Sentencing Enhancement for a Great Bodily Injury (GBI) - PC 12022.7
If you are convicted of certain felony crimes, you could be facing additional punishment if the prosecutor alleges a sentencing enhancement for inflicting a great bodily injury (GBI) on the victim while committing the crime.
This is known as a great bodily injury sentencing enhancement, which is defined under California Penal Code 12022.7 PC. This statue doesn't apply to misdemeanor crimes.
This means you could be facing an additional sentence of 3 to 6 years in a California state prison on top of the underlying sentence. This enhancement applies when:
- You inflict a GBI on victim during commission of a felony, or
- An attempt to commit a felony offense
What is a Great Bodily Injury?
The term “great bodily injury” is a legal term that typically means:
- Significant or substantial physical injuries
It should be noted a GBI doesn't include any emotional or financial harm. The injury doesn't have to permanent and what is considered a great bodily injury is decided case-by-case by a jury.
The typical factors that are considered in order to determine a GBI are:
- Severity and pain of the injury
- Whether there was a need for medical treatment
Example of GBI Enhancement
A common example of when a PC 12022.7 great bodily injury enhancement could apply includes domestic violence offenses.
For instance, California Penal Code 273.5 PC, corporal injury on a spouse, is frequently charged when there are allegations of significant injuries.
If you caused a significant injury on your spouse, such as a concussion or serious wounds requiring medical treatment, this could be eligible for a sentencing enhancement under California Penal Code Section 12022.7 PC.
To give you a better understanding of a GBI enhancement, our Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers are providing a review below.
What is the Definition of a GBI Enhancement?
California Penal Code 12022.7 PC defines a great bodily injury sentencing enhancement:
- “Any person who personally inflicts a great bodily injury on any person, other than an accomplice, while committing a felony, or attempting to commit a felony offense, shall be punished by an additional and consecutive term of in state prison for three to six years.”
As stated above, “great bodily injury,” under Subsection (f) is defined as a significant or substantial physical injury.
Common examples of a great bodily injury include:
- Broken bones
- Gunshot wounds
- Serious wounds requiring stitches
- Serious abrasions or burns
- Dog bites
- Swollen black eye
Causing a significant injury to yourself or an accomplice doesn't qualify for a sentencing enhancement.
Also, a GBI enhancement only applies if the injury is more severe than the injury that would have resulted from the underlying offense.
GBI Enhancement for Sexual Related Crimes
California Penal Code 12022.8 PC defines a great bodily injury resulting from specific sex crimes:
- “Anyone who inflicts great bodily injury defined under PC 12022.7 on a victim involving certain sex crime like rape, sodomy, child molestation, oral copulation by force, and unlawful bodily injury on the victim will receive an additional 5 year sentencing enhancement for each violation.”
Common example under PC 12022.8 include vaginal soreness from rape, spreading a sexually transmitted disease, and getting a victim pregnant.
When Does a Great Bodily Injury Enhancement Not Apply?
A great bodily injury sentencing enhancement under California Penal Code 12022.7 PC would not apply under many situations, including:
- Misdemeanor charges
- Victim suffered only minor injuries
- You were not in the commission of a felony crime
- If underlying crime contains an element of GBI
- Murder charges – Penal Code 187 PC
- Manslaughter charges – Penal Code 192 PC
- Hit and run charges – Vehicle Code 20001 VC
- Arson charges -Penal Code 451 PC
What are the Common Underlying Offenses?
As stated, a PC 12022.7 great bodily injury enhancement only applies if the injuries are more severe than an injury that would have normally resulted from the underlying
Some common California offenses related to a GBI enhancement include:
- Penal Code 273.5 PC - corporal injury on spouse
- Penal Code 368 PC – elder abuse
- Penal Code 273d PC – child abuse
- Penal Code 242 PC – battery
- Penal Code 245(a)(1) – assault with deadly weapon
- Vehicle Code 23153 VC – DUI causing injury
What are the Punishments for a GBI Sentencing Enhancement?
A Penal Code 12022.7 PC is a sentencing enhancement, which means if you caused a great bodily injury in the commission of a felony, then you are facing a consecutive 3 to 6 years in a California state prison.
The key term is “additional,” as it adds to your sentencing for the underlying felony conviction. However, the length of the enhancement will depend on the case:
- Penal Code 12022.7(a) – provides punishment of 3 additional years in prison for a felony crime causing great bodily injury.
- Penal Code 12022.7(b) - an additional punishment of five consecutive years if the victim sustains an injury to their nervous system or muscular mechanism, such as paralysis.
- Penal Code 12022.7(c) - an additional punishment of five consecutive years in a California state prison for a felony crime causing great bodily injury when the victim is over 70 years old.
- Penal Code 12022.7(d) – an additional 4, 5, or 6 additional and consecutive years for a felony crime causing GBI when the victim is less than 5 years old.
- Penal Code 12022.7(e) - an additional 4, 5, or 6 additional and consecutive years in prison for a felony crime domestic violence crime causing GBI.
Contact Eisner Gorin LLP for a Consultation
As you can see from the information above, a conviction for a crime that involves a great bodily injury enhancement under California Penal Code Section 12022.7 PC can result is serious life-changing consequences.
If you were accused of a serious felony crime where the prosecutor might allege a GBI enhancement, contact our Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys to review the details of the case and to start planning a strategy for best possible outcome.
Eisner Gorin LLP is a top-rated criminal defense law firm located at 1875 Century Park E #705, Los Angeles, CA 90067.
Our main office is next to the Van Nuys Superior Court at 14401 Sylvan St #112 Van Nuys, CA 91401.
Contact our office for an immediate consultation at (877) 781-1570.