crimes, Criminal law

He forfeiture It is an action carried out by state security forces to seize merchandise. This merchandise is used for illicit purposes or for illegal trafficking and helps investigate the crime committed. 

This action is carried out with the aim of facilitating criminal investigation and safeguarding the legal good protected. It also aims to prevent the continued commission of criminal activity.

What is confiscation?

Confiscation is an action that consists of confiscating the means through which the crime was committed. These may be products and substances obtained and marketed illegally.

The confiscation regulation It is found in articles 127, 128 and others of the Penal Code Spanish, belonging to the Title related to accessory consequences. There are also some articles in the Criminal Procedure Law (LECRIM), which refers to confiscation.

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Confiscation can function as an accessory consequence of a conviction or autonomously, it can be used as a precautionary measure. 

The purpose of the precautionary measure is to prevent the crime from continuing to be committed or from continuing to cause effects.

Types of confiscation

The different types of seizures They are regulated by the Spanish legal system in accordance with its objectives, extension and depending on its effects. The main types of confiscation are the following:

Direct confiscation

Direct confiscation is the one that applies to intentional crimes, which is classified in article 127.1 of the Penal Code. It consists of the judicial authority must seize the means, instruments, assets and indirect and direct profits.

This action is also carried out in accordance with article 127.2 of the Penal Code for the case of reckless crimes. To whom deprivation of liberty for a period of more than one year has been imposed as punishment. 

In these cases, the judicial authority is not obliged to proceed with the confiscation; it is at its discretion.

Expanded confiscation

He article 127 of the Penal Code allows the confiscation of assets and effects whose origin cannot be proven. But it is necessary to meet some conditions, including: 

That the individual has been convicted of having committed any of the crimes established in article 127 bis.

The crime must have been committed continuously and there must be indications that part of the convict's assets comes from continued criminal activity. 

This type of forfeiture It will only be applied when there is suspicion that the benefit obtained is greater than 6,000 euros.

Equivalent or substitution confiscation 

Article 127.3 of the Penal Code allows for a substitution in the assets confiscate, in cases where they are insufficient or unattainable. This means that in cases where the authority cannot find the assets to seize or they have been destroyed, it may order the confiscation of other assets. 

These substitute assets must have the value corresponding to assets that should be seized. This form of confiscation works as if it were a embargo.

Third party confiscation

Article 127 of the Penal Code allows forfeiture of profits transferred to third parties, of effects and assets. But only in the following situations:

When it is known or suspected that the effects and profits come from criminal activities.

In cases where you suspect or know that the transfer of the effects and profits makes seizure difficult.

He forfeiture of third parties allows confiscation by substitution to be carried out. This means that if a third party receives effects, goods and profits that come from illegal activities and then disposes of or hides them. The judicial authority can take other assets until the value of the first assets is obtained.

Consequences of confiscation

The main consequence that the forfeiture It is the deprivation of ownership over the objects that must be confiscated. Confiscation is a criminal sentence or measure that applies to items that have been used to commit the crime or have been obtained through the crime.

The only way to avoid a seizure is to prove the legality of the goods or elements to be seized. The assets, instruments, means and profits seized by the authorities will be taken to a warehouse until the judge decides what will be done with them.

The decision may be a provisional use, award to the State or establish their price to pay compensation to the victims.