Littering Is Still A Crime

Littering Is Still A Crime

Littering Is Still A Crime

Many people dismiss littering as no big deal. After all, what does it matter if you throw one disposable cup out of your car window while driving? Well, aside from the fact that no one likes to look at garbage, it is never just one person who thinks like that.

Thousands of people think that very thought every day, and then follow through with it. That is why so many of California’s roadways are covered in garbage. This is why there laws against littering. The laws and penalties vary from county to county.

Someone convicted of littering can face a combination of the following:

  • Fines up to $1,000
  • Community service
  • Jail time

These punishments might seem extreme for what people would classify as a small crime, but it is still a crime after all. These tougher punishments are to remind people that littering is, in fact, a crime.

If everyone littered every single day, then we would all be wading through trash. So, help keep our golden state of California clean and avoid any fines or jail time by disposing of your trash responsibly.

Distracted Driving In California

Distracted Driving In California

Distracted Driving In California

In California, it is illegal to drive while distracted.

This of course, means no talking or texting on a cell phone while driving. What many people fail to realize is that this applies to so much more than distractions caused by a cell phone.

This law also applies to people who are applying makeup or eating while driving. Basically, doing anything that takes even a portion of the driver’s attention away from driving could be considered distracted driving.

Getting caught for distracted driving can earn the driver a ticket costing anywhere from $450 to $1,000. This may seem like a pretty steep price for eating while driving, but it is meant to remind people of how important it is to remain focused while driving. One slip up while driving is all it takes to completely ruin someone’s life.

An accident can severely hurt, or even kill, yourself or someone else. Nobody wants that, which is why there are laws against distracted driving. Some of the more important ones are:

  • Drivers over the age of 18 must use hands free methods to make calls while driving.
  • Drivers under the age of 18 cannot use any handheld devices while driving, even with hands-free technology.
  • No texting while driving.

Remember, using a cellphone while driving can be dangerous. That call or text can wait until you have made it to your destination safely. If you have to put make-up or eat something, it is best to just pull over. Remember, safety first.

Vandalism In California

Vandalism In California

Vandalism In California

Many people know what vandalism is. We hear about it, and see it, all of the time. Vandalism is taken very seriously in California.

Getting caught vandalizing someone’s property can land a person in jail with hefty fines.

While many people think they know what constitutes as vandalism, there are a few acts which fall into that category that people are unaware of.

Vandalism is the classified as the act of maliciously destroying or damaging someone else’s property.

Here is a quick list of acts that qualify as vandalism in the state of California:

  • Writing or painting on something that does not belong to you. This can even include writing your name in the wet cement of a city sidewalk.
  • Damaging a piece of property such as a window on a house or car. This can include breaking something of your significant other’s while fighting.
  • Destroying something beyond the point of repair.

If a person does one of these 3 things, he or she has committed an act of vandalism. If caught by law enforcement, this person can face a fine and possible jail time. The severity of the punishment often depends on how much damage was caused by the act. If the damage amounts to less than $400, then the crime is considered a misdemeanor. The accused person could face, at max, 1 year in jail and a fine of no more than $1,000.

If the damage total is greater than $400, the accused could face anywhere from 1 to 3 years in prison. On top of that, they could face a fine of $10,000 or more. The size of the fine will vary based on how bad the damage is.

Legality Of Recording & Posting Crimes Online

Legality Of Recording & Posting Crimes Online

Legality Of Recording & Posting Crimes Online

It is one thing for a bystander to record an incident where a police officer is interacting, physically or peacefully, with another civilian, but it is another thing when a bystander records an incident where one or more other civilians are getting physical with another victim, and there are no authority figures in sight. In the first scenario, there is someone who is supposed to be supporting the law, and coming down on someone who just broke it. In the second scenario, there is someone who is committing a crime against another helpless individual, with no law enforcement anywhere to be seen, so the physicality against the victim can continue.

This raises the question as to whether the bystander in the second scenario should be punished for recording the crime, and possibly posting it on social media, while doing nothing to stop it and prevent the victim from getting injured or worse.

Early this year in Florida, a group of teenagers looked onto a pond where they saw a man struggling to stay afloat. They recorded the man and in the footage, the teens are heard laughing and joking at him. The man drowned and died as the teens watched. Although people in Florida are not legally obligated to render aid or call for help if they know a person is in distress, the police have decided to file misdemeanor charges against the teens for failing to report a death.

In December last year, a California teenager was severely sucker punched by a man he did not even know. The man and his girlfriend conspired to record it and post it online. The man is facing criminal charges but the girlfriend is not, and lawmakers are rallying to try and change this with a bill introduced as Jordan’s Law.

Jordan’s Law will criminalize those who conspire with the attacker to record a violent crime.

