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Criminal Law Reviewer

Criminal Law Reviewer

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Published by: ponchaohan on Jun 18, 2011
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Criminal Law Reviewer (Art. 1-113)Criminal Law  is that branch of public substantive law which defines offenses and prescribes theirpenalties. It is also that branch of municipal law, which defines crimes, treats of their nature andprovides for their punishment.3 Characteristics of Criminal Law:1) Generality - means that the criminal law of the country governs all persons within the countryregardless of their race, belief, sex, or creed. However, it is subject to certain exceptions brought aboutby international agreement. Ambassadors, chiefs of states and other diplomatic officials are immunefrom the application of penal laws when they are in the country where they are assigned. (Hindikasamaditoang diplomats, etc.)2) Territoriality - means that the penal laws of the country have force and effect only within its territory.It cannot penalize crimes committed outside the same. This is subject to certain exceptions broughtabout by international agreements and practice. The territory of the country is not limited to the landwhere its sovereignty resides but includes also its maritime and interior waters as well as itsatmosphere. (kasamalahatdito!)- Terrestrial: jurisdiction exercised over the land - Fluvial: jurisdiction over maritime and interior waters(3-5 nautical miles from the shore, sakop pa rinnatin)- Aerial: jurisdiction over the atmosphere (airspace natin)3) Prospectivity - Acts or omissions will only be subject to a penal law if they are committed after a penallaw had already taken effect. Vice-versa, this act or omission which has been committed before theeffectivity of a penal law could not be penalized by such penal law because penal laws operate onlyprospectively.French RuleThe French Rule provides that the nationality of the vessel follows the flag which the vessel flies, unlessthe crime committed endangers the national security of a foreign country where the vessel is within jurisdiction in which case such foreign country will never lose jurisdiction over such vessel.American Rule / Anglo-Saxon RuleThis rule strictly enforces the territoriality of criminal law. The law of the foreign country where a foreignvessel is within its jurisdiction is strictly applied, except if the crime affects only the internalmanagement of the vessel in which case it is subject to the penal law of the country where it isregistered.°Nullumcrimen, nullapoena sine lege There is no crime when there is no law punishingthe same.
 
-This is true to civil law countries, but not to common law countries.- No matter how wrongful, evil or bad the act is, if there is no law defining the act, the same is notconsidered a crime.- Common law crimes are wrongful acts which the community/society condemns as contemptible, eventhough there is no law declaring the act criminal.- Not any law punishing an act or omission may be valid as a criminal law.If the law punishing an act is ambiguous, it is null and void.Actus non facitreum, nisi mens sit rea The act cannot be criminal where the mind is not criminal. -This is true to a felony characterized by dolo, but not a felony resulting from culpa.- This maxim is not an absolute one because it is not applied to culpable felonies, or those that resultfrom negligence.Mens Rea  in laymans terms: bulls-eye of a crime. Synonymous with criminal or deliberate intent,but that is not correct. It still depends on the elements of the crime. You can onlydetect the mensrea of a crime by knowing the particular crime committed. Without reference to aparticular crime, this term is meaningless. Ex. In theft, mensrea is taking the property with intent to gain.In falsification, mensrea, is the effect of the forgery with intent to pervert the truth.Mala in se:Which literally means, that the act is inherently evil or bad or per se wrongful.- These are punishable by our RPC. - The intent is crucial. Mala prohibita(um): - These are violations of special laws. - Example is possession of drugs (punishable by Special Laws),itoyungkahithindimogagamitin or ibebenta, the mere fact nanasapagmamay- arimoito, bawal pa rin!Felony: these are acts or omissions as defined by Article 3 of the RPC. They may be differentiated bydolo (deceit) which is intentional, and culpa (fault) which is imprudence, negligence, lack of skill orforesight.Offense: are crimes punished under a special law is called as statutory offense. Misdemeanor: a minorinfraction of the law, such as a violation of an ordinance, is referred to as a misdemeanor. Crime:whether the wrongdoing is punished under the Revised Penal Code or under a special law, the genericword crime can be used. Mistake of Fact: When the offender acted out of a mistake of fact, criminalintent is negated, so do not presume that the act was done with criminal intent. This is absolutory if crime involved dolo.Dolo has three requisites: 1) Criminal Intent 2) Freedom of action 3) Intelligence Culpa has threerequisites as well: 1) criminal negligence on the part of the offender , that is, the crime was the result
 
of negligence, reckless imprudence, lack of foresight or lack of skill;2) freedom of action on the part of the offender, that is, he was not acting under duress; and3) Intelligence on the part of the offender in performing the negligent act. Distinction between Dolo andCulpa: Dolo, has criminal intent, and culpahas criminal negligence. Criminal Intent has 2 categories:1)General Criminal Intent: presumed from the mere doing of a wrong act. This does not require proof.2)Special Criminal Intent: not presumed because it is an ingredient or element of a crime, like intent tokill in the crimes of attempted or frustrated homicide /parricide /murder.The prosecution has the burden of proving the same.May a crime be committed without criminal intent? Yes. It is not necessary between these areas: 1)When the crime was committed was a product of culpa or negligence, reckless imprudence, lack of foresight or skill;2) When the crime is a prohibited act under a special law or what is called mala prohibita(um)Distinction between intent and discernment: Intent is the determination to do a certain thing, an aim orpurpose of the mind. On the other hand, discernment is the mental capacity to tell right from wrong.Distinction between intent and motive: Intent is demonstrated by the use of a particular means to bringabout a desired result  it is not a state of mind or a reason for committing a crime. On the other hand,motive implies motion. It is the moving power which impels one to do an act.Distinction between negligence and imprudence: (1) In negligence, there is deficiency of action; (2) Inimprudence, there is deficiency of perception. Criminal Liability: This shall be incurred upon the personon the act of a crime (gumawangkrimen), whether: Error in personae  mistake in identity (wrongperson) Ex. A wanted to kill B, but kill C instead, this is considered as mistake in identity.Abberatio ictus  mistake in blow (wrong shot; bullet went the other way etc.) Ex. A shot B, but instead,the bullet ricocheted (bounced off) from the wall and hit C. (best example from CSI: Las Vegas where aguy in avoiding an incomingblow and someone got hit instead and that fellow died of injuries to thehead hours later.) Praeterintentionem  where the consequence exceeded the intention.Ex. A dropped apail of water on Bs head, his intention was just a joke and getting B wet. But instead of getting wet, Bdied due to hemorrhage to the skull suffered from the injuries. (another best example in CSI: New York,where a sorority member inserted a canister on an inhaler of a sister sorority to set the mood (thesaid canister was said to heighten sexual appetite) not knowing of her previous condition (which wasasthma) which collided and thus killing her instead of setting mood, she died of orgasm.)Proximate cause: Article 4, Paragraph 1, presupposes that the act done was a proximate cause. It mustbe: 1) Direct 2) Natural 3) Logical consequence of the felonious act Impossible Crime: Is an act whichwould be an offense against person or property were it not for the inherent impossibility of itsaccomplishment or on account of the employment of inadequate or ineffectual means.

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