Preventing Porch Piracy

Preventing Porch Piracy

You may not be familiar with the term “porch pirates” but it’s a pretty good bet that either you or someone you are close to has been a victim of one. 

A porch pirate is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a term that refers to someone who spots a delivery package on your porch or near your front door. Rather than ignore the recent delivery, they walk up to your front door and take it for themselves. Once they’re safely away from your home, they’ll open the package, if it’s something valuable they’ll either keep the item or sell it. If it’s not something they’re interested in, they’ll throw it away. Either way, you’re the one who loses out.

The increasing dependency on online shopping and delivery services has driven porch piracy incidents to all-time highs. According to Finder, 14% of Americans are victims of porch piracy during a twelve-month period. That means 35.5 million people have a package snatched from their homes. The estimated value of each incident is $156.82. 

The good news is that you can take some steps to prevent yourself from being a local porch pirate’s next victim.

Take Advantage of Tracking Notifications

Most online businesses provide free online tracking for your packages. You’ll want to utilize these. You can often set the system up so you a text is sent directly to your phone. In some cases, you’ll see approximately what time the package is scheduled to arrive and even how many stops before the driver is at your door. 

If you’re home, you can use this information to meet the delivery at your door. If you’re not home, you can see if a neighbor, or another trusted person, can pick up your package before it’s noticed by a passing porch pirate.

Have the Package Held at a Different Location

If you’re concerned about a package being stolen, see if the delivery service has an option that lets you have the package delivered to a local drop-off point. More shipping companies have started doing this in an effort to limit liability and cost issues connected to porch piracy. In most cases, a local business serves as a drop-off point. They hold the package until you’re able to fetch it.

Consider a Lockbox

A lockbox is a great way to deter porch pirates. You can install the mailbox in an area that’s easily accessed by delivery drivers. They deposit the package into the lockbox which hides the delivery until you get home. 

Security Cameras

Security cameras and doorbell security cameras are becoming increasingly more affordable for the average person. They are also a great way to deter porch pirates. If someone does try to sneak on your porch and steal one of your packages, you can turn the footage of the porch pirate to the police who may be able to identify the person so you can press charges. Even if the police can’t get an identity from the video footage, they will learn the approximate time that the porch pirate operates in your area and may be able to arrange to have a patrol car in the area so they can arrest the thief red-handed.

What steps have you taken to deter porch pirates?

Read more >

Who Goes to Prison for Tax Evasion

Who Goes to Prison for Tax Evasion

Taxes and the possibility of a simple mistake on our tax form leading to an arrest for tax evasion is the worst nightmare for many of us. That’s why we spend so many hours going over our tax returns with a fine-toothed comb, looking for a single mistake that could get us into all sorts of trouble with the IRS. 

You’ll be pleased to know that you can relax. First, contrary to what it might seem like, very few people actually go to prison for tax evasion. According to HR Block, in 2015 the IRS looked at about 150 million people for legal source tax evasion. Of those 150 million, only 1,330 people were actually indicted. Second, the IRS really can tell the difference between a simple mistake and a full-blown case of tax evasion.

The bulk of the cases involving legal source tax evasion involve people who either misreport their annual income or who fail to fill out the proper tax returns.

One of the interesting things about the IRS is that they typically don’t decide to pursue legal action against individuals who failed to pay their taxes because they simply didn’t have the funds needed to pay the owed taxes. While the IRS is aware of these individuals and will keep an eye on their financial situation, they aren’t the IRS’s main concern.

The IRS is primarily interested in people who have the money needed to cover the taxes they owe, but who are blatantly trying to get out of giving that money to the IRS.

When the IRS suspects a person is guilty of tax evasion, they start by ordering an audit. This audit requires that the person provide financial history for a specified number of years. The IRS doesn’t give the person much time to gather the necessary information because they don’t want the person to come up with a good hiding place for extra cash or assets that they failed to report.

Continually delaying to provide the requested financial information will make the IRS suspicious and could prompt them to take legal action against you.

If you’re being audited, you don’t want to lie to the auditor. These are highly trained investigators. Not only do they have a strong understanding of finances and taxes, but they’re also trained to read people and have the skills needed to find holes in your story and use those holes to get at the truth.

If the IRS believes you are guilty of tax evasion and decides to pursue legal action, you could face one year in prison for each year of tax evasion you committed. You’ll also have to pay the taxes you owe, plus interest.

Read more >

Avoid a Drunk Driving Charge This Christmas

Avoid a Drunk Driving Charge This Christmas

No one wants to spend the Christmas season sitting in a jail cell with a DUI charge hanging over their head, yet that’s exactly what will happen to several people this holiday season. Drunk driving is one of the most common reasons people are arrested during the holidays. 

