Reparation for Damages in Criminal Matters: How Can Individuals and Companies Recover from Crime-Related Losses?

Reparation for Damages in Criminal Matters: How Can Individuals and Companies Recover from Crime-Related Losses?

The reparation for damages suffered by individuals and companies as a result of a crime is an essential aspect of the legal process. This right to compensation is recognized by Article 20 of the Political Constitution of the United Mexican States, which emphasizes the Mexican justice system’s objective to ensure the repair of damages caused by crimes.

The Criminal Code for the State of Nuevo Leon upholds this constitutional right and outlines various methods to repair damages suffered by victims, whether they are individuals or legal entities. According to Article 143 of the code, the reparation of damages can include:

a) Restitution of unlawfully obtained items: The aim is to restore the victim to their pre-crime situation by returning any items obtained through the criminal act.

b) Payment for irreparable losses: In cases where restitution is not possible, monetary compensation is provided to cover the value of the unrecoverable items.

c) Comprehensive medical-psychological treatment: If the victim’s physical or psychological health has been harmed, the cost of necessary medical and psychological treatment is covered.

d) Compensation for material and/or moral damages: In situations where the victim has suffered material or moral harm, appropriate compensation is provided.

e) Compensation for crime-related losses: The victim is entitled to compensation for damages directly caused by the commission of the crime.

To understand the different types of damages, it is important to examine moral and material damages:

Moral damages involve compensating for harm caused to the victim’s personality rights. This harm affects a person’s feelings, affections, beliefs, decorum, honor, reputation, private life, physical appearance, and the way others perceive them.

Material damages, on the other hand, address the economic consequences suffered by the victim. They relate to direct financial losses resulting from the crime, which affect the victim’s overall financial situation.

According to the Royal Academy of the Spanish Language, indemnity refers to compensating for damage or harm, typically through economic compensation. This concept aligns well with the goals of the criminal justice system, which strives to repair the damages caused by crimes. To achieve this, the system establishes various methods for damage reparation.

In addition, there will be behaviors that not only cause material, moral, physical or psychological damage, but also have as a direct consequence the so-called “losses” for which the victim is entitled to compensation. Losses are nothing more than the expenses that the victim no longer receives as a result of the damage (physical, psychological, moral or material). It is important to note that in order to claim compensation, the losses must be a direct consequence of the crime.

Moreover, any individual affected by a crime has the right to full reparation for the harm suffered. This right is enshrined in the General Victims Law, which, in its article 1, last paragraph, specifies that comprehensive reparation includes restitution, rehabilitation, compensation, satisfaction, and even measures to ensure non-repetition.

Furthermore, the law grants victims the right to receive compensation for various elements, including:

  1. Loss of opportunities, particularly in education and social benefits.
  2. Legal costs and expenses.
  3. Expenses incurred for transportation, lodging, communication, or food while attending trial proceedings.

In conclusion, any individual or legal entity victimized by a crime has the right to compensation proportionate to the harm suffered. Unfortunately, many parties involved are unaware of the available alternatives or the steps to pursue damages reparation.

If you have questions or need more information on this subject, our legal professionals Jorge Antonio Perez and Lorena Medina Avila are available to address your inquiries through the following contact details