Criminal Law


Criminal proceedings often have an enormous impact on professional and personal life. As an expat, if you get in contact with criminal law in a foreign criminal justice system, there is a lot at stake.

Since if you’re accused in Spain, you must also defend yourself in Spanish, communication problems between those affected, the police or the judge, can have devastating consequences.

Attorneys specialized in Spanish Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure Law in Costa Brava

At Dr. Höhne’s law firm in Costa Brava, our Spanish and Catalan criminal lawyers have over 15 years of experience as criminal defense attorneys.

English-speaking clients of our law firm are looked after in criminal matters by our English-speaking lawyers, and we represent them in either Spanish or Catalan.

Especially in criminal law, our international clients value that we represent them professionally on-site in Spanish or Catalan while they can communicate with our law firm in English.

Hire a criminal lawyer as soon as possible

By hiring a criminal lawyer early, it is possible to ensure that criminal proceedings do not go forward or to avoid the main court hearing. If a criminal case cannot be avoided, your defense attorney will work to obtain an acquittal or a significantly reduced sentence.

The sooner a criminal law expert is called upon, the more can be achieved on your behalf. After being commissioned, our criminal lawyers can inspect the files and, after a thorough consultation, determine the defense strategy with you.

Right to remain silent

If you are confronted with an allegation or  fear that an action could have criminal consequences, you shouldn’t make any statements without prior professional legal advice.

In Spain, you have the right to refuse to testify. You don’t have to say a word about the allegation, and you shouldn’t do so without first consulting a criminal defense attorney.

The right to remain silent also applies when witnessing a crime and you’re married, engaged, or closely related to the suspect (statutory right to refuse to testify).

Criminal proceedings in Spain

In Spain, there’re the following criminal proceedings, depending on the severity of the accusation:

  • Ordinary criminal procedure (procedimiento ordinario): Serious crimes carrying a prison sentence of more than 9 years are judged. The procedure is divided into preliminary proceedings (fase de instrucción / sumario), intermediate proceedings (fase intermedia) and main hearing (juicio oral). The stage of criminal investigation proceedings in Spain are not led by the public prosecutor’s office but by a judge (juez de instrucción).
  • Shortened criminal proceedings (procedimiento abreviado): takes effect if there is a threat of punishment of up to nine years’ imprisonment or if other punishments than imprisonment are possible. This method is the most common. Compared to the procedimiento ordinario, there is no intermediate procedure (fase intermedia), and this criminal procedure is leaner than the ordinary procedure.
  • Fast trial (juicio rápido): This criminal procedure deals with certain common crimes carrying a sentence of less than five years’ imprisonment. The sentence is reduced by a third part demanded by the public prosecutor’s office if the accused confesses to the crime and agrees to the sentence.
  • Procedure for misdemeanors (procedimiento para el enjuiciamiento de delitos leves): This procedure applies to offenses for which imprisonment cannot be imposed under any circumstances. There is no preliminary investigation and a decision is made directly on the crime during the hearing.
  • Jury trial (juicio por jurado): applies to serious crimes such as murder.

When it comes to criminal law in Spain, we can help you with:

  • Accused interrogation
  • Victim representation
  • Pre-trial detention
  • Medical criminal law
  • Narcotics/drug offenses
  • Juvenile justice
  • Property crimes
  • Criminal tax law
  • Commercial criminal law
  • Criminal traffic law
  • Sexual offenses law
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