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Smoking Marijuana While Driving

Smoking Marijuana While Driving

Smoking Marijuana While Driving

While the rest of the country may be debating what to do about cannabis, Californians have already decided. California recently legalized marijuana for recreational use. We followed several other states like Oregon, Washington, and Colorado. While we weren’t the first ones to legalize weed recreationally, we are still one of the eight states that allows it recreationally. However, like with alcohol and cigarettes, there are laws that have to be followed.

Arguably the most important place to follow the law is behind the wheel. When a person steps behind the wheel of a vehicle they greatly increase the chances of causing harm to someone. Vehicle related deaths are some of the highest in the nation.

Before California allowed the sale of recreational marijuana, they passed several laws in anticipation. In particular they passed a law in regards to driving while smoking. According to this law, written by Sen. Jerry Hill, if a person is caught smoking marijuana while operating a vehicle or while riding in a vehicle, they can be subjected to a violation. The violation will include a fine of $70.

This really isn’t a new law for us. It’s already illegal to drive while intoxicated. Obtaining a DUI isn’t because you were drunk, it just means you were under the influence of some kind of substance. Along with not being intoxicated while driving, you cannot have an open container of cannabis in your vehicle. This is similar to you not being allowed to have an open container of alcohol in the vehicle.

Since we are one of the few states that have legalized the use of marijuana recreationally, we have to be the role model for other states in the future. As time continues, more studies will be released in regards to the use of marijuana, which will broaden our understanding of the subject as a whole. Until then, exercise caution, and just follow the law.

 

What To Know About California & Its Strict Gun Laws

What To Know About California & Its Strict Gun Laws

What To Know About California & Its Strict Gun Laws

California is known for a lot of things. Shiny cars, hundreds of stars, and wild beaches, just to name a few of things. Recently, California has become known for one other thing that is catching the rest of the nation’s eye: gun control. Not just gun control, but for strict gun laws.

Recent changes in the laws regarding guns in California specifically target rifles. They particularly target assault style rifles that have been used in recent mass shootings. These laws require Californians to register their rifles or downgrade them by June 30th, 2018. When you down grade the rifle, you take out the modifications that make it “assault style”.

Beginning January 1st of this year, all assault style rifles were removed from store shelves in California.

Ammunition for guns in California is becoming a very big deal as well. You can no longer walk into a store and buy ammo. You also can no longer rely on your cousins to bring you some from neighboring states. Californians are no longer allowed to order ammo online or have it delivered to their house under Prop 63. If someone breaks this law, they will be looking at a misdemeanor with a fine and/or a year in jail.

Californians will also have to pass a background check in order to purchase ammo starting July 2019.

The reason why we have so many gun laws in California is to hopefully prevent another tragedy. The Las Vegas shooting in 2017 sent many Californians searching for a change to gun laws. California already has some of the strictest laws surrounding guns in the nation. There has been too many shootings involving mass causalities to simply ignore and do nothing. These laws are California’s way in trying to prevent another disaster.

Guns laws shouldn’t infringe on your Second Amendment right, they’re meant to protect you. If you go by the book, and play by the rules, these guns laws may be a hassle, but they shouldn’t be a problem. Law abiding citizens will still be able to have guns and get ammo. They will just have to jump through a few extra hoops to do so.

 

Citizens Push For Tougher Hit & Run Laws

Citizens Push For Tougher Hit & Run Laws

Citizens Push For Tougher Hit & Run Laws

A recent string of hit and run accidents has shaken the Los Angeles community to its core. In April there were four fatal hit and run accidents that are particularly troubling. These accidents took place on the 110 Freeway and were within a three-mile section. The hit and run accidents involved the deaths of one pedestrian, two cyclists, and one man who was in his wheelchair when he was struck.

