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Tag: visalia bail bond services (Page 1 of 14)

Criminal Charges Vs. Civil Charges

criminal-charges-vs-civil-charges2

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.

 

Why Does Bail Even Exist?

Why Does Bail Even Exist?

Why Does Bail Even Exist?

For most people, bail is a bit of a mystery. They understand the basic concept, pay money to get out of jail, but that’s all they know. Some people wonder why bail even exists at all. These people often do not want criminals to get out of jail just by paying money. The problem is, these people do not typically have a good idea on how bail works.

    Bail exists for two main reasons:

    1. To try and prevent overcrowding of jails.
    2. To avoid punishing someone before they have been found guilty.

Bail has existed for hundreds of years, and its origins can be traced back to medieval England. Back then, not every town had its own judge to determine a person’s guilt. Many towns shared judges, and so arrested individuals could spend a long time in jail before ever getting their day in court. This led to overcrowding, and local sheriffs would need to release arrested person’s to free up some room.

In these situations, the sheriffs found that many of the arrested individuals did not like to return for their day in court. They found that the best way to ensure that someone returned for their court date, was by making them pay for their release, and promising to return the money after their court date. This idea has stuck around since then, and it has proven to be very effective.

The important thing to remember about bail, is that only people who have not had their final day in court can bail out of jail. Once a person has been found guilty, they can no longer bail out of jail. A person can only bail out of jail when they are still in the trial process. This means this person is technically innocent, since everyone is innocent until proven guilty. Keeping the person in jail during their trial process is like punishing a person for a crime before it has been determined they actually committed the crime.

Bail exists to be fair to those accused of a crime. After all, they are still people and they still have rights. It is important to remember that there is a screening process for assigning bail. A person can only be granted bail if it is deemed that he will not cause trouble for the community. So dangerous people will never be released on bail.

If you want to learn more about bail, you can talk to a bail agent at David Ortiz Bail Bonds in Visalia by calling 1-866-485-6356 or 661-326-0608 or by clicking Chat With Us now. Consultation is always FREE!

Punishments For Identity Theft

Bail Bonds in Visalia

Bail Bonds in Visalia

Identity theft is a very serious crime to commit because it can cause quite a big problem for the victim in multiple ways. It can cost them a lot of time, money and energy, to get things fixed and straightened out for themselves.

Identity theft is when someone’s personal and sensitive identification information is used by another individual or group. The person, whose identity is stolen, never consented to have their information used to obtain goods, services and other information.

The most common forms of identity theft are when:

  • Someone uses another person’s credit card information to complete a purchase for themselves.
  • Someone attempts to escape criminal liability by identifying themselves to authorities as another person.
  • Someone intends their victim to suffer financial or emotional loss by taking on their identity.

In California, identity theft can be a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances. If someone is charged with a misdemeanor, then they can be put into jail for up to 1 year and pay a fine of up to $1,000. If they face a felony charge, then they are facing up to 3 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. Furthermore, if that person faces federal prosecution, they are looking at up to 30 years in prison and a bigger fine.

In order to best protect yourself against identity theft, keep personal documents with sensitive identification information secured away, such as bank information, passports and social security cards. Do not provide this information to others through email and over the phone if you are unsure or the service does not require it. It could be someone phishing for your information. If you believe your identity has been stolen or compromised, contact authorities immediately so they can investigate the matter.

New Immigration Laws Are 1 Step Closer To Passing

David Ortiz Bail Bonds in Visalia

David Ortiz Bail Bonds in Visalia

Members of the United States government are one step closer to cracking down on immigration policies, particularly directed at illegal immigrants and the cities who vow to protect them. These cities are known as sanctuary cities.

Across the United States, there are somewhere around 300 cities, towns, and counties that have identified themselves as a sanctuary city, including many in our own backyard like San Francisco, Berkeley, and Malibu.

A sanctuary city exercises extra immigrant protection by allowing its law enforcement to not fully comply and enforce federal immigration laws.

Additionally, city officials assist immigrants in finding housing, employment and other social services.

One of the bills that is a getting a step forward is the “No Sanctuary for Criminals Act.”

The No Sanctuary for Criminals Act Bill would deny federal grants to cities that have declared themselves as a sanctuary city.

The other bill that has made an advancement is known as “Kate’s Law.”

The Kate’s Law Bill is named after a young woman named Kate Steinle, who was murdered 2 years ago by an illegal immigrant who had previously been deported multiple times and had 7 felony convictions on his record. This bill says that any illegal immigrant who has been deported and attempts to return to the United States will face heightened consequences.

The House of Representatives passed both of these bills. Now, they head to the Senate for consideration.

About California’s Proposed “Jordan’s Law”

David Ortiz Bail Bonds in Visalia

David Ortiz Bail Bonds in Visalia

It is the digital age. This is a time when we rely on our cell phones and laptops to survive and get through each day. We live on social media to connect with friends, get invited to parties, and keep up to date on the latest news. If you ask older generations, who did not grow up with computers and the internet, they will say that our younger generations today are too attached to our digital devices, and they might be right in certain regards.

As useful, informational, and entertaining as the internet can be, it can also be cruel, whether it was ill-intended or not. Cyberbullying is a big issue. Whether the intention was there to put a person down or it was just a poorly thought out prank, the bullying hurts the person it was directed at. You never know what can result from a mean message online. The bullied person can inflict harm on themselves or others in revenge.

