Chapter 9.08
OFFENSES BY OR AGAINST PUBLIC OFFICERS AND GOVERNMENT*

Sections:

9.08.010    Definitions.

9.08.020    Interfering with a public officer.

9.08.030    Misleading or obstructing a public officer – First and second degree.

9.08.035    Emergency response system – False reporting and abuse.

9.08.040    Resisting a public officer.

9.08.045    Negligent eluding.

9.08.050    Neglect or refusal to aid a public officer.

9.08.055    Refusal to leave public property.

9.08.060    Taking property from a public officer – First and second degree.

9.08.070    Demonstration to impede the administration of justice.

9.08.080    Official misconduct.

9.08.090    Rendering criminal assistance.

9.08.100    Attempting to commit a crime.

9.08.110    Criminal conspiracy.

9.08.120    Contempt of court.

9.08.130    Criminal solicitation.

9.08.140    Escape.

9.08.150    Bail jumping.

9.08.160    Recapture of escaped prisoner.

9.08.170    Obstruction of extinguishment of fire.

9.08.180    Driving across fire hose.

9.08.190    Unlawful connection of alarm systems.

9.08.200    Malicious prosecution.

9.08.210    Violation of restraining order.

9.08.220    Compounding.

9.08.230    Repealed.

9.08.240    Flag – Definitions.

9.08.250    Flag – Improper use.

9.08.260    Flag – Desecration.

9.08.270    Flag – Exemptions from prohibitions.

9.08.280    False swearing.

9.08.290    Tampering with physical evidence.

*    For provisions on impersonating a public officer, see BMC 9.24.150.

9.08.010 Definitions.

As used in this chapter:

A. “Official detention” means:

1. Restraint pursuant to a lawful arrest; or

2. Lawful confinement in the city or county jail; or

3. Custody for purposes incident to the foregoing, including but not necessarily limited to:

a. Transportation; or

b. Medical diagnosis or treatment; or

c. Court appearances; or

d. Court orders.

B. “Suspected violator” means any person who has violated or is suspected of violating the law, or who is the subject of a valid arrest warrant.

C. “Public officer” is defined under BMC 9.04.020(M).

D. “School official” is any employee of the Blaine School District, acting in their official capacity.

E.  “Firefighter” is any employee or volunteer of a fire district, or other government authorized firefighting professional acting in their official capacity.

F. “Medic” is any emergency medical responder, emergency medical technician, or other emergency medical service provider as defined by WAC 246-976-010, which is hereby adopted by reference, including future amendments as made from time to time. (Ord. 2846 § 2 (Exh. A), 2014; Ord. 1558 § 1, 1980; prior code § 6.07.010)

9.08.020 Interfering with a public officer.

A person is guilty of the gross misdemeanor of interfering with a public officer if he:

A. Prevents, hinders or delays the apprehension or prosecution of a suspected violator who the person knows or has probable cause to suspect:

1. Has committed a crime; or

2. Is being sought by law enforcement officials for the commission of a crime; or

3. Has escaped from official detention; or

B. Harbors or conceals a suspected violator; or

C. Warns a suspected violator of impending discovery or apprehension; or

D. Provides a suspected violator with money or transportation, disguise or other means of avoiding discovery or apprehension; or

E. Conceals, alters or destroys any physical evidence that might aid in the discovery or apprehension of a suspected violator. (Ord. 2846 § 2 (Exh. A), 2014; Ord. 1558 § 1, 1980; prior code § 6.07.020)

9.08.030 Misleading or obstructing a public officer – First and second degree.

A. It is a gross misdemeanor for any person to make any willfully untrue, misleading or exaggerated statement, or to willfully hinder, delay or obstruct any public officer, medic or firefighter in the discharge of his profession, official powers or duties.

1. This includes that it is unlawful for any person while operating or in charge of any vehicle to refuse when requested by a police officer, acting in his or her official capacity, to give his or her name and address and the name and address of the owner of such vehicle, or for such person to give a false name and address, or to refuse upon demand of such police officer to produce his or her certificate of license registration of such vehicle, his or her insurance identification card, or his or her vehicle driver’s license or to refuse to permit such officer to take any such license, card, or certificate for the purpose of examination thereof or to refuse to permit the examination of any equipment of such vehicle or the weighing of such vehicle or to refuse or neglect to produce the certificate of license registration of such vehicle, insurance card, or his or her vehicle driver’s license when requested by any court.

