The term torture often leads to strong emotional reactions in people in California. The court system likewise handles CA Penal Code Section 206: Torture charges very harshly. Torture is considered a violent crime and a conviction can have serious repercussions for the rest of an individual’s life.
You can focus on building your understanding of this charge by going over the definition of torture, the penalties for a conviction, and possible legal defenses. Get the answers you’re looking for regarding PC 206 from the Simmrin Law Group today.
California’s Definition of Torture
Torture has a very clear definition in the legal codes of California. According to the legal system, individuals should only face torture charges if they inflict great bodily injury on another person with the intention of:
- Causing Cruel or Extreme Pain
- Causing Suffering
Individuals may face torture charges specifically for causing suffering:
- To Take Revenge on Another Person
- To Extort or Persuade Someone
- For Sadistic Purposes
Note that great bodily injuries are specific types of harm in California. The following injuries are examples of great bodily injuries:
- Traumatic Brain Injuries
- Broken Bones
- Serious Cuts
You should also be aware that, in some cases, the court can use PC 203: Mayhem or PC 205: Aggravated Mayhem to prosecute individuals who disfigure others. These charges can be very severe.
Examples of Acts of Torture
Examples can help you understand how the state of California uses torture charges:
Man A breaks into a home, thinking that the owners are not home. He discovers that they are in the house and that they have their valuables in a safe. They do not want to give him the combination, so he gets a knife and tries to force them to answer his questions. He could be charged with torture as well as robbery.
Man B grows furious when his girlfriend breaks up with him. He decides to break into her home and to beat her with a bat in revenge. He leaves her with a concussion and several broken bones. Man B could be prosecuted for torture.
Man C is startled while walking out to his car in a dark parking lot. Another man tries to mug him, and Man C fights back, eventually breaking a few bones in the other man’s hand. However, Man C was acting in self-defense and did not intend to inflict pain and suffering. He should not face charges for torture.
Penalties for a Torture Conviction in California
Torture is prosecuted as a felony in the state of California. The penalties for a conviction can include:
- Life in Prison
- Fines of Up to $10,000
Individuals may be eligible to seek parole after a torture conviction, but not for a number of years. Generally, individuals must wait at least 7 years into their sentence before they can attempt to get parole.
Note that the penalties may be more severe if an act of torture leads to a death in California. Murder is the most serious violent crime in the state. A conviction can lead to:
- Life in Prison Without Parole
- The Death Penalty
Defenses Against Torture Accusations in California
Building a strong defense against torture accusations is very important. Individuals have the best chances for beating these charges if they contact a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles as soon as they are charged with torture.
Your criminal defense lawyer may be able to construct your defense by proving that you:
Were Acting in Self-Defense
Protecting yourself or others from serious bodily injury or death is not considered an act of torture in California. If you injure another person as an act of self-defense or in the defense of another person you may be able to avoid all criminal charges.
Weren’t Trying to Inflict Pain or Suffering
Individuals must intend to cause extreme suffering and pain by their actions to be convicted of torture. Torture charges shouldn’t apply if you were only trying to frighten someone, or if you caused pain and suffering by accident.
Were Falsely Accused of Torture
Sometimes, individuals in California are accused of crimes they did not commit. A criminal defense lawyer can investigate your case and speak with witnesses if you are falsely accused of torture to build your defense.
Speak with a Criminal Defense Lawyer in California Today
Waiting to get legal help can worsen your odds of beating a charge under CA Penal Code Section 206: Torture. Make sure you are ready to handle the charges you are facing by contacting the Simmrin Law Group now. We can even offer you a FREE consultation with our criminal defense lawyers.
Call us at (310) 997-4688, or fill out our online contact form to start getting the legal advice you need.