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Hazing Law & Defense

Penal Code 245.6

Information on the crime of hazing is found at California penal code section 245.6.

Hazing Law

PC 245.6(a) It shall be unlawful to engage in hazing.

PC 245.6(b) Hazing means any method of initiation or preinitiation into a student organization or student body, whether or not the organization or body is officially recognized by an educational institution, which is likely to cause serious bodily injury to any former, current, or prospective student of any school, community college, college, university, or other educational institution in this state.

Note: The term hazing does not include customary athletic events or school-sanctioned events.

Sentence & Punishment for Hazing (PC 245.6)

PC 245.6(c) Hazing that does not result in serious bodily injury is a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not less than one hundred dollars ($100), nor more than five thousand dollars ($5,000), or imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one year, or both.

PC 245.6(d) Any person who personally engages in hazing that results in death or serious bodily injury as defined in paragraph (4) of subdivision (f) of Section 243 of the Penal Code, is guilty of either a misdemeanor or a felony, and shall be punished by imprisonment in county jail not exceeding one year, or by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170.

PC 245.6(e) The person against whom the hazing is directed may commence a civil action for injury or damages. The action may be brought against any participants in the hazing, or any organization to which the student is seeking membership whose agents, directors, trustees, managers, or officers authorized, requested, commanded, participated in, or ratified the hazing.

In addition, hazing may be charged in addition to any other charge. For example, if the defendant is alleged to have assaulted another person with the intent to initiate the other person into a fraternity, the defendant may be charged with both assault and the hazing charges.

Defenses to Hazing (PC 245.6)

Common defenses to hazing include: insufficient evidence to prove that the defendant acted with the intent to initiate another person, Alibi, Statute of limitations, defense of others, self-defense, intoxication, coerced confessions, and more.

If you or a loved one is charged with hazing, or penal code section 245.6, contact our criminal defense attorneys today for a free consultation.

Our defense attorneys dedicate 100% of their practice to criminal defense and we are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to answer all of your questions. We have successfully defended hundreds of misdemeanor and felony crimes in the Inland Empire and Los Angeles county. Call today!


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PC 245.6: Hazing

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Hazing Crimes: PC 245.6

  • Accessory
  • Arson
  • Assault
  • Battery
  • Burglary
  • Conspiracy
  • Criminal Threats
  • Domestic Violence
  • Drunk in Public
  • DUI
  • Elder Theft
  • Evading
  • False Imprisonment
  • Hazing
  • Hit and Run
  • Indecent
  • Kidnapping
  • Lewd Acts
  • Manslaughter
  • Murder
  • Perjury
  • Rape
  • Robbery
  • Shoplifting
  • Stalking
  • Vandalism
  • Vehicle Theft
  • Welfare Fraud

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Los Angeles County

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California Hazing Law & Defense / PC 245.6

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