Charged with the Crime of Mayhem in Massachusetts

Being charged with the crime of mayhem is a very serious offense in Massachusetts, and one that is penalized harshly if the defendant is convicted. If you have been charged with this violent crime, it is within your best interests to hire an experienced Massachusetts criminal defense attorney immediately who can start working on your case. At The Law Offices of Paul R. Moraski, we can help. Call our mayhem defense attorney directly today to get started and begin building your defense. 

What Is Mayhem?

While mayhem may conjure images of someone causing chaos or disorder, in criminal law, mayhem refers to the intentional maiming or disfiguring of another person. To be sure, under Massachusetts General Law Chapter 265 Section 14, mayhem is committed when someone, acting with malicious intent to “maim or disfigure, cuts out or maims the tongue, puts out or destroys an eye, cuts or tears off an ear, slits or mutilate the nose or lips, or cuts off or disables or a member of another person..”

The law continues to read that whoever is “privy to such intent” or aids in the commission of the crime is also guilty of mayhem. A person can also be convicted of mayhem if they assault another with a deadly weapon and disfigures, cripples, or causes permanent serious injury to the person. The penalty for mayhem is imprisonment for up to 20 years or a fine of $1,000 and imprisonment for 2.5 years. 

What the Prosecution Needs to Prove to Secure a Mayhem Conviction

In order to secure a mayhem conviction, the prosecution must prove the following elements:

Under the first theory for prosecuting the crime, the prosecution must establish that:

  1. The defendant acted with malicious intent to maim or disfigure; and
  2. The action was realized by doing one of the violent actions listed above (i.e. cutting out the tongue).

Under the second theory for prosecuting the crime, the prosecution must establish that:

  1. The defendant assaulted the victim with a deadly weapon, chemical, or substance;
  2. The defendant committed the assault with the intent to maim or disfigure the victim;
  3. The assault left the victim permanently and seriously injured, disfigured, or disabled. 

What to Do if You’ve Been Charged with Mayhem

If you are facing mayhem charges, the very first thing that you should do is exercise your right to legal counsel. With a potential penalty of 20 years behind bars, mayhem is a very serious charge. In addition to contacting an attorney, you should exercise your right to stay silent, comply with any court orders (such as posting bail and showing up to your scheduled court date), maintain good behavior, and refrain from contacting or approaching the victim. 

Call The Law Offices of Paul R. Moraski Today

At The Law Offices of Paul R. Moraski, Massachusetts Attorney Paul Moraski knows what you’re up against. For the legal counsel you can trust from an experienced criminal defense lawyer, call our law office today at (978) 397-0011 or send us a message online. Don’t wait to take action.