Don’t assume that since it’s the holiday season, you can safely make it home after spending a few hours in the bar. You simply can’t anticipate every single situation you’ll encounter during the journey. There’s always a chance that something will happen and you’ll get into an accident. 

The other problem with taking a chance during the holiday season is that state and local officers know that there are going to be more drunk drivers on the roads than during other times of the year. They’re prepared for this. There will likely be more officers patrolling the streets and they are going to be on the lookout for the erratic driving habits that indicate the person behind the wheel has had a few too many. They will pull you over and if you’ve been drinking, you will be arrested.

No one is going to go lightly on you just because you were caught driving while under the influence during the holidays. The potential sentence for a first offense will be a misdemeanor charge with a potential sentence of 3-5 years of probation, up to $1,000 in fines, losing your driver’s license for six months, and substance abuse school. If you’re in an accident that involves an injury or death, you’ll face additional charges that have significantly more serious penalties.

The thing you must understand about DUIs during the holidays is that they are actually pretty easy to avoid. If you’re going out, either with friends or by yourself, assume that you will drink too much and come up with a plan to get home. Arrange for someone to pick up when it’s time to leave the bar or party. If you can’t find a friend or family member to come to get you, take a cab or book an Uber. Spending a few bucks on the fare is considerably cheaper than getting convicted of a DUI.

Make this a happy holiday season that is full of good memories. The best way to do that is to make sure you only get behind the wheel when you’re completely sober.

Read more >

What Happens if You’re Caught With Heroin in your Possession in California

What Happens if You're Caught With Heroin in your Possession in California

California lawmakers have adopted a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to heroin. It doesn’t matter if you transporting it, using it, dealing it, or anything else, getting caught with heroin is a serious offense. 

California has a number of specific laws that pertain to heroin. They include:

• Possession for personal use
• Possession with the intent to sell
• Driving under the influence of heroin
• Being caught under the influence of heroin

The state is so serious about cracking down on heroin use, charges can even be filed against you if you happen to be near someone who is using or in possession of heroin.

The majority of the heroin cases that make their way through the California legal system are cases that deal with the simple possession of heroin. Simply having heroin in a pocket or stored in your car is a violation of HS 11350. This is a misdemeanor offense. The good news is that if you’re convicted, the amount of time you spend in jail isn’t terribly long, the maximum sentence is a year in a county jail. The bad news is that the conviction could come as a serious financial blow, with a maximum fine of $20,000.

Many people who are caught with simple possession of heroin opt to take part in California’s drug diversion program.

If you are convicted of possession with the intent to sell heroin, you’re guilty of violating Health and Safety Code 11351 HS. This is a felony conviction. The sentencing includes 2-4 years in a California state prison and a fine as large as $20,000.

The amount of heroin you have on you at the time of your arrest will also play a huge role in how serious the sentence is. If you have more than one kilogram of heroin on you when you are arrested, the judge will take the original sentence they’ve issued and add anywhere from 3-25 years to the amount of time you have to serve in prison. The $20,000 fine could also be increased to several hundred thousand of dollars.

Any heroin arrest that involves the intent to sell automatically disqualifies you from the drug diversion program.

But what if you’re not using heroin but simply happen to be hanging out with someone who is? If you know that they are using heroin while you’re with them, you can be charged with breaking Health & Safety Code 11365 HS. While this isn’t a good charge, it’s not nearly as serious as being in actual possession of heroin. If convicted, you’ll have a misdemeanor charge added to your record and could be potentially sentenced to 6 months in a county jail.

Read more >

What to do if You’ve Been Wrongfully Terminated From Your Job

What to do if You’ve Been Wrongfully Terminated From Your Job

There are valid reasons for an employer to let an employee go. There are also invalid reasons which are considered wrongful terminations. If you believe you were wrongfully terminated, it means that you feel your employer violated public policy or state/federal law.

Unless your employer was doing something that broke the law, such as asking you to help them embezzle funds, you probably won’t be able to file criminal charges against them. What you will be able to do is file a civil suit. If you win the case, you should be able to recoup some of your lost wages and possibly even some punitive damages.

The first step you need to take when you believe you were wrongfully terminated from your job is figuring out exactly why your employer fired you. This isn’t always easy. 

The most important step in proving that you were wrongfully terminated is getting a copy of all your performance reviews. Ideally, you would have received and saved copies of these during your time with the company, but if you didn’t you’ll have to request them from your former employer. In addition to the performance records, you should also have a copy of the contract you signed when you started working for the employer and any paperwork you received when you were let go. The better your records are, the easier proving your wrongful termination case will be.

