Monthly Archives

June 2022

getting-caught-with-counterfeit-items-in-california

Getting Caught with Counterfeit Items in California

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

Getting caught in possession of a counterfeit item in California isn’t a laughing matter. The counterfeit item is considered forgery and can be the reason you spend some time in jail.

California lawmakers understand just how much trouble counterfeit items are to the state’s economy. The more counterfeit items there are in circulation, the more the economy suffers. Businesses lose immediate revenue, money is spent investigating the situation, and business/consumers start to become nervous that they could inadvertently be the victim of a counterfeit item scam. The best way for the state to discourage the possession and use of counterfeit items and therefore keep the economy as healthy as possible is by coming down hard on people who are caught with counterfeit items.

California Penal Code 475 PC does an excellent job of outlining what California lawmakers consider counterfeit items.

    “(a) Every person who possesses or receives, with the intent to pass or facilitate the passage or utterance of any forged, altered, or counterfeit items, or completed items contained in subdivision (d) of Section 470 with intent to defraud, knowing the same to be forged, altered, or counterfeit, is guilty of forgery.

    (b) Every person who possesses any blank or unfinished check, note, bank bill, money order, or traveler’s check, whether real or fictitious, with the intention of completing the same or the intention of facilitating the completion of the same, in order to defraud any person, is guilty of forgery.

    (c) Every person who possesses any completed check, money order, traveler’s check, warrant, or county order, whether real or fictitious, with the intent to utter or pass or facilitate the utterance or passage of the same, in order to defraud any person, is guilty of forgery.”

The problem with California Penal Code 475 PC is that while it does an excellent job defining the types of counterfeit items will get you in trouble with the law, it doesn’t explain exactly how much trouble you’ll be in.

Figuring the exact legal consequences is a little tricky because forgery is one of California’s wobbler offenses, meaning it can be handled as either a felony or a misdemeanor. In most situations, the determining factor is the projected value of the counterfeit items you had in your possession when you were caught. Other factors that influence the severity of the charges you face could include how big a counterfeiting operation you had and how many counterfeit items you released into California’s economy.

If the prosecution decides to pursue misdemeanor charges, the maximum sentence you face is a year in a county jail. However, if you’re convicted of felony forgery after you’ve been caught with possession of counterfeit items in California, you could be sent to jail for as long as three years. Your criminal history will have a huge impact on how severe a sentence you face.

If you have somehow acquired a counterfeit item, either through a transaction or as a gift, don’t panic. Provided you had no prior knowledge that the item was counterfeit you have a sound defense. All you have to do is show where you acquired the counterfeit item (such as change for a shop purchase) and the charges will be dropped.

If you do find yourself in possession of a counterfeit item, it’s in your best interest to report it to the police right away. Not only does the immediate reporting make it easier for you to show that you were an innocent victim, but it also increases the likelihood of the police catching the true culprit.

conserving-electricity-this-summer

Conserving Electricity This Summer

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

Since May, various people have expressed concern that the power grid won’t be able to provide enough electricity to meet everyone’s needs. According to a May 6, 2022 article that was posted by CBS Sacramento, the California Independent System Operator (Cal ISO) was already seriously concerned about whether supply would meet demand. At the time, it was predicted that the state’s power grid would be approximately 1,700 megawatts short.

There are a few different reasons why electricity is becoming increasingly difficult for Californians to use. The leading reasons that electricity is in short supply include wildfires that not only destroy many electrical resources but often put an additional strain on the grid. The drought makes it harder to find the water needed to create electricity. Last is the sheer demand people are placing on the state’s electrical system. As the days get hotter, people are using their air conditioning more frequently which drains electrical resources.

While you may not be able to completely spare the state from rolling black and brownouts this summer, there are a few things you can do that will limit the strain you place on the overtaxed system and also lower your monthly electricity bill.

Use Window Covering/Treatments

You will be amazed by the amount of money upgrading your window coverings/treatments saves you. Good quality window coverings/treatments are designed to significantly reduce the amount of heat that’s let into your house. The less heat that enters your home, the less you’ll pay to keep the interior air conditioning.

Consider Using a Fan

Switching the air conditioning off and turning a fan on is always a great way to conserve electricity, especially when you’re the only person home. Fans create a wind-chill effect as they circulate air around the room. Occasionally using a damp towel to moisten your skin will enhance the fan’s cooling properties.

Since the fan doesn’t actually cool your home but simply moves air around, you’ll want to shut it off whenever you leave the room. Continuing to allow it to run will simply drain your electrical supply for no good reason.

