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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.

 

Making Written Threats

Making Written Threats

Making Written Threats

With the age of social media people have gained the ability to share all of their thoughts and ideas with the entire world. If they want to. Most people prefer to keep to themselves, since oversharing online is a pretty big deal. It can easily get a person into a lot of trouble. Many people have had to learn this lesson the hard way.

What some people see as joking around or just venting, can sometimes be seen as an actual threat against someone. What many people don’t realize is these threats can get them into trouble. Simply making a threat towards someone is a crime here in California, and it comes with very serious consequences.

What Is California Penal Code 422?

Here in the state of California the act of making criminal or terrorist threats online, or anywhere else, is illegal. Penal Code 422 covers this and explains what counts as breaking the law, and what are the consequences of breaking this law.

Penal Code 422 defines a criminal threat as someone making a specific threat, verbal or written, to harm or kill a person, and that person has a reasonable fear for their safety. This can be done in all sorts of ways, from saying it to a person’s face, to posting it on to someone’s social media page. Whether or not the person actually carries out the threat doesn’t matter. All that matters is they made the threat and it made someone fear for their safety, or the safety of their loved ones.

Even if the person never intended to carry out the threat, and simply wanted to scare the person, it is still considered a criminal threat.

This law also covers any instances of a person posting comments online about committing a mass shooting. These kinds of threats are always taken seriously, and as such, a person will face harsh consequences for making a threat of this nature, regardless of their age.

Another thing to consider with this law, is that each threat can be charged individually. This means that if a person threatens the same person multiple times, they could face multiple charges.

The Consequences Of Making Criminal Threats

Penal Code 422 is what is known as a wobbler crime in California. This means that it can either be charged as a misdemeanor or as a felony. How the crime is charged is dependent on the case itself.

The penalties for breaking this law also vary depending on how it is charged. For instance, as a misdemeanor, Penal Code 422 comes with:

  • Up to 1 year in county jail.
  • A max fine of $1,000.

As a felony, Penal Code 422 earns a person:

  • Up to 3 years in state prison.
  • A max fine of $10,000.

A felony charge also falls with California’s three strikes law because breaking Penal Code 422 counts as a serious felony. This means that a felony charge for this crime will count as a strike, and after receiving a third strike, a person has to serve a mandatory 25 years to life in state prison.

Don’t Make Threats To Joke Around Or Scare People

Making threats is never a good idea, and making threats jokingly is questionable at best. When a joke threat is made in person, the person’s tone of voice and mannerisms can tell anyone around that it was just a joke. However, none of that translates into text.

Threats online and through other written communications, will always be perceived as real and as such, should never be made. Threats made online are always taken seriously, especially nowadays. These kinds of things scare people, and rightfully so. This means they fall under Penal Code 422 and can be considered criminal threats.

What do you think of California’s take on criminal threats?

Is it too much or not enough? Let us know what you think in the comments down below.

 

What Are Your Rights Regarding Police Searches Of Property?

What Are Your Rights Regarding Police Searches Of Property?

What Are Your Rights Regarding Police Searches Of Property?

When it comes to performing investigations, law enforcement officers have to follow certain rules and laws just like everyone else.

The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution protects all US citizens from unreasonable search and seizures.

This means that law enforcement officers can only search a person’s property provided they have a good reason that has been approved by a court, the owner of the property allows it, or the officer has probable cause to do so.

This applies to all of a person’s property, including:

If a person does not give their consent to let an officer search through their personal possessions, then the officer will need to get a warrant. The warrant will have to be approved by a judge, and it will list exactly what the officers are allowed to look through. If something is not listed on the warrant, than the person has the right to deny the officer from searching or seizing the item in question.

Here in the US, citizens are protected from the government overstepping its boundaries. This includes searching and seizing of someone’s personal property without their consent. It is important that every citizen know and understand their rights. If they do not want to let a police officer search through their stuff, they have the right to turn the officer away unless he or she has a warrant.

 

Could Your Texts Be Taxed In The Future?

Could Your Texts Be Taxed In The Future?

Could Your Texts Be Taxed In The Future?

Californians pay a lot of different and expensive taxes. According to a recent report from Mercury News, the state’s Public Utilities Commission will be considering a new tax. This wouldn’t be just a new tax for California, it would likely be the first tax of its kind. The tax would also be one that a large majority of the population would probably be very upset over.

California regulators are currently looking into the idea of taxing text messages.

This is not a joke, the Public Utilities Commission is seriously looking into the matter. They are looking for ways to help provide funds for programs that make phone services accessible for poor people.

As anyone could imagine, this news has create quite a bit of uproar against the idea. The tax would drastically increase a person’s wireless bills and be applied if a person sent even just one text that billing period.

Aside from upsetting consumers, this proposed tax has also upset wireless providers who say it would create an unfair environment. The tax would push customers away from using their messaging apps in favor of untaxed internet messaging apps.

The commission is set to vote on the measure in early January.

How much the tax will cost is unknown at this time, but does it really matter? Texting has become a part of many peoples’ daily lives as they use this to communicate with their friends and loved ones. Should something like this truly be taxed? Let us know what you think in the comments down below.

 

Did You Suddenly Find Yourself In Need Of Bail Help?

Did You Suddenly Find Yourself In Need Of Bail Help?

Did You Suddenly Find Yourself In Need Of Bail Help?

The thought of bailing someone out of jail is not one that crosses a person’s mind unless they suddenly find themselves needing to bail out a loved one. This is usually due to the fact that people don’t want to even imagine the idea that someone they know might get arrested. While this may work out for some people, not everyone is lucky enough to never need to post bail in their life.

The fact of the matter is, thousands of people are arrested every single day in California alone. That means that at least twice as many people out their learn that that a loved one has been arrested and needs to be bailed out. That is not a fun thing to discover. Something like this can leave a person shocked and confused. Luckily, there are people out there who can help.

