Criminal Defense Lawyers Specializing in Coercion

Coercion Crime

Coercion Lawyers

¿What is coercion?

The crime of coercion punishes those who, resorting to violence and without being legitimately authorized, prevent another from doing something not prohibited by law or force him to perform an action he does not want, regardless of whether it is just or unjust.

It is regulated in Article 172 of the Penal Code, chapter III, Title VI, Crimes against Freedom.

The protected legal right is the freedom of the individual to act according to his will. The active subject acts with malice, knowing that he is violating the victim’s rights and using violence to influence the victim and thus achieve his purpose.

The consummation of this crime occurs when the active subject reaches the end he is pursuing and, therefore, the passive subject does not do what he wants or acts against his will.

The following is an in-depth analysis of the characteristics of this crime.

Recent Success Cases


Result: Acquittal

Court: Criminal Court
Accusation: Private prosecution
Requested sentence: 2 years imprisonment for coercion crime.


Result: Acquittal

Court: Criminal Court
Accusation: Private prosecution
Requested sentence: 1-year imprisonment for the crime of coercion.

Índice de Contenidos


Trust your case to the best team of Criminal Lawyers in Barcelona.


  • Basic Type
  • Aggravated Type


  • Coercion in gender violence
  • Coercion in domestic violence



1.1. Basic Type

The basic type of this crime includes two conducts, preventing the passive subject from carrying out actions not prohibited by law and forcing the victim to do something against his will.

In the first type, the active subject uses violence against the victim to prevent the victim from carrying out an action that he/she voluntarily wants to carry out, provided that it is not punishable by law. To be considered a crime, the accused cannot be legitimately authorized to restrict the victim’s freedom.

In the second conduct, the ultimate objective of the accused is to force the passive subject to perform acts or actions contrary to his intentions. For this purpose, force is used, influencing the victim’s decisions to do what he or she wants to do.

In both cases, the defendant uses violence to achieve his purpose. The intensity of the violence exercised on the victim must be such that it can condition the attitude of the passive subject, restricting his freedom. Likewise, the concept of violence encompasses three modalities:

  • Physical violence: This is physical harm caused to the victim.
  • Intimidation: It is the announcement of a severe and immediate evil.
  • Violence or force in things occurs when the accused causes material damage to the victim, altering the normal development of the victim.

This crime will be punished with a prison sentence of six months to three years or a fine of 12 to 24 months, depending on the seriousness of the coercion or the means used.

1.2. Aggravated Type

In addition to the typical conduct, this crime presents an aggravated type with higher penalties. This conduct occurs when the coercion of the active subject aims to prevent the exercise of a fundamental right of the victim or to prevent the legitimate enjoyment of the dwelling. In this case, the penalties will be imposed in its upper half.


2.1. Coercion in cases of gender violence

Coercion lawyer

The crime of coercion in gender violence takes place when the active subject coerces a person who is or has been his wife and is or has been linked to her by an analogous relationship of affection, regardless of whether there is cohabitation or not.

This crime is typified in article 172.2 of the penal code. It is punished with a penalty of six months to one year of imprisonment or community service of thirty-one to eighty days, as well as the deprivation of the right to possess and carry weapons from one year and one day to three years.

In addition, if the Judge or Court deems it appropriate, the accused may be disqualified from exercising parental authority or guardianship of the minor or a disabled person needing special protection for five years.

Typical conducts of the crime of coercion in gender violence.

Among the most typical examples of this crime are the following:

  • Changing the lock of the family home so that the victim cannot access it and has to leave the property.
  • Cutting off supplies such as water and electricity to force the victim to leave the home.
  • Telephone calls, whatsapps, and sms were made continuously, insistently, and/or repeatedly to the victim by the accused intending to contact her.
  • Taking away the victim’s cell phone to leave her incommunicado, seeing her messages or content, or as a control measure.

2.2. Coercion in Domestic Violence

The crime of coercion can also occur within the domestic environment or the home, in which case it is called coercion in domestic violence.

It occurs when coercion is exercised on a particularly vulnerable person who lives with the active subject and carries the same penalties as coercion in gender violence.

2.3. Aggravating circumstances

Suppose the conduct is carried out in the presence of minors, in the common home or in the victim’s home, or in breach of a penalty or a precautionary measure prohibiting approach and/or communication. In that case, it shall be considered an aggravating circumstance punishable by the above penalty in its upper half.

2.4. Extenuating circumstances

The penal type also includes attenuation since it leaves room to consider the details of the situation and the convicted person, and the judge may impose a lower penalty in degree.

Esteban Criminal Lawyers

Having the best criminal lawyers in Barcelona can be decisive in successfully resolving your case. Contact us. As specialized criminal lawyers, we will find the best legal strategy to protect your rights and interests. Get Spain’s best defense team on your side.


If coercion is not very intense, it will be considered a misdemeanor. This section is controversial since it is not easy to determine the intensity of the criminal act.

The jurisprudence is based on the intensity and entity of the violence exercised, the seriousness of the impeded or forced action, and the accused’s attitude.

Mild coercion is a crime typified in article 172.3 of the penal code, punishable by a fine of one to three months, but it is not a crime prosecuted ex officio. Hence, a complaint from the victim or his legal representative is necessary to be prosecuted.

Penalties for the crime of coercion

Our Coercion Lawyers have extensive experience as specialists in the field.

The penalty for the basic type of this crime is six months to three years of imprisonment or a fine of six to twenty-four months, depending on each case.

In the case of the aggravated type, the penalties are imposed in the upper half.

The crimes of coercion in the family environment can be aggravated, imposing the penalties in its upper half, if any of the following circumstances are present:

  • When weapons are used for the consummation of the crime.
  • When the crime is committed in the presence of minors.
  • When the crime occurs in the common domicile or in the victim’s home.
  • When one of the penalties outlined in Article 48 or a precautionary measure is violated to carry out the crime.

As for the mitigating factors, the Judge or Court may resort to a rule of mitigation of the penalty of an optional nature, provided that it is justified in the sentence, reducing the penalties imposed by one degree.


Harassment is one of the modalities of the crime of coercion. It occurs when the coercion consists of harassment or stalking of the victim, that is to say, an annoying and repetitive persecution that alters the normal development of the victim’s life. Some of the conducts included in the crime of harassment are:

  • Surveillance, persecution, or physical search of the victim.
  • Establishing, or attempting to establish, contact with the victim through the media or third parties.
  • Improperly using the victim’s personal data to contract services or purchase products and having third parties contact the victim.
  • Attempting against the freedom or assets of the passive subject or against that of a close person.

If any of these situations occur, a penalty of three months to two years imprisonment or a fine of six to twenty-four months will be imposed. If the victim is a particularly vulnerable, it carries a prison sentence of six months to two years.

If you have been charged with coercion and other criminal offenses, you could face a range of penalties from jail time to fines. A competent, knowledgeable, and skilled criminal defense attorney is essential to successfully resolving your case.

Contact the best criminal lawyers in Barcelona if you require professional advice in coercion crimes.