Halloween Safety Tips

Halloween Safety Tips

October is here, and all anyone can think about is the holiday of Halloween at the end of the month. Kids love getting dressed in fun costumes and trick-or-treating for bags full of candy. Meanwhile, adults enjoy dressing up as well, but they have parties to get to instead of wandering door to door hunting for candy.

Trick-Or-Treating Safety Tips

When it comes to trick-or-treating, a parent’s main priority should be keeping their child safe. This can be a bit tricky as the sun sets and things get dark. In order to ensure that everyone stays safe this Halloween, here are some safety tips to keep in mind while out trick-or-treating:

  • Always make eye contact with drivers before crossing the street in front of them.
  • Always walk in well-lit areas.
  • Don’t eat any candy until home and a parent has inspected it for any tampering.
  • Each child should be carrying a flashlight or glow stick.
  • Face paint is better than wearing masks since masks can obstruct a child’s vision.
  • Make sure costumes are the appropriate size so they are not loose or baggy on the child, creating a tripping hazard.
  • Never cross the street between parked cars. Drivers are less likely to notice pedestrians between cars.
  • Never enter a stranger’s home or car.
  • Only cross streets at corners with traffic signals and/or crosswalks. Always check left and right before crossing.
  • Only walk on sidewalks or paths. If there is no sidewalk, walk on the left side of the street facing oncoming traffic.
  • Put electronic devices down when walking, and especially when crossing the street.
  • Put reflective tape and stickers on bags or costumes when possible to increase visibility.

Following these safety tips should help a parent keep their children safe this Halloween.

Tampering With Halloween Candy Is A Crime

Tampering with food products in a way that can harm someone is a crime here in California. Under California Penal Code 347, it is illegal for a person to tamper or poison food, medicine, and public water supplies.

This crime is a felony offense, and can earn a person a prison stay of one of the following:

  • 2 years
  • 4 years
  • 5 years

If someone is killed suffers great bodily harm from the act, an additional 3 years in prison is added to the sentence.

Basically, no one should be tampering with Halloween candy.

Halloween Safety Tips For Adults

Not every adult has children who are trick-or-treating that they need to worry about. These adults tend to have parties to go to. While they may not be trick-or-treating themselves, they still need to be aware of trick-or-treaters while driving around. A few tips for adults this Halloween would be:

  • Be careful while exiting driveways and alleyways.
  • Be extra wary of kids crossing at intersections.
  • Drive slower in residential neighborhoods.
  • Popular times for trick-or-treating fall between 5:30 pm to 9:30 pm, so be very cautious during those times.
  • Turn headlights on earlier in the evening to increase visibility.
  • Watch for kids while driving, especially kids in dark clothing.

Keep Halloween Safe And Fun

Halloween is supposed to be a fun holiday for children and adults alike. No one wants to ruin the evening with an accident of some kind. That is why everyone, including adults not out trick-or-treating, need to be more cautious this evening. By being more aware, they can avoid harming a trick-or-treater who was just looking to get an excellent score of candy to take home.

Do you have any safety tips for Halloween that might be missing from this list?

If so, add them in the comments down below.

What do you think of California’s laws about tampering with someone’s food, particularly candy given out at Halloween?

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

 

California’s Stand Your Ground Laws

California’s Stand Your Ground Laws

The last thing anyone wants is to be put in a dangerous situation where they need to defend themselves from an attacker. Unfortunately, this situation does happen on rare occasions. As if this wasn’t bad enough, there are some states in the US that don’t allow people to defend themselves with any means necessary. This means that in some states, a person who may have killed someone in self-defense, could actually face murder charges.

Due to this fact, a person needs to be aware of their state’s laws when it comes to self-defense, particularly stand your ground laws.

Castle Defense

Here in California, the state does not have a stand your ground law, but it does have a Castle Doctrine. Penal Code 198.5 allows a person to use deadly force within their own home so long as certain worries arise. As long as all of the following occurs, a person is allowed to use deadly force to protect their home:

  • A person broke into their home.
  • The intruder was not a law enforcement officer doing their job.
  • There was reasonable fear of death or injury for the homeowner or a family member.
  • The occupants of the home didn’t provoke the intruder.

