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Speeding In California

Speeding In California

Speeding In California

Sometimes the urge to have fun overrides our common sense. All of us know how to drive defensively and know that failing to do so could lead to an accident. Yet, when it comes to a wide-open expanse of highway, the urge to do something reckless can be overwhelming. This urge can lead to making some illegal driving moves.

While getting reckless on the open highway feels good, it can also have some painful consequences.

If you’re caught driving well over the speed limit both your driving record and your checkbook will take a hit.

The consequences of speeding down the open highway vary. How much you were speeding directly impacts how much you’re fined.

Base fines for speeding tickets are:

  • If you’re only 15 miles (or less) over the speed limit, you’re looking at a $35 ticket.
  • If you’re going 16 to 25 miles per hour over the posted speed limit, the ticket jumps to $70.
  • If you’re stopped while going 26 miles per hour over the speed limit (but still less than 100 mph) you’re looking at a $100 ticket.

In California, the maximum fines for speeding tickets are as follows:

  • $238 for driving at a speed of up to 15 mph over the maximum speed limit.
  • $367 for driving 16 – 25 mph over the maximum speed limit.
  • $490 for driving more than 26 mph over the speed limit.
  • $900 for driving faster than 100 mph.

If you are in a construction zone, maximum speeding fines increase to:

  • $367 for driving at a speed of up to 15 mph over the maximum speed limit.
  • $525 for driving 16 – 25 mph over the maximum speed limit.
  • $648 for driving more than 26 mph over the speed limit.

These fines might seem painful, but they’re nothing compared to what you’ll face if you’re driving over 100 miles per hour. When the speedometer passes 100, the consequences get more severe, especially if it isn’t the first time you’ve been caught going that fast.

  • First Offense: $500 fine and a 30-day license suspension.
  • Second Offense in a three year period: $750 fine and a six-month license suspension.
  • Third Offense in five years: $1000 fine and a one-year license suspension.

The speeding ticket may only be part of your worries. In many cases, excessive speeds also create just the right circumstances for the officer to also charge you with reckless driving. The first time you’re convicted of reckless driving, you could spend 5-90 days in a county jail and be charged a fine that ranges from $145 to $1,000.

In addition to the fines connected to your speeding tickets, you will also experience a notable increase in your monthly insurance premiums. As tempting as speeding down that stretch of open California highway might be, it’s important to remember that you can’t predict where a patrol officer might be hiding. In the long run, it’s better to ease off the gas and obey all posted speed limits.

 

Community Service In Criminal Cases

Community Service In Criminal Cases

Community Service In Criminal Cases

Many people find that they have to complete a specific number of hours of community service as a part of their sentence. Some people love this because the community service can reduce fines and jail time. Others hate having to do so much work without getting paid.

Judges have the right to make community service a part of a sentence. Sometimes the community service replaces fines, jail time, and probation. In other cases, it’s used in tandem with the other consequences.

Community service has become so popular amongst judges that some large communities discovered that they had to hire another person and even create whole new county offices just to help with the community service portion of sentencing. These separate offices help people find promising community service opportunities, track hours, and make sure everything is properly reported to the sentencing judge.

The great thing about community service is that there are lots of different options. The only stipulation is that the work has to be done in connection with a non-profit organization and that you don’t get paid for it. You can choose to complete all of the hours by working with a single non-profit or you can divide your time up with multiple organizations.

Some communities also have government programs that qualify as community service.

When you find out that you need to complete X amount of hours of community service, the first thing you need to do is sit down and think about what you like. The entire process will be more enjoyable if you’re doing work you like or at least working for a cause you’re passionate about.

Popular community service choices include:

  • Helping out at animal rescues.
  • Assisting at homeless shelters.
  • Helping organize non-profit events, such as awareness runs, and festivals.
  • Community improvement/beautification projects.
  • Speaking to school groups.

The list goes on and on.

Once you’ve identified the type of work you’d like to do, it’s time to contact the non-profits and find out their requirements. Make it clear that the volunteering work you’re doing is for the courts. Some non-profits choose not to track hours for the courts. Others require a background check that you won’t pass because you have a criminal record.

If the first non-profit you contact doesn’t work out, contact another one until you find one that’s happy to accept you.

Create a schedule and stick to it. You want to complete your community service hours as quickly as possible so that the judge doesn’t revisit your sentencing and decide you’re shirking your responsibilities. If for some reason, you do run into a problem and won’t be able to complete the required number of hours by the court-appointed deadline, you need to contact the court and let them know. It’s likely that as long as you can prove that you’re making a genuine effort they’ll choose to extend your deadline.

