When The Police Doesn’t Need A Search Warrant For Your Phone

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ave you ever traveled internationally and then upon returning to the United States, you have been asked by border control for your cell phone? Whether this has happened to you or not (and you will probably say it has not happened to you), you probably wonder if you are required to give your phone to them, and whether they are violating your rights and privacy.

This has happened to a small percentage of travelers but the percentage has risen sharply since 2015. Due to this increase, Congress was introduced with a new bill that would limit United States border agents when it comes to searching cell phones of Americans who are returning to the country. The new bill, if passed, would require the border agent to have probable cause, at the least, to search and even seize a cell phone.

Search Warrant For Your Phone

Even if the bill is not passed, the United States border agents do have the right to ask for cell phones. Most likely, the chances of being searched are practically nonexistent. To offer perspective, nearly 400 million individuals cross United States borders every year. Less than 0.01 percent of these 400 million travelers have their phone or computer searched. And an even smaller percentage of that 0.01 are American citizens.

People who are searched leave a “gold copy” of their cell phone data (such as text messages, photos, browser history, and more) with the border agents; the border agents are allowed to “clone your device and everything on it.” This information can be shared with other federal law enforcement agencies if they require assistance in understanding the information. If they do not have any probable cause of illegal activity and crime, then they are required to completely erase all copied data from their system (the data on your cell phone will remain intact).

Border control can keep your cell phone to search it thoroughly even if you depart from the airport. After 5 days and no valid reason, they must return it to you. After several weeks without additional probable cause, they will have to return it to you. If they do not return your phone after that, then they have found incriminating information and they will issue an arrest warrant.

Searching and seizing a cell phone at the airport is legal. In fact, border control has the right to search and seize any item within 100 miles of the border that was brought in to the United States. That means that if you returned to the United States and have already left the airport with your cell phone, but you are only 20 miles away from the border, they can still go after you, stop you, and request your cell phone. Anywhere else in the United States, outside of this 100 mile radius, a search warrant would be required (unless the owner gives consent to the search).

After Graduation Comes Partying And Traveling

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ore likely than not, high school seniors and 4th years in college are not going to be spending this next month or so making their papers an A+ and studying for finals and exams. Mentally, they are pretty much done with school. All that is on their mind now is graduation, summer, and that unparalleled feeling of having completed schooling. Before the move on to higher education or work, they plan on taking a well-deserved vacation with some friends. As their proud parent, you are supportive of this; you too feel they deserve it. Yet, you cannot help but have some reservations before they graduate and leave.

Now that they are no longer a minor, you have less control and say over them. To them, this is freedom when they want to go out and have fun. At the same time, this can be heartbreaking if something bad happens, and you, as a parent, are limited on the help you can provide.

After Graduation Party

For example, if your child is arrested at the age of 15 for committing a crime, they would have a trial by jury. Instead, a judge would determine any consequences, and consequences would not include jail time. A prison sentence is not a punishment option for a minor; they would be released back to your custody. However, if your child is arrested at the age of 18 or older, the criminal proceedings are more serious. They will have a trial with a jury, and they can face a possible prison sentence. You could possibly help bail your child out of jail during the trial, but if they are denied bail, there is nothing you can do but wait.

To make matters more complicated, criminal proceedings are more difficult to navigate when it is an arrest that was made outside of your home state. The defendant would most likely need to be present at the trial, which will be held in the state they were arrested in. That means the defendant would have to make proper arrangements to be there, when they could be back in their home state going to work, school, or just relaxing. This gets expensive.

Since your child plans on taking a trip, you will want to make sure they are aware of their actions, and to not act on something that can lead to a bad situation. A way to help show that you are not trying to lecture them and give off an “I do not quite trust you” attitude is to also let them know to be aware of the actions of others around them. You trust them, but you do not trust strangers. Your child could be a well-rounded individual but you never know about the motives of others. All in all, you just want your child to return home relaxed and with many memories before they move on to the next big step in their life. They just finished high school or even college – they deserve this break, and you both deserve to not have to worry about trouble.

What Are The Rules For Minors Getting A License?

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“Driving is a privilege”

is a phrase parents use often towards their teenage children when they begin to learn how to drive. For the minors, obtaining a driver’s license represents freedom and fun. For the parents, it represents growth and responsibility that must be earned and proven. In California, there are certain rules and laws around obtaining a permit and license as a minor.

A minor (under the age of 18) must have their parent(s) or legal guardian(s) sign their applications for a driver’s license. If both parents or guardians share custody, both of their signatures must be on the application. If one adult has sole custody, then only their signature is required on the application.

