Criminal Law Book 1 Articles 21 – 30

Criminal Law Book 1 Articles 21 – 30

Art. 21. Penalties that may be imposed. — No felony shall be punishable by any penalty not prescribed by law prior to its commission.

  • Guarantees that no act of a citizen will be considered criminal unless the State has made it so by law and provided a penalty
  • Except:  When the penalty is favorable to the criminal.

 

Art. 22. Retroactive effect of penal laws. — Penal Laws shall have a retroactive effect insofar as they favor the persons guilty of a felony, who is not a habitual criminal, as this term is defined in Rule 5 of Article 62 of this Code, although at the time of the publication of such laws a final sentence has been pronounced and the convict is serving the same.

  • General Rule: Criminal laws are given prospective effects
  • Exception: Give retroactive effect when favorable to the accused.  Ex. Special law made the penalty less severe – but must refer to the same deed or omission penalized by the former statute
  • New law may provide that its provisions not to be applied to cases already filed in court at the time of the approval of such law.
  • The favorable retroactive effect of a new law may find the defendant in one of the 3 situations
  • Habitual criminal (person who within the pd of 10 years from date of release or last conviction of the crimes of serious or less serious physical injuries, robbery, theft, estafa or falsification, he is found guilty of any said crimes a third time or oftener) is NOT entitled to the benefit of the provisions of the new favorable law.
  • Civil liabilities not covered by Art 22 because rights of offended persons are not within the gift of arbitrary disposal of the State.
  • But new law increasing civil liability cannot be given retroactive effect.
  • Retroactivity applicable also to special laws
  • The right to punish offenses committed under an old penal law is not extinguished if the offenses are still punished in the repealing penal law. However, if by re-enactment of the provisions of the former law, the repeal is by implication and there is a saving clause, criminal liability under the repealed law subsists.
  • No retroactive effect of penal laws as regards jurisdiction of the court. Jurisdiction of the court is determined by the law in force at the time of the institution of the action, not at the time of the commission of the crime.
  • Jurisdiction of courts in criminal cases is determined by the allegations of the complaint or information, and not by the findings the court may make after trial.
  • When a law is ex post facto
  1. crime has been committed and the prosecution begins
  2. sentence has been passed but service has not begun
  3. sentence is being carried out.

a      Makes criminal an act done before the passage of the law and which was innocent when done, and punishes such an act.

b      Aggravates the crime or makes it greater than it was when committed.

c      Changes the punishment and inflicts a greater punishment than the law annexed to the crime when committed.

d      Alters the legal rules of evidence and authorizes conviction upon less or different testimony than the law required at the time of the commission of the crime.

e      Assuming to regulate civil rights and remedies only, in effect imposes penalty or deprivation of a right for something which when done was lawful.

f       Deprives a person accused of a crime some lawful protection to which he has become entitled, such as the protection of a former conviction or acquittal or a proclamation of amnesty.

  • Bill of Attainder – a legislative act which inflicts punishment without trial. Its essence is the substitution of a legislative for a judicial determination of guilt.
  • Effect of change of Penal Law

a      With enactment of a penal law punishing the offense – the action is not dismissed. The penalty in the new law if favorable to the accused.

b      Without enactment of a penal law punishing the offense  – the previous offense is obliterated and the action is dismissed.

 

Art. 23. Effect of pardon by the offended party. — A pardon of the offended party does not extinguish criminal action except as provided in Article 344 of this Code; but civil liability with regard to the interest of the injured party is extinguished by his express waiver.

