criminal procedure reviewer
Criminal Procedure Reviewer

Criminal Procedure Reviewer Definition of Terms

Affidavit of Desistance - The complainant states that he did not really intend to institute the case and that he is no longer interested in testifying or prosecuting.

      Related: Full Reference Material in Criminal Procedure

Appeal - A proceeding for review by which the whole case is transferred on the higher court.

Appellant - The party appealing

Appellee - The party adverse to the appellant.

Arraignment - It means for bringing the accused into court and informing him of the nature and cause of the accusation against him.

Arrest - taking a person into custody in order that he may be bound to answer for the commission of some offense, made by an actual restraint of the person or by his submission to custody.

Attachment - It is a remedy afforded to the offended party to have the property of the accused attached as security for the satisfaction of any judgment that may be recovered from the accused.

Bail - security given for the release of a person in custody of law, furnished by him or a bondsman, conditioned upon his appearance before any court as required.

Bail Bond - an obligation under seal given by accused with one or more sureties and made payable to proper officer with the condition to be void upon performance by the accused of such acts as he may
legally be required to perform.

Brief - It literally means a short or condensed statement. The purpose of the brief is to present to the court in concise form the points and questions in controversy, and by fair argument on the facts and
law of the case, to assist the court in arriving at a just and proper conclusion.

Capital Offense - It is an offense which, under the law existing at the time of its commission and of the application for admission to bail may be punished with death.

Certiorari - is used to correct only errors of jurisdiction and not errors of judgment of an inferior court.

Confrontation - It is the act of setting a witness face to face with the accused so that the latter may make any objection he has to the witness, and the witness may identify the accused, and this must take place in the presence of the court having jurisdiction to permit the privilege of cross-examination.

Counsel De Officio - He is counsel appointed by the court to represent and defend the accused in case he cannot afford to employ one himself.

Complaint -  sworn written statement charging a person with an offense, subscribed by the offended party, any peace officer or other public official charged with the enforcement of the law violated.

Continuous Trial System - Trial once commenced shall continue from day to day as far as practicable until terminated; but it may be postponed for a reasonable period of time for good cause.

Criminal Action - It is an action by which the State prosecutes a person for an act or omission punishable by law.

Criminal Jurisdiction - It is the authority to hear and try a particular offense and impose the punishment for it.

Criminal Procedure -  It is the method prescribed by law for the apprehension and prosecution of persons accused of any criminal offense and for their punishment, in case of conviction.

Custodial Investigation - Involves any questioning initiated by law enforcement officers after a person has been taken into custody or otherwise deprived of his freedom of action in any significant way.

Demurrer To Evidence - It is an objection by one of the parties in an action, to the effect that the evidence which his adversary produced is insufficient in point of law, whether true or not, to make out a case or sustain the issue.

Deposition  - It is the testimony of a witness taken upon oral questions or written interrogatories, in open court, but in pursuance of a commission to take testimony issued by a court, or under a general
law or court rule on the subject, and reduced to writing and duly authenticated, and intended to be used in preparation and upon the trial of a civil or criminal prosecution.

Duplicity of the Offense - A complaint or information must charge only one offense, except when the law prescribes a single punishment for various offenses.

Error of Judgment - One which the court may commit in the exercise of its jurisdiction.

Equipose Rule - where the evidence of the parties in a criminal case are evenly balanced, the constitutional presumption of innocence should tilt in favor of the accused who must be acquitted.

General Warrant - It is a process which authorizes the search and seizure of things, in a general manner. It does not specify or describe with particularity the things to be searched and seized. This kind of warrant is VOID as it infringes on the constitutional mandate requiring particular description of the things to be seized.

Habeas Corpus - is available when a person is imprisoned beyond the maximum penalty imposed by law.

Hearing - It is not confined to trial but embraces the several stages of litigation, including the pre-trial stage.

Improvident Plea - It is a plea without information as to all the circumstances affecting it; based upon a mistaken assumption or misleading information or advice.

Information - accusation in writing charging a person with an offense, subscribed by the fiscal and filed with the court.

Judgment - adjudication by the court that the accused is guilty or not guilty of the offense charged, and the imposition of the proper penalty and civil liability provided by law on the accused.

Mittimus - It is a process issued by the court after conviction to carry out the final judgment.

Motion To Quash - a hypothetical admission that even if all the facts alleged were true, the accused still cannot be convicted due to other reasons.

New Trial - The rehearing of a case already decided but before the judgment of conviction therein rendered has become final, whereby errors of law or irregularities are expunged from the record or new evidence is introduced or both steps are taken.