Minors Getting A License

Before they get a license, a minor must first get a permit. The minor must be at least 15 and a half years of age, but under 18 years of age. Anyone 18 years or older can skip the permit process and work straight for the license. Minors will need to pass a written test that covers safety and driving rules. If they fail the test, they must wait at least 7 days to retake it. The minor will also need to complete and pass a Driver’s Education course. Then, they will receive their permit.

A minor’s permit is valid the day they begin their behind-the-wheel training with a licensed instructor, who can be a parent/guardian, a spouse, a driving instructor, or another adult who is at least 25 years of age. It is illegal for minors to drive alone with this permit.

To “graduate” and obtain a driver’s license, a minor must be at least 16 years of age, have completed their behind-the-wheel training, and pass their final behind-the-wheel driving test. With their permit, they have 3 chances to pass the driving test. If and when the minor receives their provisional license, they are then allowed to drive alone. However, they still have restrictions:

  • They may not drive between 11 PM and 5 AM.
  • They may not have anyone who is under 20 years old in their car unless an adult who is 25 years or older is with them too.

When the minor turns 18, the provisional restrictions end.

If a minor is caught violating their permit and provisional license allowances, both they and their parents can get into trouble with the police and the DMV. In addition, a parent should enforce additional rules if they feel their child is not ready and responsible enough to drive safely. Again, driving is a privilege and it can easily be taken away and put on pause – which is a better alternative than a “too late” situation where someone gets hurt.

Understanding Proper Court Etiquette

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Proper etiquette is essential for making a good impression on other people, and this is especially true in the courtroom, especially for the defendant. The defendant is already in the courtroom with a disadvantage; this is the person who is being accused of a crime and is fighting against the charges so the jury finds him or her not guilty. While the jury and the judge deliberate and come to a decision based on the arguments brought forth from the defense and prosecution, the defendant’s appearance and overall courtroom etiquette leave an impression.

Here are some helpful tips on proper courtroom etiquette, which are especially helpful for the defendant:

  • Arrive a little earlier than the start time of the trial so that you can have a few moments with your lawyer.
  • If the defendant is out on bail, they should come to court dressed professionally and muted. This means no distracting and flashy clothing and jewelry. Hats and sunglasses should be removed. If the defendant was denied bail, then they will appear in their orange jumpsuit since they do not have access to their personal clothes.
  • Proper Court Etiquette

  • Sit and stand straight. Do not slouch.
  • Speak only when asked to and speak clearly.
  • Answer only what is asked; do not freely provide other details and information.
  • Make eye contact with those who are speaking to you and when you are answering them.
  • Acknowledge the judge as “Your Honor.”
  • Act and speak calmly and with courtesy. Do not let your anger grow.
  • Make sure your cell phone is off or at least on silent. If applicable, leave your young children at home with a sitter. You do not want any disruptions.
  • Use the restroom beforehand so you do not have to use it in the middle of the trial.
  • As much as possible, let your lawyer do the talking. Again, speak only when asked to.
  • Do not interrupt or speak over others. If there is an objection, your lawyer will be ready.
  • It is okay to ask to have the question repeated or reworded. It is okay to say you do not understand or do not remember, but you must be honest.

A defendant’s appearance in court offers insight towards how seriously they are taking this situation. If they show up dressed sloppily, sit slouched in the chair, and make small gestures like smirking, rolling eyes, twiddling thumbs, tapping shoes, and constantly looking around and checking their watch, the judge and the jury will take this to mean that they are not serious about the situation. This could hurt them.

However, if the defendant shows up dressed properly and presents him or herself in court with the right courtesy and mannerisms, then the jury and judge will see that this is a person who is mature and ready to face this situation the right way.

You Cannot Leave Your Pet Alone In The Car

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Just like leaving your young child alone in a hot car is illegal in California, so is leaving your unattended pet in a hot car. By doing this, the pet is subjected to health and safety risks that include the following:

    You Cannot Leave Your Pet Alone In The Car

  • The sweltering heat outside and inside the vehicle.
  • Inadequate ventilation.
  • Inadequate access to food or water.

Think about what animal cruelty and animal endangerment means. A person who puts their pet at risk by leaving them unattended in a vehicle without properly examining the situation could face a maximum $100 fine, assuming the pet did not suffer great bodily injury. However, if the pet does suffer an injury, the owner faces a misdemeanor charge that is punishable with a $500 fine and up to 6 months in jail.

Owning a pet takes as much responsibility as raising a child. To most people, a pet is their child. Proper steps and precaution must be taken at all times. So, if a person would not leave their child alone, they should not leave their pet alone. They may think that it is a convenience factor to run into the store for milk for 5 minutes while leaving the pet alone in the car, but it is not worth the risk for many reasons said above. If the store will not allow them to bring the pet in, the owner should roll down car windows or leash the pet outside in the shade.

