California has a higher population than many other states. As a result, there are higher rates of gun violence and mass shootings; however, the state has some of the toughest laws against violent crimes. Criminals who perpetrate violent crimes against certain vulnerable populations, such as the elderly, mentally or physically disabled individuals and children, face stricter punishments.
The state’s anti-crime laws provide special protections for children, elders and adults with mental and physical disabilities. The individuals have physical limitations that increase the risks of injury suffered during a crime.
Range of punishments
In general, violent crimes are punishable with fines, imprisonment or both. A crime committed against an elder or dependent adult faces imprisonment in jail for one year or less, imprisonment in prison for two to four years or a fine up to $6,000.
A crime that affects a specially protected person and results in a severe, life-threatening injury includes an additional term in prison. Attacking a victim who is 70 years or older adds another term of five years. If the victim is younger than 70 years, the additional term is three years. The death of the victim carries an additional term of five years if the victim is younger than 70 years or seven years if the victim is older than 70 years old.
California has stricter laws for violent crimes that are committed against children, elderly and disabled victims. Most punishments include fines for thousands of dollars, imprisonment terms from one to five years or both. The severity of the punishment increases for a crime that causes a severe bodily injury or death.