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California Penal Code Section 646.9

Legal Research Home > California Laws > Penal Code > California Penal Code Section 646.9

646.9.  (a) Any person who willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly
follows or willfully and maliciously harasses another person and who
makes a credible threat with the intent to place that person in
reasonable fear for his or her safety, or the safety of his or her
immediate family is guilty of the crime of stalking, punishable by
imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year, or by a
fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that
fine and imprisonment, or by imprisonment in the state prison.
   (b) Any person who violates subdivision (a) when there is a
temporary restraining order, injunction, or any other court order in
effect prohibiting the behavior described in subdivision (a) against
the same party, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison
for two, three, or four years.
   (c) (1) Every person who, after having been convicted of a felony
under Section 273.5, 273.6, or 422, commits a violation of
subdivision (a) shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail
for not more than one year, or by a fine of not more than one
thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that fine and imprisonment, or
by imprisonment in the state prison for two, three, or five years.
   (2) Every person who, after having been convicted of a felony
under subdivision (a), commits a violation of this section shall be
punished by imprisonment in the state prison for two, three, or five
years.
   (d) In addition to the penalties provided in this section, the
sentencing court may order a person convicted of a felony under this
section to register as a sex offender pursuant to Section 290.006.
   (e) For the purposes of this section, "harasses" means engages in
a knowing and willful course of conduct directed at a specific person
that seriously alarms, annoys, torments, or terrorizes the person,
and that serves no legitimate purpose.
   (f) For the purposes of this section, "course of conduct" means
two or more acts occurring over a period of time, however short,
evidencing a continuity of purpose. Constitutionally protected
activity is not included within the meaning of "course of conduct."
   (g) For the purposes of this section, "credible threat" means a
verbal or written threat, including that performed through the use of
an electronic communication device, or a threat implied by a pattern
of conduct or a combination of verbal, written, or electronically
communicated statements and conduct, made with the intent to place
the person that is the target of the threat in reasonable fear for
his or her safety or the safety of his or her family, and made with
the apparent ability to carry out the threat so as to cause the
person who is the target of the threat to reasonably fear for his or
her safety or the safety of his or her family. It is not necessary to
prove that the defendant had the intent to actually carry out the
threat. The present incarceration of a person making the threat shall
not be a bar to prosecution under this section. Constitutionally
protected activity is not included within the meaning of "credible
threat."
   (h) For purposes of this section, the term "electronic
communication device" includes, but is not limited to, telephones,
cellular phones, computers, video recorders, fax machines, or pagers.
"Electronic communication" has the same meaning as the term defined
in Subsection 12 of Section 2510 of Title 18 of the United States
Code.
   (i) This section shall not apply to conduct that occurs during
labor picketing.
   (j) If probation is granted, or the execution or imposition of a
sentence is suspended, for any person convicted under this section,
it shall be a condition of probation that the person participate in
counseling, as designated by the court. However, the court, upon a
showing of good cause, may find that the counseling requirement shall
not be imposed.
   (k) (1) The sentencing court also shall consider issuing an order
restraining the defendant from any contact with the victim, that may
be valid for up to 10 years, as determined by the court. It is the
intent of the Legislature that the length of any restraining order be
based upon the seriousness of the facts before the court, the
probability of future violations, and the safety of the victim and
his or her immediate family.
   (2) This protective order may be issued by the court whether the
defendant is sentenced to state prison, county jail, or if imposition
of sentence is suspended and the defendant is placed on probation.
   (l) For purposes of this section, "immediate family" means any
spouse, parent, child, any person related by consanguinity or
affinity within the second degree, or any other person who regularly
resides in the household, or who, within the prior six months,
regularly resided in the household.
   (m) The court shall consider whether the defendant would benefit
from treatment pursuant to Section 2684. If it is determined to be
appropriate, the court shall recommend that the Department of
Corrections and Rehabilitation make a certification as provided in
Section 2684. Upon the certification, the defendant shall be
evaluated and transferred to the appropriate hospital for treatment
pursuant to Section 2684.

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Last modified: March 17, 2014