|Criminal Law Reviewer|
Criminal Law Book 1 Reviewer
Definition of Terms
Abberatio Ictus – mistake in blow.
What is the legal effect of aberratio ictus?
a. may result in complex crime or two felonies
b. if complex, apply Art. 48 - penalty for the more or most serious
crime in its maximum period.
Absolutory Causes - where the act committed is a crime but for some
reason of public policy and sentiment, there is no penalty imposed.
Exempting and justifying circumstances are absolutory causes.
Related: Full Reference Material in Criminal Law
Accomplices - Persons who do not act as principals but cooperate in
the execution of the offense by previous and simultaneous acts,
which are not indispensable to the commission of the crime. They act as
mere instruments that perform acts not essential to the perpetration
of the offense.
Act – an overt or external act. Any bodily movement tending to produce
some effect in the external world.
Actus Me Invito Factus Non Est Meus Actus – Any act done by me against
my will is not my act.
Agent - subordinate public officer charged w/ the maintenance of public
order and protection and security of life and property.
Aggravating Circumstances - Those which, if attendant in the commission
of the crime, serve to have the penalty imposed in its maximum period
provided by law for the offense or those that change the nature of
Generic - those which apply to all crimes.
Specific - those which apply only to specific crimes.
Qualifying - those that change the nature of the crime.
Inherent - which of necessity accompany the commission of the crime,
therefore not considered in increasing the penalty to be
Special - those which arise under special conditions to increase
the penalty of the offense and cannot be offset by
Alternative Circumstances – Those which must be taken into consideration
as aggravating or mitigating according to the nature and effects of
the crime and the other conditions attending its commission.
Amnesty – is an act of the sovereign power granting oblivion or general
pardon. It wipes all traces and vestiges of the crime but does not
extinguish civil liability.
Astucia – (Craft) involved the use of intellectual trickery or cunning
on the part of the accused. A chicanery resorted to by the accused to
aid in the execution of his criminal design. It is employed as a
scheme in the execution of the crime.
Bill Of Attainder – A legislative act which inflicts punishment
Characteristics of Criminal Law
Circumstances That Affect Criminal Liability
1. Justifying circumstances
2. Exempting circumstances
3. Mitigating circumstances
4. Aggravating circumstances
5. Alternative circumstances
Commutation – change in the decision of the court by the chief regarding
the degree of the penalty by decreasing the length of the imprisonment
Consummated Felonies - when all the elements necessary for its execution
and accomplishment are present.
Continued Crime – refers to a single crime consisting of a series of
acts but all arising from one criminal resolution. Although there is
a series of acts, there is only one crime committed, so only one
penalty shall be imposed.
Crime – acts and omissions punishable by any law.
Criminal law - A branch of municipal law which defines crimes, treats
of their nature and provides for their punishment.
The Following are not subject to the operation of Philippine
1. Sovereigns and other heads of state
2. Charges d'affaires
4. Ministers plenipotentiary
5. Ministers resident
Cruelty – there is cruelty when the culprit enjoys and delights in
making his victim suffer slowly and gradually, causing unnecessary
physical pain in the consummation of the criminal act.
Degree – one whole penalty, one entire penalty or one unit of the
penalties enumerated in the graduated scales provided for in Art. 71
Despoblado – (Uninhabited Place) one where there are no houses at all,
a place at a considerable distance from town, where the houses are
scattered at a great distance from each other.
Discernment - mental capacity to fully appreciate he consequences of
the unlawful act, which is shown by the manner the crime was committed
and conduct of the offender after its commission.
Disfraz (Disguise) – resorting to any device to conceal identity.
Duress - use of violence or physical force.
Dwelling - must be a building or structure exclusively used for rest
and comfort (combination of house and store not included), may be
temporary as in the case of guests in a house or bedspacers. It
includes dependencies, the foot of the staircase and the enclosure
under the house.
