An Information for Estafa against the petitioner was filed with the RTC. The RTC convicted the petitioner as charged.
Fourteen (14) days later, the petitioner filed a motion for new trial with the RTC, alleging that she discovered new and material evidence that would exculpate her of the crime for which she was convicted.
Respondent Judge denied the petitioner’s motion for new trial for lack of merit.
The petitioner filed a notice of appeal with the RTC, alleging that pursuant to our ruling in Neypes v. Court of Appeals, she had a “fresh period” of 15 days from the receipt of the denial of her motion for new trial within which to file a notice of appeal.
The prosecution filed a motion to dismiss the appeal for being filed 10 days late, arguing that Neypes is inapplicable to appeals in criminal cases.
Whether the “fresh period rule” enunciated in Neypes applies to appeals in criminal cases.
The “fresh period” to appeal should equally apply to the period for appeal in criminal cases.
The raison d’être for the “fresh period rule” is to standardize the appeal period provided in the Rules and do away with the confusion as to when the 15-day appeal period should be counted. Thus, the 15-day period to appeal is no longer interrupted by the filing of a motion for new trial or motion for reconsideration; litigants today need not concern themselves with counting the balance of the 15-day period to appeal since the 15-day period is now counted from receipt of the order dismissing a motion for new trial or motion for reconsideration or any final order or resolution.
While Neypes involved the period to appeal in civil cases, the Court’s pronouncement of a “fresh period” to appeal should equally apply to the period for appeal in criminal cases under Section 6 of Rule 122 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure.