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Graduation Parties and Minor’s Drinking in California

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

Finally! It’s graduation season. For many students and parents, this is a day they’ve been waiting for their entire lives. They’re finally putting high school behind themselves once and for all and allowing themselves to focus on the future.

If you’re a graduating senior or someone who just likes to hang out with a group of senior friends, remember that while you’re allowed to have a good time and enjoy life, you aren’t legally allowed to consume alcohol in California. The fact that you’ve graduated from high school doesn’t matter. In California, you’re not allowed to drink until you turn 21. Getting caught consuming alcohol at a graduation party prior to your 21st birthday can have an immediate negative impact on your future.

One of the first things you need to realize is that you don’t have to be caught actually drinking in order to get into trouble for consuming alcohol when you’re still underage. If you’re surrounded by beer bottles, have a drink in your hand, or simply drank a little bit, you’re still going to be in trouble with the law. California has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to minors and drinking.

The consequences of getting caught drinking at a graduation party while you’re a minor are both scary and expensive. In most cases, the judges will order you to pay fines and do substantial community service. In some situations, especially if this isn’t the first time you’ve been caught drinking while still a minor, the judge will decide that you should spend some time in jail.

You’re bad decision to drink at a friend’s graduation party even though you were a minor will likely result in you losing your driving privileges for a time. It doesn’t matter that you were smart enough to avoid driving after you were drinking. If you’re caught buying alcohol, using a fake ID to get alcohol, or being in possession of alcohol, your driver’s license will likely be suspended. Not only does this mean you have to beg for a ride whenever you want to hang out with friends, but it also makes getting a summer job more difficult. When you are finally able to drive again, you’ll likely have to pay a significantly higher insurance premium.

An increasing number of colleges are starting to crack down on minors who get caught with alcohol. There have even been reports of scholarships being withdrawn and application approvals getting rescinded.

Considering the long-term impact a single drink can have on your future, it’s in your best interest to avoid alcohol this year while you’re celebrating graduations.

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Mislabeling Food in California

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

Mislabeling food in California is a law that usually only impacts people who own or operate things like coffee shops, delis, grocery stores, and restaurants. It doesn’t matter how badly the food was mislabeled, if evidence of mislabeling exists, the people involved will be arrested and charged with mislabeling of food. If convicted, they’ll not only have a permanent criminal record, it’s unlikely that they’ll ever be able to find employment in the food industry ever again.

The issue of mislabeling food in California is dealt with in Health & Safety Code 114087 HS.

The law states:

“(a) Food offered for human consumption shall be honestly presented in a way that does not mislead or misinform the consumer.

(b) Food or color additives, colored overwraps, lights or other misleading artificial means shall not be used to misrepresent the true appearance, color, or quality of food.”

There are several different reasons ways that a business can get into trouble for mislabeling food.

These include:

  • A retailer taking food that has either passed its expiration date or is actually meant for pets and passing it off as food that is fit for human consumption
  • Labeling food in such a way that it results in the consumer not having the proper information about things like quality, calories, or even accurate ingredients.

It’s worth noting that while most people assume a person who is charged with mislabeling food in California acts intentionally, that’s not always the case. Even if the food was accidentally mislabeled, the person involved could be charged on grounds of criminal negligence.

Violating Health and Safety Code 114395 HS is a misdemeanor. If convicted, the defendant faces a maximum sentence of six months in jail and/or a fine that ranges from $25 to $1000. It is also likely that the health department will take a long look at the business and potentially close it down forever.

If someone becomes seriously ill or even dies as a result of the mislabeled food, the defendant will likely face additional criminal and civil charges.

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Failure to Present a Valid California Driver’s 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, Los Angeles Bail Bonds

We’ve all done it at some point or another. We’ve left home without our driver’s license. This isn’t a major deal as long as you are walking or riding around as a passenger. If you’re driving, it has the potential to be a major problem.

In California, you are legally required to have your driver’s license close at hand whenever you’re behind the wheel. It needs to be somewhere that you can easily reach it if a police officer asks for it.

While you may have driven a hundred times without your license in the vehicle, all it takes is getting pulled over once (or worse, being involved in an accident) to discover what happens if you fail to present a valid California driver’s license when it’s asked for.

Some people think that they have the right to refuse to show an officer their driver’s license. That’s not the case. The California Vehicle Code Section 12951 VC makes it illegal to fail to present your driver’s license to an officer if they request it while you’ve been driving a vehicle. Police officers are legally able to request your license if they’ve pulled you over in a routine traffic stop, or if you were a driver who was involved in an accident.

When you read through Vehicle Code Section 12951 you’ll learn that, “the licensee shall have the valid driver’s license issued to him or her in his or her immediate possession at all times when driving a motor vehicle upon a highway…”

It goes on to state that, “the driver of a motor vehicle shall present his or her license for examination upon demand of a peace officer enforcing the provisions of this code.”

