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Sanctions in the Church » Offenses and Penalties in General » The Subject Liable to Penal Sanctions
Canon 1324. §1. The perpetrator of a violation is not exempted from penalty, but the penalty prescribed in the law or precept must be diminished, or a penance substituted in its place, if the offence was committed by:

1° one who had only an imperfect use of reason;

2° one who was lacking the use of reason because of culpable drunkenness or other mental disturbance of a similar kind, without prejudice to the provision of can. 1326§1 n. 4;

3° one who acted in the heat of passion which, while serious, nevertheless did not precede or hinder all mental deliberation and consent of the will, provided that the passion itself had not been deliberately stimulated or nourished;

4° a minor who has completed the sixteenth year of age;

5° one who was compelled by grave fear, even if only relative, or who acted by reason of necessity or grave inconvenience, if the offence is intrinsically evil or tends to be harmful to souls;

6° one who acted in lawful self-defence or defence of another against an unjust aggressor, but did not observe due moderation;

7° one who acted against another person who was gravely and unjustly provocative;

8° one who erroneously, but culpably, thought that some one of the circumstances existed which are mentioned in can. 1323 nn. 4 or 5;

9° one who through no personal fault was unaware that a penalty was attached to the law or precept;

10° one who acted without full imputability, provided it remained grave.

§2. A judge can do the same if there is any other circumstance present which would reduce the gravity of the offence.

§3. In the circumstances mentioned in§1, the offender is not bound by a latae sententiae penalty, but may have lesser penalties or penances imposed for the purposes of repentance or repair of scandal.
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