The crime of threats is a matter that requires serious attention, and at A&O Abogados, your law firm in Marbella, we are committed to helping our clients in cases related to the crime of threats. Our legal expertise allows us to provide comprehensive advice and representation in situations involving the crime of threats, whether you are involved as the accused or the victim.

The crime of threats is a type of offense that undermines peace and harmony in any society. Often, the crime of threats is underestimated due to its verbal or written nature, but its consequences can be severe for both the victim and the offender. In this legal blog, we will explore in detail the crime of threats, its constitutive elements, its legal consequences, and the importance of addressing this issue to maintain peaceful coexistence in our society.

In legal terms, a threat is defined as an intentional communication that instills fear of physical, psychological, economic, or social harm in another person. Threats can be verbal, written, electronic, or gestural. It is important to note that threats do not always imply an imminent action, but the fear they cause in the victim is fundamental to their consideration as a crime.


For a threat to be considered a crime, certain constitutive elements must be met. These elements may vary depending on the jurisdiction but generally include:

1. Intent to Threaten: The author must have the intention to instill fear in the victim.

2. Communication: The threat must be conveyed in some way to the victim, whether verbally, in writing, electronically, or through gestures.

3. Reasonable Fear: The victim must have a reasonable fear that the threat will be carried out.

4. Cause of Fear: The threat must be sufficiently credible to generate genuine fear in the victim.

The crime of threats carries significant legal consequences. These consequences vary depending on the jurisdiction and the severity of the threat but typically include:

1. Criminal Penalties: Threats can lead to criminal charges that may result in fines, probation, or even imprisonment, especially if the threat is severe.

2. Restraining Order: In many cases, a court can issue a restraining order to protect the victim, which prohibits the perpetrator from approaching the victim.

3. Victim Restitution: The perpetrator of threats may be ordered to pay damages to the victim as compensation for the harm caused.

4. Criminal Record: Conviction for the crime of threats can create a record in the offender’s criminal history, which can affect their employability and other areas of their life.

The crime of threats is a problem that affects communities worldwide. Addressing this offense is essential to ensure safety and peace in society. Furthermore, the constant fear of threats can have a significant impact on the mental health of the victims.


The crime of threats is covered in the Spanish Penal Code ( in Articles 169 and following. This type of behavior can have serious consequences for both the victim and the offender, and Spanish legislation provides a clear legal framework for its prosecution and punishment. In this legal blog, we will analyze the penalties associated with threats according to the Spanish Penal Code and how they are applied in practice.

The Spanish Penal Code defines the crime of threats in Article 169, which states that “he who threatens another with causing harm to him, his family, or other persons with whom he is intimately connected that constitutes a crime shall be punished with a prison term of one to six months or a fine of three to twelve months.”

It is important to note that these threats must be credible and capable of generating reasonable fear in the victim to be considered a crime.

The Spanish Penal Code establishes different penalties for the crime of threats, depending on the severity of the threat and whether certain constitutive elements have been met. The most common penalties include:

1. Imprisonment for one to six months: This penalty is applicable in cases of credible but less severe threats.

2. Fine of three to twelve months: Instead of imprisonment, the court may impose a fine, especially in less severe cases.

3. Imprisonment for six months to two years: When threats are particularly serious or if the perpetrator has been previously convicted of a threat offense.

4. Imprisonment for two to four years: In exceptional cases where threats are considered especially grave or if aggravating circumstances are involved.


The Spanish Penal Code also contemplates aggravating circumstances that can increase the severity of the crime of threats and, consequently, the penalties. These circumstances include:

– If the author uses weapons or dangerous instruments in the threat.

– If the author is a repeat offender in the crime of threats.

– If the victim is a minor, a person with a disability, or a particularly vulnerable individual.

Cases of the crime of threats, whether one is the accused or the victim, can be emotionally intense and legally complex. In Spain, having the guidance and representation of an experienced attorney like our professionals is essential to ensure that rights are respected and justice is sought. In this legal blog, we will explore how our lawyers at A&O Abogados, your law firm specializing in criminal law, can assist in both situations, from defending the accused to protecting the victim.

When You Are the Accused:

Defensa Legal:

1. Legal Consultation: A specialized criminal defense attorney will provide legal advice regarding the charges and potential consequences. They will evaluate the evidence and the strength of the case to develop an effective defense strategy.

2. Presentation of Evidence: The attorney will gather and present evidence in defense of the accused, which may include testimonies, recordings, emails, or other evidence suggesting that the threats are not credible or that the constitutive elements of the crime have not been met.

3. Negotiation: In some cases, an attorney may negotiate with the prosecution to achieve an alternative resolution, such as a reduced plea agreement or a lighter sentence, if it is beneficial for the accused.


Protection of Rights:

1. Right to Defense: The attorney ensures that the accused’s right to defense is respected, including access to a fair trial and the opportunity to present their version of the events.

2. Protection against Self-Incrimination: Advises the accused not to make self-incriminating statements and ensures that their rights are respected during police interrogations.

When You Are the Victim:

Advice and Protection: Your attorney at A&O Abogados, your law firm in Marbella, will provide the appropriate guidance to make you feel protected by the authorities and the judiciary.

Restraining Order: An attorney can assist the victim in obtaining a restraining order to protect them from the aggressor, preventing the accused from approaching the victim or making contact.

Legal Process Guidance: The attorney provides information and support to the victim regarding the legal process, including filing complaints and assisting with testimony during the trial.

Claims for Damages: If the victim has suffered damages, whether physical, psychological, or economic, the attorney can assist in pursuing compensation or damages.

Active Participation in the Legal Process:

1. Being a Voice: The attorney acts as the voice of the victim within the criminal justice system, advocating for their rights and needs.

2. Case Follow-Up: The attorney keeps the victim informed about the progress of the case and ensures that protective measures are adhered to.


In cases of threats in Spain, whether as the accused or the victim, the assistance of a specialized attorney is crucial. Attorneys play a vital role in safeguarding the rights of the accused and seeking justice for victims. They are there to guide their clients through the legal process, provide emotional support, and ensure that legal procedures are respected. Ultimately, their presence is essential for upholding integrity and fairness in the Spanish criminal justice system. At A&O Abogados, we are here to provide expert assistance and legal support when it is needed most.

Have you been accused of a threat offense and are unsure about what to do? Have you been a victim, and do you fear what may happen? At A&O Abogados, your law firm in Marbella, we will be delighted to assist you. Call us now.

In the meantime, feel free to read our blog on the use of narco boats and the concurrence of crimes

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