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July 2022

what-to-know-about-identity-theft-in-california

What To Know About Identity Theft In California

By | Bail Bonds in Kings County

Identity theft is a serious problem that shows no signs of going away.

The FTC reported that identity theft increased by a staggering 45% in 2020. Javelin Strategy announced that in 2021, identity theft was responsible for the loss of approximately 56 billion dollars in the United States.

With so many Californians feeling the impact of identity theft, it’s important to know exactly what steps you should take when you discover that your identity has been compromised. It’s often possible to get justice, but you have to act swiftly and go through the proper channels.

How to Know if Your Identity is Compromised

The key to recovering from identity theft is immediately recognizing that your identity has been compromised. The sooner you realize that something is wrong, the faster you can act, and the smaller the financial fallout will be.

Don’t make the mistake of assuming that as long as there aren’t any unexplained charges to your credit card or mysterious bank withdrawals your identity is secure. Good identity theft artists have some extremely subtle ways of taking your identity. If you’re not vigilant, it’s easy to miss these early warning signs.

Get into the habit of going through all of your bank and credit card statements with a fine-toothed comb. Keep all of your receipts and do line-by-line comparisons each time you get a statement. Question every single discrepancy. If possible, set up your accounts so that you get an alert each time your credit and debit cards are used. The instant alerts make it easy to know if you’re the one who used the card to purchase a pack of gum at the grocery store or if it was a purchase made by someone who was slowly starting to take over your identity.

What to do When Your Identity is Compromised

You need to act as soon as you see suspicious activity that looks like it could be identity theft. The sooner you act, the more you’ll minimize the damage.

Start by tracking all the information that makes you suspect you’ve been compromised. You’ll take this information to both your financial institutions who will make sure your accounts are protected so the thief can no longer access them.

The next step is taking your information to the local police. Insist on filing an official police report. Whether the police are able to launch an investigation will often depend on how much information you’re able to provide, how badly your identity was compromised, and a few other issues. The biggest advantage to filing the report is that it protects you from financial repercussions if you have to work with creditors and explain missing payments and unexpected charges. The other advantage to the police report is that it helps the prosecutor build a stronger case against the identity thief if they are caught.

is-skipping-school-a-crime-in-california

Is Skipping School A Crime In California?

By | Carls Bail Bonds

As a parent, you constantly worry about whether you’re raising your child in a way that will enable them to be an independent, self-sufficient, responsible adult. You know that a big part of this process sometimes involves stepping back and letting them do their own things, especially once they become teenagers. It’s likely you understand that part of this means accepting that they will sometimes do things you won’t approve of, including occasionally skipping school.

The problem is that it has recently come to your attention that there are some things your teenage child can do that result in you getting in as much trouble as your child. This new knowledge has you wondering if skipping school is a crime and if it is, can the police come after you?

The way California law is currently set up, all children who are between the ages of six and eighteen are expected to attend public school, private school, or be home-schooled by their parents. Some exceptions are made for children who have severe special needs which make it impossible for them to receive an education.

The failure to attend school or regularly skipping school is a crime in California. It is also a crime that will significantly impact the parents of the truant child.

Just how many absences does it take before your child is considered a truant? Far fewer than you likely think. At this point, the way the law is written, if your child has three or more absences that exceed a period of thirty minutes, they can be considered truant. Your child will become what is considered chronically tardy if they miss five or more days of school.

The good news is that it’s unlikely the cops will knock on your door after your child has been late for school for the third time this year. Even if they skipped an entire day’s worth of school three times, it’s unlikely that you, the parent will face any consequences, though your child will likely get into trouble and have to scurry to make up for the work they missed.

If your child continues to skip school and you are unable to provide an extremely good explanation for their absences (such as severe health problems that are being treated by a doctor and make it impossible for your child to attend school) you will find yourself facing legal consequences. The law usually gets involved when your child misses about 10% of the school year.

The legal consequences parents face when their child routinely skips school are quite severe. The judge will want to take a long look at why your child is skipping school and what steps you’ve taken to discourage the practice. If the court finds that you failed to do everything in your power to encourage your child to attend school, you’ll be fined $500.

The situation goes from bad to worse if it’s determined that not only did you fail to compel your child to attend school but that you actually contributed to their delinquency. In this situation, you could be fined up to $2,000 and/or be sentenced to a full year in jail. In cases that involved children between the grades of kindergarten and eighth grade, the fine can be as large as $2,500.

what-is-california-proposition-57

What is California Proposition 57

By | Bail Bonds in Kings County

Traditionally, whenever a law/Proposition is proposed that involves crime, it’s a move to actually create stricter laws/penalties. This is especially true when it comes to violent crimes and repeat offenders. In many cases, when you research the reasoning behind the proposal, you’ll discover that crime rates have been steadily increasing and the voting population is starting to feel insecure and has been applying pressure to the officials they voted into office.

