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March 2021

roadside-stands-in-california

Roadside Stands in California

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, Los Angeles Bail Bonds

If you have a green thumb and a good-sized garden, you’ve likely grown more produce than you can eat. A roadside stand is a great way to find a home for the surplus fruits and vegetables while also earning some extra money.

Before you start hauling tubs of squash and green peppers to the side of the road, you should take a crash course in the legalities of owning a roadside stand.

In California, roadside stands are regulated by California Health and Safety Codes as well as many local departments. To be legal, a roadside stand has to sell fresh produce or eggs. It isn’t a closed building, but rather a structure that’s open on at least one side. If you use the stand to sell packaged food or for storage, you can only use 10% of the stand’s total space.

Traditionally, the only types of things you could sell via a roadside stand were eggs and unpackaged fruits and vegetables. That has changed a little. When California lawmakers passed AB 2168 roadside stands could be used to market some home bottled products, including jams, pickles, and olives. The one rule was that the items used to create these bottled products had to be grown either on or near the home where the stand is based.

If you plan on using a roadside stand to sell jam and preserves, you probably won’t be able to bottle the items in your kitchen. The law requires that the packaging and preparation of these artisan items have to take place in a kitchen that’s been granted health department approval. If you want to make your products in your home, you’ll have to get your kitchen licensed as a Cottage Food Operation.

Another change is that you’re also legally permitted to sell bottled water and soda pop at your road stand, but only in limited quantities. The amount of space you dedicate to these items can’t exceed 50-feet.

It’s extremely important that you run your roadside stand like a business. Keep accurate records of both any money it makes and all of your expenses connected to the stand. The bad news is that you’ll have to claim this income when you file your taxes. The good news is that you’ll be able to deduct your expenses.

It is also a good idea to explore getting liability insurance for your roadside stand so that you’re protected if any customers are hurt while they’re going through your produce.

how-to-dress-for-court

How to Dress for Court

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

It doesn’t matter if you’re in civil or legal court, you want to make sure you’ve dressed appropriately. The good news is that getting dressed for court isn’t difficult. It’s also likely that you have most of the items needed to make a good impression so you don’t have to worry about the expense of a shopping trip.

The first thing to consider is the color of the clothing you’re going to wear. It’s suggested that you stick to conservative, neutral colors. Most people opt for dark colors.

It’s a good idea to layer. Some courtrooms run hot and some are cold. While you’re in court you want to be paying attention. You don’t want to worry about freezing or overheating. Layers allow you to peel off a jacket or cardigan if the courtroom is warmer than expected.

Choose clean clothing. In addition to making sure that everything you wear to the courtroom is clean, take a few minutes to check for stains and tears. Depending on the type of material your court clothes are made out of, you might have to give yourself enough time to iron them before leaving court.

You want to appear nicely dressed while you’re in court, but since you could be sitting for a long time, you also want to choose comfortable clothing. Avoid anything that bunches, twists, is too tight, or that tends to pinch. You want to pay attention to the judge and the lawyers, you don’t want to be playing with your clothing.

When dressing for court, you should strive for a professional look. If you don’t own a suit, at least consider a nice button-down shirt and a pair of slacks. If you don’t own slacks look for a dark pair of jeans that fits well.

If you must wear jewelry, keep it simple, tasteful, and minimal. There are two reasons for this. Clunky and jangly jewelry is distracting in a courtroom setting. It can also make you look less serious. The second reason to wear as little jewelry as possible is so that you have less to remove when going through metal detectors.

It’s likely that you’re supposed to be in court relatively early in the morning and you don’t want to be late. Decide what you’re planning on wearing to the court the night before and lay everything out. Give yourself plenty of time to get ready and still arrive in the courtroom on time.

coping-with-a-neighbors-barking-dog

Coping with a Neighbor’s Barking Dog

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, Los Angeles Bail Bonds

Living in a dog-friendly neighborhood is great. There’s something about a community that’s full of dogs that makes the area feel homier and safer. The only downside is if one of your neighbor’s dogs is a barker.

The problem with barking dogs is that while one or two woofs aren’t a big deal, continuous barking quickly becomes nerve-wracking. Even worse, one dog barking usually sets off several other dogs until the noise is almost unbearable.

