Penal Code 405 PC

PC 405 – Participating in a Riot

PC 405 : Participating in a Riot

Participating in a Riot – Table of Contents

What is the definition of ‘Participating in a Riot’ under PC 405?

It is unlawful for any person to participate in any riot.

Is there a mental state required for a violation under Penal Code 405 PC?

Yes. The mental state required for a violation under Penal Code 405 PC is willful. Willful is the intent to do an act on purpose, knowing the act is unlawful, with the desire to disobey the law. There is no need to show an evil motive or bad purpose.

What is the definition of a riot as stated under Penal Code 405 PC?

A riot is defined as when two or more people, without authorization, meet to disturb the public peace with force, violence, or threat of force or violence. It must be perceived by the recipient(s) of the conduct that the group has the present ability to carry out the force, violence or threats and place the recipient(s) in imminent fear of harm. And the act’s purpose is to communicate support, disapproval, or need for change regarding for a social policy or personal preference of social concern. And to have the communication perceived, viewed, heard, and understood by the public.

What is not a riot as defined under Penal Code 405 PC?

A social protest is the direct opposite of a riot. The objective of the social protest’s purpose is purposeful but peaceful with no desire to place anyone in imminent fear of harm. The purpose is to communicate support, disapproval, or need for change regarding for a social policy or personal preference of social concern. And to have the communication perceived, viewed, heard, and understood by the public.

What qualifies for the term “participation” under Penal Code 405 PC?

For participation to qualify a person must encourage, incite, promote, give support to or account for the riot, during or after the riot’s completion.

What does not qualify for the term “participation” under Penal Code 405 PC?

Being presence around a riot is not sufficient for a violation under Penal Code 405 PC. There must be an overt act demonstrating support for the riot to qualify for a violation. Note that simply shaking rioters’ hands and chanting does not qualify as overt acts under Penal Code 405.

Penal Code 405 PC – Sentencing

A violation of Penal Code 405 PC is charged as a misdemeanor. Penalties include confinement not exceeding 1 year in jail; and fines not exceeding $1000 dollars.

What is an example of a violation of Penal Code 405 PC?

  • Teachers against football (TAF) did not like flag football. Their platform was to show others just how useless a sport it was. TAF was found 1 month ago with 50 members. The president wanted to garnish more membership and thought a protest was needed. The president made copies of 200 fliers and passed them out in the downtown district himself. On the fliers stated the TAF decree, “Flag football is a waste of resources and disturbs the economy football”. The fliers also asked people to come out and support TAF by saying “Footballs are for football games give us are balls back”. The fliers asked supporters to send inquires to an email address supplied on the filer for more information on the meet place and time. The president received 1000 responses but responded to 200 to come and receive t-shirts. The filers requested everyone to meet this Saturday at The Park to protest the local flag football games using the decree and chant provided. At the day, time, and place a 100 people congregated to support or play flag football. In the same, 1000 people showed up to support TAF in the parking lot adjacent to the field. The president had a megaphone and explained the dilemma of insufficient t-shirts. A few of the respondents that arrived were visibly intoxicated and without warning charged the field tackling the players. Other respondents screamed at bystanders, making people run away for safety. The remaining respondents started chanting the TAF decree. The president, his members and others with t-shirts were not violent. The president used his megaphone to attempt to calm the revelers and desist the violence, while others with t-shirts chanted the TAF decree. Several people videotaped the entire ordeal, the referees called the police. When the police arrived, the president explained the non-violent purpose and TAF’s, his selection with t-shirts of invited protesters, and his inability to prevent the violence. All TAF members and the revelers were arrested.

Penal Code 405 PC – Defending

  • Mere presence – the accused was only a bystander who supported the message in novelty rather than by commitment or lack of violence.
  • Protest versus a Riot – The congregated activity qualifies as a riot.
  • Lack of organized activity to qualify as riot or protest.
  • Duress

Participating in a Riot – Hire Us

If you are charged with a violation of Penal Code 405 PC call The Esfandi Law Group, APLC. Contact Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Seppi Esfandi, principal attorney of The Esfandi Law Group, APLC.

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