In those instances, a person can do whatever they need to in order to protect themselves and their loved ones from harm.

Self-Defense While Out

The problem with Penal Code 198.5 is that it only applies when a person is in their own home. It doesn’t give a person the right to defend themselves while out in public. This is where stand your ground laws come into play in other states. These laws grant a person the ability to do what they feel they need to in times of distress in order to protect themselves from an attacker.

California does not have a particular stand your ground law. However, California does recognize that there are times where a person may need to use deadly force in order to defend themselves. California Criminal Jury Instructions (CALCRIM) 505 and 506 instruct jurors to find defendants innocent of crimes such as homicide or assault if the person acted reasonably under the given circumstances, specifically:

  • The person reasonably believed they were in danger of being hurt or killed.
  • The person reasonably believed they needed to use force to keep themselves safe.
  • The person used only the amount of force necessary to protect themselves.

As long as a person followed the above, they should be found innocent.

In some states, a person needs to run away from a threat before they are legally permitted to use deadly force. That is not the case in California. As long as a person is defending themselves from threat of injury or death, they can do whatever they reasonably feel they need to in order to survive.

Stand Your Ground Vs. Castle Defense

While both stand your ground laws and castle defense laws refer to a person defending themselves from an attacker, they are not exactly the same. Stand your ground laws apply wherever a person may be while castle defense only applies when a person is within their own home or a few select places, such as their car.

No one ever wants to need to defend themselves, but the need can arise in rare instances. If a person ever finds themselves needing to protect themselves in California, they can rest easy knowing that the state will not fault them for doing whatever they felt was necessary to protect themselves during the situation.

What do you think of California’s take on stand your ground laws and castle defense?

Should people be allowed to use reasonable, even deadly, force in order to defend themselves from an attacker? Let us know what you think in the comments down below.

 

Legally Dealing With Coyotes And Mountain Lions

Legally Dealing With Coyotes And Mountain Lions

California is a very big state. The state is home to nearly 40 million people. Living alongside all of us people, are millions of animals as well. As our cities expand, they encroach on wildlife and their territory. This pushes many animals to begin looking for food amongst human settlements.

When it comes to animals such as pigeons, rats, and crows, things might get annoying, but rarely dangerous. However, that is not the case for predatory animals such as coyotes and mountain lions. These animals hunt for a living, and will turn to hunting livestock, family pets, and even small children in times of desperation. As such, people need to be aware of these animals, and what they are legally allowed to do in order to protect themselves and their property.

Coyotes In California

Coyotes are pretty well known, thanks to a certain looney cartoon, and they are relatively common creatures in the American Southwest. The more deserted climate of Southern California sees a lot of coyotes, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t present anywhere else in the state.

For the most part, Coyotes prefer to avoid humans. However, some can become bolder over time, or due to desperation brought on by a lack of food or water. When this happens, these creatures will begin to wander further into human territory with less fear of the people they see, which can cause problems.

In an effort to make sure that coyotes remain wary of people, experts recommend doing the following:

  • Avoid walking dogs in areas where coyotes are frequently seen.
  • Carry a walking stick and air horn when walking a dog.
  • Install motion detecting lights.
  • Keep garbage cans secure and preferably inside.
  • Keep pets indoors at night.
  • Never feed coyotes.
  • Pick up fallen fruit.
  • Remove pet food and birdseed from outside areas at night.
  • Throw rocks or other items at an approaching coyote.
  • Trim bushes to reduce potential shelter.

Doing all of this discourages coyotes from entering a human area, and keeps them from growing too bold. However, these things will not work in instances where a coyote has grown used to humans. When that happens, more drastic steps need to be taken.

Officials will only step in to deal with a coyote when a person is injured. They don’t care if a pet or other animal was killed by a bold coyote. This means a person will either have to hire a professional pest control specialist to deal with the critter, which can cost a few thousand dollars, or they can deal with it themselves.

California state law has very few restrictions about dealing with nuisance coyotes. Basically, homeowners are allowed to kill and hunt nuisance coyotes, provided they follow any local ordinances. For instance, a person is technically allowed to shoot a coyote with a gun, but not if their city has laws against firearms being shot within city limits.

