Manipulation is a concept used in criminal law that qualifies a crime and consists of the instigation of one person to another to commit a crime.

The figure of manipulation in criminal law is usually understood as an inducer or instigator and has a criminal reproach, as is the case with the material perpetrator of the crime. However, its penalty varies in the criminal codes of different countries.

The person who resorts to manipulation so that another commits the crime does not become a material perpetrator despite having been the person who wanted to commit the criminal act.

Characteristics of manipulation in law

The main characteristics of this legal figure are:

  • He is the moral author of the crime or intellectual author.
  • This action has criminal punishment, depending on the country, the penalty may be the same as that of the material perpetrator or it may be punished with a lower penalty than the material perpetrator of the crime.
  • It is an incitement to carry out a crime of a psychological and coercive nature.
  • It is a form of participation in crime.
  • It is not the same form of participation, manipulation or induction to crime as complicity. The accomplice is not the material perpetrator of the crime, although he helps the material perpetrator of the same. The difference with induction is that in a crime with an accessory, the perpetrator commits the criminal act without having been manipulated, he only needed the help of another person.

Handling requirements

For this manipulation to have a criminal reproach and to be punished, it must meet some requirements:

  • The induction must be direct and have a direct causal relationship in the commission of the crime.
  • For the manipulation to be punished it must be effective and get the perpetrator to start committing the crime.
  • The instigation must be aimed at the commission of a specific crime.
  • It must be decisive. That is, without this instigation, the perpetrator would not have committed the crime.
  • The instigation must have been malicious. That is, the author of the manipulation wants to do it and achieve a result. Manipulation is always malicious.

Crime of fraud

Not only is manipulation understood as an external figure to get another person to commit the crime, but manipulation or deception is part of the subjective element of the crime of fraud.

In this crime, manipulation is a necessary element for this criminal act to exist. Without this manipulation, understood as deception, this crime cannot exist.

What is manipulation in the crime of fraud? It consists of cheating, that is, a lack of veracity on the part of the perpetrator of the crime that finally causes the taxpayer to make an error and to carry out an act that damages his or her assets or that of a third party.

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