If your neighbor has dogs that are prone to barking, there are a few things you can do about the situation.

The first is to kindly alert your neighbor to the situation. You want to do this in a non-confrontational way. Many people are very attached to their dogs and don’t respond well to criticism but will often explore options if the issue is addressed in a low-key, conversational manner. Hopefully, you’re not the only neighbor who comments on the situation.

Give the dog owners a few days to explore training and other options. If the dogs continue to bark, your next step is getting recorded proof of the issue. Taking a short video of the barking is the best way to show that this is a chronic problem. Don’t expect this to be a simple process. You need to figure out a way to get a video that proves the dogs bark continually but also shows that you’re doing nothing to make them bark. You also have to be mindful of trespassing and privacy laws while taking the video.

It’s time to file a noise complaint. This can be a bit challenging. Most homeowners associations deal with noise complaints, but if you’re not part of one, you’ll have to find out which city department deals with barking dogs. In some areas, it’s the police. In others, it’s animal control. When you file the complaint, try to do so anonymously. Not knowing which neighbor filed the complaint minimizes the risk of retribution if your neighbor is upset.

If the barking continues, your last recourse is taking your dog-owning neighbor to smalls claim court. Don’t expect to get a big settlement from the case. At the most, you might get a paltry sum for pain and suffering. The biggest thing taking the owner of a barking dog to court does is let them know that they are legally and financially responsible for their dog’s actions.

Before you start to take action against your neighbor’s barking dogs, make sure your own dogs are quiet.

california-laws-ride-share-drivers-need-to-understand

California Laws Ride Share Drivers Need to Understand

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

Rideshare programs like Uber and Lyft are a great way for some people to supplement their income. The programs are designed so that you get to choose your hours. In some cities, people have found that they were able to live a respectful living as a rideshare driver.

The problem some people encounter is that they aren’t properly prepared for the reality of becoming part of a rideshare program. There are some legal issues you should review before you pick up your first customer.

As rideshare programs gained popularity, California lawmakers realized that they needed to step in and start regulating the practice. This led to the creation of several state laws. It’s important to understand that these state laws pertain to anyone who is part of a rideshare program, it doesn’t matter if you’re a full-time driver or if you’re picking up your first passenger.

California state laws rideshare drivers must familiarize themselves with include:

  • A sticker that identifies you as a rideshare driver has to be prominently displayed on your vehicle.
  • One sticker on the windshield, one on the rear window.
  • You must consent to an annual background check
  • The vehicle you use for rideshares must be inspected every 12 months or every 50,000 miles
  • You must pick up and transport customers who have service dogs
  • Vehicles used for rideshares must adhere to California’s current climate emission levels

Rideshare drivers are impacted by Assembly Bill NO. 5 which went into law on January 1, 2020. The law officially changed your status from that of a freelance contractor who simply provided work for Uber or Lyft to that of an employee.

Issues concerning Assembly Bill NO. 5 resulted in a case appearing in the California Superior Court where a judge ruled that both Uber and Lyft were legally responsible for paying drivers a mandated benefit, over time, business-expenses, and minimum wage.

Personal safety and liability issues have been raised by both drivers and passengers. At this point, there aren’t any laws that require rideshare drivers to install a dashboard camera in their vehicle, which would prevent false claims from being filed against drivers, but it is still a good idea.

The most important thing to remember is that you will have to claim any money you make as a rideshare driver and pay taxes on it. Get into the habit of keeping detailed rideshare financial records so that if you’re ever audited, you won’t have to worry about getting a bill for back taxes and unclaimed income from the IRS.

standing-your-ground-in-california

Standing Your Ground in California

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

In California, you have the right to defend yourself, even if you’re not inside of your home at the time. The issue is dealt with in California’s self-defense laws which are more popularly referred to as Stand-Your-Ground laws.

What the Stand-Your-Ground laws do is provide you with a way to hold tight and defend yourself from an attack. The law most commonly come into play when a person encounters a burglar inside their home, but they also come into play in parking lots, parks, lawns, public buildings, and even on the road.

