Monthly Archives

June 2020

can-marijuana-legally-be-smoked-in-public

Can Marijuana Legally Be Smoked in Public?

By | Bail Bond in Fresno, Bail Bonds in Bakersfield, Bail Bonds in Los Angeles, Bail Bonds in Tulare, Bail Bonds In Visalia

Back in 2016, Californian voters chose to approve the legalization of the recreational use of marijuana. The law went into effect at the start of 2018, and so for the last two years, people have been able to enjoy marijuana recreationally. However, even though marijuana usage has been legal for 2 years, there is still a lot of confusion around the law.

Two years isn’t a lot of time in legal terms. Many of the laws that people are familiar with have been around for decades, which is why people are so familiar with them. Since the marijuana laws are so new, the general public hasn’t had enough time to get to know every single detail. This is why some people are still confused

Where Can Marijuana Be Smoked?

One of the biggest questions people still have is where can marijuana legally be smoked and consumed now. Even though the usage of marijuana has been legalized, there are still restrictions on where it can be used. When people aren’t aware of these restrictions, they can find themselves in trouble with the law.

The laws surrounding marijuana usage are practically identical to the laws surrounding alcohol and cigarettes. A person can get a good understanding of when and where marijuana can be consumed by looking at those regulations.

Since smoking cigarettes is banned in most businesses and public areas, smoking marijuana is also banned in those areas. Just like people have a right to not be exposed to secondhand smoke from cigarettes, they also have the right to not be exposed to marijuana.

The usage of marijuana is banned on all government property, especially schools. Employers are permitted to keep their workplaces marijuana free just like they can keep them alcohol-free. They also are legally allowed to test their employees for marijuana.

Marijuana also cannot be consumed while a person is in a car, especially if they are driving. A person cannot consume or have an open container of alcohol in their vehicle, so they cannot do the same with marijuana.

The biggest thing to note about the legalization of the recreational use of marijuana is the recreational part. Primarily, a person is only allowed to consume marijuana in places where they would normally relax, such as their home or backyard.

Penalties for Using Marijuana Where It Is Prohibited

The penalties for misusing marijuana in California can vary greatly depending on where the person consumed marijuana. If a person smokes or consumes marijuana at their job, where it is banned, they may not face legal consequences, but they could be fired.

If a person is caught with marijuana on school grounds, they could be charged with a misdemeanor that comes with:

  • Up to 6 months in jail.
  • A max fine of $250 for a first offense.

Simply having an open container of marijuana in a vehicle can get a person charged with an infraction that comes with a fine of up to $100.

If a person is charged with DUI, then they could face:

  • Up to 6 months in jail.
  • A max fine of $1,000.
  • Up to 9 months of DUI school.
  • A 4-month driver’s license suspension.

Be Considerate of Others

It is important to remember that while the recreational use of marijuana has been legalized here in California, it is still illegal at the federal level. This means that even if a person follows all of the rules laid out in the state legislature, they could still be arrested at the federal level. Luckily, this is unlikely to happen unless a person is doing a lot of illegal things with marijuana, or they bring it onto federal property. Some common examples of federal property include airports and federal government buildings.

The recreational use of Marijuana was legalized to allow people who wanted to consume it to do so in ways that don’t bother other people. Most people do not enjoy the smell of marijuana and would prefer to not have to smell it when they are out in public. Then there is the fact that no one wants their kids exposed to marijuana.

If a person is wondering if they can have marijuana in a certain area, such as a public park, they should think about whether cigarettes or alcohol are allowed there. Most parks ban smoking, so that includes marijuana.

dont-make-your-home-an-easy-target-for-theft

Don’t Make Your Home an Easy Target for Theft

By | Bail Bond in Fresno, Bail Bonds in Bakersfield, Bail Bonds in Los Angeles, Bail Bonds in Tulare, Bail Bonds In Visalia

Everyone’s home is their safe haven. A person’s home shelters them from the outside world and keeps them and everything they care about, safe. This is why people are so protective of their homes. There are a lot of important things there for them to keep safe from would-be criminals.

One California girl is being praised for her quick thinking and reaction when a would-be intruder approached her home. The man could have been attempting to do who knows what, but thanks to the young girl’s fast reaction, he quickly fled the home.

