Recidivism (reincidencia), A14(9) Revised Penal Code

1. Concept

Recidivism, as an aggravating circumstance under the Revised Penal Code – refers to the circumstance when the offender must have a previous conviction by final judgment of another crime in the same title of the Revised Penal Code prior to the arraignment of the present crime.

a. Legal basis

Article 14. Aggravating circumstances. - The following are aggravating circumstances:

9. That the accused is a recidivist.

(Revised Penal Code)

b. Purpose

People v. De Jesus, En Banc, G.R. No. L-45198, October 31, 1936m Per Diaz, J.:

• We should not lose sight of the fact that when the Legislature incorporated the provision relative to habitual delinquency into the Revised Penal Code, it was aware — this, at least, is the presumption of law — that recidivism was, as it continues to be in the majority of cases to this date, an aggravating circumstance the effect of which, as the name itself implies, is to aggravate the criminal responsibility of the delinquent. But unlike other circumstances, as treachery, evident premeditation, sex, craft, relationship, public position, dwelling, not to mention several others so as not to be tedious, which may be aggravating, qualifying and inherent as the case may be, recidivism is and can be nothing else but an aggravating circumstance. This is the general rule; but as such it certainly is not without its exception as other general rules. The exception is found in the case of habitual delinquency, as recidivism is prec...

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