CALCRIM No. 3161. Great Bodily Injury: Causing Victim to Become Comatose or Paralyzed (Pen. Code, § 12022.7(b))
Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions (2020 edition)Download PDF
3161.Great Bodily Injury: Causing Victim to Become Comatose or
Paralyzed (Pen. Code, § 12022.7(b))
If you find the defendant guilty of the crime[s] charged in Count[s]
[,] [or of attempting to commit (that/those) crime[s]][ or the lesser
crime[s] of <insert name[s] of alleged lesser offense[s]>], you
must then decide whether[, for each crime,] the People have proved the
additional allegation that the defendant personally inflicted great bodily
injury that caused <insert name of injured person> to become
(comatose/ [or] permanently paralyzed). [You must decide whether the
People have proved this allegation for each crime and return a separate
finding for each crime.]
To prove this allegation, the People must prove that:
1. The defendant personally inflicted great bodily injury on
<insert name of injured person> during the
commission [or attempted commission] of the crime;
2. The defendant’s acts caused <insert name of injured
person> to (become comatose due to brain injury/ [or] suffer
<Give element 3 when instructing on whether injured person was an
3. <insert name of injured person> was not an
accomplice to the crime.]
Great bodily injury means significant or substantial physical injury. It is
an injury that is greater than minor or moderate harm.
[Paralysis is a major or complete loss of motor function resulting from
injury to the nervous system or to a muscular mechanism.]
[If you conclude that more than one person assaulted
<insert name of injured person> and you cannot decide which person
caused which injury, you may conclude that the defendant personally
inflicted great bodily injury on <insert name of injured
person> if the People have proved that:
1. Two or more people, acting at the same time, assaulted
<insert name of injured person> and inflicted great
bodily injury on (him/her);
2. The defendant personally used physical force on
<insert name of injured person> during the group assault;
[3A. The amount or type of physical force the defendant used on
<insert name of injured person> was enough that it
alone could have caused <insert name of injured
person> to suffer great bodily injury(;/.)]
[3B. The physical force that the defendant used on
<insert name of injured person> was sufficient in combination with
the force used by the others to cause <insert name of
injured person> to suffer great bodily injury.]
The defendant must have applied substantial force to
<insert name of injured person>. If that force could not have caused or
contributed to the great bodily injury, then it was not substantial.]
[A person is an accomplice if he or she is subject to prosecution for the
identical crime charged against the defendant. Someone is subject to
prosecution if he or she personally committed the crime or if:
1. He or she knew of the criminal purpose of the person who
committed the crime;
2. He or she intended to, and did in fact, (aid, facilitate, promote,
encourage, or instigate the commission of the crime/ [or]
participate in a criminal conspiracy to commit the crime).]
<If there is an issue in the case over whether the defendant inflicted the
injury “during the commission of” the offense, see Bench Notes.>
2. The People have the burden of proving each allegation beyond a
reasonable doubt. If the People have not met this burden, you
must find that the allegation has not been proved.
New January 2006; Revised June 2007, December 2008
The court has a sua sponte duty to give this instruction on the enhancement when
charged. (Apprendi v. New Jersey (2000) 530 U.S. 466, 490 [120 S.Ct. 2348, 147
The bracketed section beneath the heading “Group Assault” is designed to be used
in cases where the evidence shows a group assault.
CALCRIM No. 3161 ENHANCEMENTS AND SENTENCING FACTORS
If the court gives bracketed element 3 instructing that the People must prove that
the person assaulted “was not an accomplice to the crime,” the court should also
give the bracketed definition of “accomplice.” (People v. Verlinde (2002) 100
Cal.App.4th 1146, 1167-1168 [123 Cal.Rptr.2d 322].) Additional paragraphs
providing further explanation of the definition of “accomplice” are contained in
CALCRIM No. 334, Accomplice Testimony Must Be Corroborated: Dispute Whether
Witness Is Accomplice. The court should review that instruction and determine
whether any of these additional paragraphs should be given.
The jury must determine whether an injury constitutes “great bodily injury.” (People
v. Escobar (1992) 3 Cal.4th 740, 750 [12 Cal.Rptr.2d 586, 837 P.2d 1100]; People v.
Nava (1989) 207 Cal.App.3d 1490, 1498 [255 Cal.Rptr. 903] [reversible error to
instruct that a bone fracture is a significant or substantial injury].)
If the case involves an issue of whether the defendant inflicted the injury “during
the commission of” the offense, the court may give CALCRIM No. 3261, While
Committing a Felony: Defined - Escape Rule. (See People v. Jones (2001) 25
Cal.4th 98, 109 [104 Cal.Rptr.2d 753, 18 P.3d 674]; People v. Masbruch (1996) 13
Cal.4th 1001, 1014 [55 Cal.Rptr.2d 760, 920 P.2d 705]; People v. Taylor (1995) 32
Cal.App.4th 578, 582 [38 Cal.Rptr.2d 127].)
• Enhancement. Pen. Code, § 12022.7(b).
• Great Bodily Injury Defined. Pen. Code, § 12022.7(f); People v. Escobar
(1992) 3 Cal.4th 740, 749-750 [12 Cal.Rptr.2d 586, 837 P.2d 1100].
• Must Personally Inflict Injury. People v. Lee (2003) 31 Cal.4th 613, 631 [3
Cal.Rptr.3d 402, 74 P.3d 176]; People v. Cole (1982) 31 Cal.3d 568, 571 [183
Cal.Rptr. 350, 645 P.2d 1182]; People v. Ramirez (1987) 189 Cal.App.3d 603,
627 [236 Cal.Rptr. 404] [Pen. Code, § 12022.8].
• Group Beating Instruction. People v. Modiri (2006) 39 Cal.4th 481, 500-501
[46 Cal.Rptr.3d 762].
• Accomplice Defined. See Pen. Code, § 1111; People v. Verlinde (2002) 100
Cal.App.4th 1146, 1167-1168 [123 Cal.Rptr.2d 322]; People v. Stankewitz (1990)
51 Cal.3d 72, 90-91 [270 Cal.Rptr. 817, 793 P.2d 23].
• “During Commission of” Felony. People v. Jones (2001) 25 Cal.4th 98,
109-110 [104 Cal.Rptr.2d 753, 18 P.3d 674]; People v. Masbruch (1996) 13
Cal.4th 1001, 1014 [55 Cal.Rptr.2d 760, 920 P.2d 705]; People v. Taylor (1995)
32 Cal.App.4th 578, 582 [38 Cal.Rptr.2d 127].
Coma Need Not Be Permanent
In People v. Tokash (2000) 79 Cal.App.4th 1373, 1378 [94 Cal.Rptr. 2d 814], the
court held that an enhancement under Penal Code section 12022.7(b) was proper
where the victim was maintained in a medically induced coma for two months
following brain surgery necessitated by the assault.
ENHANCEMENTS AND SENTENCING FACTORS CALCRIM No. 3161
See the Related Issues section of CALCRIM No. 3160, Great Bodily Injury.
3 Witkin & Epstein, California Criminal Law (4th ed. 2012) Punishment,
5 Millman, Sevilla & Tarlow, California Criminal Defense Practice, Ch. 91,
Sentencing, § 91.35 (Matthew Bender).
CALCRIM No. 3161 ENHANCEMENTS AND SENTENCING FACTORS