Mountain Lions In California

Just like coyotes, mountain lions can become a problem for farmers and pet owners alike. These big cats also prefer to avoid humans, but in times of hardship, such as drought or famine, they can wander further into human territory. Studies have shown that these creatures prefer a more solitary life, but can often live amongst humans without ever being noticed.

Unlike coyotes, mountain lions are a specially protected species here in California. This means that person cannot hunt, kill, or even injure a mountain lion. The only times a mountain lion can be hunted is when:

  • A depredation permit is issued for a specific lion that has been killing livestock and/or pets.
  • The lion needed to be killed to preserve public safety.
  • The lion needed to be killed to protect listed bighorn sheep.

Basically, if a person is having trouble with a mountain lion, they cannot legally deal with it themselves. They should report it to the proper authorities.

Follow The Law When Dealing With These Predators

California is a big and heavily populated state. However, that does not mean that the state is tame by any means. There are still large stretches of uninhabited areas that border up against cities and towns. In these areas, there is always a chance of some predators like coyotes and mountain lions coming into town.

Homeowners with livestock, pets, or children, will naturally want to defend themselves and their property from these predators. When it comes to coyotes, a person can do whatever they need to, provided they don’t break any local laws. When it comes to mountain lions, things become more complicated and it is best to seek professional help.

What do you think about coyotes, mountain lions, and how state laws let people deal with the predators?

Should the state be stricter with coyote control? Should mountain lions be specially protected species? Let us know what you think in the comments down below.

 

Can You Refuse A Breathalyzer?

Can You Refuse A Breathalyzer?

With all of the driving that people do every single day, it can be easy for everyone to forget that driving is a privilege, not a right. As such, there are all sorts of things that a driver has to do in order to retain their privilege of having a driver’s license. Most of these things are pretty obvious, such as following driving laws.

Despite the obvious things that people have to do, there is one thing that some people don’t realize they agreed to the moment they got their license. This task would be agreeing to take a breathalyzer test whenever an officer asks.

California Vehicle Code 23612

While people are right in assuming that tests can only be performed on them if they give their consent, they fail to realize that they already gave their consent for a breathalyzer test. Implied consent to a breathalyzer is given the minute a person obtains their driver’s license. Just by getting a license, a person has agreed to take a breathalyzer test whenever a police officer asks for one.

This means a person cannot refuse to submit to a breathalyzer test. If a person does, they are going to face some serious consequences, likely in addition to DUI charges. The arresting officer should warn the person of these consequences of refusing to submit to a breathalyzer.

All of this is laid out in California Vehicle Code (VC) 23612, which states that drivers have given their consent to chemical testing of their blood or breath to determine their alcohol content if they have been lawfully arrested.

Penalties Of Refusing A DUI

Under VC 23612, a person faces the following penalties:

  • A fine.
  • Mandatory imprisonment if convicted of DUI.
  • Suspension of driver’s license for 1 year. A person can face longer suspensions if they have one or more DUI’s in the last 10 years. Can be avoided if the driver agrees to have an Interlocking Ignition Device installed into their car for 1 year.

The other thing to remember with this law, is that it is often in addition to a DUI charge, as well as anything else the officer might charge the person with. This means the penalties can add up really quick.

Refusing Just Makes Things Worse

Refusing a breathalyzer test is never a good idea. Often times, it simply makes a driver look even more guilty than they already are. A person has to remember that a breathalyzer is not the only way a police officer determines if a driver is drunk. They can also conduct a field sobriety test, and make simple observations about the driver. Some warning signs of a driver being drunk that an officer can observe include: slurred speech, red eyes, and an unsteady walk. Refusing the breathalyzer can even be used against a person in court.

Luckily for most people, they don’t have to deal with this law, because they know better than to drive drunk.

What do you think of California’s law against refusing to submit to a breathalyzer?

Is it acceptable or too much? Let us know in the comments down below.

 

Professional Bail Agents Are Here For You

Professional Bail Agents Are Here For You

You never know when you might need help with something. Due to that fact, it is always a good idea to have a plan ready for anything. One thing that nobody ever plans for, is what to do if a friend or family member gets arrested. Luckily for Californians, Bail Bonds in Concord is here to help.