  • Even if injured party already pardoned the offender – fiscal can still prosecute. Not even considered a ground for dismissal of the information. Exception: Art 344 – crimes of seduction, abduction, rape or acts of lasciviousness – pardon must be expressed.
  • Basis: crime is an offense against the State. Aggrieved party only a witness.
  • Only Chief Executive can pardon the offenders
  • Can’t compromise criminal liability, only civil liability – but it still shall not extinguish the public action for the imposition of the legal penalty.
  • Offended party in the crimes of adultery and concubinage can’t institute criminal prosecution if he shall have consented or pardoned the offenders.
  • Pardon in adultery and concubinage may be implied – continued inaction after learning of the offense. Must pardon both offenders.
  • The pardon afforded the offenders must come BEFORE the institution of the criminal proceedings. Complaint for any of the above-mentioned crimes in Art 344 will still be prosecuted by the court on the ground that the pardon (basis for the motion to dismiss) was given after the filing of the complaint.
  • The only act that extinguishes the penal action, after the institution of criminal action, is the marriage between the offender and the offended party
  • Pardon under Art 344 is only a bar to criminal prosecution. It DOES NOT extinguish criminal liability. It is not one of the causes that totally extinguish criminal liability in Art 89.
  • Civil liability with regard to the interest of the injured party is extinguished by his express waiver because personal injury may be repaired through indemnity anyway. State has no reason to insist on its payment.
  • Waiver must be express.

 

Art. 24. Measures of prevention or safety which are nor considered penalties. — The following shall not be considered as penalties:

1. The arrest and temporary detention of accused persons, as well as their detention by reason of insanity or imbecility, or illness requiring their confinement in a hospital.

2. The commitment of a minor to any of the institutions mentioned in Article 80 and for the purposes specified therein.

3. Suspension from the employment of public office during the trial or in order to institute proceedings.

4. Fines and other corrective measures which, in the exercise of their administrative disciplinary powers, superior officials may impose upon their subordinates.

5. Deprivation of rights and the reparations which the civil laws may establish in penal form.

  • Par 1 refers to the “accused persons” who are detained “by reason of insanity or imbecility” not an insane or imbecile who has not been arrested for a crime.
  • They are not considered penalties because they are not imposed as a result of judicial proceedings. Those in par 1, 3 and 4 are merely preventive measures before the conviction of offenders.
  • Commitment of a minor is not a penalty because it is not imposed by the court in a judgment. The imposition of the sentence in such a case is suspended.
  • Fines in par 4 are not imposed by the court because otherwise, they constitute a penalty

 

Art. 25. Penalties which may be imposed. — The penalties which may be imposed according to this Code, and their different classes, are those included in the following:

Scale

PRINCIPAL PENALTIES

Capital punishment:

                Death.

Afflictive penalties:

                Reclusion perpetua,

                Reclusion temporal,

                Perpetual or temporary absolute disqualification,

                Perpetual or temporary special disqualification,

                Prision mayor.

Correctional penalties:

                Prision correccional,

                Arresto mayor,

                Suspension,

                Destierro.

Light penalties:

                Arresto menor,

                Public censure.

Penalties common to the three preceding classes:

                Fine, and

                Bond to keep the peace.

ACCESSORY PENALTIES

Perpetual or temporary absolute disqualification,

Perpetual or temporary special disqualification,

Suspension from public office, the right to vote and be voted for the profession or calling.

Civil interdiction,

Indemnification,

Forfeiture or confiscation of instruments and proceeds of the offense,

Payment of costs.

  • Classification of penalties:

a      Principal  – art 25

b      Accessory – deemed included in the imposition of the principal penalties

  • According to divisibility (principal)

a      divisible – those that have fixed duration and are divisible into 3 periods

b      indivisible – no fixed duration (death, RP, perpetual or absolute disqualification)

  • According  to subject matter

a      corporal – death

b      deprivation of freedom – reclusion, prision, arresto

c      restriction of freedom – destierro

d      deprivation of rights – disqualification and suspension

e      pecuniary – fine

  • According to gravity

a      capital

b      afflictive

c      correccional

d      light

  • Public censure is a penalty, and being such, is not proper in acquittal. But a competent court, while acquitting an accused may, with unquestionable propriety express its disapproval or reprehension of those acts to avoid the impression that by acquitting the accused it approves or admires his conduct.
  • Permanent and temporary absolute and permanent and temporary special disqualification and suspension may be principal or accessory penalties because they are found in 2 general classes.

