2005 California Penal Code Sections 2-24 PRELIMINARY PROVISIONS

PENAL CODE
SECTION 2-24

2.  This Code takes effect at twelve o'clock, noon, on the first day
of January, eighteen hundred and seventy-three.
3.  No part of it is retroactive, unless expressly so declared.
4.  The rule of the common law, that penal statutes are to be
strictly construed, has no application to this Code.  All its
provisions are to be construed according to the fair import of their
terms, with a view to effect its objects and to promote justice.
5.  The provisions of this Code, so far as they are substantially
the same as existing statutes, must be construed as continuations
thereof, and not as new enactments.
6.  No act or omission, commenced after twelve o'clock noon of the
day on which this Code takes effect as a law, is criminal or
punishable, except as prescribed or authorized by this Code, or by
some of the statutes which it specifies as continuing in force and as
not affected by its provisions, or by some ordinance, municipal,
county, or township regulation, passed or adopted, under such
statutes and in force when this Code takes effect.  Any act or
omission commenced prior to that time may be inquired of, prosecuted,
and punished in the same manner as if this Code had not been passed.
7.  Words used in this code in the present tense include the future
as well as the present; words used in the masculine gender include
the feminine and neuter; the singular number includes the plural, and
the plural the singular; the word "person" includes a corporation as
well as a natural person; the word "county" includes "city and
county"; writing includes printing and typewriting; oath includes
affirmation or declaration; and every mode of oral statement, under
oath or affirmation, is embraced by the term "testify," and every
written one in the term "depose"; signature or subscription includes
mark, when the person  cannot write, his or her name being written
near it, by a person who writes his or her own name as a witness;
provided, that when a signature is made by mark it must, in order
that the same may be acknowledged or serve as the signature to any
sworn statement, be witnessed by two persons who must subscribe their
own names as witnesses thereto.
   The following words have in this code the signification attached
to them in this section, unless otherwise apparent from the context:
   1. The word "willfully," when applied to the intent with which an
act is done or omitted, implies simply a purpose or willingness to
commit the act, or make the omission referred to.  It does not
require any intent to violate law, or to injure another, or to
acquire any advantage.
   2. The words "neglect," "negligence," "negligent," and
"negligently" import a want of such attention to the nature or
probable consequences of the act or omission as a prudent man
ordinarily bestows in acting in his own concerns.
   3. The word "corruptly" imports a wrongful design to acquire or
cause some pecuniary or other advantage to the person guilty of the
act or omission referred to, or to some other person.
   4. The words "malice" and "maliciously" import a wish to vex,
annoy, or injure another person, or an intent to do a wrongful act,
established either by proof or presumption of law.
   5. The word "knowingly" imports only a knowledge that the facts
exist which  bring the act or omission within the provisions of this
code.  It does not require any knowledge of the unlawfulness of such
act or omission.
   6. The word "bribe" signifies anything of value or advantage,
present or prospective, or any promise or undertaking to give any,
asked, given, or accepted,  with a corrupt intent to influence,
unlawfully, the person to whom it is given, in his or her action,
vote, or opinion, in any public or official capacity.
   7. The word "vessel," when used with reference to shipping,
includes ships of all kinds, steamboats, canalboats, barges, and
every structure adapted to be navigated from place to place for the
transportation of merchandise or persons, except that, as used in
Sections 192.5 and 193.5, the word "vessel" means a vessel as defined
in subdivision (c) of Section 651 of the Harbors and Navigation
Code.
   8. The words "peace officer" signify any one of the officers
mentioned in Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of
Part 2.
   9. The word "magistrate" signifies any one of the officers
mentioned in Section 808.
   10. The word "property" includes both real and personal property.
   11. The words "real property" are coextensive with lands,
tenements, and hereditaments.
   12. The words "personal property" include money, goods, chattels,
things in action, and evidences of debt.
   13. The word "month" means a calendar month, unless otherwise
expressed; the word "daytime" means the period between sunrise and
sunset, and the word "nighttime" means the period between sunset and
sunrise.
