The crime of misappropriation is a relatively common crime but is often not reported as a criminal offense.
The most common crime related to misappropriation
There are different types of misappropriation depending on what is taken possession or ownership of. However, we all know what the most common type of misappropriation is in Spain in general and in Barcelona in particular.
Every week clients come to our law firm explaining to us that they have delivered an amount in deposit and reserve and that the person who received that deposit has kept the money and has not provided the service. For example, it frequently happens that someone makes a reservation to rent an apartment or buy a home or a vehicle, and finally the seller does not deliver what was agreed but keeps the deposit money. This also frequently happens with apartment deposits, which are returned to us at the end of the rental.
This type of cases must be studied well because for it to be considered fraud or misappropriation it is not enough for the person to keep the deposit. To know if it is a crime, you have to study several legal issues: the profit motive; that the cause of non-return is due to the will of the person who retains it and not due to force majeure; If the person who does not return the money had planned from the beginning not to return it…
In some cases, non-return is not a crime, but that does not mean that you should not be returned what is yours. In those cases, reimbursement may be claimed in civil court, rather than criminal court.
Who hasn’t lent something to a friend and then that friend didn’t want to return it?
If this has happened to you, you have been the victim of a crime of misappropriation.
Besides, it is not just misappropriation to keep someone else’s money. It would also be misappropriation to keep assets or other property too.
Elements of the crime
The fundamental elements of this crime are three.
The first, that the money or property is given by the victim voluntarily.
The second is that the victim delivers it but only temporarily, with the offender being obliged to return it.
The third, that the criminal refuses to return it.
The penalties of the crime
The penalty depends on the seriousness of the crime. For example, if the theft involves artistic works, the crime is more serious.
For the basic type, the sentences range from 6 months in prison to 3 years.
For the most serious cases, the sentences range from 1 year in prison to 6 years.
The difference between theft, theft and misappropriation
Many people confuse these three crimes.
Theft is a more serious crime because violence, intimidation or force is usually used to obtain the property.
Otherwise, theft is of similar severity but in this crime the offender takes something from someone without their consent.
Furthermore, the difference is that in misappropriation, the victim initially delivers the property voluntarily. The problem is that the criminal does not return the property when he should return it.
If you have other questions, our lawyers can help you.
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