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The Legislative Index indicates the subject of each bill, constitutional amendment, and resolution as introduced and as amended. Entries are not removed from the index when subject matter is deleted from the measure in course of passage. This Act shall be known as THE PENAL CODE OF CALIFORNIA, and is divided into four parts, as follows: I.–OF CRIMES AND PUNISHMENTS. THE PENAL CODE OF CALIFORNIA PRELIMINARY PROVISIONS PENAL CODE SECTION 2-24 2. Every other crime or public offense is a misdemeanor except those offenses that are classified as infractions. IV.–OF PREVENTION OF CRIMES AND APPREHENSION OF CRIMINALS. (a) A felony is a crime that is punishable with death, by imprisonment in the state prison, or notwithstanding any other provision of law, by imprisonment in a county jail under the provisions of subdivision (h) of Section 1170.
All its provisions are to be construed according to the fair import of their terms, with a view to effect its objects and to promote justice. The provisions of this Code, so far as they are substantially the same as existing statutes, must be construed as continuations thereof, and not as new enactments. No act or omission, commenced after twelve o’clock noon of the day on which this Code takes effect as a law, is criminal or punishable, except as prescribed or authorized by this Code, or by some of the statutes which it specifies as continuing in force and as not affected by its provisions, or by some ordinance, municipal, county, or township regulation, passed or adopted, under such statutes and in force when this Code takes effect. (2) When the court, upon committing the defendant to the Division of Juvenile Justice, designates the offense to be a misdemeanor.
Any act or omission commenced prior to that time may be inquired of, prosecuted, and punished in the same manner as if this Code had not been passed. Words used in this code in the present tense include the future as well as the present; words used in the masculine gender include the feminine and neuter; the singular number includes the plural, and the plural the singular; the word “person” includes a corporation as well as a natural person; the word “county” includes “city and county”; writing includes printing and typewriting; oath includes affirmation or declaration; and every mode of oral statement, under oath or affirmation, is embraced by the term “testify,” and every written one in the term “depose”; signature or subscription includes mark, when the person cannot write, his or her name being written near it, by a person who writes his or her own name as a witness; provided, that when a signature is made by mark it must, in order that the same may be acknowledged or serve as the signature to any sworn statement, be witnessed by two persons who must subscribe their own names as witnesses thereto. (3) When the court grants probation to a defendant without imposition of sentence and at the time of granting probation, or on application of the defendant or probation officer thereafter, the court declares the offense to be a misdemeanor.
The following words have in this code the signification attached to them in this section, unless otherwise apparent from the context: 1. Disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit in this State. (4) When the prosecuting attorney files in a court having jurisdiction over misdemeanor offenses a complaint specifying that the offense is a misdemeanor, unless the defendant at the time of his or her arraignment or plea objects to the offense being made a misdemeanor, in which event the complaint shall be amended to charge the felony and the case shall proceed on the felony complaint.
The word “willfully,” when applied to the intent with which an act is done or omitted, implies simply a purpose or willingness to commit the act, or make the omission referred to. The word “writ” signifies an order or precept in writing, issued in the name of the people, or of a court or judicial officer, and the word “process” a writ or summons issued in the course of judicial proceedings. Words and phrases must be construed according to the context and the approved usage of the language; but technical words and phrases, and such others as may have acquired a peculiar and appropriate meaning in law, must be construed according to such peculiar and appropriate meaning. Words giving a joint authority to three or more public officers or other persons, are construed as giving such authority to a majority of them, unless it is otherwise expressed in the act giving the authority. When the seal of a court or public officer is required by law to be affixed to any paper, the word “seal” includes an impression of such seal upon the paper alone, or upon any substance attached to the paper capable of receiving a visible impression. (5) When, at or before the preliminary examination or prior to filing an order pursuant to Section 872, the magistrate determines that the offense is a misdemeanor, in which event the case shall proceed as if the defendant had been arraigned on a misdemeanor complaint.
It does not require any intent to violate law, or to injure another, or to acquire any advantage. The words “neglect,” “negligence,” “negligent,” and “negligently” import a want of such attention to the nature or probable consequences of the act or omission as a prudent man ordinarily bestows in acting in his own concerns. The word “corruptly” imports a wrongful design to acquire or cause some pecuniary or other advantage to the person guilty of the act or omission referred to, or to some other person. The words “malice” and “maliciously” import a wish to vex, annoy, or injure another person, or an intent to do a wrongful act, established either by proof or presumption of law. The word “knowingly” imports only a knowledge that the facts exist which bring the act or omission within the provisions of this code. The seal of a private person may be made in like manner, or by the scroll of a pen, or by writing the word “seal” against his or her name. The word “state,” when applied to the different parts of the United States, includes the District of Columbia and the territories, and the words “United States” may include the district and territories. The word “section,” whenever hereinafter employed, refers to a section of this code, unless some other code or statute is expressly mentioned. To “book” signifies the recordation of an arrest in official police records, and the taking by the police of fingerprints and photographs of the person arrested, or any of these acts following an arrest. Whenever any offense is described in this code, the Uniform Controlled Substances Act (Division 10 (commencing with Section 11000) of the Health and Safety Code), or the Welfare and Institutions Code, as criminal conduct and as a violation of a specified code section or a particular provision of a code section, in the case of any ambiguity or conflict in interpretation, the code section or particular provision of the code section shall take precedence over the descriptive language. (c) When a defendant is committed to the Division of Juvenile Justice for a crime punishable, in the discretion of the court, either by imprisonment in the state prison or imprisonment in a county jail under the provisions of subdivision (h) of Section 1170, or by fine or imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding one year, the offense shall, upon the discharge of the defendant from the Division of Juvenile Justice, thereafter be deemed a misdemeanor for all purposes.
