Extinction of criminal liability – Criminal Law

1. Total Extinction of Criminal Liability

Criminal liability is totally extinguished:

1) By the death of the convict, as to the personal penalties and as to pecuniary penalties, liability therefor is extinguished only when the death of the offender occurs before final judgment.

2) By service of the sentence;

3) By amnesty, which completely extinguishes the penalty and all its effects;

4) By absolute pardon;

5) By prescription of the crime;

6) By prescription of the penalty;

7) By the marriage of the offended woman, as provided in Article 344 of this Code. (Article 89, Ibid.)

a. Prescription of crimes

1) Crimes punishable by death, reclusion perpetua or reclusion temporal20 years
2) Crimes punishable by other afflictive penalties15 years
3) Crimes punishable by a correctional penalty10 years
> With the exception of those punishable by arresto mayor5 years
NB: When the penalty fixed by law is a compound one, the highest penalty shall be made the basis of the application of the rules for the above penalties. (Article 90, Ibid.)
4) Crime of libel or other similar offenses1 year
5) Crime of oral defamation and slander by deed6 months
6) Light offenses2 months

(Article 90, Ibid.)

1) Computation of prescription of offenses

GENERAL RULE: The period of prescription shall commence to run from the day on which the crime is discovered by the offended party, the authorities, or their agents, and shall be interrupted by the filing of the complaint or information, and shall commence to run again when such proceedings terminate without the accused being convicted or acquitted, or are unjustifiably stopped for any reason not imputable to him.

EXCEPTION: The term of prescription shall not run when the offender is absent from the Philippine Archipelago. (Article 91, Ibid.)

b. When and how penalties prescribe

The penalties imposed by final sentence prescribe as follows:

1) Death and reclusion perpetua l20 years
2) Other afflictive penalties15 years
3) Correctional penalties10 years
> With the exception of those punishable by arresto mayor5 years
4) Light penalties1 year

(Article 92, Ibid.)

1) Computation of the prescription of penalties

The period of prescription of penalties shall commence to run from the date when the culprit should evade the service of his sentence, and it shall be interrupted if the defendant should give himself up, be captured, should go to some foreign country with which this Government has no extradition treaty, or should commit another crime before the expiration of the period of prescription. (Article 93, Ibid.)

2. Partial Extinction of Criminal Liability

Criminal liability is extinguished partially:

1) By conditional pardon;

2) By commutation of the sentence; and

3) For good conduct allowances which the culprit may earn while he is serving his sentence. (Article 94, Ibid.)

a. Obligation incurred by person granted conditional pardon

Any person who has been granted conditional pardon shall incur the obligation of complying strictly with the conditions imposed therein otherwise, his non-compliance with any of the conditions specified shall result in the revocation of the pardon and the provisions of Article 159 shall be applied to him. (Article 95, Ibid.)

b. Effect of commutation of sentence

The commutation of the original sentence for another of a different length and nature shall have the legal effect of substituting the latter in the place of the former. (Article 96, Ibid.)

c. Allowance for good conduct

The good conduct of any prisoner in any penal institution shall entitle him to the following deductions from the period of his sentence:

1) During the first two years of his imprisonment, he shall be allowed a deduction of five days for each month of good behavior;

2) During the third to the fifth year, inclusive, of his imprisonment, he shall be allowed a deduction of eight days for each month of good behavior;

3) During the following years until the tenth year, inclusive, of his imprisonment, he shall be allowed a deduction of ten days for each month of good behavior; and

4) During the eleventh and successive years of his imprisonment, he shall be allowed a deduction of fifteen days for each month of good behaviour. (Article 97, Ibid.)

d. Special time allowance for loyalty

A deduction of one-fifth of the period of his sentence shall be granted to any prisoner who, having evaded the service of his sentence under the circumstances mentioned in Article 58 of this Code, gives himself up to the authorities within 48 hours following the issuance of a proclamation announcing the passing away of the calamity or catastrophe to in said article. (Article 98, Ibid.)

e. Who grants time allowances

Whenever lawfully justified, the Director of Prisons shall grant allowances for good conduct. Such allowances once granted shall not be revoked. (Article 99, Ibid.)

expressly say so. (People v. Moran, En Banc, G.R. No. L-17905, 27 January 1923)


⦁ Book I, Act No. 3815, Revised Penal Code

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