B. It is a misdemeanor for any person to threaten, taunt or provoke a person in police custody, and shall be called “obstructing a public officer in the second degree.” (Ord. 2846 § 2 (Exh. A), 2014; Ord. 2814 § 2 (Exh. A), 2012; Ord. 1558 § 1, 1980; prior code § 6.07.030)

9.08.035 Emergency response system – False reporting and abuse.

A. False Reporting to Emergency Response System. A person is guilty of the gross misdemeanor of false reporting to emergency response system if, with knowledge that the information reported, conveyed, or circulated is false, he or she contacts an emergency system such as 911, or contacts municipal, county, state or federal law enforcement with a false report or warning of an alleged occurrence or impending occurrence of a fire, explosion, crime, catastrophe, or emergency knowing that such false report is likely to cause evacuation of a building, place of assembly, or transportation facility, or to cause public inconvenience or alarm.

B. Abuse of Emergency Response System. A person is guilty of the misdemeanor of abuse of the emergency response system if he or she makes use of a emergency response system such as 911, or contacts municipal, county, state or federal law enforcement, in a way that does not constitute the crime of false reporting, but which:

1. Does not entail the reporting of an emergency situation;

2. Is a request for emergency response when no actual emergency exists and when the caller does not have a good faith basis to request emergency assistance;

3. Is made repeatedly after being asked to stop by either 911 operators or law enforcement; or

4. Is made with the goal to harass, intimidate, torment or embarrass any other person.

C. Any offense regarding the emergency response system or contact with law enforcement may be deemed to have been committed either at the place from which the contact or contacts were made or at the place where the contacts were received. (Ord. 2846 § 2 (Exh. A), 2014)

9.08.040 Resisting a public officer.

It is unlawful for any person to willfully, through physical action or refusal to take physical action, resist a public officer, medic or firefighter in discharging or attempting to discharge any legal duty of his office or profession. Resisting a public officer is a gross misdemeanor. (Ord. 2846 § 2 (Exh. A), 2014; Ord. 1558 § 1, 1980; prior code § 6.07.040)

9.08.045 Negligent eluding.

A. It is a misdemeanor for any person to negligently fail to immediately bring his or her vehicle to a stop, after being given a visual or audible signal to bring the vehicle to a stop. The signal given by the police officer may be by hand, voice, emergency light, or siren. The officer giving such a signal shall be in uniform and the vehicle shall be equipped with lights and sirens.

B. It is an affirmative defense to this section which must be established by a preponderance of the evidence that driving after the signal to stop was reasonable under the circumstances. (Ord. 2814 § 2 (Exh. A), 2012)

9.08.050 Neglect or refusal to aid a public officer.

It is a misdemeanor for any person to willfully neglect or refuse to aid a public officer:

A. In executing any lawful process; or

B. In retaking any person who has escaped from lawful custody; or

C. In making a lawful arrest where such person has been commanded to do so by a magistrate, police officer or public officer. (Ord. 2846 § 2 (Exh. A), 2014; Ord. 1558 § 1, 1980; prior code § 6.07.050)

9.08.055 Refusal to leave public property.

A. It shall be a misdemeanor for any person to willfully disobey the order of a public official, medic, firefighter or school official, or of an authorized designee of any such person, to leave any motor vehicle, building, grounds or other property which is owned, operated or controlled by the public or a school district if the person so ordered is committing, threatens to imminently commit or incites another to imminently commit any act which would disturb or interfere with or obstruct any lawful task, function, process or procedure of the government, medic, firefighter or school district or any lawful task, function, process or procedure of any medic, firefighter, student, official, employee or invitee of the government or the school district.

B. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit or penalize activity consisting of the lawful exercise of freedom of speech, freedom of press and the right to peaceably assemble and petition the government for a redress of grievances; provided, that such activity neither does or threatens imminently to materially disturb or interfere with or obstruct any lawful task, function, process or procedure of a medic, firefighter, the government or school district, or any lawful task, function, process or procedure of any student, official, employee or invitee of the government or school district: provided further, that such activity is not conducted in violation of a prohibition or limitation lawfully imposed by the government or school district upon entry or use of any motor vehicle, building, grounds or other property which is owned, operated or controlled by the school district. (Ord. 2846 § 2 (Exh. A), 2014)

9.08.060 Taking property from a public officer – First and second degree.

A. It is a misdemeanor for any person to take from the custody of any public officer, medic or firefighter any personal property in his charge or entrusted to him or to willfully injure or destroy such property. The crime is known as taking property from a public officer in the second degree.

B. If in addition to fulfilling the elements of subsection (A) of this section, the property in question was being held for use as evidence in a criminal investigation, the crime shall be a gross misdemeanor, known as taking property from a public officer in the first degree. (Ord. 2846 § 2 (Exh. A), 2014; Ord. 1558 § 1, 1980; prior code § 6.07.060)

9.08.070 Demonstration to impede the administration of justice.

A. Whoever, interfering with, obstructing or impeding the administration of justice, pickets or parades in or near a building housing a court of the state or any political subdivision thereof, or in or near a building or residence occupied or used by such judge, juror, witness or court officer, or uses any sound truck or similar device or resorts to any other demonstration in or near any such building or residence, is guilty of a misdemeanor.

B. Nothing in this section shall interfere with or prevent the exercise by any court of the state or any political subdivision thereof of its power to punish for contempt. (Ord. 2846 § 2 (Exh. A), 2014; Ord. 1558 § 1, 1980; prior code § 6.07.250)

9.08.080 Official misconduct.

A. A public servant is guilty of official misconduct if, with intent to obtain a benefit or to deprive another person of a lawful right or privilege:

1. He intentionally commits an unauthorized act under color of law; or

2. He intentionally refrains from performing a duty imposed upon him by law.

B. Official misconduct is a Class A misdemeanor. (Ord. 1558 § 1, 1980; prior code § 6.07.230)

9.08.090 Rendering criminal assistance.

A. A person is guilty of rendering criminal assistance if he renders assistance to a person who has committed a crime.

B. Rendering criminal assistance is a misdemeanor. (Ord. 1558 § 1, 1980; prior code § 6.07.080)

9.08.100 Attempting to commit a crime.

A. A person is guilty of an attempt to commit crime if, with intent to commit a specific crime, he does any act which is a substantial step toward the commission of that crime.

B. If the conduct in which a person engages otherwise constitutes an attempt to commit a crime, it is no defense to a prosecution of such attempt that the crime charged to have been attempted was, under the attendant circumstances, factually or legally impossible of commission.

C. An attempt to commit a crime is a:

1. Class A misdemeanor when the crime attempted is a Class C felony;

2. Class B misdemeanor when the crime attempted is a gross misdemeanor;

3. Class B misdemeanor when the crime attempted is a misdemeanor. (Ord. 1728 § 2, 1984; Ord. 1558 § 1, 1980; prior code § 6.01.210)

9.08.110 Criminal conspiracy.

A. A person is guilty of criminal conspiracy when, with intent that conduct constituting a crime be performed, he agrees with one or more persons to engage in or cause the performance of such conduct, and any one of them takes a substantial step in pursuance of such agreement.

B. It is not a defense to criminal conspiracy that the person or persons with whom the accused is alleged to have conspired:

1. Has been acquitted; or

2. Lacked the capacity to commit an offense. (Ord. 1558 § 1, 1980; prior code § 6.01.230)

9.08.120 Contempt of court.

A. Every person who commits a contempt of court of any one of the following kinds is guilty of a misdemeanor:

1. Disorderly, contemptuous or insolent behavior committed during the sitting of the court, in its immediate view and presence, and directly tending to, interrupt its proceedings or to impair the respect due to its authority; or

2. Behavior of like character in the presence of a referee, while actually engaged in a trial or hearing pursuant to an order of court, or in the presence of a jury while actually sitting in the trial of a cause of upon an inquest or other proceeding authorized by law; or

3. Breach of the peace, noise or other disturbance directly tending to interrupt the proceedings of a court, jury or referee; or

4. Willful disobedience to the lawful process or mandate of a court; or

5. Resistance, willfully offered, to its lawful process or mandate; or

6. Contumacious and unlawful refusal to be sworn as a witness or, after being sworn, to answer any legal and proper interrogatory; or

7. Publication of a false or grossly inaccurate report of its proceedings; or

8. Assuming to be an attorney or officer of a court or acting as such without authority;

9. Failure to respond to a lawfully served subpoena or summons:

a. To appear and give testimony, or

b. To produce documents before the court, or

c. To appear for jury duty in any case arising under this title.

