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I have been served a court summons to appear as a witness in

Hi, I have been served...
Hi, I have been served a court summons to appear as a witness in tenerife for a phone theft which happened 4 years ago. It is very short notice and I cannot not afford to travel. I have been threatened in letter that I could be fined between 200 and 5000 Euros. This seems very unfair due to the circumstances of me living in the UK. I did not even know my phone was stolen back then, I thought it was simply lost not pickpocketted from me which the Police informed me of. I don't see how my travelling all that way could make a huge difference. I have emailed the address off the summons stating I could not possibly afford to go but no reply. Could you please advise what the coconsequences would be should I not go. I am concerned I would be banned from Spain when I next travel next year or even arrested.
JA: Since laws vary from place to place, what state is this in? And when did this happen?
Customer: Santa Cruz, Tenerife. Canary islands
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: No, only a statement I filled out 4 years ago
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No
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Answered in 1 day by:
11/1/2017
EULawyer
EULawyer, Lawyer
Category: European Law
Satisfied Customers: 270
Experience: Titular Attorney (Avocat) at Ioan-Luca Vlad Law Office
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Dear Customer,

Thank you for your question. I am very sorry about your experience with the Spanish court system.

I must, unfortunately, inform you that you need to attend if summoned as a witness. A witness in criminal proceedings must always attend in person. Regarding the costs, the system works through compensation. In other words, once you are there, based on receipts, the court may approve the payment of your costs, consisting of:

- transportation;

- hotel;

- lost revenue (based on receipts from your employer stating how much you make in a day).

However, it would be useful to inquire in advance exactly how to submit these papers, since you only have one chance, namely at the hearing itself. The best place to inquire is***@******.*** , which should also be free and have the relevant forms, which are not available online.

If you do not do anything or do not appear at all, you will not be prosecuted, since it is not a crime. However, two things can happen:

1) either Spain will issue a European Witness Mandate, whereby the British Police will take you in and organize the hearing from Britain, or, at their discretion, send you under supervision to Spain for the hearing. You will not have a record, and costs will be paid by them, but it can be an unpleasant experience, because the way of processing these cases is similar to arrests; or

2) the Spanish authorities decide that a Warrant is too much, and retain you at the border the next time you come to Spain, for questioning (again, with no record).

In addition to this, a fine can be applied by the Spanish authorities, in the amounts you mentioned, and that can be enforced against you in Britain via a bailiff, by taking possession of goods / garnishment of salary etc.

Therefore, you should consider taking the following steps:

1. Writing your situation to***@******.*** , which is a specialized NGO in Spain dealing, inclusively, with such cases; and

2. Approaching the British Police with the Spanish summons, to see whether a hearing could be organized from Britain. Normally, this should be possible via videoconference, and a positive, proactive attitude from you, could well avoid the need for a trip to Spain.

E-mail communication directly with the Spanish authorities may, as you have seen, have no effect, since e-mail is usually not recognized as an official means of communication with European authorities.

I hope my answer was useful and look forward to your rating, which is essential to my activity.

Cordially,

Dr I L Vlad

EULawyer
EULawyer, Lawyer
Category: European Law
Satisfied Customers: 270
Experience: Titular Attorney (Avocat) at Ioan-Luca Vlad Law Office
Verified
EULawyer and 87 other European Law Specialists are ready to help you
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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
HiThank you for your response.I emailed the email address you provided and my next step was to visit my local police station in the UK.
Luckily enough I have recieved an email reply back from the courts informing me due to the short notice of my summons I will not be required to go. Should the case not be concluded next week in my absence I may be required at a later date but possibly by a video link.Thanks again

Dear Customer,

Thank you very much for your reply and your rating!

Best regards,

Dr I L Vlad

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EULawyer
EULawyer, Lawyer
Category: European Law
Satisfied Customers: 270
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Experience: Titular Attorney (Avocat) at Ioan-Luca Vlad Law Office

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The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

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