What is Mayhem?
Boston Area Felony Crimes Criminal Defense Attorneys
In everyday language, the term, “mayhem” is a word one might use to describe the activities of a pack of rowdy college kids. In Massachusetts law, however, “mayhem” refers to something quite specific:
the malicious maiming of an individual by putting out an eye, tearing off an ear, hacking off an arm or leg, or otherwise inflicting a disfiguring injury.
Another variant of mayhem involves a disfiguring assault with a dangerous weapon, or even a chemical such as liquid acid. As you might expect, if you are facing charges of mayhem you are facing a serious crime that is often accompanied by charges of aggravated assault and battery.
Getting a Conviction for Felony Mayhem Charges
Although serious, a charge of mayhem can actually be quite difficult for the prosecutor to prove unless it can be easily shown an act was deliberately intended to disfigure (as in the case of using acid or other means to cause burns.)
The district attorney has to show, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the accused actively intended to disfigure his victim, and that the injury didn’t happen as the unforeseen consequence of an assault. For example, if you get in a fistfight and accidentally break your opponent’s nose, it’s unlikely that you’d be charged with mayhem.
It must also be proven that you assaulted the victim, and that the assault in some way caused severe permanent injury, or disfigured or crippled the victim.
Our attorneys understand how the prosecution works and how to develop the best defense against violent criminal charges including mayhem.
Penalties For Being Convicted of Mayhem
The potential penalties you face for a mayhem conviction depend upon the court where you are convicted.
If you are prosecuted and convicted on charges of mayhem in Superior Court you can be sentenced for up to 20 year state prison. However, if the case is prosecuted in a Massachusetts District Court the punishment for a conviction is up to 2½ years in jail. [Mass. General Law: Criminal Penalties for Mayhem]
Charged With Mayhem? Our Attorneys Can Help!
If you have been charged with mayhem, our violent crimes defense attorneys may be able to plead you down to a lesser charge, or they may be able to prove that the injuries inflicted were incidental to a less serious instance of assault and battery. Because Mayhem in the state of Massachusetts is punishable by up to 20 years in prison, it is important to have someone at your side who has experience in dealing with serious crimes.
No matter where you are located in Southeast Massachusetts, expert legal help is just a phone call away. To schedule a free, no-obligation case review and consultation with an experienced Brockton, MA Criminal Defense Trial Lawyer call our law offices at (508) 584-6955.
When you make the call, rest assured you have taken your first step to find out how best to confront the charges you are facing. You can also use our Free Case Evaluation Form to submit information about your case in confidence, or to request that we contact you.