The etymology of appearing leads us to the Latin word comparescĕre, in turn derived from comparēre. This verb is often used to name the action that an individual performs when he appears before another subject or specifically before an authority.
For example: “The drug trafficker was transferred to the United States so that he can appear in court”, “The accused refused to appear before the judge”, “The legislators called the Minister of Economy to appear”.
The notion of appearing is common in the field of law. Appearing, in this case, involves a personal presentation or through a power of attorney before a public body. A court or a judge has the power to summon people in the framework of certain judicial processes.
Suppose a judge investigates a corruption complaint involving various government officials. In order to advance in the clarification of the facts, the judge summons the suspects to appear. The defendants, in this way, have the possibility to offer their version, while the judge can question them about the events in question.
It is also called appearing the act of giving explanations before the one who requests them. The president of a club, to cite one case, can call three members who caused damage to the institution’s facilities during an event. The president, as an authority, wants to know exactly what happened and who was responsible for the damage in order to apply the corresponding punishments.
Crimes of obstruction of justice
Any illegal criminal act that violates a judicial process is considered an obstruction of justice, preventing the State from administering justice correctly. Whoever commits this crime may have personal interests or for the benefit of a third party.
In Spain, these crimes were already in the Penal Code of 1928, although with a very reduced content compared to the current one; Four years later, more criminal offenses were added and in 1995 it took the form it has today. In this context we can speak of the crime of default, which is considered passive, since the subject hinders the operation of Justice by breaching an obligation (in this case, to appear for a summons).
The crime of default has as its first consequence the suspension or delay of a procedure. For it to occur, the cited person must breach their commitment without providing the authorities with just cause. The punishment consists of imprisonment for a period ranging from three to six months; If you have received a notice but come back and commit the crime, then a fine is added.
If the cited individual is a lawyer, representative of the Public Prosecutor’s Office or attorney, and he is in full exercise of his function or in professional performance, then the sentence is imposed in his upper half (that is, with the sentence of six months in prison) plus the special disqualification for public office or employment, trade or profession, with a duration that can range from two to four years.
If the judicial proceeding is suspended because a member of the court or the judge himself refuse to appear without just cause, the consequences for the professional are similar to those received by lawyers plus the fine of six months to two years. We cannot deny the importance of compliance by the authorities in a process of this nature, where the future of a person can be decided or even their right to continue with life, and that is why the punishment is so severe.