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Mayhem Criminal Charges in California


The crime of mayhem has something to do with somebody committing a criminal act against another person or persons and that criminal act creates some sort of a body disfigurement.  In other words, if you punch somebody in the face and it caused them to not be able to open their eye anymore, that would be a body disfigurement and you could potentially be charged with the crime of mayhem.  Usually where I’m seeing it though is where people are really doing dangerous things — hitting somebody with a machete, firing a weapon at somebody — something that you reasonably should know is going to cause either death or some sort of serious bodily disfigurement.  As you might guess, punishment for mayhem is very serious and it’s a strike and is very difficult to get of your criminal record if you end up getting convicted of a mayhem charge in Los Angeles, California. Mayhem charges are described under:

California Penal Code Section 203
California Penal Code Section 205

What I have you do is come in and we sit down and go over all the facts and details related to your case with our California criminal defense lawyers and we see if we can get another charge other than mayhem if the prosecutors have the evidence against you.  Obviously, if you have a defense to the crime, then we will map out how we’re going to strategically defend you in a jury trial.

Strategy for Lesser Charges

But, if you don’t have a defense and they have witnesses and evidence to prove that you’re guilty of a crime at least, then the question becomes should it be mayhem or should it be a different crime, because what ends up happening is even though you may be charged with mayhem, there’s other crimes that typically could also be charged that are lesser included or just lesser charges to mayhem, and of course, that’s going to spin on the fats and circumstances surrounding your case.  So, we’re going to do an evaluation and first determine whether or not you want to fight your case and if you don’t, then we’re going to evaluate what other viable charges other than this very serious charge that’s obviously going to send you to prison, put a strike on your record and put you in a real be position.

In addition to getting a conviction and a strike that you can’t get off your record, in a mayhem case, end up with paying the victim for any out-of-pocket they lose as a result of the events that led to the subject charges.  So, there can be a huge restitution payment — again, depending on the circumstance surrounding the case. I rarely see mayhem charged just because there’s not a lot of cases where there’s a horrible disfigurement.  Usually, if someone is being injured to that degree, they are charged with murder or some other more serious crime.

So, pick up the phone if you’ve got a mayhem charge pending against you in one of the Los Angeles county courthouses.  We’ll sit down and go over everything.  We’ll map out a strategy that best suits your case, puts you in the best position and gets you out of the criminal justice system as fast as possible.

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Ronald D. Hedding, ESQ.

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