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First Chamber denies the increase of traffic penalty for use of public transport

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The First Chamber of the Brazilian Federal Supreme Court (STF) granted Habeas Corpus (HC 122042) to reaffirm an understanding contrary to the increase of drug trafficking penalty due to the use of public transportation. The decision was taken by majority vote, defeated the Justice Alexandre de Moraes, who defended the interpretation of the law in order to increase the sentence.

In the case in question, the convicted was caught during routine inspection in bus on BR-463, near Ponta Porã (MS), carrying 17 marijuana tablets of approximately 20 kg. The sentence was increased by a third after an appeal by the Public Ministry of Mato Grosso do Sul, going from 6 years and 6 months to 8 years and 8 months in prison. For this, was computed an increase in article 40, item III, of the Law on Drugs (Law 11.343 / 2006), according to which the penalty is increased if the offense is committed in public transportation.

According to the HC Rapporteur, Justice Marco Aurelio, the correct interpretation of the device is to increase the penalty by assuming the practice of illegal trade within the public transport vehicle, and not merely its use for locomotion. This is because the legal good protected by the legal norm is the permanence of users in public transport without the occurrence of criminal practice.

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