murders, assasinations and negligent homicides

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Homicide, bodily harm and endangerment

Offences against life and limb are among the most serious in the Swiss penal code. Thus, in the case of homicide, the maximum penalties can be up to 20 years of deprivation of liberty, or even life imprisonment in the case of murder.

The Swiss penal code knows various types of homicides.

A first distinction is that between intentional and negligent homicide, for which the maximum penalty is up to 3 years of deprivation of liberty.

Within intentional homicides, a distinction is made between simple homicides (murder), aggravated homicides (assassination) and “attenuated” homicides (murder of passion, murder at the request of the victim, infanticide). Incitement and assistance to suicide are also included in homicide.

Under the heading of offences against life, Swiss law also criminalizes various forms of termination of pregnancy which, under certain specific circumstances, may be non-punishable.

The Swiss penal code incriminates bodily injuries which, as for homicide, can be punished whether they are committed intentionally or by negligence.

Bodily harm can be either serious and punishable by deprivation of liberty for up to 10 years, or simple and punishable by deprivation of liberty for up to 3 years. In the less serious cases, it could be a question of assault and the penalty is a fine.

Finally, the Swiss Penal Code incriminates endangerment offences in which the perpetrator is not punished because of the result of his or her behavior, but only for failing to render assistance or for engaging in behavior that endangers the life and health of others. This will be the case, for example, for the offence of failure to render aid, affray or assault.

Aware of the impact of these offences on the lives of the persons concerned and of the high stakes involved, the lawyers at Penalex Avocats SA provide you with the necessary support and expertise to ensure your defense in matters of offences against life and limb.

Our experts in for ensic science also support us in all scientific and technical issues in terms of evidence (trace analysis, DNA, fingerprints, ballistics, …) and probability calculations.

Key points

  • Homicides
    Murder (111 PC), Assassination (112 PC), Murder by passion (113 PC), Murder at the request of the victim (114 PC), Incitement and assistance to suicide (115 PC), Infanticide (116 PC), Homicide by negligence (117 PC).

  • Termination of pregnancy
    Punishable termination of pregnancy (118 CP), non-punishable termination of pregnancy (119 CP), contraventions committed by the doctor (120 CP).

  • Bodily harm
    The following offences were committed: grievous bodily harm (122 PC), simple bodily harm (123 PC), mutilation of female genitalia (124 PC), negligent bodily harm (125 PC), assault (126).
  • Endangering the life or health of others Exposure (127 PC), failure to render aid (128 PC), false alarm (128bis PC), endangering the life of others (129 PC), brawl (133 PC), assault (134 PC).