 

Art. 26. When afflictive, correctional, or light penalty. — A fine, whether imposed as a single of as an alternative penalty, shall be considered an afflictive penalty, if it exceeds 6,000 pesos; a correctional penalty, if it does not exceed 6,000 pesos but is not less than 200 pesos; and a light penalty if it less than 200 pesos.

  • Fines are imposed either as alternative (Art 144 punishing disturbance of proceedings with arresto mayor or fine from 200 pesos to 1000 pesos) or single (fine of 200 to 6000 pesos)
  • Penalty cannot be imposed in the alternative since it’s the duty of the court to indicate the penalty imposed definitely and positively. Thus, the court cannot sentence the guilty person in a manner as such as “to pay fine of 1000 pesos, or to suffer an imprisonment of 2 years, and to pay the costs.”
  • If the fine imposed by the law for the felony is exactly 200 pesos, it is a light felony.
  • Fines:

a      Afflictive – over 6000

b      Correctional – 201 to 6000

c      Light – 200 and less

  • Note: The classification applies if the fine is imposed as a single or alternative penalty. Hence, it does not apply if the fine imposed together with another penalty.
  • Bond to keep the peace is by analogy:

a      Afflictive – over 6000

b      Correctional – 201 to 6000

c      Light – 200 and less

 

Distinction between classification of  Penalties in Art. 9 and Art. 26

Article 9

Article 26

Applicable in determining the prescriptive period of felonies Applicable in determining the prescriptive period of penalties

DURATION AND EFFECT OF PENALTIES

Art. 27. Reclusion perpetua. — Any person sentenced to any of the perpetual penalties shall be pardoned after undergoing the penalty for thirty years, unless such person by reason of his conduct or some other serious cause shall be considered by the Chief Executive as unworthy of pardon.

Reclusion temporal. — The penalty of reclusion temporal shall be from twelve years and one day to twenty years.

Prision mayor and temporary disqualification. — The duration of the penalties of  prision mayor and temporary disqualification shall be from six years and one day to twelve years, except when the penalty of disqualification is imposed as an accessory penalty, in which case its duration shall be that of the principal penalty.

Prision correccional, suspension, and destierro. — The duration of the penalties of  prision correccional, suspension and destierro shall be from six months and one day to six years, except when suspension is imposed as an accessory penalty, in which case, its duration shall be that of the principal penalty.

Arresto mayor. — The duration of the penalty of arresto mayor shall be from one month and one day to six months.

Arresto menor. — The duration of the penalty of arresto menor shall be from one day to thirty days.

Bond to keep the peace. — The bond to keep the peace shall be required to cover such period of time as the court may determine.

  • 3 fold rule: the maximum duration of the convict’s sentence shall not be more than 3 times the length of time corresponding to the most severe of the penalties imposed upon him.
  • the maximum duration of the convict’s sentence shall in no case exceed 40 years
  • Temporary disqualification and suspension, when imposed as accessory penalties, have different durations – they follow the duration of the principal penalty
  • Destierro is imposed in the following circumstances:

a      serious physical injuries or death under exceptional circumstances (spouse finding other spouse in pari delicto)

b      failure to give bond for good behavior ( a person making threat may be required to give bond not to molest the person threatened, if not destierro)

c      penalty for the concubine

d      in cases where the reduction of the penalty by one or more degrees results in destierro

  • Bond to keep the peace is not specifically provided as a penalty for any felony and therefore cannot be imposed by the court. It is required in Art 284 and not to be given in cases involving other crimes.
  • Summary:

a      Perpetual penalties – after 30 years, can be pardoned, except when he is unworthy of pardon by reason of his conduct and some other serious cause, it won’t exceed 40 years.

