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Accident, A12(4) Revised Penal Code

Accident – refers to the exempting circumstance that exempts an accused from criminal liability for committing an offense while performing a lawful act with due care, causes an injury by mere accident without fault or intention of causing it.

1. Concept

Accident – refers to the exempting circumstance that exempts an accused from criminal liability for committing an offense while performing a lawful act with due care, causes an injury by mere accident without fault or intention of causing it.

a. Legal basis

Article 12. Circumstances which exempt from criminal liability. - the following are exempt from criminal liability:

4. Any person who, while performing a lawful act with due care, causes an injury by mere accident without fault or intention of causing it.

(Revised Penal Code)

b. Effects of exempting circumstances

1) Admission by the accused

An exempting circumstance, by its nature, admits that criminal and civil liabilities exist, but the accused is freed from criminal liability; in other words, the accused committed a crime, but he cannot be held criminally liable therefor because of an exemption granted by law. (Sierra v. People, G.R. No. 182941, July 3, 2009, Per Brion, J.)

Strictly speaking, a person acting under any of the exempting circumstances commits a crime but cannot be held criminally liable therefor. The exemption from punishment stems from the complete absence of intelligence or free will in performing the act. (People v. Pantoja...

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