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Halloween, California & COVID-19

Halloween, California & COVID-19

Halloween, California & COVID-19

Halloween is right around the corner. It’s one of those holidays that kids look forward to all year long. It’s not uncommon for kids to spend months working on a Halloween costume and planning their trick-or-treating route.

Safety & Halloween

Every single year, the news is always full of stories about people wondering if traditional trick-or-treating is safe. Concerning issues include the potential to bring poisoned candy into the house, getting hit by a car or getting kidnapped. This year has the added complication of COVID-19.

Is It Safe To Trick-Or-Treat?

The good news is that Halloween hasn’t been officially cancelled in California, but lawmakers and members of the medical community are concerned. Officially they are asking people to skip the tradition of trick-or-treating this year, but they have also stated that they’re leaving the final decision to the parents.

What Should You Do?

No one can tell you if you should stay at home this Halloween or if you should go trick-or-treating, you need to decide what your personal comfort levels are. If you do decide to go, there are a few things you can do.

  • Use a pair of tongs to select candy from dishes/buckets.
  • Set a limit on the number of houses you’ll visit.
  • Have your kids wear gloves and face mask while trick-or-treating.
  • Limit your trick-or-treating to your own social circle.
  • Have your kids use hand sanitizer after each house.

When you get home, have your kids change their clothing and thoroughly wash their hands. It wouldn’t hurt to let their bucket of candy sit for a few days, giving any COVID-19 germs a chance to die before they infect your family.

Don’t get so wrapped up in the idea of keeping your kids safe from COVID-19 during Halloween that you forget other trick-or-treating safety maneuvers. Make sure you’re kids are decked out in reflective clothing, that they stick close to you, and that you inspect each piece of candy for tampering when you get home.

If you’re a fan of trunk-or-treating, this might be a good year to skip the trend, particularly if the event takes place indoors. The smaller space and higher volume of trick-or-treaters increases the risk of you contracting COVID-19. If you do decide to go to a trunk-or-treat event, look for one that’s outdoors.

If you decide that you don’t want to go out for Halloween, try to look for something fun to do in your own home, so your kids don’t think they’re missing out on something. Maybe throw a small Halloween party that only includes your own family, or hide candies and make it a Halloween scavenger hunt. The important thing is to keep your kids both healthy and safe during these strange times.

Happy Halloween and Stay Safe!

 

Watering Your California Lawn

Watering Your California Lawn

Watering Your California Lawn

All of us want the lush, gorgeous kind of lawn we see featured in landscaping ads and gardening magazines. Even with minimal landscaping, a beautiful, healthy lawn really showcases the home, giving it a great deal of curb appeal.

The problem many California homeowners encounter is that maintaining that stunning lawn takes a great deal of water. Using too much water on your lawn could create some serious legal headaches.

How Much Water Can You Use?

There are some parts of the world where you can put as much water on your yard as you’d like. That’s not the situation in California. The entire state is always conscious of a potential water shortage. It’s something the state and local lawmakers would like to avoid. Many places have limited the amount of water, the times and even the places you can water your lawn.

It would be easy if you knew you could only water your lawn for an hour on odd days of the calendar month. That would be straightforward and easy to adhere to. The problem is that it’s not that straightforward. Each township/city has their own lawn watering rules. Further complicating the situation is that the rules can change from week to week depending on how much rain the area has received.

The best way to make sure you’re not accidentally violating one of the rules, is to frequently check local government websites where any alterations to local ordinances about lawn watering will be listed. Violating the ordinances and overwatering your lawn will likely result in a citation and you’ll have to pay a fine.

New Restrictions Coming

All California residents need to review two recently passed California water laws that will eventually impact everyone living in California. The laws are Assembly Bill 1668 and Senate Bill 606. These Bills are designed to restrict the amount of water you use every single day. Starting in 2022 each person in your home will only be allowed to use 55 gallons of water per day. By 2030, the amount decreases to 50 gallons. Using too much water will result in additional penalties being added to your water bill.

It is fully expected that as some point in 2020, the California Department of Water Resources, will present lawmakers with a list of guidelines that also suggests restricting how much water each California property owner can use outside their home for purposes like washing vehicles and watering the lawn.

If lawmakers approve the California Department of Water Resources’ recommendations, it could make it harder for you to enjoy a stunning lawn.

 

The Legal Consequences Of Public Fighting

The Legal Consequences Of Public Fighting

The Legal Consequences Of Public Fighting

Street fighting, barroom brawls and throwing a punch at a guy who steals your parking space. In the movies, these things never seem like a big deal. The worst thing that ever seems to happen to the characters who are involved in public fighting is that they spend a few hours in jail.

