A 29-year-old woman in Valencia is to be sent to prison after failing to pay a fine of 1,440 euros after using someone else’s ID card to buy mobile phones, which she then sold.
The events in question occurred in 2009, when Sara González found a wallet in the car park of a shopping centre, and, according to the explanation given by Juan Gargallo, her current lawyer, used the ID card inside to purchase phones. Sr Gargallo adds that Sra González was suffering from anorexia and bulimia at the time.
She was found guilty of the misuse the ID card in September 2012, and given a suspended sentence of 21 months in prison as well as a fine of 720 euros and an order to pay compensation to both phone companies and individuals. This she did, but at the same time an additional sentence of six months for fraud was exchanged for a fine of 1,440 euros. Her lawyer at the time advised her that she didn’t have to pay it because she was insolvent.
As a result, last year Sara, who now has two daughters, the younger of whom is only two months old, received notification that she was required to enter prison to begin serving her sentence within five days, an order against which Sr Gargallo immediately appealed on her behalf.
Now, over five years after her crime, with her life seemingly back on the rails and two young children to take care of, it seems that the misleading advice given to her by her previous lawyer could result in Sara González going to prison.
Following the initial misunderstanding Sara González was warned in June 2013 that the 1,440-euro fine was still outstanding and that, if unpaid, it could result in her going to prison. Four months later she paid 2,177 euros, but the payment was rejected as being too late.
Needless to say, the case has caused a good deal of comment in the Spanish media, and Sra González’s mother has launched a petition to demand that she be pardoned. At the same time, Sara has stated that she will be initiating legal proceedings against the lawyer who represented her in the past.
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