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Driving Without Auto Insurance in California

By | Bail Bonds In Visalia, Carls Bail Bonds

It’s expected that if you’re going to own and operate a vehicle in California, it’s properly insured. The amount of insurance you have that covers your own car is usually left up to you, but the state requires that you at least carry limited liability insurance so anyone else who is involved in the accident is protected.

The issue of car insurance in California is addressed in Vehicle Code Section 16029.

One of the interesting things about California is that while most drivers have auto insurance, other forms of financial responsibility that are legally acceptable while operating a vehicle in California include:

  • A self-insurance certificate that’s issued by the DMV
  • A surety bond for $35,000
  • Proof of a cash deposit with the DMV of $35,000

If you’re pulled over and can’t present the traffic officer with one of these things, you are driving without insurance.

The first time you’re caught driving without insurance, you’ll receive a citation and have to pay a $100 fine. Additional fees connected to the citation mean your out-of-pocket expenses will be $450, and that’s just for not having insurance. It’s likely that whatever prompted the officer to pull you over, such as running a stop sign or speeding, will also result in a second costly infraction.

The second time you’re caught driving without insurance, the infraction increase to $200-$500, and in some cases, the additional total fees and penalty assessments can add up to as much as $2,500.

The ticket and massive penalties probably won’t be your only problem. Since an uninsured vehicle can’t operate in California, it’s highly likely that the police will have your car impounded. The only way you’ll get it back is if you pay the towing bill and impound fees. Unless you’re planning on having the vehicle towed back to your house, the impound lot will request to see your proof of insurance before the release of your vehicle.

Getting a ticket for not having auto insurance when you’re pulled over is bad, but it’s nothing compared to what happens if you’re in a car accident when you don’t have insurance. Not only will you be issued an expensive ticket, but it’s also highly likely that you’ll be named the defendant of a civil suit. Since you didn’t have any insurance at the time of the accident, if you lose the civil case, you’ll be responsible for paying the entire settlement.

Yes, car insurance is expensive and it can be hard to fit into the monthly budget, but considering the possible consequences, it’s something you should have if you’re driving.

 

 

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The California Privacy Rights Act is Coming

By | Bail Bonds In Visalia, Carls Bail Bonds

On January 1, 2023, the California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA) becomes fully effective. This could change things for some California businesses. 

The CPRA was originally passed by popular vote in 2021. More than 56% of the voters who took part in the November election were in favor of the new law. Concerns about privacy, identity theft, and the exploitation of personal data led to the creation of the project. The way the law stands, once it goes into effect, it will serve as a continuation of the California Consumer Privacy Act.

What the CPRA does is:

  • Create some new definitions of privacy and what is considered private information
  • Expand upon consumer rights

Creating the California Privacy Protection Agency (CPPA)

The biggest change connected to the CPRA is the CPPA. This is an agency that exists solely for the purpose of making sure that businesses are honoring the letter of the law when it comes to the rights of California’s citizens.

Once the CPRA goes into effect, California residents will be able to:

Request the correction of any inaccurate information which businesses are required to change the inaccurate information whenever commercially possible

  • To make sure the collected information is minimized as much as commercially possible
  • Be notified whenever a business has a plan to use sensitive personal information 
  • Request that the business refrain from sharing the sensitive personal information

In addition to providing California residents with some new rights, the CPRA also expanded on some of the rights created by the CPRA, rights that some residents didn’t know they were entitled to.

The expanded rights include:

  • Opt out of having their personal information shared with a third party
  • The ability to pursue a civil case against any business that shares extremely sensitive information, particularly passwords and account numbers
  • The right to see exactly what personal information the business is sharing

When the CPRA goes into effect, it will impact businesses that:

  • Have a gross annual revenue that exceeds $25 million
  • Handles the private information of at least 100,000 California residents
  • Uses the sale of private information for at least 50% of the annual revenue

It will be interesting to see if additional steps will be taken that will make it even harder for California businesses to buy and sell personal information.

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Dangers of Parental Kidnapping In California

By | Bail Bonds In Visalia, Carls Bail Bonds

Most people worry about the possibility of their child being kidnapped from the park or shopping mall. While these things do happen, most kidnapping cases don’t involve strangers but are actually parental kidnappings. According to Safe, at Last, more than 90% of all reported kidnappings are the result of parental kidnapping.

The U.S. Department of Justice states, “Parental kidnapping” occurs when a non-custodial parent takes possession of his/her child in order to prevent the custodial parent from having any contact with the child.”