If you express that you’re willing to provide your driver’s license but simply failed to have it on you when you got in your car, the failure to present it will be handled as an infraction. It will cost you money, but at least it won’t lead to you developing a criminal record. In this situation, you should expect to pay a $250 fine.

If you straight up refuse to present your license when the officer asks for it, you’ll be charged with a misdemeanor and could potentially spend up to six months in jail.

It’s worth noting that if your license is expired, if it has been suspended, or if you were never licensed to drive a vehicle in the first place, you’ll likely face additional charges and infractions.

Hitting a Pedestrian 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

California has a reputation as being a great place for pedestrians. The weather makes it possible for pedestrians to walk year-round and the state has done a wonderful job of creating places where pedestrians can stroll without encountering traffic. While pedestrians are invited to enjoy the benefits of walking, it’s important to understand that if you decide to stroll, there’s a chance you could be hit by a car. It’s equally important to understand that the odds of you having a pedestrian-car incident have increased in recent years.

Studies indicate that life for pedestrians is becoming increasingly dangerous. The Governors Highway Safety Association recently gathered data that indicated that the number of pedestrian deaths in the United States increased by 35 percent between 2009 and 2017. According to Triple-A, things are getting worse. The organization reported that from 2010 to 2019 pedestrian deaths increased by 46%.

It doesn’t appear that there is one particular reason pedestrian deaths have risen so much. Some feel that the fact that drivers are getting older could play a role. Another issue is the fact that drivers continue to ignore warnings about using cell phones while driving. It’s worth noting that not all pedestrian/car incidents that involve phones aren’t because the driver was using their phone. In 2010, an estimated 78,000 pedestrian injuries were the direct result of the pedestrian using their phone and not paying attention to their surroundings.

If you drive in California, you have a responsibility to look out for pedestrians. It’s an aspect of being a good defensive driver. Since California has a reputation for being such a great pedestrian state, you must assume that you’ll see a few people walking whenever you drive.

When you do see people walking, automatically check how you’re driving. The last thing you need is to be accused of reckless driving that resulted in you striking a pedestrian. It doesn’t matter if you fail to yield, are speeding, or are distracted, if you strike a pedestrian with your vehicle and there’s proof that you’re at fault, you could face steep fines, jail time, and civil lawsuits.

When you see a pedestrian walking, particularly if they are using their phone, give them as wide a berth as possible. Don’t automatically assume that they will stop at crosswalks, pay attention to no crossing signs, or that they won’t suddenly veer off the sidewalk.

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Smoking in Your Car

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

Strictly speaking, you’re not prohibited from smoking cigarettes or vaping tobacco in your car. That doesn’t mean it’s a great idea.

The biggest issue connected to smoking while driving is the risk of you having a distracted moment. Even though it probably only takes you a split second to light your cigarette, that’s a second when your attention isn’t focused on your driving. A whole lot of things could go wrong during that moment of inattention.

Another issue is the knee-jerk reaction you may have if you drop your cigarette, particularly if the lit cigarette falls on bare skin. If you jerk your leg or arm in pain, you could slam on the brakes, shoot unexpectedly forward into the car ahead of you, or even swerve into oncoming traffic. If any of these things happen, you could get a ticket for distracted driving.

If you have a minor in the car, you’re prohibited from smoking in the vehicle. It doesn’t matter if that vehicle is moving or parked, you can’t smoke while the minor is sharing your car.

If you plan on smoking pot while in your vehicle, you should know that it’s not a good idea. Yes, you’re legally allowed to use pot for recreational purposes but the rules pertaining to pot and driving are very similar to alcohol and driving.

Current California law makes it illegal to get behind the wheel after you’ve been smoking pot. You’re also not allowed to smoke it while you’re driving. One of the interesting side effects of Proposition 64 was that it allocated more funding that went directly to the California Highway Patrol who used it to help deal with what they call “drugged drivers.”

Just like a DUI, a drugged driving offense can have a huge negative impact on your life. If you’re convicted of drugged driving in California, your sentence can include anywhere from 96 hours to 6 months in jail. You can also be fined from $390-$1000 plus court costs. You’ll be required to take a DUI prevention course and will likely have your license suspended for 6 months. That’s for your first offense.

Things are much worse the second time you’re convicted of drugged driving in California. The sentence for drugged driving a second time in California is 90 days to one year in jail. You’ll lose your license for 2 years and likely be fined about $1000.

The third and subsequent times you’re convicted are really bad. The maximum jail time you can serve stays at a single year and you’ll be fined up to $1000, but you’ll lose your license for three years.

All things considered, it’s best to wait until you have no reason to get behind the wheel before indulging in recreational marijuana.