What are the factors or elements for 12202.7 PC Great Bodily Injury?
“Great bodily injury” (sometimes referred to as “GBI” or “great bodily harm”) is a legal term that basically means what is says…”great” bodily injury. Significant or substantial injuries fall under this category. By contrast, insignificant or even moderate injuries do not.
Great bodily injury refers to physical injuries…not to emotional and/or financial ones. While major traumas such as brain damage and paralysis are obvious types of great bodily injury, it is important to understand that the injury doesn’t have to be permanent or this severe.
For the most part, what constitutes GBI is determined on a case-by-case basis. Prosecutors, judges, and/or juries consider factors that include (but are not limited to):
- The severity of the injury,
- The resulting pain, and/or
- Any required medical care.
California has a complicated scheme of sentencing enhancements. These include crimes that trigger a lengthened sentence such as prior crimes, use of a gun, gang crimes, great bodily injury and carjacking. Sentencing enhancement for causing great bodily injury (GBI) are rather straightforward compared to other enhancement laws.
First it must be determined what qualifies as a “great bodily injury.” The California Penal Code refers to it as a significant or substantial physical injury. Unfortunately the definition is very broad and therefore it is left in the hands of the jury to decide what qualifies as a great bodily injury in each case.
The standard enhancement for GBI is 3 to 6 years in state prison. It applies to anyone who causes GBI during the commission of a felony or an attempted felony2. In effect, it adds 3 to 6 years to a defendant’s sentence for the underlying felony committed, and it runs in addition to and consecutively to that sentence. There is a harsher enhancement applied when GBI results from shooting a firearm from a car. An example is a drive-by shooting. In this case, the enhancement can be 5, 6, or 10 years however it is limited to cases where it is proven the defendant had the intent to cause GBI or death.
The 3-6 year enhancement for GBI is in addition and consecutive to the sentence you receive for the underlying offense. Whether you receive an additional 3, 4, 5, or 6 years depends on the age of the victim, the severity of the injury, and the circumstances of the offense.
Cases that involve a victim who is a senior over 70 or a child under 5 usually receive harsher sentencing enhancement. In cases involving domestic violence or sexual crimes is also greater penalties are sanctioned.
How can we defend you against charges of California Penal Code 12202.7 PC Great Bodily Injury ?
Overzealous prosecutors often allege great bodily injury when there is truly only a moderate injury, or sometimes even just a red-mark or bruise.
At the Law Offices of Michael A. Fiumara, “Great bodily injury is no joke, so we hold prosecutors accountable and to make sure that these allegations aren’t alleged when the facts don’t warrant it.
We have been successfully defending clients facing all types of criminal charges in Sonoma and Marin Counties, since 1992.
The 100 Trial Lawyers Association has recognized us as one of the best criminal defense attorneys in the country!
Please call our office today at (707) 571-8600 in our centrally located Santa Rosa office in Sonoma County or call our office in San Rafael in Marin County at (415) 492-4507 to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation.
Don’t bargain with your freedom! The right attorney makes all the difference between your freedom and incarceration!
Please CLICK HERE to visit our dedicated page on assault and battery charges for more info.