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What Happens If You Give A Police Officer False Information

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visalia-bail-bonds5

It doesn’t matter if you’re pulled over for a routine traffic violation or if the police knock on your front door and ask to talk to you, there’s something about face-to-face interactions that causes most of us to panic. This panic can result in us making some bad choices. A perfect example of this is not thinking before providing the officer with false information.

It doesn’t matter if you give the officer the wrong home address or if you pretend to be your younger sibling. If the officer finds out that you have provided them with false information, they will likely arrest you for violating California’s Penal Code 148.9. This is a misdemeanor offense. If you’re convicted, the judge can sentence you to six months in jail and charge a $1,000 fine. Since this charge will be on your permanent record, if the police ever question you again, they’ll likely be very suspicious of any information they get from you.

The good news is that Penal Code 148.6 clearly states that you have to knowingly give the officers the false information. That word “knowingly,” could be the key component to your defense, particularly if you made an honest mistake, such as forgetting your current home address and providing the police with a previous address. The same is true if you have given them the wrong information regarding your work history, or answered a question wrong during an interview.

If you realize that you’ve provided the police with the wrong information, it’s important to correct the situation as quickly as possible. The faster you alert the police to the mistake, the more the incident looks like a casual mistake as opposed to a deliberate attempt to mislead the police.

Another interesting thing about California’s Penal Code 148.9 is that you can only be charged with providing the police officer with false information if you provide the false information after you’ve been legally detained or arrested.

Don’t assume that just because you gave the police officer some false information before them formally detaining or arresting you that you have nothing to worry about. Giving false information before the arrest/detaining creates an opportunity for the police to charge you with interfering with an investigation and obstructing justice.

A guilty conviction for those charges results in getting fined up to $1,000, as well as spending up to 12 months in a county jail.

When it comes to the police, it’s in your best interest to be honest.

 

California’s Take On Arson

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visalia-bail-bonds3

Many people are surprised by how many arson cases occur in California during a single year. It’s one of the state’s most common felonies.

It’s likely that the main reason so many people are surprised by the high number of arson cases the California courts deal with each year is that they tend to think of arson as something that’s committed by firebugs or people who start fires because they like watching things burn. The truth is that many arson fires are actually tangled up with insurance fraud cases and are started by the same person who owns the now burned structure.

Investigating Arson Cases

Investigating arson is a time consuming and complicated process. Most law enforcement agencies have a dedicated team of arson experts who deal with arson cases. It’s not unusual for this to be a cross-agency team that includes police detectives and fire investigators.

One of the ways that arson cases differ from other types of crimes is that it usually doesn’t take long to investigate other types of felonies. Charges are often filed within weeks, sometimes even days, of the incident. Arson takes a long time to investigate. Not only does the arson team have to go over the scene with a fine-tooth comb, but they also spend a great deal of time investigating every single person involved in the case. It can take years before the case is closed and charges are filed.

The Consequences Of An Arson Conviction In California

In order to be convicted of arson in California, the prosecution must prove that you acted maliciously when the fire was allegedly set. Proving their case involves the prosecution:

  • Proving that the fire was deliberately set.
  • That you either started the fire yourself, or helped someone set the fire, or arranged for someone to set the fire.

Malicious Arson In California

If the prosecution believes that you are guilty of malicious arson, you face a felony conviction.

Malicious arson in California involves:

  • Someone getting hurt as a direct result of the arson (this could include the fire crew who responded to the reports of a fire).
  • If the burned building was a dwelling.
  • If a non-inhabited building/forest was deliberately set on fire.
  • If someone else’s property unintentionally caught on fire as a result of the arson.

A guilty conviction for any of these charges will result in serving time in a state prison.

 

The Impact Of The COVID-19 Pandemic On Crime Rates

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visalia-bail-bonds2

Whenever you turn to your preferred source of news, you’re likely slammed with information about the toll COVID-19 is taking on healthcare and the economy. Everyone is happy to share information about how overrun the hospitals are, how people’s mental health is suffering, and how the economy will never recover.

