California’s Drug Cultivation Laws

California’s Drug Cultivation Laws

Drug cultivation in California is addressed in Health and Safety Code 11379.6HS. The code clearly states that, “every person who manufactures, compounds, converts, produces, derives, processes, or prepares, either directly or indirectly by chemical extraction or independently by means of chemical synthesis, any controlled substance specified in Section 11054, 11055, 11056, 11057, or 11058 shall be punished.”

Getting caught manufacturing, growing, or otherwise producing prohibited drugs in the state could result in a sentence that includes 3-7 years in a state prison and a fine as large as $50,000. 

In many cases, manufacturing a controlled substance represents only one of the things you’ll be charged with. There are usually several charges filed at once. Additional charges generally include:

• Possession
• Possession with intent to sell
• Possession of drug paraphernalia
• Transportation of drugs
• Etc.

 
If the police suspect you of manufacturing or dealing with a controlled substance in California, the last thing you want to do is make the situation worse. It’s in your best interest to cooperate with the police as much as you can, which includes not doing something like trying to resist arrest. The challenge is cooperating with the police but also not saying anything that could potentially incriminate you, which is why you should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney who has a strong background in cases that involve the manufacturing of controlled substances in California.

Drug cultivation laws involving marijuana can still be a bit confusing to some people. Many mistakenly believed that since marijuana is now a legal recreational drug in California, that there are no drug cultivation laws involving marijuana in California. That’s not the case. At this point, the average person can only legally care for a maximum of six marijuana plants at a time. Only individuals who are over 21 can use it, and you can only legally carry 28.5 grams. Some cities have ordinances that prohibit cultivating marijuana outdoors, though you’re still legally able to do so in the comfort of your own home.

Read more >

The Dangers of Distracted Driving in California

The Dangers of Distracted Driving in California

Everyone always talks about how horrible drunk driving is but far less is mentioned about the dangers and repercussions of distracted driving, which is as dangerous and even more common than drunk driving.

Distracted driving in California isn’t a new thing. For as long as people have been getting behind the wheel of automobiles, there have been distracted drivers. Examples of distracted driving include:

• Daydreaming
• Arguing with passengers
• Rubbernecking
• Trying to pick up a candy bar you’ve dropped
• Changing radio stations
• Using your cell phone

 
Distracted driving can result in a number of things going wrong. A single second of distracted driving can result in:

• Weaving in and out of your lane
• Striking another car/pedestrian
• Missing a road sign
• Running a red light
• Etc.

 
Over the past twenty years or so, distracted driving has become a much bigger problem. Data collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Association indicates that distracted driving results in approximately 1,000 injuries every single day and approximately 9 deaths a day. Many of these distracted driving accidents involved a cell phone.

In California, when someone is pulled over for distracted driving and issued a citation, the ticket usually doesn’t say distracted driving, even though that’s usually the cause of the incident. The ticket usually states the effect. For example, if you were playing with your dog who was in the shotgun seat and run a red light, the ticket will likely state reckless driving or failure to yield rather than distracted driving.

If your distracted driving results in an injury or death to another person, the citation may be the least of your worries. When someone is hurt or killed as a result of a distracted driving episode, you could find yourself acting as the defendant in a civil case. 

In an effort to lower the number of distracted driving incidents in California, the state has introduced the Just Drive campaign. The idea of the Just Drive campaign is to educate/remind drivers about the dangers of using a cell phone while you’re behind the wheel. Everybody involved in the campaign hopes that the program will remind drivers about how deadly answering a single text or taking a long call can be.

California’s “Just Drive” campaign is quite similar to earlier efforts to reduce the number of drivers who use their cell phones while they’re behind the wheel, but this campaign is geared specifically towards younger drivers who are between the ages of 16 and 24.

In California, you’re not allowed to have your cell phone in your hand while you’re driving. While everyone would prefer it if you simply didn’t use your cell phone at all during your commute, you are allowed to use it provided it’s set to hands-free mode, mounted on your dash or windshield, and can be turned on and off by a single finger touch.

