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THE PENAL CODE

OF
CALIFORNIA

AN ACT
TO ESTABLISH A PENAL CODE.

[Approved February 14, 1872.] The People of the State of California, represented in Senate

and Assembly, do enact as follows:

TITLE OF THE ACT

1. Title and Divisions of this Act. 1. This act shall be known as The Penal Code of California, and is divided into Three Parts, as follows:

I. Of Crimes and Punishments.
II. Of Criminal Procedure.
III. Of the State Prison and County Jails.
THE PENAL CODE OF CALIFORNIA

PRELIMINARY PROVISIONS
Section.

Section. 2. When this Act takes effect. 15. "Crime" and "public of3. Not retroactive.

fense" defined. 4. Construction of Penal Code. 5. Provisions existing laws,

16. Crimes, how divided. similar construed.

17. Felonies and misdemeanors 6. Effect of Code on past of

defined. fenses.

18. Punishment of felony, not 7. Certain terms, defined, etc.

otherwise prescribed. 8. What intent to defraud is

18a. Imprisonment, minimum sufficient.

term, same. 9. Civil remedies preserved.

19. Punishment of misdemean10. Proceedings to impeach or remove officers preserved.

20. To constitute crime, unity,

of act and intent must ex11. Authority, Courts-martial

ist.
preserved. Courts of jus-
tice to punish contempt.

21. Intent, how manifested, 12. Sections declaring crimes who considered sound min 1. punishable. Duty of Court.

22. Drunkenness no excuse for 13. Punishments determined.

crime. 14. Witness' testimony read

23. Certain statutes specified against him on perjury.

as continuing in force. 24. This act, how cited.

or.

2. This code takes effect at twelve o'clock, noon, on the first day of January, eighteen hundred and seventy-three.

3. No part of it is retroactive, unless expressly so declared.

4. The rule of the common law, that penal statutes are to be strictly construed, has no application to this code.

All its provisions are to be construed according to the fair import of their terms, with a view to effect its objects and to promote justice.

5. The provisions of this code, so far as they are substantially the same as existing statutes, must be construed as continuations thereof, and not as new enactments.

6. No act or omission, commenced after twelve o'clock noon of the day on which this code takes effect as a law, is criminal or punishable, except as prescribed or authorized by this code, or by some of the statutes which it specifies as continuing in force and as not affected by its provisions, or by some ordinance, municipal, county, or township regulation, passed or adopted, under such statutes and in force when this code takes effect. Any act or omission commenced prior to that time may be inquired of, prosecuted, and punished in the same manner as if this code had not been passed.

7. Words used in this code in the present tense include the future as well as the present; words used in the masculine gender include the feminine and neuter; the singular number includes the plural, and the plural the singular; the word “person" includes a corporation as well as a natural person; the word “county" includes "city and county”; writing includes printing and typewriting; oath includes affirmation or declaration; and every mode of oral statement, under oath or affirmation, is embraced by the term “testify”, and every written one in the term “depose”; signature or subscription includes mark, when the person cannot write, his name being written near it, by a person who writes his own name as witness; provided, that when a signature is made by mark it must, in order that the same may be acknowledged or serve as the signature to any sworn statement, be witnessed by two persons who must subscribe their own names as witnesses thereto.

The following words have in this code the signification attached to them in this section, unless otherwise apparent from the context:

1. The word "willfully," when applied to the intent with which an act is done or omitted, implies simply a purpose or willingness to commit the act, or make the omission referred to. It does not require any intent to violate law, or to injure another, or to acquire any advantage;

2. The words "neglect,” “negligence,” “negligent," and "negligently” import a want of such attention to the nature or prob

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