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Criminal Law 101: What Do I Do When I’m Involved In Mayhem

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In today’s society, it’s not uncommon to see a fight or altercation break out. While definitely frowned upon, things can easily get heated, leading to irrational arguments that inevitably end in a showdown of physical prowess. More than not, these don’t lead to anything serious, until someone gets hurt and calls a lawyer.

A number of possible cases can be filed against you if you get into a fight, regardless even of why it started or how it ended. The moment anyone gets hurt, charges can be filed to sue for damages and medical bills. 

Although assault and battery are the often go-to, a more serious lawyer might file for the crime of mayhem to really shake you up. In the event that you are accused of mayhem, contact a criminal lawyer immediately to straighten your defence out.

The Crime of Mayhem In Massachusetts

Mayhem is a serious offence, and the repercussions are even worse. Under the Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 265, section 14, mayhem is defined as the deliberate act of, or attempt to, maim or dismember another individual. This also includes having knowledge of and partaking in another person’s attempt to maim or disfigure a person.

Maiming or dismembering is definitely a gruesome sight, which is why cases for mayhem are taken incredibly seriously. Getting convicted of this crime can end up with serving you a sentence of at most 20 years jail time or a fine of $1000 with a reduced sentence of two and a half years in prison.

The Defence

Getting accused of this is a serious accusation, which is why getting hold of a skilled criminal lawyer at your soonest ability is your best option. While it might sound hopeless and extremely terrifying to be accused of such a crime, it is not impossible to defend against. By clearing out your story with your lawyer, you can establish a good narrative that can avoid you from going to jail.

Mayhem defences hinge on two major factors: the damage and the intent. Both of these factors will determine how strong a case you need to make to defend yourself in court.

The Damage

The damage is the amount of hurt, pain, and “maiming” that occurred during your altercation with the victim. In Boston law, the examples for maiming are gouging out of eyes, cutting out of the tongue, tearing of the ear, cutting off a limb, or even cutting or blistering a nose or lip. 

While it is not limited to these, the visual impact of the victim can carry quite a bit of gravitas to the situation. More damages can be harder to defend as compared to very minimal damage, but the case can still remain the same despite the fact that no actual damage was done.

The Intent

A majority of your defence should be centred towards your own intent. The Mayhem crime hinges on the deliberate and malicious intent of an individual to actually commit the disfiguration or dismemberment—so proving that you had no intent will be the key factor in proving your innocence.

In a regular bar fight, for example, while it can be argued that there was an intent to hurt or harm, it is entirely different from the intent to maim or dismember. It is this distinction that can save you, which is where the expert advice of a criminal lawyer will come in handy.

The Bottom Line

Getting accused of the crime of mayhem can be extremely terrifying, which is why making yourself knowledgable on the matter is important. From the onset of the accusation, get the help of an experienced criminal lawyer to guide you through the process.

Are you looking for an experienced criminal lawyer in Boston to help you out? At the Firm of Frank Fernandez, we’ll assure you the best defence to give you the most lenient of sentences!

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