El que es causa de la causa es causa del mal causado - Spanish maxim
which means: "He who is the cause of the cause is the cause of the
En Cuadrilla – (Band) whenever there are more than 3 armed malefactors
that shall have acted together in the commission of an offense.
Entrapment - ways and means are resorted to for the purpose of trapping
and capturing the lawbreaker in the execution of his criminal plan.
Error in personae – mistake in identity.
What is the legal effect of error in personae?
a. if same crime results, liable for the same crime
b. if different crime results, apply Art. 49 - penalty for lesser
crime in its maximum period
Exempting Circumstances - grounds for exemption from punishment
because there is wanting in the agent of the crime any of the conditions
which make the act voluntary or negligent.
Ex Post Facto Law - An act which when committed was not a crime,
cannot be made so by statute without violating the constitutional
inhibition as to ex post facto laws.
Felonies – acts and omissions punishable by the Revised Penal Code.
Fence – is a person who commits the act of fencing. A fence who
receives stolen property as above- provided is not an accessory but
a principal in the crime defined in and punished by the Anti-Fencing
Fencing – is an act, with intent to gain, of buying, selling, receiving,
possessing, keeping, or in any other manner dealing in anything of
value which a person knows or should have known to be derived from the
proceeds of the crime of robbery or theft.
Fraud (fraude) – insidious words or machinations used to induce the
victim to act in a manner which would enable the offender to carry
out his design.
Good conduct allowance during confinement – Deduction for the term of
sentence for good behavior.
Habitual Delinquency or Multi-recidivism – Where a person within a
period of ten years from the date of his release or last conviction
of the crimes of serious or less serious physical injuries, robbery,
theft, estafa or falsification, is found guilty of the said crimes a
third time or oftener. This is an extraordinary aggravating
Habitual Delinquent - A person who, within a period of ten years
from the date of his release or last conviction of the crimes of
serious or less serious physical injuries, robbery, theft, estafa,
or falsification, is found guilty of any said crimes a third time or
Ignominy – is a circumstance pertaining to the moral order, which
adds disgrace and obloquy to the material injury caused by the crime.
Imbecile - one while advanced in age has a mental development comparable
to that of children between 2 and 7 years old. He is exempt in all
cases from criminal liability.
Insane - one who acts with complete deprivation of intelligence/reason
or without the least discernment or with total deprivation of freedom
of will. Mere abnormality of the mental faculties will not exclude
Instigation - Instigator practically induces the would-be accused into
the commission of the offense and himself becomes a co-principal.
Insuperable Clause - some motive, which has lawfully, morally or
physically prevented a person to do what the law commands.
Irresistible Force - offender uses violence or physical force to
compel another person to commit a crime.
Justifying Circumstances - where the act of a person is in accordance
with law such that said person is deemed not to have violated the law.
Mala In Se - acts or omissions that are inherently evil.
Mala Prohibita - acts made evil because there is a law prohibiting it.
Misdemeanor - a minor infraction of law.
Mistake of Fact - misapprehension of fact on the part of the person
who caused injury to another. He is not criminally liable.
Mitigating Circumstances - those which if present in the commission
of the crime reduces the penalty of the crime but does not erase
criminal liability nor change the nature of the crime.
Motive - it is the moving power which impels one to action for a
Nullum Crimen, Nulla Poena Sine Lege – There is no crime when there is
no law punishing it.
Obscuridad – (Night time) that period of darkness beginning at the end
of dusk and ending at dawn.
Offense - a crime punished under special law.
Omission – failure to perform a duty required by law.
Pardon – an act of grace proceeding from the power entrusted with the
execution of laws, which exempts the individual from the punishment
the law inflicts for the crime.
Parole – consists in the suspension of the sentence of a convict after
serving the minimum term of the indeterminate penalty, without granting
pardon, prescribing the terms upon which the sentence shall be
suspended. In case his parole conditions are not observed, a convict
may be returned to the custody and continue to serve his sentence
without deducting the time that elapsed.
