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The Ins & Outs Of Insurance Fraud In California

The Ins & Outs Of Insurance Fraud In California

The Ins & Outs Of Insurance Fraud In California

Fraud is the word used when a person says something they know to be untrue for the specific reason of obtaining some sort of benefit. One of the most common form of fraud in California is insurance fraud.

There are Multiple Types of Insurance Fraud

The State of California has authorized prosecutors to handle cases of insurance fraud that fall under the provisions laid out in Chapter 12 of the California Insurance Code. The code is commonly called the Insurance Fraud Prevention Act. When insurance fraud is suspected, the Fraud Division mounts an extensive investigation that explores whether the fraud actually occurred and if the accused is in violation of California’s Penal and Insurance Codes. If the accused is found guilty, they’ll have a felony record.

Most of the cases handled by Fraud Divisions in California involve:

  • Auto insurance fraud
  • Health insurance fraud
  • Personal injury/worker’s compensation insurance fraud
  • Residential or Commercial property insurance fraud

What California Considers Insurance Fraud

Unlike some laws which are vague, when writing the laws involving insurance fraud, California lawmakers clearly outlined what they felt was insurance fraud. According to state laws, you can be found guilty of insurance fraud if you:

  • Knowingly took the steps needed to commit insurance fraud, such as hiding a vehicle and then telling the insurance company it was stolen.
  • You went through with the fraudulent act and filed the insurance claim.
  • If the Fraud Division can prove that both the act and intent to commit insurance fraud went together.

It’s important to note that you can be found guilty of felony insurance fraud even if you never receive any money from the act.

California’s insurance fraud laws are written in such a way that the only thing that has to be proven is act and intent.

Who Can Accuse You Of Insurance Fraud

In most states, the insurance company is the one who has to alert the authorities to an act of insurance fraud, but California is unique. When you read through the Insurance Frauds Prevention Act, you’ll see language that allows a person who isn’t connected to the insurance company to file a lawsuit against someone who they believe to be guilty of insurance fraud. The interesting thing about the law is that it enables the private citizen, AKA the whistleblower, be “rewarded” 30-50% of the settlement or trial award once the insurance fraud case reaches its conclusion.

Penalties Of Being Convicted Of Insurance Fraud In California

The most devastating aspect of being found guilty of insurance fraud is that you’ll have a felony record. In addition to that the judge can order you to pay a civil penalty of $5,000 to $10,000 for each violation as well as paying up to three times the amount you collected in fraudulent insurance claims.

 

Is It Time for Last Call?

Is It Time for Last Call?

Is It Time for Last Call?

California lawmakers have recently passed a bill that if signed by Governor Jerry Brown, would allow certain cities to extend how late alcohol could be served. The bill in question is Senate Bill (SB) 905. The bill was passed at the end of August 2018, and now awaits either the Governor’s veto or signature.

The new law proposed by SB 905 would allow cities to decide when bars and other alcohol serving establishments should stop serving alcohol. Currently, bars and restaurants in California are required to have their last call at 2AM. Under this new law, 9 cities would be able to extend their last call for a few more hours starting in 2021.

The 9 cities included in this bill are:

  • Cathedral City
  • Coachella
  • Long Beach
  • Los Angeles
  • Oakland
  • Palm Springs
  • Sacramento
  • San Francisco
  • West Hollywood

The idea behind doing this is to allow these cities, and California as a whole, to compete with neighboring states, such as Nevada, that allow drinking into the early morning hours. By extending last call by just a few hours, these cities could end up seeing increased revenue.

However, even with the Governor’s signature, the bill would also need to be approved by California’s Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. If that were achieved, the law would go into effect in 2021 and last for 5 years where politicians would then get to decide if they wanted to keep the law or get rid of it.

 

Pirating Movies Is A Serious Offense

Pirating Movies Is A Serious Offense

Pirating Movies Is A Serious Offense

We’ve all seen the FBI warning in front of movies, warning us not to pirate the film and distribute it illegally. For the most part, people ignore the warning simply because they had no intention of doing that. However, there are some people out there who ignore the warning and do that anyway. They figure they won’t get caught and that even if they do, it won’t be that big of a deal.