Pets are meant to be loved and they bring joy and happiness. Keep them nurtured that way!

Why We Need Bail

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Did you know that California legislatures are trying to get rid of bail across the entire state? They wish to replace bail with a system where judges determine if a defendant is trustworthy enough to be released or not.

The problem is, the California Judicial System has been underfunded for several years now. Many courts have reduced costs by limiting how many days a week they are open, thus limiting how much work they can do. This new system would add more work to many judges who already have heavy workloads. As it is now, many defendants have to wait months for their case to go to court, adding more work for the judges to do, will only worsen this waiting period.

On top of increasing wait times, this new method would rely on a judge deciding if someone is safe and trustworthy enough to be released from jail, without giving him or her any incentive for returning to court. With bail, defendants have a greater reason for returning to court and not running away. If they make it to all of their court dates, defendants will receive all of their money back from the court, regardless of the verdict. With this proposed system, there is nothing to keep defendants from running once they are free.

This is why we need bail in California, it offers a better incentive for defendants to return to court for their trial.

One of the main complaints that California legislators have against bail, is that its high prices favors the wealthy and punishes the poor. This is why there are bail bond companies. Bail bond companies make bail more affordable for people by offering it at a discounted price. When a person uses a bail bond company, they are paying that bail agent to pay for the bail. In California, bail bond companies charge 10% of the bail price to do this. This means that if someone’s bail is set at $10,000, then his or her bail bond will only cost $1,000 and can be paid off with a payment plan. This makes paying for bail so much easier for clients.

An added benefit of a defendant having a bail agent, is that there is someone to actually watch the defendant. Bail agents always keep tabs on their clients and they make sure their clients go to all of their court dates. The minute an agent finds out that a client didn’t appear in court, they immediately begin tracking down the client to talk to him or her and find out why. With this new proposed system, the cities would need to monitor the released defendants. This means more city spending, which can eventually lead to an increase in local taxes.

This is why we need to keep the bail system in California. It offers better incentives for defendants and better safety for communities. Bail agents are much quicker to react to a defendant missing a court date than a city will ever be. This means a bail agent will be able to locate their client before he or she has disappeared completely. If you want to keep your city and state safe, let your California lawmakers know that you want bail to stay.

You can sign a petition to do just that here:

Do You Care For A Loved One With Special Needs?

Care For Special Needs Pleasant Hill

When someone, young or old, goes missing or gets lost, their loved one can be filled with worry. Luckily, in most instances, the loved one has the ability to communicate with people to find his or her way back home.

Unfortunately, some people do not have this basic ability. They either had it and lost it, or never had it at all. There are hundreds of people with conditions like:

  • Autism
  • Down Syndrome
  • Dementia
  • Any other memory impairment


People with these conditions all require special care to ensure that they are kept happy and safe. When a person with any one of these conditions goes missing, finding him or her can prove to be difficult. They can wander off to who knows where, and even once they are found, communicating with them can be tough for law enforcement.

To try and help law enforcement and families with members who have special needs, many cities and states have special needs registries.

Special needs registry is a database of information that local law enforcement can use to be better equipped to handle any search and rescue activities involving someone with special needs.

To get your loved one onto your area’s local registry, all you have to do is fill out a form.

    The form usually includes:

  • The family member’s name
  • A photograph of the family member
  • The family member’s home address
  • Emergency contact information
  • The family member’s medical diagnosis
  • Suggestions on how to best approach the family member


This information can be a vital tool in locating a family member with special needs. With this information in hand, local law enforcement will be able to approach your loved without scaring or upsetting your family member.

As cities continue to grow and advance, they are bringing their registries into the modern age. They can store this information on secure cloud servers that enable their local law enforcement officers to access the info from anywhere. This means they will be able to begin searching for your loved one the moment they find out that he or she is missing. The sooner local law enforcement begins searching for your loved one, the sooner they can find him or her. If you want to ensure that your loved one with special needs will be taken care of in the event of an emergency, look into your cities local special needs registry.

The Different Types Of Restraining Orders

Types Of Restraining Orders Mococo

We have all heard about restraining orders, one way or another. However, we tend to only have a very basic understanding of restraining orders and how they work. Most people do not even realize that there are multiple types of restraining orders available.

    The four types are:

  • Civil Harassment Restraining Order
  • Domestic Violence Restraining Order
  • Elder or Dependent Adult Abuse Restraining Order
  • Workplace Violence Restraining Order


Each type of order handles a different type of situation, which means they have different requirements for being filed.

