* This translated version is originated from Ministry of Justice and for reference only.
Article 26.- Definition of penalty
Penalty is the most severe coercive measure applied by the State so as to strip or restrict the rights and interests of the offenders.
Penalties are provided for in the Penal Code and decided by the court.
Article 27.- The purpose of penalty
Penalties aim not only to punish offenders but also to rehabilitate them into persons useful to society and having the sense of observing laws and regulations of the socialist life, preventing them from committing new crimes. Penalties also aim to educate other people to respect laws and prevent and combat crimes.
Article 28.- Penalties
Penalties include principal penalties and additional penalties.
1. The principal penalties include:
c) Non-custodial reform;
e) Termed imprisonment;
f) Life imprisonment;
g) Death penalty.
2. The additional penalties include:
a) Ban from holding certain posts, practicing certain occupations or doing certain jobs;
b) Ban on residence;
d) Deprivation of some civic rights
e) Confiscation of property;
f) Fine, when it is not applied as a principal penalty;
g) Expulsion, when it is not applied as a principal penalty.
3. For each offense, the offender shall be subject to only one principal penalty and may be subject to one or more additional penalties.
Article 29.- Warning
Warning applies to offenders of less serious crimes involving extenuating circumstances not warranting penalty exemption.
Article 30.- Fine
1. Fine is applied as a principal penalty to offenders of less serious crimes of infringing upon the economic management order, public order, administrative management order and a number of other crimes prescribed by this Code.
2. Fine is applied as an additional penalty to persons who commit corruption or drug-related crimes or other crimes prescribed by this Code.
3. The fine level shall depend on the nature and seriousness of the crimes committed and take into account the property situation of the offenders and the fluctuation of prices, but must not be lower than one million dong.
4. The fine money can be paid in a lump sum or installments within the time limits decided by the courts in judgements.
Article 31.- Non-custodial reform
1. Non-custodial reform of between six months and three years applies to persons committing less serious crimes or serious crimes prescribed by this Code who have stable working places or clear residence places if it is deemed unnecessary to separate the offenders from society.
If a sentenced person has been held in custody and/or detained, the time spent in custody and/or detention shall be subtracted from the total period of their non-custodial reform, with one day of custody and/or detention being equal to three days of non-custodial reform.
2. The courts shall assign the persons subject to non-custodial reform to the agencies or organizations where such persons work or to the authorities of the places where such persons permanently reside for supervision and education. The sentenced persons families shall have to coordinate with agencies, organizations and local authorities in the supervision and education of such persons.
3. The sentenced persons shall have to perform a number of duties according to the provisions on non-custodial reform and be subject to between 5% and 20% deduction of their incomes for remittance into the State’s fund. For special cases, the courts may order the exemption of income deduction, but must clearly inscribe the reasons for such exemption in the judgement .
Article 32.- Expulsion
Expulsion means to order sentenced foreigners to depart from the territory of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
Expulsion is applied by courts either as a principal penalty or an additional penalty, depending on each specific case.
Article 33.- Termed imprisonment
Termed imprisonment means forcing the sentenced persons to serve their penalties at detention camps for a certain period of time. The termed imprisonment for persons who commit one crime shall range from the minimum level of three months to the maximum level of twenty years.
Time spent in custody and/or detention prior to sentencing shall be subtracted from the duration of the term of imprisonment penalty with one day of custody and/or detention being equal to one day of imprisonment.
Article 34.- Life imprisonment
Life imprisonment is the penalty of indefinite imprisonment applicable to persons who commit particularly serious crimes, but not so as to warrant being sentenced to death.
Life imprisonment shall not apply to juvenile offenders.
Article 35.- Death penalty
Death penalty is a special penalty only applied to persons committing particularly serious crimes.
Death penalty shall not apply to juvenile offenders, pregnant women and women nursing children under 36 months old at the time of committing crimes or being tried.
Death penalty shall not apply to pregnant women and women nursing their children under 36 months old. For these cases, the death penalty shall be converted into life imprisonment.
In cases where persons sentenced to death enjoy commutation, the death penalty shall be converted into life imprisonment.
Article 36.- Ban from holding certain posts, ban from practicing certain occupations or doing certain jobs
The ban from holding certain posts, ban from practicing certain occupations or doing certain jobs shall apply when it is deemed that to allow the sentenced persons to hold such posts, practice such occupations or do such jobs, may cause harm to society.
The ban duration ranges from one year to five years from the date the imprisonment penalty is completely served or the judgement takes legal effect if the principal penalty is a warning, fine, non-custodial reform or in cases where persons are sentenced to a suspended sentence.
Article 37.- Ban from residence
Ban from residence means forcing persons sentenced to imprisonment not to take temporary or permanent residence in certain localities.
The residence ban duration ranges from one year to five years from the date the imprisonment penalty is completely served.
Article 38.- Probation
Probation means forcing the sentenced persons to reside, earn their living and reform themselves in a certain locality under the supervision and education of the local administration and people. During the probation period, the sentenced persons must not leave their residence places and are deprived of a number of civic rights according to Article 39 of this Code and banned from practicing certain occupations or doing certain jobs.
Probation applies to persons who commit crimes infringing upon national security, dangerous recidivists or in other cases stipulated by this Code.
The probation duration ranges from one year to five years from the date the imprisonment penalty is completely served.
Article 39.- Deprivation of certain civic rights
1. A Vietnamese citizen sentenced to imprisonment for his/her crime of infringing upon national security or committing another crime prescribed by this Code shall be deprived of the following civic rights:
a) The right to stand for election and to elect deputies to the State power bodies;
b) The right to work in the State bodies and to render service in the people’s armed forces.
2. The time limits for civic right deprivation range from one year to five years after the imprisonment penalty is completely served or the judgement takes legal effect in casew where the sentenced person enjoys a suspended sentence.
Article 40.- Confiscation of property
Confiscation of property means to confiscate part or whole of the sentenced person’s property for remittance into the State’s fund. The property confiscation shall apply only to persons sentenced for serious crimes, very serious crimes or particularly serious crimes prescribed by this Code.
When all their property is confiscated, the sentenced persons and their families shall still be left with conditions to live.