Defendants (criminal proceedings)


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If the offence committed is subject to an administrative penalty it will be heard at administrative proceedings, which commence when a police officer reports that a person may have infringed the Traffic Law.

If a fine is paid on the spot, with a discount, the procedure is closed then; otherwise, it carries on with a report. This report may give rise to a sanction or not. This document must be signed to acknowledge receipt, although the person may refuse to sign it.

It will include the vehicle's registration, the ID of the subject of the report and the facts. The report will be notified to the alleged offender (in person, by post, through public notices, or through the consulate), indicating the offence, the legal remedies, and the amount of the fine imposed.

The alleged offender has 15 days from receipt of the report to submit a response and produce evidence. If evidence is offered the examining authority may admit it or not (an appeal may be filed against this decision). A decision puts an end to the procedure (it states whether an offence has been committed and, if appropriate, a penalty must be imposed).

An appeal may be filed against the decision up to the point at which it becomes final. Appeals may be filed against decisions before administrative or judicial authorities. The decisions can only be enforced if no further appeal is available.

The fine must be paid within a time limit of 15 days from receipt of the decision imposing a sanction. If the fine remains unpaid at the expiry of the time limit, a collection procedure commences, which involves the attachment of the assets of the person on whom a fine was imposed. In this case the fine and interest for late payment will be paid.

How are speeding and parking offences dealt with?

The sanction will depend on factors such as whether it is an administrative offence, a minor offence or a criminal offence.

Who deals with such offences?

The government deals with administrative offences. Courts deal with minor offences and criminal offences.

What is the procedure?

Trial of a summary or minor offence.

What penalties can apply?

A fine will be imposed and also your driving licence may be withdrawn, you may be ordered to do community work, or to go to prison.

If the road traffic offence involved the death of a person(s), you may be sent to prison and your driving licence will be withdrawn. If you are a persistent offender or if you were driving at more than 90 km per hour (in town), 170 km/h (on the road) or 190 km/h (on the motorway) you may also be sent to prison.

Are such offences pursued against nationals of other Member States?

Yes, in exactly the same way as if they were nationals.

Can I appeal?

You can file an appeal with a Higher Court.

How are other minor offences dealt with?

The examining court deals with other minor offences.

Will these offences appear on my criminal record?


Related links

Spanish Criminal Code

Traffic law

Traffic regulations

Other rules

Last update: 11/03/2020

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