Due process in criminal cases

In criminal cases, where the life and liberty of the accused is at stake, due process requires that the accused be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him; hence, any accused not clearly charged in the complaint or information for the offense could not be convicted of it, for to convict him so would be to violate his constitutional right.[1] In view of his innocence being presumed, he should likewise be presumed not to know anything about the crime he was being charged of committing. The information must then aver the facts and circumstances bearing on the culpability and liability of the accused so that he can properly prepare for and undertake his defense. However, it is not necessary for the information to allege the date and time of the commission of the crime with exactitude unless such date and time are essential ingredients of the offenses charged.

[1] People v. Umawid, G.R. No. 208719, June 09, 2014, citing Burgos v. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 123144, October 15,2003.