   14. The word "will" includes codicil.
   15. The word "writ" signifies an order or precept in writing,
issued in the  name of the people, or of a court or judicial officer,
and the word "process" a writ or summons issued in the course of
judicial proceedings.
   16. Words and phrases must be construed according to the context
and the approved usage of the language; but technical words and
phrases, and such others as may have acquired a peculiar and
appropriate meaning in law, must be construed according to such
peculiar and appropriate meaning.
   17. Words giving a joint authority to three or more public
officers or other persons, are construed as giving such authority to
a majority of them, unless it is otherwise expressed in the act
giving the authority.
   18. When the seal of a court or public officer is required by law
to be affixed to any paper, the word "seal" includes an impression of
such seal upon the paper alone, or upon any substance attached to
the paper capable of receiving a visible impression.  The seal of a
private person may be made in like manner, or by the scroll of a pen,
or by writing the word "seal" against his or her name.
   19. The word "state," when applied to the different parts of the
United States, includes the District of Columbia and the territories,
and the words "United States" may include the district and
territories.
   20. The word "section," whenever hereinafter employed, refers to a
section of this code, unless some other code or statute is expressly
mentioned.
   21. To "book" signifies the recordation of an arrest in official
police records, and the taking by the police of fingerprints and
photographs of the person arrested, or any of these acts following an
arrest.
7.5.  Whenever any offense is described in this code, the Uniform
Controlled Substances Act (Division 10 (commencing with Section
11000) of the Health and Safety Code), or the Welfare and
Institutions Code, as criminal conduct and as a violation of a
specified code section or a particular provision of a code section,
in the case of any ambiguity or conflict in interpretation, the code
section or particular provision of the code section shall take
precedence over the descriptive language.  The descriptive language
shall be deemed as being offered only for ease of reference unless it
is otherwise clearly apparent from the context that the descriptive
language is intended to narrow the application of the referenced code
section or particular provision of the code section.
8.  Whenever, by any of the provisions of this Code, an intent to
defraud is required in order to constitute any offense, it is
sufficient if an intent appears to defraud any person, association,
or body politic or corporate, whatever.
9.  The omission to specify or affirm in this Code any liability to
damages, penalty, forfeiture, or other remedy imposed by law and
allowed to be recovered or enforced in any civil action or
proceeding, for any act or omission declared punishable herein, does
not affect any right to recover or enforce the same.
10.  The omission to specify or affirm in this Code any ground of
forfeiture of a public office, or other trust or special authority
conferred by law, or any power conferred by law to impeach, remove,
depose, or suspend any public officer or other person holding any
trust, appointment, or other special authority conferred by law, does
not affect such forfeiture or power, or any proceeding authorized by
law to carry into effect such impeachment, removal, deposition, or
suspension.
11.  This code does not affect any power conferred by law upon any
court-martial, or other military authority or officer, to impose or
inflict punishment upon offenders; nor, except as provided in Section
19.2 of this code, any power conferred by law upon any public body,
tribunal, or officer, to impose or inflict punishment for a contempt.
12.  The several sections of this Code which declare certain crimes
to be punishable as therein mentioned, devolve a duty upon the Court
authorized to pass sentence, to determine and impose the punishment
prescribed.
13.  Whenever in this Code the punishment for a crime is left
undetermined between certain limits, the punishment to be inflicted
in a particular case must be determined by the Court authorized to
pass sentence, within such limits as may be prescribed by this Code.
14.  The various sections of this Code which declare that evidence
obtained upon the examination of a person as a witness cannot be
received against him in any criminal proceeding, do not forbid such
evidence being proved against such person upon any proceedings
founded upon a charge of perjury committed in such examination.
15.  A crime or public offense is an act committed or omitted in
violation of a law forbidding or commanding it, and to which is
annexed, upon conviction, either of the following punishments:
   1. Death;
   2. Imprisonment;
   3. Fine;
   4. Removal from office; or,
   5. Disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust,
or profit in this State.
