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October 2019

Halloween and DUI’s

Halloween and DUI’s

By | Carls Bail Bonds

Halloween and DUI’s

It’s no secret that there will be alcohol at Halloween parties, and most adults will enjoy themselves. This alone isn’t a problem. The real problem arises when people who have been drinking decide that they are going to drive. Drunk driving is always a bad idea. It can get a person into a lot of trouble, and yet people break this law all of the time.

DUI Is Illegal in California

It is illegal to get behind the wheel of vehicle while intoxicated, or high, in the state of California. The reason for this is that being drunk, or high, greatly reduces a person’s mental capacities. They have less control over their body movements and have slower reaction times.

All of this adds up to really bad driving. If something unexpected happens in front of a drunk driver, they will be less likely to react in time to avoid an accident. They also struggle to perform simple tasks such as driving in a straight line. Bottom line, all of this puts people in danger.

Penalties of Driving While Drunk

The penalties for driving while drunk here in California depend on a few different factors. For starters, is this the driver’s first time breaking this law, or have they done this before? Also, was someone injured or even killed due to the driver’s actions. All of this plays a part in how the driver is punished for driving drunk.

For a first time offense, a person faces:

  • Up to 6 months in county jail.
  • A max fine of $1,000.
  • A 4 month driver’s license suspension or 6 months with an ignition interlocking device (IID).
  • 3 – 9 months of DUI school.

A second offense comes with:

  • Up to 1 year in county jail.
  • A max fine of $1,000.
  • A 2 year driver’s license suspension or 1 year with an IID.
  • 18 – 30 months of DUI school.

Third and subsequent offenses come with:

  • Up to 1 year in county jail.
  • A max fine of $1,000.
  • A 3 year driver’s license suspension or 2 years with an IID.
  • 30 months of DUI school.

If another person is injured due to the driver’s actions, then the driver can face either misdemeanor or felony charges. For a misdemeanor DUI with injury, the penalties are pretty much the same as a first time DUI offense, except the max fine is increased to $5,000. For felony DUI with injuries, the penalties are:

  • 16 months to 16 years in state prison.
  • A max fine of $5,000.
  • 1 year of driving with an IID.
  • 18 – 30 months of DUI school.

As one can see, the more often a person drives while drunk, or high, the worse the consequences become.

Don’t Drive While Drunk

Driving while drunk is bad enough on any other day of the year, but becomes extra dangerous on Halloween. On this night, lots of kids are out and about trick-or-treating. This means that a drunk driver is more likely to get into an accident on this night, and that accident is more likely to involve children.

No sane person would want to risk getting into a car accident with children, so why take the chance? That is why anyone planning on drinking this Halloween should also plan a safe ride home. Assign a designated driver (DD) before going to the party, and make sure the DD knows they are the DD. In addition, getting a safe ride home is less than a phone call away nowadays with apps like Uber and Lyft. There is no reason for anyone to drive drunk.

A person can usually also count on a friend or family member to come pick them up too. While the loved one may not enjoy the call, it is arguably better than finding out someone was hurt because they decided to drive drunk rather than bug someone.

Let’s keep this Halloween safe and fun by not driving while drunk or high this year!

Halloween Safety Tips

Halloween Safety Tips

By | Carls Bail Bonds

Halloween Safety Tips

October is here, and all anyone can think about is the holiday of Halloween at the end of the month. Kids love getting dressed in fun costumes and trick-or-treating for bags full of candy. Meanwhile, adults enjoy dressing up as well, but they have parties to get to instead of wandering door to door hunting for candy.

Trick-or-Treating Safety Tips

When it comes to trick-or-treating, a parent’s main priority should be keeping their child safe. This can be a bit tricky as the sun sets and things get dark. In order to ensure that everyone stays safe this Halloween, here are some safety tips to keep in mind while out trick-or-treating:

  • Always make eye contact with drivers before crossing the street in front of them.
  • Always walk in well-lit areas.
  • Don’t eat any candy until home and a parent has inspected it for any tampering.
  • Each child should be carrying a flashlight or glow stick.
  • Face paint is better than wearing masks since masks can obstruct a child’s vision.
  • Make sure costumes are the appropriate size so they are not loose or baggy on the child, creating a tripping hazard.
  • Never cross the street between parked cars. Drivers are less likely to notice pedestrians between cars.
  • Never enter a stranger’s home or car.
  • Only cross streets at corners with traffic signals and/or crosswalks. Always check left and right before crossing.
  • Only walk on sidewalks or paths. If there is no sidewalk, walk on the left side of the street facing oncoming traffic.
  • Put electronic devices down when walking, and especially when crossing the street.
  • Put reflective tape and stickers on bags or costumes when possible to increase visibility.

Following these safety tips should help a parent keep their children safe this Halloween.

Tampering with Halloween Candy Is a Crime

Tampering with food products in a way that can harm someone is a crime here in California. Under California Penal Code (PC) 347, it is illegal for a person to tamper or poison food, medicine, and public water supplies.

This crime is a felony offense, and can earn a person a prison stay of one of the following:

  • 2 years.
  • 4 years.
  • 5 years.

If someone is killed suffers great bodily harm from the act, an additional 3 years in prison is added to the sentence.

Basically, no one should be tampering with Halloween candy.

Halloween Safety Tips for Adults

Not every adult has children who are trick-or-treating that they need to worry about. These adults tend to have parties to go to. While they may not be trick-or-treating themselves, they still need to be aware of trick-or-treaters while driving around. A few tips for adults this Halloween would be:

  • Be careful while exiting driveways and alleyways.
  • Be extra wary of kids crossing at intersections.
  • Drive slower in residential neighborhoods.
  • Popular times for trick-or-treating fall between 5:30 pm to 9:30 pm, so be very cautious during those times.
  • Turn headlights on earlier in the evening to increase visibility.
  • Watch for kids while driving, especially kids in dark clothing.
Keep Halloween Safe and Fun

Halloween is supposed to be a fun holiday for children and adults alike. No one wants to ruin the evening with an accident of some kind. That is why everyone, including adults not out trick-or-treating, need to be more cautious this evening. By being more aware, they can avoid harming a trick-or-treater who was just looking to get an excellent score of candy to take home.