Los Angeles’s Vision Zero Called to Task

Vison Zero is a program that was created in 2015 by the Los Angeles Mayor, Eric Garcetti after he became aware that more than 200 people who are either walking or biking near streets are struck and killed each year. He was horrified to learn that in Los Angeles, the leading cause of death in children is traffic collisions, many of which are hit and run accidents.

The programs purpose was to not only create more awareness amongst motorists, but to also help experts like transportation engineers, policymakers, and local law enforcement together to explore ways that the streets can be made safer for everyone.

The ultimate Vision Zero goal was to eliminate pedestrian/cyclist vs motorist deaths by 2025.

When it was first created, support for the Vision Zero program was high, but this recent string of fatal accidents has people questioning how effective the program really is. The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition has become the most vocal group that’s questioning the Vision Zero program. They claim that while city officials and police were excited in the program’s early days, in recent months little action has been taken to reduce cyclist/motorist collisions.

Changes Brought on by Vision Zero

Vision Zero has triggered some changes. The city has identified the streets and crosswalks that are the highest risk of pedestrian/cyclist vs car accidents. In these areas, the city has posted signs alerting motorists to pay attention, used electronic signs that alert motorists of their actual speed, and taken steps to improve crosswalk visibility, yet despite all of this, the city didn’t experience a 20% decrease in the number of pedestrian/car collisions it was hoping for. The number of accidents did decrease but only by 3%.

The Mayor Steps in

While the mayor hasn’t precisely agreed with claims that a sense of apathy currently surrounds the Vision Zero program, he recently stated that he still believes in the program and that he remains committed to ending the troubling hit and run deaths. The first step in improving the program and hopefully saving lives was increasing the Vision Zero budget to $91 million, which is triple the original budget.

With Vision Zero not reaching its goals, motorists should expect that activists will start pushing for more drastic measures, such as stiffer penalties for striking pedestrians and increased patrolling and camera usage to ensure that the drivers involved in hit and run accidents are caught.

 

Are Minors Allowed To Have Alcohol Under Parents Supervision?

Are Minors Allowed To Have Alcohol Under Parents Supervision?

Are Minors Allowed To Have Alcohol Under Parents Supervision?

Some parents out there who are dealing with minors and drinking tend to take a different approach to the matter. Many parents would flat out ban their children from drinking until they are of legal age to do so. However, some parents prefer to allow their underage children to drink, but only under their supervision. The idea is that this way, the child can learn about alcohol and its effects under the watchful eye of the parent.

In many states around the country, this is a common practice. The problem with this method, is that it is actually illegal within the state of California.

Here in California, minors are not allowed to possess alcohol, and they definitely are not allowed to consume it.

An adult allowing any minor to consume alcohol in their home is against the law under Business and Professions Code 25658.2. Breaking this law is a misdemeanor offense, which means a person could face up to 1 year in jail and up to a $1,000 fine. What’s worse is that would only be one of the charges a person would face for allowing a minor to consume alcohol.

In all likelihood, a person could also be charged with Penal Code 272, which makes it illegal for anyone to help a minor commit an unlawful act, such as possessing and consuming alcohol. This is another misdemeanor offense and can earn a person up to a year in jail, and a possible fine of $2,500.

Things can get even worse if the minor then proceeds to get behind the wheel of a car and cause an accident, which is why it is best to simply wait until they are older before allowing them to have any alcohol. This way, everyone stays safe and no one ends up breaking the law.

Dog Bite Laws In California

Dog Bite Laws In California

Dog Bite Laws In California

Nobody likes to get hurt, especially when someone else could have and should have taken measures to prevent the incident from happening. One kind of such incident is dog bites. There is not a single person alive who would want to get bitten by a dog.

The state of California has strict liability laws when it comes to dog bites. In most instances, the dog owner is liable if their dog bites someone. This means that the person who was bit has the right to seek legal compensation from the animal’s owner.

Some states limit when a dog owner is liable for their dog biting someone. For instance, some states only hold the owner liable if the dog has proven to be violent or vicious in the past. However, that is not the case in the state of California.

