Do You Need A Warrant Check?

Do You Need A Warrant Check?

No one ever wants to get arrested, but often times, an arrest comes without warning. It can be difficult for a person to know if a warrant has been issued for their arrest. Police don’t inform people of their warrants. After all, if they could reach the person in question, they would just arrest him or her. This makes learning about any warrants difficult.

Luckily, there are people out there who can help. Here at Bail Bonds in Richmond, we provide FREE warrant checks. In the counties where we can’t perform warrant checks, we can inform our clients on how to find out for themselves. What we can do for you depends on where you think the warrant might have been issued.

If a person suspects that a warrant has been issued for their arrest, they can contact one of our bail agents for help. Depending on the county, our bail agents may be able to perform a check to see if a warrant has been issued for your arrest. If we can’t perform a check in that county, then we will happily help you find out for yourself.

If we performed a check and there was a warrant for your arrest, we can help you with that too. We can begin setting up a bail bond before you turn yourself in. this way, once they assign a bail amount, we can finalize the paperwork and post bail quickly. This will shorten your time spent in jail.

This is just one of the services that we can provide for our clients, some of the other services 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

No one likes the feeling that someone is out there looking for them. That is exactly what having a warrant can feel like. Luckily, Bail Bonds in Richmond is here to offer some help. While we can’t perform warrant checks in every county, we will definitely help out in the counties where we can. Call us today! We are open 24/7 for your convenience.

To find out what counties we can perform warrant checks in, talk to one of our bail agents for FREE at Bail Bonds in Richmond at 925-228-5858 or click Talk To An Agent Now to chat.

Looking For A 0% Down Bail Bond?

Looking For A 0% Down Bail Bond?

The cost of bailing someone out of jail seems to be what scares people the most. Most people want to rescue their loved ones from jail, but are afraid they won’t have the money to do so. When people find out that Bail Bonds in Martinez provides clients with payment plans, they get excited at the opportunity to rescue a loved one. However, they do wonder how much they will need to pay up front.

How much a client needs to pay for a bail bond, and how much they need to pay upfront, is dependent on how much the bail is. Higher bail amounts means higher bail bond costs, which means bigger initial payments. This means that we won’t know how much the initial payment will be until we know how much the bail is.

Despite that, there is no need to worry. Here at Bail Bonds in Martinez, we do everything we can to make bailing someone out of jail and affordable experience. We work with each of our clients to create a payment plan that works with their unique budget. With our help, you will be able to afford to rescue your friend or family member from jail.

What’s more, is we even offer a 0% down payment plan for clients with approved credit. This means that, if approved for this discount, a client doesn’t have to make a payment on the bail bond until a month after their loved one’s release from jail. This can give you some extra time to save up to make that first payment, making it a lot less of a surprise.

Some of the other services we provide for our clients 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

Bailing someone out of jail does not have to be a bank account draining experience. With help from the professionals here at Bail Bonds in Martinez, you will be able to afford your loved one’s bail. On top of that, you may even be able to qualify for a 0% down bail bond.

Are you ready to get the bail process started? You can get a FREE consultation at any time by calling Bail Bonds in Martinez at 925-228-5858 or click Talk To An Agent Now to chat.

Winter Weather Driving Tips

Winter Weather Driving Tips

Winter weather has arrived in California and that makes for some treacherous driving. This becomes even more problematic when combined with the fact that so many people will be traveling for the holidays. Due to this fact, it is very important for all drivers to be prepared to handle inclement weather while on the road this winter.

There are two different types of bad weather that can really affect road conditions, rain and snow. When it starts to rain, the roads get wet and slick, making things difficult. However, rain is much more manageable than snow. When it starts to snow, or temperatures drop below freezing, the wet roads become frozen, making driving very dangerous, especially without the proper precautions.

Tips For Driving In The Rain

When driving in hazardous conditions, such as rainy weather, a person needs to pay more attention to the road. Often times, drivers tend to drive subconsciously and follow the road out of habit. By doing this, a person is less likely to be able to react in time to any surprises. Due to the rain, there can be a lot of surprises.

Some other tips for rainy weather driving include:

  • Turn on headlights.
    Anytime when things start to get dark and dim, a driver should turn on their headlights, even if they can see okay without them, since the lights make them more visible to other vehicles.
  • Slow down.
    Due to water on the road, cars will have less traction and will be more likely to lose control. This is called hydroplaning. If a car begins to hydroplane, the driver should not slam on the brakes. Instead, they should take their foot off of the gas, letting the car decelerate naturally and focus on steering the vehicle safely. As the car slows down, it will stop hydroplaning and regain traction.
  • Do not use cruise control in slick conditions.
    If the car begins to hydroplane, the cruise control will actually try to speed up the car making the problem worse.
  • Be careful when changing lanes.
    Thanks to the slick roads, cars will need more time to slow down and stop. As such, a driver needs to give themselves more space between cars when changing lanes in order to avoid causing any accidents.

Tips For Driving In The Snow

Most experts recommend that a person avoid driving in the snow whenever possible, as the road conditions get very dangerous, especially for drivers who have never dealt with frozen roads before.

When a person is driving in the snow, they should keep extra supplies in their vehicle. Some of these supplies should be extra warm clothes, a blanket, food, and water. This is just in case something goes wrong and the person ends up stranded somewhere, like on the side of a road.

