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November 2022

tulare county bail bonds

Who is Liable When You’re Injured in a Slip and Fall Accident

By | Bail Bonds in Tulare

Slip and fall accidents happen. While they are sometimes the result of simple clumsiness on your part, in most cases, a slip-and-fall accident has a specific trigger. Examples of a trigger include a piece of torn carpeting that catches your toe, a piece of ice laying on a linoleum floor, or someone failing to pick up a product that you don’t see and trip over it.

Whenever you are injured in a slip and fall injury, there is always a great deal of debate about who is financially responsible for the incident.

In a perfect world, your health insurance company would handle all the bills connected to the slip and fall incident without any question.

Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world. The reality is that as soon as your insurance company learns that your injury was sustained during a slip and fall incident, they will start trying to pin the blame and the financial responsibility on the property owners.

California has something called duty of care which is designed to provide anyone who is harmed in a slip and fall incident while they are on another person’s property. When it comes to injuries, the duty of care lands squarely on the shoulders of whoever leases, owns, or is in control of the property where the incident took place.

In some cases, the property owner’s insurance may calmly accept that their client was responsible for the incident and will pay out the claim without any hesitation. In other cases, the insurance company may balk, forcing you to create a civil lawsuit and use the law to get the financial compensation you feel you’re entitled to.

When you file a civil lawsuit in a slip-and-fall case, there are a few things you will need to prove before you will win your case. There are four criteria that must be met before the judge will side with you against the plaintiff.

  • You must prove that the plaintiff was in control of the property and therefore legally responsible
  • That the plaintiff was negligent in their care of the property and that you were injured as a direct result of this negligence
  • That your injuries were sustained as a direct result of the slip and fall incident
  • Had it not been for the plaintiff’s negligence, you would not have been injured

Proving that the defendant was negligent isn’t always as easy as you might suspect. You can’t simply file a civil case against them and expect that the court will side with you. The judge is going to want to see some evidence that the defendant has a history of negligence and that they understood that their failure to keep the property safe could result in a slip-and-fall accident.

For example, if you tripped and fell because a stair wasn’t properly repaired and there was no evidence that the property owner had attempted to make the stair safe, you will probably win the case. However, if you tripped over the stair and were hurt because your shoelaces weren’t properly tied, you’ll probably lose your slip and fall case.

Another example would be if a warning sign was put out when a store manager washed the floor. If the signs are out and you ignore them, walk across the wet floor, and are hurt in a fall, you’re liable for the injuries. However, if the store manager failed to put out the wet floor signs, they will be liable for your injuries.

Don’t expect to be able to retire on what you make from your slip-and-fall case. In most situations, you’ll get little more than your medical bills and lost wages in the settlement. The only time large punitive settlements are awarded in slip-and-fall cases is when you’re able to prove that the person in charge of the property was grossly negligent.

 

 

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How to Report a Missing Person

By | Porterville Bail Bonds

There is nothing funny about having a friend or family member fail to be where you expect them to be. The problem becomes even worse when you are unable to contact them via a cell phone call.

Many people who are in this situation mistakenly believe that their loved one must be missing for a full 24 hours before they should contact the police. The truth is that you can contact the authorities and set about filing a missing person report as soon as you suspect that something has gone wrong. If the police tell you that you must wait, they’re wrong. You’re legally allowed to file the missing report right away.

Not only are you legally allowed to file the missing person report right away, but doing so is a good idea. The sooner you report your loved one as missing, the sooner the police can be on the outlook for them. It can even be the thing that prompts the police to do a wellness check which could reveal that your loved one isn’t missing, but simply sitting at home ignoring your calls.

If you’re reporting a minor as missing, the police will start looking for them right away. If you’re reporting someone who isn’t a minor or considered an at-risk person as missing and remains at large for more than 72 hours, the police contact the FBI’s National Crime Information Center (NCIC) and have your loved one officially listed as an endangered adult. This is a crucial step as it gets your loved one’s information into a national database, making it easier for different law enforcement groups to report a sighting or to take an interest in the case.

