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Crimes against Integrity

Wolfenson Lawyers represents its clients before crimes that violate physical integrity and the right to life.

Our legal firm has professionals specialized in criminal law to provide adequate and rigorous legal advice for the defense of their rights in criminal proceedings, both in relation to the defense of the accused before the Public Ministry (Prosecutor's Office) as well as with respect to defense of the victim acting as a plaintiff. With the attention and care required to provide a defense according to some of the most serious crimes in our Chilean legislation, such as the crime of injury and homicide.

Wolfenson focuses on a rigorous legal defense against crimes associated with the integrity of people.

Here is a brief legal guide to provide you with guidance on crimes against integrity:

What are violent crimes in Chile?

Violent crimes encompass a large number of unlawful conducts established in the Penal Code , are those in which the life, physical or mental integrity of a human being, personal liberty or individual security, and property are mainly affected, among which stand out the crimes of parricide, simple and qualified homicide, infanticide, kidnapping, child abduction, injuries, and abortion, as the different types of robberies , including qualified robberies, robberies with violence or intimidation, robberies in inhabited places and robberies in place uninhabited . Likewise, in this legal specialty , the quasi- crimes committed by health professionals such as doctors, nurses and others must be added.

Due to the seriousness of said conduct, the penalties associated with said large catalog of crimes can even include qualified life imprisonment .

What crimes against integrity exist in Chile?

Among others, the following are recognized as crimes against integrity :

  • Crimes that attempt against life: femicide, homicide, parricide, abortion, infanticide, quasi-crimes committed by health professionals;

  • Crimes that threaten bodily integrity: mutilations, injuries as such;

  • Crimes that attempt against sexual compensation: rape, proper and improper, rape with homicide, rape, sexual abuse, promotion of prostitution, exposure of the minor to acts of sexual significance, production of child pornographic material, among others.

What is homicide?
The crime of homicide consists in killing another person. Releasing the accused from criminal liability in the event of any type of exculpant , such as, for example, the case of having acted in self-defense .

What is Qualified Homicide?
Our legislation indicates that a murder is qualified as one who commits acts at the least some of the following reasons:

  • With known premeditation , that is, with prior planning of the crime

  • With treachery (insurance, treason, without the victim being able to defend himself)

  • By reward or promise of remuneration (applies to the person who pays or promises for the murder and who receives the payment or promise of remuneration)

  • Through the poison.

  • With cruelty (deliberately and inhumanly increasing the pain to the victim ).

Qualified homicide? What penalty is assigned?
For qualified homicide, the sentence is imprisonment in its maximum degree up to life imprisonment (that is, from 15 years and one day to life imprisonment). If the person receives the sentence of life imprisonment, he or she may seek parole only and only once he was twenty years in prison.


What is simple homicide?
It is that homicide in which it has been committed without any of the causes listed above (premeditation, treachery, cruelty, poison, reward or promise of remuneration).


What is the penalty for simple homicide?
Simple homicide receives a sentence consisting of a medium-term major prison sentence (that is, a penalty that begins in ten years and one day and ends in fifteen years in prison). Therefore, it is essential to obtain legal advice from lawyers specialized in this type of crime.


What happens if a person kills one of their relatives?
In the event of having killed a family member, the penalty is greater. The Chilean Penal Code establishes that, who, knowing the relationships that bind them, kills his father, mother or son, any other of his ancestors or descendants (grandparents, grandchildren, great-grandparents, great-grandchildren, generally) or who is or has If you were your spouse or your partner, you will be punished, as a parricide , whose penalty will be a maximum prison sentence in its maximum degree to a qualified perpetual prison sentence. In the event that someone is sentenced to qualified life imprisonment, they may only apply for parole after completing forty years in prison.


What is meant by Femicide?
The type of parricide is known as femicide in cases in which the victim is or has been the spouse or partner of the perpetrator. Femicide is therefore, in simple words, that homicide that falls on the current or past spouse or cohabitant, of the female sex , of the victimizer.


What is meant by Infanticide?
Our criminal law establishes that infanticide consists of that action, where the father, mother or other ancestors kill a baby within forty-eight hours after delivery . This crime will have a penalty consisting of a major prison in its minimum to medium degrees (5 years and one day at fifteen years).

How is the crime of injury classified?

The crime of injury is enshrined in articles 395 to 403 bis of the Penal Code and is classified as follows:

Mutilations (articles 396 and 395) which are subdivided into:

  • Mutilation of an important member (article 396, paragraph 1)

  • Mutilation of a less important member (article 396 clause 2)

  • Castration (article 395)

Injuries as such (Articles 397 to 403 and 494 nº 5). They are subclassified into:

  • Less serious injuries (Article 399)

  • Minor injuries (Lack regulated in article 494 nº 5)

Forwarding of letters and explosive parcels

  • Serious injuries , which are subdivided into:

  • Very serious bass (article 397 nº 1)

  • Simply serious (article 397 nº 2)

What are the least serious injuries?

