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TITLE FOURTEEN: QUASI-OFFENSES

Art. 365. Imprudence and Negligence.



How committed:
1. Committing, through reckless imprudence, any act which, had it been
intentional, would constitute a grave or less grave felony or light felony;
2. Committing, through simple imprudence or negligence, an act which would
otherwise constitute a grave or less serious felony;
3. Causing damage to the property of another through reckless imprudence or
simple imprudence or negligence;
4. Causing through simple imprudence or negligence some wrong which, if
done maliciously, would have constituted a light felony.

If the act performed would not constitute a grave or less grave felony or light felony
under any RPC provision which defines intentional felony, Art. 365 is not applicable.

Imprudence or negligence is not a crime in itself; it is simply a way of committing a
crime. Imprudence or negligence becomes punishable only when they resulted to a
crime.

Intentional crimes v. Negligence or imprudence
In intentional crimes, the act itself is punished; in negligence or imprudence, what is
principally penalized is the mental attitude or condition behind the act, the dangerous
recklessness or lack of care or foresight; the imprudencia punible.

Negligence in RPC vs. Negligence in CC
A negligence act causing damage may produce civil liability arising from
crime or create an action for quasi-delict under the CC. Injured party cannot
recover damages twice for the same act or omission of the defendant (Art.
2177 CC)
Negligence in Civil Law may arise from a contract or from a tort.

Imprudence vs. Negligence

Imprudence Negligence
Deficiency of action Deficiency of perception
Failure in precaution Failure in advertence
May be avoided by taking the necessary
precaution to avoid injury or damage
once these are foreseen.
May be avoided by paying proper
attention and using due diligence in
foreseeing injury and damage impending
to be caused.
Voluntary; without malice Voluntary; without malice
Reckless imprudence
It consists in voluntarily, but without malice, doing or failing to do an act from
which material damage results by reason of inexcusable lack of precaution on the
part of the person performing or failing to perform such act, taking into consideration
his employment or occupation, degree of intelligence, physical condition and other
circumstances regarding persons, time and place.

Elements:
1. That the offender does or fails to do an act.
2. That the doing of or the failure to do that act is voluntary.
3. That it be without malice.
4. That material damage results.
5. That there is inexcusable lack of precaution on the part of the offender,
taking into consideration
a. His employment or occupation;
b. Degree of intelligence, physical condition;
c. Other circumstances regarding persons, time and place.

Reckless imprudence vs. force majeure
Reckless imprudence Force majeure
Foreseeable and preventable Cannot be foreseen, or which being
foreseen, is inevitable; extraordinary
circumstance independent of the will of
the actor.

Simple imprudence
It consists in the lack of precaution displayed in those cases in which the damage
impending to be caused is not immediate nor the danger clearly manifest.

Elements:
1. That there is lack of precaution on the part of the offender.
2. That the damage impending to be caused is not immediate or the danger is
not clearly manifest.
3.
Test of negligence
Would a prudent man foresee harm to the person injured as a reasonable
consequence of the course about to be pursued?
If so, the law imposes a duty on the actor to refrain from that course or to take
precaution against its mischievous results, and the failure to do so constitutes
negligence.

Violation of rule, regulation or law is proof of negligence.

Material damage must result.

Basis for determining the inexcusable lack of precaution
1. Employment or occupation
2. Degree of intelligence and physical condition of the offender
3. Other circumstances regarding persons, time and place.

When the execution of the act covered by this article resulted in damage to the
property of another, the penalty is only fine.

Damages
If property is just partially damaged, the measure of the damage should be the
difference in value of the property immediately before the incident and immediately
after the repair.

If property is wholly destroyed, the basis for the fine is the market value of the
property at the time and place of its destruction.

Penalties
Art. 64 relative to mitigating and aggravating circumstances is not applicable to
crimes committed through negligence.
Because what we penalize in Art. 365 is the carelessness, imprudence or
negligence which characterizes the wrongful act as may vary from one
situation to another, in nature, extent and resulting consequences.
To have a fair and just application of the penalty, courts must have ample
discretion in its imposition, without being bound by the formula in Art. 64.

Penalties in Art. 365 are not applicable in the following cases:
1. When the penalty provided for the offense is equal to or lower than those
provided in the first two paragraphs of Art. 365.
a. Courts shall impose the penalty next lower in degree than that
which should be imposed, in the period which they may deem
proper to apply.
b. To preserve the difference between an act wilfully performed from
one committed through negligence.
2. When by imprudence or negligence and with violation of the Automobile
Law, the death of a person shall be caused, in which case the defendant
shall be punished by prision correccional in its medium and maximum
periods.

Contributory negligence only mitigates liability.

The penalty next higher in degree will be imposed if the offender fails to lend on the
spot help to the injured parties.

Concurrent proximate cause of two negligent persons
Where the concurrent or successive negligent acts or omission of two or more
persons, although acting independently of each other are, in combination, the direct
and proximate cause of a single injury to a third person, and it is impossible to
determine in what proportion each contributed to the injury, either is responsible for
the whole injury, even though his act alone might not have caused the entire injury.
Reason: the negligence of one person is in no sense justified by the concurring
negligence of another.

Doctrine of Last Clear Chance
The contributory negligence of the party injured will not defeat the action if it be
shown that the accused might, by the exercise of reasonable care and prudence,
have avoided the consequences of the negligence of the injured party.

Emergency rule
An automobile driver who, by the negligence of another and not by his own
negligence, is suddenly placed in an emergency and compelled to act instantly to
avoid a collision or injury is not guilty of negligence if he makes such a choice which a
person of ordinary prudence place in such a position might make even though he did
not make the wisest choice.
This applicable only where the situation which arises to confront the actor is sudden
and unexpected, and is such as to deprive him of all opportunity for deliberation.