If you need bail help in the State of California, then you need to talk to the professional bail agents here at David Ortiz Bail Bonds in Visalia. For over 30 years, we have been helping clients deal with the shock of a loved one’s arrest. We help our clients understand the bail process, and get their loved one out of jail quickly and affordably.

If you suddenly find yourself in need of bailing someone out of jail, do not panic. You can trust that the bail agents here at David Ortiz Bail Bonds in Visalia will have your back. We provide all of the following to our clients:

  • 24/7 Bail Bond Service
  • 20% Discount – to qualified clients
  • Phone approvals
  • 0% Interest Payment Plans
  • No hidden fees – unlike other bail agencies
  • No collateral with Working Co-signer
  • Se habla Español

Do not let the shock of a loved one’s arrest prevent you from lending a hand. Just because you don’t know much about the bail process does not mean that you cannot help. Just talk to one of our helpful bail agents. They will be more than happy to answer your questions about the bail process and your loved one’s arrest. After talking to one of our agents, you will see that there is nothing to worry about. We promise, we won’t let you down.

Get the bail bond process started right away by calling David Ortiz Bail Bonds in Visalia at 661-326-0608 or click Chat With Us now.

We Provide Flexible Payment Options

David Ortiz Bail Bonds in Visalia Provide Flexible Payment Options

David Ortiz Bail Bonds in Visalia Provide Flexible Payment Options

Your life is a constantly changing and evolving thing. What works for you at one point in your life, may not work for you a few months down the line. Due to this fact, all long term plans need to be flexible enough to accommodate change. Here at David Ortiz Bail Bonds in Visalia, we understand that, which is why we provide our clients with flexible, affordable payment plans.

Bailing someone out of jail without bail help is an expensive undertaking. However, with help from David Ortiz Bail Bonds in Visalia you will only have to pay 10% of the full bail price. That means you save 90% just by coming to us for help. However, that is not all that we do to help out our clients.

We also provide everyone with personalized payment plans that fit into their budgets. This way, the 10% of the bail is broken up into even smaller monthly payments that are much more manageable. To make sure that our clients are always able to pay for the bail bond, we accept a variety of different payment methods to give them some flexibility.

Here at David Ortiz Bail Bonds in Visalia, we accept:

  • Cash
  • Checks
  • Major Debit & Credit Cards
  • Western Union Money Transfers
  • E-Checks
  • Wells Fargo Business Account Deposits

Our clients can also choose to make some of these payments over the phone, online, or through our website. We provide all of this flexibility to make paying for the bail bond as easy and affordable as possible. A client can use one payment type for a few months, and then switch to something else if they need to. The choice is yours.

If you are ready to bail a loved one out of jail, just call David Ortiz Bail Bonds in Visalia at 661-326-0608 or click Chat With Us today!

Drivers Have To Stop

Drivers Have To Stop

Drivers Have To Stop

California is notorious for having drivers who like to play by their own rules. Drivers in the state seem to follow the mentality that if everyone does it, it must be okay. However, this is not the case. After all, if other drivers drove off of a bridge, you wouldn’t follow them. Besides, a driver can still get into trouble for breaking a law, even if other drivers broke it too.

A perfect example of this is when drivers approach stop signs. A driver is supposed to come to a full stop at the limit line, the white line in the road, when they approach a stop sign. This is required by law. However, many drivers prefer to do a rolling stop, also known as a California stop.

A rolling stop occurs when a vehicle does not stop. Instead, it slows to an almost stop, then continues on without truly coming to a stop. This common practice is actually illegal and can earn a person a traffic ticket. A ticket for this offense can cost around $140.

As with all traffic violations in California, acquiring too many tickets for rolling stops can cause a person to lose their license.

When a driver approaches a stop sign, they need to stop at the limit line, or the edge of the crosswalk. The vehicle needs to come to a full stop, meaning the wheels aren’t moving and the speedometer needle is at 0. After stopping for 3 seconds, the driver can then proceed through the intersection if it is clear.

Drivers in a hurry tend to not stop, preferring to simply slow down instead, in order to save time. This can be dangerous and cause an accident, which is why it is against the law. If a law enforcement officer sees a driver do this, they will pull that driver over and give him or her a ticket.

 

Where Is Your Food Prepared?

Where Is Your Food Prepared?

Where Is Your Food Prepared?

Everybody is a fan of good food, and most people would argue that the best food out there isn’t found in restaurants. The best food is found in family kitchens. Over the past few years, there has been a growing trend of people selling food that they made in their own homes. While this often provides people with some of the best food they have ever tasted, it does pose a few health concerns. That is why the practice was illegal in the state of California.

The key word there is was.

Starting January of 2019, entrepreneurs will be able to sell food they prepared in their home kitchens.

This change came about thanks to Assembly Bill 626, which was authored by Assemblyman Eduardo Garcia. The hope was that this bill would allow people who couldn’t afford to get into the restaurant business to still get into it.

Before the aspiring new chef can get started selling their meals, they will need to get a permit to do so first. This permit will allow a person to become what is called a microenterprise home kitchen (MHK). An MHK would have to sell less than 60 meals a week, deal directly with their customers, and consent to inspections by local health officials if a complaint has been received.

A benefit to this bill, is that it exempts MHKs from certain rules that apply to restaurants, but don’t really make sense for home kitchens. A couple examples would be the rule that kitchens can’t have openings that lead directly to living spaces, and that kitchens have to have a 3-compartment sink. MHKs would not have meet these standards.

What do you think of this new law? Is it a great step forward for those looking to make a living selling their home cooking, or does it pose too much of a health risk?

Let us know what you think in the comments down below.

 

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