16.  Crimes and public offenses include:
   1. Felonies;
   2. Misdemeanors; and
   3. Infractions.
17.  (a) A felony is a crime which is punishable with death or by
imprisonment in the state prison.  Every other crime or public
offense is a misdemeanor except those offenses that are classified as
infractions.
   (b) When a crime is punishable, in the discretion of the court, by
imprisonment in the state prison or by fine or imprisonment in the
county jail, it is a misdemeanor for all purposes under the following
circumstances:
   (1) After a judgment imposing a punishment other than imprisonment
in the state prison.
   (2) When the court, upon committing the defendant to the Youth
Authority, designates the offense to be a misdemeanor.
   (3) When the court grants probation to a defendant without
imposition of sentence and at the time of granting probation, or on
application of the defendant or probation officer thereafter, the
court declares the offense to be a misdemeanor.
   (4) When the prosecuting attorney files in a court having
jurisdiction over misdemeanor offenses a complaint specifying that
the offense is a misdemeanor, unless the defendant at the time of his
or her arraignment or plea objects to the offense being made a
misdemeanor, in which event the complaint shall be amended to charge
the felony and the case shall proceed on the felony complaint.
   (5) When, at or before the preliminary examination or prior to
filing an order pursuant to Section 872, the magistrate determines
that the offense is a misdemeanor, in which event the case shall
proceed as if the defendant had been arraigned on a misdemeanor
complaint.
   (c) When a defendant is committed to the Youth Authority for a
crime punishable, in the discretion of the court, by imprisonment in
the state prison or by fine or imprisonment in the county jail, the
offense shall, upon the discharge of the defendant from the Youth
Authority, thereafter be deemed a misdemeanor for all purposes.
   (d) A violation of any code section listed in Section 19.8 is an
infraction subject to the procedures described in Sections 19.6 and
19.7 when:
   (1) The prosecutor files a complaint charging the offense as an
infraction unless the defendant, at the time he or she is arraigned,
after being informed of his or her rights, elects to have the case
proceed as a misdemeanor, or;
   (2) The court, with the consent of the defendant, determines that
the offense is an infraction in which event the case shall proceed as
if the defendant had been arraigned on an infraction complaint.
   (e) Nothing in this section authorizes a judge to relieve a
defendant of the duty to register as a sex offender pursuant to
Section 290 if the defendant is charged with an offense for which
registration as a sex offender is required pursuant to Section 290,
and for which the trier of fact has found the defendant guilty.
18.  Except in cases where a different punishment is prescribed by
any law of this state, every offense declared to be a felony, or to
be punishable by imprisonment in a state prison, is punishable by
imprisonment in any of the state prisons for 16 months, or two or
three years; provided, however, every offense which is prescribed by
any law of the state to be a felony punishable by imprisonment in any
of the state prisons or by a fine, but without an alternate sentence
to the county jail, may be punishable by imprisonment in the county
jail not exceeding one year or by a fine, or by both.
19.  Except in cases where a different punishment is prescribed by
any law of this state, every offense declared to be a misdemeanor is
punishable by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding six
months, or by fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by
both.
19.2.  In no case shall any person sentenced to confinement in a
county or city jail, or in a county or joint county penal farm, road
camp, work camp, or other county adult detention facility, or
committed to the sheriff for placement in any county adult detention
facility, on conviction of a misdemeanor, or as a condition of
probation upon conviction of either a felony or a misdemeanor, or
upon commitment for civil contempt, or upon default in the payment of
a fine upon conviction of either a felony or a misdemeanor, or for
any reason except upon conviction of more than one offense when
consecutive sentences have been imposed, be committed for a period in
excess of one year; provided, however, that the time allowed on
parole shall not be considered as a part of the period of
confinement.
19.4.  When an act or omission is declared by a statute to be a
public offense and no penalty for the offense is prescribed in any
statute, the act or omission is punishable as a misdemeanor.
19.6.  An infraction is not punishable by imprisonment.  A person
charged with an infraction shall not be entitled to a trial by jury.
