Penal Code 12202.7 PC | Great Bodily Injury


Penal Code 12202.7 PC – Great Bodily Injury

What’s up! This article will explain California’s sentencing enhancement for great bodily injury under Penal Code 12202.7 PC. We’ll break it down in simple terms, looking at what counts as GBI, penalties, recent changes, and more. No fancy legal talk here!

What is Great Bodily Injury Under California Law?

Great bodily injury refers to significant or substantial physical injuries suffered by a victim [1]. This includes major trauma like:

  • Broken bones
  • Concussions
  • Gunshot wounds
  • Deep lacerations needing stitches
  • Second or third degree burns

GBI does not include minor injuries, emotional harm, or financial losses. The injury does not need to be permanent or life-threatening to qualify as GBI.

How Does the GBI Enhancement Work?

Under PC 12202.7, if you inflict GBI on a victim while committing a felony, you face an additional 3-6 years in prison [2]. This is added to your sentence for the underlying felony.

Some examples of felonies where GBI frequently applies:

  • Assault with a deadly weapon
  • Domestic violence
  • DUI causing injury
  • Elder abuse
  • Child abuse

The GBI enhancement only applies to felony charges, not misdemeanors.

Penalties for GBI Enhancement

If convicted of a felony with GBI, you face additional prison time [3]:

  • 3 years for general GBI
  • 4 years if victim under 5 years old
  • 5 years for victim over 70, coma or paralysis
  • 6 years for victim under 5 and domestic violence

GBI also counts as a strike under California’s Three Strikes Law. This can double any future felony sentence.

Recent Changes to GBI Laws

Some recent changes affecting GBI include [4]:

  • In 2018, GBI for fentanyl overdoses added 1-4 years
  • In 2020, GBI for hate crimes against reproductive health services added 2-5 years

An experienced criminal defense attorney can advise you on the latest GBI laws and penalties.

Fighting GBI Charges

Defenses that could defeat GBI allegations include:

  • No felony committed
  • Injury does not meet GBI standards
  • Injury was accidental
  • Self-defense

An attorney may be able to argue against the enhancement at a sentencing hearing or petition to strike it. GBI enhancements should never be taken lightly.

Difference Between GBI and Serious Bodily Injury

GBI is more severe than serious bodily injury (SBI) [5]. While GBI is a felony sentencing enhancement, SBI applies to misdemeanor charges like:

  • Domestic battery
  • Assault
  • Elder abuse

SBI refers to significant impairment or disfigurement. GBI causes more substantial harm and trauma.

Get Legal Help Fighting GBI Allegations

GBI enhancements can drastically increase your potential prison sentence. Never go through a felony case involving GBI accusations without an experienced criminal defense lawyer. They can analyze the evidence and build the strongest defense to avoid this severe enhancement.