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Lawyer's Intervention in Minor Offense Trials: Is it Mandatory?


In Spain, there is a common perception that legal representation by a lawyer is necessary in all trials. However, this is not always the case, especially when it comes to minor offense trials. Here, we explain everything you need to know about the involvement of lawyers in these cases.


Legal Representation is Not Mandatory for Minor Offenses

First and foremost, it is important to note that legal representation by a lawyer is not mandatory in minor offense trials, nor is it required for appeals against sentences in these cases. This means that the parties involved, whether it's the complainant or the accused, can appear on their own and exercise their rights in the process.


Recommendation for Legal Advice

Although the law does not mandate the presence of a lawyer, in most cases, it is strongly recommended that the parties seek legal advice and representation. This is because individuals who are not familiar with the legal system may be unaware of the trial process and its workings, potentially jeopardizing their interests. Having a legal professional by your side provides greater security and protection of the rights of the accused or complainant.


When Lawyer's Involvement is Mandatory

It's important to keep in mind that, according to the Criminal Procedure Law, the involvement of a lawyer becomes mandatory in minor offense trials only if the minor offense is punishable by a fine with a maximum limit of at least six months. In such cases, the general rules of defense and representation will apply.


A Practical Example

For instance, if an individual is caught "in flagrante delicto" stealing an item valued at less than 400 euros and admits their guilt, a minor offense trial for theft will take place. While it may seem unnecessary to involve a lawyer, this legal professional can assist in obtaining a lower fine or arguing mitigating circumstances.



In summary, while the involvement of a lawyer is not mandatory in minor offense trials, seeking legal advice can be a wise decision to protect your interests and ensure a fairer process. If you have any further questions or need modifications, please don't hesitate to ask.

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