Recently, the California Assembly passed “Jordan’s Law”, named after a 14-year-old Jordan Peisner who was sucker-punched by a teenager he did not know. The incident was caught on a cell phone and posted on social media. The goal for Jordan’s Law is to punish the person or persons who conspire to record attacks. People who conspire to record attacks differ from innocent bystanders who record footage of an incident they are witnessing. Jordan’s Law would also increase the penalty for the actual attacker as well.

Now that the California Assembly has passed Jordan’s Law, it heads to the California Senate for debate.

Extending California’s Last Call From 2AM To 4AM

David Ortiz Bail Bonds in Visalia

David Ortiz Bail Bonds in Visalia

Just the other week it was announced that…

the Senate passed a bill to extend last call for alcohol service from 2:00 AM to 4:00 AM.

Now the bill is heading to the Assembly for consideration. One of the main pushes for the bill is its impact on the state’s nightlife culture and economy. By offering an extended last call, nightlife like the music industry can flourish even more.

At the moment, bars, clubs, and other venues cannot extend their last call, since the bill still needs approvals from other parties. However, if and when it is passed by all necessary parties, it gives venues the option to extend last call until 4:00 AM. Venues will not be required to do so if they do not wish to. In addition, the bill would give each community the authority to decide if they would want to extend last call.

Most states have a 1:00 AM or 2:00 AM last call. By extending last call to 4:00 AM, California would join New York as the only states to have a last call at this hour. However, some states have an even later last call or none at all! In Alaska, venues are allowed to serve alcohol until 5:30 AM and in Nevada and Louisiana, alcohol can be served 24 hours a day.

To many, a 4:00 AM last call sounds like every night can be quite the party. However, it takes a little bit more responsibility in order for Californians to not abuse an extended last call. You would not want to be that person who ruins extended last call, would you? If and when the bill gets passed and formally goes into effect, remember that you must not get behind the wheel. Just like you would call a Lyft at 2:00 AM, call a Lyft at 4:00 AM and avoid running the risk of getting into an accident or arrested for a DUI.

Odd Alcohol Laws In California

David Ortiz Bail Bonds in Visalia

David Ortiz Bail Bonds in Visalia

Compared to other states, California is pretty generous when it comes to alcohol. You can buy it at practically any grocery, liquor and convenience store. You can even buy it at retailers like Target and Walmart. You can buy it at nearly any hour of the day, even on Sundays. Soon, last call could be extended from 2am to 4am. In other states, alcohol is not sold at all these types of stores and sales may be prohibited on Sundays. This does not mean Californians turn the other cheek when it comes to alcohol consumption. This state still has plenty of laws that are meant to encourage safe and responsible drinking and curb DUIs. In fact, California even has some very particular alcohol laws.

  • For stores that sell both fuel and alcohol, the alcohol must be displayed at least 5 feet from the cash register.
  • Homebrewers and winemakers may produce only 100 gallons of product per year. If the household has 2 or more adults, the product allowance per year increases to 200 gallons.
  • Restaurant servers can be cited if they fail to check for proper identification when a patron wants an alcoholic drink. The restaurant owners can get in trouble, but so can the server.
  • If you have a beer growler and would like it filled with a beer other than the one that is labeled on the growler, then that old existing label must be covered with a new one that includes the brewery and the name of the beer.
  • Wherever alcohol is sold, employees are barred from wearing clothes that expose the cleft of the buttocks, any portion of pubic hair, and any portion of the female breast below the top of the areola.
  • Anyone driving into California from Mexico can bring up to 1 liter of alcohol duty-free with them.

A final interesting tidbit regarding alcohol and California is that most stores in California will not accept alcohol returns. This however, is not an official state law, but your chances of finding a store that will refund your alcohol purchase are slim.

Knowing Weird Laws Can Be A Benefit

David Ortiz Bail Bonds in Visalia

David Ortiz Bail Bonds in Visalia

Who knew?

In California, women may not drive in a housecoat or that no vehicle without a driver may exceed 60 miles per hour? We are not pulling your leg. These are real laws that are still written in California’s law books. They are not the only weird, odd, peculiar laws this state still has today. In addition to those,

  • It is illegal to spit in Burlingame, unless you are on a baseball diamond.
  • Women may not wear high heels in Carmel.
  • Pinball machines are outlawed in El Monte.
  • Any man who has a mustache in Eureka is forbidden to kiss a woman, even if she is his girlfriend or wife.
  • Anyone who wishes to purchase a wax container must be at least 18 years of age.
  • In Hollywood, no one may drive over 2,000 sheep down Hollywood Boulevard.
  • It is illegal to drink intoxicating cement in Indian Wells.
  • Moth hunting is illegal in Los Angeles when done under a street light.
  • In Norco, having a rhinoceros as a pet is allowed as long as the owner gets a $100 license first.
  • Molesting butterflies is strictly prohibited in Pacific Grove.
  • Dogs are not allowed to chase squirrels in the summer.
  • Unless they do not mind being fined $250, San Diegans must take their Christmas lights down by February 2.
  • People who are classified as “ugly” may not walk down the streets of San Francisco.
  • Having more than two cats or dogs as pets is not allowed in San Jose.
  • In Walnut, every child must get a special permit from the sheriff in order to wear a mask on Halloween.

If you search the internet, you will find so many more weird laws that still exist in California and will leave you scratching your head. In fact, every state in the U.S. has their share of odd laws and it is pretty entertaining to read.

We hope you never get arrested for violating one of these wacky laws but if you do, call David Ortiz Bail Bonds in Visalia anytime. We will look past your embarrassment and bail you out of jail as soon as possible. We can be reached online, and at 661-326-0608.

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