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California Penal Code 69 PC Resisting an Executive Officer

Apr 11, 2019 | Criminal Defense

According to California Penal Code Section 69 resisting an executive officer is illegal.

Furthermore, it is illegal to attempt, by means of any threat or violence, to prevent or deter an executive officer from performing his duty or intentionally resist, by the use of violence or force, such officer in performance of his duty.

Resisting Arrest under PC Section 148(a)

Though the crime is closely related to the crime of resisting arrest under PC Section 148(a), resisting an executive officer is considered a much more serious crime in California. Unlike resisting arrest PC 69, resisting an executive officer requires actual violence or a threat of violence.

Resisting an Executive Officer Covers Two Different Offenses

Resisting an Executive Officer covers two different offenses including

  • Intentionally and
    willfully attempting to prevent or deter an executive officer from performing
    his duties and
  • Resisting an
    executive officer in the performance of his duties by using violence or force.

Elements of the Crimes

Each
of the two crimes has a separate set of elements that the prosecution must establish
to convict the defendant.

The elements of attempting to deter an executive
officer are the following:

  • Defendant
    unlawfully used violence or force for preventing  or deterring an executive officer from
    performing his lawful duties
  • Defendant had
    intention to prevent or deter the executive officer from performing his duties

The elements of resisting an executive officer in the
performance of his duties by using violence or force are the following:

  • Defendant used
    force to resist an officer
  • The executive
    officer was performing his lawful duty at the time
  • Defendant was
    aware that the executive officer was performing his duty

Violence or Force Under Penal Code Section 69

For purposes of PC Section 69, force does not need to cause an injury or harm to a person.

Therefore, even touching in an offensive or rude manner will be enough to constitute violence. However, in order for violence to be a PC Section 69 violation, it must actually deter or prevent an officer from performing his lawful duty.

What is An Executive Officer?

An Executive Officer is any governmental official who is authorized to use his discretion to carry out a lawful duty.

Examples of Executive Officers

Examples of executive officers include:

  • Law enforcement
    officers such as police officers sheriff’s deputies
  • Judges
  • Elected officials
  • District attorneys
  • Public defenders

The lawful duties of an executive officer’s are those ones that he is tasked with
performing as a requirement of his profession.

Defenses for California Penal Code 69 Charges

Defenses for California Penal Code 69 charges include the following

No intent

For
convicting defendant of this crime, the prosecutor must prove that he indented
to resist or prevent the executive officer from performing his duties. Thus, it
a valid defense if there is no evidence that shows defendant’s intention when
he acted in such manner.

Unlawful conduct

In
case the defendant was attempting to prevent an executive officer’s conduct
that was unlawful, he can’t be found guilty of the offense, as executive
officer is not protected while performing unlawful or illegal conduct.

Self-defense

In
case the executive officer was using illegal force against defendant, he was
entitled to exercise his right to defend himself by using reasonable force.

Penalties for Violating California Penal Code Section 69

In
California a crime of resisting an executive officer is a “wobbler”
which can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the case
circumstances and defendant’s criminal history.

Penalties for Misdemeanor Penal Code 69 Conviction

Penalties for misdemeanor Penal Code 69 conviction are the following:

  • Up to one year in
    a county jail
  • A fine up to
    maximum $10,000

Penalties for Felony Penal Code 69 Conviction

Penalties for Felony Penal Code 69 conviction are the following:

  • 16 months, two or
    three years in a county jail
  • A fine up to
    maximum $10,000

Criminal Defense Lawyer in Glendale, CA

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