criminal law reviewer book 1
Criminal Law Reviewer

Criminal Law Book 1 Reviewer (Definition of Terms and Terminologies)

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 reus - refers to the criminal action involved in a crime. It is the guilty act that a person does when they commit a crime.

Actus Me Invito Factus Non-Est Meus Actus – Any act done by me against my will is not my act.

Ad hoc - for this.

Agent - subordinate public officer charged with/ 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 the crime.
      Generic - those that apply to all crimes.
      Specific - those that apply only to specific crimes.
      Qualifying - those that change the nature of the crime.
      Inherent - which of necessity accompanies 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
                mitigating circumstances.

Alibi - elsewhere.

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 that inflicts punishment without trial.

Bonafide - Good faith.

Causa Proxima - proximate cause which produced the immediate effect.

Caveat emptor - let the buyer beware.

Characteristics of Criminal Law
1. General
2. Territorial
3. Prospective

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 or fine.

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
the penalty shall be imposed.

Corpus - body.

Crime – acts and omissions punishable by any law.

Criminal law - A branch of municipal law that defines crimes, treats of their nature and provides for their punishment.

      The Following are not subject to the operation of Philippine Criminal Law
      1. Sovereigns and other heads of state
      2. Charges d'affaires
      3. Ambassadors
      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.

De facto -  in fact (in reality).

De Jure - by law.

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 - the mental capacity to fully appreciate the consequences of the unlawful act, which is shown by the manner the crime was committed and the conduct of the offender after its commission.

Disfraz (Disguise) – resorting to any device to conceal identity.

Dura lex sed lex - the law may be harsh but it is the law.

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 bed spacers. 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 evil caused.

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.
An ex-post facto law is a law that criminalizes an act that was legal when committed or aggravates a crime by increasing the penalty for a crime committed previously.

Falsus in unum, falsus in omnibus - false in one part of the statement would render the entire statement false. (This maxim is not recognized in our jurisdiction)

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 circumstance.

Habeas Corpus - you shall have the body.

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 oftener.

Homo sapiens - wise human

Ignominy – is a circumstance pertaining to the moral order, which adds disgrace and obloquy to the material injury caused by the crime.

Ignorantia legis neminem excusat - ignorance of the law excuses no one.

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.

In Loco parentis - in place of parent

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 - The 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.

Locus criminis - scene of the crime or crime scene.

Mala In Se - acts or omissions that are inherently evil.

Mala Prohibita - acts made evil because there is a law prohibiting it.

Mens rea - refers to criminal intent. The literal translation from Latin is "guilty mind."

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 definite result.

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 of 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 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.

Per Se - by itself.

Person In Authority - public authority, or person who is directly vested with jurisdiction and has the power to govern and execute the laws.

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.

Postmortem - after death.

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 the government to execute the final sentence after the lapse of a certain time.

Prima facie -  at first glance.

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 bono - for free.

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 a felony before beginning to serve or while serving a sentence on a previous conviction for a felony. This is a special aggravating circumstance.

RA 75 -  This law penalizes acts that 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 
1. Freedom
2. Intelligence
3. Intent

Requisites of Culpa
1. Freedom
2. Intelligence
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.

Res ipsa loquitor - the thing speaks for itself.

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 deadly weapon.

Stages In The Execution Of A Crime
1. Attempted Stage -  a stage in the execution of a crime where the offender commences the commission of a felony directly by overt acts, and does NOT perform all acts of execution which should produce the felony by reason of some cause or accident other than 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 are present.

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 especially to ensure its execution without risk to himself arising from the defense which the offended party might make.

Uncontrollable Fear - The 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.

Verbatim - word for word.

Verba Legis non est recedendum - from the words of the law there can be no departure.

Veto - I forbid.

Youthful offender – over 9 but under 18 at the time of the commission of the offense.