California Penal Code Section 7

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 or her name being written near it, by a person who writes his or her own name as a 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 probable consequences of the act or omission as a prudent man ordinarily bestows in acting in his own concerns.

3. The word corruptly imports a wrongful design to acquire or cause some pecuniary or other advantage to the person guilty of the act or omission referred to, or to some other person.

4. The words malice and maliciously import a wish to vex, annoy, or injure another person, or an intent to do a wrongful act, established either by proof or presumption of law.

5. The word knowingly imports only a knowledge that the facts exist which bring the act or omission within the provisions of this code. It does not require any knowledge of the unlawfulness of such act or omission.

6. The word bribe signifies anything of value or advantage, present or prospective, or any promise or undertaking to give any, asked, given, or accepted, with a corrupt intent to influence, unlawfully, the person to whom it is given, in his or her action, vote, or opinion, in any public or official capacity.

7. The word vessel, when used with reference to shipping, includes ships of all kinds, steamboats, canalboats, barges, and every structure adapted to be navigated from place to place for the transportation of merchandise or persons, except that, as used in Sections 192.5 and 193.5, the word vessel means a vessel as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 651 of the Harbors and Navigation Code.

8. The words peace officer signify any one of the officers mentioned in Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2.

9. The word magistrate signifies any one of the officers mentioned in Section 808.

10. The word property includes both real and personal property.

11. The words real property are coextensive with lands, tenements, and hereditaments.

12. The words personal property include money, goods, chattels, things in action, and evidences of debt.

13. The word month means a calendar month, unless otherwise expressed; the word daytime means the period between sunrise and sunset, and the word nighttime means the period between sunset and sunrise.

14. The word will includes codicil.

15. The word writ signifies an order or precept in writing, issued in the name of the people, or of a court or judicial officer, and the word process a writ or summons issued in the course of judicial proceedings.

16. Words and phrases must be construed according to the context and the approved usage of the language; but technical words and phrases, and such others as may have acquired a peculiar and appropriate meaning in law, must be construed according to such peculiar and appropriate meaning.

17. Words giving a joint authority to three or more public officers or other persons, are construed as giving such authority to a majority of them, unless it is otherwise expressed in the act giving the authority.

18. When the seal of a court or public officer is required by law to be affixed to any paper, the word seal includes an impression of such seal upon the paper alone, or upon any substance attached to the paper capable of receiving a visible impression. The seal of a private person may be made in like manner, or by the scroll of a pen, or by writing the word seal against his or her name.

19. The word state, when applied to the different parts of the United States, includes the District of Columbia and the territories, and the words United States may include the district and territories.

20. The word section, whenever hereinafter employed, refers to a section of this code, unless some other code or statute is expressly mentioned.

21. To book signifies the recordation of an arrest in official police records, and the taking by the police of fingerprints and photographs of the person arrested, or any of these acts following an arrest.

(Amended by Stats. 1987, Ch. 828, Sec. 1.)

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Last modified: September 9, 2016