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Avoiding greater evil or injury, A11(4) Revised Penal Code

1. Concept

Avoiding greater evil or injury – refers to a justifying circumstance wherein no criminal liability results for a crime committed by an accused who was avoiding a greater evil or injury.

Read more: Justifying circumstances

a. Legal basis

Article 11. Justifying circumstances. - The following do not incur any criminal liability:

4. Any person who, in order to avoid an evil or injury, does not act which causes damage to another, provided that the following requisites are present;

First. That the evil sought to be avoided actually exists;

Second. That the injury feared be greater than that done to avoid it;

Third. That there be no other practical and less harmful means of preventing it.

(Revised Penal Code)

2. Avoiding greater evil or injury

For the 4th justifying circumstance: any person who, in order to avoid an evil or injury, does not act which causes damage to another, provided that the following requisites are present:

a. Requisites

1) That the evil sought to be avoided actually exists;

2) That the injury feared be greater than that done to avoid it; and

3) That there be no other practical and less harmful means of preventing it.

Merely expected or anticipated

If the evil sought to be avoided is merely expected or anticipated or may happen in the future, this defense is not applicable. (Ty v. People, G.R. No. 149275, September 27, 2004, Per Tinga, J.)

Not brought about by negligence, imprudence, willful inact...

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