Don’t assume that just because you’ve reported a loved one as missing that the police will bring your loved one directly to you once they’ve been found. If your loved one is over 21 years old and doesn’t have a history of mental health problems and hasn’t committed a crime, there is little the police can legally do once they’ve been located.

While the police can’t force your loved one to return and they can’t provide you details about where your loved one is currently located, it’s highly likely that they will let you know that you’re loved one is safe and appears to be of sound mind and spirit.

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How to Clear your Criminal Record

By | Bail Bonds in Tulare

Having a criminal record adversely impacts your life. Depending on the severity of the convictions, your criminal record can make it difficult for you to find housing, establish relationships, and secure some jobs. The fact that you’re living in the technological age where anyone with internet access has the ability to locate your criminal history makes your criminal record even more impactful than it would have been twenty or thirty years ago.

The good news is that with some charges in California, it’s possible to clean up your criminal history and have the charges removed from your history, therefore lessening the negative impact your poor choices have on your future.

The first thing you need to understand is that while it’s possible to have some convictions removed from your criminal history, not all types of convictions are removable. The more serious the offenses, the less likely you’ll be able to get them removed. The second thing you should understand is that while you may be able to remove some of the convictions from your record, there will remain a history of the court case and investigation so it’s possible that someone who is interested enough to really dig deep into your history will find a trace of your criminal activity.

Expungement is the term used to describe the act of cleaning up your criminal history in California. While many minor offenses are eligible for expungement, if your sentence included you spending time in one of the state prisons, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to clear your record.

You also must have successfully completed every single aspect of your sentencing before expungement even becomes a possibility. That could include serving time in county jail, performing community service, finishing probation, and making restitution.

Once you’ve completed your entire sentence, you can petition the court about getting the charges expunged from your criminal history. It’s important to note that not everyone who files for expungement will have their request granted. However, if the offenses were minor, there’s nothing to show you’re going to be a habitual offender, and you’ve completed your sentence in a timely manner, it’s likely your request will be granted.

The best thing about having your record expunged is that once the process is complete, future employers and landlords won’t find any criminal history when they perform a background check, making them far more likely to accept you for a position on their team or as a tenant.

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Drunk Driving During Christmas

By | Bail Bonds In Visalia

If you think that the cops are going to be more forgiving about you getting behind the wheel when you’re intoxicated because it’s the Christmas season, you should think again. If anything, history indicates that you’re even more likely to be arrested for drunk driving during the holiday season. In 2020, the California Highway Patrol reported that they had made over three hundred drunk driving arrests on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. When you break down the numbers, that means that someone was getting arrested every five minutes for driving drunk.

There’s a reason the cops are cracking down on drunk driving during the holidays. That reason is that so many people lose their lives in drunk driving incidents during Christmas. In 2021, more than 2 dozen people were killed in California, at Christmas time, in driving-related accidents. Many of these accidents involved a drunk driver and would have been avoided if the driver hadn’t made such a poor decision.

California’s current DUI laws are very clear. They are written in such a way that they include anyone who is driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

The first thing you have to understand about California’s DUI policy is that any officer who feels that the way you’re driving suggests that you’re impaired has the legal right to pull you over and test to see if you really are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. They’re legally allowed to ask for a blood or urine test. If you choose to refuse to submit to these tests, you will be arrested, the tests will somehow be obtained, and you will face even stricter consequences than if you had simply submitted to the tests in the first place.

In California, you can be charged with DUI if you’re 21 or older and are driving with a BAC that’s 0.08% or higher. At the time of your arrest, it’s likely that your vehicle will be impounded, meaning you’ll have to pay impound fees and towing costs before it’s returned to you. If you’re Christmas DUI arrest is the first time you’ve ever been caught driving while under the influence, you could be sentenced to up to 6 months in a county jail, fined between $390 and $1,000, be required to go through a state-sanctioned alcohol counseling program, and lose your driving privileges for up to six months.

Considering how serious the consequences are for driving while under the influence at Christmas time, it really is in your best interest to get a different ride home or make sure you have a designated driver.

Stay safe this holiday season!