For one California man, this turned out to not be the case. A 22 year-old man recently found out just how serious the government takes piracy. Back in 2016, the man posted a pirated copy of the movie Deadpool to his social media account. The movie was then viewed over 6 million times, which quickly earned the attention of local authorities.

The man now faces 6 months in jail, and 1 year of probation for the criminal act. This is a very big deal for something that many people view as a “small” crime. However, especially in this instance, this is not a small crime. Over 6 million people watched the movie illegally online, which amounts to a huge loss in profits for the company that made the movie, in this case, 20th Century Fox.

Despite what one might think, pirating movies is a very big deal. It prevents companies, and the people that work for them, from getting the money they worked hard to earn. Due to this fact, the government does take this crime very seriously, as evident by this latest case.

 

Know Where Your Donations Are Going

Know Where Your Donations Are Going

Know Where Your Donations Are Going

Every once in a while, we comes across something online that just tugs at our heart strings. Then we find out that we can donate some money to help out. We jump at the chance to help out, but before anyone gets too excited, they should make sure the money is actually going where it should.

Unfortunately, there are many people out there who like to take advantage of kindhearted people. These bad people know that they can manipulate good people into donating by claiming the money will be going to help some cause. Anyone can setup a GoFundMe page and request money from strangers.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) provides some tips for people who are looking to support different charities or causes safely. One of the signs that a charity is probably a scam, is if the charity does not provide detailed information about what the money is going to be used for, then it is probably a scam. Most legitimate charities know what the money they raise will be used for.

Other signs that a charity may be a scam include:

  • The charity’s name is very similar to another prominent charity.
  • The charity tries to pressure you into making a donation without allowing you to think about whether or not you want to do so.
  • The charity asks for cash, gift cards, or wire transfers.
  • Guarantees that you will win a prize from a sweepstakes if you donate.
  • Offers to send someone to get the money from you.

If you are looking at donating some money to a good cause, be sure to do your research. Lookup the charity that you will be donating to, and try searching to see if there have been any scams or complaints about the charity in question. Doing this can help you make an informed and safe donation to a true charity, and not some scammer.

 

Areas Where You Don’t Want To Settle In California

Areas Where You Don’t Want To Settle In California

Areas Where You Don’t Want To Settle In California

When it comes to the state of California, there are so many different choices when it comes to finding a place to settle down. A person can settle down in a city by the open desert, or in a small, forested mountain town. California has so many options that finding the right place to live here can be a bit intimidating.

Recently, David Ortiz Bail Bonds in Visalia, in an effort to help people keep themselves and their families safe, took a look at what cities were considered to be the safest in the state of California. Some of the cities ranked in the top ten safest included Danville, Irvine, Chino Hills, and Mission Viejo. This provided people with a lot of information about what areas they might want to consider settling down in someday. However, it also got a lot of people wondering, what cities are the most dangerous in the state of California?

What Do Crime Rates Mean?

Anyone looking to move to a new area has probably come across the term crime rates or statistics in their research. For those unaware of what those are, they are simply bits of data that has been collected by various organizations in order to get an idea of what crime is like in that area. These statistics are like a sort of crime grade for the area.

This information usually comes from local law enforcement agencies and then is studied and analyzed by different groups. The groups then give their grade for the area. Depending on the group in question, the grade can vary drastically. This is due to the fact that some groups weigh certain types of crimes differently than other organizations.

When it comes to studying crime rates, all crimes tend to fall into two categories:

  • Violent Crimes – These are crimes that are directed at people and involve threats of violence. This includes crimes such as assault and murder.
  • Property Crimes – These are crimes that are directed at possessions and property. This includes crimes such as theft and vandalism.

Typically, organizations looking at crime data weigh violent crimes more heavily than property crimes since they tend to me the more dangerous crimes. However, each group is different and so crime rates can vary slightly from one study to another.

Some lists even take things a step further and look at more than just crimes committed in the area in the last year. They can also look at things such as poverty levels and local law enforcement funding.

The Top 5 Most Dangerous Cities In California

According to data collected by The Sacramento Bee in 2017, the following cities are ranked as the worst in the state of California. This list looks at murder rates for cities with populations greater than 50,000.