The idea behind the Stand-Your-Ground laws is that you should be able to defend yourself without having to worry about criminal prosecution.

It’s important to understand that the Stand-Your-Ground laws don’t give you free rein to do whatever you want. You are still expected to use some common sense and to not use unnecessary force in response to a minor concern.

In order to use the Stand-Your-Ground laws as self-defense, a few things have to happen.

  • You have to show that you could reasonably believe that your health, safety, or life was in danger during that specific moment
  • You had to genuinely believe that the degree of force you used in response to the threat was appropriate in the situation
  • You have to prove that you didn’t use an excessive amount of force given the nature of the threat

There have been cases of people killing a perceived threat. Whenever this happens, there are always questions about whether the degree of force used was really necessary.

The way California’s self-defense laws are written, you have the right to used deadly force against anyone who you feel intends to kill or seriously harm you. Examples of this include:

  • Armed home invasions
  • Domestic violence cases
  • Carjackings
  • Etc.
  • Read More

    catching-police-officers-on-film

    Catching Police Officers on Film

    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, Los Angeles Bail Bonds

    Videos of police officers behaving badly have a history of going viral. This sheds a bad light on police officers throughout the entire state of California. If you plan on filming a police officer there are few things you need to consider before you hit record.

    California doesn’t currently have any laws that forbid you from filming police officers in action, but that doesn’t mean you can get in the officer’s way while they’re conducting official business. It doesn’t matter if you’re hoping to catch a scandal or simply want to shine a positive light on the police, if you’re filming impedes their ability to do their job, you can be charged with interfering with a police investigation.

    If the police officer asks why you’re filming, don’t become belligerent about your First Amendment Rights. Don’t lose your temper or insult the officer, which could prompt them into looking for a reason to issue a citation or arresting you. Simply explain what you’re doing and promise that you won’t do anything to get in the way. Remember, distracting the police officer while they’re investigating a case or issuing a traffic ticket could be considered interference.

    Be aware of how your handling your phone or any other equipment you’re using to film. You don’t want the officer to glance up and think you have a gun in your hand.

    Many experts suggest that you set up your recording equipment so that the footage can only be accessed with a passcode. This prevents the police from commandeering your recording equipment and possibly deleting the footage. Having the equipment password protected requires that they get a warrant before they can access the footage.

    The trick to filming the police while they’re in action is to use common sense and to stay out of their way.

    If your filming efforts result in you getting arrested, you need to remain calm. Don’t provide any information beyond the basics and contact a good lawyer who has a solid understanding of civil rights laws and the First Amendment.

    underage-drinking-during-spring-break

    Underage Drinking During Spring Break

    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, Los Angeles Bail Bonds

    Spring break is finally here! It’s time to cut loose, forget all about your studies, and have a good time.

    While there’s nothing wrong with relaxing and enjoying yourself, don’t forget that you’re not allowed to drink alcohol until you’re at least twenty-one years old. If you choose to ignore this, an underage drinking charge won’t just ruin your spring break, it will also have a negative impact on your life over the next few years.

    It doesn’t matter if you’re pulled over for speeding or if the cops show up at a party, if your blood alcohol content is over .05 and you’re under twenty-one, you’ll find yourself on the wrong side of the law.

    For the record, a single beer is all it takes to put you over .05.

    The days when an underage drinking charge resulted in a difficult phone call to your parents and some community service time are long over. California lawmakers have decided to crack down on underage drinking during spring break.

    The first time you get caught drinking while you’re underage, the potential consequences are:

    • Serving 24-32 hours of community service
    • A $250 fine
    • Attending an alcohol education program

    Each time you’re caught drinking while underage after the first conviction, the consequences are

    • 36-48 hours of community service
    • A $500 fine
    • A one-year drivers license suspension

    The very first time you’re caught drinking and driving while underage, the potential consequences can include:

    • Spending at least 48 hours in jail
    • Spending 3 years on probation
    • Lowing your good driver status for 10 full years (this will lead to significantly higher insurance premiums)
    • 2 points getting added to your current driving record

    Some California counties will also install an ignition lock on any vehicles that are registered in your name.

    It’s important to remember that minors aren’t the only ones who can get into trouble for underage drinking. Anyone who allows minors to drink will also find themselves on the wrong side of the law.