If you’re missing some of the paperwork you need, refrain from verbally requesting the missing information. It’s far better to submit a written request. Make sure you keep a copy of this written request. Your records should have when the request was submitted, how it was submitted, who took the request, and how long before they should provide you with the requested information.

Most wrongful termination cases involve the employer telling the employee that they are being let go because they violated one of the company’s policies. When this happens, immediately request proof of this violation. This is called Proof of Misconduct. The proof generally comes in the form of written disciplinary action. Your employer should be able to provide you with the Proof of Misconduct as soon as they let you know that you’ve been terminated.

Depending on the situation, it may be possible to find other employees who have had the same experience with your former employee. These are valuable resources as they will help you establish a pattern of behavior.

Once you have all of these things, the next step is finding a good employment law attorney who will advise you on the best way to handle the situation. 

Read more >

About Bail Bonds and Bail Bond Store in Los Angeles

Bail Bond Store in Los Angeles

For 30 years, Bail Bond Store in Los Angeles has been bailing Californians out of jail. More importantly, they have been reuniting them with their stressed and worried loved ones. That is the main goal for Bail Bond Store in Los Angeles employees, to offer their professional, reliable services to help and support others in need.

When a person is arrested, they have an arraignment hearing. During this hearing, the charges against the defendant are formally announced and the judge declares how much bail is. The judge may allow a defendant to be released on their own recognizance, which means that instead of paying money to court, they sign papers agreeing to show up for court as scheduled. The judge can also deny bail to a defendant. The defendant then has no option but to remain in custody during the trial.

Those who are granted own recognizance release are generally those with no prior criminal history and were arrested for something minor. Those who are denied bail are generally hard-core, dangerous criminals. Everyone else is likely to be granted bail where they must pay a certain amount of money to the court in order to be released.

Bail is expensive, no matter if it is a few thousand dollars or tens of thousands of dollars. To help alleviate the stress and cost, Bail Bond Store in Los Angeles offers families affordable bail bonds. The bail bond will get the defendant released from custody faster since they are not paying 100% of the bail to court. The family only needs to pay for 10% of the full bail amount. In addition, they get a custom payment plan, as well as other benefits and flexibilities that they may qualify for with Bail Bond Store in Los Angeles.

The defendant will be required to appear for court as they are scheduled. If they fail at this, then their bail bond and their release from custody are in jeopardy. Bail Bond Store in Los Angeles wants to avoid trouble at all costs, which is why they are available to assist you 24/7.

Learn more about bail bonds and get a free consultation from Bail Bond Store in Los Angeles by calling them at 877-793-2245 or chatting with a representative online.

Read more >

You Can Help Your Incarcerated Friend

Bail Bond Store in Los Angeles

Do not give up on a friend or family member just because he or she was arrested. You will be able to see him or her again. You can either wait, or you can bail him or her out of jail. By bailing your friend or family member out of jail, you guarantee that he or she will be home for the remainder of the trial process.

Bailing someone out of jail is a lot simpler than most people realize. All you need to do is talk to a kind and caring bail agent. Some bail agents do not care about their clients, all they are concerned with is filling their pockets. You can avoid agents like that by contacting Bail Bond Store in Los Angeles.

Good bail agents will be able to walk their clients through the bail bond process. They will answer any questions that their clients have. A good bail agent will take care of his or her clients, and make sure they understand how their loved one will be getting out of jail and what is expected of the loved one while out.

On top of answering all of their client’s questions, good bail agents will always be there for their clients. Someone can get arrested at any moment, so a truly helpful bail agents are available at any time of the day, even the middle of the night.

We have the best bail agents in California working for us here at Bail Bond Store in Los Angeles. They are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Our agents actually care about their clients and will answer all of their questions. You will get nothing but the best bail help available in California.

With help from a bail agent, your loved one can come home for the remainder of the trial period. This way, you will be able to have quality time with your friend or family member and help him or her get through this difficult time.

All you have to do is click Chat With Us or call 877-793-2245, and Bail Bond Store in Los Angeles will help you bring your loved one home.

Read more >

Southern California’s Dog-Friendly Parks and Beaches

Los Angeles Bail Bond Store

Dogs are our best friends. Their owners are responsible for keeping them safe, which also includes keeping the public safe. This is why there are certain laws dog owners must follow, from needing to keep them on a leash in most places, to getting them vaccinated.

