Some of the most common cases seen by criminal law firms in Singapore are VCH cases. VCH laws – voluntarily causing hurt – seek to hold people accountable for harming others. Doing this helps to keep citizens safer and Singaporean society in order.
Unfortunately, many people do not understand what constitutes harm under these laws. They do not realize that they may be entitled to compensation or might be required to serve jail time for their crime. Here are a few things to know about VCH cases, straight from a Singapore criminal attorney:
What Constitutes VCH?
Voluntarily causing hurt is legally defined as the willful or knowing cause of bodily harm, injury, or illness to another person. This means that knowing harm is likely to occur and/or intending to cause harm are both punishable under the law. It also means that any form of intentional injury – including inflicting disease – is illegal.
What Kind of Punishment Might Be Imposed?
If someone has caused the injury or illness of another person in Singapore, the law sets a three-tier precedent for punishment.
- Tier one – Very minor injuries sustained by the victim. Punishment of up to four weeks imprisonment, or a penalty fine against assailant.
- Tier two – More moderate harm inflicted, causing interruption of work or education for the victim. A punishment of four to six weeks in jail is typical.
- Tier three – Serious injury sustained by the victim, causing long-term or permanent impacts on quality of life. Imprisonment of anywhere from six to twenty-four months is common, with some sentences lasting longer.
Additionally, other forms of injury might be considered outside of these tiers. These include VCH with a deadly weapon, or voluntarily causing grievous injury. Both typically carry harsher penalties than simple VCH cases.
Is Jail Time Always a Certainty?
Provocation and other extenuating circumstances may be considered when it comes to penalties for voluntarily causing harm. For those facing a VCH charge, the best way to avoid lengthy jail time or hefty fines is to work with a reputable and experienced criminal attorney. A legal professional can help you better understand both your rights and those of the person you harmed – and how to get you the fairest possible sentence.