CALIFORNIA PENAL CODE SECTIONS + DEFENSES
california law enforcement code of ethics
Code of Ethics -
As a law enforcement officer, my fundamental duty is to serve; to safeguard lives and property; to protect the innocent against deception, the weak against oppression or intimidation, and the peaceful against violence or disorder; and to respect the Constitutional rights of all to liberty, equality and justice.
I will keep my private life unsullied as an example to all; maintain courageous calm in the face of danger, scorn, or ridicule; develop self-restraint; and be constantly mindful of the welfare of others. Honest in thought and deed in both my personal and official life,
I will be exemplary in obeying the laws of the land and the regulations of my department. Whatever I see or hear of a confidential nature or that is confided to me in my official capacity will be kept ever secret unless revelation is necessary in the performance of my duty.
I will never act officiously or permit personal feelings, prejudices, animosities or friendships to influence my decisions. With no compromise for crime and with relentless prosecution of criminals,
I will enforce the law courteously and appropriately without fear or favor, malice or ill will, never employing unnecessary force or violence and never accepting gratuities.
I recognize the badge of my office as a symbol of public faith, and I accept it as a public trust to be held so long as I am true to the ethics of the police service. I will constantly strive to achieve these objectives and ideals, dedicating myself before God1 to my chosen profession...law enforcement.
CA Penal Code 602 PC
California Penal Code 602 PC prohibits trespassing, which is defined as entering or remaining on someone else’s property without permission or a right to do so.
The legal definition of “trespass” in California is extremely complicated. But there are certain “elements of the crime” that make up the legal definition of most forms of California trespass. Trespass generally does not require breaking and entering.
These “elements” are facts that the prosecutor must prove for you to be guilty of the offense of California trespass. They are:
you willfully entered someone else’s property,
you had the specific intent to interfere with that person’s property rights, and
you actually did interfere with that person’s property rights (by damaging their property, interfering with their business, etc.).
You didn’t “occupy” the property (for certain kinds of trespass) . . . or you didn’t actually obstruct or interfere with activity on the property (for other kinds); and
The property was not fenced or signed (for trespass as an infraction).
You had the right to be on the property;
You had consent to be on the property;
Disturbing the Peace
CA Penal Code 415 PC
415. Any of the following persons shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for a period of not more than 90 days, a fine of not more than four hundred dollars ($400), or both such imprisonment and fine:
(1) Any person who unlawfully fights in a public place or challenges another person in a public place to fight.
(2) Any person who maliciously and willfully disturbs another person by loud and unreasonable noise.
(3) Any person who uses offensive words in a public place which are inherently likely to provoke an immediate violent reaction.
CA Penal Code 148 PC
148(a)(1) PC states that “every person who willfully resists, delays, or obstructs any public officer, peace officer, or an emergency medical technician…in the discharge or attempt to discharge any duty of his or her office or employment, when no other punishment is prescribed, shall be punished by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by imprisonment in a county jail not to exceed one year, or by both that fine and imprisonment.”
(g) The fact that a person takes a photograph or makes an audio or video recording of a public officer or peace officer, while the officer is in a public place or the person taking the photograph or making the recording is in a place he or she has the right to be, does not constitute, in and of itself, a violation of subdivision (a), nor does it constitute reasonable suspicion to detain the person or probable cause to arrest the person.
There are several legal defenses that a person can raise if accused of a crime under Penal Code 148. These include showing that the defendant:
did not act willfully,
was falsely accused, and/or
was arrested without probable cause.
Ca Penal Code 647 PC
Under the statute, loitering Penal Code 647 PC is essentially described as actions including: “linger”, “wander”, “delay” and “prowl”, on someone else’s property, without a proper purpose, and with the specific intent to commit a crime “if the opportunity arises” (emphasis added). This italicized element distinguishes the crime under PC 647(h) from that under PC 647(i). In short, the action of peeking into the door or window of an inhabited structure is already a specific intent crime by itself. “Specific intent” crimes are a category of crimes that require a perpetrator to do a specific act to bring about a specific result. On the other hand, there are also general intent crimes, which only require proof that the perpetrator committed an illegal act, and do not require the planned purpose to bring about a specific result.
Loitering Penal Code 647:
To prove this crime, the prosecutor has to prove all of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
The defendant delayed, or prowled, or lingered or wandered on property belonging to someone else; and
When the defendant set foot on the property, he or she had no legal purpose to be there; and
The defendant intended to commit a crime on the property in question if the opportunity arose; and
The defendant’s purpose on the property was to commit a crime if the opportunity arose.
Peeking (See: Loitering)
ca penal code 647(i) PC
647(i) PC states that “ …[E]very person who commits any of the following acts is guilty of disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor: … (i) Who, while loitering, prowling, or wandering upon the private property of another, at any time, peeks in the door or window of any inhabited building or structure, without visible or lawful business with the owner or occupant.”
The defendant was not on private property;
The defendant had a lawful purpose for being on the property;
The defendant was not loitering; and/or
The building the defendant was looking into wasn’t inhabited.
Law Offices of Daniel Alan Near
6611 Folsom-Auburn Road, Suite B, Folsom, CA 95630