Resisting or Deterring an Executive Officer
Penal Code 69 Law & Defense
The law on the crime of Resisting or Deterring an Executive Officer is found at California penal code section 69.
PC 69 Law (Abbreviated)
Every person who attempts, by means of any threat or violence, to deter or prevent an executive officer from performing any duty imposed upon the officer by law, or who knowingly resists, by the use of force or violence, the officer, in the performance of his or her duty, is guilty of resisting or deterring an executive officer (PC 69(a)).
The fact that a person takes a photograph or makes an audio or video recording of an executive officer, while the officer is in a public place or the person taking the photograph or making the recording is in a place he or she has the right to be, does not constitute, in and of itself, a violation of subdivision PC 69(a).
To prove that the defendant is guilty of the crime of resisting or deterring an officer charged as PC 69, the district attorney must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:
- The defendant intentionally used violence or threats of violence to try to prevent or deter an executive officer from performing the officer's lawful duty, and
An executive officer is a government official who may use his or her own discretion in performing his or her job duties. However, an executive officer does not need to be performing his or her job duties at the time any threat is communicated.
A threat may be oral or written, but it may also be implied by the conduct of the defendant or a combination any oral or written threat in conjunction with the defendant's conduct. A threat to an executive officer does not have to be communicated by the defendant himself or herself; the threat may be communicated by a third person who is communicating the threat to the executive officer for the defendant.
For an executive officer to be performing his or her lawful duty he or she must not use unreasonable force to detain the defendant under the circumstances. In other words, if force used by the executive officer is excessive and unreasonable under the circumstances the defendant may use force to resist the executive officer.
Punishment for PC 69
The crime of resisting or deterring an executive officer may be filed as a misdemeanor (PC69-M), or as a felony (PC69-F).
If the defendant is found guilty of misdemeanor resisting arrest the defendant may face up to one year in the county jail. If the defendant is found guilty of felony resisting arrest the defendant may face up to three years in prison.
Whether or not the district attorney files misdemeanor or felony charges or resisting arrest depends largely on the facts surrounding the offense and the criminal history of the defendant.
Probation Sentence: Probation is available in PC 69 cases. Probation sentences may be served with or without jail as a condition of probation; however, a jail sentence that is ordered as a condition of probation may be served on electronic monitoring (house arrest) or work release. Without a probation sentence the judge may order the defendant up to the maximum sentence associated with the crime.
Firearm Prohibition: If found guilty of felony resisting or deterring an executive officer the defendant will be prohibited from owning or possessing a firearm for the remainder of his or her life.
In addition to any actual jail or prison time, if found guilty of resisting or deterring an executive officer, the defendant may face collateral punishments, including: fines up to $10,000, immigration and professional licensing consequences,, restitution to victims, criminal protective orders, restrictive probation or parole terms, anger management classes ordered, civil lawsuits, and more.
Defense to PC 69 Crimes
Defenses to a charge of resisting or deterring an executive officer charged as PC 69 include: lack of intent to commit the criminal offense, self defense, defense of others, insanity, resistance against unreasonable force used by officers, insufficient evidence, mistake of fact as to the identity of the officers, and statute of limitations, intoxication, insanity, and more.
If you or a loved one is charged with resisting or deterring an executive officer, or California penal code 69, contact our criminal defense attorneys today for a free consultation.
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PC 69: Resisting an Executive Officer
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Resisting an Executive Officer Related Crimes
- Resisting or obstructing an officer PC 148(a)(1)
- Assault on a police officer PC 245(c)
- Resisting or deterring an executive officer PC690-F