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What Happens If I Make A Fake Or Prank 911 Call

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fake-or-prank-911-call1.jpg

Making a fake or prank phone call to 911 might seem like good fun but it’s not something you want to follow through with. Neither law enforcement offices nor court officials have a sense of humor.

To put it simply, making fake or prank 911 calls is illegal. In some situations, that single phone call could even result in felony charges.

The best way to learn just how much trouble making a fake or prank 911 call can land you in is by setting aside a few minutes to read California’s Penal Code 148.3. When you do, you’ll learn that you can’t:

  • Call 911 and make a fake report of a crime, injury, or accident.
  • Make a 911 call that results in the dispatcher or a law enforcement making a 911 report.
  • Use 911 to report a fictional emergency.
  • Call 911 and make a report that you know is false.

Law enforcement can choose to file charges against you if your fake/prank 911 call results:

  • In the deployment of emergency vehicles.
  • A building/area is evacuated in response to your call.
  • The call prompts the 911 dispatcher to activate the state or local Emergency Alert System.

The law very clearly states that anyone who makes a fake/prank 911 call can be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony. What is less clear is how the decision to pursue a misdemeanor or felony case is made. The general rule of thumb is that if someone is hurt, the prosecutor will push for felony charges.

Making a single prank/fake 911 call in California can have a seriously negative impact on your budget. If you’re found guilty, you could be:

  • Spend a full year in a county jail.
  • Be fined up to $1,000.

The cost doesn’t stop with the court fines. Depending on how much effort local agencies made to respond to your fake 911 call, the emergency response team that was involved will likely send you a bill that includes all the expenses they incurred as a result of your call.

Fake/prank 911 calls officially became illegal in California in 2013. Local lawmakers choose to crack down on these types of calls because they were tired of the calls tying up local resources and making it impossible to respond to valid emergencies.

In Los Angeles, fake/prank 911 are sometimes referred to as swatters because of the number of times a fake 911 call resulted in a swat team getting deployed to a celebrity’s house.

Considering how much a fake/prank 911 call in California could cost you, it’s in your best interest to avoid using the number for anything that isn’t a genuine emergency.

 

Understanding Slander In California

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understanding-slander-in-california1

Most Americans know that the First Amendment grants the right to free speech. The problem that many of us encounter is we don’t fully grasp the differences between free speech and slander.

What Is Free Speech?

Many of us interpret the First Amendment to mean that we’re free to say whatever we want, to whomever we want, and whenever we want. That’s not the way free speech works. The purpose of free speech is to provide Americans with the ability to openly speak against the government without fear of legal ramifications.

What freedom of speech doesn’t do is allow you to say whatever you want about neighbors, family, and businesses you don’t like.

What Is Slander?

The legal definition of slander is, oral defamation, in which someone tells one or more persons an untruth about another which untruth will harm the reputation of the person defamed. Slander is a civil wrong (tort) and can be the basis for a lawsuit. Damages (payoff for worth) for slander may be limited to actual (special) damages unless there is malicious intent, since such damages are usually difficult to specify and harder to prove. Some statements such as an untrue accusation of having committed a crime, having a loathsome disease, or being unable to perform one’s occupation are treated as slander per se since the harm and malice are obvious, and therefore usually result in general and even punitive damage recovery by the person harmed. Words spoken over the air on television or radio are treated as libel (written defamation) and not slander on the theory that broadcasting reaches a large audience as much if not more than printed publications.”

In California, slander legally takes place when:

  • You say something that you know is untrue.
  • When you make a statement that you know isn’t privileged.
  • When you make a statement that is said with the intent to do harm or cause an injury.

The Legal Consequences Of Slander

In California, slander is a civil, not a legal matter. It’s also a case that’s tricky to defend. In this case, the individual who filed the charges has to prove their case. In order to convince a judge to rule against you, they have to prove without a shadow of a doubt that you knew that whatever you said was untrue and that you made the statement knowing that it would harm the individual’s emotions, reputation, or business.

In addition to proving that you did in fact deliberately make slanderous comments, the person who files the charges against you also has to prove to the court that they sustained damages that you should reimburse them for. In addition to actual damages, the filer will also likely seek money to cover their emotional trauma.

The best way to avoid getting into a slander dispute with someone is to make sure you never say anything that you aren’t able to prove. If you’re unsure about the validity of a statement, it’s in your best interest to keep it to yourself. 

 

When Does A Prank Go Too Far?

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pranks-gone-too-far1

Most of us have been involved in pranks, both as the person pulling the prank on another and as someone who has been pranked. In most cases, the pranks are fun and no one is emotionally or physically hurt, but there is always an exception.

The best indicator that a prank has gone too far is when the police has gotten involved. In the eyes of the law, it doesn’t matter if you were pulling a prank or if you deliberately set about to hurt someone. If a law was broken, you could end up in jail.

Most pranks attract legal attention because someone has gotten seriously hurt or property was damaged during the prank.

Here is a small sample of the type of pranks that could potentially get you into hot legal water.

Making Prank Calls

Prank calls seem harmless. You make a simple phone call, you confuse the person on the other end of the line, you have a good laugh. You can’t possibly get into trouble, right?

Wrong. Making a prank phone call to a friend or family member usually isn’t a big deal, but if you start calling strangers, you could quickly learn that not everyone thinks your funny. Depending on what you say or how many times you call, the person on the other end of the line might decide to contact the police and report that you’re harassing them. If the person pranking is tired of your antics, you could be charged with everything from disorderly conduct to harassment.