Our company was founded over 30 years ago to help people rescue their loved ones from jail. We know that trying to post bail on your own is ridiculously expensive, so we do everything that we can to make it easier and more affordable. If you need help, you can count on us and our bail agents.

Our agents are professionals! They have years of training and experience behind them. This allows them to help you better than any of our competitors could. If you have any questions, our agents will answer them for you. They will always be there for you when you need them.

Bail Bonds in Concord is a statewide bail bond company. We have agents working in local offices all over California. In the cities where we don’t have a local office, we have roaming bail agents covering the area to ensure we can help everyone.

Some of the other services that we provide here at Bail Bonds in Concord include:

  • 24/7 Bail Bond Service
  • FREE Consultation
  • 20% Discount
  • Phone approvals
  • 0% Interest Payment Plans
  • No Hidden Fees
  • No Collateral with Working Co-Signer
  • Se habla Español

Even if you don’t have a plan for how to handle an arrest, you can rest easy knowing that Bail Bonds in Concord will be here for you. Our professional bail agents are available to help you whenever and wherever you are in California. You can count on us to have your back. With us on your side, you will feel and know that you’re in good hands.

For a FREE bail bond consultation, call Bail Bonds in Concord at 925-228-5858 or click Talk To An Agent Now to chat.

 

Making Bail Cheap And Affordable At Antioch Bail Bonds

Making Bail Cheap And Affordable At Antioch Bail Bonds

When it comes to handling large expenses, people like to have options. This is especially true when it comes to bail. Even the cheapest bails in California cost several thousands of dollars. This is well out of reach of the average Californian. Luckily, there is a way to not only make bailing someone out of jail cheaper, but more affordable as well. All you have to do is contact Antioch Bail Bonds in Contra Costa County.

We have helped thousands of Californians deal with bail since our founding in 1987. Let us help you too!

Our services include:

  • 24/7 Bail Bond Service
  • FREE Consultation
  • 20% Discount
  • 0% Interest Payment Plans
  • Over the Phone Approvals
  • No Hidden Fees
  • No Collateral with Working Co-Signer
  • Easy to Understand Contracts
  • Discrete Service
  • Se habla Español

Coming to us for help means that you will only have to pay a fraction of the full bail price. This is due to the fact that our bail bonds only cost 10% of the bail. This makes the bail bond a whole lot cheaper.

Here at Antioch Bail Bonds we know that everyone is different. Things that work well for one person may not work well for others. That is why we accept a variety of payment options. We accept cash, checks, and all major credit cards. On top of that, our clients can make their payments online, in person, over the phone, or through the mail. They can use whichever methods work best for them.

On top of that, we provide discounts for qualified clients. For instance, clients with approved credit can get their bail bond for 0% down. This way, they don’t have to make a payment until a month after their loved one’s release. Some clients can get an additional 20% off the price of the bail bond if you or one of the co-signers:

  • Is a member of the military.
  • Is a member of AARP.
  • Is a member of a union.
  • Is a homeowner.
  • Have a private attorney.

Paying for bail may initially seem like an impossible task, but it doesn’t have to be. Just contact Antioch Bail Bonds. We provide our clients with cheap bail bonds and options that make the bail bond more affordable too.

Do you need bail help? If so, Antioch Bail Bonds in Contra Costa County at 925-228-5858 or click Talk To An Agent Now to chat. Consultation is FREE!

 

California And Earthquakes

California And Earthquakes

Here in California, there are a few different types of disasters that state residents have to be prepared for. One of the big ones is earthquakes. The San Andreas Fault Line runs through most of California, with hundreds of other smaller faults lacing the state. Due to this fact, every Californian needs to be prepared for an earthquake to occur at any time.

While scientists continue to study faults and earthquakes, there is still no proven method for predicting and forecasting earthquakes. An earthquake can occur at any time, and will do so without warning. If a person uses a specific app, they may be able to get a few seconds warning but that isn’t much.

The Great Shakeout

Each October, people from earthquake prone areas around the world participate in what is known as the Great Shakeout. The Great Shakeout is an organization with the goal of helping make sure everyone is prepared to deal with an earthquake. The group sets aside a day every year, for 2019 the date is October 17th, where people from around the world pledge to practice an earthquake drill.

