Orange County Criminal Defense
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Great Bodily Injury Enhancement Attorney

Great Bodily Injury Overview

One of the most common enhancements is the Great Bodily Injury enhancement, pursuant to Penal Code section 12022.7. Great Bodily Injury is defined as a significant or substantial bodily injury. There are three types of GBI enhancements – extent of injury, type of victim and type of crime. Penal Code section 12022.7(a) and (b) apply depending on the extent of the injury. The basic GBI enhancement, Penal Code section 12022.7(a), applies when any GBI is inflicted on a victim during a felony and adds an additional consecutive three years state prison. If the GBI results in brain injury that leads to a coma or if the GBI results in paralysis, then the additional consecutive term is five years state prison per Penal Code section 12022.7(b).

The second category of GBI applies depending on the type of victim. If the victim is 70 years or older, the GBI enhancements adds an additional consecutive 5 years state prison, per Penal Code section 12022.7(c). If the victim is 5 years of age or younger, the GBI enhancement adds an additional consecutive term of four, five or six years, per Penal Code section 12022.7(d). If the victim is pregnant, then the Great Bodily Injury enhancement adds an additional consecutive five years state prison, pursuant to Penal Code section 12022.9.

The third category of GBI applies depending on the type of crime. If the underlying crime involved domestic violence, then the GBI enhancement adds an additional consecutive term of three, four or five years state prison, per Penal Code section 12022.7(e). If the underlying crime was a violation of Penal Code section 220 to commit certain sex offenses, then the GBI enhancement adds an additional consecutive five years state prison, per Penal Code section 12022.8.

In addition to an increased penalty, the GBI enhancement can transform a normal felony into a strike offense. A court does have the power to strike this allegation or suspend the execution or imposition of sentence on this allegation, or even impose probation when this enhancement is alleged.

Great bodily injury is not the same as serious bodily injury. Some crimes have serious bodily injury as an element of the crime itself, such as “battery with serious bodily injury”. However, the law has defined serious bodily injury as different than great bodily injury, although the two sound very similar.

The exact language of the great bodily injury enhancement as defined by Penal Code section 12022.7 is:

  • Any person who personally inflicts great bodily injury on any person other than an accomplice in the commission of a felony or attempted felony shall be punished by an additional and consecutive term of imprisonment in the state prison for three years.
  • Any person who personally inflicts great bodily injury on any person other than an accomplice in the commission of a felony or attempted felony which causes the victim to become comatose due to brain injury or to suffer paralysis of a permanent nature shall be punished by an additional and consecutive term of imprisonment in the state prison for five years. As used in this subdivision, “paralysis” means a major or complete loss of motor function resulting from injury to the nervous system or to a muscular mechanism.
  • Any person who personally inflicts great bodily injury on a person who is 70 years of age or older, other than an accomplice, in the commission of a felony or attempted felony shall be punished by an additional and consecutive term of imprisonment in the state prison for five years.
  • Any person who personally inflicts great bodily injury on a child under the age of five years in the commission of a felony or attempted felony shall be punished by an additional and consecutive term of imprisonment in the state prison for four, five, or six years.
  • Any person who personally inflicts great bodily injury under circumstances involving domestic violence in the commission of a felony or attempted felony shall be punished by an additional and consecutive term of imprisonment in the state prison for three, four, or five years. As used in this subdivision, “domestic violence” has the meaning provided in subdivision (b) of Section 13700.
  • As used in this section, “great bodily injury” means a significant or substantial physical injury.
  • This section shall not apply to murder or manslaughter or a violation of Section 451 or 452. Subdivisions (a), (b), (c), and (d) shall not apply if infliction of great bodily injury is an element of the offense.
  • The court shall impose the additional terms of imprisonment under either subdivision (a), (b), (c), or (d), but may not impose more than one of those terms for the same offense.

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