  1. Compton: 35.4 murders for every 100,000 residents.
  2. San Bernardino: 28.5 murders for every 100,000 residents.
  3. Salinas: 22.1 Murders for every 100,000 residents.
  4. Oakland: 20 murders for every 100,000 residents.
  5. Richmond: 18.9 murders for every 100,000 residents.

As mentioned above, each group that looks at crime rates analyzes the data differently. This particular list focuses solely on the violent crime of murder. Another list may look at a broader spectrum of information.

Using The Data Effectively

When it comes to looking up crime data before moving, doing research is important. Since different organizations will weigh different aspects of data more or less than other groups, the chances of two lists being the same are slim to none.

If a person is feeling truly ambitious, they can look-up the most recent information on the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) page. The FBI monitors crime statistics from all over the country and compiles the numbers annually for citizens to see. Of course, navigating a government run website isn’t always the easiest thing to do if a person doesn’t know what they are looking for.

However, a person doing their own research in this matter is important. This will allow the person to find a list that weighs the data in a way that feels right to them. From there, the person will be able to make an informed on which California cities they do not want to live in next.

 

Tips For Keeping Everyone Safe This Halloween

Tips For Keeping Everyone Safe This Halloween

Tips For Keeping Everyone Safe This Halloween

Halloween is almost here. It is a night kids dream about all year, filled with costumes and bags full of candy. Kids love this holiday. However, it can be a bit scary for parents, and not in the good way. With the way information spreads nowadays, many people have realized that kids aren’t always as safe as they should be on Halloween.

Parents need to take precautions in order to ensure the safety of their children while out trick-or-treating. Luckily, since information spreads easily nowadays, finding helpful tips and tricks to keep Halloween safe is a piece of cake. We here at David Ortiz Bail Bonds in Visalia have taken the extra steps to gather some of this information and put it in a single place in order to help people keep their families safe and sound this Halloween.

Planning A Safe Route

A good way to get started with Halloween, is to plan ahead. A parent should plan a route for trick-or-treating in advance and go over that route with their kids. This can help keep everyone on the same page, and reduce the likelihood of someone getting lost.

Additionally, if a parent is feeling brave, they can lookup registered sex offenders online. There are several sites that allow a person to see if there are any registered sex offenders in their neighborhood. A parent can use this information to make sure they don’t try trick-or-treating at, or near, any houses where the occupants could be deemed unsafe for kids.

A parent looking to monitor their kid’s candy haul can also take into account houses or streets that offer more or less, candy. We have several parents here at David Ortiz Bail Bonds in Visalia, we know how chaotic some of those sugar rushes can get. That is why we don’t judge parents who are looking to downsize the inevitable sugar high they will have to deal with after Halloween.

For families who live in areas that may not have a lot of options for trick-or-treating, parents can look for special events to take their kids to. Places like parks and malls sometimes offer trick-or-treat options.

While Out & About

While the family is out trick-or-treating, make sure to stay in well-lit areas, or that every person has a flashlight on them. Giving kids glow sticks is another option to help keep them visible. Not only does this help prevent people from stumbling in the dark, it also keeps everyone visible once night falls. It is also important to try and avoid dark areas since anything can be lurking in the shadows.

Another good rule is to keep everyone on sidewalks where available. If there are no sidewalks, stick to the side of the road. Try to only cross streets at crosswalks, but if that isn’t possible, cross when the road is clear. Make sure kids know to never try to cross a road next to a vehicle that is parked on the side of the road. The vehicle can hide pedestrians from drivers, and increase the chances of an accident occurring.

Lastly, beware of drunk drivers. For Kids, Halloween is all about getting candy. For many adults, Halloween is about going to parties, which often involve heavy amounts of drinking. Despite the many campaigns against it, thousands of people still drink and drive. These numbers go up around holidays as people go to and from parties. Be aware of this fact make sure kids give cars plenty of space on Halloween night.

Lastly, and most importantly, parents should just keep their eyes on kids, especially when they are younger. They can get very excited on Halloween, and who can blame them. However, because of this, they may not always make the best decisions. They need an adult with a level head to keep them in check and make sure they stay safe.

