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Let’s face it: When it comes to matters of clarity, the letter of the law isn’t exactly known as being the easiest thing to understand. The mountain of legalese you’ll tend to face will at best be complicated and at worst be convoluted. But just because things can be a little confusing when it comes to California’s penal code doesn’t mean it has to be that way. In this post we’re going to pick apart some of the definitions, punishments, and even legal defenses fro the charge of participating in a riot in the state of California. So first off, let’s get started with a few definitions that will make things a little clearer for us.
Definitions of Participating in a Riot
So according to California state law, the crime of either rioting or participating in a riot happens when two or more people act together and, without any authority of the law, they either use some sort of violence or force, or disturb what’s known as the public peace, or threaten to use force or violence with what’s called immediate power to make good on that threat. So for instance, if a group of students held their dean captive until a certain demand was met, that would fall under this law. Also, if people start to loot and vandalize buildings and cars after some sort of injustice, this is also considered to be participating in a riot. This is important to keep in mind, as some things that ordinarily wouldn’t be thought of as rioting do in fact fall under the letter of the law in California. So now that we know some of the definitions when it comes to participating in a riot in California, let’s get a handle on what kind of punishment you’d be facing with this charge.
Punishment for Participating in a Riot
The good news is that participating in a riot is only considered to be a misdemeanor under California state law. As far as actual penalties go, you could be facing a fine of up to $1,000, or else facing up to a year in county jail. So while this isn’t the most draconian of laws around in the state of California, there are still some definite impacts that can be made in your life should you be convicted of this crime. To that end, let’s look at some of the legal defenses you can take advantage of.
Legal Defenses for Participating in a Riot
There are a couple of ways that you can get your charges either reduced or dismissed when it comes to participating in a riot. One of these ways is by claiming that you were only present at the scene of the riot and didn’t actually participate in it. Another way is to assert that you were just acting in self defense against police officers who were using excessive force. The last way you can legally defend this charge is to insist that you were a victim of mistaken identity. While these claims won’t guarantee a dismissal or reduction of the charges, they will help tremendously.
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As you can see, the letter of the law isn’t that hard to understand when you break it down into simple, easy to digest terms. That way you can not only better understand what the law means, but you can also go ahead and start to mount your legal defense. So if you’re facing legal problems at the moment or fear that you’ll be facing them in the future, make the right move and get in touch with us today.