Sec 203 of the California Penal Code specifically reads as follows:
“Every person who unlawfully and maliciously deprives a human being of a member of his body, or disables, disfigures, or renders it useless, or cuts or disables the tongue, or puts out an eye, or slits the nose, ear, or lip, is guilty of mayhem.”
The crime of mayhem requires the following facts to be proven:
1) The accused unlawfully used physical force upon another person;
2) The said force applied resulted in injuries to the victim;
3) The accused had malicious intent to inflict the said force upon the victim;
The force should result in disability which is permanent or lingering in nature and not just temporary in duration. Another injury result would be disfigurement of the victim to fall within the purview of this provision. Examples of disfigurement includes burn scars, blindness that may be permanent in nature and forcible application of tattoos other marks on the body.
The crime of mayhem is a felony offense and at conviction would impose formal probation and prison time of two, four or eight years in state prison or life sentence with the possibility of parole if the conviction is for aggravated mayhem. Another penalty would be a fine worth $10,000.
There are other sentencing enhancements imposable depending on the circumstances of the case. IF the victim is under fourteen years of age or above sixty five years of age or suffers from a disability or is a paraplegic or quadriplegic would add one or two years for each violation. IF the victim suffers great bodily harm, this would be aggravated mayhem and the imposable sentencing enhancement would be between to three to six years. When there is an intent to cause cruel or unusual pain, then the accused would be charged under the California Torture Law and the imposable penalty would be life imprisonment in state prison.
The commission of the crime of mayhem is a serious matter in California. Should you be or know anyone facing any of these charges, do reach out to the lawyers at the Law Offices of Ramiro J. Lluis for a free consultation today.