Thursday, June 24, 2010

Legal Procedures 17: Promulgation of judgment in criminal cases

Free PDF legal procedures promulgation of judgment criminal casesNotes: (1) Please surf to the complete list of available PDFs on legal procedures in criminal and civil cases.

If the accused escapes or could not be located during trial

(2) If the accused escapes or could not be located during the trial, the court orders the confiscation of the bond, and the case is then archived so that the prescriptive period won’t run.

In case the accused is bonded, the court orders the bail bondsmen to produce the body of the accused (that is, to bring the accused to court). The trial proceeds in absentia if the accused was validly arraigned.

(3) Notice is given to the accused, requiring his presence at the promulgation of the judgment. The decision of the court is then read to the accused.

What is proof beyond reasonable doubt?

(4) “Proof beyond reasonable doubt” is the level of proof required for conviction in a criminal case. It does not mean such degree of proof as excluding the possibility of error or mistake. It is sufficient if it produces moral or absolute certainty as required by law. Moral certainty springs from such proof as will satisfy the judgment and conscience of the trial judge, as a reasonable man, that the accused is guilty of the crime charged.

Benefits for those unjustly accused, convicted and imprisoned but subsequently acquitted and released

(5) Under R.A. 7309, the following may ask for compensation with the DOJ Board of Claims: victims of violent crimes; a person unjustly detained and released without being charged; any victim of arbitrary or illegal detention; any person who was unjustly accused, convicted and imprisoned but subsequently acquitted and released.

Procedural rules in criminal cases involving juveniles

(6) Relevant provisions of Supreme Court Rule on Juveniles in Conflict with the Law

Sec. 30. Guiding Principles in Judging the Juvenile.– Subject to the provisions of the Revised Penal Code, as amended, and other special laws, the judgment against a juvenile in conflict with the law shall be guided by the following principles:

1. It shall be in proportion to the gravity of the offense, and shall consider the circumstances and the best interests of the juvenile, the rights of the victim, the needs of society in line with the demands of restorative justice.

2. Restrictions on the personal liberty of the juvenile shall be limited to the minimum. Where discretion is given by law to the judge to determine whether the penalty to be imposed is fine or imprisonment, the imposition of the former should be preferred as the more appropriate penalty.

3. No corporal punishment shall be imposed.

Sec. 31. Promulgation of Sentence.– If after trial the Family Court should find the juvenile in conflict with the law guilty, it shall impose the proper penalty, including any civil liability which the juvenile may have incurred, and promulgate the sentence in accordance with Section 6, Rule 120 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure.

Sec. 32. Automatic Suspension of Sentence and Disposition Orders.– The sentence shall be suspended without need of application by the juvenile in conflict with the law. The court shall set the case for disposition conference within fifteen (15) days from the promulgation of sentence which shall be attended by the social worker of the Family Court, the juvenile, and his parents or guardian ad litem. It shall proceed to issue any or a combination of the following disposition measures best suited to the rehabilitation and welfare of the juvenile:

1. Care, guidance, and supervision orders;
2. Community service orders;
3. Drug and alcohol treatment;
4. Participation in group counseling and similar activities;
5. Commitment to the Youth Rehabilitation Center of the DSWD or other centers for juveniles in conflict with the law authorized by the Secretary of the DSWD.

The Social Services and Counseling Division (SSCD) of the DSWD shall monitor the compliance by the juvenile in conflict with the law with the disposition measure and shall submit regularly to the Family Court a status and progress report on the matter. The Family Court may set a conference for the evaluation of such report in the presence, if practicable, of the juvenile, his parents or guardian, and other persons whose presence may be deemed necessary.

The benefits of suspended sentence shall not apply to a juvenile in conflict with the law who has once enjoyed suspension of sentence, or to one who is convicted of an offense punishable by death, reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment, or when at the time of promulgation of judgment the juvenile is already eighteen (18) years of age or over.
(7) Relevant provisions of RA 9344 “Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006”
SEC. 37. Diversion Measures. - Where the maximum penalty imposed by law for the offense with which the child in conflict with the law is charged is imprisonment of not more than twelve (12) years, regardless of the fine or fine alone regardless of the amount, and before arraignment of the child in conflict with the law, the court shall determine whether or not diversion is appropriate.

SEC. 38. Automatic Suspension of Sentence. - Once the child who is under eighteen (18) years of age at the time of the commission of the offense is found guilty of the offense charged, the court shall determine and ascertain any civil liability which may have resulted from the offense committed. However, instead of pronouncing the judgment of conviction, the court shall place the child in conflict with the law under suspended sentence, without need of application: Provided, however, That suspension of sentence shall still be applied even if the juvenile is already eighteen years (18) of age or more at the time of the pronouncement of his/her guilt.

Upon suspension of sentence and after considering the various circumstances of the child, the court shall impose the appropriate disposition measures as provided in the Supreme Court Rule on Juveniles in Conflict with the Law.

SEC. 39. Discharge of the Child in Conflict with the Law. - Upon the recommendation of the social worker who has custody of the child, the court shall dismiss the case against the child whose sentence has been suspended and against whom disposition measures have been issued, and shall order the final discharge of the child if it finds that the objective of the disposition measures have been fulfilled.

The discharge of the child in conflict with the law shall not affect the civil liability resulting from the commission of the offense, which shall be enforced in accordance with law.