Sadly, real-life doesn’t mirror the movies. California has public fighting laws. If you’re busted for public fighting in California, you’ll face serious consequences.

What Is Public Fighting?

California considers public fighting to be a disturbing the peace crime. The issue is addressed in the Penal Code 415. When you read Penal Code 415 you’ll discover that it doesn’t take much for an officer to decide that you’re in violation of the law.

Penal Code 415 states that you can be charged with disturbing the peace if you’ve:

  • Challenged another person to a fight while in a public place.
  • If you get into a fight with a person while in a public place.
  • If you’ve deliberately and maliciously used a loud noise to disturb someone.
  • If you’re caught using malicious language or words that are designed to hurt or provoke someone while you were in a public place.

What Is A Public Place?

Most people know that bars, schools, government buildings and sporting complexes are public places. The problem is that some people don’t know about other areas, such as a lawn, driveway or cornfield.

Can You Be Charged With Disturbing The peace If You Get Into A Fight While Standing In Someone’s Front Yard?

According to USLegal.com, a public place is generally an indoor or outdoor area, whether privately or publicly owned, to which the public have access by right or by invitation, expressed or implied, whether by payment of money or not, but not a place when used exclusively by one or more individuals for a private gathering or other personal purpose.

The Consequences Of Fighting In Public

The consequences of fighting in public are difficult to determine because in addition to the disturbing the peace charge, additional charges, such as assault, can also be filed against you. However, according to Penal Code 415, if your public fight only resulted in a disturbing the peace charge, the potential consequences can include:

  • Serving up to 90 days in a county jail.
  • Having to pay a $400 fine.

It is worth noting that public fighting should only result in a disturbing the peace charge if you were an instigator. You shouldn’t be found guilty if you acted in self-defense.

California states that you can use self-defense in a public fighting charge if:

  • You reasonably anticipated that you anticipated suffering bodily harm.
  • You honestly believed that protecting yourself required the use of force.
  • You didn’t use any more force than what was absolutely necessary to defend yourself.

You can claim that you acted in “self-defense” when you were trying to protect someone else from harm.

 

Attending School During The COVID-19 Pandemic

Attending School During The COVID-19 Pandemic

Attending School During The COVID-19 Pandemic

Never before have so many parents been confused about how their child’s education will take place during the upcoming school year. Concern about COVID-19 spreading through the schools has caused a great deal of confusion regarding how education will work during the 2020/2021 school year.

The Governor’s Thoughts About School This Year

One of the things making this school year so difficult is that California’s lawmakers seem to second guess themselves every single day. One day the governor announces that nope, schools won’t open and all schooling will be done virtually. A few weeks later, an elementary school opens its doors and starts welcoming students.

The problem this poses for parents is figuring out how they’ll help their child get the education they need this year. Many aren’t even sure if the government has a plan in place to make sure that no child is left behind this school year.

The best thing parents can do is pay attention to any formal information their child’s school is passing on. As of right now, the governor has decreed that most of the schools will be going exclusively to virtual learning. There are some exceptions. Some schools have been issued waivers that allow them to open, provided they have measures in place to keep kids healthy this school year. Safety measures the schools who have received waivers are taking include:

  • Taking student’s temperature.
  • Requiring everyone to wear masks.
  • Creating a plan to make sure students practice safe social distancing.

It is estimated that about 94% of all California’s school-aged children will be attending school virtually. Since many parents are new to virtual learning, they can’t help wondering how the school and state’s lawmakers will enforce virtual learning.

Laws To Make Sure Students Get Educated Via Virtual Learning

Both California lawmakers and educators are working hard to figure out how to ensure students are learning via virtual learning methods. They realize that some students are going to struggle with the new system. In June, lawmakers approved budget measures that enable the schools to create programs that are geared towards special needs students that will provide them with the unique tools and learning experiences they need to gain the knowledge they would have picked up in the classroom. Schools are also supposed to use the funds to create plans for any disasters that might force the school to close for 10 or more days.

The issue of truancy hasn’t been formally addressed at this time, though now that California’s school year has begun, it will likely be discussed soon. The state will likely leave it up to each school to create its own system to make sure students are attending virtual classes. If the student isn’t keeping up on their classwork or logging into the virtual learning program, the school will likely contact the local truancy officer who will launch an investigation.

