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False Document Crimes

The Spanish Criminal Code includes several crimes related to False Documents. It specifically includes:

  • Forgery of public, official and commercial documents and of the offices transmitted by telecommunication services (arts. 390 to 394)
  • Forgery of private documents (arts. 395 and 396)
  • Forgery of certificates (arts. 397 to 399)
  • Forgery of credit and debit cards and travelers checks (art. 399 bis)

Forgery of public, official and commercial documents and of the offices transmitted by telecommunication services

The alteration of a document or or a part of a document or partial simulation of a document is a crime. The total or partial simulation requires a creative act, and like counterfeit currency, should be done with a high degree of similarity, such as to mislead about its authenticity.

This crime does not require damage, or special intent, or the production of certain legal effects of the document.

According to art. 392. 1, the individual who commits in a public, official or commercial document, any of the falsehoods described in the first three numbers of article 390, paragraph 1, shall be punished with imprisonment from six months to three years and a fine of six to twelve months. The same penalties will be imposed on those who, without having intervened in counterfeiting, will traffic in any way with a false identity document. The penalty of imprisonment of six months to one year and a fine of three to six months will be imposed on the person who knowingly uses a false identity document. (art. 392).

In the event that the crime is committed by an official, more severe penalties are imposed.

Sometimes this crime is committed in addition to other crimes which means that the sentence will be greater.

Forgery of private documents

Anyone who, in order to harm another, commits in a private document any of the falsehoods provided for in the first three numbers of article 390, paragraph 1, shall be punished with the imprisonment of six months to two years. (art. 395).

Forgery of certificates

The creation or use of counterfeit medical certificates is also a crime.

Forgery of credit and debit cards and travelers checks

It is stated in art. 399 bis CP as follows:

  1. Anyone who alters, copies, reproduces or otherwise falsifies credit or debit cards or travelers checks will be punished with a prison term of four to eight years. The penalty will be imposed in its upper half of the falsified effects affect a generality of persons or when the falsifications are committed within the framework of a criminal organization dedicated to these activities.

When, in accordance with the provisions of article 31 bis, a legal person is responsible for the above crimes, a penalty of a fine of two to five years shall be imposed.

Following the rules established in article 66 bis, judges and courts may also impose the penalties contained in letters b) to g) of paragraph 7 of article 33.

  1. The possession of counterfeit credit or debit cards or travel checks destined for distribution or traffic shall be punished with the penalty indicated for forgery.
  2. The one who, without having intervened in the forgery, will use, to the detriment of another and knowing the falsehood, counterfeit credit or debit cards or travel checks, will be punished with a prison sentence of two to five years.

General provisions for previous crimes

The crime of possession of devices intended to commit these crimes is punishable by art. 400 of the CP. The manufacture, reception, obtaining or possession of tools, materials, instruments, substances, data and computer programs, devices, security elements, or any other means specifically intended for the commission of the crimes described in the sections above, will be punishable by the penalty indicated above in each case.

Our criminal lawyers can help you with any criminal defense in Barcelona, Catalonia, or other areas of Spain.

Should you need further information, or legal advice, please do not hesitate to contact our lawyers. You can contact us by using the contact form below, by emailing info@pineradelolmo.com, or by telephoning +34 93 514 39 97.Disclaimer: This information in this article is not definitive, for up to date legal advice which is relevant to your case please contact our lawyers.