Penal Code 404.6 PC – Inciting a Riot

“Every person who with the intent to cause a riot does an act or engages in a conduct that urges a riot, or urges others to commit acts of force or violence, or the burning or destroying of property, and at a time and place and under circumstances that produce a clear and present and immediate danger of acts of force or violence or the burning or destroying of properties is guilty of incitement to riot.”

The accused doesn’t need to take part in the rioting. Just encouraging others to participate in such wrongdoing can result in a riot charge. It is additionally relevant to realize that illegal incitement to riot occurs in a circumstance where there is a high probability of a riot occurring. In other words, there must be a clear and present danger. California courts have declared that Penal code 404.6 is constitutional.


Police regularly commit errors by arresting the wrong individual. It is difficult for the police to figure out who was really rioting or inciting. The police may make false arrests.

A lawyer can declare that the respondent was present yet not encouraging others to riot, or say his client was encouraging dissent, not rioting. A good defense attorney may assert that if there was an incitement to riot, it was in a situation where that outcome was probably not going to occur. The attorney can also claim that the police are lying. If it is discovered that the officers have a history of violating rights, this can get charges dismissed.

Penalties and Punishments for Inciting a Riot

Violation of Code 404.6 can incur one year in prison and a fine of up to $1000. A judge may give probation with next to zero prison time. Probation will necessitate that the respondent avoids similar charges in the future or be sent to prison for as long as three years. Read About Expungement means

Crimes Related to Inciting a Riot:-

Unlawful Assembly

Other crimes related to inciting a riot may come under Penal Codes 407 and 408, making it a crime for at least two individuals to gather to make an obvious threat of commit acts of force. Usually being present in the unlawful gathering can be said to be a crime, regardless of whether one individual isn’t effectively taking part in the violence. A gathering assembled to riot, or where incitement to rioting is occurring, can be said to be an unlawful assembly.

Refusal to Disperse

Refusal to disperse can be characterized as when an individual will not leave a scene of a riot or an unlawful gathering.

Cooperation in a Riot

Not at all like inciting a mob, this violation requires genuine participation in the rioting. Penal Code 405 makes it a crime to take part in the rioting.

Disturbing the Peace

Disturbing the peace is when one fights, uses fighting words or makes unreasonable noise. Causing a nuisance can as well be qualified as disturbing the peace. Even if the police can’t prove that someone was inciting a riot, they might be able to make a Penal Code 415 case if the person was fighting, challenging others to fight, or making a loud disturbance.


There are exacting requirements regarding why individuals might be indicted for inciting a riot. They can’t be indicted for simply expressing themselves, even uproariously. The commotion must be intended to upset and disturb others. Protests are excluded from this law, though permits may be required for the gathering.

If you are charged with the crime of inciting a riot under California Penal Code 404.6. contact an experienced attorney immediately to find out what type of defense will work best for you. Charges can be vague for this crime, so don’t assume you can’t fight a riot charge. Arrests made for the crime of inciting a riot can have faulty or insufficient evidence. Punishments for inciting a riot may get reduced, even if you are not found innocent.
Read also about Penal Code 530.5 PC