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Entrance of the Organic Code of Criminal Procedure

By Decree No. 9042, dated June 12th, 2012, published in Extraordinary Official Gazette No. 6078 dated June 15th, 2012, becoming effective on January 1st, 2013, the reform of the Criminal Procedure Code. According to its Second Transitional Provision some provisions took effect early on June 15th, 2012, those are: 38, 41, 43, 111, 122, 127, 156, Second Title related to the intermediate phase which comprehends articles 309 to 314 relating to the preliminary hearing, the absence of any party, rights and duties of the parties, audience development, decision and order to start the trial; Third Title of the Oral Procedure which comprises articles 315 to 352, and articles 374, 430 and 488 related to the appeal against the decision to agree the release of the accused, the suspension of the decision of an action, work outside the establishment to prisoners who have served at least half of his sentence.
The following modifications are found in the new Code:
1) Extension of the reparatory agreements for manslaughter cases.
2) There will no longer be collective vacations for Penal Courts.
3) The elimination of mixed tribunal with jurors. Now First Instance Municipal Courts with functions of control will jurisdiction in cases of minor felonies and those whose sanction does not exceed 8 years.
4) The absence of the defendant will no longer be a reason for the delay of the trial. If the defendant is absent a public defendant will be appointed and the procedure will continue.
5) The separation of causes is established, the number of crimes the defendant commits is tantamount to the number of penalties.
6) With regards to citations and notifications of the victim, experts and translator, a notification must be issued the same day that the date for the act is agreed upon.
7) Extension of periods relating to: maximum of forty-five (45) days for preventive judicial deprivation of liberty, without extension, for the Prosecutor to submit the accusation, requested dismissal or archive the actions performed. This measure should be resolved within twenty-four hours after the prosecutor's request to the control judge. Regarding the request for dismissal, it is set within forty-five (45) days for the judge to decide the matter without convening a hearing to decide. With regard to the preliminary hearing during the intermediate phase, if the case arises from the deferral of the same, it is established a period not to exceeding twenty (20) days to be presented again. It also reduced the period of appeal of the final judgment, being now five (5) days for the Court of Appeals decision on the admissibility of the action.
8) In cases where the penalty does not exceed 8 years, the defendant can request the conditional suspension of the process to the Control Judge.
9) The Attorney General can now exercise the representation of the victim if they choose or are absent.