Be diligent about recording the number of hours you’ve worked at your community service project. Get the person who is supervising you to sign off on your time after each session. Turn the information to the court.

The great thing about community service is that you can sometimes use it to make important new connections, develop skills, and possibly even find a program you want to continue helping even after you’ve fulfilled your community service requirements.

 

Abandoned Pets In California

Abandoned Pets In California

Abandoned Pets In California

There is little that tugs on the heartstrings more than a family pet that has been abandoned. A startling number of these stories involve a family suddenly moving and leaving a cat or dog behind, often on the property. If you happen to be the person who either rents or purchases the property, it’s important to understand your legal rights.

California lawmakers addressed the issues of abandoned pets. The law was designed to protect both landlords and incoming residents from inheriting responsibility for the pet the previous tenants left behind. All you have to do is report the pet to animal control. When you report the pet, local animal control officers will arrive at the property and remove the animal. Prior to the law change, everyone had to leave the pet where it was for a full two days after its discovery to see if the previous owners planned on returning for it.

This new law makes it possible for the pet to receive shelter, food, and any veterinary care it requires.

If you are getting ready to move and are considering leaving your pet behind, you need to think again. This is a serious problem that law officials are starting to really crackdown on.

Even if there is a legitimate reason your pet can’t make the move with you, you’re legally obligated to take care of them. That means that if you aren’t able to convince a friend or family member to assume ownership, you’ll have to go through a shelter.

It’s important to understand that abandoning your pet is illegal. The resulting charge is a misdemeanor. If you’re found guilty you could be fined $50-$500 and possibly spend time in jail.

If the stress of the move causes a pet to run away, you need to report them as a lost animal as quickly as possible. Reporting them as lost not only increases the odds of them getting safely returned to your family, but eliminates the possibility of you being charged with animal abandonment in California.

 

Selling Real Estate Without A License

Selling Real Estate Without A License

Selling Real Estate Without A License

Selling real estate seems simple enough. Someone wants to sell their house. You know a few people who would be interested. You agree to act as a broker between everyone. Considering that people sell houses as “for sale by owner” all the time, what can possibly go wrong.

Yes, it’s possible that this could turn into a good deal for everyone, it can also go horribly sideways. While state laws do allow you to sell your house without the aid of a real estate agent, you’re not allowed to step in and act as a broker for another person unless you’ve been properly licensed by the state.

Getting a real estate license in California isn’t necessarily difficult, but it does require some commitment on your part. The state real estate board wants proof that you clearly understand the ins and outs of real estate law.

The State of California won’t issue a real estate license to you until you’ve:

  • Completed a specified real estate course.
  • Passed a written exam.
  • Undergone a thorough state background check.

It is important to understand that California has two different types of real estate license: (1) a license that allows you to act as a real estate salesperson and (2) a license that allows you to act as a real estate broker.

You won’t be granted a broker’s license until you’ve first obtained your salesperson license. The state won’t even consider your application to become a broker until you’ve obtained a great deal of hands-on experience working as a real estate salesperson.

Failure to become properly licensed before selling real estate has serious legal repercussions. If you’re caught, you could be facing either a felony or misdemeanor charges. The punishment often depends on why you were eventually caught, how many properties you ultimately helped sell, and if you have ever been charged with selling a property without a license in the past.

In many cases, you’ll serve time in either jail or state prison. It’s also likely you’ll be required to pay a steep fine, have a probation period, and even be required to do community service. Depending on the situation, you could also have to pay restitution to everyone involved in the case. There’s also a chance that civil charges will be filed against you. It’s unlikely that you’ll ever be allowed to legally sell real estate after you’ve been convicted.

All things considered, it’s best to put in the work and obtain your real estate license rather than trying to take a short cut.

 

Tips To Help You Get Ready To File Your 2020 Tax Return

Tips To Help You Get Ready To File Your 2020 Tax Return

Tips To Help You Get Ready To File Your 2020 Tax Return

Your 2020 tax return isn’t due until mid-April, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore that tax season is officially here. The last thing you want to do is wait until a few days before the deadline to file. Turning your thoughts to your tax return now and creating a plan to help you prepare them reduces a great deal of tax season stress.

The key to keeping your stress levels low during tax season is creating a plan of attack. Create a list of specific tasks that need to be completed and determine when you’ll do them. You’ll be amazed how much a solid plan of attack smooths out the process of filing your 2020 tax return.

