What Is Aggravated Mayhem in California Criminal Law?


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Mayhem is an unlawful or malicious activity where the person has severed a limb, disabled or disfigured the individual, has cut a tongue or put out an ey and has slit nose, ear or lip areas of the face. These serious crimes are against the law in the United States, but may have severe consequences in California.

Aggravated mayhem is severe injury against another person with intent to cause harm, disability, disfigurement or to deprive him or her from organs, members or limbs. While mayhem the word is obscure in the current electronic age, it is a violent crime similar to torturing someone or aggravated battery against the body of an individual. These crimes are punished harshly due to the nature and aspects of the intent behind them along with what is done to the body of another. These injuries also cause psychological or emotional turmoil. Criminal charges are often issued immediately with evidence mounting quickly.

Aggravated Mayhem may consist of a knife being used on a victim to steal money. While the intent is to steal, injury is often the conclusion when the individual struggles against the attacker. Permanent scars incurred during an argument could lead to these charges when they are repeated and continual. College fraternities that engage in hazing could harm a new recruit through tattoos or brands against the skin. The penalties are severe, strict and may alter the life of the accused if he or she is convicted of these illegal acts. The victim is often in the courtroom to provide testimony.

Penalties for Aggravated Mayhem

The seriousness of this crime is often reflected in the penalties. Normal mayhem may lead to two, four or eight years in a state prison in California. Fines may go as high as $10,000. However, because aggravated mayhem is so much worse, the accused when convicted may live out the rest of his or her life in the state prison. However, there is the possibility of parole. Fines may remain the same or increase based on the discretion of the judge in the case. These are criminal proceedings, and civil litigation is also possible for the victim of the incident.

Legal Defenses in Aggravated Mayhem

It is imperative that the accused hire a criminal defense lawyer to protect his or her rights and ensure he or she is provided a defense against the prosecution due to the injuries of the victim. One of the most important defense strategies is the unintentional harm to another. The willful act is what constitutes the graves of these crimes. However, if the intention was not to harm, injury, disable or disfigure the person attacked, it is possible to remove the aggravated part of the charge. In accidental incidents, the charge may be completely different which may lead to less severe penalties.

When the person seeking to defend against the charges did not actually mean to hurt the other party, it is possible that the charges are incorrect. Mayhem is a rare charge to issue against a person, and if the officer or department is not aware of all the details, the accused may not face court with the correct crime. Mayhem requires intentional or malicious harm towards the victim. Self-defense and other actions are not mayhem, and the perpetrator may not face a conviction in these instances. It is important to understand the penal codes and how they affect citizens in California.

Defending with Criminal Defense Lawyer

When someone has been charged with a criminal act, he or she is then placed in a county jail until the charges are pushed through. Then, he or she will go through the court processes to defend against the allegations. It is important to know what the charges mean, to research if possible about how this could affect the accused and that legal representation is acquired to fight the charges. If the legal definition does not apply to the situation and actions taken during the incident, the allegations may be false. This could mean the prosecution is in the wrong.

The criminal defense lawyer hired for these situations must initiate a plan of defense and a strategy of implementing the defense so that the accused is afforded a fair trial. He or she may need to claim the charges are false. This may lead to a dismissal of the case. However, other professionals may need to be hired to continue with this course of action, and the claim could become complicated.

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.

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