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How to File a Criminal Case in the Philippines

If you are a victim of crime or felony in the Philippines, it is wise to report the crime or felony
with the barangay and police authorities. Thereafter, you must secure a barangay blotter and
police blotter or report so that you may use them as evidences. If you sustained injuries, go to a
government hospital to have yourself checked out. The medical report of said hospital will be
very useful to prove your physical injuries. In addition, ask someone to take photographs of your
injuries as proof.

To enable you to properly lodge a criminal complaint, it is of foremost concern that you secure
the services of a good and efficient Philippine lawyer, attorney or law firm. As you will need to
file a Complaint-Affidavit with the Office of the City Prosecutor where the crime was committed,
it is necessary to have your facts straight and evidences in check. A good criminal lawyer will
draft a Complaint-Affidavit which will prove all the elements of the crime or felony.

After filing your Complaint-Affidavit, the Office of the City Prosecutor will issue a subpoena
against the accused, requiring him to appear on a certain date and time to submit his Counter-
Affidavit. Thereafter, you may file a Reply-Affidavit to controvert the new issues he raised. In the
same vein, the accused may file a Rejoinder-Affidavit.

This process is known as preliminary investigation. Preliminary investigation is an inquiry or


proceeding to determine whether there is sufficient ground to engender a well-founded belief
that a crime has been committed and the respondent is probably guilty thereof, and should be
held for trial. This is a crucial stage in criminal proceedings because the prosecutor will have to
determine whether there is sufficient ground to file an information in court against the
perpetrator. That is why you need to seek expert legal advice and engage the services of
Philippine criminal prosecution lawyers or attorneys to ensure that your criminal complaint is
strong and can prove the elements of the crime.

If there are no sufficient grounds, then the prosecutor will dismiss the case. As such, the criminal
complaint will not be filed in court. Your criminal lawyer may file a Motion for Reconsideration
with the City Prosecutor. If the Motion is denied, you may seek remedy from the Department of
Justice.

If the prosecutor finds probable cause, he will issue a resolution spelling out the reasons for such
finding. The prosecutor will correspondingly file an information in court, with the recommended
bail. If the judge in the pertinent court finds sufficient grounds, he shall issue a warrant of arrest.
Except for certain crimes punishable by reclusion perpetua, when evidence of guilt is strong, the
accused may post bail.

Trial will thereafter ensue. It must be emphasized that criminal cases are offenses committed
against the state. Thus, the prosecutor or fiscal will be the one prosecuting the criminal case.
However, he may be assisted by private prosecutors. In view of the known fact that prosecutors
are laden with heavy work load, it is best to secure your own private lawyer in the Philippines
who can give your concerns the appropriate attention and detail.

Nicolas & De Vega Law Offices is a full-service firm located at the 16th Flr., Suite 1607 AIC
Burgundy Empire Tower, ADB Ave., Ortigas Center, Pasig City, Metro Manila, Philippines. To learn
more about our firm and how we can help with your concerns on criminal law in the Philippines,
we invite you to visit our website www.ndvlaw.com.