It does not require any knowledge of the unlawfulness of such act or omission. The word “bribe” signifies anything of value or advantage, present or prospective, or any promise or undertaking to give any, asked, given, or accepted, with a corrupt intent to influence, unlawfully, the person to whom it is given, in his or her action, vote, or opinion, in any public or official capacity. The word “vessel,” when used with reference to shipping, includes ships of all kinds, steamboats, canalboats, barges, and every structure adapted to be navigated from place to place for the transportation of merchandise or persons, except that, as used in Sections 192.5 and 193.5, the word “vessel” means a vessel as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 651 of the Harbors and Navigation Code. The words “peace officer” signify any one of the officers mentioned in Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2. The word “magistrate” signifies any one of the officers mentioned in Section 808. The word “property” includes both real and personal property. The words “real property” are coextensive with lands, tenements, and hereditaments. The words “personal property” include money, goods, chattels, things in action, and evidences of debt. The word “month” means a calendar month, unless otherwise expressed; the word “daytime” means the period between sunrise and sunset, and the word “nighttime” means the period between sunset and sunrise. The descriptive language shall be deemed as being offered only for ease of reference unless it is otherwise clearly apparent from the context that the descriptive language is intended to narrow the application of the referenced code section or particular provision of the code section. Whenever, by any of the provisions of this Code, an intent to defraud is required in order to constitute any offense, it is sufficient if an intent appears to defraud any person, association, or body politic or corporate, whatever. The omission to specify or affirm in this Code any liability to damages, penalty, forfeiture, or other remedy imposed by law and allowed to be recovered or enforced in any civil action or proceeding, for any act or omission declared punishable herein, does not affect any right to recover or enforce the same. The omission to specify or affirm in this Code any ground of forfeiture of a public office, or other trust or special authority conferred by law, or any power conferred by law to impeach, remove, depose, or suspend any public officer or other person holding any trust, appointment, or other special authority conferred by law, does not affect such forfeiture or power, or any proceeding authorized by law to carry into effect such impeachment, removal, deposition, or suspension. This code does not affect any power conferred by law upon any court-martial, or other military authority or officer, to impose or inflict punishment upon offenders; nor, except as provided in Section 19.2 of this code, any power conferred by law upon any public body, tribunal, or officer, to impose or inflict punishment for a contempt. The several sections of this Code which declare certain crimes to be punishable as therein mentioned, devolve a duty upon the Court authorized to pass sentence, to determine and impose the punishment prescribed. Whenever in this Code the punishment for a crime is left undetermined between certain limits, the punishment to be inflicted in a particular case must be determined by the Court authorized to pass sentence, within such limits as may be prescribed by this Code. The various sections of this Code which declare that evidence obtained upon the examination of a person as a witness cannot be received against him in any criminal proceeding, do not forbid such evidence being proved against such person upon any proceedings founded upon a charge of perjury committed in such examination. A crime or public offense is an act committed or omitted in violation of a law forbidding or commanding it, and to which is annexed, upon conviction, either of the following punishments: 1. (d) A violation of any code section listed in Section 19.8 is an infraction subject to the procedures described in Sections 19.6 and 19.7 when: (1) The prosecutor files a complaint charging the offense as an infraction unless the defendant, at the time he or she is arraigned, after being informed of his or her rights, elects to have the case proceed as a misdemeanor, or; (2) The court, with the consent of the defendant, determines that the offense is an infraction in which event the case shall proceed as if the defendant had been arraigned on an infraction complaint.(e) Nothing in this section authorizes a judge to relieve a defendant of the duty to register as a sex offender pursuant to Section 290 if the defendant is charged with an offense for which registration as a sex offender is required pursuant to Section 290, and for which the trier of fact has found the defendant guilty. (a) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following: (1) The Legislature reaffirms its commitment to reducing recidivism among criminal offenders.(2) Despite the dramatic increase in corrections spending over the past two decades, national reincarceration rates for people released from prison remain unchanged or have worsened.National data show that about 40 percent of released individuals are reincarcerated within three years.In California, the recidivism rate for persons who have served time in prison is even greater than the national average.(3) Criminal justice policies that rely on building and operating more prisons to address community safety concerns are not sustainable, and will not result in improved public safety.