One of the scary things about parental kidnappings is that while it seems like it’s preferable to a child being taken by a stranger, there are often long-lasting side effects. We’re only just starting to understand that the children who are abducted by their parents often experience psychological and emotional trauma. The Justice Department states that victims of parental kidnappings experience:

  • Poor nutrition
  • Neglect
  • A lack of consistent schooling
  • Unstable lifestyle

One of the mistakes many parents make is assuming that because they are the child’s parents, they won’t be charged with kidnapping. That’s not the case at all. If you’re a non-custodial parent and take your child without permission, you can be charged with kidnapping in California.

In California, kidnapping, including parental kidnapping is defined in Penal Code 207 PC.

According to California law, you can be charged with kidnapping when you, “forcibly, or by any other means of instilling fear, steals or takes, or holds, detains, or arrests any person in this state, and carries the person into another country, state, or county, or into another part of the same county.”

Whether you’re a parent, a family friend, or a stranger to the child, all kidnapping charges are felonies. If you’re convicted you can be sentenced to as long as 8 years in prison. If the victim is a child or is an adult who is injured/killed during the kidnapping, you can be sentenced to life in prison.

In addition to straight kidnapping, you can also be charged with aggravated kidnapping in California. Kidnapping is upgraded to aggravated kidnapping if force, fear, or fraud is used to move a child who is less than 14 years old. Other things that can trigger aggravated kidnapping charges include:

  • Demanding a ransom
  • If the victim is grievously injured
  • If the kidnapping was part of a carjacking

There are instances where a parental kidnapping turned out to be a breakdown in communication. The best way to make sure that doesn’t happen is by communicating clearly with the other parent, writing down any dates involved when you’ll have the child that isn’t part of the original custody agreement, and double-checking everything.

 

 

 

How to Report a Crime in California

By | Bail Bonds In Visalia, Carls Bail Bonds

You’ve seen a crime happen. Now you’re in a bind. Are you legally required to report the crime? Who should you report the crime to? How do you even go about reporting a crime? How long do you have to report the crime? It’s amazing how much stress simply being an innocent bystander can cause.

Are You Legally Required to Report a Crime?

The answer to whether you’re legally required to report a crime is both yes and no.

In most cases, the State of California is happy to let you decide whether you should report the crime. Failure to do so probably won’t get you into legal trouble but there are some exceptions.

The exceptions include:

  • Rape
  • Child Abuse
  • Murder

In the case of severe crimes that the state feels you’re legally required to report, failure to do so will result in you being charged with aiding and abetting.

Who Do You Report a Crime To?

When you know about a crime and want to report it, you need to contact your local police station. You can do this in person or via a phone call. People at the police station will provide you with additional information that includes the exact officer you should speak to, what type of details they need to know, and if they’ll have follow-up questions.

In the case of extremely serious crimes, crimes that require immediate medical attention, or crimes that are in progress, you should call 911.

How to Report a Crime

The best way to report a crime is by staying calm, cool, and collected. While reporting the crime stick to just the details, and resist the urge to start sharing your opinions and thoughts about the situation. At this stage, plain facts are the only thing the police require.

Pay attention to the questions the person you’re speaking asks and answer them honestly. If you don’t know the answer, make that clear.

How Long Should You Wait to Report a Crime

The general rule of thumb is that you should report a crime as quickly as possible. Not only does this alert the authorities and allow them to take immediate and appropriate action, but it also allows you to share the details of the case while your memory is still sharp. Waiting even a few hours can drastically impact your ability to recall exactly what you saw and experienced.

Have you ever been in a position where you had to report a crime? How did you handle the situation?

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Rules to Follow When Hosting a Yard/Garage Sale

By | Bail Bonds In Visalia, Carls Bail Bonds

Yard sales and garage sales are kind of awesome. Not only do they provide you with an opportunity to clear out some of the stuff that has been cluttering up your house, but you can even make money doing so! Another perk is that they can turn into a type of community event that allows you to meet neighbors and other members of the community that you don’t usually cross paths with.

As you’re gathering up the things you plan on selling at your next yard sale, be aware that there are some rules and ordinances you have to follow before you can start making money.

Parking

If your driveway isn’t large enough to accommodate all the traffic you hope to attract during your yard sale, take a look at the street. Is street parking allowed or will you have to send people to another location to park and then have them walk back to your property? The last thing you need is for the vehicles of your yard sale customers to be towed while they’re shopping.

What Local Ordinances do You Have to Follow

Check with your local governing body and find out what specific ordinances they have in place that pertain to yard sales. Common rules include:

  • The size and location of promotional signs
  • The hours your yard/garage sale can operate
  • Which days of the week yard sales can take place
  • Locations where yard/garage sales can take place

Pay Attention to Earnings

You don’t want your yard sale to result in you getting in trouble with the IRS so you need to pay attention to your earnings. Few know that they are supposed to report the profit from any item that is sold for more than what you purchased it for.

Are you planning an upcoming yard/garage sale? How are you managing it?

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3 Common Social Media Crimes

By | Bail Bonds In Visalia, Carls Bail Bonds

Most of us love social media sites. They provide us with an easy way to stay in touch with loved ones, the ability to let people know what we’re up to and to simply check in with someone.

What many of us don’t think about is how individuals with criminal intentions can use social media against us.

If you love your social media platforms, there are some common social media crimes you should know about. Once you’re aware of these crimes and cons, you can take steps to monitor your account and protect yourself.

Hacking

Hacking is a huge problem, particularly with Facebook. Every single day, there are stories about someone’s account either being hacked or someone creating a mirror account and using their newly gained access to gain access to another person’s computer files, contacts, and personal information.

In many cases, these hacking cases eventually turn into identity theft situations which is why it’s important to quickly change passwords and contact the social media platform’s administrators as soon as the hacking attempt is discovered.

Stalking and Bullying

Everything good has a downside. The praise, encouragement, and general good vibes you receive when you share the good news on social media sites are balanced by the stalking and bullying that is found all over social media. The bullying is bad. It can quickly eat at the victim’s self-confidence. There have even been cases of social media bullying leading to serious consequences.

Alongside the bullying is stalking. While this is mostly only discussed when someone is talking about a public profile, it can be a problem for anyone who uses social media sites. Not only can a stalker follow us virtually, but when we post personal information, including pictures of our homes/cars/vacation spots, we create a situation where a stalker could also start following us in real-time. This is why it’s so important to be very conscious about how much personal information you post on social media sites and to carefully go over every picture and make sure there isn’t anything a stalker could use to pinpoint your location.

Vacation Robberies

Vacation robberies have been around forever, the original Home Alone plot was based around a vacation robbery, but they used to require the thieves to pay attention to a specific neighborhood and learn the signs that someone was out of town. Today, thieves who participate in vacation robberies simply have to pay attention to social media and see who is talking about vacation while they are out of town.

The best way to avoid being a victim of a vacation robbery is to resist the urge to post vacation photos on your social media sites until you’re home. When posting, be very clear that you’re home and that your home isn’t ripe for a robbery.

What steps do you take to avoid common social media crimes?

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Unlawful Use of a Driver’s License

By | Bail Bonds In Visalia, Carls Bail Bonds

Your driver’s license may seem like a small, inexpensive laminated card that proves to the world that you’re legally allowed to operate a vehicle in California. What you might not realize is that there are ways you can use your driver’s license that violate California’s laws.

Examples of unlawfully using a driver’s license in California include:

  • Allowing someone else to use your driver’s license
  • Have a driver’s license that is canceled, expired, or revoked
  • Shows a license that belongs to someone else
  • Has a duplicate driver’s license
  • Alters a driver’s license

When you’re using a driver’s license in a way California lawmakers don’t agree with you’re violating Vehicle Code 14610 VC. While most of these examples might seem like relatively minor issues to you, if you’re caught violating Vehicle Code 14610 VC you’ll quickly learn that the small acts have big consequences.

Vehicle Code 14610 VC states:

“(a) It is unlawful for any person:
(1) To display or cause or permit to be displayed or have in his possession any canceled, revoked, suspended, fictitious, fraudulently altered, or fraudulently obtained driver’s license.
(2) To lend his driver’s license to any other person or knowingly permit the use thereof by another.
(3) To display or represent any driver’s license not issued to him as being his license.
(4) To fail or refuse to surrender to the department upon its lawful demand any driver’s license which has been suspended, revoked, or canceled.
(5) To permit any unlawful use of a driver’s license issued to him.
(6) To do any act forbidden or fail to perform any act required by this division.
(7) To photograph, photostat, duplicate, or in any way reproduce any driver’s license or facsimile thereof in such a manner that it could be mistaken for a valid license, or to display or have in his possession any such photograph, photostat, duplicate, reproduction, or facsimile unless authorized by the provisions of this code.
(8) To alter any driver’s license in any manner not authorized by this code.
(b) For purposes of this section, “driver’s license” includes a temporary permit to operate a motor vehicle.”

