Intentionally poisoning someone’s food, drink, medicine, or water is against the law in California. The state uses Penal Code 347 to prosecute this act. Individuals can also face criminal charges if they falsely report a poisoning that did not actually occur.
Individuals face felony charges for PC 347 violations. A conviction can result in years in prison. Reach out to the Simmrin Law Group for help by calling (310) 997-4688.
Defining Penal Code 347 in California
PC 347 deals with willful acts of poisoning in California. Acting willfully means intentionally taking action. Accidental acts of poisoning are not prosecuted under PC 347. Individuals may face this charge if they put a harmful substance in:
- Pharmaceutical products
- Public water supplies
PC 347 charges apply, and the court can issue a conviction if the accused knew the poisoned substance would be ingested or used.
PC 347(b) Charges
Poisoning medicine, food, or the water supply is a criminal act. However, it is also against the law to make a false report about a poisoning that did not occur. Making a false report is only illegal if an individual acts maliciously. Individuals act maliciously if they:
- Intend to complete a wrongful act
- Want to injure someone
- Want to annoy someone
For example, telling a crowd at a fair that the water they drank was poisoned to spread fear and panic could be defined as a malicious action. In this situation, an individual could face charges under PC 347(b). Find out more about how to fight this charge by calling (310) 997-4688.
Poisoning Food, Medicine, or Water Charges
There are several charges associated with PC 347 in California. These charges include:
- Involuntary manslaughter
Individuals can trespass onto someone else’s property to poison material. They could also commit an act of vandalism as part of the poisoning. If someone is killed by the poison, the accused may face charges of involuntary manslaughter.
Results of a PC 347 Conviction in California
The court harshly prosecutes individuals convicted under PC 347. PC 347 offenses are considered felonies in California. Individuals can face up to five years in prison for poisoning someone’s food, water, or medicine.
Additionally, harsher penalties are enforced if someone causes great bodily injury or death. In this situation, the accused could face three additional years of prison time.
Penalties are different for a PC 347(b) conviction. Individuals accused of making a false report about a poisoning face less harsh penalties, such as one year of incarceration. They may be sent to jail or prison. The court decides where the individual will go after a conviction.
Not all PC 347 charges result in a conviction in California. In fact, a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles can help you handle these charges. Your lawyer can help you prove that:
You Did Not Willfully Poison Food, Medicine, or Water
Individuals must act with intent to be convicted under PC 347. This means they must willfully poison someone’s food or other material. If you accidentally administered poison to someone, you may be able to avoid a conviction.
You Did Not Know Anyone Would Use the Food, Medicine, or Water
Individuals only face PC 347 charges in cases where they knew someone would use the poisoned material. Your lawyer can help you prove this was never your intention.
You Were Not Acting with Malice
Individuals face a PC 347(b) accusation if they falsely report a poisoning for malicious reasons. If you truly believed that you were reporting a real poisoning, you may be able to avoid a conviction.
We’ll Help You Fight a Poisoning Food, Medicine, or a Water Supply Charge in California
Contact the Simmrin Law Group if you need help handling a Penal Code 347 charge. You can reach out to us right now by calling (310) 997-4688. You can also complete our online contact form. Start working with a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles now with a free consultation.