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What Happens if I Disturb the Peace in California?

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

Disturbing the peace is kind of a blanket term in California. If you’re charged with disturbing the peace, it basically means that you did something to irritate someone. Examples of this can include anything from deciding to mow your lawn in the middle of the night to playing really loud music, getting into a fight, and even using language that someone near you found offensive.

The truth is that the police frequently get calls about disturbing the peace. While they always respond to these calls, they don’t always file charges. An example of a case where they might decide to skip filing charges and simply issue a warning is if a neighbor calls the police and complains that you’re swearing is disturbing their peace. In this situation, the police might ask you to clean up your language or at least swear quietly. They may also ask some questions to see if there’s an underlying and potentially illegal reason why your neighbor is so irritated with you.

On the other hand, if you’re throwing a party and the police have had several complaints about the noise, it’s likely that they will decide to press charges of disturbing the peace.

When you review Penal Code 415 PC, which discusses disturbing the peace in California, you’ll learn that people who are convicted of disturbing the peace are:

“(1) Any person who unlawfully fights in a public place or challenges another person in a public place to fight.
(2) Any person who maliciously and willfully disturbs another person by loud and unreasonable noise.
(3) Any person who uses offensive words in a public place which are inherently likely to provoke an immediate violent reaction.”

If a disturbing the peace case makes it to trial, the main thing the prosecution must prove to secure a conviction is that the defendant willfully disturbed the peace. This is one of the main reasons many police officers issue a warning when they originally responded to a disturbing the peace call. It’s easy for a defendant to say that they didn’t know they were disrupting someone the first time a call is made. It’s harder for them to claim they weren’t willfully doing something that they knew irritated others the second, third, or fourth time the police are called.

The maximum sentence connected to a disturbing the peace conviction is a 90-day jail sentence and/or a $400 fine.

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How to Respond to a Stalking Situation

By | Bail Bond in Fresno, Bail Bonds in Bakersfield, Bail Bonds in Hanford, Bail Bonds in Kings County, Bail Bonds in Tulare, Bail Bonds In Visalia, Carls Bail Bonds, Porterville Bail Bonds

There’s nothing funny about being the victim of a stalking situation. It’s a crime that often quickly escalates and can end in violence. If you suspect you have a stalker, there are a few things you should do right away.

Take the Situation Seriously

Don’t assume that you’re simply feeling a little jumpy or that you’re making mountains out of molehills. One of the reasons so many stalkers are successful is that they do a good job of appearing benign at first. While you probably shouldn’t immediately accuse the neighbor you randomly ran into a few nights in a row of stalking you, it’s okay to feel paranoid and to start taking steps to protect yourself.

Alert Someone to the Situation

The first thing you need to do is let someone know what’s happening. Not only will you feel better after you’ve spoken to someone, but they will also have your back. They are a second set of eyes that can see if someone is lurking each time you go out. The more people who are in on the situation, the less risky it becomes.

Record Everything

If the case goes to court, you’re going to have to prove that you were being stalked and how long the stalking when on. If you tell people about the situation, they can help back up your story, but you should also have a written record of everything that happened. Make sure you keep a record of each correspondence, seemingly random encounter, unwanted gift, and spotting that occurred.

Shake Up Your Routine

Make it hard to keep tabs on you. While you may not be able to change where you work or live, you can take different routes each time you travel. You should also change the times you go out and the locations where you shop.

Contact the Police

If things don’t change or if the stalking seems to be escalating, it’s time to get the police involved. Take your evidence to the police station, present it to the officers, and arrange to have a personal protection order (PPO) filed against the person who has been stalking you.

What steps have you taken to extract yourself from a stalking situation?

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What Happens if You Fail to Stop and Submit to an Inspection

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, Porterville Bail Bonds

In California, commercial drivers are legally required to stop and submit for a vehicle inspection. Failing to do so results in serious repercussions. You could even be sentenced to jail time!

The law that deals with commercial failure to stop and submit to an inspection is California Vehicle Code 42002.1 VC. The code very clearly states that any commercial driver who fails to stop and submit to an inspection is guilty of a crime.

The interesting thing about the law is that it hits commercial drivers who have a criminal history significantly harder than drivers with a clean records. Examples of individuals who will be charged and likely convicted include:

  • Commercial drivers who failed to follow the instruction of a police officer or firefighter
  • Commercial drivers who ignored rules about height, length, width, and perhaps most importantly, the weight of their commercial rigs

The only convictions that will haunt commercial drivers are those that are a direct violation of California Vehicle Code Section 2800 VC. Convictions of other California laws will not incur criminal charges if the driver fails to stop and submit to an inspection.