The best way to avoid being the cause of a distracted driving incident is to keep your eyes and mind on the road.

Read more >

Getting Bail After You’ve Turned Yourself In

Getting Bail After You’ve Turned Yourself In

Once you find out that a warrant has been issued for your arrest, you have two choices. You can exert a considerable amount of time and energy constantly looking over your shoulder and worrying that the police are about to arrest you or you can turn yourself in.

Turning yourself in is usually the best option and it’s usually in your best interest to do so as quickly as soon as possible. 

The benefits of turning yourself in include:

• You can do it at a time that works best for you (for example at the end of the work week so you’re bailed out before your next shift)
• You don’t have to worry about the embarrassment of potentially getting arrested in front of friends, co-workers, or family
• You can make arrangements to have someone take care of your kids/pets/plants etc.
• You can have a plan in place to cover your bail 
• The judge and prosecutor might be more lenient if you turn yourself in (though that’s no guarantee)
• You can have a lawyer on hand who will make sure none of your rights are violated while you’re being booked

 
One of the advantages of turning yourself in is that before you do so, you can set aside a little time to look up how much bail traditionally is for people who are in a similar situation. Armed with this knowledge, you can decide if you want to pay the bail yourself or if you’re better off using Cal Bail Bonds in Los Angeles. 

Keep in mind that nothing is preventing you from contacting Cal Bail Bonds in Los Angeles before you turning yourself in. Whether you decide to give us a call or use our online chat option, you can take advantage of our free consultation service. Based on what you tell us, it’s likely we’ll be able to provide some insight into how much bail you’ll need, if a bail hearing will be required, and how much time will pass before you’re out on bail. 

The consultation also gives us time to really go over your options for covering the 10% you’ll owe us if you decide to have Cal Bail Bonds in Los Angeles post your bail. We can explore bail payment options, decide if you need to post some sort of collateral, and determine if you qualify for our 20% discount.

The biggest advantage of arranging bail with us before turning yourself in is that there won’t be a long delay between you getting booked and being released from jail.

For a free consultation, call 877-793-2254 or click the Chat With Us now.

Read more >

Don’t Spend the Summer in Jail

Don’t Spend the Summer in Jail

No one wants to spend their summer in jail.

Considering how long it takes cases to make their way through the California court system, if you’re arrested in June, it’s highly unlikely that your case will be resolved before summer ends. That means that if you get arrested this summer, there are really only two ways you can avoid spending the rest of the summer months in jail.

The first way to avoid spending your entire summer in jail is pleading guilty to the charges and hoping the sentencing doesn’t involve jail time. This isn’t the perfect solution. First, you’re denying yourself the opportunity to possibly plead down both the charges and the sentencing. Second, you aren’t giving yourself enough time to explore all of your options and make the best possible decision. Third, a conviction will go on your permanent record, something you don’t want if you’re innocent of the charges.

The second way you can avoid spending the entire summer in jail is by contacting Cal Bail Bonds in Los Angeles and discussing bail options. In most cases, this is the perfect solution. Being released on a bail bond means you’re free to hang with your family, earn a living, and to easily plan your defense.

Working with Cal Bail Bonds in Los Angeles is incredibly easy. We only charge a ten percent fee, so you don’t have to worry that bail will bankrupt you. In some situations, we’re even willing to offer a 20% discount to some clients. The best way to learn if you qualify for this 20% discount is by taking advantage of our completely free online and phone consultations. During this consultation, you’ll not only learn if you qualify for the discount, but you’ll speak to a highly experienced bail bonds expert who will explain how bail works, explore various payment options with you, and help you understand exactly how Cal Bail Bonds in Los Angeles will save you from having to spend the entire summer in jail.

