Criminal law, crimes

He defendant is a person who is subject to criminal proceedings and it has not yet been determined whether he is guilty or not. This person is being investigated because he has allegedly committed a crime. 

The fact that a person is charged does not mean that he is guilty of a crime, but rather that during a criminal process he is attributed with the commission of a criminal act. But it has not yet been proven whether the person committed the crime.

What does accused mean?

The accused person is one who is being investigated in a judicial process because he or she is accused of a crime. But he is not guilty of a crime yet and there is a chance that he is not.

The figure of defendant created it jurisprudence to protect the right of defense of a person accused of committing a crime. This is because an individual subjected to an investigation found out about his situation suddenly, when he was called to testify or when he was found accused.

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This is in accordance with the provisions of article 118 of the Criminal Procedure Law. But this changed and in Spanish criminal legislation the word accused is no longer used because it has been changed by the word investigated or prosecuted. 

This change in terminology was introduced in Organic Law 13/2015, dated October 5. Which modified the Criminal Procedure Law with the purpose of strengthening procedural guarantees, protecting the rights and freedoms of any person who was immersed in a legal procedure.

The justification for the terminological change according to the law is to avoid the negative stigmatizing connotations of the word defendant. This leads to adapting the language to the reality of what happens in the different phases of the criminal process.

When is a person charged?

The person is charged when a Prosecutor suspects that he or she has committed a crime, which triggers an investigation process. Which will allow us to determine if the person is really guilty.

It is important to be clear that the imputedor, investigated or prosecuted is a person subjected to a judicial process. But not the person guilty of a criminal act and will have any of these qualifiers until the judge issues a sentence, which will be where it is known whether he is guilty or not and will be punished or acquitted.

Characteristics of the accused

He defendant is a person who, after a preliminary investigation, is suspected of having committed a crime, but there is no evidence to confirm it. This person can only be classified as an accused by the judicial authority.

The police authority may use the accused adjective, but it will not be considered as such until the judicial authority rules. The person who has been classified as an accused by the judicial authority has recognized rights. Among them are not to confess guilt, not to testify and to be assisted by a lawyer.

He defendant You have the right, even if you are not guilty, to a provisional measure, if determined by the judicial authority. The measure may be preventive detention for the duration of the investigation, which will determine whether or not he is guilty.

He defendant You may have participated in or been the author of the crime you are accused of, but being accused is not the same. It is neither the same as prosecuted nor the same as convicted.

The person becomes accused through a complaint either complaint, there is no requirement that there be a formal accusation against you.

What are the rights of the accused?

The Law establishes that every person who intervenes in a legal procedure has a series of rights that must be respected. The person under investigation is the main suspect of having committed a crime, so it is very important to protect their procedural guarantees and guarantee respect for their rights.

The rights of the accused or accused are established in the article 118 of the Criminal Procedure Law. These are the following: 

He defendant has the right to freely appoint a criminal lawyer, to be informed of the facts with which he is accused. Likewise, you must be informed about any changes that arise during the investigation. 

The information provided to the defendant It must be as detailed as possible so that the right to defense can be effectively exercised.