A 10-Year-Old Saves the Day

On May 21st in Bakersfield, California, a 10-year-old girl, Lola Letourneau, was sitting in her family’s car as she waited for her mother to join her. The girl was helping her mother out by starting the car and getting the air conditioning going. As she sat in the car, a man walking through the neighborhood stopped at the driveway and decided to walk up to the house.

The man didn’t notice Lola sitting in the car as he checks out the house. Lola notices the man, gets out of the car and starts yelling at him. Her step-father had taught her to just start yelling if something like this were to ever happen because someone would hear her, especially with everyone home due to the pandemic. Once the intruder hears Lola, he bolts back down the driveway and away from the house. Meanwhile, Lola runs into the house to get her parents.

All of this was caught on the family’s security camera, which they then posted online and shared with the local sheriffs.

What Could He Have Done

There are all kinds of things that the man could have been attempting to do at that moment, but since he ran, no one knows exactly what he’d been planning. It is clear from the recording that he was up to no good. After all, if he wasn’t, he wouldn’t have fled like he did.

Chances are, he noticed the car running, thought no one was in it, and wanted to try to take it from the driveway. This is why a person should never leave a vehicle unattended and idling. Since the car is on, the key is obviously inside which makes stealing the vehicle as easy as opening the door or breaking a window.

If the man had taken the vehicle, he would have been charged with grand theft auto under Penal Code (PC) 487(d)1. This crime can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, though it is usually charged as the latter. As a felony, a person will face:

  • 16 months, 2 years, or 3 years in county jail.
  • A max fine of $10,000.

Another possible, but far less likely, crime he was attempting to commit was stealing a package off of the front porch. This crime is commonly referred to as porch piracy and is illegal under both state and federal law. Mail theft is defined under 18 United States Code (USC) 1708 and PC 530.5e. Under these laws, a person will face misdemeanor charges for stealing anyone’s mail, including packages. The consequences of this crime are:

  • Up to 1 year in county jail
  • A max fine of $1,000
  • Misdemeanor probation

Lastly, the man could have been attempting to steal from the home itself. If he had entered the home, he would have been charged with first-degree burglary, which is defined under PC 459 as entering any residence with the intent to commit theft or any other felony. First-degree burglary is always a felony and comes with the following:

  • 2, 4, or 6 years in state prison.
  • A max fine of $10,000.
  • Felony probation.

Keep Your Home Safe

In this instance, the family was very lucky that they had sat down with their daughter and taught her how to react in a situation like this. This video just shows how important it is for parents to talk to their kids about what to do when a stranger approaches them or their home.

This video is also a good reminder for people that most would-be criminals don’t have some grand scheme. More often than not, crooks are just waiting for the right moment to make an easy score. If a homeowner makes it so that there are never any good opportunities to steal from them, by keeping their home locked up, keeping good sight lines in the yard, keeping the yard well lit, and not leaving cars idling in the driveway, then they will be less likely to fall victim to a thief.

strange-laws-from-california2

Strange Laws from California

By | Bail Bond in Fresno, Bail Bonds in Bakersfield, Bail Bonds in Los Angeles, Bail Bonds in Tulare, Bail Bonds In Visalia

When people think about laws, they often think about sensible rules that make sense. However, it is important to remember that laws are made by people, and this means that some real nonsense can be made into actual laws that govern the people. This is true of every country, state, and city. California is no exception.

The Golden State is home to its own bits of weirdness thanks to some odd laws. Many of these laws were created long ago, and as such, show their age. Others are a little more recent, and while it may be possible to see what the lawmaker was going for, the wording of the law isn’t quite right.

Why Are These Even Laws?