Whenever a dog owner takes their dog out, the dog must be kept on a leash. Some communities require leashes to be 6-8 feet long; other communities have no leash length requirement. By keeping a dog on a leash, the owner is taking precaution to keep their dog safe, like avoiding getting hit by a passing car. In addition, they also keep other people safe, like avoiding a dog attack or scaring others who are uncomfortable around dogs. If a dog attack occurs, the owner can be arrested and charged with a crime, even if the owner did not encourage the fight and tried to stop their dog. They would have to pay a fine and possibly spend time in jail. In some situations, they may also lose their dog, or their dog will be put down.

Dog owners who have had time to train their dogs to be obedient and friendly would love to let their best friend off the leash and play with other friendly dogs as well. At most California parks and beaches, this is not allowed because the dogs must remain on their leash. However, there are some dog-friendly parks and beaches, meaning the dog can run around leash-free, and a handful of such welcoming locations can be found throughout Southern California.

    Dog Parks

  • Alice’s Dog Park in Pasadena
  • The Boneyard in Culver City
  • Griffith Park Dog Park in Los Feliz
  • Laurel Canyon Dog Park in Studio City
  • Silver Lake Off-Leash Dog Park in Silver Lake
  • Whitnall Off-Leash Dog Park in North Hollywood

    Dog Beaches

  • Arroyo Burro Beach in Santa Barbara
  • Fiesta Island in San Diego
  • Huntington Dog Beach in Huntington Beach
  • Rosie’s Dog Beach in Long Beach

At these dog-friendly beaches and parks, owners are still responsible for their pet and making sure it is getting along well with others. Being a dog owner is like being a parent. In fact, many future parents test their parental responsibilities by getting a dog first. So, treat your dog like you would your kid. Raise it, love it, care for it, and keep it and yourself out of trouble.

Just like you could face legal consequences if your teenage kid broke the law, you could face legal consequences if your dog causes injury to another.

Read more >

Wildfires in California do not Always Begin Because of the Weather

Los Angeles Bail Bond Store

Summertime is the peak of California’s wildfire season. This is when firefighters are more frequently out for long periods trying to contain and put out brush fires before they spread any further. The majority of California’s wildfires are in Southern California where the hot, dry air along with the winds encourage the fires to spread quickly, leading to residential evacuations and for some, the destruction of property as it gets engulfed in flames.

Wildfires can and do begin because of the weather, but some are even started by arson, which is a crime that is defined as intentionally setting a fire to property or land. Some wildfires also begin because of reckless burning, another crime where a person begins a fire but fails to put it out or control it, thereby allowing the fire to spread and endanger property and human life. An example of reckless burning is throwing a lit cigarette into shrub even though posted signs say not to do this. That tiny little cigarette that barely has a flame can cause a major wildfire.

There are varying penalties for arson and reckless burning in California, and it largely depends on the extent of the damage the fire has done. Believe it or not, intentionally setting fire to one’s own property is also illegal, and is a misdemeanor. If the fire damages other property and/ or forest land, or causes injury to others that person may be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances. However, if the intent was malicious, the arsonist is charged with a felony. If someone dies from the fire, the arsonist may also be charged with murder, in addition to arson.

Fires are dangerous and can quickly get out of hand. The damage can be extensive, and the consequences are set to match that. Like we mentioned above, you can be amazed at how big a fire can grow from one small source.

Read more >

DUIs are No Joke in California

Los Angeles Bail Bond Store

Instead of treating the gang to a final round of shots at last call, treat them to a pitcher of water and some fast food. This will jumpstart the mind and body to sober up so you can all get home safe and sound. It is the responsible thing to do and although your buds may give you the thumbs down to denying alcohol, they will definitely give you the thumbs up for feeding them.

Consider the benefits of having one less drink. You save money, for one. Secondly, you have a little more awareness. Rather than driving home yourself, hop into a Lyft or Uber so that you can rely on this sober driver to get you home safely. While this will cost you a few bucks, at least you do not have to worry about accidents and DUIs.

A first offense DUI in California can be at least $40-50,000. This cost covers revoked licenses, attending a mandatory driving education course, the fees for getting your vehicle towed and impounded, and increased car insurance premiums for the next few years. However that figure does not include hospital/ medical fees, property damages, and repairs. It also does not cover legal fees should you be taken to court. Repeat DUI offenders will consequently face harsher costs.

Of course, loss of money is not the worst thing to risk when a person drives intoxicated. The worst thing they risk is their life and the lives of others, which is anyone out on the road at the same time. Getting into a fatal accident is something that would haunt this person forever.

So, if you cannot rely on your friends to be the responsible ones, then you need to be the responsible one and know when it is time to stop drinking, and how to get everyone home safely.

Read more >