While commercial drivers who have a prior history of violating California Vehicle Code Section 2800 VC are required to submit for inspections, it’s important to note that it only applies while they are driving a commercial vehicle. If they are in a personal vehicle that’s not used for commercial purposes, they are not exempt from the inspection and can’t be criminally charged.

One of the very interesting things about failing to stop and submit for an inspection is that it’s one of California’s only wobblette crimes. That means that it could be handled as either a traffic infraction or a misdemeanor.

If it’s handled as a misdemeanor and it’s the first time the defendant has been convicted of this particular crime, the maximum sentence is a $50 fine and/or five days in a county jail.

If it’s the second time in a twelve-month period that the driver has been convicted of this crime, the maximum sentence is a $100 fine and/or ten days in jail.

For third and subsequent convictions in a single year, the driver can expect to be fined $500 or sentenced to six months in jail.

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How to Protect Yourself from a Break-In

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, Porterville Bail Bonds

The tragedy of the Idaho murders has caused all of us to question how safe we really are. Suddenly we’re wondering if our locks, doorbell cameras, and security systems will prevent us from a break-in. The good news is that there are some things you can do to make sure you’re safe while you’re at home.

The first thing you need to do is make sure you’re in the habit of locking up your home, both while you’re away and while in residence. This doesn’t just mean bolting the front door. Go through your house and make sure all the doors that lead to the exterior are locked. Next, do the same with your windows. This is also an excellent opportunity to check the quality of your locks. Make sure that they are in good repair and that they actually keep the door and window locked.

Don’t Be Ostentatious

Don’t make your home look like an appealing risk to would-be robbers. This means you shouldn’t leave your expensive toys lying in the driveway. You also shouldn’t brag about all the valuables you have in your home. Living a quiet life and keeping all of your treasures tucked away might not seem like fun, but it will keep you and your personal property safe.

Be Smart with Your Spare Key

The best thing you can do to keep your home safe is to fit your door with a keypad and routinely change the code, but if you still use a key to open your doors, don’t leave a spare key tucked in a flowerpot or under your welcome mat. In fact, don’t leave the key anywhere outside where it could be found by a would-be thief. Keep your key on your person or tucked in a safe place in your car.

Burglar Proof Your Front Yard

Burglars are attracted to homes that provide a great deal of natural coverage or places where they can hide whenever someone drives past. Removing hedges, shrubs, sheds, and trees that are near your home will deter them. You should also set up a few motion-activated spotlights, yes, any passing wildlife will activate the lights, but they will also cause a burglar to look for a different place to rob.

The best way to make sure your home remains safe, especially while you are away, is to be discrete about what you share on social media. Don’t talk about your vacations and other trips until after you’re home. The last thing you want is to broadcast the fact that your home is unprotected.

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A Bail Bond Protects Your Pets

By | Bail Bonds in Kings County

Getting arrested is stressful. Getting arrested and knowing you have a few pets waiting at home for you is considerably worse. What makes getting arrested different from most other times you’re separated from your pets is that this time you didn’t have time to make arrangements in advance to have them cared for.

The police officers who arrested you won’t be interested in caring for your pets. They already have enough on their plate. The best they will likely do is call animal control and have your pets taken to a local animal shelter. The shelter will probably hold them for a few days and then start looking for potential adopters. If your pet is adopted before you’re released from jail, you’ll lose them forever.

Contacting us right away is the best way to prevent this from happening. We’re available 24/7 and will do everything in our power to get you reunited with your pets right away. As long as you’re able to quickly fill out the contract, provide us with either the co-signer or collateral we need, and agree to a zero-interest payment plan, you’ll be surprised by how quickly we post the bail bond and get you out of jail.

If you have pets waiting for you at home, we suggest that the first thing you do is contact someone who can enter your house and make sure they have plenty of food and water. Your next step is calling us. We’re available 24/7 and will get the ball rolling right away. Even if you have to wait until an arraignment before you know how large a bail bond you’ll need, we’ll start the process so that the bail bond is ready to post as soon as your arraignment is over.

The great thing about getting released on bail is that not only does it provide you with the peace of mind that comes with knowing your beloved animals are well cared for, but you’ll also benefit from the emotional support that they provide. If you plan on taking a plea deal or if you suspect you’ll be convicted and have to serve some time, use the time you’re out on bail to find someone who will care for your pets while you’re incarcerated.

