Los Angeles Torture Defense Attorney
If you’re facing felony criminal torture charges in Los Angeles, CA, it is important to enlist the help and guidance of an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as you can.
As one of the most serious crimes in the state of California, torture carries incredibly harsh penalties. You’re looking at the possibility of life in prison if you’re convicted. The only way to stop that from happening is to defend yourself vigorously from the start.
At the Rodriguez Law Group, our Los Angeles torture defense attorneys have decades of combined experience defending clients against the most serious felony charges.
Our team includes a former prosecutor, which means that we know how the system works and how the state will approach the charges against you. We’ll use that insider knowledge to challenge prosecutors at every turn, exploit weaknesses in the state’s case, and craft a dynamic and forceful defense on your behalf.
Contact our Los Angeles law office to arrange a free consultation with our accomplished team today. We’ll review the charges against you, provide some preliminary legal advice, and help you understand what legal options might be available to you at this time. When you decide to hire our Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers, we’ll stand by you every step of the way and help you fight to beat the criminal torture charges.
California Penal Code Section 206 PC: Torture
What is torture? Under California Penal Code Section 206 PC, torture is defined to mean:
- Acting with the intent to cause cruel or extreme pain and suffering
- For the purpose of revenge, extortion, persuasion, or for any sadistic purpose, and
- Inflicting great bodily injury on another person.
In simpler terms, torture involves making another person suffer to punish them or force them to do something.
When you face charges in California, the state will have the burden of proving that you are guilty of torture beyond a reasonable doubt. To do this, prosecutors must prove each element of the offense. Here’s a breakdown of what they’ll have to prove to convict in a felony torture case.
Great Bodily Injury
The state has to prove that you actually caused another person to suffer great bodily injury. This means that an injury has to be significant or substantial. It has to be more than a few scrapes or bruises. Examples might include broken bones, internal injuries, or catastrophic injuries that fundamentally change the course of that person’s life.
However, it’s important to note that the state does not have to prove that the victim actually suffered any pain. The fact that they were severely injured is sufficient.
Intent to Cause Cruel or Extreme Pain
Torture is a crime that must be committed with a very specific intent – to cause cruel or extreme pain or suffering. Specifically, the state will have to prove that you acted with the conscious desire for this type of harmful conduct to occur. In other words, the act cannot be the result of negligence, recklessness, or a mistake. It must be something that is done with a particular consciousness and effort.
Motivated by Revenge, Extortion, Persuasion, or a Sadistic Purpose
Finally, you must have intentionally harmed another person and intended to cause extreme suffering for one of four very specific purposes.
- Revenge: Revenge means harming someone to get back at them for something they’ve done to you or someone you know.
- Persuasion: Persuasion means that you intend to obtain someone’s property without their consent and ultimately get the person’s consent by using force or fear.
- Extortion: Extortion means that you intend to get a public official to do an official act and attempt to do so through the use of force or fear
- Sadistic Purpose: Sadistic purpose means putting someone else in extreme pain to experience pleasure yourself.
Prosecutors must prove each of these elements in order to convict. Simply failing to persuade a jury that just one of these things is reasonable or true can be enough for the state’s case to fail.
What Are Some Examples of Torture?
Torture is a fairly broad crime. It can be applied to a lot of different scenarios. Here are a few examples to help make things a little bit clearer.
- Example: Jane works at a bank and is fed up with how the company treats her. So, one day at closing, she pushes her boss up against the vault and holds a knife to his back, demanding that he open it and give her something of value from inside. He resists, and she repeatedly slices his back and arms until he gives in. Here, Jane caused great bodily harm and, while inflicting that harm, intended to cause suffering for the purpose of persuasion.
- Example: Joe learns his sister Alice has been sexually assaulted by Sam. Joe shows up at Sam’s house, knocks him out, and ties him to a chair. When he wakes up, Joe repeatedly fires a paintball gun into Sam’s chest and abdomen (causing significant internal trauma) to punish him for what he did to his sister. Here, Joe would likely be charged with torture because he caused great bodily injury with the intent to cause suffering for the purpose of revenge.
Penalties for Torture in Los Angeles, CA
Torture is always a felony offense in the state of California. If convicted, you will be sentenced to a term of life in a California state prison and be required to pay a fine of up to $10,000.
However, a conviction doesn’t mean that you will definitely spend the rest of your life behind bars. Individuals convicted on torture charges can be eligible for parole. You might be able to make a case before the Parole board as early as 7 years into your life sentence.
Keep in mind that aggravating circumstances could warrant additional penalties or charges. For instance, if the victim dies because of the wounds they sustained, you could face murder charges. There, the death penalty could be on the table.
Additionally, torture can be a standalone crime. Acts of torture can also be used as a means to commit another crime – such as robbery, kidnapping, or sexual assault. When torture is used to further another offense, it is possible (and probable) to face charges for multiple crimes. In that case, you would be vulnerable to penalties for each count of every crime.
Torture Can Be a Strike Offense
California has a three strikes law. This means that each time you’re convicted of a violent or serious felony, you get a “strike” on your record. For each subsequent felony conviction, you’re subject to harsher penalties. Penalties are doubled when you get your second strike. You’ll face a mandatory 25 years to life in prison when you get your third strike.
Torture is a strike offense if you personally caused someone else to suffer a great bodily injury. It would not be a strike offense if you aided and abetted someone else while they were torturing someone.
How Do I Defend Myself Against Torture Charges in Los Angeles?
The best way to defend yourself against torture charges is by enlisting the help of an experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorney. When you trust the Rodriguez Law Group with your defense, you can rest assured that we’ll do everything in our power to secure the best possible outcome in your case. We’ll investigate the allegations thoroughly, carefully scrutinizing the case from all angles.
We’ll bring in experts to help us better understand the circumstances and evidence. We’ll conduct exhaustive research into case law and the California Penal Code to identify every possible argument that could potentially be raised in your defense. Possible defenses could include:
- You’ve been falsely accused
- You’ve been mistakenly identified
- You did not act intentionally
- You did not intend to inflict extreme pain or suffering
- You did not act out of revenge, persuasion, extortion, or sadistic purpose
- The victim did not sustain great bodily injury, or
- Your rights have been violated in some way.
Our defense strategy will not just focus on building you up. It will also focus on attacking the state’s case against you in any way that we can. We’ll attack the legality of your arrest and any searches that might have been conducted.
We’ll challenge the validity of the evidence that might have been secured in violation of your rights. We’ll find weaknesses in the state’s case and do our best to exploit them in your favor. We’ll do everything we can to make it as difficult as possible for the prosecutors to do their jobs.
Let Our Los Angeles Torture Defense Attorneys Fight For You
If you’ve been charged with the crime of torture in Los Angeles County, the state will work tirelessly to build a strong case and get you to take a plea or convince a jury to convict. There’s only one way to protect your future – by defending yourself aggressively from the very start.
The Los Angeles torture defense lawyers at the Rodriguez Law Group can help you do that. All you have to do is contact our law firm to schedule a free initial case assessment and learn more. We’re always standing by to take your call. There’s no time to waste, so call now.