What hasn’t been talked about much is the impact COVID-19 is having on the crime.

When the pandemic first struck the United States, the crime rates dropped. That has changed. Today it’s obvious that the pandemic has triggered a surge in crime, particularly homicides.

NPR reported that in 2020, there had been over 750 homicides in Chicago, that’s an increase of over 50% from the year before. Chicago wasn’t the only city where homicide rates spiked. Los Angeles police dealt with 30% more homicide investigations. The increase in New York City exceeded 40%.

Experts agree that the spike is directly connected to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jeff Asher, who works as a data consultant, studied the crime rates in 50 major cities and concluded. “We have good data that the rise in murder was happening in the early stages of the pandemic. We have good data that the rise in murder picked up in the early stages of the summer,” Asher explained to NPR, “and we also have good data that the rise of murder picked up again in September and October as some of the financial assistance started to wear off.”

Not everyone agrees that economic struggles are the sole reason homicide rates are climbing.

“It’s clearly related, in part, to the coronavirus and to the fact that people are cooped up,” New York City’s Mayor Bill de Blasio hypothesized. “And it’s certainly related to the fact that the criminal justice system is on pause and that’s causing a lot of problems.”

COVID-19 didn’t simply result in a spike in homicides. Experts have noted that other types of crimes have also risen sharply since the pandemic.

Data collected by the COVID-19 Council revealed that:

  • Aggravated assault cases jumped 6%.
  • Domestic violence reports increased at the start of the pandemic.
  • Gun assault charges increased by 8%.
  • Robbery reports spiked by 9%.
  • There were 30% more drug-related offenses.
  • Vehicle theft increased by 13%.

While these numbers are bleak, it isn’t all bad news:

  • Non-residential burglary decreased by 7%.
  • Residential burglary decreased by a staggering 24%.
  • Drug-related offenses dropped 30%.

Hopefully, the pandemic will end soon and life, as well as crime rates, will return to normal.

 

The Truth About Doxing

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truth-about-doxing2

While it’s possible you’ve never heard the term doxing, you’ve likely seen examples of it.

Doxing, which is a shortened version of dropping dox, refers to starting an online attack. It goes further than simply getting into a virtual argument with someone. If you’ve been involved in doxing personal information, such as addresses, phone numbers, or personal documents were posted online.

While doxing is commonly associated with the internet, it actually predates the World Wide Web. The term was originally used in the early ’90s. It was during this time that hackers learned how to use computers and personal information to steal identities and infiltrate businesses.

When doxing became a problem online, the big issue was that the doxers would reveal our real names on the websites where we’d created an anonymous identity. Even though most of us use our real names on our social media accounts, there is still quite a bit of information we don’t want to be revealed online. This is exactly the information doxers want to exploit.

What Type Of Information Is Considered Doxing?

Doxers look for very specific information that they can use for their benefit, including:

  • Bank account information
  • Employment information
  • Criminal history
  • Home address
  • Private correspondence
  • Telephone number
  • Personal photos (not the ones that we typically post online, but rather the ones we prefer to remain private)
  • Social Security numbers
  • Embarrassing personal details
  • Credit card numbers

Is Doxing Illegal?

There’s no getting around the fact that doxing is immoral, but deciding whether it’s illegal is a tougher matter.

In 2017, federal lawmakers attempted to make doxing a federal crime, but the legislation failed to pass. In December 2020, the issue was once again raised. After a large number of state and federal lawmakers were threatened, some GOPs decided it was time to take another look at doxing. They proposed that it be included in the Online Safety Modernization Act of 2017.

In California, there aren’t any laws that directly name doxing, but depending on the type of information that’s released, authorities could choose to pursue internet harassment charges.

