According to the California Posse Comitatus Act of 1872, a person at least 18 years of age will be charged with a misdemeanor if he/she refuses a request for help from a law enforcement official to make an arrest, retake a person into custody after escaping arrest or imprisonment, or prevent the commission of a crime.
However, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 192 to repeal the law.
Now, it is no longer a crime to refuse to help a police officer.
Senator Bob Hertzberg, who sponsored the bill, sought help from his interns to find outdated laws when they discovered the California Posse Comitatus Act of 1872. The bill was first introduced on January 30.
The California State Sheriff's Association says SB 192 discourages people from helping or cooperating with police officers, claiming there are situations in which law enforcement may need emergency assistance from private citizens.
The old law was punishable by a maximum $1,000 fine.
For more information about the new law, contact Wilfert Law P.C. today at 805-324-6777