Wet Willies

Given that we’re currently in the middle of a pandemic, you should realize that most people don’t have much of a sense of humor when it comes to bodily fluid, or even being touched, so you should already know that giving someone a wet willie, which involves sticking your saliva covered finger in their ear is a bad idea. What you probably didn’t realize is that it will remain a bad idea even after the pandemic ends. If the person whose ear you insert your finger into objects to the act, they can contact the police and file assault charges against you.

Trespassing

Sneaking across a buddy’s yard and playing a prank on them might seem like big fun, but make sure anyone else who lives in the house won’t mind your prank. If they don’t know it’s coming or they fail to be amused, they can file trespassing charges against you.

This is just a small sample of pranks that could go too far and result in you facing criminal and civil charges. If you’re planning on pulling a prank, it’s in your best interest to consider all the potential consequences of your actions and determine if the risk is still worthwhile.

 

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.

Get Charged With “Hit and Run” Even If It’s Not Your Fault

David Ortiz Bail Bonds in Visalia

David Ortiz Bail Bonds in Visalia

In California, you can be charged with a hit and run even if the accident was not your fault. If you are involved in an accident, you are required to give your contact information to the other driver before you leave, regardless if the accident was your fault or not.

You can be charged with a misdemeanor if you caused damage, not just to another vehicle but also to property, like a building, a window, a fence, or even another person’s pet.

You can be charged with a felony hit and run if you leave the scene without providing any contact information even though you know that the other driver and his or her passengers were unhurt.

The penalties for hit and run crimes will vary based on the extent of the accident and damage, and even the kindness of the other driver. Fines for hit and runs where someone was injured can be between as much as $20,000 and prison sentences can be as long as 4 years. For hit and run crimes, that only involved property damage, fines can be as high as $1,000 and jail time can be as long as 6 months. In addition, a person would likely get their license suspended or revoked for up to 6 months. As for the insurance company, they can either increase the premiums or cancel insurance altogether.

Some misdemeanor charges can be settled in a civil suit instead of criminal punishment, if the other driver agrees to it. In this case, the other driver is sparing you from the harsher punishments like jail time.

If you are ever involved in a car accident, make sure to stay on the scene and exchange contact and insurance information with the others who are involved. If there are witnesses around, get their contact information as well, in case you need them to provide eyewitness accounts. Take photos of any damage done to your vehicle, the other vehicle, and any property. Then, you can contact your insurance company and let them know you have been involved in a car accident. You want to go through the standard steps of resolving a car accident rather than fleeing the scene and suddenly making this into a felony hit and run.

Though you will need to take the next few weeks to deal with insurance companies and getting your car repaired, it is the better alternative to becoming a wanted person for a hit and run and then paying those felony consequences.

What Happens If I Cannot Pay For Bail?

Visalia Bail Bonds

Visalia Bail Bonds

If you are arrested and granted bail, it means you have the chance to be released from jail as long as you pay a certain amount of money. We are not going to lie, this bail is more than likely going to be very expensive. However, if you do not pay it, you will remain in jail until trial.

We are not trying to scare you at all. We are simply showing you the reality of the situation and enlightening you about a way that makes paying for a bail more affordable: bail bonds.

Bail bonds are one way to pay for bail and in fact, they are the most common way. Here is why:

  • They cost 10% of the full bail amount.
  • You will be set up on a customized payment plan.
  • A professional bail agent who understands the industry will be with you through the whole process.

If you are worried about bail, please consult Visalia Bail Bond Store. We promise to help you settle your worries and get you an affordable bail bond with an ideal payment plan. Consultations are FREE, so utilize your bail agent; if you are confused on something, ask about it. While you’re at it, ask about discounts and cheap bail bonds we offer. Your bail agent is on your side. Even if you are not sure about something, we encourage you to reach out to Visalia Bail Bond Store either online, or at 661-326-0608.

For reliable 24/7 bail bond service, call Visalia Bail Bond Store at 661-326-0608 or Chat With Us now.

How Much Will Bail Cost?

Visalia Bail Bonds

Visalia Bail Bonds

The moment you learn that your loved one has been arrested, one of the first thoughts that starts running through your mind is, “how much is this going to cost?” There is the cost of a lawyer, the cost of bail. Depending on why her or she was arrested, there will also be the cost of fees/fines for property damages, hospital bills, insurance going up, and not to mention, the time he or she is losing at work.

The first cost that you need to worry about is the cost of bail. Bail is the money the defendant owes to court in order to be released from jail. This is perhaps one of the most important figures to meet, as posting bail and being released from jail means he or she can return to work as well as get prep time with his or her lawyer.

The amount for bail will be dependent on what crime your loved one has been accused of, whether or not he or she has a criminal history, and a few other main factors. Generally, the more serious the crime, the higher the bail. The best way to pay the least amount for bail is to hire a professional bail agent. He or she will produce a bail bond, which will cost 10% of the bail, and will be paid off in installments. In the end, the 10% is not refundable since it is payment for the bail agent’s services, but after having a FREE consultation with Visalia Bail Bond Store, one of the best bail bond company in California, you will see why a bail bond is a better fit for you.

Get all of your bail bond related questions answered with us! Reach us 24/7 online or at 661-326-0608. Speak with one of our friendly bail agents and do not hesitate to ask about discounts and cheap bail bonds we offer along with your other inquiries. They will be more than happy to assist you.

For a FREE consultation with a reliable bail agent, call Visalia Bail Bond Store at 661-326-0608 or Chat With Us now.

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