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California Penal Code Section 640.6

640.6. (a) (1) Except as provided in Section 640.5, any person who defaces with graffiti or other inscribed material any real or personal property not his or her own, when the amount of the defacement, damage, or destruction is less than two hundred fifty dollars ($250), is guilty of an infraction, punishable by a fine not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000). This subdivision does not preclude application of Section 594.

In addition to the penalty set forth in this section, the court shall order the defendant to perform a minimum of 48 hours of community service not to exceed 200 hours over a period not to exceed 180 days during a time other than his or her hours of school attendance or employment.

(2) In lieu of the community service required pursuant to paragraph (1), the court may, if a jurisdiction has adopted a graffiti abatement program as defined in subdivision (f) of Section 594, order the defendant, and his or her parents or guardians if the defendant is a minor, to keep a specified property in the community free of graffiti for 90 days. Participation of a parent or guardian is not required under this paragraph if the court deems this participation to be detrimental to the defendant, or if the parent or guardian is a single parent who must care for young children.

(b) (1) If the person has been convicted previously of an infraction under subdivision (a) or has a prior conviction of Section 594, 594.3, 594.4, 640.5, or 640.7, the offense is a misdemeanor, punishable by not to exceed six months in a county jail, by a fine not to exceed two thousand dollars ($2,000), or by both that imprisonment and fine. As a condition of probation, the court shall order the defendant to perform a minimum of 96 hours of community service not to exceed 400 hours over a period not to exceed 350 days during a time other than his or her hours of school attendance or employment.

(2) In lieu of the community service required pursuant to paragraph (1), the court may, if a jurisdiction has adopted a graffiti abatement program as defined in subdivision (f) of Section 594, order the defendant, and his or her parents or guardians if the defendant is a minor, as a condition of probation, to keep a specified property in the community free of graffiti for 180 days. Participation of a parent or guardian is not required under this paragraph if the court deems this participation to be detrimental to the defendant, or if the parent or guardian is a single parent who must care for young children.

(c) (1) Every person who, having been convicted previously under this section or Section 594, 594.3, 594.4, 640.5, or 640.7, or any combination of these offenses, on two separate occasions, and having been incarcerated pursuant to a sentence, a conditional sentence, or a grant of probation for at least one of the convictions, is subsequently convicted under this section, shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail not to exceed one year, by a fine not to exceed three thousand dollars ($3,000), or by both that imprisonment and fine. As a condition of probation, the court may order the defendant to perform community service not to exceed 600 hours over a period not to exceed 480 days during a time other than his or her hours of school attendance or employment.

(2) In lieu of the community service that may be ordered pursuant to paragraph (1), the court may, if a jurisdiction has adopted a graffiti abatement program as defined in subdivision (f) of Section 594, order the defendant, and his or her parents or guardians if the defendant is a minor, as a condition of probation, to keep a specified property in the community free of graffiti for 240 days. Participation of a parent or guardian is not required under this paragraph if the court deems this participation to be detrimental to the defendant, or if the parent or guardian is a single parent who must care for young children.

(d) Upon conviction of any person under subdivision (a), the court, in addition to any punishment imposed pursuant to subdivision (a), (b), or (c), at the victim s option, may order the defendant to perform the necessary labor to clean up, repair, or replace the property damaged by that person.

(e) If a minor is personally unable to pay any fine levied for violating subdivision (a), (b), or (c), the parent or legal guardian of the minor shall be liable for payment of the fine. A court may waive payment of the fine or any part thereof by the parent or legal guardian upon a finding of good cause.

Any community service which is required pursuant to subdivision (a), (b), or (c) of a person under the age of 18 years may be performed in the presence, and under the direct supervision, of the person s parent or legal guardian.

(f) As used in this section, the term graffiti or other inscribed material includes any unauthorized inscription, word, figure, mark, or design that is written, marked, etched, scratched, drawn, or painted on real or personal property.

(g) The court may order any person ordered to perform community service or graffiti removal pursuant to subdivision (a), (b), (c), or (d) to undergo counseling.

(Amended by Stats. 1996, Ch. 847, Sec. 2.5. Effective January 1, 1997.)

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Last modified: September 9, 2016