Invest in a New Thermostat

Believe it or not, the thermostat you’re using can have a major impact on your monthly utility bills. All you have to do is replace your traditional thermostat with an automated one that you can program to accommodate your family’s routine. Why is this important? It means that during the times when no one is home, the system will turn off your air conditioning and allow the internal temp of your home to raise a bit while you conserve energy by not running the A/C. Just before you’re scheduled to get home, the automated thermostat will turn the A/C on so you return to a cool and comfortable environment.

What steps have you taken to decrease your electricity use this summer?

drunk-driving-in-california-over-the-fourth-of-july

Drunk Driving in California Over the Fourth of July

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

The Fourth of July is one of those holidays when everyone likes to cut loose and really relax. Most of us get to enjoy a long weekend which means we tend to drink a little more than we normally would. The fact that many of us are hanging out with a large group of our close friends and family makes us even more likely to consume a little more alcohol than normal.

There’s nothing wrong with using some adult-only beverages to help you unwind and enjoy the holiday, provided you do so in a manner that’s safe and legal.

The first thing to make sure of before you pop the first top on your favorite brand of beer is that you are confident you won’t be getting behind the wheel and trying to drive somewhere. California lawmakers aren’t going to lighten up on the drunk driving consequences just because it’s a holiday. In fact, the holiday means that there will likely be even more police patrolling over the Fourth, increasing the odds of you getting caught and arrested for drunk driving.

If you’re convicted of drunk driving in California over the Fourth of July:

  • You could spend anywhere from 96 hours to six months in a county jail
  • Pay a fine that ranges from $390-$1,000
  • Lose your driving privileges for six months

Those penalties are for a first drunk driving offense. They become increasingly more severe with each subsequent offense. It’s also important to understand that if you get into an accident while you’re driving drunk and someone is hurt or killed, you’ll face additional charges and consequences.

Getting behind the wheel after you’ve been drinking during the Fourth of July holiday is one of the worse things you can do. However, don’t assume that just because you’re not driving that you won’t get in trouble if you get drunk while you’re in public.

Examples of public intoxication include:

  • Doing something dangerous to yourself and/or others such as walking into oncoming traffic
  • Being extremely belligerent and saying/doing things you normally wouldn’t have done if you were sober, such as saying things that could result in a bar fight
  • Doing something that obstructs a public way and refusing to let traffic pass
  • Refusing to follow the directions of a police officer

Most people think of public intoxication as a kind of joke charge, but you won’t be laughing if you’re convicted. Public intoxication is a misdemeanor and carries a maximum sentence of six months in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.

Stay safe and be smart this Fourth of July!

selling-fireworks-to-a-minor-in-california

Selling Fireworks to a Minor in California

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

California lawmakers aren’t thrilled about fireworks and have created laws to restrict their use. The reason such tight fireworks laws exist in California stems from a few underlying concerns that include:

  • Worry about wildfires
  • Safety concerns
  • Trying to keep noises down out of respect to those who can’t handle flashing lights and a great deal of noise.
  • Concern about potential property damage

The state is so determined to keep fireworks as safe as possible, that they’ve created strict laws surrounding the sale of legal of what the state considers dangerous fireworks to minors.

The sale of fireworks in California is dealt with in Health & Safety Code 12702 H. It states: “(a) A person who violates this part by selling, giving, or delivering any dangerous fireworks to any person under 18 years of age is guilty of a misdemeanor and upon a first conviction shall be punished as prescribed in subdivision (b) of Section 12700.

(b) Upon a second or subsequent conviction of the offense, the person shall be punished by an additional fine of five thousand dollars ($5,000), or by imprisonment in a county jail for up to one year or by both that fine and imprisonment. The person shall not be granted probation and the execution of the sentence imposed upon the person shall not be suspended by the court.”

Selling or giving dangerous fireworks to a California minor is a misdemeanor. If convicted, the defendant faces a sentence that includes serving up to a year in a county jail and/or a $1,000 fine.

While most cases that involve fireworks and minors involve the illegal sale of fireworks to minors, individuals who give a dangerous firework to a minor could also face criminal charges.

In the case of fireworks, California prohibits the furnishing of dangerous fireworks to anyone who isn’t at least 18 years old. The types of fireworks the state deems dangerous and therefore illegal for a minor to possess include fireworks that are more than 10 inches long and a quarter-inch in diameter. Specific types of fireworks that are considered dangerous include:

  • Roman candles
  • Exploding golf balls
  • Devil-on-the-walk
  • Chasers
  • Firecrackers
  • Skyrockets
  • Explode on impact torpedoes
  • Firework kits

Any fireworks that are constructed with chemicals that include chlorates, arsenic sulfide, picric acid, phosphorus (excluding red phosphorus,) boron, mercury salts, and gallic acid are considered dangerous.

consequences-of-violating-court-order-california

Consequences of Violating Court Order California

By | Bail Bonds in Kings County, Bail Bonds in Tulare, Bail Bonds In Visalia

When the court issues an order, you have no choice but to follow it. Failing to adhere to the court order will only make an already bad situation even worse.

