Statutes: Criminal Laws, Statutory Construction

“[P] penal law is to be construed, in case of doubt, strictly against the state. ‘Criminal and penal statutes must be strictly construed, that is, they cannot be enlarged or extended by intendment, implication, or by any equitable considerations. In other words, the language cannot be enlarged beyond the ordinary meaning of its terms in…

Statutes: Prospective operation, Statutory Construction

“[A]ll statutes are to be construed as having only a prospective operation unless the purpose and intention of the Legislature to give them a retrospective effect is expressly declared or is necessarily implied from the language used. In every case of doubt, the doubt must be solved against the retrospective effect.” (De Montilla v. La…

Statutes: Legislative intent, Statutory Construction

“The cardinal rule of statutory construction requires the court to give effect to the general legislative intent if that can be discovered within the four corners of the Act. When the object intended to be accomplished by the statute is once clearly ascertained, general words may be restrained to it and those of narrower import…

Syntax, Statutory Construction

“Under the rules on syntax, the conjunctive word ‘and’ denotes a “joinder or union’ of words, phrases, or clause; it is different from the disjunctive word ‘or’ that signals disassociation or independence. However, a more important rule of statutory construction dictates that laws should be construed in a manner that avoids absurdity or unreasonableness.” (Microsoft…