Less serious injuries is the main figure of the crime of injuries , enshrined in article 399 of the Penal Code which establishes that "injuries not included in the preceding articles are considered less serious, and will be punished with minor relegation or imprisonment in their minimum grades or with a fine of eleven to twenty monthly tax units ”.

In order for the crime of injury to be classified as a less serious injury, it must cause an illness or incapacity for work that cannot exceed 30 days .

What are serious injuries?

This type of injury falls within the classification of injuries themselves. Its provenance requirements are:

  • With the average prison sentence lesser, if the injuries caused the offended illness or incapacity for work for more than thirty days.

Therefore, to be in the presence of said crime, the actions of injuring, hitting or mistreating the work must be carried out to know whether or not we are in the presence of the crime of serious injuries. It is understood by:

  • Injure: Breaking or opening meat or a bone in the body.

  • Hitting: Aiming at a material object to meet the victim's body suddenly and violently.

  • Mistreating another: Any activity aimed at physically damaging the injured or making him suffer causing physical or psychological pain.

  • That the injury cannot be considered as a mutilation of those described in articles 395 and 396;

  • That damage or impairment is caused to both the health and physical integrity of another person;

  • That these damages are carried out through the actions of hurting, hitting or mistreating the work.

These injuries are found in article 397 of the Penal Code , which establishes "He who hurts, hits or mistreats another, will be punished as responsible for serious injuries":

  • With the penalty of imprisonment greater in its minimum degree , if the offended insane, useless for work, impotent, handicapped by an important member or notably deformed remains the result of the injuries.

What are the most serious injuries?

The most serious injuries are contemplated in article 397 nº 1 , which reasons the following: “Whoever injures, hits or mistreats another, will be punished as responsible for serious injuries :

  • With the penalty of imprisonment greater in its minimum degree , if as a result of the injuries the demented offender remains, useless for work, impotent, prevented from any important member or notably deformed. ”


What are simply serious injuries ?

It is regulated in article 397 nº 2 of the Penal Code , which states the following:

"He who wounds, hits or mistreats another, will be punished as responsible for serious injuries: With a minor prison sentence in his average degree, if the injuries cause the offended illness or inability to work for more than thirty days."

Consequently, the one who hurts, hits or mistreats another is punished , and as a result of the injuries caused, the victim is left with an illness or inability to work for more than thirty days.

Therefore, two requirements are required, which must concur together so that the injuries can be classified as simply serious , namely:

  • That the injuries caused illness or incapacity for work and,

  • That it be prolonged for a minimum period.

Illness must be understood as "the process of altering bodily or mental health, a process of malfunction of our body, its organs or the psyche", and incapacity "the impossibility of doing something", which in this case is working.


What are minor injuries?

Minor injuries are regulated in article 494 nº 5 of the Penal Code , which sanctions with a penalty of one to four monthly tax units, “Anyone who causes minor injuries, understood as such those that, in the court's opinion, are not found included in art. 399, taking into account the quality of the persons and circumstances of the event ”.

In this way, it would be an injury that in principle should be classified as less serious, but that the court, considering the quality of the people and circumstances of the event, qualifies as minor. In this case, it is the judge who will decide if it is a less serious or minor injury . However, the judge has a limitation established by law, since in no case can the court classify as minor the injuries committed against the people mentioned in art. 5 of the Law on Domestic Violence (article 494 nº 5 second part).

Finally, it is important to bear in mind that article 196 E of Traffic Law 18,290 states that for an injury to be considered as minor, it must not cause illness or disability for the victim for a period of more than 7 days.

What is the Emilia Law and drunk driving?

The L ey Emilia is a Chilean law that came into effect during 2014 , which establishes an addition in at least 1 year for driving under the influence of alcohol or while intoxicated , in case of causing serious, very serious injuries or death . It is for this reason that it is closely linked to the crime of injury dealt with on this page.


What are the aggravating factors that the Emilia Law came to consecrate?

The Emilia law established the effective prison sentence of at least 1 year for drivers of drunk vehicles that cause extremely serious serious injuries or the death of a person. It also establishes as a crime the flight of the driver from the place of the accident . Finally, it establishes as an aggravating circumstance not to give the possible help to the victim , not to collaborate with the investigation and not to report to the authority of the fact. It is essential to contact our team of specialist attorneys at Wolfenson Abogados as soon as possible, in order to plan the appropriate legal strategy and defense in the event of an accident.

What are kidney injuries and where is it regulated?

Injuries in fights or fights are regulated in articles 402 and 403 of the Penal Code respectively. The law sanctions injuries caused in a fight when it is not possible to determine in a certain way which participant caused which injuries. For example, when an undetermined group of people start a fight in a club , at the end of the riot it is not possible to determine for sure who caused the particular injuries.


What are the penalties for the crime of injury in Chile?