Although the girlfriend is not a bystander in this scenario because she was in on the crime to begin with, she still did not get punished. Like with Florida, true bystanders in California do not have a legal obligation to report a crime if they are aware of it, nor are they legally obligated to intervene. It could be dangerous to do so.

Posting crimes like this on social media can be harmful for the victim of the video because it can bring them more humiliation and distress. Morally, it is an unkind thing to do, but legally, it is a gray area that lawmakers and law enforcement must try and figure out, so when similar incidents arise in the future, they can better pursue their case.

California’s Plastic Bag Ban

California’s Plastic Bag Ban

California’s Plastic Bag Ban

If you are like many other Californians, you are probably still trying to train yourself to bring reusable bags to the store when you get groceries. It has been a bit of a struggle, but admittedly a small one to help the environment.

The state of California recently banned stores from using single use plastic bags in an attempt to reduce the amount of plastic waste the state produces.

Stores would still be allowed to offer plastic bags, but they would need to charge a minimum of 10 cents and the bags would need to be reusable.

Some people do not paying the extra 10 cents per bag, while other people completely hate the idea of paying for something they used to get for free. Realistically, it is not that big of a deal. The old bags were terrible, not just for the environment, but for the purpose they were designed for. Just think of how many times those single use bags broke and spilled their contents all over the floor. With this new law, shoppers will either get stronger plastic bags from the store or have stronger cloth bags that they brought from home.

The hardest part about this new law, is training yourself to remember to bring bags from home. This is something that will get easier with time, until it is second nature.

Is It A Crime To Witness One & Not Report It?

Is It A Crime To Witness One & Not Report It?

Is It A Crime To Witness One & Not Report It?

It is a crime to file a false police report, but it is not a crime to witness one, and not report it happen.

It might come as a surprise for some people to know that someone is not obligated to report a crime to the police if they have witnessed one or know about one, though it could affect their conscience. Nonetheless, if you witnessed a crime and you do not report it, you would not get in trouble.

The reason most people are not obligated to report a crime if they know about it is because it can be risky. By reporting the crime, they are getting involved. Depending on the situation, it can cost them time, money, and even safety. Their lives can be put into danger if they get involved; they could be threatened by the suspect or those who side with the suspect.

There are people in certain professions who must report crimes they know about or suspect.

People who are required to report crimes are those who are health care and medical professionals, psychiatrists, counselors, and educators.

For example, if a young child comes to school every day with a new bruise and an unclear explanation of where those bruises came from, the teacher may suspect the kid is being abused at home. If so, they must alert the police to investigate. If they neglect this duty and the well-being of the child, they too can be punished by the law.

Hopefully you are never in that position where you witness a crime or know about it, and question yourself as to whether you should report it to the police or not. Legally, you have no obligation. Morally that is ultimately on you to decide as to whether you can spare getting involved.

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Strange Laws From Around The U.S.

Bail Bonds in Turlock

As many people are aware, not every law is a good law. There are some very strange and obscure laws out there. Every single state in the country has some weird law that would make a person wonder why it even exists.

Here are a few examples:

  • Whistling while underwater is prohibited in West Virginia.
  • In Maine, you may not step out of a plane that is currently in flight.
  • In Delaware, it is illegal to fly over any body of water unless one is caring sufficient amounts of food and drink.
  • Prisoners in Louisiana who hurt themselves can end up serving an additional 2 years in jail.
  • Women in Vermont have to get permission from their husband in order to wear false teeth.
  • It is illegal to teach others what polygamy in Mississippi.

These are just a sampling of weird laws from around the country. For something a little closer to home, check out some of these weird California laws.

  • Women may not drive in a house coat.
  • Animals are banned from mating publicly within 1,500 feet of a tavern, school, or place of worship.
  • Bathhouses are illegal.
  • In Baldwin Park, nobody is allowed to ride a bicycle in a swimming pool.
  • Blythe residents are not allowed to wear cowboys unless they own more than 2 cows.

As you can see, there are strange laws all over the U.S.. It doesn’t matter what state a person lives in, there is undoubtedly some bizarre laws that makes no sense. Luckily, most law enforcement agencies would not arrest someone for breaking these weird laws, although it could lead to being a great story later in life.

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Beware Of Scams In The Modern Age

Bail Bonds in Parkwood

In the age of modern technology, it is important to be wary of scams used to gain private information from one of your accounts or devices. This sensitive information can be used to take money from the victim without him or her even knowing.

There are several different ways someone can gain access to a person’s account or device.

