Law Enforcement Process
The first contact in the Criminal Justice System would be the Law Enforcement.
Law EnforcersMembers of the Philippine National Police (PNP)Members of the National bureau of Investigation (NBI)Other agencies
Duties of Law EnforcersInvestigate the CrimeConduct surveillanceInterview persons with knowledge of facts directly or indirectly connected with the offenseTake photographsArrange for entrapmentSearch premises and personsExamine public and other records
Collect EvidenceTestimony of witnessesWritingsObjects
Arrest SuspectsBy virtue of warrant of arrestUnder circumstances justifying warrantless arrest (Sec. 5, Rule 113, Rules of Court)
Refer the case and the suspects to the office of the public prosecutor for preliminary investigation or directly to Municipal Trial Court for trial and judgement
Search and SeizureRule 128, Rules of CourtPersonal properties to be searched and seized:Subject of the offenseStolen or embezzled and other proceeds or fruits of the offense used or intended
Requisites for Issuance of Valid Search WarrantIt must be issued upon probable causeThe probable cause must be determined personally by the Judge himself, and not by the applicant or any other personIn determination of probable cause, the Judge must examine in the form of searching questions and answers under oath or affirmation, the complainant and the other witnesses he may produce
The search warrant must particularly describe the place to be searched and the things to be seizedThe search warrant must be issued in connection with one specific offense
Probable CauseFacts and circumstances which would lead a reasonably discreet and prudent man to believe that an offense has been committed and that the objects sought in connection with the offense in the place sought to be searched.
Search warrant must be issued in connection with one specific offense.
Invalid Search WarrantsSCATTER-SHOT WARRANTA search warrant for more than one offenseGENERAL SEARCH WARRANTFails to sufficiently specify the place or person to be searched or things to be searched or things to be seized. It is illegal since it contemplates random, blanket or discretionary search. It is void for a lack of particularity.
Validity of Search WarrantA search warrant is valid for ten (10) days from its date. Thereafter, it shall be void. When search warrant was executed but interrupted, it may be continued on the next day, provided it is within the 10-day period of validity.
ExceptionsSearch Incidental to Lawful ArrestWhere the search is made pursuant to a lawful arrest, no need to obtain search warrantSearch of Moving Vehicle, Vessel or AircraftSince this can be quickly moved out of the locality or jurisdiction, warrantless search is justifiedPlain View Seizure (Plain View Doctrine)Prohibited articles may be taken without warrant if they are open to eye and hand of the peace officer who comes upon the inadvertently
Custom SearchPersons exercising police authority under the customs law may effect search and seizure without search warrant in the enforcement of customs lawWaiverThe right to be secure from unreasonable seizure may be waived and such waiver may be made either expressly or impliedStop and Frisk It is a vernacular designation of the right of a police officer to stop a citizen on the street, interrogate him, and pat him for weaponsLimited protective search of outer clothing of weaponThere is justifiable cause to stop and frisk the accused for hidden firearm when his companion fled upon seeing government agents
Inspection SearchInspection of buildings and other premises may be made without search warrant for the enforcement of fire, sanitary and building regulationsBorder SearchWarrantless search of incoming and outgoing passengers at the arrival and departure areas of international airports is universally allowedConsented Warrantless Search A search made by the officer after the subject of the search has consented or waived his right against unlawful search and seizure. Such waiver, if freely, willingly, knowingly and intelligently given will validate warrantless search.
Exclusionary RuleThis rule commands that evidence obtained by an unreasonable search and seizure is excluded from evidence.
Fruit of Poisonous Tree DoctrineThis doctrine means that an unlawful search taints not only the evidence obtained threat but also facts discovered by reason of said unlawful search.
Silver Platter DoctrineNow an invalid doctrine, it formerly allowed evidence obtained by police officers in an illegal search and seizure to be used against the accused.
Arrest (Who may effect arrest?)Police Officer (both warrantless arrest and arrest with warrant)Private Person (only warrantless arrest or citizen's arrest)Members of the Investigation Staff of NBIBailor (for purpose of surrendering the accused to court)Provincial or City Probation Officer (may arrest probationer under his care)
Who may issue warrant of arrest?Only the Judge may issue a warrant of arrest
Persons Exempt from ArrestSenator or Congressman in all offenses punishable by not more than 6 years imprisonment shall be privileged from arrest while congress is in session. (Sec.11, Art VI, 1987 Constitution)Heads of State, Foreign Sovereign, Ambassadors, Public Ministers are exempt from arrest. Consuls, however, do not enjoy the same privilege.
Lifetime of Warrant of ArrestIt must be made 20 days from the receipt by the Warrant Section or Head of OfficeWarrant of Arrest remains valid and effective until it is executed (meaning accused is arrested) or quashed, lifted, set aside or recalled)The failure of a peace officer to serve warrant of arrest without sufficient justification may constitute contempt of court for obstruction of justice
When is warrantless arrest lawful?When in his presence, the person to be arrested has committed an offenseWhen in his presence, the person to be arrested is actually committing an offenseWhen in his presence, the person to be arrested is attempting to commit an offenseWhen an offense has in fact just been committed and he has personal knowledge of facts indicating that the person to be arrested has committed itWhen the person to be arrested is a prisoner-escapee
Warrant of Arrest may be served anywhere in the Philippines at any time of day and night.