Additional perks connected to contacting Cal Bail Bonds in Los Angeles include:

• 24/7 Bail bond service
• 20% Discount
• Phone approvals
• 0% Interest payment plans
• Free consultations
• No hidden fees
• No collateral required for working signers
• Outstanding customer service
• Fast action
• Hablamos Español

 

Learning more about Cal Bail Bonds in Los Angeles and how we can prevent you from a summer in jail is easy. All you have to do is call 877-793-2254 or click Chat With Us.

Read more >

What is a Background Check

Understanding Background Checks

Background checks are becoming routine. If you are interviewed for a job or fill in a rental application you can expect that the person handling the application will run a background check on you. Knowing that a background check is in the process always makes people curious about what kind of information the background check reveals.

The exact information that appears on the background check can vary a little depending on what filters the person running the check put into place. Most of the background checks are set up so that they show any criminal activity you’ve been involved with. Felony convictions should always appear on the background check. Misdemeanor and pending convictions don’t always appear on the report.

Different states take different approaches when it comes to pending charges and background checks. According to Criminal Watchdog, California has a policy that enables all pending charges to appear on a background check, this includes pending charges for misdemeanors as well as felonies. It is even possible for a person to set up a background check so that they receive an alert when/if the pending charge becomes a conviction.

According to I Prospect Check, California’s background checks for criminal convictions only go back seven years. The seven-year rule is regulated by the Civil Code 1786.10. The information that disappears from the background check after seven years includes indictments, misdemeanors, arrests, convictions, and police complaints. It’s worth noting that arrests that didn’t result in a conviction, pardons, and expungements are not supposed to appear on your background check.

You should also be aware that employers who run a background check are required to file and keep the background check for two full years after they’ve run it. 

Don’t assume that just because more than seven years have passed since your last conviction or arrest you don’t have to worry about it impacting your ability to obtain a job or rent a place. It still can. While the information might not be on the background check your employers run, it could be mentioned when they check your references which will likely include former employers, friends, and family. It can also appear if they Google your name and find an old newspaper article, social media post, or police report. 

Considering how easily criminal information can be uncovered even when it no longer appears on a formal background check, it’s in your best interest to reveal any unsavory parts of your past right away. This gives you a chance to appear forthright while also sharing your side of the story.

Read more >

The Legal Ins and Outs of Catfishing

The Legal Ins and Outs of Catfishing

Catfishing isn’t the art of catching the bottom-dwelling fish that taste greatly fried. Catfishing actually refers to the act of using a false social network profile that allows you to pretend to be someone you’re not. This differs from a ghostwriter creating an account for their writing profile because the catfisher’s account exists purely for malicious purposes. 

Each catfisher has their own reasons for creating the fake profile, some use the account to extort financial information, some use it for bullying purposes, some like to get compromising photos of their victims. The end result is that the catfisher almost leaves victims in their wake.

While it seems like catfishing should be considered fraud and illegal, at this point, there are no actual laws pertaining to the actual act of catfishing. But, in many cases, the catfisher uses their fake social media identity for some sort of illegal activity. In many cases, the catfisher knows that they’re engaged in illegal activity but assumes that since they’re using a fake profile, they won’t get caught. Catfishers also hope that their victims will be so embarrassed that they were taken in by the fake profile that they won’t even report the crimes. Another challenge victims who do report the crime face is that the catfisher may live in a different state, making it difficult to pursue legal action.

Examples of laws catfishers commonly break include:

• Copyright fraud
• Computer hacking crimes
• Fraud (uses false pretenses to gain money/goods/services)
• Identity theft
• Soliciting minors
• Illegally recording or photographing someone without their consent

 
A catfisher can destroy your life so it’s important to know the steps you can take to avoid interacting with a catfisher.

If you’re contacted via social media by someone you don’t know, spend some time checking them out before you respond to their friend request or personal message. See if they have anything in common with you such as a mutual friend or shared interest. Explore their own profile and make sure it contains the type of content usually found on a social media account, this includes interactions with other people.

Even if you’re confident this new contact is a legit person, you still need to be very careful about the type of information you provide them. Keep all of your interactions impersonal.

