Civil liability for crime committed
An insane criminal who commits a crime is exempted from criminal liability, but his guardian can be held civilly liable unless the latter was diligent in his task of taking care of the said insane criminal. If there is no guardian, or if said guardian is insolvent, the property of the insane can be attached or made liable.
Civil liability arising from a crime includes : restitution; reparation of the damage caused; indemnification for consequential damages (RPC Art 104)
In case of death which results from a crime, Art 2206 of the Civil Code states that at least three thousand pesos must be given to the heirs of the victim. However, said minimum amount has now been raised to P 12,000 in view of the decreasing value of the peso.( Loss of earning capacity, and moral damages, among other things should be given.)’
Chapter II, Preliminary Title, on Human Relations of the Civil Code.
Civil Code on damages, Title 18 of Book IV
Kinds of Proof or Evidence required
Proof or evidence beyond reasonable doubt is required when civil liability for damage is made in the criminal case.
Mere preponderance of evidence is enough when claim for damages is filed separately with the criminal action.
Civil action with criminal action
Whenever a criminal action is instituted, the civil action for the civil liability is also impliedly instituted together with the criminal action ( Rule 111, Sec 1, RPC)
Effect if the guilty party dies pending trial
When the guilty party dies pending court trial, the civil liability is not extinguished. The injured or offended party may file his claim against the estate of the offender, but the heirs are not liable beyond the value of the property they received from the decedent. (Arts. 1178 & 1311)
Effect if the guilty party is acquitted
When the guilty party is acquitted, the acquittal of the guilty party in the criminal case filed does not extinguish the civil liability unless it is stated in the judgment that the fact from which the civil action might arise did not exist. ( Rule III, Sect 3, Revised Rules of Court)
The following persons are exempted from criminal liability even if the act committed constitutes a crime:
1. An imbecile or insane person, unless he acted during a lucid interval.
2. A person under 9 years old.
3. A person over 9 years old but below 15 , unless he acted with discernment.
4. Persons acting under the compulsion of an irresistible force.
5. Persons acting under the impulse of an uncontrollable fear of an equal or greater injury.
The above-mentioned persons are exempted from criminal liability but not from civil liability. This civil liability shall devolve upon their guardian, or persons whose control or authority they are under.