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Bringing Gifts to Prison

By | Bail Bonds In Visalia

Just because a loved one has been sent to prison, it doesn’t mean you stop caring for them. When someone has been arrested many people feel that in addition to visits, the best way to let their loved one know that they’re still important is by sending gifts and other surprises. 

While it’s easy to understand why you would want to send gifts to your incarcerated loved one, you should know that it’s not as simple as you may think. Prison security is always a concern, the people running California’s prisons are more concerned than ever before about the possibility of drugs and other contraband being introduced to the prison system. To prevent this from happening, people are not allowed to simply send packages to the prison. 

Packages, which are referred to as quarterly packages, can only come from approved vendors. The prison will not accept any package that has been mailed directly from a friend or family member. While this makes it a little harder for you to send gifts to your loved one, it actually makes things a little easier on the prisoners. Before the California prison system flat-out banned packages that weren’t sent by approved vendors, anytime a prison received a package that contained something they weren’t allowed to have, they had to arrange to have it returned to the sender, on the prisoner’s dime.

Don’t assume that just because packages all have to come from approved vendors that it doesn’t mean you aren’t able to send anything. It simply means you have to go through the vendor. The bad news is that the list of approved vendors isn’t very long, and it doesn’t look like Amazon is on it. The 2022 list of approved prison vendors includes:

  • Access Securepak
  • 1 Stop Value Pack
  • Aramark iCare
  • Mike’s Better Shoes
  • The Vitamin Outlet
  • Union Supply Direct
  • Walkenhorst’s
  •  JPAY

For more information about what you can and can’t send your loved one while they’re incarcerated, you’ll have to speak directly to the prison.

 

 

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What to Do If You’ve Been Accused of an Internet Crime

By | Bail Bonds in Kings County

In 2018, the Cyber Security Breaches Survey revealed the shocking news that approximately 43% of all businesses fell for some sort of internet crime. The costs associated with these crimes really added up. It’s estimated that in California alone, businesses collectively lost more than $214 million to internet crimes.

And businesses aren’t the only ones who fall victim to internet crimes. Every single day, there are multiple reports of people who lost thousands as a result of some internet crime.

We get so wrapped up in how victims handle internet crimes that we forget there is someone on the other side of the crime. Even worse, there are routine people who are wrongfully accused of perpetuating an internet crime.

The first thing you should do when you’re accused of committing an internet crime is to follow police instructions. If you’re getting arrested, don’t try to resist. Resisting arrest not only makes you appear guilty, but it can also result in even more charges. When you’re told you’re being arrested for an internet crime, stay calm, cool, and collected.

Don’t say anything to anyone about the alleged internet crimes unless your criminal defense attorney is with you. In addition to making sure both your civil and legal rights are being upheld, your lawyer will stop you from inadvertently saying or doing something that could get you into even more trouble or that could be used to mount an even stronger case against you.

If you’ve been falsely accused of committing an internet crime, don’t fall for the temptation of accepting a plea deal because you’re tired of all the legal drama or have gotten scared because of what the police and the prosecuting attorney are telling you. As soon as you accept a plea deal, you will have a criminal record that will haunt you for the rest of your life. Trust your lawyer to get the charges dropped.

If you have committed an internet crime and are convicted, you should know that the details surrounding your case determine whether you’re convicted of a felony or misdemeanor. If you’re convicted of felony internet crimes, you could be fined up to $10,000 and sentenced to spend up to 20 years in prison. If you’re convicted of misdemeanor internet crimes you’ll only face a fine of about $1,000 (plus court costs.)

In many misdemeanor cases, the judge opts for probation instead of actual jail time, especially if this is the first time you’ve been in trouble with the law.

 

 

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What Happens If Your Car Fails a California Inspection

By | Bail Bonds in Tulare

You aren’t allowed to own and operate any old junker on California’s public roads. The state fully expects you to keep your car in good repair and to make sure it’s not releasing any more air pollution than necessary. California can enforce this code by insisting that all registered vehicles routinely go through a vehicle safety inspection. The hope is that by making sure all vehicles pass the basic inspection, there will be fewer break-downs, fewer accidents, and less air pollution than there would be if drivers were allowed to drive anything they wanted

When you’re driving a newer vehicle, these inspections aren’t anything to worry about, but as your vehicle ages, you’ll find yourself worrying about what will happen if it fails the inspection.