  • CIVIL HARRASMENT: This is the type of restraining order that most people are familiar with. You can get this restraining order if a person is being stalked, harassed, abused, or threatened by someone who is not close to you.
  • DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: This is the type of restraining order that a person gets if he or she is being abused by someone close to them. Being close to someone means husband or wife, an ex, parent, child, sibling grandparent or in-law.
  • ADULT ABUSE: This restraining order is for someone who is either age 65+ or is between 16 to 84 years old and has a mental or physical disability that prevents the person from defending him or herself. If a person meets one of those requirements, and has been a victim of physical or financial abuse, neglect, or harmful treatment, then this is the type of restraining order the person would get.
  • WORKPLACE VIOLENCE: This is the type of restraining order that an employer gets to protect an employee that has been a victim of stalking, harassment, violence, or a threat of violence. This is only for employers seeking to help their employees, employees themselves cannot get this kind of restraining order for themselves, but they can get a civil harassment restraining order.


Regardless of what type of restraining order you get, each one can include the following orders:

  • PERSONAL CONDUCT ORDERS – These kinds of orders prevent the accused person from performing certain acts towards the protected person. This can include contacting the person by any means, stalking, threatening, or harassing the protected person.
  • STAY-AWAY ORDERS – These orders are the ones that state the accused person must stay a certain distance away from the protected person or certain areas where he or she frequents. This can include the protected person’s home, office, vehicle, or child’s school.
  • RESIDENCE EXCLUSION ORDERS – These orders are typically for the domestic violence and adult abuse restraining orders. They state that the accused person must move out from where the protected person lives, and take only his or her clothes and personal belongings.


Restraining orders are meant to protect people by keeping threatening people away.

They have a lot of negative consequences for the person being restrained. If a restrained person breaks a restraining order, he or she can face a fine, jail time, or both.

The Rules Of Fireworks

Rules Of Fireworks Glen Frazer

For anyone who is starting to plan their July 4 activities, do not forget the fireworks! It is always great watching the big fireworks show that is planned for the general public, but at some point you get tired of going early to find parking and snag a good spot. Besides, this year, your friend is hosting a party and you do not want to miss it. This party still needs fireworks because what is a 4th of July celebration without them? If you plan on bringing some fireworks to your friend’s party, make sure you know what is and is not allowed. The last thing you want is for somebody to get hurt and the police to shut you guys down.

Fireworks are categorized as either “dangerous fireworks” or “safe and sane fireworks.


Rules Of Fireworks

In order to purchase and use dangerous fireworks, you must have a special license. Basically, the general public cannot purchase dangerous fireworks. Those who put on the official fireworks show for the general public can. These individuals have that special display license needed. Plus, purchasers with the special display license must be at least 18 years old.


The general public can purchase safe and sane fireworks, but only from licensed sellers and only between June 28 and July 6 each year. Anyone who wishes to purchase any safe and sane fireworks must be at least 16 years old.


There are penalties if someone disobeys any firework laws in California. They include up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. Most violations are classified as a misdemeanor, but charges can increase to a felony if it involves dangerous fireworks and/or if an incident occurred that caused injury or even death. Felonies are punishable with more time in prison and thousands of dollars in fines, not to mention whatever you would need to pay for medical bills and legal fees.

In order to avoid accidents caused by fireworks, there are certain practices to follow. For example, legally purchased safe and sane fireworks should be used outdoors and away from trees and bushes that can catch fire. They should also be used away from sources of gas and other flammable items and materials. Responsible and mature individuals should be the ones using them, and children need to be supervised. Fireworks come with safety instructions, so make sure to read those carefully.

California counties may have additional fireworks laws that differ from each other so make sure you understand what is and is not allowed where you are located. Fireworks are a spectacle that everyone wants to enjoy. It would be awful to be the one to ruin the fun, so educate yourself so everyone can share in the fun.

Responsibilities And Graduation

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ummer is approaching, and that means that many students will be finishing up their final school year. Graduation season is just around the corner. For many, they will no longer have to follow the set in stone schedule of their school five days a week. They will be free and facing new opportunities at college and joining the working world.

Responsibilities And Graduation

Graduation is a time to celebrate. Students have spent their entire lives working toward this moment. Once they walk across that stage and are given their diploma, they will be free to carve their own path.

As a parent, you may want to remind them of the responsibilities that come with this newfound freedom. For many, graduation comes at a time when the student becomes 18. The student is no longer a child and is a finally a full-fledged adult. While this milestone comes with a lot of perks, it also has a few drawbacks.

Before, if your child got into trouble with the law, he or she would be given back to you, the parent. Now, however, your son or daughter will be held accountable for his or her actions. If your child gets into trouble with the police, he or she could get arrested and sent to jail. Nobody wants that, so be sure to remind your son or daughter to be responsible with his or her actions.

After all, graduation is a time to celebrate, not a time to spend in jail. So let your child go out and explore this newfound freedom from school, just make sure he or she remembers to make good choices.