 

The Legal Ramifications Of Falsely Reporting A Crime In California

The Legal Ramifications Of Falsely Reporting A Crime In California

The Legal Ramifications Of Falsely Reporting A Crime In California

We’ve all been in a situation where someone has done something that deeply hurts us. When that happens, we can’t stop thinking about how we can get revenge. In most cases, the anger fades and you never take action against the other person.

There are exceptions.

There have been cases of people reporting a false crime in an attempt to get back at something. If this is something you’re considering doing, you should know that the State of California has legal protocols in place that are designed to discourage such malicious behavior.

What Happens When You Falsely Report A Crime In California?

The police want to trust everyone that walks into a police station and reports a crime. If you decide to try to get your friend in trouble for… shoplifting. The police will take you seriously. They’ll launch an investigation and might even arrest your friend.

The problem is that there is often evidence that the person who has been falsely accused isn’t guilty. It’s at this point that the police will start looking at you. They’ll want to know how you could have witnessed a crime that either didn’t happen or that involved someone else. They’ll become particularly suspicious if they learn that you have a history with the person you accused of shoplifting.

To Falsely Report A Crime, Do You Have To File Charges?

When the average person thinks about falsely reporting a crime, most people think to lie about the fact that someone they knew was involved in a crime. They usually think it’s a malicious act. That’s not always the case. One of the most common falsely reported crimes is someone reporting that something, like a vehicle, has been stolen in an attempt to get insurance money.

Most of the time, the truth comes out when the police start investigating.

The Punishment Of Falsely Reporting A Crime In California

The issue of falsely reporting a crime is covered by Penal Code 148.5. When you read the law, you quickly learn that even if you don’t officially report the crime to a police officer, but rather to a 911 operator you can still be found guilty of a falsely reporting a crime.

If you’re found guilty of falsely reporting a crime, you’ll be charged with a misdemeanor. The most severe punishment is a $1,000 fine and potentially having to spend six months in jail.

In addition to facing criminal charges, there is also a chance that you could find yourself in the middle of a civil lawsuit.

No matter how angry or desperate you get, you should always resist the impulse to falsely report a crime. The small twinge of satisfaction simply isn’t worthwhile.

 

California’s Regulations Regarding Car Seats

California’s Regulations Regarding Car Seats

California’s Regulations Regarding Car Seats

All parents know that infants should be contained in a car seat; however, not all parents know what California’s laws are regarding car seats.

Infants And Car Seats

Any child that is two or under must be confined to a rear-facing car seat while they are in a vehicle. Failing to have your child properly secured in a car seat will result in a $500 fine and a point getting added to your driving record. Don’t assume that just because your child has passed their second birthday that it’s time to change their car seat. The law also states that the child needs to be at least 40 inches tall and or weigh at least 40 pounds before they graduate to a different type of car seat.

Car Seats For Children Between Ages 2 And 8

If your child has already celebrated their second birthday and also meets the height and weight requirements, you’re allowed to replace their rear-facing car seat for a front-facing model. California lawmakers won’t prevent you from making this transition, but they do want you to understand that the rear-facing car seats are considered 500% safer than the front-facing models.

The car seat should always be secured in the back seat unless there is a reason the back seat is considered unsafe or isn’t designed in a way that allows the car seat to be safely installed in space.

Transitioning From Car Seat To Booster Seat

There is no set age when your child can officially move out of their car seat and into a booster seat. California’s child car seat laws state that the transition can happen once your child has reached a height or weight that exceeds the limits of your front-facing car seat. In most cases, the child will be about 65 pounds. There are no requirements about the type of booster seat your child uses, though it does have to be a seat that can be safely installed in the car.

Your child is allowed to move out of the booster seat when they turn 8 or when they reach a height of 4’9”.

Make Sure The Car Seat Is Properly Installed

An improperly installed car seat is nearly as dangerous as driving around without your child in a car seat. Don’t assume that you know what you’re doing. Whenever you get a new car seat or a new car, it’s in your best interest to take the entire setup to your nearest police station. One of the officers will happily examine the car seat and make sure it’s properly installed.

Rather than moving the car seat from one car to another, you should keep a car seat in each vehicle. Not taking the seat in and out of different vehicles not only extends the life of the car seat but also reduces the risk of it not getting installed properly.

You owe it to your child to stay abreast of the latest California laws pertaining to car seats.

 

Did You Hear About This Change To Kids Car Seats?

Did You Hear About This Change To Kids Car Seats?

Did You Hear About This Change To Kids Car Seats?

Any experienced parent will tell you that kids need different kinds of car seats at different ages. As the child grows, they need different styles of car seats until they are finally big enough to sit in the seat without any additional device. For a long time, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended that children should remain in rear-facing car seats until they are 2 years old. However, that has now changed.

