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What is Mayhem?
You can be charged with Mayhem in California if you deprive a person of a limb, disable or dismember another person, cut out their tongue, slit his lip or ear or put out his eye. Mayhem is a serious charge that is closely linked to assault. If a man and woman get into a verbal argument and she pours scalding water in his face, causing permanent damage, she can be charged with mayhem. If a man attempts to rob a man and slices his ear, severing it, he can be charged with mayhem.
If you cause someone a permanent disability or disfigurement, you can be charged with mayhem or aggravated mayhem, depending on the circumstances of the case. Mayhem is most commonly associated with the charge of torture or aggravated battery and is a serious crime in California. Most people who are convicted of mayhem will face long prison sentences and hefty fines. Having an attorney who will fight for you is the best way to beat a mayhem charge in California.
Defenses to a Charge of Mayhem
The charge of mayhem requires that the action leading to the attack are malicious and intentional. If you get into a physical altercation with another person and you accidentally blind them, you can argue that the disabling was accidental. Your attorney will be able to sort through the facts of the incident and explain your side of the story to the judge and jury.
If you were acting in self defense, you can use this argument to fight against the charge of mayhem. If a person attacks you while you are getting into your car and you stab them in the eye with your key, you can argue that you acted in self defense and thus should not be guilty of a crime. Mayhem can also occur if you are involved in a brawl or a riot. Your lawyer may argue that since you had not intended to directly maim or disfigure the other person, that you should not be charged with the more serious offense of mayhem.
Penalties for Mayhem Convictions in California
Mayhem is a felony charge in California, and a conviction carries with it a sentence of eight to 10 years in prison. You will also be required to pay restitution to the victim in the attack. If the victim was under the age of 18, older than 65 or previously disabled, the sentence carries with it an additional two years behind bars. If you are convicted of aggravated mayhem, you may face a sentence of life in prison.
Mayhem is a charge that is often added to other charges such as aggravated assault, assault with a deadly weapon, battery, aggravated battery and torture. This means that you could be facing additional jail time on top of the mayhem charge. This felony will also count against you under California’s “three strikes” law.
Mayhem is a serious felony and one that can land you behind bars for life. If you have been charged with this offense, you will need a skilled and aggressive attorney who will fight for your rights and your freedom. Contact your attorney today to discuss your case.