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Torture Law & Defense

California Penal Code 206

Information on the crime of torture is found at California penal code section 206. To prove that the defendant is guilty of the crime of torture the prosecutor must prove the following:

  • The defendant inflicted great bodily injury to someone else
  • 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 any 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 he or she intended to cause extreme pain and suffering while inflicting great bodily injury. 

The term great bodily injury means a significant injury beyond minor or moderate harm. 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 (Torture)

Torture is a classified as a felony; If the defendant is found guilty of the crime of torture he or she may be sentenced up to life in prison.

Three Strikes Sentencing: PC 206 is considered a serious and violent crime in California. As such, the crime of torture is considered a strike offense under California's Three Strikes Sentencing Law. Strike offenses create enhanced penalties upon subsequent convictions for felony crimes. Violent crimes, including PC 206 crimes, are eligible for only fifteen percent (15%) good behavior credits while in prison. This means that the defendant must serve a minimum of eighty-five percent (85%) or his or her prison sentence if he or she is not otherwise sentenced to a probation sentence.

Probation Eligible: In some cases, a defendant may be granted a probation sentence after a conviction for PC 206 (Torture). Probation sentences are non-prison sentences that are supervised by probation officers and include harsh probation terms. Probation sentences can include actual jail time but usually any jail time associated with probation sentences is minimal and is served on house arrest or work release.

Note: If the defendant is not granted probation after a PC 206 conviction he or she is not entitled to have his or her prison sentence suspended or split and the defendant's sentence may not be served in a local county jail (See PC 1170h Crimes).

Crime of Moral Turpitude

Torture is considered a crime of moral turpitude. Moral turpitude crimes are crimes that are considered to be morally wrong. Crimes of moral turpitude, including PC 206, carry greater consequences for immigrants who are not already U.S. citizens and for professionally licensed defendants. For non U.S. citizens, a conviction for torture usually leads to deportation and denial or reentry into the United States after a prison sentence is served in the United States. For professionally licensed defendants (doctors, lawyers, nurses, teachers, therapists, etc.), a conviction for torture will usually lead to loss of the defendant's professional license or other administrative discipline.

Collateral Punishment for Torture

In addition to any possible jail or prison sentence, convictions for PC 206 crimes can lead to other punishments, including, but not limited to any of the following: harsh probation or parole terms. restraining orders in favor of torture victims  and against the defendant., restitution orders, civil lawsuits, loss of rights to use and possess firearms, penalty fees, loss of rights to family law court, and more.

Defenses to PC 206 Crimes

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 lead to the inadmissibility of prosecution evidence against the defendant, self defense, 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!


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Crimes Closely Related to Torture (PC 206)

  • PC 207 Kidnapping
  • PC 205 Aggravated Mayhem
  • PC 203 Mayhem
  • PC 245 Assault
  • PC 242 & 243 Battery

California Torture Laws & Defense PC206-F

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