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Criminal Remedies

Most of the provisions of the Public Utilities Code, as well as many laws in other California Codes relevant to persons and companies regulated by the Commission, carry criminal penalties. Under Penal Code Section 830.11(a)(5) the Special Agents of the Safety and Enforcement Division have powers of peace officers to make arrests and obtain search warrants and state summary criminal history information ("rap sheets") within the scope of their employment, described by Public Utilities Code Section 308.5. In addition to Public Utilities Code provisions such as unlawful marketing practices, operations without CPUC authority, perjury before the Commission, and contempt of the Commission, Enforcement Branch criminal investigations commonly involve crimes contained in other California codes, such as the Penal Code (e.g., grand theft, petty theft, fraud, forgery, conspiracy, perjury, and contempt of court) the Business and Professions Code (e.g., false, misleading advertising) and the Vehicle Code (e.g., operating unsafe vehicles or employing unlicensed drivers). When appropriate, the Enforcement Branch files reports on such cases with local prosecutors or the California Attorney General's Office with a recommendation for criminal (felony or misdemeanor) or civil prosecution in the appropriate California courts.


Last Modified: 12/24/2012

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