    Parents who allow their children to consume alcohol while at home can get into serious trouble if that child is caught behind the wheel while under the influence. A guilty conviction of letting a minor drive while intoxicated includes a one-year jail sentence and a $1,000.

    If the court decides that you’ve contributed to the delinquency of a minor, they can hit you with a one-year jail sentence and a $2,500 fine.

    Businesses that serve alcohol to minors face a misdemeanor charge that can include a year in ail and a $1,000 fine. The charge can also jeopardize their business license.

    It is in everyone’s best interest to remember that alcohol and minors shouldn’t mix this spring break.

    understanding-californias-jury-duty

    Understanding California’s Jury Duty

    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, Los Angeles Bail Bonds

    U.S. citizens who reside in the United States can receive a letter in the mail that summons them to serve on a jury. This is called jury duty. If selected to serve on the jury you’ll listen to a court case and use what you learned during the trial to decide if the defendant is guilty or not guilty.

    Who is Eligible for Jury Duty?

    In California, there are some people who aren’t required to respond to a jury duty summons. People who are exempt include:

    • Residents who aren’t U.S. citizens
    • Anyone under the age of 18
    • Anyone who demonstrates that they don’t have a strong enough grasp of the English language to adequately understand/discuss the details of the case
    • Anyone who has been convicted of a felony and not yet had their civil rights restored
    • Anyone who lacks the ability to care for themselves and is under a conservatorship
    • Anyone who has received a jury duty summons within the last 12 months

    You can only be asked to serve on a jury that is taking place in the county you legally reside in.

    How Long Does California Jury Duty Last?

    California has what is called a one-day or one-trial policy for jury duty. This policy was adopted in 1999 in an attempt to make things simpler for jurors and their employers. The way this works is that a juror is not required to serve more than one day of on-call jury duty. This means that if the person is called into the courthouse for jury duty selection and isn’t selected, they have still fulfilled their one-year requirement and can’t be summoned for jury duty for a full twelve months.

    If the juror is assigned to on-call or standby jury service they only have to remain on-call for five days. After that, they are released from jury duty for a year.

    If you’re selected as a jury member for a trial case, you will have to sit through the entire trial. Once the trial is over, you’ll be released from jury duty for a full year.

    Are you Paid for Jury Duty?

    California does have a policy in place to make sure that anyone who responds to a jury duty summons is paid, but you won’t make enough to cover the cost of not going to work. The policy is that you’re paid $15 a day for jury duty. You’ll also receive a $0.34 reimbursement for each mile you have to commute to the courthouse. The mileage reimbursement only covers your commute to the courthouse, not home, and only kicks in if you’re assigned to a trial and have to make the commute more than one day. Some counties have a policy in place that covers the cost of public/mass transportation.

    The exception to the $15 a day payment is government employees who receive their full pay plus their benefits.

    What if You Neglect to Respond to a Jury Duty Summons?

    While it’s easy to understand that urge to ignore a jury duty summons, it’s something you’ll later regret. You’re legally required to respond. A failure to respond to the summons will result in you potentially being fined up to $1500 and possibly even have to serve some jail time.

    If an emergency comes up, you can’t simply fail to show up for jury duty. In the event of an emergency, you have to contact the courthouse as quickly as possible. If the judge feels the emergency is valid and severe, they will excuse you. This is true even if you’re in the middle of a trial jury. Be prepared to provide proof of the emergency.

    stay-out-of-jail-this-saint-patricks-day

    Stay Out of Jail This Saint Patrick’s Day

    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, Los Angeles Bail Bonds

    Saint Patrick’s Day is a great holiday. It’s one of those fun holidays where you’re encouraged to cut loose and have a good time. The problem with Saint Patrick’s Day is that it’s also a time when many people get a little too relaxed and end up in jail. Happily, there are things you can do to make sure you enjoy the holiday and also stay on the right side of the law

    Check Out Current Pandemic Restrictions

    Last year, Saint Patrick’s Day was interrupted and virtually canceled because of the pandemic. This year it doesn’t look like things will be quite as restricted but that doesn’t mean you’ll be able to do whatever you want. Before heading out, check both state and local restrictions and know exactly what you can and can’t do. Also, make sure you adhere to social distancing guidelines and wear your face mask while you’re in public areas.

