California' torture law, Penal Code 206, defines torture as “inflicting great bodily harm on another person with the specific intent to cause cruel or extreme pain.” Aside from the fact that the victim must sustain serious injuries, a torture criminal offense is more concerned with the intent of the defendant to cause harm.
Torture falls under the same legal category as assault and battery. In legal terms, these crimes are defined as follows:
- Battery: The willful and unlawful of force or violence upon the person of another.
- Assault: Any unlawful attempt, coupled with a present ability, to commit a violent injury on the person of another.
Torture is a felony, and conviction results in a life sentence in a federal prison. However, there are a range of legal defenses that defendants may avail of in order to fight conviction charges. When a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney assesses your torture charge, he can propose the following types of defense:
Lack of intent. In the case of an accident, a battery charge requires that the defendant actually intended to commit a ‘willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon the person of another.
Self defense. If a defendant was simply defending himself from attack, then it is not assault and battery.
Defense of other people or defense of property. As with self-defense, a charge of assault and battery does not qualify if the physical contact was made against a person who was trying to attack other people or property.
California state law provides parameters as to how a torture assault and battery case can be charged. One of these parameters is in the extent of the injury sustained by the torture victim. A slight injury (or none at all) it most often is charged as a misdemeanor. However, if there is significant injury (i.e. broken bones, cuts requiring stitches, etc.), then the offense is a felony. Still in some cases, a torture crime may be charged as a strike under the state's “three strikes” law.
If you or your loved one is in danger of being charged with torture crime assault and battery charges, you need to seek the services of an assault and battery criminal defense attorney. If you have been arrested or are under investigation with a torture assault and battery offense, contact the Joe Shemaria Law Firm. We have extensive experience on cases involving these types of accusations, and we know how to resolve your case so that you avoid the stigma of an assault and battery conviction. Call the Joe Shemaria Law Firm today for a free consultation today on your legal rights and options.