While you might consider violating a court order to be an act of rebellion, California lawmakers don’t. As for as California lawmakers are concerned, anyone who intentionally and purposefully engages in an action that goes directly against a current court order is guilty of a crime and will be charged.

The legal issues surrounding the violation of a court order are found in California Penal Code Section 166 PC. It states that:

    “(a) Except as provided in subdivisions (b), (c), and (d), a person guilty of any of the following contempt of court is guilty of a misdemeanor:
    (1) Disorderly, contemptuous, or insolent behavior committed during the sitting of a court of justice, in the immediate view and presence of the court, and directly tending to interrupt its proceedings or to impair the respect due to its authority.
    (2) Behavior specified in paragraph (1) that is committed in the presence of a referee, while actually engaged in a trial or hearing, pursuant to the order of a court, or in the presence of a jury while actually sitting for the trial of a cause, or upon an inquest or other proceeding authorized by law.
    (3) A breach of the peace, noise, or other disturbance directly tending to interrupt the proceedings of the court.
    (4) Willful disobedience of the terms, as written, of a process or court order or out-of-state court order, lawfully issued by a court, including orders pending trial.
    (5) Resistance willfully offered by a person to the lawful order or process of a court.
    (6) The contumacious and unlawful refusal of a person to be sworn as a witness or, when so sworn, the like refusal to answer a material question.
    (7) The publication of a false or grossly inaccurate report of the proceedings of a court.
    (8) Presenting to a court having the power to pass sentence upon a prisoner under conviction, or to a member of the court, an affidavit, testimony, or representation of any kind, verbal or written, in aggravation or mitigation of the punishment to be imposed upon the prisoner, except as provided in this code.
    (9) Willful disobedience of the terms of an injunction that restrains the activities of a criminal street gang or any of its members, lawfully issued by a court, including an order pending trial.”

It is important to note that a few things must happen before you can be convicted of violating a court order.

The first thing the prosecution must prove is that you knew you were violating a court order. If the terms of the court order weren’t explained to you, or if for some reason you were unaware of the court order, you can’t be convicted.

The other thing the prosecution must prove is that you willfully violated the court order. This type of thing comes up the most frequently when dealing with a court order that includes personal protection orders or instructions to avoid certain people. While the court order prohibits you from connecting with specific people, if that person happens to casually encounter you while you’re both running errands, you haven’t actually violated anything, especially if you make a genuine effort to remove yourself from the situation as quickly as possible.

If you’re convicted of violating a California court order, your sentence could include

  • Six months in a county jail
  • Probation
  • $1,000 in fines
  • .

The best way to avoid violating a court order charge is to sit down with a good criminal attorney and have them explain exactly how the court order impacts your life.

what-is-hazing-in-california

What Is Hazing in California

By | Bail Bonds in Kings County, Bail Bonds in Tulare, Bail Bonds In Visalia

Hazing started as a fun way to prank some people while initiating others into a fraternity and sorority. The problem with hazing is that while it may have started as fun and games as the years have passed, it has become a humiliating and even potentially dangerous tradition. Recent hazing incidents prompted California lawmakers to get involved.

California lawmakers are opposed to hazing when the pranks used have the potential to cause serious bodily injury and even death.

The issue of hazing in California is discussed in Penal Code 245.6 PC. It states: “Hazing” means any method of initiation or preinitiation into a student organization or student body, whether or not the organization or body is officially recognized by an educational institution, which is likely to cause serious bodily injury to any former, current, or prospective student of any school, community college, college, university, or other educational institution in this state. The term “hazing” does not include customary athletic events or school-sanctioned events.”

It goes on to say: “The person against whom the hazing is directed may commence a civil action for injury or damages. The action may be brought against any participants in the hazing, or any organization to which the student is seeking membership whose agents, directors, trustees, managers, or officers authorized, requested, commanded, participated in, or ratified the hazing.”

The way the law is written allows anyone who is accused of perpetrating a hazing incident can be charged with both criminal and civil offenses.

The keywords used in California hazing offenses are “serious bodily injury.” The injuries that were sustained during the hazing ritual or the injuries that could have been sustained are very serious medical issues that include:

  • Concussions
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Disfigurement
  • Life-threatening injuries

Many of the hazing cases that appear in the California court system don’t involve anyone getting hurt. In most cases, there was simply the potential for serious injury or death. The hope is that by pressing charges when an injury was possible, the organization will stop and think before they do anything so dangerous again.

