Vandalism in California

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Many people know what vandalism is. We hear about it, and see it, all of the time. Vandalism is taken very seriously in California. Getting caught vandalizing someone’s property can land a person in jail with hefty fines. While many people think they know what constitutes as vandalism, there are a few acts which fall into that category that people are unaware of.

Vandalism is the classified as the act of maliciously destroying or damaging someone else’s property.

Here is a quick list of acts that qualify as vandalism in the state of California:

  • Writing or painting on something that does not belong to you. This can even include writing your name in the wet cement of a city sidewalk.
  • Damaging a piece of property such as a window on a house or car. This can include breaking something of your significant other’s while fighting.
  • Destroying something beyond the point of repair.

If a person does one of these 3 things, he or she has committed an act of vandalism. If caught by law enforcement, this person can face a fine and possible jail time. The severity of the punishment often depends on how much damage was caused by the act. If the damage amounts to less than $400, than the crime is considered a misdemeanor. The accused person could face, at max, 1 year in jail and a fine of no more than $1,000.

If the damage total is greater than $400, the accused could face anywhere from 1 to 3 years in prison. On top of that, they could face a fine of $10,000, or more. The size of the fine will vary based on how bad the damage is.

Public Defenders v. Private Attorneys

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Public defenders and hired lawyers serve the same purpose: to defend and fight for their client in court. Their goal is to persuade the jury and the judge that their client is innocent of the charges against them. Although they serve the same purpose, both have pros and cons when defending a client.

  • Public Defender

    If a person cannot afford to hire a private attorney, the court will appoint a public defender to them. Therefore, the client does not have to pay for their public defender. The client cannot pick from a selection of public defenders; one is assigned to them. Public defenders are versed in a variety of cases and will be able to take on your case just fine.

However, public defenders do not make as much money as private attorneys, and they often have multiple cases to work on at the same time. Due to this, a public defender may have less time to meet with each client and go through materials. They must split their time across however many cases they have at once.

  • Private Attorney

    For many people, the main problem with hiring a private lawyer rather than a public defender is the cost. Private lawyers can be expensive, and they can be more expensive for serious or prolonged cases than short ones. Nonetheless, the services of a private lawyer are more beneficial than a public defender since the private lawyer will have more time to dedicate to their client. They will have more resources such as extra help from associates, and will likely be able to build a stronger case.

Additionally, lawyers may specialize in certain criminal cases, such as domestic abuse. This means that someone who is in the middle of a domestic abuse case can hire a lawyer who specializes in this, rather than a lawyer who specializes in an unrelated criminal matter. Since clients pay for a private lawyer they selected, the private lawyer is more inclined to perform at their best because their practice and reputation relies on satisfied clients.

If a family can afford a private lawyer, that is the best way to go. If not, hope is not lost. A public defender is ready and willing to take on the case and they will do as much as they can to help the family win.

How to Dress and Act for Court

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If you are trying to get hired, you will dress neatly and offer respectable, mature mannerisms. How you present yourself is equally as important as how technically skilled you are for the position. Similarly, how you present yourself to the jury and the judge in court is very important. After all, these are the people who will be deciding your case. It is not just the evidence and arguments that your lawyer makes on the case. Your appearance is important too.

  • Dress

    Unless you are obligated to appear in an orange jumpsuit because you are being brought in directly from jail, you will want to dress neatly and professionally. Men should wear a collared, buttoned shirt tucked into their long pants. They should have a belt on, and a tie is a plus. Men should wear socks with their shoes, and they may or may not have a jacket on. Women may wear a skirt that should not be more than 2 inches above the knee. Their sleeved blouse should be tucked in, and they should have on flats, or low-heel shoes. Women may also choose to wear long pants with her blouse tucked in. She should wear a sweater, but she can take it off if she gets warm. Across the board, clothing should be clean and free of distracting items like embellishments, wording, rips, and stains.

  • Conduct

    Any defendant must closely follow certain courtroom etiquette, and they will be advised by their lawyer ahead of time. They should only speak when they are asked to, and they must speak clearly. Remaining calm and polite is important, because growing irritated, angry, and argumentative is not going to help their case. They should sit and stand straight. The judge should be acknowledged as “Your Honor.” Looking eye-to-eye with the court shows maturity and seriousness from the defendant, which is a plus.