Here are some of the most common ways:

  • Sending Malicious Emails. A favorite tactic among scammers is to send an email that disguises itself as being from someone in the target’s contact list. The email will usually say something along the lines of “Hey, check this out” followed by a link. Upon clinking the link, the victim grants the virus access to the computer. The virus can then grab whatever it wants, and will also send itself to everyone on the victim’s contact list.
  • Sending Malicious Texts. The victim will receive a text message, making some claim that a balance is overdue on some account, and may request that the person open a link to a website to pay the balance. The text could also ask for account information to verify that the victim is who they claim to be. Upon doing so, the victim grants the scammer access to the account.
  • Phone Scam. For phone scams, the scammer calls an unsuspecting person and claims to be a representative from some company or law enforcement agency. They will tell the intended victim that money is owed and it needs to be paid right away or a warrant will be issued for the victim’s arrest. It is a common scare tactic. The idea is to get the victim so freaked out that they no longer think straight. If a person receives a call like this, they should hang up right away. If they are truly concerned that there may be an issue, contact the company or law enforcement agency that supposedly called. This ensures that the real company or agency is actually reached, not someone claiming to be from them.

The best thing to do in all of these cases, is to stop and think. You should never click on a link unless you are completely sure that you can trust the source of the link. In the case of emails, check to see the actual email address that sent the message. You may find that even though it says it came from someone you know, it actually came from a random address.

If you are unsure if something came from a friend or not, simply ask the friend through some other means, not replying to the email or text that sent the questionable link. Your friend may have no idea what you are talking about, which tells you the message was a scam.

Another important note, is that no government or law enforcement agency will require people to pay fines or debts with money transfers or store bought cards. Scammers prefer these methods of payment since it is harder for the victim to get the money back once it is sent away.

Whenever you receive a message that seems strange, or a phone call that you can’t quite believe, question it. Take a step back and think your next move out carefully. It can save you a lot of trouble and headaches later on.

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If You File A False Report, You Will Go To Jail

Bail Bonds in Oakdale

It is a crime to falsely report a crime.

That is, you can and will get in trouble with the law if you report a crime but know that it really is not a crime. This is exactly what happened to a Los Angeles woman who, just a few weeks ago, was charged for her false report. Now she will have to pay her consequences by spending 2 months in jail.

26-year-old Charline Gatson filed a report with the police, reporting that an acquaintance approached her in her car and pulled out a gun. The acquaintance let Gatson go, but took her car. Gatson’s teenage son was still in the car and the acquaintance drove off. The vehicle was found later in San Bernardino, CA.

After investigators completed their work, they determined that Gatson’s carjacking and kidnapping report was false. In fact, Gatson had lent her vehicle to the acquaintance, and the acquaintance refused to return it. The stepson was not involved with the incident.

Because of Gatson’s false report, which effectively wasted resources, time, and money from police officers and investigators, Gatson was charged and ordered to spend 2 months in jail. In addition, she will be on probation for 36 months, and will pay a fine of $220.

Consequences for filing false reports are taken seriously because it takes officers away when they should be devoted to focusing on real, serious crimes.

All in all, filing a false report is irresponsible and reckless. It is, however, a different story when the person filing a report genuinely believes it to be true crime, but it is later determined that they are just mistaken. An example of that would be if someone witnessed a person whom they have never seen before, entering their neighbor’s apartment. Believing it to be an intruder, they alert the police. After investigating, the police learn that the neighbor had given this “intruder” their key because they are staying with them; this is an out-of-town friend, which is why the person had never seen them before.

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About California’s Revenge Porn Law

Bail Bonds in Madera

Revenge porn is when one person shares sexually explicit images and/or videos of their former intimate partner, typically on the Internet, without their consent.

Their motive is to embarrass the former partner, which can lead to further distress. If you keep up with celebrity gossip, this is exactly what Rob Kardashian did recently against his former girlfriend and the mother of his young child, Blac Chyna.

In California, it first became a law just a handful of years ago in 2013, and since then there have been changes and updates. It is a crime many people are becoming increasingly familiar with.

California’s revenge porn crime is related to the crime of invasion of privacy.

When one person secretly records sexually explicit photos and videos of another person without their consent that is invasion of privacy. With revenge porn, it is when the person initially knows about and consents to having images and videos taken of them with the understanding that they would be kept private. However, the person who took this content disregards this and distributes them to the public to view anyway to bring shame and embarrassment to the victim. That is when it becomes revenge porn.

There are other unfortunate consequences that the victim can suffer from having their images shared without consent, especially if they are a young adult applying for school and jobs, not to mention their overall reputation.

Revenge porn is punishable by a misdemeanor.

For a first offense, the defendant faces up to 6 months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. Repeat offenders face up to 1 year in jail and a fine of up to $2,000. Additionally, if the victim was a minor, the defendant also faces a year in jail and a $2,000 fine, as well as charges for child pornography.

No matter how angry and upset a person is with their ex-partner, it is never okay to exact revenge porn on them.