California Penal Code 653(b) PC

Loitering at School

PC 653(b) - Loitering at a School

Loitering at a School – Table of Contents

PC 653(b) – Overview

Children are uniquely vulnerable to bad people. Thus most people agree that children or places, where they are commonly found require added protection.

Loitering in California is generally frowned upon. However, when it involves loitering around schools or other public places where children congregate it becomes a criminal offense according to California Penal Code 653(b) PC. This statute bans anyone from lingering, delaying, or idling about a school or public place without a lawful purpose and intended to commit a criminal act if they found the opportunity. This statute can also be used to charge anyone who reenters a school or public place where children ordinarily assemble, within 72 hours after being asked to leave by an authorized official, such as the chief administrative official of a school or a city police officer.

PC 653(b) – Sentencing

Loitering at a school in violation of California Penal Code 653(b) PC is regarded as a misdemeanor-level offense. However, the severity of the penalties a defendant faces will depend on their criminal history. If convicted for a misdemeanor offense under this statute, the defendant could be facing:

  • Incarceration for up to 6 months in county jail
  • A maximum fine of $1,000

The penalties change if the person disobeying PC 653(b) is a registered sex offender. The defendant could be sentenced as follows:

  • For a first time conviction, the defendant could be sentenced to:
  • Up to six months in county jail
  • A fine of up to $2000
  • For a second conviction under PC 653(b), they could be looking at:
  • A mandatory minimum of 10 days in county jail and/or up to $2000 in fines
  • For a third or any other following convictions for loitering at a school. They could be sentenced to:
  • A mandatory minimum of 90 days in county jail, and/or up-to $2000 in fines.

The California Penal Code 653(b) also provides enhancements for defendants convicted under this who also happens to have prior conviction for gang-related activities. These Gang Enhancements are provided under California Penal Code Section 186.22 and include:

  • For a first conviction, a maximum of one year in county jail and/or a maximum fine of $1,000
  • For a second conviction with a previous conviction under PC 653(b), the defendant must serve a minimum of 10 days in county jail and/or a maximum fine of $2000.

Crimes Related To Loitering At A School

Kidnapping – California Penal Code Section 207 PC
Child Abduction – California Penal Code Section 278 PC
Trespassing – California Penal Code Section 602 PC
Annoying or Molesting a Child – California Penal Code Section 647.6 PC

PC 653(b) – Prosecuting

For the prosecutor to get someone convicted under California Penal Code Section 653(b) PC, they must provide strong evidence proving the following elements of the crime:

  • The defendant loitered or remained at or near a school attended by children or a public place where children usually gather, or they reentered a school or public place where children usually gathered within 72 hours after being asked to leave by a chief administrative official of that school, a member of the school district security patrol authorized in writing by the chief administrative official to act in their stead in performing their duty, a city police officer, a member of the sheriff department or the California Highway Patrol.
  • The defendant did not have a lawful purpose to be at or near the school or the public place.
  • The defendant intended to commit a criminal act at the place if the opportunity appeared.

PC 653(b) – Defenses

If you are facing charges under California Penal Code 653(b), it is your right to question these allegations in court. A criminal defense attorney can help you build the strong defense you need to get acquitted from these charges. Some of the criminal defenses your lawyer can use include:

Had A Lawful Purpose

For the defendant to be accused of loitering at a school, they need to have an unlawful reason for being at or near a school or public place where children ordinarily congregate. Therefore, if the defendant had a valid reason for being there, they can avoid getting charged under this statute.

Had No Intent To Commit A Crime

If the defendant can prove they had no intention to commit a crime if the opportunity arose. They can use this to defend themselves and avoid a conviction under this statute.

Loitering at a School – Hire Us

If you or a loved one are facing charges under California Penal Code 653(b), you need to contact a lawyer as soon as possible. Seppi Esfandi is a criminal defense lawyer with over 20 years of experience handling criminal cases of this nature. With him on your case, you will have a reliable partner ready to put in the work to ensure a suitable outcome for you in court.

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

Seppi Esfandi is an Expert Criminal Defense Attorney who has over 20 years of practice defending a variety of criminal cases.

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