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Obstruct Movement to a Public Place
PC 647c Law & Defense

Information on the crime of obstructing movement on a street is found at California penal code section 647c. Essentially, to obstruct movement on a street means to impede passage on the street, usually by use of an obstacle.


The Law


PC 647c: It is a crime to willfully and maliciously obstructs the free movement of any person on any street, sidewalk, or other public place (Abbrev.).

For example: Portioning off a portion of a roadway in order to create an empty road for an illegal street race is a violation of PC 647c.

PC 664/647c: Attempting to Obstruct Movement: It is crime to attempt to obstruct movement on a street or in a public place. To attempt to obstruct movement means to make a substantial, but ineffectual step, towards blocking the street with the specific intent to actually obstruct movement the street.

Note: To commit the crime of obstructing movement on a street it is not necessary that the defendant completely blocks the street or makes it impossible to use. Blocking a street in such a way as to make the street unreasonably more difficult to use will suffice.

Note: Exceptions to PC 647c are carved out in the law for county or city agencies, including law enforcement departments, fire departments, etc., that need to block roads and sidewalks for repairs, emergencies, etc.


Jail: PC 647c is charged as a misdemeanor. If found guilty of obstructing movement on a street or public place, the defendant could up to 180 days in the county jail.

Probation: A probation sentence is a period of supervision as opposed to an actual jail sentence. A probation sentence is allowed in PC 647c cases, but they are not guaranteed. whether or not the defendant will be granted a probation sentence after a conviction for obstructing movement on a street or in a public place depends on the facts of the case and the defendant's criminal history (among other factors).

Work Release: Work release is a form of manual labor that serves as an alternative to a jail sentence. Work release and house arrest (electronic monitoring) sentences are common for first offense violators of PC 647c. Work release sentences can be made as part of a probation sentence or as a sentence without probation.

Note: Jail sentences and work release sentences are subject to a possible fifty percent reduction for good behavior (aka day for day credit) [PC 4019]

CIMT: Obstructing movement on a street or public place is not considered a crime involving moral turpitude.

Bail: Bail is an amount of money paid as collateral to the court (usually through a bail agent) that is intended to serve as a guarantee of the defendant's presence in court. The scheduled bail amount in San Bernadino County for a charge of PC 647c is $5,000. This amount may be raised or lowered depending on several factors, including the defendant's danger to the community, his or her risk of flight, his or her ability to pay the schedule bail, and more. In some cases of obstructing movement charges the defendant may be release without the need for bail (Own Recognizance Release).

Additional punishments include: fines and fees, restitution, criminal protective orders (CPS), civil lawsuits, immigration and professional licensing issues, denial of entry into the armed services (Navy, Marines, Coast Guard, Army, etand more.


Common defenses to a a charge of obstructing movement on a street or in a public place include: insufficient evidence, emergency, duress, necessity, insanity, statue of limitations (1 year), jury nullification, mistake of fact, and more.

If you have been charged with the crime of obstructing movement on a street or a public place, or PC 647c, contact our criminal defense lawyers today for a free consultation. Our criminal defense lawyers are available seven days a week to discuss your case and defense options. Call today!


Quick Legal Reference​

Crime: Obstruct Movement on Street or Public Place

Code: PC 647c

Wobbler: No. PC 647c is not a wobbler. PC 647c is only charged as a misdemeanor.​


Incarceration: ​PC 647c jail sentence up to 180 days.

Probation: Probation sentence is available in PC 647c cases (assuming other crimes or enhancements that bar a probation sentence are not present). Whether or not a probation sentence is offered by the District Attorney, or granted by the court, depends on several factors, including the defendant's criminal history and the facts of the case.​​​

Work Release or House Arrest: In some cases, a probation sentence can include actual in-custody county jail, house arrest (electronic monitoring), or work release (or some combination of these penalties); however, most in-custody jail sentence orders that are required as a terms of probation are much shorter than the maximum jail sentence.

Strike: PC 647c is not a strike offense listed in California's Three Strikes law.

Credits: 50% good conduct credits available.

CIMT: PC 647c is not a crime involving moral turpitude.


Bail: $5,000 (San Bernardino County)

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