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California Penal Code

Read more about California Penal Codes

The penal code of California is the basis for all criminal law, procedure, and penal institutions, and the sentences that crimes carry, in the state of California. It was originally enacted in 1872, as one of the original four California Codes. It’s been significantly amended, and revised, since it was made in 1872.

Like most parts of the California code, the penal code is divided into parts. The penal code contains 6 parts, most of which contain titles, and some of which are further subdivided into chapters, with individual sections the smallest unit of the penal code.

The first 2 titles of Part 1, to Section 33, are preliminary and provide definitions of legal terms, rather than the definitions, or punishments for, specific crimes.

Notable Section Numbers of the Penal Codes

  • 148 – Resisting/obstructing police officer
  • 187 – Murder
  • 192 – Manslaughter
  • 203 – Mayhem
  • 207 – Kidnapping
  • 211 – Robbery
  • 215 – Carjacking
  • 219 – Train wrecking
  • 236-237 – False imprisonment
  • 240 – Assault
  • 242 – Battery
  • 245 – Assault with weapon
  • 261 – Rape defense
  • 280 – Child abduction
  • 285 – Incest
  • 288 – Child molesting
  • 314 – Indecent exposing
  • 368 – Crimes against elders
  • 415 – Disturbing peace
  • 417 – Brandishing firearms
  • 422 – Threats
  • 451 – Arson
  • 459 – Burglary
  • 470 – Forging
  • 484 – Theft and Larceny
  • 487 – Grand theft
  • 488 – Petty theft
  • 496 – Getting stolen property
  • 503 to 515 – Embezzlement
  • 518 to 527 – Extortion
  • 528 to 539 – False personation
  • 594 – Malicious mischief, vandalism
  • 597 – Cruelty to animals
  • 602 – Trespassing
  • 647(b) – Prostitution
  • 647(f) – Public drunkenness
  • 664 – Attempt, like attempted murder, etc
  • 691 – Extortion

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