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Grave felonies, less grave felonies, light felonies, A7, A9 Revised Penal Code

1. Concept

Grave felonies, less grave felonies, light felonies – refer to the gravity or seriousness of the felonies or crimes as reflected in the extent of the penalty that is imposed.

a. Legal basis

Art. 9. Grave felonies, less grave felonies and light felonies. – Grave felonies are those to which the law attaches the capital punishment or penalties which in any of their periods are afflictive, in accordance with Article 25 of this Code.
Less gave felonies are those which the law punishes with penalties which in their maximum period are correctional in accordance with abovementioned article.
Light felonies are those infractions of law or the commission of which the penalty of arresto menor or a fine not exceeding Forty thousand pesos (₱40,000) or both is provided. (As amended by R.A. 10951)

(Revised Penal Code)

2. Grave felonies

Grave felonies are those to which the law attaches the capital punishment or penalties which in any of their periods are afflictive, in accordance with Article 25 of this Code. (REVISED PENAL CODE, Article 9, as amended by R.A. 10951)

a. Capital punishment

The capital punishment is the death penalty. (REVISED PENAL CODE, Article 25)

However, R.A. 9346 (2006) prohibited the imposition of the death penalty, resulting in the repeal of previous laws allowing the death penalty to be imposed.

Per R.A. 9346, the following shall be imposed in lieu of the death penalty:

SEC. 2. In lieu of the death penalty, the following shall be imposed.
(a) the penalty of reclusion perpetua, when the law violated makes use of the nomenclature of the penalties of the Revised Penal Code; or
(b) the penalty of life imprisonment, when the law violated does not make use of the nomenclature of the penalties of the Revised Penal Code.

b. Afflictive

Under Article 25 of the Revised Penal Code, the following are afflictive penalties:

1) Reclusion perpetua;

2) Reclusion temporal;

3) Perpetual or temporary absolute disqualification;

4) Perpetual or temporary special disqualification; and

5) Prision mayor.

Note that under Article 26, the following shall also be considered as afflictive penalties:

Art. 26. When afflictive, correctional, or light penalty. – A fine, whether imposed as a single or as an alternative penalty, shall be considered an afflictive penalty, if it exceeds One million two hundred thousand (P1,200,000)… (As amended by R.A. 10951)

3. Less grave felonies

Less gave felonies are those which the law punishes with penalties which in their maximum period are correccional in accordance with abovementioned article. (REVISED PENAL CODE, Article 9, as amended by R.A. 10951)

a. Correccional penalties

The following are correccional penalties:

1) Prision correccional;

2) Arresto mayor;

3) Suspension; and

4) Destierro.

4. Light felonies

Light felonies are those infractions of law or the commission of which the penalty of arresto menor or a fine not exceeding Forty thousand pesos (₱40,000) or both is provided. (REVISED PENAL CODE, Article 9, as amended by R.A. 10951)

a. Consummated only, exceptions

Article 7. When light felonies are punishable. – Light felonies are punishable only when they have been consummated, with the exception of those committed against person or property.

(Revised Penal Code)

References

Chapter 1 – Felonies, Title I, Book I, Act No. 3815, Revised Penal Code

/Updated: November 4, 2023

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