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California Penal Codes (PC's)
The original Penal Code was enacted by the California State Legislature in February of 1872, which was created by the penal code that was proposed in New York in 1865. The drafter of the New York penal code was Commissioner William Curtis Noyes, who was a former prosecutor in the city of New York. Penal Codes are also known as criminal codes, which is a document that compiles particular jurisdiction’s criminal law. This means that each code will contain offenses that are recognized in the jurisdiction that the offense was committed. These codes are commonly used in civil law jurisdictions so that they could build legal systems around those codes and principles in order to apply them on every case in the city. In the United States of America, a model penal code does not exist as the law, but it provides the basis for the criminal law for many states. Individual states often choose to make use of criminal codes, which are, in fact, model codes. The penal code is divided into six parts that contain titles, which are then divided into chapters that have sections with the smallest unit of content to ensure that these codes cannot be interpreted the wrong way. This is the best way to ensure that our legal system is governed by common laws that are understood throughout the department, which makes it easier and more accurate to determine whether the defendant is innocent or guilty. The penal code is not like the Unites States Code because any particular provision of the Penal Code is usually referenced by its section number alone. This is especially accurate when a police officer in the state refers to a particular criminal act over his or her radio. The most common California Penal Codes that officers use to communicate with one another before they have reached the scene of the crime are as follows:
10-15(pc): Suspect in Custody; this is when an officer has actually arrested the suspect and is secure.
10-27(pc): CDL check; this is when the officer checks a person’s driver’s license. This usually occurs on traffic stops, but may be necessary whenever someone is confronted by police.
10-29a(pc): Wants and warrants check; officers use this penal code to let the department know that they need to check whether the suspect has a warrant for his or her arrest.
10-49(pc): Enroute; used by officers to let another officer or dispatch know that they are on their way.
10-66(pc): Suspicious Person; this is used to describe someone that seems suspicious or that may be in the process of committing a crime.
10-95(pc): Pedestrian Stop; this refers to when an officer stops a pedestrian on the sidewalk or in a public place.
10-97(pc): Arrived at Scene; this is used by officers to let dispatch know that he or she has arrived at the scene that he or she was sent to.
The next group of codes occurs when the officer has the suspect in custody or there is a crime in progress.
148(pc): Resisting Peace Officers (Misdemeanor): Suspect willfully resists, delays or obstructs a peace officer in the discharge of his duty.
187(pc): Homicide/Murder (Felony): The unlawful killing of a human being, with malice aforethought.
211(pc): Robbery (Felony): The taking of personal property, in the possession of another, by force or fear.
215(pc): Carjacking (Felony): The taking of a motor vehicle, in the possession of another, by force or fear.
240(pc): Assault (Misdemeanor): An attempt to commit a violent injury on a person, and the ability to do so.
242(pc): Battery (M/F): A willful use of force or violence upon the person of another.
243(pc): Battery on a Peace Officer (Felony)
245(pc): Assault with a Deadly Weapon (M/F): An assault, with a deadly weapon or with force, likely to produce great bodily injury.
261(pc): Rape (Felony): Sexual intercourse, with a person not a spouse, without consent or against a person’s will by means of force or fear.
273.5(pc): Corporal Injury on an Intimate Partner (Felony): willfully inflict physical injury to an intimate partner and cause a traumatic condition in that person.
422(pc): Criminal Threats (Felony): when you threaten to kill or physically harm someone and that person is placed in a state of reasonably sustained fear.
451(pc): Arson (M/F): Willfully and maliciously sets fire to or burns or causes to be burned any structure, forest land, or property.
459(pc): Burglary (Felony): Entering a house, room, store, etc, with intent to commit theft or another felony.
484(pc): Theft/ Larceny (I/M/F): Steal the property of another.
487(pc): Grand Theft (M/F): Theft of money or property valued at greater than $400.
488(pc): Petty Theft (I/M/F): Theft of money or property valued at $400 or less.
496(pc): Receiving Stolen Property (Felony): If you buy, receive, conceal, sell, or withhold any stolen property from the owner.
602(pc) Criminal Trespass (Misdemeanor): Willfully entering upon any lands owned by any other person, without permission of the owner.
25400(pc): Carrying a Concealed Weapon (Felony): makes it a crime to carry a concealed weapon with you or in your vehicle.
All of these penal codes are used by law enforcement in order to communicate amongst each other without risking misinterpretation of the offenses or the situation. These codes make it less likely that the court will mix up charges with punishments at sentencing. If you would like any more information about penal codes, please feel free to contact one of our agents.