Penal Code Section 146

False Arrest Under Color of Authority – Penal Code Section 146

It is a misdemeanor for any person to commit an unauthorized act under color of authority.  It is illegal do to the following:

  1. Arrest a person or detain the person against his or her will.
  2. Seize or levy property.
  3. Dispossess / evict a person from land or a tenement.

Private citizens posing as public officers can be charged under Section 146, as well as any public officer who acts outside the scope of his official duty.


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