Don’t assume that the unlawful use of a driver’s license in California will result in a ticket and a fine. This is far more serious than that.

Unlawfully using a driver’s license in California is a misdemeanor. If you’re convicted, you’ll leave the situation with a criminal record. The maximum sentence for this type of crime is up to six months in a county jail and/or a $1,000 fine.

It’s not uncommon for a judge to look at a first-time offender’s case and sentence them to misdemeanor probation.

The best way to avoid the serious consequences of improperly using a driver’s license in California is always make sure your driver’s license is valid and that you only carry your current license with you.

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California’s Car Seat Laws

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

Every parent who has an infant knows that they’re supposed to have a car seat installed in their vehicle. They even know that it’s state law. What some parents don’t know is how important the car seat is and the consequences of having a car seat that doesn’t meet current safety standards, that isn’t properly installed, or that isn’t properly fitted to their child.

According to Car Buyers Guide, “in a recent study, the RSA inspected 5000 child seat installations from the public and found that over 4000 of them needed adjustments of some kind to ensure optimum safety.”

California’s lawmakers used Vehicle Code 27360 VC to address the issue of car seats. The law clearly states that:

  • Children under the age of 2 must be properly restrained in a rear-facing car seat
  • Children under the age of 8 must ride in the back seat and be safely restrained in an age/size appropriate safety seat.
  • The child must be secured into the safety car seat in a manner that complies with both height and weight limits that are to be specified by the car seat manufacturer.

Common Mistakes Parents Make

According to the Mayo Clinic, the most common mistakes parents make when it comes to the car seats they’re using include:

  • Purchasing a used car seat without making sure it isn’t more than 6 years old, hasn’t been involved in an accident, hasn’t been subject to a recall, and has no indications of damage or structural problems that could endanger a child.
  • Failing to properly install the car seat
  • Failing to properly restrain the child before driving
  • Reclining the car seat so that the child isn’t at the correct and most safe angle
  • Switching their child to a forward-facing car seat before the child is ready

The first time a driver is ticketed for not following California’s car seat laws, they’ll be issued a ticket. $100 of that ticket pertains to not having the child properly restrained. Court fees and additional charges will also be added to the ticket. After that initial ticket, the fine connected to not properly restraining the child is $250.

In some cases, the ticket for not having a child properly restrained to a child seat is the least of the driver’s worries. In many situations, the driver will also face charges of negligence and child endangerment.

It doesn’t matter how big a rush you are in, always take the time to make sure your child is safe before you hit the road.

 

 

 

 

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Top Internet Scams

By | Bail Bonds in Tulare, Bail Bonds In Visalia

 

Shortly after the internet was created, the internet scam was born. It’s amazing the number of different ways the internet has been used to scam different people. It seems like every single year, a new scam hits the virtual world and people start falling for it. While new internet scams are interesting and you should stay on top of the newest scam trends so you can identify the early warning signs, some have withstood the test of time.

Here are the top internet scams of all time.

Email Phishing

Email phishing is a type of internet scam that’s nearly as old as email itself.

Email phishing is a type of scam that involves a con artist sending out emails that look like they come from a legit organization or person. The main purpose of these types of emails is to collect personal information, particularly credit card numbers, which the scammer then uses for their benefit.

One of the most famous email phishing scams is the pseudo-Nigerian prince who used to send out emails asking for donations.

Tech Support Scams

Tech support scams are becoming increasingly common. This type of internet scam works because we’ve grown so accustomed to using virtual tech support options. The difference is that the virtual support you’ve sought out is usually legit. The tech support scams never are.

The way tech support scams work is that someone either calls or emails you. They claim to be from a major computer system company, security company, or common tech store. They then launch into a spiel about how they believe you’re computer is infected. Not only does the malware infection negatively impact your computer’s performance, but the tech support con artist will also explain how it could compromise your identity and steal credit card information.

The problem is that your computer isn’t currently infected. The con artist plans to place some malware on it that will allow them to collect your sensitive data. They do this in a manner that’s both easy to fall for and hard to trace.

