RULE 117 - MOTION TO QUASH
Section 1. Time to move to quash. – At any time before entering his plea, the accused may move to quash the complaint or information.
WHEN CAN THE ACCUSED FILE A MOTION TO QUASH?
> At any time before entering the plea, the accused may move to quash the complaint or information
AN INFORMATION WAS FILED AGAINST X. X FILED A MOTION TO QUASH AS THE FACTS IN THE INFORMATION DIDN’T CONSTITUTE AN OFFENSE. THIS WAS FILED TOGETHER WITH AN APPLICATION FOR BAIL. IS THIS VALID?
> Yes. There is no inconsistency that exists between an application of an accused for bail and his filing of a motion to quash.
Sec. 2. Form and contents. – The motion to quash shall be in writing, signed by the accused or his counsel and shall distinctly specify its factual and legal grounds. The court shall consider no
ground other than those stated in the motion, except lack of jurisdiction over the offense charged.
WHAT IS THE FORM REQUIRED FOR A MOTION TO QUASH?
1. It must be in writing
2. It must be signed by the accused or his counsel
3. It must specify its factual and legal grounds
Sec. 3. Grounds. – The accused may move to quash the complaint or information on any of the following grounds:
(a) That the facts charged do not constitute an offense;
(b) That the court trying the case has no jurisdiction over the offense charged;
(c) That the court trying the case has no jurisdiction over the person of the accused;
(d) That the officer who filed the information had no authority to
(e) That it does not conform substantially to the prescribed form;
(f) That more than one offense is charged except when a single punishment for various offenses is prescribed by law;
(g) That the criminal action or liability has been extinguished;
(h) That it contains averments which, if true, would constitute a legal excuse or justification; and
(i) That the accused has been previously convicted or acquitted of the offense charged, or the case against him was dismissed or otherwise terminated without his express consent.
WHAT ARE THE GROUNDS THAT THE ACCUSED MAY INVOKE TO QUASH A COMPLAINT OR INFORMATION?
1. That the facts charged don’t constitute an offense
2. That the court trying the case doesn’t have jurisdiction over the offense
3. That the court trying the case doesn’t have jurisdiction over the accused
4. That the officer who filed the information didn’t have authority to do so
5. That it doesn’t conform substantially to the form subscribed
6. That more than one offense is charged except when a single punishment for various offenses is prescribed by law
7. That criminal liability or action has been extinguished
8. That it contains averments which, if true, would constitute a legal excuse or justification
9. That the accused has been previously convicted or acquitted of the offense charged, or the case against him has been dismissed or otherwise terminated without the consent of the accused
CAN THE COURT DISMISS THE CASE BASED ON GROUNDS THAT ARE NOT ALLEGED IN THE MOTION TO QUASH?
> The general rule is no, the court cannot consider any ground other than those stated in the motion to quash.
> The exception is the lack of jurisdiction over the offense charged. If this is the ground for dismissing the case, it need not be alleged in the motion to quash since it goes into the very competence of the court to pass upon the case.
X FILED A MOTION TO QUASH AN INFORMATION ON THE GROUND THAT HE WAS IN THE US WHEN THE CRIME CHARGED WAS COMMITTED. SHOULD THE MOTION BE GRANTED?
> The motion should be denied
> The accused is already making a defense
> Matters of defense are generally not a ground for a motion to quash they should be presented at the trial
WHAT IS MEANT BY THE STATEMENT THAT A MOTION TO QUASH HYPOTHETICALLY ADMITS ALLEGATIONS OF FACT IN THE INFORMATION?
> It means that the accused argues that assuming that the facts charged are true, the information should still be dismissed based on the ground invoked by the defendant.
> Therefore, since the defendant assumes that the facts in the information are true, only these facts should be taken into account and the court resolves the motion to quash. Other facts, such as matters of defenses, which are not in the information should not be considered
> The exceptions to the rule are when the grounds invoked to quash the information are extinction of criminal liability, prescription, and former jeopardy. In these cases, additional facts are allowed.
CAN THE ACCUSED MOVE TO QUASH ON THE GROUND THAT HE IS DENIED DUE PROCESS?
> No, denial of due process is not one of the grounds for a motion to quash
WHAT IS THE TEST TO DETERMINE THE VALIDITY OF A MOTION TO QUASH ON THE GROUND THAT THE FACTS AVERRED IN THE INFORMATION DON’T AMOUNT TO AN OFFENSE?
> The test is whether the facts alleged would establish the essential elements of the crime as defined by law, and in this examination, matters aliunde are not considered
X FILED A MOTION TO QUASH ON THE FOLLOWING GROUNDS: THAT THE COURT LACKED JURISDICTION OVER THE PERSON OF THE ACCUSED AND THAT THE COMPLAINT CHARGED MORE THAN ONE OFFENSE. CAN THE COURT GRANT THE MOTION ON THE GROUND OF LACK OF JURISDICTION?
> In the past, the answer would have been no since the SC ruled in several cases then that the motion to quash on the ground of lack of jurisdiction over the person of the accused must be based only
on this ground. If other grounds are included, there is waiver, and the accused is deemed to have submitted himself to the jurisdiction of the court.
> The new rule, based on the decisions of the SC on Section 20 of Rule 14 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, the inclusion of other grounds aside from lack of jurisdiction over the person of the
defendant in a motion to dismiss shall not be considered as a voluntary appearance.
WHAT IS THE EFFECT OF AN INFORMATION THAT WAS SIGNED BY AN UNAUTHORIZED PERSON?
> A valid information must be signed by a competent officer, which, among other requisites, confers jurisdiction over the person of the accused and the subject matter of the accusation
> Thus, an infirmity in the information such as the lack of authority of the officer signing it cannot be cured by silence, acquiescence, express consent, or even amendment.
It is an invalid information and cannot be the basis of criminal proceedings.
> A motion to quash would prosper
WHAT HAPPENS IF THE DEFENDANT ENTERS HIS PLEA BEFORE FILING A MOTION TO QUASH?
> By entering his plea before filing the motion to quash, the defendant waives the formal objectives to the complaint or information
> But if the ground for the motion is any of the following below, there is no waiver. The following grounds may be raised at any stage of the proceeding:
1. Failure to charge an offense
2. Lack of jurisdiction over the offense
3. Extinction of criminal liability
4. Double jeopardy
> Note: if it is a formal objection, it is deemed waived upon plea