(Question A.10, Political Law, 2019 Bar Exam)
An Information for Estafa was filed against the accused, Mr. D. During the course of the trial, Mr. D filed a motion to dismiss for failure to prosecute the case for a reasonable length of time. Opposing the motion, the prosecution argued that its failure to present its witnesses was due to circumstances beyond its control. Eventually, the trial court dismissed the case with finality on the ground that Mr. D’s right to speedy trial was violated.
(a) For double jeopardy to attach, what requisites must exist? (2%)
(b) Rule on Mr. D’s present motion. (3%)
A month after, the same criminal case for Estafa was refiled against Mr. D, prompting him to file a motion to dismiss invoking his right against double jeopardy. The prosecution opposed the motion, arguing that the first criminal case for Estafa was dismissed with the express consent of the accused as it was, in fact, upon his own motion. Moreover, it was already able to secure the commitments of its witnesses to appear; hence, it would be prejudicial for the State if the case were to be dismissed without trial.
(a) The requisites are:
1) A valid information sufficient in form and substance to sustain a conviction of the crime charged;
2) A court of competent jurisdiction;
3) The accused has been arraigned and had pleaded; and,
4) The accused was convicted or acquitted or the case was dismissed without his express consent.
(b) Motion to dismiss is granted. Answer
Under the jurisprudence, a dismissal of the case pursuant to the right of the accused to speedy trial is tantamount to acquittal. As a consequence, an appeal or a reconsideration of the dismissal would amount to a violation of the principle of double jeopardy. Rule
In the case at bar, the first case filed against Mr. D was dismissed on the ground of right to speedy trial and thus amounted to an acquittal. Accordingly, Mr. D cannot anymore be tried for the same offense as double jeopardy has already attached. Apply
Thus, Mr. D’s motion to dismiss should be granted due to double jeopardy. Conclusion
(Notice: The suggested answers simulate those that a bar examinee may provide, and thus specific citations are not provided. Notwithstanding, in the reviewers, the bar exam question is answered under the appropriate topic which discusses the concepts and principles, as well as provide for specific citations. Accordingly, please refer to it on the reviewer or in the Library.)
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