CALCRIM No. 1822. Unlawful Taking of Bicycle or Vessel (Pen. Code, § 499b)

Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions (2023 edition)

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1822.Unlawful Taking of Bicycle or Vessel (Pen. Code, § 499b)
The defendant is charged [in Count ] with unlawfully taking a
(bicycle/vessel) [in violation of Penal Code section 499b].
To prove that the defendant is guilty of this charge, the People must
prove that:
1. The defendant took someone else’s (bicycle/vessel) without the
owner’s consent;
2. When the defendant acted, (he/she) intended to use [or operate]
the (bicycle/vessel) for any period of time.
[A taking requires that the (bicycle/vessel) be moved for any distance, no
matter how slight.]
[A vessel includes ships of all kinds, steamboats, steamships, canal boats,
barges, sailing vessels, and any structure intended to transport people or
merchandise over water.]
New January 2006
Instructional Duty
The court has a sua sponte duty to give this instruction defining the elements of the
The defendant cannot be convicted of both unlawfully taking a bicycle or vessel and
receiving the same item as stolen property where there is evidence of only one act
or transaction. (See People v. Black (1990) 222 Cal.App.3d 523, 525 [271 Cal.Rptr.
771]; People v. Strong (1994) 30 Cal.App.4th 366, 376 [35 Cal.Rptr.2d 494].)
Similarly, a defendant cannot be convicted of both an unlawful taking and theft of
the same item in the absence of evidence showing a substantial break between the
theft and the use of the property. (See People v. Kehoe (1949) 33 Cal.2d 711, 715
[204 P.2d 321]; People v. Malamut (1971) 16 Cal.App.3d 237, 242 [93 Cal.Rptr.
782].) In such cases, the court has a sua sponte duty to instruct the jury that the
defendant cannot be convicted of both offenses. Give CALCRIM No. 3516, Multiple
Counts: Alternative Charges for One Event - Dual Conviction Prohibited.
On request, give the bracketed definition of “taking.” (People v. White (1945) 71
Cal.App.2d 524, 525 [162 P.2d 862].)
If the defendant is charged with a felony based on a qualifying prior conviction
under Penal Code section 499, the court must give either CALCRIM No. 3100,
Prior Conviction: Nonbifurcated Trial or CALCRIM No. 3101, Prior Conviction:
Bifurcated Trial, unless the defendant stipulates to the truth of the conviction.
Elements. Pen. Code, § 499b.
Felony Offense If Qualifying Prior Conviction. Pen. Code, § 499.
Vessel Defined. Harb. & Nav. Code, § 21.
Taking Defined. People v. White (1945) 71 Cal.App.2d 524, 525 [162 P.2d 862];
People v. Frye (1994) 28 Cal.App.4th 1080, 1088 [34 Cal.Rptr.2d 180].
Expiration of Owners Consent. People v. Hutchings (1966) 242 Cal.App.2d 294,
295 [51 Cal.Rptr. 415].
Prior to 1997, this statute also applied to the taking of vehicles. (See People v.
Howard (1997) 57 Cal.App.4th 323, 326, fn. 2 [66 Cal.Rptr.2d 849].) The
Legislature determined that the previous statute was duplicative of Vehicle Code
section 10851 and, therefore, restricted the scope of the statute to only bicycles and,
later, vessels. (Stats. 1996, ch. 660, § 3; see People v. Howard, supra, 57
Cal.App.4th at p. 326, fn. 2.)
Prior to this amendment, a split in authority developed over whether this is a
specific-intent crime. The statute requires that the defendant take the item “for the
purpose of temporarily using or operating” it. (Pen. Code, § 499b(a) & (b).)
Analyzing the statute when it still applied to vehicles, the majority of cases held that
this required the specific intent to use or operate the vehicle. (People v. Howard
(1997) 57 Cal.App.4th 323, 327-328 [66 Cal.Rptr.2d 849]; People v. Ivans (1992) 2
Cal.App.4th 1654, 1663-1664 [4 Cal.Rptr.2d 66]; People v. Diaz (1989) 212
Cal.App.3d 745, 749-751 [260 Cal.Rptr. 806].) One case, however, held that this
was a general-intent crime requiring only that the vehicle be taken by an act of
driving or operating. (People v. Frye (1994) 28 Cal.App.4th 1080, 1090-1091 [34
Cal.Rptr.2d 180].) The reasoning of the court in People v. Frye, supra, is based on
the premise that one “takes” a vehicle by driving or operating it. (Id. at p. 1091
[“the ‘taking’ proscribed by Penal Code section 499b is an act of taking possession
through driving . . . .”].) As discussed in People v. Howard, supra, however, one
may “take” a vehicle without driving or operating it, such as by towing it. This
distinction is even more apparent in the context of bicycles and vessels, the only
items now covered by the statute. One can “take” a bicycle without using or
operating it by simply carrying it away. Similarly, if a vessel is on land, one can
“take” it without using or operating it by towing it away. In such circumstances, it
would appear that the person has not violated Penal Code section 499b unless there
is some evidence that he or she also intends to use or operate the bicycle or vessel.
Thus, in light of the amendments to the statute, the committee believes that the
reasoning of Howard and Diaz, supra, finding this to be a specific-intent crime, is
more persuasive.
Attempted Unlawful Taking of Bicycle or Vessel. Pen. Code, § 664; Pen. Code,
§ 499b.
If the defendant is charged with a felony based on a prior conviction, then the
misdemeanor offense is a lesser included offense. The court must provide the jury
with a verdict form on which the jury will indicate if the prior conviction has been
proved. If the jury finds that the prior conviction has not been proved, then the
offense should be set at a misdemeanor.
2 Witkin & Epstein, California Criminal Law (4th ed. 2012) Crimes Against
Property, § 113.
6 Millman, Sevilla & Tarlow, California Criminal Defense Practice, Ch. 143, Crimes
Against Property, § 143.01[1][j], [4][e] (Matthew Bender).
1823-1829. Reserved for Future Use

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