Gather Your Paperwork

Spend the second half of January and the first half of February gathering up all the paperwork you need to complete your 2020 tax return. The paperwork you need to have on hand before you’re ready to start preparing your tax return includes:

  • W2s
  • Documents that indicate itemized expenses such as child care, medical insurance, and educational costs
  • Any 1099s connected to freelance contractors you hired throughout the year
  • Donation receipts
  • Mortgage interest payment documents
  • An itemized list of business expenses (if relevant)
  • Investment statements
  • Receipts for any tax-deductible purchases you made throughout the year

Keep all of these documents in a drawer or file that’s specifically dedicated to your 2020 taxes.

Dedicating a few weeks to simply organizing all the paperwork that’s relevant to your 2020 tax return does three things. One, it means you don’t have to constantly stop and look for things while you’re preparing your return. Two, you won’t accidentally forget to add something that could impact how much you owe/receive. Three, by gathering all of the documents early, you’ll notice if something is lost and still have time to find/replace the document.

Prepare Your 2020 Tax Return

Set aside a few days in early March to actually prepare your tax return. If you’re handling this on your own, make sure you have a block of time when you won’t be interrupted. Give yourself plenty of time. If you find the process overwhelming, divide the process into several small, manageable chunks. By starting to prepare the paperwork in March, it means you won’t be in a race to complete the work by the April 15 deadline.

When you’re done, save the documentation but don’t submit it to the IRS just yet.

Review Your Work

Give yourself a week or two before returning to your completed tax return. Carefully go over every single line and make sure everything is correct. This review process is the best way to avoid making a mistake that could trigger an audit. Once you’re satisfied that everything is accurate, it’s time to officially file your taxes.

Set Up A Payment Plan

If you’re getting a refund from the IRS, you can sit back and wait for the check to appear. If you discover that you owe taxes, you’ll want to set up a payment plan and stick to it. It’s better to make your payments a few days early than to be late.

Hopefully, this plan of attack for your 2020 tax season takes all the stress out of the process, making it possible for you to file your taxes and also enjoy time with your family and friends.

 

What Is Disorderly Conduct In California?

What Is Disorderly Conduct In California?

What Is Disorderly Conduct In California?

Disorderly conduct in California isn’t really one specific charge. It’s a blanket term that covers a surprisingly large array and variety of charges.

Charges that fall under the category of disorderly conduct in California include:

  • Trespassing
  • Rioting
  • Begging
  • Disturbing the peace
  • Prostitution (both soliciting and engaging)
  • Public intoxication
  • Loitering
  • Invasion of privacy
  • And many more

If you’re going through California’s laws, you’ll find disorderly conduct mentioned when you read PC 647.

The exact consequences of disorderly conduct in California depend on what type of crime you’ve been charged with. In most cases, you could face up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000 or community service.

The biggest consequence connected to disorderly conduct crimes in California is the damage they do to your reputation. They’re a misdemeanor, so once you’ve put the matter behind you, legally it doesn’t have much impact on your life. However, it does mar your reputation and can have a negative impact on your personal relationships and also make it harder to find employment.

The exact defense you and your lawyer decide to mount in a disorderly conduct case will depend heavily on the situation. The most common defenses involve:

If you’ve been accused of a disorderly conduct crime, it’s in your best interest to contact a lawyer right away. The sooner you start working with a lawyer, the stronger you’re defense will be.

 

We Offer Personalized Payment Plans To Making Paying For Bail Easy

We Offer Personalized Payment Plans To Making Paying For Bail Easy

We Offer Personalized Payment Plans To Making Paying For Bail Easy

Dealing with big purchases can be a bit of a hassle, especially without a payment plan. Payment plans are great because they break up a large payment into smaller, more manageable chunks for a person. Unfortunately, most places charge interest on their payment plans, making it cheaper to pay the large amount up front. Unfortunately, that isn’t always an option, especially if the expense came without warning.

This is often the case when it comes to bail. No one ever expects that someone they know will get arrested, and so no one ever expects that they will need to post bail. This means that most people do not have the several thousands of dollars needed to post bail in California. Luckily, David Ortiz Bail Bonds in Visalia is here to offer an affordable solution.

Here at David Ortiz Bail Bonds in Visalia, our bonds only cost 10% of the bail they are for. In addition to this discount, we provide all of our clients with personalized payment plans. These plans break up the cost of the bail bond into small monthly payments that you can actually afford. Each payment plan that we make is customized to work with that client’s unique budget.