Most people remember practicing earthquake drills back when they were in school. It wasn’t a whole lot of fun, and most people have stopped practicing that since graduating. This is a bad thing, since repetitive practice is what helps ensure a person remembers something even when scared or in a panic.

With the sudden nature of earthquakes, it is safe to assume that people will be scared and panicked when one occurs. However, with the proper practice, a person will be more than prepared to deal with one. That is why The Great Shakeout exists to help people be better prepared.

How To React

Most people are aware of the basic safety tips for earthquakes.

  • When the shaking starts, and a person is indoors, they should drop, cover, and hold on. This means dropping to the ground, finding cover under a sturdy piece of furniture such as a desk or table, and then holding on until the shaking stops.
  • The same method applies for outdoors, though the person should first try to get away from any tall structures that could drop debris on them, then drop, cover, and hold on. While finding a safe, open space is important when outside during a quake, a person should be careful while walking through a quake so that they don’t hurt themselves.
  • If a person is in a vehicle when an earthquake hits, they should safely pullover to the side of the road in a clear location away from trees and powerlines and wait for the shaking to stop. Once the shaking has stopped the person should proceed with caution. The road and other structures could be damaged. There can also be aftershocks.

For a more comprehensive collection of safety tips, check out one of our other articles on earthquakes here or check out the earthquake section of Ready.gov here.

Be Prepared

Living in California means living with earthquakes. The state is one of the most earthquake prone in the country, it is part of what gives the state all of its beautiful mountains. However, the sudden shaking can be very terrifying. The aftershocks following larger quakes can be nerve-wracking.

When it comes to dealing with earthquakes, the best thing a person can do is be prepared. A person can be prepared by knowing how to react during and after an earthquake. A simple way to do this is by identifying good places to take cover. Doing this before the need arises can really pay off when an earthquake actually occurs. Better ways to be prepared include regularly running earthquake drills and having emergency plans ready to go.

Interested in learning more about the Great Shakeout and how to join the movement, check out their website here.

Do you have any earthquake stories or tips you want to share?

If so, leave a comment down below. You never know, maybe your story can help someone else.

 

Evading The Police In California

Evading The Police In California

A fairly common spectacle on the news, especially in Southern California, is a high speed chase. Whenever a high speed chase begins, news stations send their helicopters to follow it. This leads to thousands of people watching the pursuit with baited breath, waiting to see what will happen next and how it will all end.

The sight has become so common, that some people have begun to think that running from the police might be a good idea. This is despite the fact that every chase either ends with the suspect being caught, or sent to the hospital. Neither of those are great outcomes. Plus, they come with worse consequences than whatever crime the runner might have been trying to avoid.

Running from the police is illegal. As such, running will only make things worse for a person.

California Vehicle Code 2800

Here in the state of California, Vehicle Code 2800 defines what counts as evading a police officer. There are a few different levels to this law, Vehicle Code 2800.1, Vehicle Code 2800.2, and Vehicle Code 2800.3.

Under Vehicle Code 2800.1, a person is guilty of misdemeanor evading a police officer if they were driving, saw a police vehicle flashing at least one red light at them and blaring a siren, and then willfully fleeing from that officer.

Under Vehicle Code 2800.2, a person is guilty of felony evading of a police officer if they do the above, and display disregard for the safety of other people and property. Basically, this is the crime people are guilty of when they have really intense police pursuits that almost cause accidents.

Lastly, under Vehicle Code 2800.3, a person is guilty of evading causing injury if while evading the police, they cause severe bodily harm to someone or kill another individual.

Penalties For Evading Police Officers

Based off of its name, Vehicle Code 2800.1, misdemeanor evading a police officer, this crime is charged as a misdemeanor. It comes with the following consequences.

  • Up to 1 year in county jail.
  • A max fine of $1,000.
  • Misdemeanor probation.
  • Having the vehicle impounded for 30 days.

Despite what the name of Vehicle Code 2800.2, felony evading of a police officer, suggests, it is actually a wobbler crime. This means that it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or as a felony. Most of the time, it is charged as a felony. As a felony, a person will face the following charges:

  • 16 months, 2 years, or 3 years in state prison.
  • A max fine of $10,000.

