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Torture Law & Defense
Information on the crime of torture is found at California penal code section 206.
To prove that the defendant is guilty of torturing another person the prosecutor must prove the following:
The defendant inflicted great bodily injury to another person
The defendant intended to cause extreme pain and suffering on the other person to persuade the other person, for revenge or for a sadistic purpose
The crime of torture does not require proof that the victim actually suffered pain. The only thing that the prosecutor needs to prove is that the defendant inflicted great bodily injury and that the defendant intended to cause extreme pain and suffering while inflicting great bodily injury.
The term great bodily injury (GBI) means a significant injury beyond minor or moderate harm; however, the injury does not have to be permanent injury.
A sadistic purpose means that the defendant intended to inflict pain on another person in order experience pleasure for himself or herself.
Sentence for PC 206
Prison: Torture is a classified as a felony. If the defendant is found guilty of the crime of torture he or she may be sentenced to a maximum of life in prison.
Probation Sentence: A probation sentence is allowed in torture cases. Probation means that the defendant is not sentenced to prison, but rather, to a term of supervision. Probation sentences in torture cases is monitored by a probation officer, who periodically checks on the defendant to ensure the defendant is complying with all of his or her terms of probation. A probation sentence for a PC 206 conviction usually includes a term that the defendant serve some actual jail in a local county jail, but that jail term is significantly less than the prison term that is otherwise allowed if the defendant is not granted probation. Work release and house arrest are other probation terms that may serve as an alternative to an actual jail sentence.
PC 1170(h): Any incarceration ordered after a a conviction for PC 206 that is not a part of a probation sentence must be served in a sate prison and no part of that prison sentence may be split or suspended.
CIMT: Torture is a crime that is considered to be inherently or morally wrong. As such,the crime is classified as a crime involving moral turpitude (CIMT). Crimes involving moral turpitude carry negative consequences related to a person's immigration status or professional license (I.e. doctor, dentist, therapist, etc.)
Three Strikes Law: PC 206 is considered a serious and violent offense as those terms are defined at Penal code sections 1192.7 and 667.5, respectively. As such,the crime of torture is considered a strike crime in California (Three Strikes Sentencing Law). Strike offenses, including PC 206, are subject to reduced good behavior credits that may otherwise be earned to reduce a defendant's prison sentence (15% maximum good behavior credits may be earned for PC 206 crimes).
In addition to the punishments listed, if the defendant is convicted of torturing another person, he or she may suffer any of the following additional penalties: restitution to victims, criminal protective orders to protect the victim from future harm, fines and court fees, denial of entry into the military (Navy, Army, Space Force, Marines, etc.), loss of the right to own or possess a firearm, and more.
Defenses to PC 206
Common defenses to torture crimes include, but are not limited to, any of the following: insanity, insufficient evidence, coerced confessions or other police misconduct that leads to the inadmissibility of prosecution evidence against the defendant, self-defense, alibi, and more.
If you have been charged with torture, or penal code 206 and 206(A), contact our successful and experienced criminal defense attorneys today to learn your rights and options without delay. Our criminal attorneys are always available to answer your questions and there is no cost for consultations for the accused. Call today!
Crimes Related to Torture
PC 207 Kidnapping
PC 205 Aggravated Mayhem
PC 203 Mayhem
PC 245 Assault
PC 242 & 243 Battery
Quick Reference Sheet
Code: PC 206 (CalCrim No. 810)
Wobbler: No. PC 206 is not a wobbler. The crime of torture is always classified as a felony.
Incarceration: PC 206 sentence range: If found guilty of PC 206 the defendant will be sentenced to life in prison (if probation not granted).
Probation: Probation is allowed in PC 206 cases (assuming other crimes or enhancements that bar a probation sentence are not present). Whether or not a probation sentence is offered by the District Attorney, or granted by the court, depends on several factors, including the defendant's criminal history and the facts of the case.
PC 1170(h)): No. PC 206 is not subject to PC 1170(h) sentencing. This means that any incarceration ordered after a conviction, that is not part of a probation sentence, must be served in state prison (as opposed to a county jail), and the prison sentence may not be split or suspended.
Strike: PC 206 is a strike offense per California's Three Strikes law because this crime is considered a Serious offense (PC 1192.7), and a Violent offense (667.5(c). Strike offenses are subject to reduced good time credits in jail or prison and other penalty enhancements upon subsequent criminal convictions.
Credits: 15% good conduct credits available.
CIMT: PC 206 is a crime involving moral turpitude, which means that an arrest or conviction could lead to the following:
Professional Licensing problems
Impeachment on credibility
Firearms: PC 206 convictions prohibit defendant from owning or possessing a firearm.
Bail: $500,000 (San Bernardino County)
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