B. The violation of criminal contempt is a Class B misdemeanor. (Ord. 1558 § 1, 1980; prior code § 6.01.240)

9.08.130 Criminal solicitation.

A. A person is guilty of criminal solicitation when, with intent to promote or facilitate the commission of a crime, he offers to give or gives money or other thing of value to another to engage in specific conduct which would constitute such crime or which would establish complicity of such other person in its commission or attempted commission had such crime been attempted or committed.

B. Criminal solicitation shall be punished in the same manner as criminal attempt under BMC 9.08.100. (Ord. 1558 § 1, 1980; prior code § 6.01.220)

9.08.140 Escape.

A. A person is guilty of escape if, without lawful authority, he intentionally removes himself from official detention or fails to return to official detention following temporary leave granted for a specified purpose of limited period.

B. Escape is a Class A misdemeanor. (Ord. 1558 § 1, 1980; prior code § 6.07.070)

9.08.150 Bail jumping.

A. Any person who has been released by court order or admitted to bail with the requirement of a subsequent personal appearance before the court of this jurisdiction, and who knowingly fails without lawful excuse to appear as required, is guilty of bail jumping. Unless otherwise established, the failure to appear when required shall be inferred to have been without lawful excuse.

B. Bail jumping is a Class B misdemeanor. (Ord. 1558 § 1, 1980; prior code § 6.07.090)

9.08.160 Recapture of escaped prisoner.

Every person in custody, under sentence of imprisonment for any crime, who escapes from custody, may be recaptured and imprisoned for a term equal to the unexpired portion of the original term. (Ord. 1558 § 1, 1980; prior code § 6.07.100)

9.08.170 Obstruction of extinguishment of fire.

A. It is unlawful for any person:

1. To cut, injure, destroy or obstruct any engine, hose or other fire apparatus; or

2. To disobey the lawful orders of a public officer at the scene of a fire; or

3. To otherwise prevent or obstruct the extinguishment of any fire.

B. Obstruction of extinguishment of fire is a Class A misdemeanor. (Ord. 1558 § 1, 1980; prior code § 6.07.120)

9.08.180 Driving across fire hose.

It is unlawful for any person to drive or propel any vehicle upon or across any fire hose when in use by any department, officer or employee of the city, including the fire department. (Ord. 1558 § 1, 1980; prior code § 6.01.290)

9.08.190 Unlawful connection of alarm systems.

It is unlawful for any person having or conducting a privately owned police signal system or private alarm system to establish or maintain direct electrical, mechanical or other physical connection with any facilities of the police department, except that any central station monitoring system or electronic security system or any other private alarm system or signal system may be connected by telephone with the headquarters office of the police department by any telephonic means compatible with telephone facilities of the police department, as approved by the police chief. (Ord. 1558 § 1, 1980; prior code § 6.07.130)

9.08.200 Malicious prosecution.

It is unlawful for any person to maliciously and without probable cause therefor knowingly cause another to be arrested or proceeded against for any violation of this title of which he is innocent. (Ord. 1558 § 1, 1980; prior code § 6.07.140)

9.08.210 Violation of restraining order.

A. It is unlawful for any person having actual notice of the existence of a restraining order issued by a court of competent jurisdiction in an action for the dissolution of marriage under Chapter 26.09 RCW to refuse to comply with the provisions of such order when requested by any peace officer of the state.

B. The notice requirements of subsection A of this section may be satisfied by the peace officer giving oral or written evidence to the person subject to the order by reading from or handing to that person a copy, certified to be an accurate copy of the original, on file by a notary public or the clerk of the court, of the court order, which copy may be supplied by the court, the complainant or the complainant’s attorney.

