The offender shall be held liable for an impossible crime if the following requisites are present:
Impossible Crime Example
- offender performing an act that would have been an offense against a person or property;
- offender performed an act with evil intent;
- the offender didn’t commit the offense because of the impossibility of it is accomplishment or employment of inadequate or ineffectual means, and
- the offender in performing an act isn’t violating another provision of the law (Luis B.Reyes).
Impossible crimes concept of theft – X, an employee of Mega Inc., received a check from the customer of her employer. Instead of remitting the check to her employer, X deposited the check under her account. However, the drawee bank dishonored the check because of the insufficiency of funds.
What is the crime committed by X?
Answer: The crime committed is an impossible crime of qualified theft.
Qualified theft is a crime against property. The process of submitting a check is done in bad faith. The mere act of illegally taking checks for Mega Inc. indicated its intention to acquire or unjustly make money. Due to the non-funding of the check, it is virtually impossible to meet the crime of theft. (Jacinto vs. People, G.R. No. 162540, July 13, 2009).
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Impossible attempt in criminal law
Into principle – In Intod vs. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 103119, Oct 21, 1992 – Outside the house of the victim, the accused with intent to kill fired at the bedroom, where the victim is supposed to be sleeping. No one was in the room when the accused fired the shots. No one was hit by the gunfire. The accused were convicted of impossible.
Accused shoot the place where he thought his victim would be, although, in reality, the victim wasn’t present in said place, and thus, the accused failed to accomplish their end due to its factual impossibility. In the US, criminal laws are silent regarding impossible; hence where the offense sought to be committed is factually impossible to accomplishment, the offender shall be liable for the attempted crime.
On the other hand, where the offense is legally impossible to accomplish, the actor can’t be held liable for any crime. In the Philippines, the crime committed is a crime if the offense sought to be committed is factually or legally impossible. Killing a dead person is an impossible crime because of legal impossibility. Putting the hand inside an empty pocket with the intention to steal a wallet is impossible because of factual impossibility.