Regardless of whether or not the dog has bitten someone in the past, the owner is still liable for anyone their dog injures by biting.

The only time a person is not liable for their dog biting someone is if the person who was bit was trespassing on the owner’s private property.

Due to this fact, it is important for dog owners to keep their pets safe in their home or yard. If the dog gets out and bites someone, that person has the legal right to seek legal compensation from the dog’s owner.

Merced Bail Bonds

Who Determines Bail Prices?

Merced Bail Bonds

Everyone grasps the concept that bail is expensive. While bail bonds can greatly reduce the cost, they still tend to cost a couple thousand dollars. This is the kind of money that most people do not have lying around, waiting to be spent. It makes you wonder, if everyone knows bail is super expensive, why is it set so high? Who controls what a person’s bail is set at anyways?

Here in the United States, the 8th amendment to the Constitution protects us from excessive bail.

Unfortunately for many people, today’s bail prices feel very excessive. However, there is some reason behind the high bail prices. Bail is meant to be used as incentive for a defendant to return to court for his or her trial. If the defendant behaves and makes it to all of his or her court appearances, then the bail money will be returned to him or her. So, the defendant should get the money back, but they would need the money to begin with. Most people don’t have that kind of cash.

That explains why bail is so expensive, but who gets to actually determine the price of the bail? In California, bail varies from county to county. Each county creates what is called a bail schedule. This is a list of every possible crime and what the bail should be for that crime. Judges are allowed to adjust the bail amount depending on the person who has been accused of the crime.

Some people think that bail bond companies have some say in the pricing of bail and bail bonds. Those people would be incorrect. In California, bail bond companies have to charge 10% the price of the bail they are paying for. Some companies are allowed to lower that price slightly if the defendant or a co-signer meet certain requirements. However, most companies have their hands tied when it comes to pricing.

In the end, the price of the bail and subsequent bail bond are decided by the case’s judge and the county officials in charge of the bail schedule.

Good bail bond companies, like Merced Bail Bond Store, can make bail bonds affordable for their clients by creating personalized payment plans for their clients. This reduces the up-front cost of the bail bond without changing the price. Another way Merced Bail Bond Store lowers the cost of the bail bond is by offering discounts to union members, members of the military, members of AARP, homeowners, and defendants with private attorneys.

At Merced Bail Bond Store, we do our very best to make bail bonds as affordable as possible for our clients. You can learn more by calling 559-674-0444 to get your FREE consultation. We are open 24/7 (including holidays), so feel free to call us at anytime.

Ticket Scalping Merced

Is Ticket Scalping Legal?

Ticket Scalping Merced

Ticket scalping is when a person resells their ticket to an event, like a concert or a sporting event, to another person. The purchaser does not buy the ticket directly from the event itself, but rather goes to someone who already owns a ticket to the event, but is looking to get rid of it. The price is determined by the individual who is in possession of the ticket, and it is often a bigger price than the face value they purchased it for. This is because they are looking to make a profit from the sale.

In California, ticket scalping is illegal when done on the grounds of the event. This is a misdemeanor charge that carries a fine as high as $1,000.

While that may be illegal, it is legal to purchase resale tickets online from valid ticket websites such as SeatGeek, StubHub, and Ticketmaster. These sites allow people to search for ticket sales to any number of events in their area. The website is required to:

  • Disclose seat locations to the potential buyer before the sale
  • Maintain records of ticket exchanges
  • Disclose service charge
  • Provide refunds if the event is canceled or rescheduled
  • Be licensed by a local government agency to act and operate as a ticket resale site

Purchasing resale tickets through these websites are among the most secure ways to get your tickets. You are not being scammed. In the instance that the event is changed, you will get a refund. You will be provided with official records and receipts. Other sites like Craigslist are less secure and the risk of purchasing fake tickets rises. Once a person learns that their tickets are fake, they have almost zero chance of contacting the person who sold it to them and getting their money back.