On top of just breaking up the price of the bail bond, our payment plans provide flexibility to our clients. The plan can range from 12 to 24 months and has 0% interest on it. This means that you will only be paying the price of the bail bond, and nothing more. You pay the same amount whether you pay it all up front, or with small payments over time.

  • 24/7 Bail Bond Service
  • FREE Consultation
  • 20% Discount
  • Phone approvals
  • 0% Interest Payment Plans
  • No Hidden Fees
  • No Collateral with Working Co-Signer
  • Se habla Español

Dealing with a large, unexpected payment like bail doesn’t have to be impossible. With help from the professionals here at David Ortiz Bail Bonds in Visalia, you will have a personalized payment plan that works with your budget. Plus, with 0% interest and no penalty for paying of the bond early, there is no reason not to call us for help.

Don’t hesitate to call, consultation at David Ortiz Bail Bonds in Visalia is always FREE, so call us at 1-866-485-6356 or 661-326-0608 or click Talk To An Agent Now to chat.

 

How Are You Keeping Your Kids Busy This Summer?

How Are You Keeping Your Kids Busy This Summer?

How Are You Keeping Your Kids Busy This Summer?

Summer is here. For kids, this is the best time of the year, second only to Christmas time. Summer means no school and the freedom to do whatever they want. For parents, summer isn’t as exciting. Adults still have to work, but now the kids are home while are off making a living. Kids can get into all kinds of mischief if left unsupervised and bored for extended periods of time. This leaves parents with a bit of a dilemma.

When it comes to keeping kids entertained over the summer, many parents have a tough time. After all, they aren’t teachers and many do have to go to work. Even if a parent is a stay at home parent, summer can be tough. Those eight hours of school really keep children busy. Plus there is the fact that many of the fun things that are advertised on TV are very expensive, and most people do not have that kind of money. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to keep kids entertained over summer break without breaking the bank.

How To Keep Kids Entertained

Keep kids busy is no simple task, which is something parents figure out very quickly when their kids get any extended break from school. Kind of makes you think teachers should get paid more, doesn’t it? Regardless, with school out for summer, it is up to the parent to keep their child entertained, or at the very least, busy until school starts up again in fall. Here are a few, simple and affordable ideas on how to keep your kids busy this summer:

  1. CHORE CHARTS
    A quick and simple way to keep kids, maybe not so much entertained, but busy, would be to institute a chore chart. They might not appreciate it, but it can be helpful for the parent and beneficial for the child in the long run. Chores help teach children about responsibility, and can be a great way for them to earn some money that they can then spend on things they want.
  2. THE LIBRARY
    A good entertainment option would be to take the kids to the library once a week. Most public libraries have summer reading programs that can give more reasons for kids to read books. Just be sure to let the child pick out books that are age appropriate, but interesting to them. You want them to keep reading, and not get discouraged by big, complicated words. Reading is a great way to spend away hours upon hours of the summer.
  3. CAMP
    One option would be sending kids to summer camp, which can be a great adventure for the child. However, summer camp can be a bit expensive. There is always the cheaper alternative of day camp. Day camps are great ways to keep kids entertained during the day without sending them away for extended periods.
  4. BOARD GAMES
    Board games can be another way to keep children entertained over the summer. There are so many different games out there, that there is one for everyone. Plus, many modern games teach skills like teamwork, resource management, critical thinking, and strategy. Plus, with their replay-ability board games can be a very good investment.
  5. BE BORED
    Lastly, one of the best things that you can do is just let your child be bored. As bad as that may sound, being bored can actually be a good thing. Many studies have found that boredom leads to creativity. This is more important now more than ever since there are so many devices out there to help us alleviate boredom. Kids don’t actually have a lot of time to be bored nowadays, so letting them be bored from time to time is actually a good thing. It can lead to more creativity in your child.

Don’t Stress, Just Have Fun

While keeping kids entertained over the summer can be a tough job, it is possible to do without spending boatloads of money on extravagant outings. Following some of the above ideas can be great ways to keep kids entertained and/or busy this summer without straining your bank account.

While a parent may feel the need to make sure their child is entertained for the entirety of the summer break, it is important to realize that not only is that not possible, especially for working parents, but it is unrealistic. Boredom happens to everyone, and can often lead to great new ideas. So don’t worry too much if your child isn’t entertained 24/7, it can lead to some creative new ideas.

Do you have any cheap and affordable ways that you keep your kid(s) entertained during summer break?

If so, share them in the comments below and help out other parents.

 

Are Nanny Cams Legal In California?

