Hello Ms. Ha, for your request, LawNet would like to answer your question as follows:
Concealment of crimes and misprision are acts which infringe on the judicial activities of a competent authority. Persons who commit this act can be prosecuted according to the Criminal Code of Vietnam. However, concealment of crimes and misprision are two types of crimes that are very confusing. Belows are some criteria to distinguish these two crimes:
1. What is concealment of crimes? What is misprision?
Pursuant to the Criminal Code 2015 amended in 2017 of Vietnam:
Concealment of crimes is a situation in which a person, without prior promises and after knowing that a crime has been committed, harbors the criminal, conceals the traces or exhibits of the crime or commits other acts that obstruct the discovery, investigation and taking of actions against the criminal.
Misprision is a situation in which a person knows that a crime is being prepared, being carried out, or has been carried out but fails to report it.
2. Distinguish between concealment of crimes and misprision
- Awareness of the offender
The person who conceals the crime does not know the offense in advance and makes no promises to the offender in advance.
The person who commits misprision knows that the criminal act has been, is or will be committed, but still does not denounce it to the competent authority.
- The time to detect the crime
The person who conceals the crime discovers the crime after it has been committed.
The person who does not report a crime may detect an offense at any stage of another criminal act (was, is or will be committed).
- Commission of the crime
Concealing a crime is an act of concealing an offender, concealing traces, concealing material evidences, obstructing investigation, obstructing crime detection, or obstructing the handling of offenders.
Misprision means failure to report a crime to a competent authority.
Pursuant to Article 389 of the Criminal Code 2015 of Vietnam on concealment of crimes, any person who conceals crimes: murder, deliberate destruction of property, robbery, kidnapping for ransom... shall face a penalty of up to 03 years' community sentence or 06 - 60 months' imprisonment.
If the offence involves the offender's abuse of power or other acts of protecting the criminal, the offender shall face a penalty of 02 - 07 years' imprisonment.
According to Article 390 of the Criminal Code 2015 of Vietnam, any person who commits misprision shall face a penalty of up to 03 years' community sentence or 06 - 36 months' imprisonment.
However, the person who fails to report the crime but does try to stop the criminal or reduce the consequences of the crime might be exempt from criminal responsibility or punishment.
- Cases of exemption from criminal liability
A person who conceals the crime shall not bear criminal responsibility if he/she is a grandparent, parent, child, niece/nephew, sibling, spouse of the offender, except for concealment of crimes against national security or other extremely serious crimes specified in Article 389 hereof.
The following persons shall not bear criminal responsibility of misprision:
+ Grandparent, parent, child, niece/nephew, sibling, spouse of the offender;
+ The defense counsel is not liable for the crime committed by the person he/she defends.
Note: If the above-mentioned persons conceal crimes including infringing upon national security or other particularly serious crimes in Article 389 of the Criminal Code 2015 of Vietnam, they will not be exempt from criminal liability.
The person who fails to report the crime but does try to stop the criminal or reduce the consequences of the crime might be exempt from criminal liability.