Always be cautious of where and how you buy your tickets.

In general, you should never trust someone who is trying to sell tickets outside of the event itself, on the day of the event. We said this is illegal, yet people do it anyway. Sometimes security will ask these scalpers to leave the grounds, but some go unnoticed and even make a sale, very likely a sale that produced fake tickets.

Merced Bail Bonds

What Happens If You Fail To Pay Your Child Support

Merced Bail Bonds

The consequences of failing to make your court-mandated child support payments run deep. The matter is taken very seriously.


Consequences include:

  • Arrest
  • Fines
  • Being in contempt of court
  • Denial of tax refunds
  • Wage garnishment – When the court orders your employer to withhold a certain amount of your paycheck and send it directly to the court or the partner instead
  • Exclusion from receiving government benefits
  • Confiscated passport
  • Confiscation or suspension of licenses
  • Placing a lien on property – The court possesses the person’s property until debt is paid

A person can face one, many, or all of the above consequences for failing to make their child support payments. One alone is harmful enough, but dealing with multiple can be incredibly detrimental to a person’s quality of life.

When someone has failed to make their child support payments, they can lose the ability to get any sort of license or other form of paperwork from the government. This person has essentially been blacklisted from receiving any form of help from the government until he or she begins making child support payments again.

It is one thing to purposely not make a payment; it is another thing to run into financial difficulty to make payments on time. It is urged that if a person finds themselves experiencing the latter, that they bring this to the attention of the court, their lawyer, and local authorities. They can assist the individual and alleviate the stress like revising payment plans.

A person is not on his or her own when it comes to dealing with a situation like this. The court wants to see both sides of the family succeed and they will do what they can to make it work.

How Old Does a Child Have to be if They are Left Home Alone?

Merced Bail Bond Store

Leaving a child at home alone for the first time can make any parent nervous, even if the child is old enough to take care of themselves. Some states set laws that tell parents their child must be of a certain age in order for them to be home alone. Other states, like California, leave it up to the discretion of the parent to decide if their child is mature and ready enough.

California urges parents to consider their child’s maturity level, not just their age, when deciding if it is okay to leave them at home without an older adult around. For example, a 10 year old may show considerable maturity for their age while a 12 year old is still a bit of a trouble-maker. Perhaps in this case, the 12 year old is not mature enough to be left home alone, but the 10 year old is.

To prepare for the “big day” of leaving a child alone at home, parents ought to first discuss this with the child: are they, themselves, ready to be left alone at home, or not? If they are ready, then additional precautions need to be laid out, such as what to do in case of an emergency, leaving contact phone numbers, setting rules like do not answer the door, do not use the stove or oven. Parents will also want to notify trusted family, friends, and neighbors in case they are needed during an emergency, or the child feels uncomfortable. Before leaving a child alone for an extended period of time, the parent should do a “trial run” by leaving them home alone while they make a quick trip to the store.

When the time is right, a child and parent will agree when they are both ready to be apart with the child home alone.

How to Tell Your Child about Their Parent’s Arrest

Merced Bail Bond Store

If you thought getting the phone call learning that your significant other was arrested was hard, imagine the moment you realize you need to figure out how to explain this to your young child. They are certainly going to notice if Mom or Dad is missing for a few hours or a couple days.

You will need to consider their age and how much they may understand. You may need to sugar coat the situation, you may not. It is ultimately up to your discretion.

What you can and will do is help bail your partner out of jail as fast as possible so that their time away from home and the family is as minimal as possible. We cannot do anything until your loved one has been arraigned, that is when bail is determined, but the moment you have all the information, contact Merced Bail Bond Store, and we will work on a custom payment plan. Once paperwork is done and signed, it will be sent to the jail and processed. Your loved one can be released and back home within a few hours. With our help, we hope your child actually will not notice that anything is wrong.

Merced Bail Bond Store can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, online and at 559-674-0444.