Q: What are the elements of this crime?
- The offender is a public officer or employee.
- The offender has detained a person based on legal grounds.
- The offender fails to deliver the detained person to the proper judicial authorities within specific timeframes, depending on the severity of the crime.
Q: What are the circumstances considered in determining the liability of an officer detaining a person beyond the legal period?
- The means of communication used.
- The time of arrest.
- Other circumstances, such as the time of surrender and the fiscal’s ability to conduct an investigation and file the necessary information in time.
Q: What situations are contemplated by Art. 125? Art. 125 applies when an arrest is made without a warrant, but there exists a legal ground for the arrest. It does not apply when the arrest is based on a warrant, as the person can be detained until their case is decided by the court or they post bail for temporary release.
Q: Under Art. 125, when does the detention become arbitrary? The detention becomes arbitrary when it exceeds 12, 18, or 36 hours, depending on the penalty for the crime (light, correctional, or afflictive).
Q: What is meant by delivery? Delivery refers to filing the correct information or complaint with the proper judicial authorities. It does not involve the physical turnover of the arrested person to the court.
Q: What is meant by proper judicial authorities? Proper judicial authorities refer to the courts of justice or judges vested with the power to order the temporary detention or confinement of a person charged with a public offense.
Q: If a person is arrested pursuant to a warrant of arrest, within what period should a police officer turn over the arrested person to the judicial authority? There is no specified time limit, but the return must be made within a reasonable time. The period fixed by Art. 125 does not apply when the arrest is based on a warrant.
Q: Should the person arrested without a warrant opt to avail his right to a preliminary investigation, what must he execute? Under the Revised Rules of Court, the person should waive in writing his rights under Art. 125. This waiver must be under oath and with the assistance of counsel.
Q: What is the length of waiver?
- Light offense – 5 days
- Serious and less serious offenses – 7 to 10 days
Q: What if the person arrested does not want to waive his rights under Art. 125? The arresting officer will have to comply with Art. 125 and file the case immediately in court without a preliminary investigation. Note that filing the information in court beyond the specified period does not cure the illegality of detention, and the detaining officer remains liable under Art. 125. It also does not affect the legality of confinement under process issued by the court.