How to start a criminal procedure?


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The first thing that must exist initiate criminal proceedings are the facts, which must be typified as a crime in the Penal Code. When the facts do not conform to the assumptions of the Penal Code they cannot be investigated in criminal proceedings.

This procedure is the way that courts and judges have to know the existence of crimes. The first norm that governs the criminal procedure is the Criminal Procedure Law and some other laws that can act as supplementary or complementary.

How to start a criminal procedure?
How to start a criminal procedure?

What to do to start a criminal procedure?

The methods used to initiate criminal proceedings are the complaint and the complaint:


The methods used to initiate legal proceedings They are the complaint and the lawsuit, when they are filed, the facts are investigated. The most common way is to file a complaint with the State Security Forces and Corps.

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The complaint and its different legal mechanisms are regulated in articles 259 to 269 of the Criminal Procedure Law. These are found within Title I of Book II. 

To file a complaint, the affected party must appear in person at a police station, carry out a statement and sign. The complaint can be made online or verbally, but the signature must be done in person. This will be done by the affected person or in the case of a minor, the parents or legal guardians.

Filing a complaint does not require the assistance of a lawyer nor attorney. 

When the judge receives the crowded raised by the State Security Forces and Bodies evaluates the existence or not of a crime. In the event that it determines that there is a crime, it issues an order to initiate preliminary proceedings. When the judge considers that the facts do not constitute a crime, he agrees to dismiss them.

Once the complaint has been filed, it may also happen that despite the fact that the facts constitute a crime, its provisional dismissal is agreed and it is archived. This occurs because the perpetrator of the crime is unknown or because no reasonable evidence of criminality was found in the investigation carried out.

Where to file the complaint to initiate criminal proceedings?

The presentation of the complaint It can be done before the investigating magistrate or justice of the peace, the corresponding court or before the Public Prosecutor. But the most used way to report is by going to a police station.

The person who is the victim of a crime or has witnessed the commission of a crime should only notify the competent authorities. The presentation of the complaint does not imply that the facts must be proven or formalize a complaint. 

The complaint can be filed written or oral, once formalized and the fact constitutes a crime, it is investigated. This investigation should be initiated by the official or judge who received the complaint.


Complaints are another mechanism that can be used to initiate criminal proceedings. It is regulated in articles 270 to 281 of the Criminal Procedure Law. 

The difference between the complaint and the complaint is that the person states their decision to participate in the process. This means that the person participates as accusing party in the development of criminal proceedings.

 The complaint serves the same as the denunciation to inform important criminal facts, but the procedure is different. Through it, the plaintiff asks the judge for the steps he deems necessary for the initiate investigation of the facts. 

The complaint is filed with the judge of instruction competent authority, the intervention of a solicitor and a lawyer is necessary. 

How to file the complaint?

The first thing is to file the complaint, which is done directly before a court and not before the State Security Forces and Corps. It is necessary that it be signed by a lawyer and a solicitor is also required to represent the complainant.

Complaints must be filed by a person who has a direct interest in the purpose of the Penal procedure. When the complaints are filed by individuals, they are called private complaints, those requested by the Public Prosecutor are public complaints whose purpose is to preserve the general interest.

This method for initiate criminal proceedings It's a bit tricky because the initial writing You must comply with a series of formalities. Among them, a special power of attorney must be provided.

The presentation of the complaint is made in writing and must contain the following information:

Identification of the court or judge before whom the complaint is filed.

The complainant's identification data.

The data that identifies the defendant and all the information that can be provided about it.

The relation of the facts, in addition, the place and the moment in which the crime was committed, in case of knowing it, must be indicated.

The procedures that are considered necessary to verify the facts.

The request that admit the complaint, that the indicated procedures be carried out, that the suspect be arrested. You can also indicate all the measures that are considered appropriate and can help in the procedure.

The signature of the complainant, legal representative or attorney, who must have a power apud act.

ex officio complaint

This is the least used method to request the initiation of criminal proceedings. It is regulated in article 264 of the Criminal Procedure Law and can be used by any citizen who knows of the commission of a crime that he considers prosecutable ex officio. 

police report 

This is another way to initiate criminal proceedings, is regulated in articles 292 and successive of the Criminal Procedure Law. Through the certificate, the judicial police carries out a series of practices that aim to investigate and verify whether a crime has actually been committed. 

This investigation allows us to know and identify the possible culprits, the judicial police present a document that lists the procedures carried out. Where the facts found, the notes, reports and statements are clearly and accurately expressed.

The document is signed by those who wrote it and by the people present, the witnesses and experts who have participated in the errands. Statements made by judicial police officers as a result of the investigations carried out are considered as complaints for tax purposes.

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