Nolle Prosequi - is a dismissal of the criminal case by the government before the accused is placed on trial and before he is called to plead, with the approval of the court in the exercise of its judicial discretion.

Oath - Includes any form of attestation by which a party signifies that he is bound in conscience to perform an act faithfully and truthfully.

Parole - the conditional release of an offender from a penal or correctional institution after he has served the minimum period of his prison sentence under the continued custody of the state and under
conditions that permit his reincarceration if he violated the conditions of his release.

Plea Bargaining - process whereby the accused and the prosecution in a criminal case work out a mutually satisfactory disposition of the case subject to court approval. It usually involves the defendant's pleading guilty to a lesser offense or to only some of the counts of a multi-count indictment in return for a lighter sentence than that for the greater charge.

Prejudicial Question - It is one which arises in a case, the resolution of which is a logical antecedent of the issue involved therein and the cognizance of which pertains to another tribunal.

Preliminary Investigation - inquiry or proceeding to determine if there is sufficient ground to engender a well-founded belief that a crime cognizable by the RTC has been committed, and that the respondent is probably guilty thereof, and should be held for trial.

Pre-Trial Order - It is an order issued by the court reciting the actions taken, the facts stipulated and the evidence marked during the pre-trial conference. Such order binds the parties and limits the trial to those matters not disposed of.

Probable Cause - such facts and circumstances which would lead a reasonably prudent man to believe that a crime has been committed and the thing to be searched for and seized is in the place to be searched.
- Such reasons, supported by facts and circumstances, as will warrant a cautious man in the belief that his action, and the means taken in prosecuting it, are legally just and proper

Probable Cause For A Search - It is defined as such facts and circumstances which would lead a reasonably discreet and prudent man to believe that an offense has been committed and that the objects sought in connection with the offense are in the place sought to be searched.

Probable Cause In General - Such facts and circumstances antecedent to the issuance of the warrant, that are in themselves sufficient to induce a cautious man to believe that the person against whom the search warrant is applied had committed or is about to commit a crime.

Probation - disposition under which a defendant after conviction and sentences, is released subject to conditions imposed by the court and to the supervision of a probation officer.

Property Bond - It is an undertaking constituted as a lien on the real property given as security for the amount of the bail.

Provisional Remedy - It is one provided for present need or one that is adopted to meet a particular exigency.

Reasonable Doubt - state of the case which, after full consideration of all the evidence, leaves the mind of the judge in such a condition that he cannot say that he feels an abiding conviction, to a moral certainty, of the truth of the charge.

Recantation - A Witness who previously gave a testimony subsequently declares that his statements were not true.

Recognizance - Obligation of record entered into before some court of magistrate duly authorized to take it, with the condition to do some particular act, the most usual condition in criminal cases being
the appearance of the accused for trial.

Reduced Bail - A person in custody for a period to or more than the minimum of the principal penalty prescribed for the offense charged, without application of the Indeterminate Sentence Law or any modifying circumstance, shall be released on a reduced bail or on his own recognizance at the discretion of the court.

Reverse Trial - When the accused admits the act or omission charged in the complaint/information but interposes a lawful defense, the trial court may allow the accused to present his defense first and thereafter give the prosecution the opportunity to present his rebuttal evidence.

Scatter Shot Warrant - It is a warrant that is issued for more than one offense. It is void, since the law requires that a warrant should only be issued in connection with one specific offense.

Search - It is an examination of a man’s house, buildings or other premises, or of his person, with a view to the discovery of some evidence of guilt to be used in the prosecution of a criminal action for some offense with which he is charged.

Searching Questions and Answers - Such questions as have the tendency to show the commission of a crime and perpetrator thereof.

Search Warrant - an order in writing issued in the name of the People of the Philippines, signed by a judge and directed to a peace officer, commanding him to search for personal property described therein and bring it before the court.

Seizure -  It is the physical taking of a thing into custody; contemplates a forcible disposition of the owner.

State Witness - One of two or more persons jointly charged with the commission of a crime but who is discharged with his consent as such accused so that he may be a witness for the state.

Stop and Frisk - A limited protective search of outer clothing for weapon.

Transactional Immunity - witness can no longer be prosecuted for any offense whatsoever arising out of the act or transaction.

Trial - It is the examination before a competent tribunal according to the laws of the land, of the facts put in issue in a case for the purpose of determining such issue.

Trial in Absentia - accused in case of his non-appearance After Arraignment despite due notice simply means that he thereby waives his right to meet the witnesses face to face, among others.

Use and Derivative Use Immunity - witness is only assured that his or her particular testimony and evidence derived from it will not be used against him or her in a subsequent prosecution.