BOE-A-1995-25444). In this legal blog, we will explore this article in detail and what the crime of damage entails. We will assess everything from its definition to possible legal penalties.
Article 263 of the Spanish Penal Code establishes the definition of the crime. The crime of Damage is committed by a person who, without the consent of the owner, destroys, damages, alters, or renders useless a movable or immovable property belonging to another.
For the crime of Damage to occur, three elements must be met:
1. Lack of consent: The action must be carried out without the owner’s permission.
2. Destruction, damage, alteration, or rendering useless: The act must result in one of these outcomes for the property, implying that it can be either physical or functional damage.
3. Another person’s property: The affected property must belong to someone else, not the perpetrator of the crime.
The crime of Damage can be committed in various ways. The Spanish Penal Code contemplates different modalities that can increase the severity of the offense. At A&O Abogados, your law firm specializing in criminal law, we will explain them to you.
1. Damage: When minor harm is caused to the property without the intention of causing serious harm or substantial loss.
2. Profit-driven Damage: When the perpetrator commits the crime with the intention of gaining economic profit.
3. Aggravated Damage: When damage is committed to cultural or historical assets, or if the harm significantly affects the victim’s heritage.
4. Damage Endangering Life: If the act of damaging property puts other people’s lives at risk.
Like all crimes, those who commit the crime of Damage are subject to penalties. A&O Abogados, your law firm on the Costa del Sol, explains the possible consequences.
Penalties for the crime of Damage vary depending on the seriousness of the offense and the circumstances of the case. In general, penalties may include fines and/or imprisonment. Penalties can be more severe if violence was used in the commission of the crime or if the damage caused is significant.
Furthermore, the Spanish Penal Code stipulates that the perpetrator of the crime of Damage is obliged to repair the damage caused, which means they must pay for the repair or replacement of the damaged property.
But what should you do if you have been a victim of this crime by someone else? At A&O Abogados, your law firm specializing in this type of crime, will guide and represent you in such cases.
The first thing to do when you are a victim of a crime is to have the best legal representation. It is advisable to seek the counsel of a specialized criminal defense attorney to represent you during the legal process. An experienced attorney can help you understand your rights, assess the viability of your case, and provide crucial legal guidance.
At A&O Abogados, our specialized professionals will advise you to make the best decisions.
The first important step to consider is reporting the crime to the authorities. I recommend that you go to the nearest police station and file a formal report. Make sure to provide all relevant details, such as the date, time, and location of the incident, as well as any evidence you may have at your disposal, such as photographs or witnesses.
Once you have filed the report, it is crucial to cooperate fully with the police investigation. Provide any additional information requested and answer investigators’ questions honestly and thoroughly. The more information you can provide, the more effective the investigation will be.
Gather all available evidence that supports your report. This may include photographs, videos, repair invoices, cost estimates, witnesses, or any other documents that demonstrate the damages suffered. The more evidence you have, the stronger your case will be.
If you wish to recover the material damages suffered as a result of the crime, you may need to file a civil lawsuit. An attorney specialized in such cases will guide you through this process, which involves filing a lawsuit in the appropriate civil court.
In parallel with the civil lawsuit, it is important to closely follow the criminal proceedings against the accused. Your attorney should keep you informed about the progress of the case and represent you in all necessary hearings and trials.
If the court finds the defendant guilty, it is possible that restitution may be ordered. This means that the defendant may be obligated to compensate you for the damages suffered. Your attorney will assist you in ensuring that this phase is carried out properly.
Throughout the entire legal process, it is essential that you stay informed and updated on any developments in your case. Please communicate any changes in your contact information to your attorney and follow all the instructions provided to you.
In summary, if you are a victim of a criminal damage offense under Article 263 of the Penal Code, it is crucial to follow these legal steps to protect your rights and seek justice. The guidance of a specialized criminal defense attorney will be invaluable during this process, and your perseverance can help ensure that the guilty party is held accountable for their actions and that the damages suffered are rectified.
Have you been a victim of a criminal damage offense? Have you committed one and now don’t know what to do? At A&O Abogados, your law firm specializing in Criminal Law in Marbella, we will assist you. Call us now.
In the meantime, feel free to read our blog post on computer fraud offenses at https://andradesortegaabogados.es/index.php/2023/03/26/el-delito-de-estafa-informatica/.