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California Penal Code Section 12022.7 - Assault with Great Bodily Injury

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Causing great bodily injury to another is considered a felony crime, meaning conviction can result in severe penalties, including prison time. If you are currently facing a charge of assault with great bodily injury, it is in your best interests to contact an experienced Pasadena, Encino, Santa Clarita, Ventura, or Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer right away!

Call the Kann California Defense Group now and our team of dedicated criminal defense attorneys will immediately get started on bailing you out. After we have secured your release, we will give you a thorough evaluation of your case and your best legal options. There is a way for you to come out of this with your personal and professional life intact, and we will find it, together. For a free consultation, call (888) 744-7730.

What Is Great Bodily Injury?

Causing another person great bodily harm is not a crime in and of itself – it's a sentencing enhancement. In other words, if you are convicted of a criminal offense and the judge also finds that your criminal actions led to someone besides you or an accomplice suffering great bodily injury, then California Penal Code 12022.7 PC authorizes the judge to impose harsher penalties than s/he otherwise would have.

How Does California Penal Code 12022.7 PC Apply to Assault?

When an instance of assault involves even the threat of great bodily injury, assault with a deadly weapon or "ADW," as defined by Penal Code 245(a)(1), usually applies since great bodily injury is integral to, or naturally a part of, this offense. In cases where great bodily injury is actually inflicted, the prosecution can charge the culprit with ADW along with the great bodily injury enhancement.

Common Examples of Great Bodily Injury/Harm

Though the court determines what constitutes great bodily injury on a case-by-case basis, the following injuries qualify in most cases, barring exceptional circumstances:

  • Broken bones
  • Severe lacerations, bruises, and burns
  • Strangulation
  • Gunshot wounds
  • A dog bite (if the dog was commanded to bite the victim)

In short, great bodily harm only applies to severe or significant injuries. Trivial injuries, like minor cuts and bruises, very rarely, if ever, constitute this enhancement.

The Difference between Serious and Great Bodily Injury

In the criminal code, a great bodily injury is "a substantial or significant injury" while serious bodily injury means impairment to a physical condition. Although the differences between the two terms are minor, they apply significant effects onto potential penalties.

While a serious bodily injury enhancement can result in a maximum prison sentence of four years, a great bodily injury enhancement can subject an offender to an additional three to six years in prison on top of the sentence for the underlying crime.

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Since the filing of a great bodily injury enhancement is completely up to the prosecutor's office, it is absolutely essential to hire a dependable California criminal defense attorney to fight this allegation. Contact the Kann California Defense Group now for immediate legal assistance!

Related Charges:

False Imprisonment, California Penal Code Sections 236 and 237(a)