This article is written in conjunction with the IEU Law Society.
By Martina Al Rifai Hajjo
As many of us IE students would agree, we love going out. We all want to have a little fun, but we must ensure we don’t take it too far.
Drinking underage? Getting into fights? Vandalising streets or doing illegal drugs? Although we very rarely see the repercussions of this, there is still a chance that you might go to court and potentially face jail time or deportation if you get caught doing any of this.
The real question here is – will you get deported from Spain for committing such crimes, or worse? Will you have to cut your IE university days short by behaving recklessly?
Fines vs. Deportation
As a foreigner, if you were to get caught in an “irregular situation” you would normally only have to pay fines of up to 500 or 600 euros. Here are a few situations which would result in your expulsion from Spain:
- If you’re arrested after committing any kind of crime and you have a criminal record
- If you lie about your nationality
- If you have no proof of address or no documentation
Moreover, deportation normally regards more serious crimes, such as drugs, assault, or murder. If you happen to be convicted of a crime, you can be “deported from Spain after serving [your] sentence.” As set out in the Spanish Criminal Code of 2016, here are a few cases of Article 89 that state why or how you can be deported:
- “Prison sentences exceeding one year handed down to an alien shall be substituted by his deportation from Spanish territory.”
- “Deportation of a citizen of the European Union shall only be carried out when said individual represents a serious threat to public order or public security.”
- “When a prison sentence exceeding five years has been imposed, [the person will serve the portion decided by the judge] the serving of the rest of the sentence shall be substituted by the deportation of the convict from Spanish territory.”
As we all know, Segovians are strict about noisiness. Noise pollution and exceeding noise levels is a punishable offense in Spain, as it was set out in the Spanish constitution that “Disturbing the peace of someone else’s home is considered to be a violation of the right to personal and family privacy.”
It is thus important to understand what exactly are the noise laws/regulations, and what repercussions could arise. Notably, fines range from hundreds to thousands of euros. For example, in the case of Marbella, the fines are below 150 euros if you are around 3 dB under the limit, to 151 to 450 euros for around 3 dB over, and 451 – 1500 euros for around 6 dB over.
Furthermore, Segovian’s perception of IE students could aggravate these situations and lead to such fines. As stated by Juan Marcos, a neighbor of IE Students, on El Norte de Castilla on September 7th, “Sí, son los de la IE ¿Estamos contra ellos? Sí, porque generan problemas” (“Yes, they are IE. Are we against them? Yes, because they create problems”).
So by blasting your music too loud one night, or by hosting friends over at your apartment, you could very well be found guilty of noise pollution and may have to move out of the apartment for up to 3 years and pay compensation fines! To put it into context, the World Health Organization states that the recommended threshold for unacceptable noise is 65dB, yet a normal conversation is 60 dB. The more you know, the better. We all like to have fun, but make sure you maintain your responsibilities as a student at IE and consider lowering the volume past 11 PM on weekdays and 1 AM on weekends. All in all, avoid committing crimes and behaving noisily… you wouldn’t want us LLB students to study you in class, would you?