A person charged with an infraction shall not be entitled to have
the public defender or other counsel appointed at public expense to
represent him or her unless he or she is arrested and not released on
his or her written promise to appear, his or her own recognizance,
or a deposit of bail.
19.7.  Except as otherwise provided by law, all provisions of law
relating to misdemeanors shall apply to infractions including, but
not limited to, powers of peace officers, jurisdiction of courts,
periods for commencing action and for bringing a case to trial and
burden of proof.
19.8.  The following offenses are subject to subdivision (d) of
Section 17: Sections 193.8, 330, 415, 485, 555, 652, and 853.7 of
this code; subdivision (m) of Section 602 of this code; subdivision
(b) of Section 25658 and Sections 21672, 25658.5, 25661, and 25662 of
the Business and Professions Code; Section 27204 of the Government
Code; subdivision (c) of Section 23109 and Sections 12500, 14601.1,
27150.1, 40508, and 42005 of the Vehicle Code, and any other offense
which the Legislature makes subject to subdivision (d) of Section 17.
Except where a lesser maximum fine is expressly provided for a
violation of any of those sections, any violation which is an
infraction is punishable by a fine not exceeding two hundred fifty
dollars ($250).
   Except for the violations enumerated in subdivision (d) of Section
13202.5 of the Vehicle Code, and Section 14601.1 of the Vehicle Code
based upon failure to appear, a conviction for any offense made an
infraction under subdivision (d) of Section 17 is not grounds for the
suspension, revocation, or denial of any license, or for the
revocation of probation or parole of the person convicted.
   This section shall become operative on January 1, 2005.
20.  In every crime or public offense there must exist a union, or
joint operation of act and intent, or criminal negligence.
21.  (a) The intent or intention is manifested by the circumstances
connected with the offense.
   (b) In the guilt phase of a criminal action or a juvenile
adjudication hearing, evidence that the accused lacked the capacity
or ability to control his conduct for any reason shall not be
admissible on the issue of whether the accused actually had any
mental state with respect to the commission of any crime.  This
subdivision is not applicable to Section 26.
21a.  An attempt to commit a crime consists of two elements:  a
specific intent to commit the crime, and a direct but ineffectual act
done toward its commission.
22.  (a) No act committed by a person while in a state of voluntary
intoxication is less criminal by reason of his or her having been in
that condition.  Evidence of voluntary intoxication shall not be
admitted to negate the capacity to form any mental states for the
crimes charged, including, but not limited to, purpose, intent,
knowledge, premeditation, deliberation, or malice aforethought, with
which the accused committed the act.
   (b) Evidence of voluntary intoxication is admissible solely on the
issue of whether or not the defendant actually formed a required
specific intent, or, when charged with murder, whether the defendant
premeditated, deliberated, or harbored express malice aforethought.
   (c) Voluntary intoxication includes the voluntary ingestion,
injection, or taking by any other means of any intoxicating liquor,
drug, or other substance.
23.  In any criminal proceeding against a person who has been issued
a license to engage in a business or profession by a state agency
pursuant to provisions of the Business and Professions Code or the
Education Code, or the Chiropractic Initiative Act, the state agency
which issued the license may voluntarily appear to furnish pertinent
information, make recommendations regarding specific conditions of
probation, or provide any other assistance necessary to promote the
interests of justice and protect the interests of the public, or may
be ordered by the court to do so, if the crime charged is
substantially related to the qualifications, functions, or duties of
a licensee.
   For purposes of this section, the term "license" shall include a
permit or a certificate issued by a state agency.
   For purposes of this section, the term "state agency" shall
include any state board, commission, bureau, or division created
pursuant to the provisions of the Business and Professions Code, the
Education Code, or the Chiropractic Initiative Act to license and
regulate individuals who engage in certain businesses and
professions.
24.  This Act, whenever cited, enumerated, referred to, or amended,
may be designated simply as THE PENAL CODE, adding, when necessary,
the number of the section.



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