Persons Exempt From Criminal Liability In Crimes Against Property

Persons Exempt From Criminal Liability In Crimes Against Property


ART.331. DESTROYING OR DAMAGING STATUES, PUBLIC 
MONUMENTS OR PAINTINGS

The penalty is lower if the thing destroyed is a public painting, rather than a public monument.


ART.332

OFFENSES INVOLVED IN THE EXEMPTION:
1. Theft,

PERSONS EXEMPT FROM CRIMINAL LIABILITY:
1. Spouses, ascendants and descendants, or relatives by affinity in the same line.
2. The widowed spouse with respect to the property w/c belonged to the deceased spouse before the same passed into the possession of another.
3. Brothers and sisters and brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, if living together.

Only civil liability is incurred by the offenders who are exempt by law from criminal liability.

Parties to the crime who are not related to the offended party still remain criminally liable.

Law recognized presumed co-ownership of property between offender and offended party

Persons exempt from criminal liability include:
1. stepfather/mother (ascendants by affinity)
2. adopted children (descendants)
3. concubine/paramour (spouse)
4. common-law spouse.

People v Alvarez, 52 Phil 65; People v Adame
   - Stepfather and stepmother are included as ascendants  by affinity.

An adopted or natural child should also be considered as included in the term “descendants” and a concubine or paramour within the term “spouses”.

Art. 144, CC; People v Constantino, CA, 60 OG 3605: 
   - Art. 332 applies to common-law spouses.


2000 Bar Examination Question

A, brother of B, with the intention of having a night out with his friends, took the coconut shell which is being used by A as a bank for coins from inside their locked cabinet using their common key. Forthwith, A broke the coconut shell outside of their home in the presence of their friends.

a. What is the criminal liability of A if any? Explain.
b. Is A exempted from criminal liability under Art.332 of the Revised Penal Code for being a brother of B? Explain.

a. A is criminally liable for Robbery with force upon things.
b. No, B is not exempt from criminal liability under Art.332 because said article applies only to theft, swindling or malicious mischief. Here, the crime committed is robbery.

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