Proposition 57 breaks the mold. Proposition 57 is a result of people looking at the current state of California’s criminal justice system and questioning if using longer forms of incarceration is really the best way to encourage a person to change their ways. Many California residents have also started wondering if maybe there isn’t a better way to spend the millions of tax dollars that are currently used to house/feed/clothe criminals. Many wonders if spending that money on rehabilitation/education programs might not be a better solution.

While many lawmakers were skeptical about the future of Proposition 57, after all, who ever heard of the voting public liking laws that were viewed as being soft on crime, in November 2016, California voters passed the proposition.

The interesting thing about Proposition 57 is that it placed the issue of rehabilitation squarely in the hands of convicted criminals. What the proposition did was created an incentive program for inmates that allowed them to be responsible for their own rehabilitation while also increasing the odds of them being granted parole.

Proposition 57 created a credit program. Inmates who were well-behaved and who also took part in an in-prison rehabilitation/education program received a credit. The different credits created by Proposition 57 include:

  • Good Conduct Credits
  • Educational Merit Credits
  • Milestone Completion Credits
  • Rehabilitative Achievement Credits

The great thing about these credits is that anyone who has been convicted of a non-violent crime has the opportunity to really prove that they are not considered a violent risk to the community and should be considered for parole. The parole board looks at the credits an inmate has earned and their criminal history and is more inclined to grant them early release.

Recently the California Supreme Court heard a case that prompted them to rule that Proposition 57 did not apply to incarcerated criminals who have a history of violent crimes. “In reaching this conclusion, we find the constitutional text (of the ballot initiative) is ambiguous,” Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye wrote on behalf of the court. The ruling made it impossible for inmates who were serving sentences for a combination of violent and nonviolent crimes to use the credit program to qualify for early parole.

lindsay bail bonds

The Difference Between Bench Warrants and Arrest Warrants

By | Bail Bonds in Tulare

Many people don’t realize that bench warrants and arrest warrants are two different things. While both have the same end result, you get arrested, they’re handled in two very different ways.

What is an Arrest Warrant

Before an arrest warrant can be issued, a judge has to sign off on the document. This happens when a new crime has taken place and the police present the judge with enough evidence that you could have been involved. The arrest warrant doesn’t mean that you’re guilty, it simply means that a judge agrees that the police have a legal right to require you to speak to them about the case.

Something that some people don’t realize is if you’re arrested without an arrest warrant that summarizes the crime you’re suspected of or if there is insufficient probable cause to justify the arrest warrant. One of the things a good defense attorney looks at is the probable cause connected to the search warrant. If there wasn’t sufficient evidence, it’s possible they’ll be able to get the arrest warrant dismissed so you can go home.

What is a Bench Warrant?

A bench warrant is another warrant that gives law enforcement the right to arrest you but it’s not the same thing as an arrest warrant. Bench warrants are issued when you do something like fail to appear in court. Most police officers don’t actively go after people who have a bench warrant sworn out against them. A vast majority of people who have bench warrants issued for them are caught during traffic violations.

It’s not a bad idea to contact a criminal defense lawyer and ask for their help with the bench warrant. It’s likely that they will guide you through the process of contacting the court house and rescheduling.

If you suspect that a bench warrant has been issued for you, it’s in your best interest to be proactive about the situation. Rather than spending all of your time looking over your shoulder or stressing that each time you go a few miles over the speed limit you’ll be arrested, you should resolve yourself to settle the matter once and for all.

When dealing with an outstanding warrant, you seek out the services of a good defense attorney. Not only will they be able to confirm if there an outstanding warrant has been issued for you, but they will also help you through the initial booking process, help you decide how to handle bail, and guide you through the hearing.

You won’t believe how much better you feel once you’ve resolved all the legal issues surrounding an outstanding warrant and are able to resume your life without having to worry about being arrested.

the-consequences-of-vandalism-in-california

The Consequences of Vandalism in California

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

Vandalism is a crime that’s often connected to some sort of strong emotion. An angry neighbor slashes a set of tires. An angry lover spray paints a crude message on an ex’s door. A disgruntled employee throws eggs at their boss’s vehicle.

California lawmakers define vandalism as deliberately and maliciously damaging, destroying, or defacing property that belongs to another. The legalities of vandalism in California are addressed in California Penal Code 594 PC. It states:

    “(a) Every person who maliciously commits any of the following acts with respect to any real or personal property not his or her own, in cases other than those specified by state law, is guilty of vandalism:

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what-is-considered-prowling-in-california

What is Considered Prowling in California

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, Los Angeles Bail Bonds

If you’re caught wandering around a private property there’s a good chance that in addition to trespassing charges, you’ll also be charged with prowling.