Penalty – suffering inflicted by the State for the transgression
of a law.
Period – one of 3 equal portions, min/med/max of a divisible penalty.
A period of a divisible penalty when prescribed by the Code as a
penalty for a felony, is in itself a degree.
Person In Authority - public authority, or person who is directly
vested with jurisdiction and has the power to govern and execute
Plurality Of Crimes – consists in the successive execution by the same
individual of different criminal acts upon any of which no
conviction has yet been declared.
Praetor Intentionem - lack of intent to commit so grave a wrong.
What is the legal effect of praeter intentionem?
- a mitigating circumstance (Art. 13, par. 3)
Prescription Of A Crime – is the loss/forfeiture of the right of the
state to prosecute the offender after the lapse of a certain time.
Prescription Of Penalty - means the loss/forfeiture of the right of
government to execute the final sentence after the lapse of a
Probation - a disposition under which a defendant after conviction and
sentence is released subject to conditions imposed by the court and to
the supervision of a probation officer.
Pro Reo - whenever a penal law is to be construed or applied and the
law admits of two interpretations, one lenient to the offender and one
strict to the offender, that interpretation which is lenient or favorable
to the offender will be adopted.
Proximate Cause - the cause, which in the natural and continuous
sequence unbroken by any efficient intervening cause, produces the
injury, without which the result would not have occurred.
Quasi-Recidivism – Where a person commits felony before beginning to
serve or while serving sentence on a previous conviction for a
felony. This is a special aggravating circumstance.
RA 75 - This law penalizes acts which would impair the proper
observance by the Republic and its inhabitants of the immunities, rights,
and privileges of duly-accredited foreign diplomatic representatives
in the Philippines.
Rank - The designation or title of distinction used to fix the
relative position of the offended party in reference to others
(There must be a difference in the social condition of the offender
and the offended party).
Recidivism – Where a person, on separate occasions, is convicted of
two offenses embraced in the same title in the RPC. This is a
generic aggravating circumstance.
Recidivist – one who at the time of his trial for one crime, shall
have been previously convicted by final judgment of another crime
embraced in the same title of the RPC.
Reiteracion or Habituality – Where the offender has been previously
punished for an offense to which the law attaches an equal or greater
penalty or for two crimes to which it attaches a lighter penalty.
This is a generic aggravating circumstance.
Requisites of Dolo or Malice
Requisites of Culpa
3. Negligence, Imprudence, Lack of Foresight, Lack of Skill
Negligence - it indicates a deficiency of perception; failure to pay
proper attention and to use diligence in foreseeing the injury or
damage impending to be caused; usually involves lack of foresight.
Imprudence - it indicates a deficiency of action; failure to take the
necessary precaution to avoid injury to person or damage to property;
usually involves lack of skill.
Rules on jurisdiction over private or merchant vessels while in the
territory of another country
1. French Rule
2. English Rule
Stand Ground When in The Right - the law does not require a person
to retreat when his assailant is rapidly advancing upon him with a
Stages In The Execution Of A Crime
1. Attempted Stage - a stage in the execution of a crime where the offender
commences commission of a felony directly by over acts, and does
NOT perform all acts of execution which should produce the felony
by reason of some cause or accident other his spontaneous desistance.
2. Frustrated Stage - a stage in the execution of a crime where the offender
performs all the acts of execution which would produce the felony
as a consequence but which, nevertheless, do not produce it due to
some cause independent of the will of the perpetrator.
3. Consummated Stage - a stage in the execution of a crime where all
the elements necessary for its execution and accomplishment
Treachery – when the offender commits any of the crimes against the
person, employing means, methods or forms in the execution thereof
which tend directly and specially to insure its execution without
risk to himself arising from the defense which the offended party
Uncontrollable Fear - offender employs intimidation or threat in
compelling another to commit a crime.
Unlawful Entry - when an entrance is effected by a way not intended
for the purpose.
Youthful offender – over 9 but under 18 at time of the commission
of the offense.