b      Reclusion Temporal – 12 yrs and 1 day to 20 yrs

c      Prision Mayor and temporary disqualification – 6 yrs and 1 day to 12 yrs; disqualification if accessory follows the duration of the principal penalty

d      Prision Correccional, suspension and destierro – 6 mos and 1 day to 12 yrs; disqualification if accessory follows the duration of the principal penalty

e      Arresto Mayor – 1 month and 1 day to 6 months

f       Arresto Menor – 1 day to 30 days

g      Bond to keep the peace – the period during which the bond shall be effective is discretionary to the court

Capital and Afflictive Penalties

Death

Reclusion Perpetua

Reclusion Temporal

Prison Mayor

Term of Imprison-ment None 20 days and 1 day to 40 years 12 years and 1 day to 20 years 6 years and 1 day to 12 years
Accessory Penalties None, unless pardoned:

-Perpetual absolute disqualification

-Civil interdiction for 30 years

-Civil Interdiction or during his sentence

-Perpetual absolute disqualification

-Civil Interdiction or during his sentence

-Perpetual absolute disqualification

-Temporary absolute disqualification

-Perpetual special disqualification from the right of suffrage which the offender suffers although pardoned

Correctional and Light Penalties

Prison Correctional

Arresto Mayor

Arresto Menor

Imprison-ment 6 months and 1 day to 6 years 1 month and 1 day to 6 months 1 day to 30 days
Accessory Penalties -Suspension from public office

-Suspension from the right to follow a profession or calling

-Perpetual special disqualification on the right of suffrage

-Suspension of right to hold office

-Suspension of the right of suffrage during the term of the sentence

-Suspension of right to hold office

-Suspension of the right of suffrage during the term of the sentence

Art. 28. Computation of penalties. — If the offender shall be in prison, the term of the duration of the temporary penalties shall be computed from the day on which the judgment of conviction shall have become final.

If the offender be not in prison, the term of the duration of the penalty consisting of deprivation of liberty shall be computed from the day that the offender is placed at the disposal of the judicial authorities for the enforcement of the penalty. The duration of the other penalties shall be computed only from the day on which the defendant commences to serve his sentence.

  • Director of Prisons/warden to compute based on Art 28:

a      When the offender is in prison – the duration of the temporary penalties (PAD, TAD, detention, suspension) is from the day on which the judgment of conviction becomes final.

b      When the offender is not in prison – the duration of the penalty in deprivation of liberty is from the day that the offender is placed at the disposal of judicial authorities for the enforcement of the penalty

c      The duration of the other penalties – the duration is from the day on which the offender commences to serve his sentence

  • Reason for rule (a) – because under Art 24, the arrest and temporary detention of the accused is not considered a penalty
  • if in custody, the accused appealed, the service of the sentence should commence from the date of the promulgation of the decision of the appellate court, not from the date of the judgment of the trial court was promulgated.
  • service of one in prison begins only on the day the judgment of conviction becomes final.
  • In cases if temporary penalties, if the offender is under detention, as when undergoing preventive imprisonment, rule (a) applies.
  • If not under detention (released on bail) rule (c) applies
  • Offender under preventive imprisonment, rule (c) applies not rule (a)
  • The offender is entitled to a deduction of full-time or 4/5 of the time of his detention.

Art. 29. Period of preventive imprisonment deducted from term of imprisonment. — Offenders who have undergone preventive imprisonment shall be credited in the service of their sentence consisting of deprivation of liberty, with the full time during which they have undergone preventive imprisonment, if the detention prisoner agrees voluntarily in writing to abide by the same disciplinary rules imposed upon convicted prisoners, except in the following cases:

1. When they are recidivists or have been convicted previously twice or more times of any crime; and

2. When upon being summoned for the execution of their sentence they have failed to surrender voluntarily.

If the detention prisoner does not agree to abide by the same disciplinary rules imposed upon convicted prisoners, he shall be credited in the service of his sentence with four-fifths of the time during which he has undergone preventive imprisonment. (As amended by Republic Act 6127, June 17, 1970).  cd i

Whenever an accused has undergone preventive imprisonment for a period equal to or more than the possible maximum imprisonment of the offense charged to which he may be sentenced and his case is not yet terminated, he shall be released immediately without prejudice to the continuation of the trial thereof or the proceeding on appeal, if the same is under review. In case the maximum penalty to which the accused may be sentenced is destierro, he shall be released after thirty (30) days of preventive imprisonment. (As amended by E.O. No. 214, July 10, 1988).