So much can be said about a person based on their appearance and their in-court demeanor. This is essentially the defendant’s chance to give the jury and the judge a good impression, and hopefully the evidence and facts about the case itself will back the defendant up.

You Do Not Need Drugs to Enjoy a Music Festival

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Large outdoor music festivals and concerts invite attendees to bring their friends, enjoy some music, and have a whole lot of fun. Many outdoor festivals also offer food booths, carnival rides, and other attractions. They are advertised as a whole experience, where some even run for multiple days and offer overnight camping. While the festivals provide a whole lot of fun for attendees, they also cause issues that call law enforcement to break up the fun.

One of the biggest recurring problems with music festivals is the usage and possession of illegal drugs. While alcohol may be served at the event for those who are 21 and older, smuggling in and using drugs of any kind is illegal. Illegal drugs are illegal for a reason. They are harmful to the body, and people react differently to the drugs. Some can “handle” more than others, but any amount is unsafe. The more drugs a body has in the system, the more dangerous they are to themselves and others. When alcohol and drugs are mixed, the person is even more dangerous.

Remember that summertime concerts mean that attendees are burning through their energy under a scorching sun. Staying hydrated with water is imperative in order to avoid exhaustion, dehydration, and fainting. When this happens, paramedics come in, and that is also when they may discover the patient is under the influence.

If the police find someone under the influence of illegal drugs or in possession of them, they will take that person away in handcuffs. The person faces fines and some time in jail. If they are found with an excessive amount of drugs, they can face a few years in prison.

For a person to have a lot of excitement about a concert, only to have it end abruptly because of health complications or because they were caught with drugs is really unfortunate. That is money wasted, lasting memories never had, and time lost. Getting arrested is a lot of stress for a person and it may make them think again before taking drugs at a festival. Hopefully they realize they do not need drugs.

Music festivals are no strangers to some drug abuse and arrests, but it needs to stop before it gets out of control and ruins the fun for everyone.

Beware of Scams in the Modern Age

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In the age of modern technology, it is important to be wary of scams used to gain private information from one of your accounts or devices. This sensitive information can be used to take money from the victim without him or her even knowing.

There are several different ways someone can gain access to a person’s account or device.

Some of the more common ways are:

  • Sending malicious emails. A favorite tactic among scammers is to send an email that disguises itself as being from someone in the target’s contact list. The email will usually say something along the lines of “Hey, check this out” followed by a link. Upon clinking the link, the victim grants the virus access to the computer. The virus can then grab whatever it wants, and will also send itself to everyone on the victim’s contact list.

  • Sending malicious texts. The victim will receive a text message, making some claim that a balance is overdue on some account, and may request that the person open a link to a website to pay the balance. The text could also ask for account information to verify that the victim is who they claim to be. Upon doing so, the victim grants the scammer access to the account.

  • Phone scam. For phone scams, the scammer calls an unsuspecting person and claims to be a representative from some company or law enforcement agency. They will tell the intended victim that money is owed, and it needs to be paid right away or a warrant will be issued for the victim’s arrest. It is a common scare tactic. The idea is to get the victim so freaked out that they no longer think straight. If a person receives a call like this, they should hang up right away. If they are truly concerned that there may be an issue, contact the company or law enforcement agency that supposedly called. This ensures that the real company or agency is actually reached, not someone claiming to be from them.

The best thing to do in all of these cases, is to stop and think. You should never click on a link unless you are completely sure that you can trust the source of the link. The case of emails, check to see the actual email address that sent the message. You may find that even though it says it came from someone you know, it actually came from a random address.

If you are unsure if something came from a friend or not, simply ask the friend through some other means, not replying to the email or text that sent the questionable link. Your friend may have no idea what you are talking about, which tells you the message was a scam.

Another important note, is that no government or law enforcement agency will require people to pay fines or debts with money transfers or store bought cards. Scammers prefer these methods of payment since it is harder for the victim to get the money back once it is sent away.

Whenever you receive a message that seems strange, or a phone call that you can’t quite believe, question it. Take a step back and think your next move out carefully. It can save you a lot of trouble and headaches later on.

If You File a False Report, You Will go to Jail

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It is a crime to falsely report a crime. That is, you can and will get in trouble with the law if you report a crime but know that it really is not a crime. This is exactly what happened to a Los Angeles woman who, just a few weeks ago, was charged for her false report. Now she will have to pay her consequences by spending 2 months in jail.