Californians aren’t allowed to use electronic devices to:

  • Intentionally make another person worry about their safety.
  • Share personal information in a harassing manner.

If you’re convicted, you could be sentenced to one year in jail and/or charged up to a $1,000 fine.

If you know personal information about another person, it’s in your best interest to contact the person privately rather than post it on your social media page.

 

Criminal Charges Vs. Civil Charges

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criminal-charges-vs-civil-charges2

One of the things that makes the American legal system confusing is that we have both criminal charges and civil charges.

Criminal charges are a straightforward part of the legal process. If you break the law, you’re arrested and criminal charges are filed against you. You have the option of pleading guilty to these charges. If you don’t plead guilty, the case goes to trial and a jury will decide if you’re guilty.

Civil charges are more complicated. Civil charges involve the victims of the crime. The civil court provides victims with an opportunity to do two things. First, they can face the person who they believe impacted the quality of their life. The second thing civil charges do is provide the victims with an opportunity to seek financial retribution.

If you’re unlucky enough to be hit with both criminal and civil charges, you’ll quickly notice that the two cases are handled quite differently.

The punishment in criminal cases usually involves fines, jail time, community service, or probation.

  • The punishment in civil cases is always financial.
  • There is a different standard of proof in civil and criminal cases.
  • Defendants in criminal cases have different guaranteed protections.
  • Juries are only used in very specific civil cases, most of the time it’s the judge who makes the final civil case ruling.

One of the things the O.J. Simpson case proved was that even if you’re not found guilty of the crime in a criminal case, you can be found guilty during a civil case. The reason Simpson was found guilty during the civil case even though he’d been found not-guilty during the criminal case is that a different standard of proof is required in the cases.

One of the first things criminal juries are told is that they can only find the defendant guilty if the prosecutor has proven that the defendant committed the crimes “beyond a reasonable doubt.” That means that if there is any question in the jury’s mind that someone else committed the crime, they must find the defendant not guilty. In the O.J Simpson criminal trial, the jury voted not-guilty because there was evidence that suggested someone else could have committed the murders. In his civil case, there was enough evidence to suggest he had.

The “beyond a reasonable doubt” concept disappears in civil cases. In those cases, if the judge (and in rare situations, a jury) looks for a “preponderance of the evidence.” This means that if all the evidence suggests that the defendant committed the crime, they’ll be found guilty of the civil charges.

One of the interesting things about civil cases is that the people who filed the charges against the defendant not only seek financial restitution for actual costs, such as medical bills following a DUI accident but can also seek punitive costs which include pain and suffering.

Considering the extremely high cost of both criminal and civil cases, it’s in your best interest to think twice before you commit a criminal act that could result in you facing both criminal and civil charges.

 

Disorderly Conduct In California

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disorderly-conduct-in-california2

One of the problems with California’s legal system is that sometimes it’s difficult to know that you’re breaking the law. In many disorderly conduct cases, people think they’re just having a good time or being opinionated until the police show up. Sometimes people don’t even know what they’ve done until they hear the charges as the booking officer works through the paperwork.

What is considered disorderly conduct can vary from one state to another. Some cities even have different rules regarding what is and isn’t disorderly conduct.

In California, disorderly conduct is generally considered behavior that irritates, stresses, or alarms those around you. That doesn’t mean your little sister can file disorderly conduct charges against you each time you annoy her while you’re at home. However, if the pair of you are at a bar and you start shouting at her, the other bar patrons will likely call the police and you could be arrested and charged with disorderly conduct.

Most disorderly conduct cases in California involve at least one person who is publicly intoxicated.

In addition to getting too wild while at the bar, California considers the following activities to be forms of disorderly conduct:

  • Lewd/lascivious acts
  • Soliciting
  • Engaging in prostitution
  • Loud public arguments
  • Invasion of privacy
  • Peeping

Sometimes loitering can be an instance of disorderly conduct.