The single best way to avoid falling victim to a catfisher is to pay attention to your instincts. If you get a gut feeling that something isn’t quite right, you should block them from your social media accounts and stop all interactions. In this day and age, it’s better to play it safe than to be sorry.

Read more >

Non-Violent Crimes in California

Non-Violent Crimes in California

When the average person thinks about criminals, they assume that the jails are full of violent people. It’s easy to think that these people should be off the street. 

The truth is that a vast majority of the people who make their way through California’s legal system and land in jails and prisons are actually accused of and convicted of non-violent crimes. 

Examples of non-violent crimes in California include:

• Many drug charges 
• Embezzlement
• Larceny
• Theft 
• Vandalism
• Failure to pay child support
• Tax evasion
• Perjury
• Public Intoxication

 
The bulk of California’s non-violent crimes are actually drug and alcohol-related. Examples of these include public intoxication, drug possession, and driving with an open container. 

The second most common types of non-violent crimes in California involve things like property damage and theft. 

The high number of non-violent crimes California deals with each year is why there are so many different types of prisons in the state. There simply isn’t any reason to have someone who was convicted of embezzlement but who has never shown any violent tendencies to be sharing a cell with someone who has been charged with multiple felony assaults. Not only would this pose some serious security concerns, but it would also potentially open the state up to lawsuits if the embezzler was hurt.

Minimum security prisons are a good choice for non-violent individuals who have been convicted of felonies and sentenced to prison time.

It is important to understand that there are serious consequences associated with non-violent crimes. In many situations, the time spent in jail and any fees attached to the sentencing are just the tip of the iceberg. 

Many people who have been convicted of a serious non-violent crime in California have found that their criminal history made it difficult to enjoy what others consider basic rights. Examples of this include:

• Loss of gun ownership rights
• The inability to obtain professional licenses
• Difficulty in finding employment and even being banned from certain industries/job opportunities
• Educational challenges and limitations
• Difficulties finding housing
• Financial limitations

 
The good news is that not all hope is lost for individuals who have been convicted of felony non-violent crimes. Many people believe that the non-violent nature of these individuals makes them ideal candidates for recovery and rehabilitation programs. The hope is that by showing them how bad choices led to their current situation, they can avoid making similar mistakes in the future.

One of the mistakes that some people make is thinking that because they have been charged with a non-violent crime that their situation isn’t serious. It really is. As soon as you realize you’re going to be arrested, it’s important to start looking at all of your legal options so you can start putting together a plan that will minimize the damage the charges could potentially do to your future.

Read more >

What is Resisting Arrest

Resisting Arrest in California

No one wants to be arrested. For many, resisting arrest is almost a knee-jerk reaction. The problem with the reaction is that it can make any legal issues you’re already dealing with much worse. 

California’s Penal Code 148 PC deals with the issue of resisting arrest. When you read through the penal code you’ll discover that simply running or throwing a temper tantrum when an officer is trying to arrest you isn’t the only way you can be charged with resisting arrest. If you do anything that is a blatant attempt to delay or obstruct the arrest process you will face resisting arrest charges in California. You can also be charged with resisting arrest if you interfere with a peace officer or an emergency medical tech.

There aren’t many valid defenses against a resisting arrest in California charge. Some that have been successfully used include:

• The resistance wasn’t willful
• The resistance charges were false accusations
• That there wasn’t probable cause for the arrest

 
The good news is that resisting arrest in California is only a misdemeanor charge, not a felony. 

If you’re convicted, the judge could order you to serve a year-long sentence in a county jail. They can also require that you pay a $1,000 fine. Most judges consider all the circumstances surrounding the case as well as your criminal history before deciding if they should lighten the sentence. It’s not unusual for a judge to decide that probation should be used instead of actual jail time.

When all is said and done, it’s usually in your best interest to stay calm, cool, and collected while you’re being arrested.