We’ve made the process of getting a bail bond as smooth and easy as possible. It all starts with a consultation which is available 24/7.

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Are you Being Gaslighted?

By | Bail Bonds in Kings County

Gaslighting is a phrase we hear more and more of lately. While we’re all becoming familiar with the term and know that it’s not a good thing, many of us still aren’t entirely sure what gaslighting is or how to recognize if we’re a victim of it.

The best way to explain gaslighting is that it’s a form of manipulation. In many cases, the gaslighting starts out as something minor and then turns into something much more serious and sinister until it’s a form of emotional and mental abuse. It is usually started by someone who is in a position of power or someone you’re close to.

The idea behind gaslighting is that it’s a form of manipulation that’s specifically designed to alter your beliefs and even question your own judgment. As time passes, it wears away at your confidence, putting you in a position where you turn to the person responsible for the gaslighting. Gaslighting is often done in the early stages of domestic abuse situations. It is also frequently seen between healthcare workers and patients, employers/co-workers, etc.

If you’re not sure if you’re being subjected to gaslighting, here are some things you should consider: 

  • Does the person you think may be gaslighting you frequently question your version of events?
  • Do they frequently say you either have or haven’t done something until you find yourself questioning your own memory?
  • Frequently accuse you of being over-emotional
  • Often subtly alter facts so that you appear crazy, silly, or are to blame for things that went wrong
  • Fail to even consider the idea that they may be wrong

Recognizing that you’re being gaslit is a good first sign. Once you understand that you’re the victim of manipulation, you can take the steps needed to extract yourself from the situation and start repairing the damage the situation has done to your mental and emotional health.

One of the best things you can do after you’ve been a victim of gaslighting is to turn to close friends and family members. It’s up to you to decide if you want to tell them what you’ve gone through. Some people find the act of telling their experiences cathartic. Others don’t. Whether or not you discuss what happened, you’ll find that simply spending time with people who genuinely love you, who want nothing but the best for you, and who want to build you up and see you become the best possible version of yourself to be just the medicine your self-esteem needs so that it can begin to heal.

Depending on the severity of the gaslighting, some people find that getting professional therapy is massively helpful. Others find that they do best when they cut the person responsible for the gaslighting out of their life. 

How do you handle gaslighting situations?

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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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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.

 

 

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The Benefits of Using a VPN

By | Bail Bonds in Kings County

A VPN is a virtual private network. The purpose of a VPN is to provide you with a layer of privacy and security while you’re using the internet. VPNs first became popular when people started to go to public places, such as coffee houses and hotels to use the internet, but have since become a crucial tool for people who use the internet to earn a living, including Youtubers, bloggers, and podcasts hosts.

When you are using a VPN, your internet connection is encrypted. This means that no one can use the internet to spy on you while you are doing things like checking online bank balances, updating social media accounts, and working from home.

If you’re not already using a VPN when you log into the internet, there are several reasons why now is the time to start doing so.

The biggest challenge people face when they log into a public wi-fi network while not using a VPN is that they make it possible for cybercriminals to essentially eavesdrop while they’re using the internet. This might not seem like a big deal when you’re simply reading the online version of the local newspaper or watching YouTube videos, but if you’re doing things like chatting with friends via a social media link, depositing funds into your savings account, or using a credit card to complete some online shopping, you’re giving the eavesdroppers valuable information about yourself.

Another thing to consider when using a public network without the benefit of a VPN is that you can’t be one hundred percent certain that you’re using the location’s actual wi-fi. It’s not uncommon for cyber criminals to seek out popular public locations and create a mirror of the location’s wi-fi connection. Instead of connecting to the actual free wi-fi spot, you actually connect to the cybercriminal’s account, providing them with free rein to use the connection to not only see your surfing history but to also get a peek inside your computer files and history.

One of the reasons so many professionals who use the internet to make a living, particularly YouTubers and podcasters rely on VPNs is because the VPN helps protect their actual location. They can use the VPN to make it look like they’re in a different country, which makes it harder for stalkers and crazed fans to determine where they’re located and potentially threaten the individual’s safety.