Vehicle Code 2800.3 is also a wobbler. It can be charged as a misdemeanor if a person only suffered severe injuries. If someone was killed, it is always charged as a felony. When someone is injured, the felony consequences are:

  • 3, 5, or 7 years in state prison.

If someone is killed, the prison sentence options become 4, 6, or 10 years.

It is important to remember that these charges likely won’t be the only charges that a person faces when caught evading the police. They will also have to face charges for the original reason why the officer attempted to pull them over in the first place.

Just Pullover

Watching a police pursuit on TV may be entertaining, but it is never a good idea for a person to run from the police. Doing so only makes the person’s situation worse. Once caught, because the person never gets away in a car, the person will face charges for running on top of facing charges for whatever caught the officer’s attention in the first place.

The best thing for a person to do is to pullover when an officer signals them to. If the person gets in trouble for something, it is better than getting in trouble for that and attempting to flee.

What do you think of California’s laws against evading police officers?

Are they too much, or not enough? Let us know what you think in the comments down below.

 

California’s Seat Belt Laws

California’s Seat Belt Laws

Every driver has seen a sign telling them and their passengers to buckle their seat belts. Most people don’t need to be reminded to buckle up. They know that wearing their seat belt is the best way to stay safe in the event of an accident. However, there are still some people out there who need to be reminded of that fact.

In an effort to try to keep everyone safe, every state in the union has created laws against driving without a seat belt. Here in California, Vehicle Code (VC) 27315 is the state’s seat belt law. It lists the times when a person needs to wear a seat belt and what kind of consequences a person would face for not wearing the belt.

California Vehicle Code 27315

Vehicle Code 27315 is more commonly referred to as the Motor Vehicle Safety Act. This act was created in an effort to keep motorists safe while driving across California. The act basically states that no person over the age of 16 can ride or drive in a moving vehicle without being properly restrained.

Being properly restrained is defined as having the lower lap portion strapped over the stomach and the upper shoulder portion of the belt being strapped across the front of the chest. Basically, for any vehicle from the year 1996 or newer, passengers have to wear the full seat belt. A person cannot place the shoulder portion of the seat belt behind their back.

Another factor of this law is that all seat belts need to be kept in proper working order.

Consequences Of Not Buckling Up

Breaking Vehicle Code 27315 is an infraction level offense. This means it does not come with criminal charges or jail time. A person simply faces a small fine for not wearing their seat belt while riding in a moving vehicle.

When a person doesn’t wear their seat belt, they will be the ones to get a ticket, not the driver of the vehicle. Unless the un-belted person is a minor, in which case the driver is responsible for the child’s safety.

  • For a first time offense, a person faces a $20 base fine.
  • For any subsequent offenses, a person faces a $50 base fine.

In some instances, a person may be able to avoid a fine if they can take a traffic school course, provided the course teaches about seat belt safety.

Despite the nature of breaking this law, a person will not receive any points on their driver’s license. This helps a person avoid collecting too many points on their license and the increased insurance rates that would come with them.

It is important to remember that all of these consequences are on top of the fact that if a person doesn’t wear a seat belt and winds up in an accident, they are much more likely to receive serious injuries. Seat belts save lives. By not wearing one, a person is risking their own life.

Kids And Seat Belts

It is pretty easy to see how seat belts aren’t exactly designed for children. That is why there are car seats built to keep kids safe at all ages. According to California law:

  • Kids under the age of 2 should be restrained in rear-facing car seats unless the child weighs more than 40 pounds, or is taller than 40 inches.
  • Children under the age of 8 must be secured in a car seat in the back seat.
  • Children 8 and older, or taller than 4 feet, 9 inches, should be in a booster seat, or at least secured by a seat belt.
  • Children 16 and older must wear a seat belt.

Failing to follow these regulations can result in the parent receiving fines, and a point on their driver’s license.

  • A first time offense comes with a base fine of $100.
  • Subsequent offenses come with a base fine of $250.

Don’t Ignore The Ticket

With such a small ticket price, some people may feel like ignoring the ticket and its court date. However, that is a terrible idea. By ignoring a ticket and failing to appear in court, a person violates Vehicle Code 40508. Unlike Vehicle Code 27315, breaking Vehicle Code 40508 comes with actual criminal charges.