    Have a Designated Driver

    Saint Patrick’s Day is one of the biggest drinking nights of the year. Expect that the cops will be out and that they will be looking for drunk drivers. If you plan on drinking, do the smart thing and have a designated driver on hand. If none of your friends want to be the DD at least arrange for a rideshare program or cab to take you wherever you want to go.

    The best way to avoid the temptation of getting behind the wheel after you’ve been drinking is leaving your car at home and getting a ride both to and from your favorite bar.

    Don’t Lose Your Head

    While drunk driving makes up the bulk of Saint Patrick’s Day arrests, it’s not the only thing that can result in your spending a night in jail. Other common arrests during the holiday include drunk and disorderly, assault, and public intoxication charges. If you’re prone to drinking to the point where you lose all your inhibitions and do things you’ll regret, either bring a friend along who will remain levelheaded and prevent you from doing something you shouldn’t or restrict your celebrating to your home.

    Stay safe and use good judgment this Saint Patrick’s Day!

    is-being-homeless-a-crime-in-california

    Is Being Homeless a Crime in California?

    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, Los Angeles Bail Bonds

    In theory, California isn’t a bad place to be homeless. Sure, the high cost of living makes it difficult to get back on your feet, but at least the weather is nice all year round so if you have to sleep outside a few nights a week, it shouldn’t be a big deal.

    Wrong!

    California lawmakers have made being homeless in California, even temporarily, extremely difficult.

    California’s homeless population reached an alarming number a few years back. According to data collected and released by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development California’s homeless population had swelled to 151,278 individuals at the end of 2019. While state and local lawmakers are aware of the problem but aren’t sure how to resolve the issue.

    One of the biggest rumors that comes out of California is that homelessness is illegal in the state. That’s not quite true. Strictly speaking, being homeless isn’t a crime, but as one man said, state and local laws make everything the homeless population does to survive a crime.

    In 2018, Kimberly Sandoval, a member of Santa Ana’s homeless population summed up the problem. “Stop criminalizing us, because that’s what they’re doing. It’s not illegal to be homeless, but everything we do is illegal.” At the time Sandoval had been homeless for about 15 years and had just been ticketed for having spare bicycle parts.

    At the time Sandoval was struggling to figure out how to survive when she’d been issued tickets for having everything from a tent to a lawn chair. The reason for the tickets was a city ordinance that Santa Ana lawmakers had passed the year before. Each ticket made Sandoval, who had no other options, life much harder.

    Santa Ana isn’t the only city whose homeless population has drawn fire. It’s estimated that there are over one thousand different laws throughout the state that are popularly known as anti-homeless laws. These include laws that make it illegal to sit/sleep in public areas such as parks. In many cities, it is even illegal for someone to sleep in their car, something several people do during the summer to gain some relief from California’s excruciatingly high rent fees.

    Many people feel that the anti-homeless laws aren’t working the way state and local lawmakers hope.

      “California has a lot more laws than other states,” Professor Jeff Selbin, an employee of UC Berkeley’s Policy Advocacy Clinic, explained. “Unfortunately, what may be a good fix to move that person from your street or put boulders on your sidewalk for example is not going to solve the [bigger] problem.”

    Selbin’s thoughts were echoed by Jennifer Friedenbach, the Executive Director of the Coalition on Homelessness. “The laws that go after homeless people exacerbate homelessness typically everywhere that they’re used. People can’t get in touch with their social workers because they’re being moved from place to place.”

    While it is becoming increasingly clear that the laws created to discourage homelessness aren’t working, at this point, lawmakers don’t appear to be in a big hurry to change anything. If you or someone you love is homeless in California, it’s in your best interest to find a good legal advocacy group that will advise you about how to proceed when you encounter legal problems connected to California’s various “anti-homeless” laws.

    community-service-in-criminal-cases

    Community Service in Criminal Cases

    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, Los Angeles Bail Bonds

    Many people find that they have to complete a specific number of hours of community service as a part of their sentence. Some people love this because community service can reduce fines and jail time. Others hate having to do so much work without getting paid.