Remember The Law

For the more adventurous out there, Halloween is a time to enjoy spooky activities, such as ghost hunting. The thought of entering an abandoned house, or other derelict building may seem exciting to some, but it can be dangerous. Not only do abandoned building pose various safety threats, they are also usually owned by someone.

If a person does not own a particular piece of property, or have permission from the owner to be on said property, then they are trespassing. This can get a person into legal trouble for trespassing. This is a misdemeanor offense which can earn a person up to 6 months in jail and/or a $1,000 dollar fine.

Another thing to avoid on Halloween are any pranks that could be considered vandalism. Halloween is a known time from pranks, and so law enforcement officers are out and about, ready to stop any and all criminal activity. It is not a night to test their patience.

Keeping Halloween Safe

All any parent wants to do is keep their child safe, no matter their age. By following the tips here, a parent can help keep their kid out of harm’s way this Halloween. After all, Halloween is meant to be a fun holiday and a chance for kids to get out and have some fun. Nothing ruins that spooky holiday fun faster than something going horribly wrong.

From all of us here at David Ortiz Bail Bonds in Visalia, we hope you and your family have a safe and spook-tacular Halloween this year.

 

Looking For A Cheap And Affordable Bail Bond?

Looking For A Cheap And Affordable Bail Bond?

Looking For A Cheap And Affordable Bail Bond?

If you were to ask anyone who has bailed someone out before how expensive bail is, they would tell you it is very expensive. Bail costs several thousands of dollars here in California, which places it well out of reach to most individuals. That is why here at David Ortiz Bail Bonds in Visalia, we work hard to make bailing someone out of a jail a cheap and affordable.

One of the ways that we do this is by providing 0% down payment bail bonds for clients with approved credit. Clients who have approved credit can get their loved one out of jail today and not have to make a payment until a later date. This can give the client the time they need to begin gathering money for the payments while still getting their loved one out of jail quickly.

We also offer another discount for qualified clients here at David Ortiz Bail Bonds in Visalia. If you want to get 20% off the price of the bail bond, then make sure you or one of the co-signers for the bail bond is a member of the military, a member of AARP, a union member, a homeowner, or has a private attorney. So long as just one of those requirements is met, then you get 20% discount.

All of this is, on top of the fact that we provide each of our clients with their own, unique payment plan. This payment plan breaks up the upfront cost of the bail bond and spreads it out over several months, making it much more affordable. If you want to get a cheap and affordable bail bond in the state of California, then you need to talk to a bail agent from David Ortiz Bail Bonds in Visalia. We are open 24/7 for your convenience. We also offer FREE consultation, so call us today! We promise, we won’t let you down.

For a FREE consultation with a knowledgeable and friendly bail agent, call David Ortiz Bail Bonds in Visalia at 1-866-485-6356 or 661-326-0608 or click Chat With Us now.

Consequence Of Driving With A Suspended License

Consequence Of Driving With A Suspended License

Consequence Of Driving With A Suspended License

Having a driver’s license makes life considerably easier and in some parts of California, the ability to drive is a key component of survival since there’s no form of public transportation. However, there are times when the State of California can decide to suspend your license.

How a Driver’s License Becomes Suspended

It’s a easier to have your drivers license suspended than you might think. Things that can result in to the state revoking your driving privileges include:

  • Unpaid tickets.
  • Driving while under the influence.
  • Being declared physically or mentally incapable of driving.
  • Having too many points on your driving record.

California Vehicle Code 14601 VC not only deals with the various reasons why a license can be suspended, but also the consequences connected to continuing to drive despite the fact you’ve lost your license.

What Happens if You Continue to Drive

It’s easy to understand the urge to drive despite the fact that your license is suspended. No one is going to know as long as you don’t get pulled over and driving means you don’t have to walk or beg a friend for a ride.

The thing you have to remember is that if you are caught driving on a suspended license you’ll face severe consequences.

Penalties for Driving Without a License in California

  • First Offense: Imprisonment for between 5 days and 6 months; $300-$1000 fine.
  • Subsequent Offense: Imprisonment for between 10 days and 1 year; $500-$2000 fine.

Vehicle Code 14601 VC states that when you’re caught driving on a suspended license, the local prosecutor will charge you with a misdemeanor, a charge that can be a serious blow, especially if you’re trying to get a job or lease a new apartment.