California became a state on September 9, 1850. Over the last 170 year period, a lot of laws have been enacted and removed across the state’s 160,000 square miles. Some of the laws have made sense, such as don’t steal from people and don’t kill each other. Others are a bit stranger. Some of the weirder laws that are still technically active in California include:

  • A person can only wear cowboy boots in Blythe if they own two or more cows
  • A person cannot wash someone else’s car without the owner’s permission in Los Angeles
  • Cursing on a golf course in Long Beach is illegal
  • Detonating a nuclear device in Chico will result in a $500 fine
  • Flying a kite higher than 10 feet is illegal in the city of Walnut
  • Garages in San Francisco are meant for storing personal vehicles and nothing else
  • In California, it is illegal for women to drive cars while wearing housecoats
  • In San Francisco, ugly people are not allowed to walk down the street
  • It is illegal to drive in reverse in Glendale
  • It is illegal to pour salt on Hermosa Beach streets
  • Men and boys are not allowed to dress as women in Walnut unless it is for a play, or they receive a permit from the sheriff
  • Peacocks always have the right of way in Arcadia
  • San Diego homeowners can be fined $250 for having their Christmas lights up after February 2nd
  • Vehicles without drivers cannot drive over 60 mph
  • Visitors of Fresno city parks are prohibited from bothering lizards
  • Women may not wear high heels in Carmel city limits

What Are the Penalties?

With how easily broken some of these laws can be, some people may wonder what would happen to them if they did break any of these laws. Luckily, the enforceable laws are pretty unknown by most law enforcement agents. Even if they do know about these laws, no one in their right mind would fault someone for breaking these laws.

The only law on the above list that will result in penalties, and rightfully so, is detonating a nuclear device within Chico city limits. However, the consequences for doing so will probably be more than just a $500 fine. The person will have to pay $501, at least.

These Laws Are Still in the Books

What seems to happen with a lot of these odd laws, is that they just get laughed at and forgotten. No one in this day and age is going to fine someone for wearing cowboy boots when they don’t own a cow, or arrest a woman for wearing high heels. Most of these laws are so outlandish that a person has nothing to worry about. These laws serve only as jokes at this point.

disorderly-conduct-in-california

What Is Disorderly Conduct?

By | Bail Bond in Fresno, Bail Bonds in Bakersfield, Bail Bonds in Los Angeles, Bail Bonds in Tulare, Bail Bonds In Visalia, Carls Bail Bonds

What Is Disorderly Conduct?

When it comes to laws, there are plenty of terms that people hear regularly. Despite that, some of the terms are a bit unclear for people. Take for instance disorderly conduct. What exactly does that term mean? What counts as disorderly conduct?

Disorderly conduct is a broad term that covers a variety of different acts that could be considered disruptive to the general public. Knowing this can help a person avoid getting into any trouble with the law.

California’s Disorderly Conduct Laws

There are a couple of different laws here in California that can fall within the category of disorderly conduct. For starters, there is Penal Code (PC) 647. This is California’s primary disorderly conduct law and covers a variety of different activities. Some other laws that can be considered disorderly conduct include:

  • PC 404 Rioting
  • PC 415 Disturbing the Peace
  • PC 416 Failure to Disperse
  • PC 602 Trespassing

For starters, PC 647 lists all of the following acts as disorderly conduct:

  • Lewd conduct in public. This occurs when people perform lewd or sexual acts in public.
  • Prostitution. This is pretty self-explanatory, but for those unaware, this occurs whenever someone pays or gets paid for a sexual act with another person.
  • Aggressive panhandling. Panhandling is legal, however, being very aggressive with it is not. A person cannot accost or harass another person while asking for money.
  • Squatting. This occurs when a person lives in another person’s home or building without permission from the owner to do so.
  • Public intoxication. This doesn’t mean a person can’t be drunk in public. This just means that a person cannot be so drunk that they become a threat to the safety of others and themselves.
  • Loitering. This occurs when someone hangs around on someone’s property with the intent of committing a crime.
  • Peeping. This occurs when a person is loitering on someone’s property with the intent of peeking into an inhabited building.
  • Invasion of privacy. This occurs when a person uses a device to peek into and/or record someone’s home, a private bathroom, or changing room.
  • Revenge Porn. This occurs when a person distributes pornographic images or videos of a person without his/her permission.

Under California law PC 404, rioting is defined as 2 or more people doing the following without legal permission:

  • Using force or violence.
  • Disturbing the peace.
  • Threatening to use force or violence and having the means to back up that threat.

