auto de formal prisión

Discussion in 'Legal Terminology' started by pwatts1978, Jul 26, 2006.

  1. pwatts1978 New Member

    Lousville, Kentucky
    Spanish, Dominican Republic
    I heard in the Spanish news this phrase "auto de formal prision". I thought that the equivalent in English is "indictment". What do you think? Any suggestions?
  2. terepere Senior Member

    Spanish, Spain
    No creo que sean términos equivalentes. Por lo menos jurídicamente.
    Indictment es condena, la resolución judicial por la que se declara culpable a alquien. Si ha sido condenado a una pena de cárcel, entonces se emite el auto de prisión, es una resolución en la que se informa al culpable de que tiene que ingresar en prisión, dónde y cuándo. Porque el culpable no siempre está en la cárcel durante su procesamiento.

    El indictment es una resolución judicial final, el auto es siempre una resolución judicial de trámite. Espero que te aclare algo.

    No estoy segura de que exista un equivalente al auto de prisión en derecho de common law. Imagino que sí, ¿alguien sabe?
  3. lauranazario

    lauranazario Moderatrix

    Puerto Rico
    Puerto Rico/Español & English
    Transfiero este hilo al foro de Terminología Legal.
    LN - Mod.
  4. Txiri

    Txiri Senior Member

    USA English
    Indictment NO es condena, ni tampoco una resolución judicial final. Es el paso que da lugar a la existencia de cargos formales en contra de un imputado.

    As far as "auto de formal prisión", a person in custody may be in custody at different stages in the case, and depending on the stage, the terminology may vary. "Formal prisión" sounds like it has to do with the Department of Corrections, (and everything which THAT implies), but I really can´t be sure, lacking further details.
  5. terepere Senior Member

    Spanish, Spain
    La sentencia de condena sería conviction, judgment of conviction. Isn´t it?? That´s how I got confused. So sorry!!!!!!!

    El auto formal de prisión es la decisión del juez por la que el procesado debe ingresar en prisión en cualquier momento del proceso. NO necesariamente al final del proceso y tras la condena.

    Pido disculpas por mi equivocación anterior. Espero que no confunda. a nadie. Lo sieeeenntoooo!!!
  6. pwatts1978 New Member

    Lousville, Kentucky
    Spanish, Dominican Republic
    Hi, this is the first time I do this. I can't believe you guys responded so fast. Thank You so much.

    I am a full time certified court interpreter from Kentucky. I have not heard that term "auto de formal prision" in the court system of kentucky yet. I heard this term in a columbian news report. I guess that I have to keep mind when research words is the source of the information and what does it mean to them.

    thank you for all your help.
  7. jm1970 Senior Member

    Spanish Spain
    En un diccionario especializado he encontrado "committal order" como traducción de auto de ingreso en prisión, no sé si servirá.

    Y una pequeña corrección: es auto formal de prisión, no auto de formal prisión.
  8. zaavik Member

    English USA
    An auto de formal prision refers to a judicial order entered at the time the case is bound over for trial after a determination of probable cause, in which the status changes from "detencion" to "prision." Remember that "prision" does not always match with "prison" in English, and here it refers to status and length rather than where or under whose management.
  9. dauda98 Senior Member

    United States
    An "auto de formal prision" is an order for the commitment of the defendant, a court order directing a defendant in a criminal action to be held in custody pending trial. Though I've never heard "committal order" used before, it doesn't mean that another jurisdiction may use such a term. I have heard on the other had, commitment order. Here in florida, it is used in civil matters where a person is committed to a mental institution (Baker act). I think a close equivalent term (but not exact) used here in Florida is "a writ of capias". Hope that helps.
  10. zaavik Member

    English USA
    Let's remember that this is not a translation of an American, Common Law term, but a civil code, Spanish-language phrase used in Mexico and possibly other Latin-American countries.
  11. vicman101 Member

    USA Spanish
    Any suggestions for the following: "se le dicto auto de formal prision en la penal estatal por un plazo de 72 meses"

    Basado en lo antedicho que recomiendan para la traduccion al Ingles...

  12. zaavik Member

    English USA
    I would say "an order was entered binding the case over for trial with the defendant to be held in custody for 72 months..."
  13. mundomaga

    mundomaga Senior Member

    Argentina - Spanish

    I have translated this exact same term in a Mexican document, and I've used
    Formal Imprisonment Determination / Proceedings / Writ. I did not made these terms up; they are used in several official documents. You can use the most suitable one (determination, proceedings, writ, etc), depending on the context.

