25/07/2022 08:57

Compensation for damage when causing an accident: can the crime be mitigated in Vietnam?

Compensation for damage when causing an accident: can the crime be mitigated in Vietnam?

Traffic accidents always leave pain both mentally and physically. Therefore, after causing a fatal accident, the person causing the accident often goes to the victim's house to make compensation. But is it simply because the person causing the accident is remorseful, wanting to ease the pain of the victim's family?

The judgment 284/2018/HS-PT dated November 16, 2018 on the crime of violating the regulations on participating in road traffic will illustrate the above content. Specifically: 

“About 8.30 a.m on November 10, 2017, Ma Van A had a valid driver's license, operated a truck with license plate number 60C-078.65, circulated on National Highway 1A, in the direction from TB district to the city. Ho Chi Minh. When coming to the section KM 1863, in Quarter 4, Ward TB1, City P, this is a densely populated area, there is danger sign 235 (double road), straight asphalt, 2-way traffic organization, with Painted lines dividing the two-way street. Road A is 9.1 meters wide and divided into 03 lanes. A controls the vehicle on the 3rd lane from the right edge (in the direction of A). At this time, in the front in the same direction, Mr. Nguyen Hoang L walked across the street from right to left (in the direction of A). Because he did not pay attention to observe, did not slow down to a non-dangerous level in a densely populated area and did not give way to pedestrians crossing the street, the front of A's car collided with Mr. L, causing an accident.

During the investigation, Ma Van A and the owner of the car with plate number 60C - 078.65 compensated the victim's family Nguyen Hoang L an amount of VND 100,000,000 (One hundred million VND), the authorized representative of Mr. L's family had petition not to initiate criminal proceedings against defendant A.”

The court sentenced defendant Ma Van A to 01 (one) year in prison but suspended a suspended sentence, for the crime of "violating regulations on driving road vehicles". The probationary period is 2 years from the date of the appellate judgment.

Crimes of infringing upon traffic safety in general and of violating regulations on road traffic participation, in particular, occur frequently in life and cause a lot of pain and loss to society in terms of people and property. Most of these crimes are caused by the violator being unintentional, negligent or overconfident in traffic, not intentionally.

Mr. A in the above case was the same, so after causing the accident, Mr. A and the owner of the car compensated the victim's family 100 million dong. Mr. A's compensation shows that Mr. A wants to compensate for the mental damage to the relatives of the victim, and at the same time, express his remorse and regret what he has done. But moreover, after the compensation is completed, Mr. A may have 02 more mitigating circumstances of his criminal liability, aiming to reduce the prison term and may be granted a suspended sentence by the Court.

The compensation for the victim's family, Mr. A will be entitled to extenuating circumstances under Point b, Clause 1, Article 51 of the 2015 Criminal Code of Vietnam:

Article 51. Mitigating factors

1. The following circumstances are considered mitigating factors:

b) Offenders voluntarily repair, compensate for damage or overcome consequences;


Moreover, after paying compensation, the victim's family has made a request not to prosecute Mr. A. In fact, many Courts consider this to be an extenuating circumstance of criminal liability under Clause 2. Article 51 of the Criminal Code:

Article 51. Mitigating factors


2. When issuing a decision on sentences, the Court might consider the offender's turning himself/herself in or other circumstances as mitigating factors and specify the reasons in the judgment.


Therefore, after compensating for damage, Mr. A may have up to 02 mitigating circumstances of criminal liability. In addition, during the investigation, Mr. A sincerely declares, repents, and admits his behavior, he will be entitled to one more extenuating circumstance of penal liability. With no aggravating circumstances and clear residence, Mr. A has fully satisfied the conditions for a suspended sentence under Article 2 of Resolution 02/2018/NQ-HDTP of Vietnam:

Article 2. Conditions for persons sentenced to imprisonment to enjoy suspended sentences

"A person sentenced to prison may be considered for a suspended sentence when fully meeting the following conditions:

1. Being sentenced to imprisonment for not more than 03 years.

2. Have a good character.

It is considered to have a good character if, in addition to this crime, the offender always strictly abides by the policies and laws and fully fulfills the obligations of citizens in the place of residence or work.

For persons who have been convicted but are considered to have no previous criminal record, who have been convicted but whose criminal records have been expunged, who have been administratively sanctioned or disciplined for which time is considered is not yet sanctioned for an administrative violation, has not been disciplined by the date of this crime, it has been more than 6 months since the date of this crime, if it is considered that the nature and extent of the newly committed crime is less serious or If the offender is an accomplice who plays an insignificant role in the case and meets other conditions, he/she can also serve a suspended sentence.

3. There are 02 or more extenuating circumstances of penal liability, including at least 01 extenuating circumstance of penal liability specified in Clause 1, Article 51 of the Criminal Code and no aggravating circumstance. criminal liability specified in Clause 1, Article 52 of the Criminal Code.

In case there are aggravating circumstances for penal liability, the number of extenuating circumstances for penal liability must exceed the number of aggravating circumstances for penal liability by 02 or more, including at least 01 extenuating circumstance. criminal liability specified in Clause 1, Article 51 of the Criminal Code.

4. Having a clear place of residence or a stable workplace for supervision and education by a competent agency or organization.

A place of obvious residence is a place of temporary or permanent residence with an address specified in accordance with the Law on Residence where the person serving a suspended sentence returns to reside and live regularly after serving the suspended sentence.

A stable workplace is a place where the offender works for a term of 1 year or more under a labor contract or under a decision of a competent agency or organization.

5. Considering that there is no need to force the execution of prison sentences if the offenders are capable of self-rehabilitation and serving them suspended sentences does not pose a danger to society; not adversely affect security, social order and safety."

The Court, based on the above, found that there was no need to isolate Mr. A from society, so he granted Mr. A a suspended sentence. This shows the leniency of the law and creates conditions for individuals who unfortunately commit crimes, helping them to correct their mistakes. The judgment is also a reminder for Mr. A to avoid repeating his mistakes in the future.

Quang Chinh

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