In a hazing case where no one was injured, the issue was treated as a misdemeanor. The maximum sentence for a guilty conviction is up to one year in a county jail and/or a fine of up to $5,000. In some cases, the judge will order misdemeanor probation.

Hazing cases that do involve a person who sustained an injury or died have a much worse consequence. These cases are handled as a wobbler with the exact circumstances of the case determining if the accused is charged with a felony or misdemeanor. If it is handled as a felony, the guilty conviction could result in three years in prison.

The best way to avoid going to jail for a hazing incident is to carefully think through all the things that could go wrong during the prank. If you do and discover that someone can be seriously hurt you need to come up with a safe option.

illegal-jaywalking-in-california

Illegal Jaywalking in California

By | Bail Bonds in Kings County, Bail Bonds in Tulare, Bail Bonds In Visalia

All of us have heard the term jaywalking, but few of us can say exactly what it is. According to the Legal Dictionary, the exact definition of jaywalking is the act of crossing a roadway when it is unlawful to do so. This includes crossing between intersections, as well as crossing at a crosswalk equipped with a signal, without waiting for the proper indication that it is safe to do so.

While jaywalking might not seem like a big deal, you should know that it’s prohibited in California. You can learn more about jaywalking in California by checking out California Vehicle Code 21955 VC, which makes it very clear that jaywalking is illegal in the state.

The law states that you’re not allowed to walk, “between adjacent intersections controlled by traffic control signal devices or by police officers, pedestrians shall not cross the roadway at any place except in a crosswalk.”

Even though jaywalking in California is illegal, the good news is that it’s an infraction, not a misdemeanor or felony. Not only won’t it go on a permanent criminal record that can negatively impact your ability to find housing or secure a job, but it also means you don’t have to worry about going to jail. The jaywalking incident will be no worse than getting pulled over for a minor driving mistake.

The bad news is that there are some substantial fines connected to jaywalking in California. Right off the bat, your jaywalking ticket will cost you $196 but there will also be administrative fees, processing fees, and other charges added to the ticket until it’s a substantial amount.

It is also worth noting that if you’re caught jaywalking, the police officer who witnessed the incident will ruin your record. If you have any bench warrants, they’ll have no choice but to arrest you.

The big concern everyone has regarding jaywalking is that someone could get hurt. If you’re deciding to jaywalk results in an accident, you’ll likely have to defend yourself in a civil case.

reasons-kids-are-left-in-hot-cars

Reasons Kids are Left in Hot Cars

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

It’s that time of year when we are constantly getting bombarded by messages reminding us to not leave kids and pets in hot cars. If you’re one of those people who roll their eyes and question how anyone could forget their child in a hot car you’re not alone. Most people feel the same way, right up to the moment they realize that they left their child in a hot car that is quickly turning into an oven.

According to a CNN report, an average of 38 kids die each year because they were left in a hot car. The majority of these deaths occurred during July.

The best way to make sure you never leave your own child in a hot car is to learn the main reasons this tragic and scary thing happens.

The Normal Routine Shifts

One of the biggest reasons kids are forgotten in hot cars is because something happens to change the parents’ routine. This doesn’t have to be a big change, just a small interruption in their routine such as a shoelace getting untied or getting a phone call. It’s just enough to break the parent’s thought pattern and make them temporarily forget about the child strapped to the back seat car seat.

Kids Get Into the Car

There have been a few instances where the child actually locked themselves into a hot car. This usually happens when the kids are playing and start to explore. They find that the car is unlocked so they crawl inside and engage the child locks. Soon they are overheating but are unable to remember how to get out of the car.

It’s Someone Who Doesn’t Usually Transport Kids

Some kids are left in cars because they’re being transported by someone who rarely drives with children, such as an aunt, grandparent, or neighbor. Usually, this person is doing the child’s parents a favor and simply forgets that they have a child in the vehicle who is unable to get out on their own.

The Parent Is Only Going to be Gone a Second

Some parents feel that since they are only going to be gone for a moment, it’s easier to leave their child in the car rather than bundling the in and out for an errand that’s only going to take a minute. The problem is that the errand sometimes takes longer and the interior of a parked car gets deathly hot extremely quickly.

The Child is Left on Purpose

It doesn’t happen often, but sometimes a parent deliberately leaves their child in a hot car. These incidents usually happen because the parent is upset with the child’s other parent, the parent is suffering from a mental illness, or the parent has decided they don’t like being a parent.

Hot cars are deadly to young kids. There are ways to prevent yourself from accidentally leaving a child in a hot car. Stick reminder notes on your steering wheel. Place your cell phone next to the car seat. Arrange for someone to call you when you’re scheduled to arrive at your destination and remind you about your child. All of these are simple steps you can take to make sure your child doesn’t become a summer car story.’