C. The remedies provided by this section shall not apply unless restraining orders subject to this section bear the legend:

“VIOLATION OF THIS ORDER WITH ACTUAL NOTICE OR ITS TERMS IS A CRIMINAL OFFENSE UNDER CHAPTER 26.09 RCW AND IS ALSO SUBJECT TO CIVIL CONTEMPT PROCEEDINGS.”

D. It is a defense to prosecution under subsection A of this section that the court order was issued contrary to law or court rule; provided, that no right of action shall accrue against any peace officer acting upon a properly certified copy of the court order, lawful on its face, if such officer employs otherwise lawful means to effect the arrest. (Ord. 1558 § 1, 1980; prior code § 6.07.150)

9.08.220 Compounding.

A. A person is guilty of compounding if:

1. He requests, accepts or agrees to accept any pecuniary benefit pursuant to an agreement or understanding that he will refrain from initiating a prosecution for a crime; or

2. He confers, or offers or agrees to confer, any pecuniary benefit upon another pursuant to an agreement or understanding that such other person will refrain from initiating a prosecution for a crime.

B. Compounding is a Class B misdemeanor. (Ord. 1558 § 1, 1980; prior code § 6.07.160)

9.08.230 Obstructing the civil defense.

Repealed by Ord. 2362. (Ord. 1558 § 1, 1980; prior code § 6.07.170)

9.08.240 Flag – Definitions.

The words “flag,” “standard,” “color,” “ensign” or “shield,” as used in this section and through BMC 9.08.270, include any flag, standard, color, ensign or shield, or copy, picture or representation thereof, made of any substance or represented or reproduced thereon, and of any size, evidently purporting to be such flag, standard, color, ensign or shield of the United States or of this state, or a copy, picture or representation thereof. (Ord. 1558 § 1, 1980; prior code § 6.07.180)

9.08.250 Flag – Improper use.

No person shall, in any manner, for exhibition or display:

A. Place or cause to be placed any work, figure, mark, picture, design, drawing or advertisement of any nature upon any flag, standard, color, ensign or shield of the United States or this state, or authorized by any law of the United States or this state; or

B. Expose to public view any such flag, standard, color, ensign or shield upon which has been printed, painted or otherwise produced, or to which has been attached, appended, affixed or annexed any such word, figure, mark, picture, design, drawing or advertisement; or

C. Expose to public view for sale, manufacture or otherwise, or to sell, give or have in possession for sale, for gift or for use for any purpose, any substance, being an article of merchandise, or receptacle, or thing for holding or carrying merchandise, upon or to which has been produced or attached any such flag, standard, color, ensign or shield, in order to advertise, call attention to, decorate, mark or distinguish such article or substance. (Ord. 1558 § 1, 1980; prior code § 6.07.200)

9.08.260 Flag – Desecration.

No person shall knowingly cast contempt upon any flag, standard, color, ensign or shield, as defined in BMC 9.08.240, by publicly mutilating, defacing, defiling, burning or trampling upon the flag, standard, color, ensign or shield. (Ord. 1558 § 1, 1980; prior code § 6.07.210)

9.08.270 Flag – Exemptions from prohibitions.

BMC 9.08.240, 9.08.250 and 9.08.260 shall not apply to any act permitted by the statutes of the United States or of this state, or by the United States Army and Navy regulations, nor shall it apply to any printed or written document or production, stationery, ornament, picture or jewelry whereon is depicted such a flag, standard, color, ensign or shield with no design or words thereon and disconnected with any advertisement. (Ord. 1558 § 1, 1980; prior code § 6.07.220)

9.08.280 False swearing.

A. A person is guilty of false swearing if he makes a false statement, which he knows to be false, under an oath required or authorized by law.

B. False swearing is a misdemeanor. (Ord. 1558 § 1, 1980; prior code § 6.05.160)

9.08.290 Tampering with physical evidence.

A. A person is guilty of tampering with physical evidence if, having reason to believe that an official proceeding is pending or about to be instituted and acting without legal right or authority, he:

1. Destroys, mutilates, conceals, removes or alters physical evidence with intent to impair its appearance, character or availability in such pending or prospective official proceeding; or

2. Knowingly presents or offers any false physical evidence.

B. “Physical evidence, “as used in this section, includes any article, object, document, record or other thing of physical substance. (Ord. 1558 § 1, 1980; prior code § 6.05.360)