Mayhem, Maiming and Disfigurement

Contrary to what the media has portrayed, mayhem does not mean when chaotic situations happen (like a riot), when it actually refers to the permanent dismemberment or disfiguration of a human being.

Definition of mayhem

Nevada legislature defines mayhem as a crime against the person and:

“unlawfully depriving a human being of a member of his or her body by disfigurement or rendering it useless”.  

This means that acting with malicious intent that maims or disfigures a person is classified under mayhem. The FBI doesn’t it as a violent crime.

Conditions of mayhem

Two conditions makes mayhem distinct from the criminal offense of assault and battery:

Permanent injury

The injury inflicted on the person should be permanently damaging. If the injury did not permanently disfigure a person, the defendant may instead be convicted of assault in any degree.

Method not important

It does not matter what the means of inflicting the injury is, as long as the person has been permanently disfigured in some way. Using any weapons during the act may extend the sentence however.

Penalties of mayhem

When convicted, mayhem is a category B felony and carries the following penalties:

  • Incarceration in Nevada State Prison for at least two years, but not more than ten years;
  • May carry further fines not exceeding $10,000.

Defenses against mayhem

Here are the common defenses that defense lawyers use when defending against mayhem charges:

  • Injury did not result in permanent injury – If the injuries that the victim received is not enough to cause disability or not enough to be considered maiming, it cannot be charged as mayhem, but as assault instead.
  • Lack of malice – There are instances that certain situations end up in someone getting maimed or disfigured. Accidents in the workplace or self-defense generally lacks malice.

Call a Ross Goodman for mayhem cases

If you have been charged with mayhem, contact a criminal defense lawyer in Las Vegas as soon as possible to avoid confinement and hefty fines. Contact us and use our free and private consultation so that we can determine how to best defend you against this charge.