The Consequences Of Disorderly Conduct In California

Disorderly conduct in California is a misdemeanor. If you’re convicted and it’s a first offense, you could be sentenced to six months in jail and/or be charged a $1,000 fine. If you already have disorderly conduct charges on your record, the punishment could be more severe.

In some cases, disorderly conduct can be connected with additional charges, such as:

  • Simple assault
  • Trespassing
  • Public Intoxication

Disorderly Conduct Defenses In California

Putting together a good defense case in California when you’re dealing with a disorderly conduct charge isn’t always easy. Some defenses that have been successfully used in the past include:

  • Invoking Freedom of Speech
  • That you were acting in self-defense
  • That you were falsely accused
  • That it was a domestic dispute (this is a tricky defense if you were in a public building at the time)

If you know that you tend to get loud and do rash things when you’re having a good time and drinking, it’s in your best interest to either stay home or make sure you go out with someone who can stop your behavior and help you regain control before anyone calls the police.

 

Understanding Assault With A Deadly Weapon

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understanding-assault-with-a-deadly-weapon2

Assault with a deadly weapon is basically what it sounds like. It means you are accused of assaulting someone and at the time you had something that could have been considered a deadly weapon. Like most legal issues, assault with a deadly weapon isn’t as simple as we would like it to be.

What Is A Deadly Weapon?

The first issue that comes up during assault with deadly weapon trials is if the object was deadly. Most of us hear deadly weapons and we instantly think of things like guns and knives. We don’t usually realize that many of the things that are simply laying around your house could be considered a deadly weapon in the right situation. In the heat of the moment, a shoe, pen, heavy beer bottle, or dog leash could become a deadly weapon. There have even been situations when a person bit or clawed an opponent and was charged with assault with a deadly weapon due to the sheer amount of damage their teeth and nails did to the victim.

Why It’s Important To Understand What A Deadly Weapon Is

Assault with a deadly weapon isn’t a simple thing in California, in large part because it’s one of the state’s wobbler laws. Depending on the circumstances, you could be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony.

If you’re convicted of felony assault with a deadly weapon you could spend the next four years in a state prison and be hit with up to $10,000 in fines. You’ll also probably have to go through a felony probation period.

If a gun is involved, the situation becomes even more complicated. If you have a simple handgun during the assault, the DA has the option of charging you with a misdemeanor. However, if the gun was a machine gun, an assault weapon, a semi-automatic, or a .50 BMG rifle, you’re automatically hit with felony charges. If you’re found guilty of felony assault with a deadly weapon that included one of the listed firearms, you could be sentenced to twelve years in prison.

Potential Defenses In Assault With A Deadly Weapon

Just because you’ve been charged with assault with a deadly weapon, that doesn’t mean you’ll be convicted. There are several, legal defenses you can use, including:

  • Someone was mistaken and you weren’t in possession of a deadly weapon at the time of the assault.
  • You didn’t intend to use the weapon.
  • You acted in self-defense.

Because assault with a deadly weapon in California is complicated, it’s in your best interest to hire an experienced defense attorney as soon as you hear the charges.

 

Gambling Laws Of California

David Ortiz Bail Bonds in Visalia

David Ortiz Bail Bonds in Visalia

Many types of gambling are illegal in California, but at least Las Vegas is not too far away! It is worth noting that not all forms of gambling are outlawed in California.


Here are some ways gamblers can get their fix without having to leave California:

Gambling Laws Of CA

  • INDIAN CASINOS – These are similar to Vegas-style casinos with card tables, bingo, and slot machines. These casinos are built on Indian land and are protected. This is why they are allowed to operate in California.
  • CARD CLUBS – Players must pay a fee in order to participate. Instead of betting against other players, they are betting against the “house.”
  • PARI-MUTUEL HORSE WAGERING – This style is where bets are pooled so they are betting against each other instead of the “house.” The pool is divided among the multiple winners, after taxes. In California, this style of gambling is only allowed in horse racing.
  • CHARITY – In California, the only game allowed to gamble on and have the proceeds go to charity is Bingo.
  • LOTTERY – California participates in the Mega Millions and SuperLotto Plus, among other state lotteries. California also manages the California Lottery.