Are Nanny Cams Legal In California?

Are Nanny Cams Legal In California?

There is no denying that most parents only want what is best for their children. They want their children to be happy and successful. Unfortunately, in today’s fast moving and expensive world, it can be hard for parents to always be there for their child. Typically, people try to get trusted friends or family members to look after their children, but that isn’t an option for everyone. This leads to many parents hiring caregivers to watch over their children while they are away.

As much as parents should be able to trust the person that is watching over their child when they are gone, there is reason to be wary. There have been far too many cases where children were abused by the very people hired to take care of them.

As horrible as this is, advancements in technology have granted parents the ability to keep an eye on their nannies, even when they are at work. Nanny cams are simple pieces of tech that allow parents to monitor how a caregiver acts when no one else is around. However, given how California is about recording people, are these cameras even legal within the state?

California And Recordings

When it comes to recording conversations, California is known as a two-party consent state. This means that in order for a person to legally record a private conversation between themselves and another person, both people have to agree to the recording. Any audio recordings that are acquired without consent from both parties means that they cannot be used as evidence in cases.

However, when it comes to recording people on video, people can record others without consent so long as the video subject is not in an area where they could reasonably expect privacy. In other words, if someone is in a public place, like a city sidewalk, they could not reasonably expect privacy and therefore can be recorded.

Some examples of where people could privacy include:

  • Public restrooms
  • Changing rooms
  • Locker rooms
  • Their home
  • Their backyard
  • Private property that they have permission to be on

If a person is in any of the areas or areas similar to this, then they have a right to privacy and cannot be recorded.

California And Nanny Cams

When this law gets applied to nanny cams, some people might assume that this means these kinds of cameras cannot be used in the state of California. However, that is not the case. Parents can use nanny cams here in California, they just have to be mindful of where they place the cameras.

Basically, the rule of privacy still applies for the caregiver, meaning that cameras cannot be placed in any area where a person might expect privacy. This includes bathrooms and the caregiver’s room, if they are a live-in nanny. However, since the nanny is working in someone else’s home, they cannot reasonably expect privacy in that place. This also works inversely in that since the nanny is not the owner of the home, they cannot install cameras within it.

However, if the camera also records audio as well as visual, then they parents may need to alert the nanny of this fact. This is due to the fact that with audio recordings, the devices could pick up what is supposed to be a private conversation. This is best done in writing so that there is proof of this warning. If a parent fails to do this, then any audio from the recording could not be used in a court of law.

Nanny Cams Are Meant To Keep Kids Safe

Parents just want to ensure that their children are safe and sound, even when the parent isn’t there in person. Nanny cams allow them to do this. Some nanny cams are even advanced enough to let a parent view the camera from their place of work. If a parent does have a camera like this, they should be sure that it is password protected so that some unknown person can’t hack into it.

What do you think of nanny cams and California’s laws about recording people?

Should parents have to warn nannies about being recorded, or should they be allowed to do it in secret? Maybe parents shouldn’t be able to record nannies at all. Let us know what you think in the comments down below.

 

Animal Abuse Is Against The Law

Animal Abuse Is Against The Law

Animal Abuse Is Against The Law

Every good pet owner would agree that their pet’s wellbeing often comes before their own. They want to make sure that their pet is safe and happy. Even most non-pet owners want to help out animals who are in distress, if they can. Sadly, not everyone is so compassionate. There are some people out there who simply don’t care about animals, or find it fun to cause harm to them.

This is why there are laws in place that make it illegal to cause harm or distress to an animal. California’s primary animal abuse law is Penal Code (PC) 597. This law protects all animals, including:

  • Domesticated pets
  • Strays
  • Wild animals

The law covers all kinds of animal cruelty, including but not limited to:

  • Neglect
  • Cockfighting
  • Dogfighting
  • Leaving animals unattended in vehicles

Penal Code (PC) 597 prohibits a person from maliciously or intentionally harming an animal in anyway way that a person could possibly think of. If a person is caught breaking this law, they could face either misdemeanor or felony charges, depending on the case. As a misdemeanor charge, a person can face up to a year in county jail and a fine of no more than $20,000. Felony charges can earn a person 16 months, 2 or 3 years in jail, and a similar fine to that of the misdemeanor charges.

Most people do not want to harm animals, whether they are their pets or not, so they don’t have to worry too much about being charged with animal abuse. Since animals cannot speak for themselves, a person is encouraged to contact local law enforcement if they see or suspect that an animal is being abused.

 

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