Practice Areas

Criminal Law

  • Filings before the Office of the Ombudsman
  • Office of the City Prosecutor and the Courts
  • Representation for the Accused
  • Representation for the Complainant

We at Duran & Duran-Schulze Law offer our expertise in criminal law and criminal law litigation to help our clients in their case, whether as complainants or defendants. We represent clients in most legal jurisdictions across Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, including the Office of the Ombudsman and the appellate courts.

Criminal Law in The Philippines

Philippine criminal law is embodied in the Revised Penal Code, which defines the general principles of the law, including the circumstances that determine criminal liability. The Revised Penal Code also identifies acts that constitute as crimes and the corresponding penalties for such acts.

Those accused of criminal acts stand trial in the proper Philippine court. Before this can happen, however, a complaint must be lodged with the Office of the City Prosecutor (OCP) where the crime was committed. The OCP then conducts a preliminary investigation to ascertain the merits of the complaint.

Once the case goes to trial, the defendant is afforded the presumption of innocence until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt. If convicted, the defendant can choose to go through the appeals process to contest the decision or parts of it.

Through all these, lawyers play a crucial role both for the defendant and the complainant.

While public prosecutors are tasked to represent the complainant in court, private lawyers may assist in the proceedings. In most cases, it is highly advisable for complainants to hire the services of private prosecutors to ensure the case is given utmost attention.

On the other hand, defendants need the services of a skilled and knowledgeable lawyer who will ensure their rights are protected and they receive due process.

Classification of Crimes

In the Philippines, crimes are classified as follows:

  • crimes against national security
  • crimes against fundamental laws of the state
  • crimes against public interest
  • crimes against public morals
  • crimes committed by public officers
  • crimes against persons
  • crimes against security
  • crimes against property

Given these classifications, criminal lawyers have to be adept in representing their clients not only in regular trial courts but also in the Sandiganbayan, a special court with jurisdiction over graft and corruption cases filed against public officers and employees. Prosecution of such cases fall in the hands of the Office of the Ombudsman.

Representing the Accused

Our lawyers at Duran & Duran-Schulze Law will look after our client’s rights from the start of the process to the end. This includes representation during the preliminary investigation, which is conducted to determine if there’s sufficient ground for the case to flourish. Where possible, we shall work to have the case dismissed at this stage and spare our client the ordeal of a trial.

If the case does go to court, we shall exhaust all legal means to ensure our client receives a fair and just trial, and will explore all post-trial options, including filing an appeal if necessary.

Representing the Complainant

If our client is the victim of a criminal act, we shall support him from the start of the process to ensure the case gains enough strength and credence to go to court.

It is best for crime victims to seek the help of a lawyer as soon as they can so they can get legal advice on evidence-gathering. Proper documentation of wounds, injuries, the crime scene and other elements is critical.

During the preliminary investigation, we shall help our client establish a strong foundation for his complaint.

If the case goes to trial, we shall assist the public prosecutor in proving the defendant’s guilt, banking on our legal expertise and years of experience in litigation.