The penalties assigned to each of the types of injuries are as follows:

Serious injuries: A distinction must be made between:

Very serious serious injuries: Minor prison in its minimum degree (5 years and one day to 10 years)

Simply Serious Injuries: Medium-term minor prison sentence (541 days to 3 years)

Less serious injuries: Penalty of relegation or minor imprisonment in its minimum degrees (61 days to 540 days) or fine of 11 to 20 monthly tax units.

Minor injuries: It is sanctioned with a fine of 1 to 4 monthly tax units.


Is it possible to request financial compensation when you are the victim of an injury crime?

The victim of an injury crime can request compensation for damages in these cases, as stated by law, more precisely the Chilean Civil Code , which states in its article 2314 that “He who has committed a crime or quasi-crime that he has inferred harm to another, is liable for compensation; without prejudice to the penalty imposed by the laws for the crime or quasi-crime. ”

Therefore, fulfilling these requirements, the victim has the full right to demand compensation for damages caused to her person.

However, it is important to accredit and prove, either in a criminal or civil court , the damage caused since only in those cases will the courts agree to sentence the perpetrator of the crime to compensate the victim . For this, it is essential to have highly experienced criminal lawyers , Wolfenson Lawyers provides a comprehensive legal service to request such compensation.


Qualified injuries?

Articles 400 and 401 have the particularity of aggravating the crime of injury since they assign a higher penalty if said crime is committed in those circumstances.

Article 400 has already been analyzed by pointing out the special circumstances of aggravation in the crimes of mutilation and of very serious, serious and less serious injuries (point 3.2).

Finally, article 401 aggravates the penalty, but only with respect to the crime of less serious injuries committed against the persons named there. This article indicates that "The less serious injuries inflicted on guardians, priests, teachers or persons constituted in dignity or public authority, will always be punished with minor imprisonment or relegation in their minimum to medium degrees."

That is, the crime of less serious injuries executed against these people is punished with the penalty of 61 days to 3 years and one day (on the other hand, if it were against any other individual, the penalty would be from 61 days to 540 days).


Domestic violence (VIF) and the crime of injury?

Intra-family violence is regulated in Law nº 20.066 on intra - family violence of 2005. This law regulates intra-family violence and the crime of habitual abuse, among others.

It can be said that intra-family violence does constitute an offense of injuries , moreover, the aforementioned law even adds aggravating circumstances in the event that the perpetrator of the offense of injuries commits it against one of the persons indicated in article 5 of said law (for example, against the spouse) and also adds a limitation to article 494 nº 5, since it establishes that “in no case may the court classify as minor the injuries committed against the persons mentioned in article 5 of the Law on Domestic Violence ”.

Wolfenson Abogados provides rigorous legal advice in the event of having been victimized or charged with Domestic Violence.


What are wrongful or near-injury injuries?

Wrongful crimes or quasi- crimes are those crimes that are committed without intent (without the intention of producing such evil). These are called quasi- crimes , which are acts that, if intent, would be more serious crimes , but since they are only committed with guilt, negligence or carelessness , it is treated in a more benign way by criminal law , which means a penalty lower, since there is no intention of causing an evil in the one who commits it.

In the crime of injuries, both the basic figure of injuries and the aggravated ones admit their guilty commission, provided that the general requirements of the latter are met, namely, the capacity and the duty to anticipate and avoid such results.

For example, a person driving at the speed established by accident runs over another person causing injuries. In this case, there is no intent, and complying with all the requirements established by law when driving, it would be punished as a quasi-crime of injuries. It is important to have the legal advice of a criminal lawyer from our law firm .

What are quarrels in Chile?

Fights, on the other hand, are crimes in which both aggressors and victims participate in a confrontation between three or more people who attack each other, where confusion reigns and it is not possible to determine exactly who and what kinds of blows he gives or receives . The Chilean Penal Code distinguishes two main categories of fights: i) Dangerous fights , which, in turn, are subdivided in turn into a) homicide caused in a fight , b) serious injuries caused by a fight , and c) less serious injuries caused in quarrel; and ii) Failure to quarrel in public . The difference between dangerous quarreling and failing to quarrel in public is that the latter is about punishing certain minor faults to order and public safety, that is, any fight or dispute in fact between two or more people who disturb the tranquility. If weapons are exhibited or used, the offense can be turned into a crime , considering its greater gravity. It is vital for a successful result to seek the advice of an expert criminal lawyer , such as those assigned by our law firm .

Wolfenson Abogados provides comprehensive advice on procedures involving crimes of injury or attempts on the integrity and life of its clients.

Links of interest on Crimes against Integrity and Violent Crimes :

1.- Penal Code

2.- Criminal Procedure Code

3.- Chilean Prosecutor's Office - Violent Crimes

Wolfenson Lawyers. Chile Law Firm.

If you need more information and legal advice regarding crimes against integrity, we invite you to contact our lawyers in Santiago. We are located at Avenida El Golf 40, 12 Floor, in the commune of Las Condes, Santiago de Chile.

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