When it comes to California’s penal code, the letter of the law can oftentimes seem complicated, even convoluted. But just because this mountain of legalese seems daunting doesn’t mean it has to be. In this post we’re going to look at California penal code 69, which deals with resisting an executive officer. We’ll look at some key terms and definitions, and get a better idea as to what this charge entails, as well as how you can defend against it. So with that said, let’s get started with a couple of definitions.
An executive officer is basically a public employee who’s allowed to use their discretion to carry out their duties under the law. There’s a broader range of people included here, as opposed to just police officers and the like, such as judges, public defenders, DAs, and even elected officials.
By lawful duties, we basically mean duties that an executive officer is required to perform. So for instance, a DA can decide whether or not to press charges. As a result, threatening violence against a DA would be considered a crime under this section. Now that we’ve gotten the definitions out of the way, let’s take a look at the actual law as detailed in the penal code.
Under California’s penal code, this charge is described as willfully and unlawfully threatening or using violence to stop an executing officer from doing his or her job, or the actual use of force or else violence to resist an executive officer while they’re doing their job. So now that we know what the law says about resisting an executive officer, let’s look at how this charge is prosecuted.
Prosecution of PC 69
Since this crime can be committed either by resisting or deterring someone from doing their job, there are two separate components to this charge. Each of these elements have to be proven without a shadow of a doubt for you to be convicted of this charge. To this end, the prosecution needs to prove that you willfully and unlawfully used violence or else the threat of violence to stop an executive officer from doing their job, and that you intended to do so when you did it. Now to prove that you resisted an executive officer, the prosecution has to prove that you used violence or the threat of violence to resist, that the executive officer was doing their job at the time, and that you knew they were doing their job at the time. So what’s the punishment for PC 69? Well…
Punishment for PC 69
This particular crime can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. If you’re charged with the felony version, you face up to sixteen months or two or three years in county jail, a maximum fine of $10,000, or both the jail time and the fine. The misdemeanor version gives you up to 364 days in county jail, a maximum fine of $10,000, or a combination of the two.
If you’re in trouble, we can help.
See? That was relatively painless. When you break the letter of the law down into easily digestible portions like this, the process of understanding the penal code becomes less daunting. So if you’re facing any kind of legal trouble or might be facing some legal trouble in the future, it’s best that you get in contact with us immediately. We’ll guide you through every step of the process and make sure that you’re well taken care of. It just might be the best thing you do today.
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