When it comes to hosting a poker night with the guys at home, and the group wants to place money on the table, it is completely legal as long as the host does not act as the “house” and take their earnings as a business venture profit. In addition, there is a cap on how much money can be gambled between friends: $2,000.

If you cannot make it to Vegas and want to test your luck to try and win some money, you can always go to an Indian casino since there are many within California. Alternatively, you can call up some friends for a game night.

What To Expect With The New Marijuana Laws Of California

David Ortiz Bail Bonds in Visalia

David Ortiz Bail Bonds in Visalia

As you know, California passed Prop 64 last November, making marijuana usage legal in California. However, as you might expect, the prop is not that simple to follow. There are details and complexities written within the prop and forthcoming ambien laws. There are regulations and concerns that must be addressed.


Here is what you should know right now:

New Marijuana Laws Of CA

  • Anyone over the age of 21 can use, possess, and share up to one ounce of flowers or eight grams of concentrate of marijuana.
  • Anyone over the age of 21 can grow marijuana at home. What is tricky now is that a person cannot purchase a cannabis plant. Rather, they must receive it from another person who is already growing marijuana, and there must be no money transfer. In addition, no more than 6 plants may be grown at home at one time.
  • The state has until January 1, 2018 to get through all the rules and red tape so they can begin issuing licenses to marijuana businesses. Do not expect many stores to be ready to sell product until 2018 unless a customer has a medical card or license.
  • Similar to how smoking cigarettes and tobacco in public is illegal, smoking and/or ingesting marijuana in public is illegal.
  • If a person plans on traveling outside of California, they cannot take marijuana with them and vice versa. No outside marijuana is allowed to be brought into California.
  • Being under the influence of marijuana and driving at the same time is illegal, no matter how much or how little was smoked.

The state, local, and federal governments will continue to flush out the laws on marijuana use in California over the next year. There will be statewide laws and then there will be more localized laws by county or city. It will be a slow transition until everything is ready to go.

If you are a marijuana user, the safe bet is to stay up-to-date on news and changes with the marijuana laws, so you do not accidentally get into trouble.

The Dangers Of Street Racing In California

David Ortiz Bail Bonds in Visalia

David Ortiz Bail Bonds in Visalia

Street racing has definitely become more popular in recent years thanks to a number of movies and video games alike. Street racing can be very dangerous to participate in in real life and is against the law in California.

Some people may think that street racing is just a bit of harmless fun, but they would be wrong. These people fail to take into account all of the lives they are putting in harm’s way. When someone is racing through the streets, they are driving at a high rate of speed and can drive erratically in an attempt to avoid other drivers. This creates an unsafe environment for innocent bystanders who have no idea the race is even taking place.

All it takes is one wrong move and someone can get hurt or killed. Nearly every morning in Los Angeles, there are stories of hit-and-run fatalities and car accidents that were caused due to illegal street racing. The numbers are quite staggering.

Thousands of people are killed each year due to illegal street racing. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death between the ages of 16 and 20.


Here is a list of some of the consequences someone can face for being involved with illegal street racing.

Street Racing In CA

  • The driver or spectator can be arrested and imprisoned for up to 3 months.
  • The car can be impounded for 30 days.
  • The driver or spectator can be fined for up to $1,000.
  • The driver’s license can be revoked.
  • The driver’s car insurance can be cancelled or the driver can face higher premiums.
  • Equipment violations can be issued.


These are just a few of the consequences one could face for racing illegally or even spectating an illegal race.

An out of control car can cause a lot of devastation, which is something nobody wants. That is why there are laws against street racing. Be responsible by avoiding street racing and driving responsibly. This can save your live, as well as others.

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