Under PC 415, disturbing the peace is defined as a person playing excessively loud music, fighting with someone, or using offensive language to start a fight.

PC 416, failure to disperse, occurs when a person assembles or gathers for the purpose of disturbing the public and then failing to leave after being ordered to do so by law enforcement agents.

Lastly, PC 602 defines trespassing here in California. Under this law, it is illegal for a person to enter or remain on someone else’s property without their permission.

Penalties for Disorderly Conduct

Anyone who commits one of the above acts is guilty of disorderly conduct and will face penalties under one of the above laws. PC 647 is a misdemeanor offense that comes with:

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

PC 404 is also a misdemeanor offense that comes with:

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

PC 415 is a wobbler offense that can be charged as an infraction or a misdemeanor depending on the facts of the case. The worst penalties for disturbing the peace are:

  • Up to 90 days in county jail.
  • A max fine of $400.

PC 416 is another misdemeanor offense that comes with:

  • Up to 6 months in county jail.
  • A max fine of $1,000.
  • Paying restitution for any damages caused by the crime.

Trespassing is usually charged as either an infraction or as a misdemeanor but can be charged as a felony in rare instances. The first time someone trespasses on a particular piece of land, they will face an infraction charge that comes with a $75 fine. A second offense on the same piece of land sees the fine increase to $250. A third, or any subsequent offense, earns a person misdemeanor charges that come with:

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

Trespassing can be charged as a felony when a person makes a credible threat against another individual and then within 30 days of issuing the threat is caught trespassing on the victim’s property or place of work. When this occurs, a person will face:

  • 16 months, 2 years, or 3 years in county jail.
  • A max fine of $10,000.
  • Felony probation.

Just Be Mindful of Others

As one can see, there are plenty of different ways that a person can be accused of disorderly conduct. However, most of these acts are pretty easy to avoid. After all, it is not like a person is faced with the possibility of being in a riot every single day. As long as a person is on their best behavior and doesn’t try to start fights with other people, they will be fine.

whats-the-differences-between-gta-and-joyriding

What’s the Difference between GTA and Joyriding?

By | Bail Bond in Fresno, Bail Bonds in Bakersfield, Bail Bonds in Los Angeles, Bail Bonds in Tulare, Bail Bonds In Visalia

What’s the Difference between GTA and Joyriding?

A home is probably the most important thing that a person can own. Right behind that is a car. Having a vehicle allows a person to travel easily and efficiently. With a car, a person can run errands and go to work to earn money for all of their expenses. Owning a car is a very big deal.

Since cars are so important and expensive, it is no wonder that there are laws against stealing motor vehicles. This crime is such a big deal that it gets its own law. Motor vehicles are some of the only possessions that a person can own that is protected by its own law. Every other item is simply protected under regular theft laws.

What Is the Crime of Stealing a Car?

All theft in California is broken up into two different categories, grand theft and petty theft. The distinction between these two crimes is the value of whatever was stolen. If the total is less than $950, then it was petty theft under Penal Code (PC) 488. It the value was over $950, then it is grand theft under PC 487.

Cars get a special distinction under PC 487(d)1 called grand theft auto (GTA). This makes the crime of grand theft auto a subsection within the crime of grand theft. This is because most cars are valued at over $950. Under PC 487(d)1, grand theft auto is defined as a person taking another person’s vehicle without their permission, with the intent of depriving that person of the vehicle, either permanently or for some time.

Another, similar but different crime, is joyriding. Vehicle Code (VC) 10851 defines joyriding and it sounds almost identical to grand theft auto. The key difference between the two crimes is the intent. With grand theft auto, the person intends to steal the car, whereas with joyriding, the person has no intention of stealing the car, just taking it for a drive.

What Are the Penalties for GTA and Joyriding?

Since grand theft auto is a subsection of grand theft, it carries the same penalties. This means that the crime is a wobbler and can be charged as either a misdemeanor or as a felony depending on the facts of the case and the person’s criminal record. Despite this fact, the crime is typically charged as a felony here in California. As such, the crime of GTA can come with the following penalties:

  • 16 months, 2 years, or 3 years in county jail.
  • A max fine of $10,000.

