Public administration has the power to impose fines and penalties on citizens when any of these violates the law. These can never be imprisonment but are limited to fines or imposition of a duty in order to compensate the damage repressor caused or purpose, and may order provisional measures to ensure the effectiveness of compensation.

Administrative penal law is based on a series of unalterable principles:

  • Principle of legality and nonretroactivity: Sanctions should be formalized for violations of laws and can not be punished for behaviors that are not classified as criminal. Why they are not retroactive, meaning that a future law can not sanction an event happened before.
  • Principle typicalityThe administration can not act arbitrarily but that legislation should make clear what and how to punish.
  • Principle limitation: Depending on the severity after three or two years, or six months, not facts cease to be punished punishment.
  • Principle of guilt: Fraud must mediate the attitude of the offender.
  • Presumption of innocence: The defendant is not guilty until proven otherwise.
  • Principle of proportionality: The punishment must be commensurate to the fact that has motivated him.
  • Principle of double jeopardy: The same events can not be punished in different ways. An offense can follow the administrative or criminal, where the criminal takes precedence, but never both.

It is important to evaluate these principles and that may be important at the time that a specialist lawyer prepare the necessary resources to submit to the authority responsible for administering justice.

What is the process to be followed in an administrative fine?

The data subject shall have the right to defend providing evidence that it considers necessary in defense of his actions, and after that the competent body (which must be different from the pretrial stage) will offer the findings of the dossier. Broadly speaking, those are the two main phases (instructor and impose penalties) but previously a competent body should determine whether the causes are reason enough to open a disciplinary procedure and identify the offender, who must be informed before the proceedings.

What consequences does a fine or penalty?

In most cases entail payment of money in fines, and also the deprivation of any rights. It should be clear that both individuals and legal entities may be penalized because there are many faults for which to be punished: traffic-related, urban planning, noise entertainment, fraud system of Social Security are just a few of a long list.

Traffic Fines and Penalties

As for traffic fines and penalties as a result of the use of motor vehicles and motorcycles, there is a wide range of possible punishments according to the acts committed. Among the most common are speeding, whose severity depends on the amount of the penalty and loss of points from driving, alcohol and other drugs and driving, reckless attitude that endangers the safety of others, driving without belts or helmet posts, or use a vehicle without the appropriate license for this.

Citizens are guaranteed certain rights to these administrative fines, and if these principles are violated the sanction may be void. It is therefore important to have a specialist lawyer in administrative issues that can identify when public bodies do not fulfill their obligation correctly and be able to challenge the decision that they made.

Following the points system introduced in 2006, there will be fines warranting the loss of a number of points, as well as the consequent economic penalty. Remember that administratively less serious offenses are dealt with as there are behaviors behind the wheel that can be considered a crime and go through criminal proceedings, if for example the speed or rate of alcohol consumed is exceeded as established by the Penal Code .

The maximum points that can be is 15, while a novice driver starts with 8. For every three years without offenses involving deduction of points can be added two to achieve maximum.

If you have removed the card to lose all points, after six months you can make a course in security awareness and, combined with a theoretical test lets you recover up to 8 points. Similarly, this course allows you to recover up to four points if you have not exhausted your credit.

Fines and tax penalties

Fines and tax penalties are referring to the obligations of natural and legal respect to taxes imposed by the State or bodies of the dependent people. The General Tax Law sets out the behaviors that can be considered as offenses and establishes a classification with three levels: mild, serious and very serious. The punishments may be imposed administratively in no case will involve deprivation of liberty but will be mainly economic sanctions or disenfranchisement.

It is important to know that you can erring per share, but also default. In fact hide information to the tax authorities is punished (eg forget certain data declarations assessment of taxes, either intentionally or negligently), as well as possible irregularities not add relevant data in filing taxes as income tax, corporation tax, the quarterly VAT return for self-employed, or any other tax mandatory.

That is why to settle accounts with the state is always advisable to have the support of a specialist lawyer in tax matters, as for example fines for minor infringements (which do not exceed 3,000 euros) carry with them a penalty 50 percent of the tax not paid, even to 150 percent very serious. Also in the case of repeat offenders subject that percentage will increase in all kinds of sanctions.

However if the person detected before proceedings are opened against him has been an error in his statement can make a replacement (in time) or complementary (off) to avoid the sanction statement, although the supplementary itself has a surcharge you have to pay.

Although the subject in administrative proceedings may be punished with imprisonment if they will may be denied important rights. Including the possibility of asking for subsidies or the right to apply tax benefits begged character, or lose the option to apply for contracts with public authorities that imposed the sanction. The duration of these prohibitions and scope will again depend on the seriousness of the facts that prompted the fine.

The disciplinary proceedings will be opened within a maximum period of three months from the resolution processwhich derives infringement, and in any case will have to notify the person concerned of the facts that incriminate him in order to present appropriate arguments before issuing the conclusions of the file.

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