Do you have any safety tips for Halloween that might be missing from this list? If so, add them in the comments down below. What do you think of California’s laws about tampering with someone’s food, particularly candy given out at Halloween? Let us know what you think in the comments down below.

California’s Stand Your Ground Laws

By | Carls Bail Bonds

California’s Stand Your Ground Laws

The last thing anyone wants is to be put in a dangerous situation where they need to defend themselves from an attacker. Unfortunately this situation does happen on rare occasions. As if this wasn’t bad enough, there are some states in the US that don’t allow people to defend themselves with any means necessary. This means that in some states, a person who may have killed someone in self-defense, could actually face murder charges.

Due to this fact, a person needs to be aware of their state’s laws when it comes to self-defense, particularly stand your ground laws.

Castle Defense

Here in California, the state does not have a stand your ground law, but it does have a Castle Doctrine. Penal Code (PC) 198.5 allows a person to use deadly force within their own home so long as certain worries arise. As long as all of the following occurs, a person is allowed to use deadly force to protect their home:

  • A person broke into their home.
  • The intruder was not a law enforcement officer doing their job.
  • There was reasonable fear of death or injury for the homeowner or a family member.
  • The occupants of the home didn’t provoke the intruder.

In those instances, a person can do whatever they need to in order to protect themselves and their loved ones from harm.

Self-Defense While Out

The problem with PC 198.5 is that it only applies when a person is in their own home. It doesn’t give a person the right to defend themselves while out in public. This is where stand your ground laws come into play in other states. These laws grant a person the ability to do what they feel they need to in times of distress in order to protect themselves from an attacker.

California does not have a particular stand your ground law. However, California does recognize that there are times where a person may need to use deadly force in order to defend themselves. California Criminal Jury Instructions (CALCRIM) 505 and 506 instruct jurors to find defendants innocent of crimes such as homicide or assault if the person acted reasonably under the given circumstances, specifically:

  • The person reasonably believed they were in danger of being hurt or killed.
  • The person reasonably believed they needed to use force to keep themselves safe.
  • The person used only the amount of force necessary to protect themselves.

As long as a person followed the above, they should be found innocent.

In some states, a person needs to run away from a threat before they are legally permitted to use deadly force. That is not the case in California. As long as a person is defending themselves from threat of injury or death, they can do whatever they reasonably feel they need to in order to survive.

Stand Your Ground vs. Castle Defense

While both stand your ground laws and castle defense laws refer to a person defending themselves from an attacker, they are not exactly the same. Stand your ground laws apply wherever a person may be while castle defense only applies when a person is within their own home, or a few select places, such as their car.

No one ever wants to need to defend themselves, but the need can arise in rare instances. If a person ever finds themselves needing to protect themselves in California, they can rest easy knowing that the state will not fault them for doing whatever they felt was necessary to protect themselves during the situation.

What do you think of California’s take on stand your ground laws and castle defense? Should people be allowed to use reasonable, even deadly, force in order to defend themselves from an attacker? Let us know what you think in the comments down below.

California Drunk in Public Laws

California Drunk in Public Laws

By | Carls Bail Bonds

California Drunk in Public Laws

Most people like to go out and party from time to time. After all, it is nice to cut lose and forget about any responsibilities for the evening. Often times when people do this, they like to consume alcohol. There is nothing wrong with that. However, there are ways that people can get themselves into trouble with alcohol.

Everyone is aware of the obvious problems with drinking and driving, but there can also be problems for just being drunk and out in public. If a person is so drunk that they begin to risk their own safety or interfere with others, they can get into legal trouble.

California Penal Code 647f

California Penal Code (PC) 647 is the state’s law against disorderly conduct. This law covers things from begging for money to prostitution. One aspect of disorderly conduct that this law covers under section f is public intoxication.

PC 647f defines public intoxication as being any person in a public place who is under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or any other controlled substance and is in a condition where they are unable to exercise care for their own safety, or the safety of others. This includes things such as stumbling along the sidewalk, almost falling into the street, or even passing out on the sidewalk and blocking people from using it.

This law does not prevent a person from getting drunk while out on the town. What it is aimed at is preventing a person from getting so drunk that they could hurt themselves or someone else. To get to this level of drunk, a person usually has to overdo their drinking. So, in order to avoid getting into trouble a person needs to be aware of their limits and not push things while out in public.

Penalties of Being Drunk in Public

Breaking PC 647 is a misdemeanor offense. This means that a person faces the following consequences:

  • Up to 6 months in county jail.
  • A max fine of $1,000.

It is possible for a person to get probation instead of jail time for this crime, but that is up to the case judge.

No matter how a person is punished for this crime, it goes on their criminal record. There, it will be visible to any potential employers, which means a drunk in public charge could cost a person a future job. It is really in a person’s best interest to not overdo things and wind up in trouble with the law.

Don’t Overdo It

Whenever a person decides to go drinking, they need to do so responsibly. That means not drinking too much so they don’t get to the point that they can’t take care of themselves. If they do that, and are out in public, they can get into trouble with law enforcement for disorderly conduct. Nobody wants that, especially since it sticks around on a person’s criminal record. No one wants to miss out on a job because of something dumb they did a long time ago.

What do you think of California’s take on disorderly conduct and being drunk in public? Are the laws too lenient, or are they too strict? Let us know what you think in the comments down below.