In California, the criminal code penalizes acts that intentionally harm other people. One of such acts is called aggravated mayhem. It is a specific crime, but also a very serious one. California Penal Code 205 PC has defined it as the intentional harm to another that results in a permanent disability, disfigurement, or deprivation of limb, organ, or member of the body.
It is imperative that the prosecution proves the defendant was indifferent to the well-being of the victim.
With this crime, the prosecution does not have to prove that the action carried an intent to kill, but rather that the defendant had a specific intent to cause harm to another person such that they experienced a form of bodily deprivation or disfigurement. Furthermore, it is imperative that the prosecution proves the defendant was indifferent to the well-being of the victim. The prosecution’s other burdens are to prove the defendant maliciously disfigured/disabled or deprived someone of a part of their body and that the defendant intended for the above actions to occur. Therefore, the latter burden allows for the defendant to prove that the actions, while unfortunate, were mere accidents and not intentional.
However, for those the court finds guilty of aggravated mayhem, the penalties are severe. The crime is a felony and can result in a sentence of life in state prison with possibility of parole. The accused may also have to pay a fine to the court. Sometimes aggravated mayhem may not occur in isolation and, as such, if murder or other forms of assault also occur, those charges can be added on. For anyone accused of this crime, it is best to consult an experienced criminal attorney.