    Hope it helps!
  14. salarmenmx Senior Member

    Mexico City
    Spanish, Mexico
  15. logoferens Senior Member

    Mexico, Spanish
    De tres fuentes diversas que traducen la Constitución de México, Artículo 19, tercer párrafo ('...Todo proceso se seguirá forzosamente por el delito o delitos señalados en el auto de formal prisión...'):
    auto de formal prisión:
    formal order of commitment (OAS, Organization of American States),
    formal writ of imprisonment,
    formal decree of imprisonment.
    Last edited: May 27, 2008
  16. stretch

    stretch Senior Member

    Wow, I believe this must be incredibly incorrect. If you are going to a state penal facility for 72 months, it is a prison sentence, not being held pending trial. Can you imagine 6 years in state prison waiting for you trial? I'm sure that not all countries have "speedy trial" laws such as the USA, but I think this is a little overboard.
  17. stretch

    stretch Senior Member

    Actually, it IS "auto de formal prisión". "Formal prisión" es un término legal que se utiliza para algo específico, aunque se oye raro al tratar de entenderlo coloquialmente.
  18. zaavik Member

    English USA
    The presumption that "auto de formal prisión" refers to entering a correctional facility is wrong. The stage of the proceedings is at the point of a probable cause finding and bindover of the case. In addition the presumption that all systems adhere to the same time limits regarding the holding of a criminal defendant is a naive one. The constitution and rules read that way, the interpreter or translator must simply deal with it.
  19. stretch

    stretch Senior Member

    I agree that in tough interpreting/translating situations, sometimes you just have to deal with something difficult. I never made the assumption "that all systems adhere to the same time limits regarding the holding of a criminal defendant", and in fact, I said as much in my previous post. However, I have 2 problems with this text (perhaps as much with the original as with the translation you offered):

    First, I have to admit, that 6 years in a correctional facility/prison/detention center, just to await trial, seems to be beyond reasonable, even though there may or may not be time restaints in any given country's justice system. However, as you noted, this might just be a translation difficulty that the translator just has to "deal with."

    But second, it seems inconsistent with the idea of "not assuming time limits" at this stage in the process, to actually place a time limit, albeit a rather extensive one, on the period of detention. Typically, it seems that a judge simply decrees the "auto de formal prisión" pending trial, without saying "for a period of 72 months." These two difficulties would simply make me inquire of the client or double-check the original for errors before simply translating this anomaly as-is.

    Finally, I would disagree wholeheartedly with this. Mostly. :) To "presume" that in every case an "auto de formal prisión" refers to sending someone to a "correctional facility" would certainly be incorrect; but in some cases that is precisely what happens. Just as it is naive to assume that other countries have time limits, it is also naive to assume that all Spanish-speaking countries have proper detention centers in which to house those awating trial, other than a correctional facility. Sometimes they are sent to a state penal facility. In fact, in your translation, you completely omitted "la penal estatal" which appears in the original. Certainly, in some cases it could be considered redundant, but in this one it seems important enough to warrant being translated. In fact, "penal" refers, according to the DRAE, to a "Lugar en que los penados cumplen condenas superiores a las del arresto". That should be translated, even though we here in the USA don't send defendants to a state correctional facility to await trial(at least not that I'm aware of!). So, an "auto de formal prisión" can send a person to a correctional facility, even if it is just to await trial.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2009
  20. aztec70 Member

    LA CA
    I use:
    Auto de formal prision = order for incarceration. (aunque suena muy literal, pero es valida..)

    Indictment= Orden de procesamiento ( A partir de aqui , el imputado se convierte en procesado).
  21. robjh22 Senior Member

    U.S.A. & English

    If so, it should be "order of detention." But I have to share the opinion of Stretch et al who say that this is a judgment ordering a term of imprisonment. 72 months is not only too long, it is too specific to be considered a temporary detention pending trial.

    Interesting debate.
  22. jfanfalone New Member

    In legal terms an "Auto" is a legal determination that is used during a judicial process. This word is not only used in criminal cases, it is used in other judicial processes. When a judicial process has a process within, an auto is used to make the determination. You might find the following: Auto de formal prision, auto interlocutorio, auto de sujecion a proceso, etc.
    Last edited: May 17, 2010
  23. Iuris Tantum

    Iuris Tantum Banned

    Mexican Spanish
    Auto de formal prisión:
    formal order for commitment in writing, which must set forth the crime the defendant is charged with, the place, time and circumstances of the crime; as well as the evidence furnished by the preliminary criminal inquiry, which must be sufficient to establish that a crime has been committed and the probable liability of the suspect.
  24. jfanfalone New Member

    Quoting the consitution. Nice!!
  25. Iuris Tantum

    Iuris Tantum Banned

    Mexican Spanish
    y? Eso es lo que debe entenderse por auto de formal prisión. O tienes otra sugerencia mejor que no se emanada del texto constitucional?

  26. jfanfalone New Member

    No, creo que es correcto lo que escribiste. Que mejor manera de explicarlo.
  27. LEGALBEAGLE New Member

    El auto de formal prisión se da al pasar las 72 horas que tiene el juez para determinar la situación jurídica del indiciado y en la que se establece que hay elementos suficientes para presumir la probable responsabilidad de este; es el inicio del procedimiento penal, y no como comentaron que es la sentencia, la sentencia viene mucho después, pasando la etapa de instrucción y conclusiones. En caso contrario, cuando se determina que no hay elementos convictivos que presuman la comisión del delito el juez dicta un auto absolutorio y se deja libre al indiciado.
  28. Iuris Tantum

    Iuris Tantum Banned

    Mexican Spanish
    No siempre. Existe el supuesto mal llamado "duplicidad del término" (correctamente debería ser "duplicidad del plazo"). En este caso, el Juez efectivamente cuenta hasta con 144 horas para determinar la situación jurídica del inculpado.