26-year-old Charline Gatson filed a report with the police, reporting that an acquaintance approached her in her car and pulled out a gun. The acquaintance let Gatson go, but took her car. Gatson’s teenage son was still in the car, and the acquaintance drove off. The vehicle was found later in San Bernardino.

After investigators completed their work, they determined that Gatson’s carjacking and kidnapping report was false. In fact, Gatson had lent her vehicle to the acquaintance, and the acquaintance refused to return it. The stepson was not involved with the incident.

Because of Gatson’s false report, which effectively wasted resources, time, and money from police officers and investigators, Gatson was charged and ordered to spend 2 months in jail. In addition, she will be on probation for 36 months, and will pay a fine of $220. Consequences for filing false reports are taken seriously because it takes officers away when they should be devoted to focusing on real, serious crimes.

All in all, filing false reports is irresponsible and reckless. It is, however, a different story when the person filing a report genuinely believes it to be true crime, but it is later determined that they are just mistaken. An example of that would be if someone witnessed a person whom they have never seen before, entering their neighbor’s apartment. Believing it to be an intruder, they alert the police.

After investigating, the police learn that the neighbor had given this “intruder” their key because they are staying with them; this is an out-of-town friend, which is why the person had never seen them before.

California’s Car Modification Regulations

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Car enthusiasts view their vehicle like an extension of themselves, or like a best friend, pet, or child. They take great care of the vehicle. They give it a name, and customize it to their liking so that it is not like the rest of the same makes and models. Car enthusiasts truly prize their vehicles and make modifications that cost quite a bit. There is quite a bit of freedom when it comes to car modifications, yet there are also certain regulations and laws the car owner must stay within in California.

  • Window Tinting

    Rear and back side windows can be as dark as the owner wants, but front side windows cannot. Front side windows can only be tinted so dark, because it must allow over 70% of light to shine through.

  • Lights

    Cars may not have more than 2 spotlights with white lamps. These spotlights must not illuminate past 300 feet from the vehicle. Additionally, cars can only have two fog lights.

  • Engine

    Every car engine must be certified for use. Cars may only be equipped with emission control systems that were originally made for that specific vehicle or one of a newer model. All vehicles must pass regular smog checks.

  • Sound

    Sound systems must not be heard over 50 feet from the vehicle if it is driving on a highway.

  • Frame and Suspension

    A vehicle can be lifted as high as 5 inches, but no more than that.

Anyone who modifies their car illegally will not only be given a ticket, but they will also be required to remove the illegal modification parts. These modification laws help ensure a few things:

  1. That there is less disturbance to other drivers, pedestrians on the street, and people in their homes or workplace.
  2. That the environment is taking in the least amount of toxins.
  3. That people are alert and aware of when emergency vehicles need to pass by.

Struggles of Getting Arrested Out of State

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While La Mirada Bail Bond Store is one of the best bail bond companies in California, they cannot help you if you or a loved one is arrested outside of the state. La Mirada Bail Bond Store can only operate within California, so you would need to find a local out-of-state bail bond company to assist you for your bail bond needs. This can take more time and produce more stress since it is not close to home.

No matter what state someone is in, getting arrested is never a good thing, though getting arrested within your home state is slightly better. Dealing with an out-of-state arrest is more troublesome and will require more from the defendant. As mentioned, the defendant will have to work and communicate with a local bail bond company, but in addition to that, the defendant will need to seriously rework their schedule to prioritize the situation.

The defendant will have a court date, but it will not occur in California. It will occur where the defendant was arrested. In some cases, the court will allow the defendant to return home and have only their lawyer present at the court hearing. However, for most people and situations, this is not the case. This means that the defendant will need to make arrangements to stay in the area for the duration of their trial, or they will need to travel back and forth if they are allowed to travel while out on bail.

In order for the defendant to allow this to happen, they will need to communicate with their family and employer to work out some solution or schedule. There will be serious consequences here. A wife may have to handle work and the children on her own at home, for example. As for the workforce, the defendant would not be receiving paychecks for some time, or the employer may decide they have to let this employee go altogether. This adjustment will be very strenuous not only on the defendant, but for friends, family, and other acquaintances who are affected by this sudden schedule and lifestyle change.

If you are doing any traveling, whether it is for business or for pleasure, be mindful of your words and actions. You do not want something to go terribly wrong for you.