Mitigating Circumstances


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

NOTE: A mitigating circumstance arising from a single fact absorbs
all the other mitigating circumstances arising from that same fact.

Par. 1 Incomplete Justifying or Exempting Circumstances

   NOTE: This applies when not all the requisites are present.
   If two requisites are present, it is considered a privileged
   mitigating circumstance. However, in reference to Art.11(4) if
   any of the last two requisites is absent, there is only an
   ordinary mitigating circumstance. Remember though, that in self-
   defense, defense of relative or stranger, unlawful aggression
   must always be present as it is an indispensable requirement

Par. 2 Under 18 or Over 70 Years Old

   NOTE: Age of accused is determined by his age at
   the date of commission of crime, not date of trial.

Par. 3 No Intention to Commit so Grave a Wrong

   NOTE: Can be used only when the proven facts show that there
   is a notable and evident disproportion between the means
   employed to execute the criminal act and its consequences.

   Factors that can be considered are:
   1. weapon used
   2. injury inflicted
   3. part of the body injured
   4. mindset of offender at the time of commission of crime

   This provision addresses the intention of the offender at the
   particular moment when the offender executes or commits the
   criminal act, not to his intention during the planning stage

   NOTE: In crimes against persons – if victim does not die, the
   absence of the intent to kill reduces the felony to mere
   physical injuries. It is not considered as mitigating. It is
   mitigating only when the victim dies.

   NOTE: It is not applicable to felonies by negligence because
   in felonies through negligence, the offender acts without
   intent. The intent in intentional felonies is replaced by
   negligence or imprudence. There is no intent on the part of
   the offender, which may be considered as diminished

Par. 4 Provocation or Threat

   Provocation – any unjust or improper conduct or act of the
   offended party, capable of exciting, inciting or
   irritating anyone.

   1. provocation must be sufficient
   2. it must originate from the offended party
   3. must be immediate to the commission of the crime by the
      person who is provoked

   NOTE: Threat should not be offensive and positively strong.
   Otherwise, it would be an unlawful aggression, which may
   give rise to self-defense and thus no longer a mitigating

Par. 5 Vindication of Grave Offense

   1. a grave offense done to the one committing the felony, his
      spouse, ascendants, descendants, legitimate, natural or
      adopted brothers or sisters or relatives by affinity within
      the same degrees
   2. the felony is committed in immediate vindication of such
      grave offense

   NOTE: “Immediate” allows for a lapse of time, as long as
   the offender is still suffering from the mental agony
   brought about by the offense to him. (proximate time, not
   just immediately after)

Par. 6 Passion or Obfuscation

   1. offender acted upon an impulse
   2. the impulse must be so powerful that it naturally produced
      passion or obfuscation in him

   NOTE: Act must have been committed not in the spirit of
   lawlessness or revenge; act must come from lawful sentiments.

   Act, Which Gave Rise To Passion And Obfuscation:
   1. That there be an act, both unlawful and unjust
   2. The act be sufficient to produce a condition of mind
   3. That the act was proximate to the criminal act, not admitting
      of time during which the perpetrator might recover his normal
   4. The victim must be the one who caused the passion or obfuscation

   NOTE: Passion and obfuscation cannot co-exist with treachery
   since this means that the offender had time to ponder his
   course of action.

   Passion or Obfuscation from Irresistable Force
   1. Passion or obfuscation is mitigating while Irresistable force
      is exempting
   2. Passion or Obfuscation, no physical force needed while
      irresistable force requires physical force.
   3. Passion and Obfuscation must come from the offender himself
      while Irresistable Force must come from 3rd peson
   4. Paasion or Obfuscation must come from lawful sentiments
      while Irresistable force is unlawful.

Par. 7 Surrender and Confession of Guilt

   - must be spontaneous, showing the intent of the accused to
   submit himself unconditionally to the authorities, either
   1. he acknowledges his guilt; or
   2. he wishes to save them the trouble and expense necessarily
      incurred in his search and capture.

   NOTE: If both are present, considered as two independent
   mitigating circumstances. Further mitigates penalty

   Plea made after arraignment and after trial has begun does
   not entitle accused to the mitigating circumstance

   If accused pleaded not guilty, even if during arraignment,
   he is entitled to mitigating circumstance as long as he
   withdraws his plea of not guilty to the charge before the
   fiscal could present his evidence.

   Plea to a lesser charge is not a Mitigating Circumstance
   because to be such, the plea of guilt must be to the
   offense charged.

   Plea to the offense charged in the amended info, lesser
   than that charged in the original info, is Mitigating

Par. 8 Physical Defect of Offender

   The offender is deaf and dumb, blind or otherwise suffering
   from some physical defect, restricting his means of action,
   defense or communication with others.

   NOTE: The physical defect must relate to the offense committed.

Par. 9 Illness of the Offender

   1. The illness of the offender must diminish the exercise of
      his will-power.
   2. Such illness should not deprive the offender of
      consciousness of his acts.

Par. 10 Similar and Analogous Circumstances

   1. Defendant who is 60 years old with failing eyesight is
      similar to a case of one over 70 years old.
   2. Outraged feeling of an owner of an animal taken for
      ransom is analogous to vindication of grave offense.
   3. Impulse of jealous feeling, similar to passion and
   4. Voluntary restitution of property, similar to voluntary
   5. Extreme poverty, similar to incomplete justification based
      on state necessity.


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