    No es tampoco adecuado llamar "auto absolutorio". La denominación correcta es "auto de libertad por falta de elementos para procesar". En este caso, ni siquiera se procesa o enjuicida al presunto responsable. En el que tu mencionas, se arriba a esa conclusión de inocencia o absolución luego de un proceso.
  29. zaavik Member

    English USA
    Lo cual es el equivalente de "failure to find probable cause to bind the case over for trial" en muchos fueros norteamericanos....
  30. lfhdez

    lfhdez Member

    Los Angeles, CA
    Spanish (Mexico) / English (CA)
    I like it. :thumbsup:
  31. Don Joaquin Escriche Banned

    New York
    English (US), Spanish (Arg)
    First, I tip my hat to zaavik for the solid information offered within this thread. Second, I thank LEGALBEAGLE for correcting the record (72 hours, not months). Third, "auto de formal prisión" refers to the custody of the defendant while the trial is pending. Lastly, the term order to remand (or remand order) is a natural equivalent used in the U.S. and it serves as a functional equivalent for the term in question.
  32. jfdmspaz Member

    Spanish-Mex & English-US
    lo que tengo entendido es que "auto de formal prisión" se traduce como "order for pre-trial detention."
    Last edited: May 6, 2011
  33. Friendly Bob Banned

    En mi opinión, debe decirse formal order of commitment in writing
  34. Frank_Esp New Member

    Es Mexicano & English
    Creo yo que "orden de formal prisión" el equivalente en ingles es "order for pre-trial detention."
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2012
  35. robjh22 Senior Member

    U.S.A. & English
    Yes, and it's very confusing to Americans because we think of "prison" as a punishment imposed after trial. I realize "prisión" and prison aren't the same thing.
  36. cirrus

    cirrus Senior Member

    UK English
    I wonder whether in a UK context we would call this a refusal to grant bail. Bail is what happens before your case is heard, where the court decides you aren't to be detained either because they don't think you are a threat to the public or are unlikely to run off. You may have to raise a deposit which isn't returned if you don't turn up- for example as in the ongoing case of Julian Assange.
  37. robjh22 Senior Member

    U.S.A. & English
    Interesting notion, but the "auto de prisión" results when the court (this is in Mexico at least) finds there is sufficient evidence to believe you probably committed the crime (finding of "probable cause" in the USA). It isn't concerned at that point with flight risk and danger.

    What happens next, and sometimes immediately, is a parallel but legally distinct proceeding in which the judge releases you (or, as you say, refuses to release you) on bail (caución) after a separate inquiry concerning your danger to the community and risk of flight. That's the procedure in Mexico anyway.
  38. stretch

    stretch Senior Member

    OJO: Just a precaution, "probable cause" isn't equivalent to believing someone "probably committed the crime". Just a thought.
  39. robjh22 Senior Member

    U.S.A. & English
    Hmmm. This may be a semantical difference, but U.S. judges in state and federal court find "probable cause" at preliminary hearings every day. After such, the defendant is ordered detained but is eligible to seek release on bond. It sounds very close to an auto de prisión.

    The best-known definition of probable cause is "a reasonable belief that a person has committed a crime".[2] Another common definition is "a reasonable amount of suspicion, supported by circumstances sufficiently strong to justify a prudent and cautious person's belief that certain facts are probably true."

    What am I missing.
  40. stretch

    stretch Senior Member

    Maybe it is just semantical, but all the definitions I see are indicating vague ideas such as "a person has committed a crime" and that "certain facts are probably true." These things don't imply the guilt of the person detained, but merely substantiate their status as a suspect. Our system here in the USA is based on the presumption of innocence, not the probability of guilt. So while probable cause does indicate the commission of a crime, it doesn't necessarily point to the defendant and say, "you are probably guilty of this." Where's the presumption of innocence there? In the end, the idea of probable cause, which comes from the fourth ammendment, exists to protect the rights of the individual, and not the prosecution's case. That is what I think you were missing.
  41. robjh22 Senior Member

    U.S.A. & English
    Thanks, Stretch. This is from the federal rules:

    (e) Hearing and Finding. At the preliminary hearing, the defendant may cross-examine adverse witnesses and may introduce evidence but may not object to evidence on the ground that it was unlawfully acquired. If the magistrate judge finds probable cause to believe an offense has been committed and the defendant committed it, the magistrate judge must promptly require the defendant to appear for further proceedings.

    The jury at the trial (this is where the presumption of innocence enters, not at the preliminary exam) isn't told that the judge previously made this finding of probable cause, so I see no particular tension or contradiction there.

    And as you know, at the actual trial, the prosecutor starts fresh and must prove his case b.r.d. before the jury can declare defendant guilty, the defendant enjoying the presumption of innocence to which you refer.

    Here is a more direct answer:

    A judicial finding of probable cause at a detention hearing no more damages the presumption of innocence than does the indictment itself or a similar finding at a preliminary hearing.
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2012
  42. stretch

    stretch Senior Member

    Thanks rob, this is great information, and totally clears up our misunderstanding. :)

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