While the primary reason to use a VPN is security, there’s an added advantage. Not only can you use the VPN to hide your location from cyber criminals, but you can also hide your location from location-based services, such as Netflix and Amazon. This is especially useful when you have a subscription service that you wish to get the maximum value. For example, if you use Netflix, you can alter the VPN so that instead of simply getting access to the movies that are available to U.S. subscribers, you can also watch the movies that are available to the U.K. and other parts of the world.

 

 

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California’s Marijuana Laws

By | Bail Bonds in Kings County

In 2016, registered California voters decided that they were in favor of legalized marijuana and voted yes to Proposition 64. A little over a year later, on January 1, 2018, it became legal for adults to enjoy marijuana throughout the state. What some people failed to realize is that even though it was not legal to use cannabis, there were still some rules regarding when and how marijuana could be enjoyed.

To begin, just because a person is legally an adult, it doesn’t mean they are going to be able to use marijuana. The way the state law is currently written is that you can only legally use marijuana in California if you’ve passed your twenty-first birthday. Just like with alcohol and cigarettes, anyone under the age of 21 who is caught with marijuana will face legal repercussions. Minors who are caught with marijuana in California are charged with a misdemeanor. If convicted, they can be fined and ordered to perform community service and be required to participate in a drug counseling program

The next thing to be aware of is that you’re only allowed to have a limited amount of marijuana on you at any given time. The way the law is currently written, you can only have a single ounce of dried marijuana or up to 8 grams of concentrated cannabis at a time in your possession.

While you are allowed to cultivate marijuana plants in your own home, there is a limit. The state has determined the average person doesn’t need more than six plants.

Failing to pay attention to the laws surrounding the amount of marijuana you’re legally allowed to have has costly repercussions.

If the police discover that you aren’t paying attention to California’s marijuana laws and are exceeding the legal limits of recreational marijuana, you will be charged with a misdemeanor. If you’re convicted you could be ordered to spend up to six months in jail and/or pay a $500 fine.

While you are allowed to use marijuana in California, you’re not allowed to profit from it. Unless you’ve gone through the process of obtaining a license from both the state and your local government, you’re not allowed to sell marijuana, not even if you’ve discovered that you grew more than you use.

It’s important to understand that while the state has legalized recreational marijuana for personal use, actually using them involves having the property owner’s consent. That means it is perfectly legal for your employer and/or landowner to tell you that you’re not allowed to use marijuana while you’re on their property.

If you’re using recreational marijuana, remember that state law prohibits its use in public places which include sidewalks and public parks. You also aren’t allowed to have an open container of marijuana when you’re out in public.

If you plan on using recreational marijuana, you should check with your local government and see if they have any additional marijuana restrictions.

 

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Different Types of Pleas in California

By | Bail Bonds in Kings County

Shortly after you’ve been formally arrested and charged with a crime, you’ll have an arraignment. The arraignment is your first opportunity to tell a judge how you plead.

At a California arraignment, there are three different ways you can plea:

  • Guilty
  • Not guilty
  • No-contest

Guilty

A plea of guilty should be self-explanatory. When you tell the judge that you’re guilty, you admit that you committed the crimes for which you’ve been charged and that you’re ready to face the consequences. While everyone has their own reasons for pleading guilty at the arraignment, one of the main reasons they do so is because they’re hoping that by admitting to their guilt right away, they will get a smaller sentence than if the case went to trial

Not Guilty

When you plead not guilty, you’re telling the judge that you’re taking no credit for the crimes you’ve been charged with. When you plead not guilty at the arraignment, the case progresses to the next stage and often ends with a jury trial. Many people plead not guilty because they want an opportunity to negotiate with the prosecution and potentially reach a plea agreement that would result in a lesser charge or less severe sentence.

No-Contest

No-contest pleas are a bit confusing. When you plead no contest, you’re telling the judge that you are willing to accept the consequences of the criminal charge. In California, a no-contest plea is handled the same way as a guilty plea. When you plea no-contest, your case will go directly from the arraignment phase to the sentencing phase.

The main reason people decide to plea no-contest in California is that they are worried about civil lawsuits. While it’s true that the California criminal court views a no-contest plea as a guilty plea, the same isn’t true in civil courts. When you plea no-contest, the plaintiff in a civil case can’t say that you ever openly admitted your guilt.

The way you plea at an arraignment has a long-lasting impact on your life, especially if you’re facing felony charges. Considering how serious the situation is, you should never enter any plea without first consulting with a defense attorney.

 

 

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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.

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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.

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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

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.

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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.

stay-safe-during-wildfire-season

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!

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.