California Looting Laws


THE LAW



CA Penal Code 463 PC is the California statute that defines the crime commonly referred to as looting. 463 PC states that Every person who violates Section 459, punishable as a second-degree burglary...during and within an affected county in a “state of emergency” or a “local emergency” resulting from an earthquake, fire, flood, riot, or other natural or manmade disaster shall be guilty of the crime of looting, punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for one year.

The crime of looting in California consists of committing burglary, grand theft and petty theft crimes during a state of emergency, which includes Flood; Severe earthquakes;Riots; Wildfires; or Storms or other severe weather.


PENALTIES


 Every person who commits the crime of grand theft, as defined in Section 487 or subdivision (a) of Section 487a, except grand theft of a firearm, during and within an affected county in a “state of emergency” or a “local emergency,” or under an “evacuation order,” resulting from an earthquake, fire, flood, riot, or other natural or unnatural disaster shall be guilty of the crime of looting, punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for one year or pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170. Every person who commits the crime of grand theft of a firearm, as defined in Section 487, during and within an affected county in a “state of emergency” or a “local emergency” resulting from an earthquake, fire, flood, riot, or other natural or unnatural disaster shall be guilty of the crime of looting, punishable by imprisonment in the state prison, as set forth in subdivision (a) of Section 489. Any person convicted under this subdivision who is eligible for probation and who is granted probation shall, as a condition thereof, be confined in a county jail for at least 180 days, except that the court may, in the case where the interest of justice would best be served, reduce or eliminate that mandatory jail sentence, if the court specifies on the record and enters into the minutes the circumstances indicating that the interest of justice would best be served by that disposition. In addition to whatever custody is ordered, the court, in its discretion, may require any person granted probation following conviction under this subdivision to serve up to 160 hours of community service in any program deemed appropriate by the court, including any program created to rebuild the community.


Every person who commits the crime of petty theft, as defined in Section 488, during and within an affected county in a “state of emergency” or a “local emergency,” or under an “evacuation order,” resulting from an earthquake, fire, flood, riot, or other natural or manmade disaster shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for six months. Any person convicted under this subdivision who is eligible for probation and who is granted probation shall, as a condition thereof, be confined in a county jail for at least 90 days, except that the court may, in the case where the interest of justice would best be served, reduce or eliminate that mandatory minimum jail sentence, if the court specifies on the record and enters into the minutes the circumstances indicating that the interest of justice would best be served by that disposition. In addition to whatever custody is ordered, the court, in its discretion, may require any person granted probation following conviction under this subdivision to serve up to 80 hours of community service in any program deemed appropriate by the court, including any program created to rebuild the community.


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