When a person breaks this law, they can face:

  • Up to 6 months in jail.
  • A max fine of $1,000.

Just Wear The Seat Belt

At the end of the day, it is best that everyone just buckle up when they get in a vehicle. Doing so can keep them safe in the event of an accident. Plus, getting caught not wearing a seat belt can earn a person a nice fine, and they will have to appear in court. It is so much easier to just wear the seat belt.

What do you think of California’s take on seat belt laws?

Is it too much, or not enough? Should driving without a seat belt earn a person a point on their driver’s license? Let us know what you think in the comments down below.

 

Minors Breaking The Law

Minors Breaking The Law

Everyone knows that kids get into trouble. Luckily, for the most part, kids tend to only get in trouble with their parents. As long as parents keep an eye on their children, and play an active role in the child’s life, the kid is less likely to wind up in serious trouble. However, that is not always the case. Sometimes kids mess up in a big way, and find themselves on the wrong side of the law.

Finding out that a child has broken a law is a terrible situation for a parent to deal with. No parent ever wants to answer the front door, or a phone, to learn that their child is in some serious trouble. While rare, this does happen from time to time. As such, a parent should be aware of what happens when a minor has a run in with law enforcement agents.

How The Law Handles Juveniles

When a minor gets in trouble with the law, officers react a little differently. In most cases, minors receive lesser penalties for crimes than an adult would. Still, there are times when a minor could find themselves locked up.

What happens to a minor who broke the law is largely dependent on the crime itself. If the charge is relatively minor, then the child will likely be allowed to go home, or be escorted home. Most of the time, the law prefers that parents take care of the children themselves. However, that is not always an option.

If things are a little more serious, then the minor may be given a summons to appear in court at a later date. If things are real bad, then the minor may be arrested and taken to juvenile hall.

Juvenile Hall

Just because a minor is taken to juvenile hall does not mean that they will be forced to stay there forever. This isn’t the end of the world.

A probation officer will look at the case and decide how to proceed. The officer can do one of the following:

  • Give the minor a citation to appear in court and send him/her home.
  • Place the minor on probation, which allows them to go home and avoid going to court, unless they continue to misbehave.
  • Hold the minor in juvenile hall until a judge can look at the case.

Minors In Court

When dealing with courts, minors go to a separate court that focuses solely on minors. If a child has to go to a hearing in court, they could be going for any of the following reasons:

  • Detention Hearing. This will determine if the child needs to stay in juvenile hall or not.
  • Transfer Hearing. This will determine if the case will stay at this level, or be moved up to an adult court.
  • Adjudication. This is the actual trial held in front of a judge, without a jury.
  • Disposition Hearing. If the juvenile is found guilty, this is where they receive their sentencing.

Despite the fact that these court hearings are for minors, they are still very serious. A person should treat these hearings the exact same way they would any other court appearances. This means a person, especially the minor, should dress appropriately and behave while in the court.

Consequences Of Court

The goal of the juvenile delinquency system is to rehabilitate minors and to help mold them into good, well-behaved individuals. As such, judges have a lot of options when it comes to sentencing any minor that is found guilty.

What is likely the best case scenario for a guilty verdict, is probation. This means the minor is able to go home. They just have to be on their best behavior to ensure they don’t receive a worse punishment. Some common probation conditions can include:

  • A curfew.
  • Going to counseling.
  • Going to school.
  • Making restitutions to the victims.
  • Performing community service.

A worst case scenario would be when a judge determines that a child is better off away from their home. The child could become a ward of the state, which is where the state takes responsibility for the child. The minor could be placed into a probation camp, or into California’s Division of Juvenile Justice. Neither of these are great outcomes.

Be A Part Of Your Child’s Life

No parent ever wants their child to have to face hardship, and getting into trouble with the law definitely counts as hardship. Luckily, a child has to screw up big time in order to wind up in juvenile hall. So long as a parent takes an active role in their kid’s life, they should be able to prevent that from ever happening.

When kids have guidance, they are able to make better choices, and therefore are less likely to end up getting into trouble in the first place. That is why parents need to pay attention to their kids. If they don’t, their child could make a bad choice and find him or herself in juvie.