Penal Code 463 PC

PC 463 – Looting in California

PC 463 - Looting

California Looting – Table of Contents

California PC 463: Looting – Overview

A state of emergency is filled with anxiety and uncertainty. Hence some people may decide to take advantage of this situation to commit certain acts of theft. These actions can result in someone being charged for looting in California under the California Penal Code Section 463 PC.

California Penal Code 463 counts looting as committing specific thefts during a local or state emergency. These acts of theft include:

A state or local emergency refers to an events or series of events that are so extreme they are beyond the control of a single city or country. A state of emergency can only be declared and terminated by the state’s governor. A local emergency on the other hand is declared and terminated by a governing body of a city or county. These two are usually declared following natural or man-made disasters such as earthquakes, riots, fires, floods, wildfires, hurricanes or blizzards.

California PC 463 – Sentencing

If you happen to be convicted for looting in California, the penalties you face will depend on the seriousness of the crime.

If you are convicted for looting by petty theft. This is a misdemeanor offense that will carry the following penalties:

  • Incarceration of up to six months in a county jail
  • A maximum fine of $1,000

If you are convicted for looting by either grand theft or burglary. They are labelled as wobbler offenses, meaning they can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony depending on the circumstances of the case. If convicted for a misdemeanor the penalties include:

  • Incarceration of up to 1 year in county jail
  • A maximum fine of $1,000

If convicted for a felony the penalties include:

  • Incarceration of up to 3 years in county jail
  • A maximum fine of $10,000

You should note that if you are convicted for looting involving grand theft of a firearm. This will automatically be classified as a felony.

Crimes Related To Looting

  • Participating in a Riot – California Penal Code Section 405 PC
  • Unlawful Assembly – California Penal Code Section 408 PC
  • Burglary – California Penal Code Section 459 PC
  • Petty Theft – California Penal Code Section 484 PC
  • Grand Theft – California Penal Code Section 487 PC
  • Grand Theft of a Firearm – California Penal Code 487 (d)(2)

California PC 463 – Prosecuting

To build a strong defense that will allow you to get your charges under Penal Code 463 PC dropped, dismissed or reduced, you need to be aware of what the prosecutor will use against you. Therefore for the prosecutor to get you convicted under Penal Code 463 PC, they must prove with no doubt that:

  • The defendant committed burglary, petty theft or grand theft.
  • The acts were performed during a state or local emergency.

California PC 463 – Defending

To ensure you charges are dropped, reduced or dismissed, there are a couple of defense strategies that a defense attorney can use to argue your case. They include:

Had No Intent

For the defendant to be convicted for looting involving burglary they need to have entered a building with the intent to commit larceny. However there may be other reasons that may force an individual to enter a dwelling for example, an individual entering a warehouse to escape floods. In a situation like this, your attorney can argue that while you entered the dwelling, you did not do that with the intent to commit theft.

Mistaken Identity

A state of emergency is a time when tensions are high. There are likely more looting cases going on than normal. Furthermore, police officers are usually overworked trying to get a handle on everything that is going on. Therefore it can happen that an officer mistakenly arrests someone in a riot or protest for looting charges committed by someone else.

Therefore if the defendant is able to prove they were not the one who did the looting they can get their charges dropped.

Acted Out of Necessity

If the defendant looted as a last alternative out of basic necessity. They may be able to get their charges dropped. State emergencies can make basic needs scarce causing people to make moves they never would before.

Looting – Hire Us

Thus if you, or a loved have been charged under the California Penal Code 463 PC. Attorney Seppi Esfandi is a dedicated lawyer that will aggressively defend you. He will do everything possible to ensure you get the best case scenario from your trial case.

Need a Criminal Defense Attorney? CALL NOW: 310-274-6529

Seppi Esfandi is an Expert Criminal Defense Attorney who has over 21 years of practice defending a variety of criminal cases.

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Lara S.
June 4, 2018
Seppi had my case reduced to just an infraction, and thanks to him I was able to keep my job. Jorge was extremely helpful too, the reason I went with this law firm. Overall pleased.

How to Win Your Case

We cannot stress enough that you read, understand and follow these 10 basic rules if you are criminally charged or under investigation:

  1. Don’t ever talk to the police
  2. Do not discuss your case with anyone
  3. Everything you tell your lawyer is confidential
  4. Tell police you need to contact your attorney
  5. Never consent to any search by the police
  6. If the police knock on your door, don't answer!
  7. Realize the consequences of a criminal conviction
  8. Your lawyer (not you) will contact any witnesses
  9. Information on your cell phone is evidence
  10. Early Intervention is the key

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