The exact penalty connected to your decision to drive while your license is suspended depends on a few different variables, including:

  • Why your license was suspended in the first place.
  • How many times you’ve been caught driving on a suspended license.
  • The traffic infraction that led to you being pulled over and the officer discovering the status of your license.

It’s not uncommon for a person who has been caught driving on a suspended license to spend time in the county jail and to also be issued some heavy fines.

In addition to facing legal problems when you’re caught driving on a suspended license, you’ll also have a difficult time registering your vehicle (which increases the odds of you getting pulled over and caught) and insuring your vehicle. The lack of insurance and license means that you’ll be on the wrong side of a lawsuit should you cause an accident.

 

Think Twice Before Making A Prank Call

Think Twice Before Making A Prank Call

Think Twice Before Making A Prank Call

When you’re the person making prank calls, it is a lot of fun, but you should know that each time you make one of those calls, you’re breaking California’s Penal Code 653m PC. This code also includes prank text messages and emails.

The problem with prank calls is that while you’re having a great time, the person on the other end isn’t. Having to deal with threatening and/or annoying calls is very stressful which is why the lawmakers got into the action. Don’t assume that your prank calls will simply get you a slap on the wrist. If the prosecutor decides to pursue the case and a jury finds you guilty, you’ll go through life with a misdemeanor on your record and could spend time in a county jail cell.

What Types of Call Violate Penal Code 653m PC

Most people assume that the only calls that will get them in trouble are ones that openly threaten the person on the other side of the message/call. The truth is that when you read Penal Code 653m PC, you’ll discover that California’s lawmakers consider repetitive and flat out annoying calls to also be in violation of the law.

The good news is that the most prosecutors aren’t looking for teenagers who randomly call people and ask them a joke. In most counties, Penal Code 653m PC is used mainly to prosecute harassing phone calls/messages that are involved with cases that include other issues such as stalking and domestic violence. The calls/messages that get the most attention from the authorities are the ones that are openly threatening and where obscene language is used.

One of the things that has gotten some people in trouble with the law is that they made a prank call but failed to connect with anyone on the other end, only to have the person return the call. If you start using obscene language at this point, the cops could knock on your door.

The Problem with Penal Code 653m PC

While most law officials feel that Penal Code 653m PC is a great idea, there are quite a few problems connected to it, which is bad news for prosecutors but good news for those charged with violating the law. The biggest problem is that the type of obscene language is so bad it violates Penal Code 653m PC. This gives the defense a good argument they can use to get the charges dismissed.

If found guilty, you could be required to pay a $1,000 fine and sentenced to 6 months in county jail.

 

Protect Yourself When Online Shopping

Protect Yourself When Online Shopping

Protect Yourself When Online Shopping

When was the last time you bought something from a brick and mortar store? When was the last time you bought something from an online store? One of the many conveniences of the 21st century is the ability to shop and buy products from the comforts of your living room. You can quickly and easily compare prices, find the best deals, and load up on your favorite products without ever leaving home.

However, you’re not alone. You are not the only one taking advantage of the online shopping phenomenon. There are millions of hackers scouring the internet for consumers’ identities and personal information. In order to avoid having your credit or debit card information taken, or worse, having your personal information and identity stolen, there are a few simple things you need to do when making online purchases.

The first thing you should always do is to make sure you are making purchases from a legitimate store. According to Heimdal Security, hackers create fake websites that infect your computer as soon as you click the URL. If you do make a purchase, the hackers will obtain your credit card information, name, and address. You can spot fake websites by looking for strange URLs, a wide array of brands at really low prices, and a poorly designed or functioning website.

As tempting as it may be to make purchases using free WI-FI around town, DON’T. If you utilize an unsecured internet connection, hackers can intercept your web traffic and watch you in real-time. You should also keep a close eye on your bank account for any suspicious activity or purchases that you didn’t make. If you come across an unknown purchase, report it to your bank immediately.

You should always be aware of your surroundings when making online purchases, but we know that you can’t always protect yourself. There are numerous anti-virus software in the market that can help protect your computer and your identity. Stay smart and stay safe when making online purchases by following these simple suggestions.

 

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