Murder is the killing of a human being done with malice. In general, murder committed by a mob of angry individuals is called a lynching. But in California, the legal definition of lynching is different.
What Crime Does Lynching Refer to in California?
In California, the term lynching referred to taking a person from the lawful custody of a police officer during a riot.
What is a Riot?
In California, a riot is when two or more people act together to:
- Disturb the public peace
- Use violence
- Use force
- Threaten to use force or violence with the immediate possibility of carrying out that threat
What Does A Prosecutor Have to Prove to Convict Me of Lynching?
A prosecutor has the responsibility of proving beyond a reasonable doubt the defendant:
- Willfully participated in a riot;
- Took an individual from police custody during the riot; and
- Knew or reasonably should have known the act would interfere with a peace officer’s duties
What Sentence Can I Receive for Committing This Crime?
California’s “lynching” law is a felony and is punishable by 2 to 4 years in jail.
Can I Be Charged with any Other Crime In Addition to Lynching?
Yes. Depending on the facts of the case, a prosecutor may charge a defendant with other charges such as:
- Inciting a riot
- Resisting arrest
- Battery on a peace officer
- Engaging in a hate crime
- Participating in a riot
- Unlawful assembly
Should I Talk to a Lawyer about The Defenses I Can Use to Fight This Charge?
Yes. Talk to a California criminal lawyer about your lynching charge and possible defenses to use. A criminal lawyer may be able to get the charge dropped or reduced too.