State buildings and properties are offered legal protection in the state of California. Individuals can be charged for breaking into these buildings, or even for having an unauthorized key. This action can be prosecuted under California Penal Code Section 469: Unauthorized Duplication of Keys to a State Building.
You can build up your understanding of PC 469 right here with the Simmrin Law Group. Our team of legal professionals can help you focus on:
- The Legal Definition of PC 469
- The Results of a Conviction for Unauthorized Duplication of Keys to a State Building
- Some Common Defenses of PC 469 Accusations
Go Over the Definition of the Unauthorized Duplication of Keys to a State Building
The court system in California can use PC 469 to prosecute individuals for:
- Making, Duplicating, Causing to be Duplicated, Using, Having in Their Possession OR
- Attempting to Make, Duplicate, Cause to be Duplicated, or Using
- A Key to a Specific State Buildings or Areas
This charge can apply if an individual possesses or uses an unauthorized duplication of a key for a structure or area that is controlled or owned by:
- The State of California
- A County or a City
- State Agencies, Commissions, or Boards
- Public Schools
- Community College Districts
As you can see, this law covers many different properties and buildings. Note also that that charge applies even if an individual does not attempt to use the key they made, duplicated, or had in their possession.
Examples of PC 469 Violations in California’s Court System
Increase your understanding of PC 469 charges by considering these examples:
Man A works at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in Los Angeles. He knows he has a tendency to lose his keys, so he makes copies of all his work keys, even after being told that this behavior is not allowed. He could face criminal charges under PC 469.
Man B teaches at a local high school. He has keys to his office and some of the chemistry labs at the school. Some of his students ask for his keys, so they can work on a weekend project. He doesn’t want to come in, so he copies the keys and gives them the entire set, knowing this behavior is not allowed. He could be charged with a PC 469 violation.
Consider the Results of a PC 469 Conviction in California
The unauthorized duplication of keys to a state building is considered a misdemeanor level offense in the state of California. The court system can hand down the following penalties for a PC 469 conviction:
- Up to $1,000 in Fines
- Up to Six Months of Jail Time
Note that these penalties could be significantly higher if the unauthorized key is used to commit:
A burglary lawyer in Los Angeles can go over the full penalties for a conviction for either trespassing or burglary.
Review Common Legal Defenses for PC 469 Accusations
You don’t have to just accept PC 469 charges in the state of California. You can get help building a defense right now by contacting a Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer. Let legal professionals go over the facts surrounding your case. Based on your situation, your lawyer could argue:
You Didn’t Realize You Were Duplicating the Key to a State Building
You should only be charged under PC 469 if you knowingly duplicated, made, used, or had a key to a state-building. If you accidentally copied a key – perhaps because you thought it was the key to something else – you could avoid a PC 469 conviction.
You Had Authorization to Duplicate the Key to a State Building
PC 469 charges should only be used to prosecute unauthorized acts involving the duplication of the keys to a state-building. If you had official permission to copy or duplicate a key, then you could avoid a conviction under PC 469.
You Duplicated the Key to a Private Building
We listed the buildings and properties covered by PC 469 above. If you duplicated, made, or possessed a key to a building that is not considered a state building, you shouldn’t be convicted on PC 469 charges. Let your lawyer go over your situation now to see if any of these defenses apply to your case.
Let a Criminal Defense Lawyer Help You Deal with PC 469 Charges
Make sure you increase your odds of beating a California Penal Code Section 469: Unauthorized Duplication of Keys to a State Building charge by reaching out to the Simmrin Law Group. You can contact us quickly and easily by completing our online contact form or calling (310) 896-2723.
Start building a defense today with a FREE case evaluation.