California Penal Code Section 272
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California Laws > Penal Code > California Penal Code Section 272
272. (a) (1) Every person who commits any act or omits the
performance of any duty, which act or omission causes or tends to
cause or encourage any person under the age of 18 years to come
within the provisions of Section 300, 601, or 602 of the Welfare and
Institutions Code or which act or omission contributes thereto, or
any person who, by any act or omission, or by threats, commands, or
persuasion, induces or endeavors to induce any person under the age
of 18 years or any ward or dependent child of the juvenile court to
fail or refuse to conform to a lawful order of the juvenile court, or
to do or to perform any act or to follow any course of conduct or to
so live as would cause or manifestly tend to cause that person to
become or to remain a person within the provisions of Section 300,
601, or 602 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, is guilty of a
misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine
not exceeding two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500), or by
imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one year, or by
both fine and imprisonment in a county jail, or may be released on
probation for a period not exceeding five years.
(2) For purposes of this subdivision, a parent or legal guardian
to any person under the age of 18 years shall have the duty to
exercise reasonable care, supervision, protection, and control over
their minor child.
(b) (1) An adult stranger who is 21 years of age or older, who
knowingly contacts or communicates with a minor who is under 14 years
of age, who knew or reasonably should have known that the minor is
under 14 years of age, for the purpose of persuading and luring, or
transporting, or attempting to persuade and lure, or transport, that
minor away from the minor's home or from any location known by the
minor's parent, legal guardian, or custodian, to be a place where the
minor is located, for any purpose, without the express consent of
the minor's parent or legal guardian, and with the intent to avoid
the consent of the minor's parent or legal guardian, is guilty of an
infraction or a misdemeanor, subject to subdivision (d) of Section
(2) This subdivision shall not apply in an emergency situation.
(3) As used in this subdivision, the following terms are defined
(A) "Emergency situation" means a situation where the minor is
threatened with imminent bodily harm, emotional harm, or
(B) "Contact" or "communication" includes, but is not limited to,
the use of a telephone or the Internet, as defined in Section 17538
of the Business and Professions Code.
(C) "Stranger" means a person of casual acquaintance with whom no
substantial relationship exists, or an individual with whom a
relationship has been established or promoted for the primary purpose
of victimization, as defined in subdivision (e) of Section 6600 of
the Welfare and Institutions Code.
(D) "Express consent" means oral or written permission that is
positive, direct, and unequivocal, requiring no inference or
implication to supply its meaning.
(4) This section shall not be interpreted to criminalize acts of
persons contacting minors within the scope and course of their
employment, or status as a volunteer of a recognized civic or
(5) This section is intended to protect minors and to help parents
and legal guardians exercise reasonable care, supervision,
protection, and control over minor children.
Last modified: March 17, 2014