California Penal Code Section 7
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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
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
8. The words "peace officer" signify any one of the officers
mentioned in Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of
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
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
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
20. The word "section," whenever hereinafter employed, refers to a
section of this code, unless some other code or statute is expressly
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
Last modified: March 17, 2014