Prowling is dealt with in California’s Penal Code 647i PC. It defines a prowler as a person, “who, while loitering, prowling, or wandering upon the private property of another, at any time, peeks in the door or window of any inhabited building or structure, without visible or lawful business with the owner or occupant.”

Prowling in California is handled as a misdemeanor. If you’re convicted, the maximum sentence is up to six months in a county jail and/or a $1,000 fine. In many cases, prowling is added to other charges which can include stalking, trespassing, violating a personal protection order, and harassment. The additional charges will likely influence the final sentence.

There have been cases where a person was charged with prowling but the charge was ultimately dropped. This frequently happens when the defendant can prove that:

  • They had permission to be on the property
  • They didn’t know it was private property
  • They had a justified reason for being on the property
  • They were falsely accused

The best way to make sure you’re not falsely accused of prowling in California is by documenting every time you’ve been permitted to be on the property. Showing the arresting officers why you were looking around the property (such as you were looking for a lost pet,) and making sure you contact the property owner for permission. If you thought you were on public land only to be accused of prowling on private property, use evidence such as maps to illustrate how such a mistake is understandable.

dui-conviction-following-a-suspended-license

DUI Conviction Following a Suspended License

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

One of the consequences of a California DUI conviction is that you’ll lose your driving privileges. The county courthouse where you were convicted usually doesn’t waste any time when it comes to contacting the DMV and letting them know that your license has been suspended.

For many of us, the loss of our driver’s license is about more than simply a loss of independence. In many cases, especially for those who live in rural areas, it means you can no longer earn an income.

In a perfect world, you would be able to use public transportation in order to get back and forth to your job while you wait for your California driver’s license to be reinstated following your DUI conviction. While this plan works in the larger cities that have buses, in rural areas, public transportation isn’t available and many live too far from the workplace to easily walk to work.

Too often, individuals who have a suspended driver’s license because of a DUI conviction decide to ignore the fact that they’re not legally allowed to drive and continue driving themselves to work and to other places. While this seems like it may not be a bad idea, everything changes when you’re caught driving on a suspended license following a DUI conviction.

Many people assume that driving on a suspended license is a simple traffic violation. They assume that if they’re caught, they’ll get a ticket and have to pay a fine. That’s not the case at all. The truth is that driving on a suspended license in California is a misdemeanor, meaning that if you’re caught and convicted, you’ll have another criminal charge on your record. If you’re convicted, the judge could sentence you to spend anywhere from 10 days to six months in a county jail and order you to pay a fine that’s as large as $1,000.

That’s for the first time you’re convicted for driving with a suspended license following a DUI conviction. The second time you’re caught driving with a suspended license, the potential consequences include a fine as large as $2,000 and up to a full year in a county jail.

If your license has been suspended, it’s in your best interest to convince someone for a lift or to appeal to the court about the possibility of restricted driving privileges which would at least allow you to drive yourself to and from work.

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Stay Safe During Wildfire Season

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

No one who lives in California is ignorant of wildfires and the havoc they wreak. No matter what part of the state you live in, you should know how to take care of yourself if a wildfire is in your area.

Have an evacuation plan in mind. Wildfires move fast and can change suddenly. Don’t wait until you receive evacuation orders to get things in order. As soon as you know that there is even the slightest chance that a wildfire could pass near you, create an evacuation plan. This plan should map out the best way to leave your neighborhood, already having overnight bags stowed in your vehicle, filling up the car’s gas tank, and having everything needed to move pets at the ready.

Rather than calling the fire department every few minutes, listen to reports on the radio/news program as they come in. When there’s a wildfire in your area, you should always pay attention to official reports. These reports will let you know if there’s a chance that wildfire will come closer and even more importantly, let you know if you need to immediately evacuate.

Charge your phones and make sure you have plenty of working batteries on hand. There is a good chance the power will be turned off so you’ll want to be prepared in advance.

Once you have your own situation in order, connect with family, friends, and neighbors and find out how they are doing. An approaching wildfire is one of those times when everyone needs to pull together and lend a helping hand. Make sure everyone has the ability to evacuate and enough supplies to get them through if they have to stay home while the power is out. If they don’t try to help them find what they need. Offering just a little assistance during this time is the best way to make sure everyone survives.

Once everything is taken care of in your community, reach out to relatives and friends who live in another area. The odds are good that they already know about the wildfire and are concerned about your welfare. Touching base, even if it’s only through a social media post will give them some peace of mind.

Stay safe this wildfire season!