The current Brazil Penal Code was promulgated in 1942 and it is the third codification of criminal law, after the ones in 1830 and 1890. Several laws and amendments have made important additions to the current law, namely in terms of punishment for various crimes or the introduction of new types of crimes.
Our lawyers in Brazil specialize in all matters concerning criminal law and can help clients who are in need of legal counsel and criminal defence. Our team helps represent companies as well as individuals in a variety of cases. We work with local and international clients and our team is able to provide efficient solutions.
This article briefly discusses the matters covered by the Brazil Penal Code. For more information on our services related to criminal law, please reach out to our lawyers.
The definition of crime in the Brazil Penal Code
Title II of the Penal Code offers important information and definitions on what constitutes a crime and how individuals can be found guilty of various types of crimes. Our team of lawyers in Brazil highlight some of the definitions below, we they appear in the text of law:
- Causality: the crime exists only in relation to the person who caused it (it is attributable to that individual); cause is the action or omission without which the result (the crime) would not have occurred; this element is important when presenting a case and our team of attorneys in Brazil can help individuals prove causality;
- The duty to act: it lies with those who have a duty of care, protection or surveillance; omission is criminally relevant when an individual who should have exhibited duty of care fails to do so;
- Wilful and culpable crime: the first occurs when it is intentional, when the individual sought the result and assumed the risk; the second applies when the agent committed the crime as a result of negligence, imprudence or malpractice; our team can help with more extensive definitions of these terms found in the Brazil Penal Code, if needed;
- Self-defence: the action of an individual who, using moderate necessary means, repels the attacker;
- State of need: the criminal is considered to be in a state of need to save himself from current danger that could not be avoided; those who have a legal duty to face danged are not able to claim a state of need; there are cases that fall under this scope in which the penalty may be reduced from one to two thirds.
All these definitions are relevant when an individual is accused of having committed a crime under the Brazil Penal Code. Our team of lawyers who specialize in criminal law can provide further definitions and assistance for understanding the legal terms and provisions. Our lawyers are also specialized in matters related to immigration to Brazil.
In some cases, a crime is unimputable. This can apply in the following cases:
- – Minors: individuals under the age of eighteen are criminally incomputable and are subject to the rules set forth in other laws, other than the Brazil Penal Code;
- – Drunkenness: in some cases, the agent can be exempt from penalty if, due to complete drunkenness, at the time of the action he was entirely unable to comprehend the illicit character of the act; further information on this can be provided by the experts at our law firm in Brazil;
- – Mental illness: an agent is exempt from penalty when, due to mental illness or incomplete/delayed mental development, he was entirely unable to understand the illicit nature of his acts;
- – Partial mental illness: the penalty can also be reduced from one to two thirds when the agent, due to metal health disturbances or incomplete development, was partially unable to understand the unlawful nature of his acts.
Our team can provide more details on these special provisions for unimputable crimes set forth in the Brazil Penal Code.
According to IBGE, the Brazil Institute of Geography and Statistics, 108 052 violent deaths occurred in 2018. Other statistical data about crime in Brazil highlights the following:
- – the murder rate in 2018 was of 24.7 per 100,000 people;
- – in 2017 the murder rate was higher, 29.2 per 100,000 people;
- – homicides rose by 3.7% in 2017.
Murder is punishable under the Penal Code and it is divided as stated above, into intentional and unintentional crime. The penalty varies from six to twenty years when the crime was intentional and from one to three years when it was unintentional.
Contact us for more information on the Brazil Penal Code as well as to receive details about the services we provide.
Our team of lawyers in Brazil specializes in various areas of law and can assist clients who have been accused of crimes in the country.