Being charged with assault is always serious, but if the prosecution upgrades your charge to assault causing great bodily injury, you face the possibility of felony conviction, with even stiffer penalties.
At Fiumara & Milligan Law, PC we advocate for justice in your case. If it is in your best interests, we negotiate for the prosecution to drop your charges to simple assault. Or we may recommend you fight your charges at trial to demand the prosecution meet its burden of proof.
What is great bodily harm?
Under California Penal Code Section 12022.7, an assault causing great bodily harm leaves its victims with “significant or substantial physical injury.” The penalties for such assaults may be enhanced depending upon the severity of the injuries, which do not have to be life-threatening or permanent but must be more than just minor or incidental. Examples of great bodily harm include:
- Head trauma
- Spinal cord injury
- Nerve damage
- Third-degree burns
- Deep bruising
- Vaginal laceration from rape and other violent injuries
Although many gunshot and stab wounds automatically fall into this category, injuries inflicted with fists, kicks or grabs are often less clear-cut but still carry serious penalties.
Serious Bodily Injury or Great Bodily Injury (GBI) can be charged when an physical confrontation with another person results in injuries such as broken bones, loss of consciousness, concussion or disfigurement. So if you are accused of punching someone in the face and breaking their nose or their jaw, you can be charged with serious bodily injury or great bodily injury GBI.
GBI charges usually result from what are considered to be serious or permanent injuries, or the application of deadly force or specialized training such as martial arts. Assault or Battery charges with the Great Bodily Injury or GBI enhancement are highly subjective, and there is a lot I can do as a seasoned and proven assault attorney to improve the outcome in your case. The prosecutor will decide whether to add GBI and whether this will be a felony or misdemeanor.
Contact A North Bay Assault Attorney Today
At Fiumara & Milligan Law, PC we will work to establish the actual facts in the case, and protect you from accusations of others (even the police report itself). We can often help the prosecutor to see that the reality of the situation does not warrant the GBI enhancement, saving our clients large sums of money and potentially years of their time.