California Penal Code Section 69 makes it a crime to resist or deter an officer by means of any threat or violence. This means that anyone who makes threats to an officer that were made to deter the officer from performing his duties has committed a PC 69 violation. In addition, any individual who uses violence to deter an officer from performing his duties has committed a PC 69 violation.
This crime can be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor. If the complaint is for a felony, the defendant is facing exposure of a mitigated term of 1 year and 4 months, midterm of 2 years, or an aggravated term of 3 years in state prison. However, if the complaint is only for a misdemeanor, the defendant only faces a max of 1 year in county jail.
Very often, a defendant’s attorney will be able to negotiate with the DA to reduce the charges from a felony to a misdemeanor or take the case to trial. However, because PC 69 is often only a single count, the defense counsel may require that the charge be dropped altogether as part of the terms of the plea-deal.