Social Media Fraud

Social media fraud is an internet scam that doesn’t get quite as much attention as it should. The idea behind social media scams s that someone will connect with you via a social media channel. They often do this by posing as your friend. They can do this because they create a mirror account that not only uses your friend’s name but also their profile picture. They will usually send a private message that starts as a friendly conversation but quickly turns into a desperate plea for money.

The two best ways to make sure you don’t fall victim to a social media scam are contacting your friend directly and asking the scammer specific questions. If they don’t provide you with the type of answer you’d expect from your friend, report the fake account.

 

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Protect Your Keyless Car from Thieves

By | Bail Bonds In Visalia, Carls Bail Bonds

Keyless cars are great, particularly when you’re trying to hang onto things like multiple bags of groceries, cranky toddlers, and hyper pets while you open your car. Rather than wrestling with a key and a tiny keyhole each time you need to unlock your car, all you have to do is push a button. Easy peasy!

There is one big problem connected to keyless cars. The way they are designed makes them really appealing to car thieves.

The good news is that there are some things you can do to decrease the odds of a car thief taking off in your vehicle.

Keep it Locked

Don’t assume that just because you hit the lock button, your keyless car is well and truly locked. Sometimes the locks don’t activate the first time you hit the button. Other times, you inadvertently bump the unlock button when you slide your keyless fob into your pocket or purse. Grab your door handle and give it a quick check before you walk away.
Most car thieves know that they are far more likely to be noticed and talked to if they try to jimmy a locked door open.

Instead, they go around looking for an unlocked car that they can quickly slide into and drive away.

Park in Busy, Well-lit Areas

Sure, parking at the back of a lot seems appealing. It’s certainly easier to get in and out of the parking spaces that are at the back of the lot. The problem is that car thieves look for isolated cars. The more isolated your car is, the more it appears to a car thief because they know its location makes it unlikely that anyone will notice as they break into and drive away. Always park your car in a well-lit and relatively busy location.

Pay Attention to Your Key Fob

The thing that makes keyless cars so vulnerable to car thieves is that the technology is available for car thieves to hack your key fob’s signal and override it. The most common indicators that this has happened to your key fob are:

  • There is a long delay between you pushing the button and your car locking
  • You hear the locks release as you walk away from your car

If you suspect our key fob has been compromised, immediately get into your car and drive to a distant location. Once you’re safe, arrange to get a new key fob.

Check and see if your key fob has an off/on option. If it does, keep it turned off whenever you’re not actually using it.
What steps have you taken to protect your keyless car from car thieves?

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Keyless cars are the most appealing to car thieves for car theft. The good news is that there are things you can do to decrease the odds of car theft.

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Drunk Driving in a Borrowed Car

By | Bail Bonds In Visalia

Drunk driving is always bad, but getting caught driving while under the influence of alcohol while using a friend’s car, things become even more complicated.

If you were simply pulled over, the issues associated with the fact you were in a friend’s car may be minimal. The biggest headache is that the car will likely be impounded. Paying the fee to get it out of impound as well as any connected towing fees will be something you and your friend will have to work out amongst yourselves.

If you were in an accident, things become more complicated.

First, you will be arrested for the incident. How long that takes will depend on whether you were significantly injured. If you sustained injuries during the incident, you’ll be taken to the emergency room before the arrest. If you weren’t hurt, you’ll be taken directly to jail and charged with drunk driving and any other charges that can be connected to the incident.

One of the first things the prosecution team will want to know is whether the vehicle’s owner knew you were drunk when you borrowed their car. If they didn’t, they won’t be held legally liable for the incident. If you have a history of DUI, some lawyers might say that because they knew about your relationship with alcohol they should have realized that there was the possibility of your friend/loved one getting behind the wheel of your car after drinking you are at least partially responsible for the incident.

As for the damages to the vehicle/property/and injured people, the best course of action is to contact the insurance company right away and alert them to the entire situation. Different insurance companies have different policies for handling the claim. They will likely need information about the driver’s record/insurance/substance abuse history. You should be prepared for the insurance company to conduct a thorough investigation which will likely slow down any payments.

The impaired driver of the vehicle will be charged with a DUI. The consequences of a conviction will depend on if they were involved in an accident, have prior DUI arrests, and if they violated any other traffic and/or criminal laws during the incident.

The consequences of a first-offense DUI charge are potentially getting sentenced to up to six months in jail, a fine that ranges from $390-1,000, and the suspension of your driver’s license.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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?

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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!