Great Bodily Injury
WHAT STRATEGIES CAN BE EMPLOYED IF YOU HAVE A GREAT BODILY INJURY ALLEGATION PENDING AGAINST YOU IN LOS ANGELES?
As I indicate in the above video a great bodily injury allegation in a criminal court carries with it a 3 year prison enhancement for anyone convicted of this enhancement and if it is admitted or a person is found guilty of causing great bodily injury to another, they will have a strike on their record for the rest of their life. With so much on the line, you must hire a seasoned criminal defense attorney who can defend you and pull out all of the stops to try and avoid the punch this serious allegation carries.
Sometimes a case is filed with this allegation and it turns out the alleged victim really was not hurt that bad. This would of course be grounds to strike the allegation and avoid its ramifications. Other times the alleged victim was partially responsible for his or her injury being so serious, and therefore the defendant should not have to suffer the consequences this allegation carries. If the defendant did something criminal, but was not responsible for the extent of the alleged victim’s injury, then this allegation should not apply. Further, in close case I have seen the judge or prosecutor make the person admit the allegation, but stay any prison sentence related to it. This saves the person 3 years at 85 percent. There are many different angles that can be taken by a savvy defense attorney. The defense strategy that is employed depends on the facts of the case, the person’s criminal background and the ability of their attorney to put everything together and convince the prosecutor and judge to give their client a break.
WHAT CONSTITUTES GREAT BODILY INJURY FOR PURPOSES OF A CRIMINAL CASE IN LOS ANGELES?
This is a question that sometimes comes up in the defense of a criminal case with a great bodily injury allegation attached to it. Surprisingly, the definition of what constitutes a “serious injury” for purposes of criminal culpability is a bit murky. Certainly a broken bone would usually be enough to be considered a serious injury. If someone is left with a permanent scar on their face, that would likely be enough for great bodily injury purposes. However, I have seen cases where it is simply not clear whether an injury rises to the level of serious for purposes of this particular 3 year enhancement. Just because the prosecutors says it is serious, does not necessarily mean it is. Sometimes your criminal defense attorney needs to take the prosecutors to task and challenge their evidence and case and show them they are wrong! If you are in trouble, you better find one of those attorneys!
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE QUESTIONS YOU SHOULD BE ASKING AN ATTORNEY YOU ARE CONSIDERING HIRING, WHEN IT COMES TO THIS TYPE OF OFFENSE?
You obviously want someone who has been down the path you are about to travel and had success. Ask the attorney how many cases they have done similar to your’s. Also, ask them what they think the best case scenario is in your situation. By asking these type of questions, this will flush the attorney out and you will get the necessary information you need to make an educated decision. Also discuss with them the possibly of avoiding the strike and the 3 year prison sentence and what scenarios they can think of based the facts of your particular case.
Once you start to ask specific questions related to your case and their experience, this will flush them out and you will be able to get a sense of whether they are right for you. I make it a point that when the client comes to meet with me, I really try and get down to what their case is all about, what they are realistically facing (based on what happened in their case) and a solid plan that will lead to the best possible result for them. I really try and hammer down what they can do to help me and what I am going to do to help them. When we part ways, after that first meeting, we should be leaving with a game plan in place and and an idea of how we can achieve success in their case. There is nothing worse than being in the dark when it comes to a criminal case. I have clients come to me all of the time because they are not happy with their current attorney and I begin to ask them questions about their case. I ask them what has happened so far, is there an offer, what exactly is the prosecutor saying you did wrong etc. I am amazed at how many people know nothing! You must know the good, the bad and the ugly regarding your case at all times!