  • Accused undergoes preventive suspension if:

a      offense is non-bailable

b      bailable but can’t furnish bail

  • the full time or 4/5 of the time during which the offenders have undergone preventive suspension shall be deducted from the penalty imposed
  • preventive imprisonment must also be considered in perpetual penalties. Article does not make any distinction between temporal and perpetual penalties.
  • duration of RP is to be computed at 30 years, thus, even if the accused is sentenced to life imprisonment, he is entitled to the full time or 4/5 of the time of preventive suspension
  • Credit is given in the service of sentences “consisting of deprivation of liberty” (imprisonment and destierro). Thus, persons who had undergone preventive imprisonment but the offense is punishable by a fine only would not be given credit.
  • Destierro is considered a “deprivation of liberty”
  • If the penalty imposed is arresto menor to destierro, the accused who has been in prison for 30 days (arresto menor to 30 days) should be released because although the maximum penalty is destierro (6 mos 1 day to 6 yrs), the accused sentenced to such penalty does not serve it in prison.
  • Habitual Delinquents not entitled to the full time or 4/5 credit of time under preventive imprisonment since he is necessarily a recidivist or has been convicted previously twice or more times of any crime.
  • Example: X who was arrested for serious physical injuries, detained for 1 year and went out on bail but was later on found guilty. He was consequently summoned for the execution of the sentence, but having failed to appear, X will not be credited in the service of his sentence for serious physical injuries w/ one year or 4/5 of one year preventive imprisonment.

Art. 30. Effects of the penalties of perpetual or temporary absolute disqualification. — The penalties of perpetual or temporary absolute disqualification for public office shall produce the following effects:

1. The deprivation of the public offices and employments which the offender may have held even if conferred by popular election.

2.The deprivation of the right to vote in any election for any popular office or to be elected to such office.

3. The disqualification for the offices or public employments and for the exercise of any of the rights mentioned.

In case of temporary disqualification, such disqualification as is comprised in paragraphs 2 and 3 of this article shall last during the term of the sentence.

4. The loss of all rights to retirement pay or other pension for any office formerly held.

  • The exclusion is a mere disqualification for protection and not for punishment – the withholding of a privilege, not a denial of a right.
  • Perpetual absolute disqualification is effective during the lifetime of the convict and even after the service of the sentence.
  • Temporary absolute disqualification is effective during the term of sentence and is removed after the service of the same. Exception: (1) deprivation of the public office or employment; (2) loss of all rights to retirement pay or other pension for any office formerly held.
  • Effects of Perpetual and temporary absolute disqualification:

a      Deprivation of any public office or employment of offender

b      Deprivation of the right to vote in any election or to be voted upon

c      Loss of rights to retirement pay or pension

d      All these effects last during the lifetime of the convict and even after the service of the sentence except as regards paragraphs 2 and 3 of the above in connection with Temporary Absolute Disqualification.

 

Reference:

Criminal Law Book 1 Reviewer

Ateneo Central Bar Operations 2001

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About Magz

First of all, I am not a lawyer. I'm a graduate of AB Political Science and went to the College of Law but stopped going to law school for some reasons. I'm a passionate teacher who has been teaching English to speakers of other languages and a person who likes writing and blogging. I lost some important files and software when my computer broke down so the reason I created this website is to preserve the notes, reviewers and digests I collected when I was at the law school and at the same time, I want to help out law students who do not have enough time to go and read books in the library.

Posted on January 24, 2012, in Criminal Law and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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