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Changes in the Penal Process Code are now in force

SD. President Danilo Medina enacted the reformed Penal Process Code, which immediately placed the 25 articles that were subject to observations into force. These articles include the maximum extension of judicial processes to four years, and grant authority to any person to file complaints on errors or faults committed by public officials.

Law Num. 10 – 15, which introduces modification to Laws 76 – 02 was published in the Judicial Gazette Num. 10,791, on 10 February 2015.

According to procedures, it went into effect the following day in the National District and on 12 February for the rest of the country.

Nevertheless, Diario Libre confirmed that it is now when the Justice Department and the Judicial Power are adopting measures for the application of the new modifications.

“Of the punishable offenses committed by public officials, in the exercise of their functions or in relation to their functions, and in violations of human rights, any person can become a plaintiff,” underlines article 85, paragraph 3.

The next article established that the entities of the public sector can be plaintiffs. While paragraph 5 orders that it is up to the Justice Department to represent the interests of the State.

The regulation assigns in its article 27 that the victim has the right to take on his own representation, and be assisted by a technical representative of his choosing.

If the person does not have the economic capacity to appoint one, the State will provide a representative.

The judges of the first instance will hear, by themselves individually, the trials for punishable offenses which imply monetary penalties or jail terms with maximum sentences of five years or both at the same time.

In the part which covers the rights of the plaintiff, article 84 section 9 orders that the plaintiff can present his accusation, when it is considered pertinent, after becoming a plaintiff, in the cases of private motions, in spite of the Justice Department reiterating its dismissal.

The maximum duration of the whole process is four years, beginning with the first acts of procedure, established in articles 226 and 287 of the CPP, corresponding to the request for coercive measures and the presentation of evidence.

This time period can only be extended by 12 months in the case of a conviction, so that appeals can be filed.

According to article 235 of the Law, no bail contract can be signed, if the defendant cannot present a positive and precise identification. At the same time article 283 spells out that the judge can confirm or deny the closing of the file.

“In the case of the judge revokes the closing of the file, the Justice Department will have a period of 20 days in order to present the pertinent conclusive act, except that of the dismissal or closure of the file.

The freedom of the defendant becomes effective from the courtroom, and is granted even when the verdict of not guilty is not irrevocable or that an appeal has been filed.

For this, previous to this sentence to be handed down, the Justice Department in charge should establish the mechanisms of cleaning up the pending processes which the defendant might have.

The lawyer

Article 116, paragraph 3, contemplates that the lawyer who resigns cannot abandon the defense until his replacement takes charge. Likewise the defense cannot resign during the hearings. The lawyer, public defender or representative of the Justice Department who is sanctioned with a fine cannot stand in the tribunals into he pays the fine.

Source: DiarioLibre

March 24, 2015

Category: DR News |

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