Read more >

Who Can Own a Gun in California?

Who Can Own a Gun in California?

It’s no secret that the U.S. Constitution contains a statement about the right to bear arms. When the Constitution was originally drafted, men were allowed to own a gun, but over time that has changed. For various reasons, laws and attitudes have shifted, and now some people simply aren’t allowed to own a firearm.

If you live in California and plan on purchasing a gun, you should know that California has some of the toughest gun laws in the United States. It’s worth noting that California’s most restrictive gun laws are constantly being challenged in Federal court and are subject to change so it’s in your best interest to routinely check the state’s current gun laws.

One of California’s gun laws is that to purchase a handgun, you must be at least 21 years old. Be prepared to provide proof of both your identity and your age when you purchase the handgun. If the identification is outdated or the person selling the gun feels it doesn’t look legit, they will stop the sale.

You also must earn your Handgun Safety Certificate. The written portion of this exam is designed to prove that you have a solid understanding of handguns and that you won’t misuse them. The test questions are designed to test how well you understand how to handle your gun, how it operates, and to make sure you’ll use the gun responsibly.

Not every person who lives in California is allowed to own a gun. Several people are explicitly forbidden from owning guns, including:

• Anyone who is currently involved in a probation program that prohibits gun ownership
• Anyone named in either a permanent or a temporary restraining order
• Anyone who has been dishonorably discharged from the military
• Anyone who is a registered sex offender
• Anyone with a diagnosed mental illness that the court believes indicates that they could be a danger to others and themselves
• Anyone who is currently addicted to drugs
• Anyone with a history of violent crimes
• Anyone with a past that includes a felony conviction
• Illegal residents
• Anyone who has been convicted of a type of misdemeanor named in Penal Code section 29805
• Sex offenders who have been diagnosed with mental disorders

 
If you are convicted of a violent crime or do something else that causes the state to revoke your privileges regarding gun ownership, you’ll have to get rid of any guns you currently own. The police are legally allowed to confiscate any weapons they find after your ownership rights have been revoked.

Read more >

Leaving Pets in Hot Cars in California

Leaving Pets in Hot Cars in California

Dogs love their owners and want to be with them all the time. In an attempt to keep our dogs happy, many of us take them with us when we run errands. On cold days, this isn’t an issue, but now that we’re on the cusp of summer, it will be a while before Californians experience cool days which means it’s time to rethink taking your dog along on your grocery store runs.

California lawmakers passed laws that make it illegal to leave your car in your vehicle at any time that there is a chance that they will be hurt before you get back. This includes when the temperatures soar to a point that your vehicle turns into an oven.

This means that even when the outdoor temperature is cool, you can’t leave your dog in the car all day if they don’t have access to fresh food and water. You also can’t leave them in the car if you have items in the vehicle, such a plastic shopping bags or heavy items that could topple.

The heat simply makes things works. The problem in the summertime is that many dog owners think that since they’re only running into the store for a minute or two, their dog will be fine. That’s not the case at all. It doesn’t take long for the car to get extremely hot. As the car heats up, your dog overheats, and heat stroke becomes a real threat. If you don’t return shortly, your dog will overheat to death.

As soon as the temp reaches 70 degrees Fahrenheit, you need to be careful. Studies indicate that on a sunny 70-degree day, the interior of your car can reach 115 degrees in less than 30 minutes. Dogs start to experience heat exhaustion when it gets to 103 degrees.

If it’s warm out and someone spots your dog in the car, they’re legally allowed to break your vehicle’s windows and rescue your pet.

The broken car window will likely be the least of your concerns. If the police get involved, you can be charged with a $100 fine per each animal that was in the car. The amount will be higher if it’s not your first offense. If the pet needs medical attention, the maximum sentence increases to a $500 fine and six months in jail. In many cases, you’ll also face animal cruelty charges.

Now that the temperatures are consistently staying above 70 degrees, it is in your best interest to leave your dog home when you’re running errands.

Read more >