Inland Empire Criminal Defense

Request a Free Consult

Please provide as much detail as possible, case number, court date, etc.

Mayhem Laws (PC 203/205) in California

California Penal Code 203: Mayhem

Legal Definition: Every person who unlawfully and maliciously deprives a human being of a member of his body, or disables, disfigures, or renders it useless, or cuts or disables the tongue, or puts out an eye, or slits the nose, ear, or lip, is guilty of mayhem. For a person to be convicted of a violation of PC 203, the prosecution must prove the following:You unlawfully and maliciously:

1. Removed a part of someone’s body

2. Disabled or made useless a part of someone’s body and the disability was more than slight or temporary

3. Permanently disfigured someone

4. Cut or disabled someone’s tongue

5. Slit someone’s nose/ear/lip

6. Put out someone’s eye or injured someone’s eye in a way that so significantly reduced their ability to see that the eye was useless for the purpose of ordinary sight.

PC 205 Aggravated Mayhem: A person is guilty of aggravated mayhem when he or she unlawfully, under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the physical or psychological well-being of another person, intentionally causes permanent disability or disfigurement of another human being or deprives a human being of a limb, organ, or member of his or her body.

What does this mean?

Someone acts maliciously when they intentionally commit a wrongful act or when they act with the unlawful intent to annoy or injure someone else. Disfigurement constitutes mayhem only when the injury is permanent. A disfiguring injury may be permanent even if it can be repaired by medical procedures. The victim of mayhem must be alive at the time of the mayhem attack.

It is not necessary under PC 205 that you actually intended to kill the other person. The only difference between PC 203 and PC 205 is that aggravated mayhem requires the prosecution to prove that you had the specific intent to dismember or disfigure a person. To prove PC 203, the prosecution only needs to prove that you maliciously committed an act that resulted in dismemberment or disfigurement, but not that you specifically intended to dismember or disfigure another person.


Both Mayhem charges are straight felonies. Under PC 203, if you are convicted, you could be sentenced to State Prison for upwards of two, four, or eight years. If you are convicted under PC 205, you could be sentenced to 25 years to life in State Prison. You would be required to serve 85% of that time in custody. Both Mayhem crimes are considered serious and violent crimes, as those terms are defined in the Three Strikes Law. This would mean any subsequent felony charge you would receive, would double your potential Prison exposure, and make you ineligible for a Probation sentence (no prison).Based on the serious and violent nature of these charges, they would constitute an Aggravated Felony under Federal Law, which means if you have temporary Residency status in the United States, you will be deported once you have completed your prison sentence. You could also be required to pay a hefty restitution payment for the damage you cause to the other person, including therapy, hospital bills, as well as physical rehabilitation. You would also lose any Professional License you would have.

Common Defenses

  1. Statute of Limitation
  2. Insufficient Evidence
  3. Self-Defense
  4. Violation of your Rights

The common defense under this section is self-defense/defense of a third party. It’s always important to note that as a general rule, you cannot try to maim or sever a person’s body part. However, if the alternative is that the person you are attacking actually attacked you first and your only response is to defend yourself, then that is not sufficient for a conviction under this section.

A significant consideration also arises regarding whether the elements are met for an aggravated mayhem v. mayhem. If you lack the specific intent to permanently maim another, then your case will be reduced to simple mayhem rather than the aggravated form. This aspect can also be negotiated by your attorney, considering the facts of your individual case.

Call Today

The weight of being charged with a crime under PC 203 cannot be understated. This offense is deeply serious, carrying consequences that could alter the trajectory of your life. Facing the prospect of extended incarceration or even a life sentence is daunting; hence, proactive measures are crucial.

This is not the time for hesitation. Instead, it is the moment to ensure you have the best legal defense at your side. At Inland Empire Criminal Defense, we understand the complexities of Mayhem cases under PC 203. Through years of practice, I have meticulously dissected the prosecution’s arguments, challenged the foundational elements of the crime, and shed light on any inconsistencies or weak links in their narrative.

My experience and proven track record speak to the dedication, proficiency, and commitment I bring to each case I take on. Let me be your beacon of hope during this challenging period.

For an in-depth discussion of your situation and to gain clarity on the next steps, take advantage of our free initial consultation. Reach out to Inland Empire Criminal Defense at 909-939-7126. Situated conveniently in Ontario, CA, our team stands as a bastion of expertise, authority, and trust in the realm of legal defense.

Frequently Asked Questions

Absolutely, Inland Empire Criminal Defense prioritizes your privacy and confidentiality. Every consultation with our attorney is conducted with the utmost discretion, ensuring your information remains secure and private.

Yes, understanding the financial pressures that can come with legal representation, our attorney offers flexible payment plans. This approach ensures that quality legal defense is accessible for all our clients in Riverside, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles Counties.

Yes, Inland Empire Criminal Defense offers free consultations. This is part of our commitment to providing accessible and transparent legal services to residents of Riverside, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles Counties.

We offer both in-person and over-the-phone consultations to accommodate your preferences and needs. Whether you’re in Riverside, San Bernardino, or Los Angeles County, we ensure that you can access our legal services in the way that suits you best.

Our office is typically closed on weekends. However, we do make exceptions for meetings by special arrangement. Our commitment is to be as accommodating as possible to meet the unique needs of our clients in Riverside, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles Counties.

Our legal services are specifically tailored to residents of Riverside, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles Counties. For cases outside these areas, we recommend consulting to find appropriate legal assistance. Our focused approach allows us to provide specialized defense catering to the unique legal landscape of these counties.

Content is protected. Right-click function is disabled.