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Criminal law – branch of division of public law which defines crimes, treats of their nature, and

provides for their punishment.

 Generality – it means Philippine criminal laws are binding to those living in or sojourning the
 Territoraility – Penal laws undertake to punish crimes only within the Philippine territory
 Prospectivity – Penal laws can only punish acts that are committed after its effectivity.

Crime – refers to acts or omissions punishable by criminal law.

 Freedom – action done by free will.
 Intelligence – ability to distinguish a licit from an illicit act
 Intent – the criminal design, the determination to which an offender acts upon.

Impossible crime - an act which would be a crime against persons or property, were it not for the
inherent impossibility of its accomplishment or on account of the employment of inadequate to
ineffectual means.
 Act would have been crime against persons or property
 There is evil intent
 Accomplishment is inherently impossible or the means employed is ineffectual or inadequate

Mens rea – the nonphysical element, which combined with the act of the accused, makes up the
crime charged. Most frequently, it is the criminal intent, or the guilty mind.

Rules on jurisdiction
 French rule – crimes committed aboard a foreign merchant vessels should not be prosecuted
on the sojourned country’s territorial jurisdiction, unless commission affects peace and security
 English rule – crimes of the same circumstances are in general triable on the courts of the
country to which they were committed

Motive – moving power which impels one to act to a definite result. It is hardly an essential element
of crime
Intent – the purpose to use a particular means to effect such result

Proximate cause – an event which, in natural and continuous sequence, unbroken by any efficient
intervening cause, produces the result complained of and without which would not have occurred
and from which it ought to have been foreseen or reasonably anticipated by a person of ordinary
case that the injury complained of or some similar injury, would result therefrom as a natural and
probable consequence

Criminal liability
 By any person committing a felony although the wrongful act done be different than what
 Impossible crimes

Modifying circumstances
 Justifying circumstances – a modifying circumstance which is an affirmative defense where the
act committed is in accordance with law; thus, the actor does not incur criminal or civil liability
 Exempting circumstances – an affirmative defense where a crime is committed, but there is
absence of any elements or conditions of voluntariness of the act. Though not criminally liable,
one may still be civilly liable.
 Mitigating circumstances – an act where such is considered a crime for it is not wholly
justifiable, but penalty for such is reduced by reason of the diminution of freedom, intelligence,
or intent, or of the lesser perversity of the commission of the crime.
 Alternative circumstances – those which must be taken into consideration as mitigating or
aggravating according to the nature and effects of the crime and other conditions attending to
its commission. 1) intoxication, 2) relationship, 3) degree of education and instruction

Alevosia – when an offender commits any crimes against the person, deliberately or consciously
adopting means, methods, or manners of execution to ensure its fulfillment without risking himself
arising from the defense the offended party might make

Nocturnity – simply means darkness or absence of light. Such may be considered an aggravating
circumstance through two tests, objective test (to determine if nocturnity aggravates because it
facilitates the commission of the crime) and subjective test (to determine if nocturnity aggravates
because the offender purposely sought it)

Band – when more than three armed malefactors take part in the commission of a robbery.

Persons liable for felonies

 Principals, accomplices, and accessories on grave and less grave felonies
 Principals and accomplices on light felonies