HOW TO CANCEL CRIMINAL RECORDS IN SPAIN?
If you committed a crime in Spain and you need to erase your criminal records, this is the blog you need to read.
CANCELLATION OF CRIMINAL RECORDS IN SPAIN
Everyone convicted by a final judgement, who have extinguished their criminal responsibilities, have the right to obtain the cancellation of their criminal records (background check) from the Spanish Ministry of Justice.
WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT TO CANCEL YOUR CRIMINAL RECORDS?
It is important to highlight that Criminal records in Spain can affect record in the UK or any other country. It can also affect immigration processes and Visas for other countries. It may affect job applications.
Therefore, cancelling your criminal record will allow you to successfully complete all the procedures in which this document is required:
- To apply for residency or citizenship
- To apply for a work
- To be a civil servant
- To travel to third countries (there are countries which require criminal records certificate to let you in)
- To move from an irregular status to legal residency.
- In the case of committing another crime, they could be an aggravating factor.
Once Criminal Records have been cancelled and cleaned, they will no longer affect you in terms of employment, immigration issues, or in any other area of your life.
WHICH ARE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR CANCELLING CRIMINAL RECORDS IN SPAIN?
There are three requirements to be fulfilled in order to clear your records:
- FIRST: pay the civil liability or the amount imposed in the conviction.
- SECOND: you must serve the sentence imposed, and during that period you cannot commit any new crime.
- THIRD: wait for a specific period of time (explained below).
HOW LONG SHOULD I WAIT UNTIL I CAN ASK FOR CRIMINAL CANCELLATION?
The cancellation of criminal records is recorded at Article 136 of the Spanish Criminal Code.
After you have served your sentence, you must wait a specific period of time before you can submit your request for final expungement.
This depends on the type of conviction:
- For minor offenses, you must wait 6 months after completion.
- For crimes for which the sentence is less than 12 months (for example less than 1 year of driving license withdrawal), 2 years.
- For the rest of the less serious crimes (whose penalty is between 1 and 3 years), 3 years of waiting time.
- For less serious penalties of between 3 and 5 years, 5 years.
- And, finally, for serious sentences (such as sentences of 5 or more years of imprisonment), a total of 10 years of waiting time after serving the sentence.
In case of security measures (i.e.: fines, social works, etc), criminal records can be cancelled once the security measure has been completed or prescribed.
It is important to say that the time limits are counted from the day after the sentence is served (i.e.: if you have to pay a fine, the period starts counting the day after the payment).
HOW CAN WE CANCEL SPANISH CRIMINAL RECORD?
Cancellation of criminal records can be done on line, in person or by post.
- Cancel a Criminal Record online:
It is necessary to enter the Electronic Headquarters of the Ministry of Justice and submit the Application Form of the Criminal Record Cancelation and the rest of requested documentation.
NOTE: If you are not in Spain, you will not be able to cancel your Criminal Records on line.
- Cancel a Criminal Record in person:
Cancellation of Criminal record in person only can be done is you are living in Spain.
It will be necessary to submit the Application Form of the Criminal Record Cancelation together with the rest of requested documentation into Central Office of Attention to the Citizen in Madrid, orany of the Territorial Management of the Ministry of Justice.
- Cancel a Criminal Record by mail:
The application along with the certified copy of the required documentation can also be sent by certified mail to the following address:
Registro Central de Penados (Cancelaciones)
C/ San Bernardo nº 21, planta baja,
28015 – MADRID
The process can be tough, so our recommendation is to contact a Solicitor who will deal with the whole process on your behalf.
WHICH DOCUMENTS ARE REQUIRED IN ORDER TO CANCEL CRIMINAL RECORDS?
In order to apply for Criminal Record cancellation, it is essential to submit:
. Compulsory copy of your passport / NIE.
. Power of Attorney (if you are not in Spain and a solicitor will deal with the cancellation).
. Copy of the Judgement which set the penalty/ies.
. Certification/document from the Court which confirms that the sentence has been completed. It is necessary to ask the Court for the certification that testifies that the penalties have been settled and that the period of time has been served.
This last requirement would be difficult to obtain if you are no longer in Spain.
Our solicitors can deal with this requirement in your behalf.
HOW LONG IT WILL TAKE TO CANCEL SPANISH CRIMINAL RECORD?
Once the application to cancel a criminal record has been completed, filling in the corresponding sections and attaching the required documentation, the maximum resolution period is three months.
If this period elapses and no response is obtained, the intended cancelation can be understood as estimated.
However, this period shall be suspended when it is necessary to seek from the judicial body the date of extinction of criminal responsibility (art. 22.1 of Law 39/2015, of October 1, of the Common Administrative Procedure of Public Administrations).
The notification of the resolution will be made at the address registered for such purposes.
CANCELLATION OF CRIMINAL RECORDS IN SPAIN
The cancellation of criminal records is complex. Our recommendation is to seek for legal advice from a competent lawyer experienced in cancellations of criminal records in Spain.
Our criminal lawyers specialising in cancelling criminal records can help you.
Do not hesitate to contact REUTERS SOLICITORS.