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What is the Crime of Damages According to the Penal Code?


The crime of damages, regulated in articles 263 to 267 of the Penal Code, occurs when an individual causes destruction or harm to someone else's property, whether movable or immovable. This offense is punishable by a fine of six to twenty-four months, taking into account the economic condition of the victim and the amount of damage.


Protected Legal Interest and Types of Damages

The protected legal interest is property, whether public or private, with the condition that the damaged item has an economically assessable value. It's important to note that moral damages are excluded from this crime, and the damage can be intentional or reckless.


Crime of Intentional Damages

When the damage is done with intent, it is considered a crime of intentional damages. This implies that the perpetrator acts maliciously with the conscious intention to cause harm, whether by action or omission, fulfilling a legal or contractual obligation to intervene.


Aggravated Subtypes and Specific Types

Article 263.2 establishes higher penalties for intentional damages in specific situations, such as those done to impede the free exercise of authority or affecting public domain assets. Aggravating factors include the use of poisonous substances, damages causing economic ruin, among others.


Aggravation for Damages to National Defense and by Fires or Explosions

Articles 265 and 266 contemplate aggravating factors for damages against the National Defense and when damages occur through fires or explosions. If fire, explosions, or other dangerous instruments are used, the penalty increases.


Computer Damages and Reckless Crime of Damages

Articles 264 and following address computer damages, while the reckless crime of damages refers to those caused by carelessness or negligence without malicious intent. The penalty depends on the gravity of recklessness and the value of damages, with the forgiveness of the offended party necessary to extinguish the penalty.


Misdemeanor of Damages

With the elimination of minor offenses in 2015, Article 625 is sanctioned as a misdemeanor when the damage does not exceed 400 euros, imposing a fine of one to three months.


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