If a person has a prior conviction of auto theft on their record then they can face an increase in their jail sentence ranging from 2, 3, or 4 years in county jail.

If the stolen car was valued at over $65,000, the person can face an additional year in jail. If the vehicle was valued at over $200,000 then the person can face an additional 2 years in jail.

The crime of joyriding is also a wobbler offense. When charged as a misdemeanor, a person can face:

  • Up to 1 year in county jail.
  • A max fine of $5,000.

When the crime is charged as a felony, a person will face:

  • 16 months, 2 years, or 3 years in county jail.
  • A max fine of $10,000.

The consequences for this crime get worse if the person took an emergency service vehicle, such as a police car or an ambulance, for a joyride or has a previous car theft conviction on their record.

Don’t Steal Someone’s Vehicle

Cars are very important parts of most people’s daily lives. Without constant transport, a person can have a hard time getting to wherever they need to go, such as work or the grocery store. This is why cars are so valuable and why it is such a big deal if a person steals one. If someone steals a car, they better be prepared to deal with some harsh consequences.

can-helping-someone-get-you-into-trouble

Can Helping Someone Get You Into Trouble?

By | Bail Bond in Fresno, Bail Bonds in Bakersfield, Bail Bonds in Los Angeles, Bail Bonds in Tulare, Bail Bonds In Visalia, Carls Bail Bonds

Can Helping Someone Get You Into Trouble?

When it comes to friends and family, most people will do whatever they can to help out their loved ones. If someone that they care about is in trouble, they will not rest until they have helped get their loved one out of trouble. This is how a family is supposed to work in most instances, however, there are times where helping someone can get a person into trouble.

When some people get into trouble, they prefer to avoid the consequences rather than face them. Unfortunately, this practice only ever makes things worse. This is especially true when a person is running from law enforcement officers. By doing so, they only provide more reasons for them to be arrested. On top of that, if any of their friends and family members help them in avoiding arrest, then they could wind up in legal trouble too.

What Is Aiding and Abetting

Helping a loved one hide or run from police officers is a form of aiding and abetting. This crime is described under Penal Code (PC) 31 as a person encouraging, facilitating, or aiding another individual with a criminal act.

Running from law enforcement is just one example of aiding and abetting a criminal. As stated above, a person is guilty of aiding and abetting a criminal whenever they help someone else commit an illegal act. This includes running from the police since that is resisting arrest.

If a person helps with any aspect of the crime, from the planning stage to helping hide the person afterward, then they are guilty of aiding and abetting. Even if a person didn’t help someone plan the crime, they can be guilty of aiding and abetting if they learn of the illegal act and do nothing to stop it.

The Penalties of PC 31

The consequences of aiding and abetting are very unique here in California and can be pretty severe. Under PC 31, a person is never actually charged with aiding and abetting. Instead, this crime simply labels the person as an accomplice to the crime. This makes it so that the person can then be charged with whatever crime they helped the other person commit.

If a person commits a particularly bad crime, such as rape or murder, then whoever aided and abetted them will face those harsh consequences as well, even if they weren’t involved in the actual act.

If a person helped someone after the crime was committed, then they can be labeled as an accessory after the fact. Under this definition, a person would be considered obstructing justice. In these instances, a person will likely face lighter charges than the person they helped. However, those charges can still be pretty high. For instance, a person faces 9 years in state prison for carjacking. The consequence of an accessory after the fact is up to 3 years in state prison.

It is also important to note that a person can be found guilty of the harsher crimes that another person committed even if they didn’t intend for that crime to be committed. For example, if two people are robbing a store. One is the getaway driver and the other goes into rob the place. If the person inside kills someone, the getaway driver can also be charged with murder even though they never intended for anyone to get killed. This is because the murder was a natural and probable consequence of the robbery.

Don’t Help with Crimes

Trying to help friends and family members is almost always a good thing to do. However, there are times when it shouldn’t be done. When someone is contemplating committing a crime or is committing a crime, the last thing their friends and family members should do is help them with the illegal activity. Doing so makes them an accessory to the crime.

Once a person becomes an accessory to the crime, under PC 31, they can face all of the same penalties their loved one would face for committing the crime. In this instance, helping their loved one would only make things worse.