What Is The Legal Definition Of Loitering In California?


Loitering is the act of remaining in a particular public place for a protracted time, without any apparent purpose.

Can you loiter on public property California?

Loitering, by general definition, is not a crime in California. However, if there’s intent to commit a crime while lingering in a public place or if loitering occurs on private property without permission from the property owner, you may very well be in violation of California state law.

Is loitering the same as trespassing?

“Loitering” means remaining or lingering at a particular location for some indefinite period of time for no apparent purpose. “Trespassing” – particularly as used in the defiant trespass statute – prohibits the mere entering in a place when one is not licensed or privileged to do so.

Is loitering a crime?

It is a criminal offence to engage in conduct that “disturbs the peace and order” in or near a public place. Conduct that disturbs the peace and good order may include: … Loitering in a public place in a way that obstructs other people trying to use the public space.

What to do about loitering?

There are a few simple steps you can take to reduce the chance of loitering on your public property.

  1. Install a security camera and post a surveillance sign. …
  2. Perform regular maintenance and upkeep to your building, parking lot and entrance. …
  3. Provide trash and recycling receptacles inside and outside your building.

Can you loiter on a sidewalk?

No person shall loiter or stand in any public highway, street, alley, sidewalk, or crosswalk or other public way, or otherwise occupy any portion thereof within the city, in such a manner as to unreasonably annoy or molest any person thereon or as unreasonably to obstruct or interfere with the free passage of any …

What is loitering and littering?

As verbs the difference between litter and loiter

is that litter is to drop or throw trash without properly disposing of it (as discarding in public areas rather than trash receptacles) while loiter is to stand about without any aim or purpose; to stand about idly; to linger; to hang around.

What does no loitering mean?

To loiter is to hang around a place with no real purpose, usually somewhere where you are not welcome — like under the “No Loitering” sign at a convenience store.

Is sleeping in your car loitering?

No, under federal law, it is not illegal to sleep in your car unless you are trespassing, intoxicated (including engine off), or falling asleep whilst driving. That being said, some cities have local ordinances that do make it a crime. Some states also prohibit overnight stays at rest stops, to control loitering.

What are examples of loitering?


  • public begging.
  • solicitation of prostitution.
  • gang violence.
  • drug dealing.
  • gambling.
  • blocking access to commercial establishments.
  • selling merchandise with no legal authorization to do so.
  • public nuisances (acts which threaten the healthy, safety or morals of a community)

What kind of crime is loitering?

What Are the Consequences of Being Charged with Loitering? As a crime, loitering is generally charged as a misdemeanor and is punishable by fines and/or community service. A misdemeanor crime is a type of criminal offense considered to be more serious than a citation, but less serious than felony charges.

How do you use loitering in a sentence?

Loitering sentence example

Don’t use an ATM if someone is loitering nearby. She sensed danger and promise from the freaky guy loitering in the shadow world. People habitually ignore signs saying: no parking, no smoking, or no loitering . The red-light district is full of shady characters loitering on street corners.


Can you loiter in a car?

A car loitered at the end of the street” is perfectly normal and acceptable. The listener immediately and naturally understands this as “There was a car at the end of the street and its occupants seemed to be doing nothing.” Loiter (v.) To travel or proceed indolently and with frequent pauses.

What is difference between littering and pollution?

Littering is when you have trash, but instead of throwing it away in a trash can, you leave it on the ground. The trash that is left is called litter. Pollution is when harmful substances get into the air, soil or water somewhere. For example, many large cities struggle with pollution of their air.

Is the sidewalk public property California?

Isn’t it public property? A: The sidewalk is in the City’s right-of-way. However, California Streets and Highways Code sections 5610 through 5618 allow cities throughout California to require property owners to maintain the sidewalks in front of their property.

Can you loiter where you live?

As stated above, loitering in itself is not illegal. What is illegal, is loitering with the intent to commit a crime. Most loitering crimes in California are listed under state Penal Code (PC) 647. A person can be charged with PC 647 if they attempt to do any of the following while loitering in public spaces.

Why loitering is a crime?

Loitering laws, which make it an offense for an individual to be in a public place for no apparent reason, have been attacked on the grounds of both vagueness and overbreadth, and have generally been determined to be unconstitutional.

Is sitting on a bench loitering?

Benches encourage people to sit still. And sitting still is a quasi-crime in urban America commonly known as “loitering.” You may recognize its related anti-social behaviors: standing still, milling about and strolling a little too slowly.

How does loitering affect us?

Loiterers can deter customers, especially in neighborhoods with high levels of homelessness and panhandling. … Customers might approach a business but be turned off by the appearance or behavior of loiterers who are nearby. Traffic to an area may wane as word gets around about people loitering there.

Is it loitering if you buy something?

Under California law, “loitering” itself is not a crime. However, it can be charged as an offense under certain California Penal Code sections if it is done with certain other acts. Some of these penal code sections include: … PC 303a, loitering to solicit the purchase of alcohol, and.

Is yelling a crime?

Repeated verbal abuse may constitute harassment, which can lead to civil penalties. Lies and misrepresentations may lead to fraud charges or even perjury charges. In a classic Supreme Court case, the court held that “Yelling fire falsely in a theater” creating an unnecessary panic could be criminal.

Can you tell a cop to f off in Canada?

This demand is almost exclusively made as part of impaired driving investigations, and the general answer is “yes”. In Canada, a police officer does not have the authority to randomly require an individual to stop and identify themselves or to answer police questions.

Can I sleep in my car at Walmart?

Generally, yes, you can sleep in your car at Walmart. Walmart does not have a corporate-wide policy of allowing people to sleep in their car in their parking lots. It’s up to each store manager to decide. Most Walmart store managers tend to not issue a policy on the matter, preferring not to do anything about it.