    Judges have the right to make community service a part of a sentence. Sometimes the community service replaces fines, jail time, and probation. In other cases, it’s used in tandem with the other consequences.

    Community service has become so popular amongst judges that some large communities discovered that they had to hire another person and even create whole new county offices just to help with the community service portion of sentencing. These separate offices help people find promising community service opportunities, track hours and make sure everything is properly reported to the sentencing judge.

    The great thing about community service is that there are lots of different options. The only stipulation is that the work has to be done in connection with a non-profit organization and that you don’t get paid for it. You can choose to complete all of the hours by working with a single non-profit or you can divide your time up with multiple organizations.

    Some communities also have government programs that qualify as community service.

    When you find out that you need to complete X amount of hours of community service, the first thing you need to do is sit down and think about what you like. The entire process will be more enjoyable if you’re doing work you like or at least working for a cause you’re passionate about.

    Popular community service choices include:

    • Helping out at animal rescues
    • Assisting at homeless shelters
    • Helping organize non-profit events, such as awareness runs and festivals
    • Community improvement/beautification projects
    • Speaking to school groups

    The list goes on and on.

    Once you’ve identified the type of work you’d like to do, it’s time to contact the non-profits and find out their requirements. Make it clear that the volunteering work you’re doing is for the courts. Some non-profits choose not to track hours for the courts. Others require a background check that you won’t pass because you have a criminal record.

    If the first non-profit you contact doesn’t work out, contact another one until you find one that’s happy to accept you.

    Create a schedule and stick to it. You want to complete your community service hours as quickly as possible so that the judge doesn’t revisit your sentencing and decide you’re shirking your responsibilities. If for some reason, you do run into a problem and won’t be able to complete the required number of hours by the court-appointed deadline, you need to contact the court and let them know. It’s likely that as long as you can prove that you’re making a genuine effort they’ll choose to extend your deadline.

    Be diligent about recording the number of hours you’ve worked at your community service project. Get the person who is supervising you to sign off on your time after each session. Turn the information to the court.

    The great thing about community service is that you can sometimes use it to make important new connections, develop skills, and possibly even find a program you want to continue helping even after you’ve fulfilled your community service requirements.

    youve-been-arrested-for-dui-again

    What Happens if You Give a Police Officer False Information

    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, Los Angeles Bail Bonds

    It doesn’t matter if you’re pulled over for a routine traffic violation or if the police knock on your front door and ask to talk to you, there’s something about face-to-face interactions that causes most of us to panic. This panic can result in us making some bad choices. A perfect example of this is not thinking before providing the officer with false information.

    It doesn’t matter if you give the officer the wrong home address or if you pretend to be your younger sibling. If the officer finds out that you have provided them with false information, they will likely arrest you for violating California’s Penal Code 148.9. This is a misdemeanor offense. If you’re convicted, the judge can sentence you to six months in jail and charge a $1,000 fine. Since this charge will be on your permanent record, if the police ever question you again, they’ll likely be very suspicious of any information they get from you.

    The good news is that Penal Code 148.6 clearly states that you have to knowingly give the officers false information. That word, knowingly, could be the key component to your defense, particularly if you made an honest mistake, such as forgetting your current home address and providing the police with a previous address. The same is true if you have given them the wrong information regarding your work history, or answered a question wrong during an interview.

    If you realize that you’ve provided the police with the wrong information, it’s important to correct the situation as quickly as possible. The faster you alert the police to the mistake, the more the incident looks like a casual mistake as opposed to a deliberate attempt to mislead the police.

    Another interesting thing about California’s Penal Code 148.9 is that you can only be charged with providing the police officer with false information if you provide the false information after you’ve been legally detained or arrested.

    Don’t assume that just because you gave the police officer some false information before them formally detaining or arresting you that you have nothing to worry about. Giving false information before the arrest/detaining creates an opportunity for the police to charge you with interfering with an investigation and obstructing justice. A guilty conviction for those charges results in getting fined up to $1,000 as well as spending up to 12 months in county jail.

    When it comes to the police, it’s in your best interest, to be honest.