Recently, the American Academy of Pediatrics changed their recommendation and eliminated the age limit. Now they say that a child should remain in a rear-facing car seat until they weigh over 40 pounds. The lead author of the updated rule said:

“It’s best to keep your child rear-facing as long as possible. This is still the safest way for children to ride.”

This change breaks a long held rule, largely due to the fact that manufactures of car seats are now making rear-facing seats that can support children up to 40 pounds. Since this is the best way for children to travel, the Academy changed the long standing rule.

According to the academy, using the right kinds of car seat for a child can reduce the risk of serious injury or death by 70%. That is not a number that should be ignored by parents. Furthermore, the Academy goes on to list when kids should be moved from one style of car seat to the next.

  • Rear-facing seat – Up to 40 pounds.
  • Safety seat with harnesses – Up to 65 pounds.
  • Belt positioning booster seat – Until the child is 4 feet 9 inches tall.

Parents should follow these guidelines, as well as the recommendations in the car seat’s safety manual to ensure the safety and wellbeing of their child while driving.

 

Commonly Broken California Laws

Commonly Broken California Laws

Commonly Broken California Laws

When it comes to breaking the law, there are all sorts of things that a person can do. There are literally thousands of different ways to break laws in California. Some of the most commonly broken laws in the state include:

  • ASSAULT: This occurs when a person hurts another individual. This can be done with a fists or a weapon. Depending on how the person attacked the other individual, and how badly the person was injured, the crime can be either a misdemeanor or a felony. The bail amount for this crime varies depending on how it was charged and often starts around $25,000.
  • DUI: Driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol is an illegal act and yet thousands of people do it every single day. A first time offense can get a person a bail of around $5,000. Subsequent offense will earn higher bail amounts, up to $100,000 in worst case scenarios.
  • POSSESSION OF DRUGS: Possessing illegal drugs, items related to those drugs, or even prescription drugs without a prescription is illegal in California. Bail for drug possession charges can range anywhere from $20,000 to over $100,000.
  • POSSESSION OF WEAPONS: Certain weapons are illegal in California, and some people are flat out prohibited from possessing any weapons. If a person is caught doing either one of those things, they will face this charge. Depending on the facts of the case, a person can face a bail amount ranging from $20,000 to $60,000.
  • RESTRAINING ORDER VIOLATION: When a restraining order is issued by a court, that person has to stay away from the person in question. Failing to do so can get a person into trouble. The average bail amount for a restraining order violation starts around $15,000.
  • THEFT/BURGLARY: Theft occurs when a person takes an item from someone else. Burglary occurs when a person breaks into a place and steals something. If less than $950 is stolen, than the crime is considered a misdemeanor. If more than that is stolen, than it is a felony. Bail amounts for these crimes can range anywhere from $20,000 to over $50,000.

Bail amounts vary from crime to crime and grow more expensive the more severe the crime is. Still, even the low ends of these bail amounts are too expensive for the average individual to afford on their own. This is why David Ortiz Bail Bonds in Visalia is here to help. Contact one of our bail agents and they will provide you with an affordable bail bond that costs 10% of the full bail amount.

What are you waiting for? You can get the bail process started today by calling David Ortiz Bail Bonds in Visalia at 1-866-485-6356 or 661-326-0608 or click Talk To An Agent Now to chat.

Pay Attention To Your Surroundings

Pay Attention To Your Surroundings

Pay Attention To Your Surroundings

Smart devices and cellphones have greatly impacted society. It used to be, if someone wanted information, they needed to look it up in a book. If they wanted to talk someone, they need to write a letter or find a land line. Now, with all of this wireless technology, people can access the world whenever they want.

The power to do this can be very addicting, so much so that people often struggle with putting the devices down when they should. Trying to do other tasks while on the phone can be dangerous, even if the other task is as simple as walking.

Watch Where You’re Going

Using a cellphone can be very attention grabbing. People may think they are capable of multitasking with a cellphone, but they often fail to realize how their other tasks may suffer from the split attention. This distraction is why it is illegal to use a cellphone while driving.

Using a cellphone to browse the web or text while walking can be dangerous for the person. They are often more focused on the little screen and don’t see what they are walking into. There are thousands of videos online of people walking into poles or stumbling into fountains because they were on their phone.

