Spanish Criminal Code


The latest version of the Spanish Penal Code, the Código Penal, dates back to 1995. Over the years, various adjustments have been made. On the 22nd of December 2010, a major series new adjustments will come into effect. Interesting new developments include:

  • legal persons can now be punished
  • Companies are responsible for criminal conduct of their employees. The company must be able to prove that they have a policy to prevent criminal behavior of its employees.
  • Higher penalties for corruption, bribery, tax evasion, crimes and offences against the environment.
  • The approach of children via internet etc. for obvious sexual purposes is punishable.
  • Foreigners without a residence permit (no residentes), including Europeans, with a prison sentence up to 6 years, are to be expelled. Also, all procedures for obtaining a residence permit are terminated, and access to Spain is denied for a period of 5 up to 10 years.
  • Larger opportunities for seizure of vehicles with which a traffic offence (in the sense of a crime according to the law) has been committed. Traffic crimes include: overrun of the maximum speed of 60 km/h in town and 80 km/h outside town areas, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, reckless driving, driving without a license or with no license points left.