The first thing to remember is that the California vehicle inspection isn’t an intense, bumper-to-bumper examination where the inspector makes note of every little potential issue your vehicle has. They are only looking at basic things that include:

  • Obvious leaks
  • Carbon emissions
  • Fluid levels
  • Mechanical integrity

One of the main reasons vehicles fails the inspection is because they no longer meet the state’s requirements regarding carbon emissions. If the vehicle’s sensors aren’t working or there is some problem with the exhaust system, the inspector will alert you to the issue. They won’t fix it. At this point, it’s up to you to get your vehicle to a good mechanic so they can address the problem and get your car street-legal again.

If you’re worried about your vehicle failing the carbon emissions portion of the inspection, you can take it to your favorite mechanic and have them test the vehicle and repair any issues before the inspection.

The good news is that if your older vehicle fails the carbon emissions test or if the inspector notices anything else that causes your car to fail the inspection, you don’t have to get rid of your car or park it in the garage until it’s fixed. The DMV gives you a full 90-days to correct the problem. As long as you get the issue dealt with and the vehicle passes its next inspection, you’ll have no trouble renewing your vehicle’s registration.

If the problem isn’t corrected in 90-days, the state doesn’t take your vehicle away, but they will refuse to register it, meaning it can’t be legally driven again until it receives a passing inspection.

What steps do you take to make sure your vehicle is inspection ready?

 

 

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4 Facebook Scams You Should Know About

By | Bail Bonds in Kings County

Most of us spend a surprising amount of time on Facebook. We love posting about the exciting things taking place in our lives, we enjoy looking at the photos loved ones share, and we often treat it like an interesting party line that provides a legal way to spy on the lives of others. We seldom stop and think about how dangerous Facebook can be, even though we routinely hear about friends whose accounts have been hacked or who have encountered a Facebook scam.

While you don’t have to completely stop using Facebook, you’ll get more out of the social media giant if you are aware of the most popular Facebook scams and know how to identify and avoid them.

Phishing

Phishing on Facebook is just like other forms of internet phishing, it just takes place on Facebook. The way it works is someone creates a fictitious Facebook account that suggests they offer a service or own a business. When you express interest in the business/service, the mastermind behind the account steals your information, including your Facebook password, and uses it for personal gain.

The best way to spot a Facebook phishing scheme is by looking at the website you are directed to. If the URL has anything other than facebook.com on it, it’s a scam and you need to exit it and clear your browsing history right away.

Counterfeit Products Promoted on Facebook Marketplace

The Facebook marketplace has become a popular place for people who have cheap products to make a quick buck by promoting them as if the product was name brand or high quality. The best way to avoid falling into this trap is to study the pictures closely and read the seller’s reviews. If the product looks suspicious or there are many bad reviews, move away from that seller and look for something else to purchase.

Bogus Job Scams

Even though Facebook isn’t the first place most people look when they’re hunting for a new job, there are some legit job opportunities posted on social media sites. The problem is that there are also some surprisingly convincing bogus job scams available on Facebook. 

The purpose of the bogus job scams is the same as other scams, the person behind the scam wants to extract specific information from you that they can use for their own gain. The best way to protect yourself from a bogus job scam found on Facebook is to never give away any personal information, change your password each time you message the person responsible for the job listing, and carefully research the company that allegedly posted the job. 

The Scam Involving Gift Cards

The general rule of thumb is that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. That’s certainly the case with many of the gift card offers floating around Facebook. One of the reasons so many people are conned by fake gift card scams is that the person behind the scam hacks an account and makes it appear like the offer is coming from a loved one. And the wording is both persuasive and authentic.

The scam is twofold. Since you’re asked to click a link and provide information about yourself, the person behind the scam collects information from you that they can use to help steal your identity. They also ask you to share the post, making it possible for them to connect with your Facebook friends so they can run the gift card scam on other people.

The best way to avoid being scammed by a Facebook scam is to limit your social media actions to dealing with people you know well and always confirm their identity before clicking on any links or secondary accounts.