Aside from the obvious problem of not watching where a person is walking, there are additional concerns. The people around phone users have begun to take notice of how little they are paying attention. This is not a good thing. Bad people have realized that it is easy to sneak up on and attack distracted walkers. There have been numerous cases of people being attacked or robbed simply because they were walking while using a cellphone. They were too distracted to see the thief or attacker coming. This is just another reason to not use a cellphone while walking.

City Zombie Laws

In an effort to keep people safe, some cities have begun enacting laws against distracted walking. These laws are often referred to as zombie laws due to how people using their cellphones while walking often shamble and stumble into things like zombies would.

These laws vary from city to city. Some completely outlaw the act of using a phone while walking. Others, only prohibit the act while crossing a street. Either way, both are obviously aimed at keeping people safe by making them pay attention.

Breaking these laws is often not a crime, and so results in no jail time, but a small fine. The fine is usually around $100.

To learn more and find out if your city has a zombie law, check your city’s local ordinances online.

Don’t Be Caught Off Guard

Knowing what lies around the next turn in life can be difficult, especially when a person has their head buried in their phone. Walking and using a cellphone can be a dangerous multitasking attempt. A person can very easily misstep and end up colliding with something they’d rather not bump into, such as a pole, fountain, or even a speeding car.

What’s more is that there are bad people out there who have picked up on this lack of attention and are using it to their advantage. If a person wants to avoid running into something or being snuck up on in broad daylight, then they need to put their phone down or stop walking until they are finished. Don’t try to do both at the same time.

What do you think of zombie laws that prohibit walking and using a cellphone at the same time?

Are they fair or is it cities taking too much control of a person’s life? Let us know what you think in the comments down below.

 

People Do What Before Getting Into Public Pools?

People Do What Before Getting Into Public Pools?

People Do What Before Getting Into Public Pools?

With the weather quickly heating up, many people are starting to pull their swimsuits out from their winter hiding spots. With California’s thousands of miles of coastline, there are plenty of places to go to the beach. However, the beach isn’t for everyone. Some people prefer to cool off without having to worry about sand getting everywhere. That is why some people prefer going to a pool.

In addition to the lack of sand at pools, they are often cleaner as well. The water is maintained by humans, instead of being left alone. However, despite the chemicals, mostly chlorine, put into pool water to keep it clean, one recent survey found that pools aren’t always as clean as one would hope.

Public Pools May Not Be As Clean As You Think

The clear blue water of pools often looks a heck of a lot cleaner than the ocean, lake, or river water. Those waters typically have all kinds of debris floating beneath the surface, making them hazy. Pools lack this haze due to the chemicals put into them to kill bacteria, and the filtration systems in them to pick out the bigger particles like bugs and leaves.

However, despite all of that, pools can still contain bits of harmful bacteria, bacteria that is typically brought in by swimmers. A recent survey conducted by Water Quality and Health Council found that 51% of Americans used pools as a way to rinse off after performing sweat inducing activities.

The survey, which polled 3,100 American adults and had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.7%, also found the following information:

  • 24% of people would go within a pool within an hour of having diarrhea.
  • 40% of adults peed in pools.
  • 48% admitted to not showering before entering a pool.
  • 53% didn’t know makeup affected the chemistry of the pool.
  • 55% didn’t know deodorant affected the chemistry of the pool.
  • 64% acknowledge the fact that pools don’t eliminate the need to shower, but use pools as a reason not to shower anyways.

While chlorine does help keep pools cleaner, it isn’t an infinite source of cleanliness. Think of the chlorine in a pool like a bar of soap. Every time it is used to clean something, it becomes smaller and less effective until it is all used up. However, chlorine is not a replacement for soap.

Chlorine keeps pools clean by causing chemical reactions in the water that kill microorganisms and bacteria. By adding other chemicals to the mix, bodily fluids, makeup, and deodorant, a person reduces the strength of the chlorine in the water, thereby reducing its effectiveness.

Help Keep Public Pools Clean

Some of the findings in this survey are more than a bit disgusting. Hopefully, they will serve as a reminder to everyone that there are times when they should not go swimming, and more than that, they should shower before getting into a pool. Doing so can help keep the water cleaner, longer.

Pools are a great way to beat the summer heat, and most are likely maintained on a regular basis. So long as a pool owners keep up with the maintenance of the pool, its filter system, and the chemical makeup, there is no reason to not go swimming in it. All public pools in California are required by law to be kept at safe and sanitary levels at all times. If a person suspects that this isn’t being done at a local public pool, they can report the problem to their local health officials.

As things begin to heat up this summer, be sure to help keep pools clean by not using them as bath time and showering before getting into the water. This will help keep the pool water clean for everyone.

 

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