SEC. 40. Return of the Child in Conflict with the Law to Court. - If the court finds that the objective of the disposition measures imposed upon the child in conflict with the law have not been fulfilled, or if the child in conflict with the law has willfully failed to comply with the conditions of his/her disposition or rehabilitation program, the child in conflict with the law shall be brought before the court for execution of judgment.

If said child in conflict with the law has reached eighteen (18) years of age while under suspended sentence, the court shall determine whether to discharge the child in accordance with this Act, to order execution of sentence, or to extend the suspended sentence for a certain specified period or until the child reaches the maximum age of twenty-one (21) years.

SEC. 41. Credit in Service of Sentence. - The child in conflict with the law shall be credited in the services of his/her sentence with the full time spent in actual commitment and detention under this Act.

SEC. 42. Probation as an Alternative to Imprisonment. - The court may, after it shall have convicted and sentenced a child in conflict with the law, and upon application at any time, place the child on probation in lieu of service of his/her sentence taking into account the best interest of the child. For this purpose, Section 4 of Presidential Decree No. 968, otherwise known as the “Probation Law of 1976”, is hereby amended accordingly.
Judgment (Rules 120, Revised Rules of Court)

SECTION 1. Judgment; definition and form
.—Judgment is the adjudication by the court that the accused is guilty or not guilty of the offense charged and the imposition on him of the proper penalty and civil liability, if any. It must be written in the official language, personally and directly prepared by the judge and signed by him and shall contain clearly and distinctly a statement of the facts and the law upon which it is based. (1a)

SEC. 2. Contents of the judgment.—If the judgment is of conviction, it shall state (1) the legal qualification of the offense constituted by the acts committed by the accused and the aggravating or mitigating circumstances which attended its commission; (2) the participation of the accused in the offense, whether as principal, accomplice, or accessory after the fact; (3) the penalty imposed upon the accused; and (4) the civil liability or damages caused by his wrongful act or omission to be recovered from the accused by the offended party, if there is any, unless the enforcement of the civil liability by a separate civil action has been reserved or waived.

In case the judgment is of acquittal, it shall state whether the evidence of the prosecution absolutely failed to prove the guilt of the accused or merely failed to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt. In either case, the judgment shall determine if the act or omission from which the civil liability might arise did not exist. (2a)

SEC. 3. Judgment for two or more offenses.—When two or more offenses are charged in a single complaint or information but the accused fails to object to it before trial, the court may convict him of as many offenses as are charged and proved, and impose on him the penalty for each offense, setting out separately the findings of fact and law in each offense. (3a)

SEC. 4. Judgment in case of variance between allegation and proof.—When there is variance between the offense charge in the complaint or information and that proved, and the offense as charged is included in or necessarily includes the offense proved, the accused shall be convicted of the offense proved which is included in the offense charged, or of the offense charged which is included in the offense proved. (4a)

SEC. 5. When an offense includes or is included in another.—An offense charged necessarily includes the offense proved when some of the essential elements or ingredients of the former, as alleged in the complaint or information, constitute the latter. And an offense charged is necessarily included in the offense proved, when the essential ingredients of the former constitute or form part of those constituting the latter. (5a)

SEC. 6. Promulgation of judgment.—The judgment is promulgated by reading it in the presence of the accused and any judge of the court in which it was rendered. However, if the conviction is for a light offense, the judgment may be pronounced in the presence of his counsel or representative. When the judge is absent or outside the province or city, the judgment may be promulgated by the clerk of court.

If the accused is confined or detained in another province or city, the judgment may be promulgated by the executive judge of the Regional Trial Court having jurisdiction over the place of confinement or detention upon request of the court which rendered the judgment. The court promulgating the judgment shall have authority to accept the notice of appeal and to approve the bail bond pending appeal; provided, that if the decision of the trial court convicting the accused changed the nature of the offense from non-bailable to bailable, the application for bail can only be filed and resolved by the appellate court.

The proper clerk of court shall give notice to the accused personally or through his bondsman or warden and counsel, requiring him to be present at the promulgation of the decision. If the accused was tried in absentia because he jumped bail or escaped from prison, the notice to him shall be served at his last known address.

In case the accused fails to appear at the scheduled date of promulgation of judgment despite notice, the promulgation shall be made by recording the judgment in the criminal docket and serving him a copy thereof at his last known address or thru his counsel.

If the judgment is for conviction and the failure of the accused to appear was without justifiable cause, he shall lose the remedies available in these rules against the judgment and the court shall order his arrest. Within fifteen (15) days from promulgation of judgment, however, the accused may surrender and file a motion for leave of court to avail of these remedies. He shall state the reasons for his absence at the scheduled promulgation and if he proves that his absence was for a justifiable cause, he shall be allowed to avail of said remedies within fifteen (15) days from notice. (6a)

SEC. 7. Modification of judgment.—A judgment of conviction may, upon motion of the accused, be modified or set aside before it becomes final or before appeal is perfected. Except where the death penalty is imposed, a judgment becomes final after the lapse of the period for perfecting an appeal, or when the sentence has been partially or totally satisfied or served, or when the accused has waived in writing his right to appeal, or has applied for probation. (7a)

SEC. 8. Entry of judgment.—After a judgment has become final, it shall be entered in accordance with Rule 36. (8)

SEC. 9. Existing provisions governing suspension of sentence, probation and parole not affected by this Rule.—Nothing in this Rule shall affect any existing provisions in the laws governing suspension of sentence, probation or parole. (9a)