Some other frozen road driving tips include:

  • Drive slowly.
    Driving at high speeds in slick conditions is a surefire way to get into an accident.
  • Accelerate and decelerate slower.
    Due to the slick surfaces, getting a car to speed up or slow down takes more time and a driver should plan for that.
  • Don’t tailgate.
    Since it takes longer to come to a stop in slick conditions, a driver should increase the distance between them and the car in front of them.
  • Don’t stop on hills.
    Trying to get going up a hill from a dead stop in slick conditions is extra difficult.
  • Have chains or snow tires ready to go.
    The best way to drive in snow is to be prepared, and sometimes that means having the proper equipment.

Fix-It Tickets

During all of the bad weather and darkness that comes with winter, a vehicle’s lights get a whole lot of use. It is important for a driver to make sure that all of their lights on their car are working properly. This includes:

  • Headlights.
  • Taillights.
  • Brake lights.
  • Turn signals.
  • Rear license plate light.

Failing to make sure these lights are functioning properly is a great way for a driver to get a fix-it ticket. These kinds of tickets give the driver a choice, they can either pay the fine, or pay to get their vehicle fixed. Most people prefer to just get their vehicle fixed. Once they have done that, they need to get a certified person to sign off on the ticket to prove that the problem was fixed.

A driver can avoid the headache of a fix-it ticket by checking all of the exterior lights on their car before driving anywhere this winter.

Stay Safe Out There

Experts recommend that people avoid driving in rainy and snowy weather whenever possible because it is more dangerous. However, that isn’t always possible for people. So, if a person does need to drive in inclement weather this winter, they need to do so carefully.

By following the tips above, a person should be better prepared for the bad driving conditions that winter may throw their way. Do you have any winter weather driving tips that didn’t make the list? If so, share them in the comments below and help everyone stay safe on the road this year.

 

Can You Cut Down Your Own Christmas Tree?

Can You Cut Down Your Own Christmas Tree?

The Christmas tree is arguably one of the biggest and most important decoration for Christmas. The tree is an essential, central part of holiday décor. While most people are perfectly fine with getting their tree from a store, some people prefer to get a tree themselves.

The idea of going out into the woods to find the perfect tree can be very appealing to some people. However, it is important to note that a person cannot simply go out and chop down a tree wherever they want. A person looking to cut down their own tree needs to acquire the proper permit and make sure they are in the right area for cutting down a tree. Failing to do either of these can result in fines and other bits of legal trouble.

Cutting Down Your Own Tree

When it comes to cutting down a tree for Christmas, a person is only allowed to cut trees in certain areas with the proper permission. After all, if a person doesn’t have permission to be in a certain area, they could be considered trespassers. On top of that, cutting down someone else’s tree can be viewed as a form of vandalism.

If a person wants to be able to cut down a their own tree, they either need to grow one themselves on their own property, which can take years, or they can get a permit from the United States Forest Service. Starting in November, the Forest Service begins issuing permits that allow a person to go into a national forest and cut down a tree to use as a Christmas tree in their home.

The permit to do this only costs $10. When a person acquires their permit, they will also be given a map that shows where they can and cannot cut down a tree. On top of that, there are a few other things that a person has to keep in mind when they head out to get their tree.

  • A person should always tell someone exactly where they are looking for a tree since cellphones may not work in the area.
  • Avoid getting trees in inclement weather as it can become dangerous.
  • Bring a map and compass into the forest and know how to use them.
  • Bring a tarp and some rope to help move the tree through the forest back to the car.
  • Bring emergency supplies such as food and water in case something bad happens.
  • Christmas trees acquired in this way cannot be sold.
  • Don’t cut tall trees with the idea of cutting the top of the tree of and using that.
  • Don’t cut tree trunks higher than 6 inches from the ground.
  • Each permit allows for only 1 tree to be cut.
  • Head out early in the day to allow for plenty of time and daylight to find a tree.
  • Immediately attach the tree cutting permit to the trunk of the tree after it has been cut.
  • Pay attention to the weather and dress appropriately.
  • Trees have to have a trunk of 6 inches or less in order to be cut down.
  • Trees that can be cut need to be at least 200 feet away from roads, recreation sites, campsites, and any wet areas such as streams or lakes.
  • Try to pick a tree in overgrown areas to help thin the forest.

Getting a Christmas tree in this manner can be a fun little adventure, but anyone looking to do this should be prepared for the worst and be careful. Where these permits are available vary by location, so check with your local Forest Service office for more information.

Penalties For Trespassing & Vandalism

If a person doesn’t acquire a permit to go into a forest and cut down a tree that isn’t on their own land, they could potentially face trespassing and/or vandalism charges.

Penal Code 602 is the state’s trespassing law. This law makes it a crime for anyone to enter or remain on someone else’s property without their permission to do so. This usually results in either infraction or misdemeanor charges. As an infraction, a person faces:

  • No jail time.
  • A $75 fine for a first offense, $250 for a second offense on the same land.

As a misdemeanor, a person faces:

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

Penal Code 594 is the state’s vandalism law. This law makes it a crime for anyone to maliciously deface, damage, or destroy someone else’s property. This can include trees, which can be damaged or destroyed by cutting them down. The penalties for vandalism are dependent on how much damage was caused by the person. If less than $400 worth of damage is caused, then a person faces misdemeanor charges that come with:

  • Up to 1 year in jail.
  • A max fine of $1,000, unless the person has previous vandalism charges on their record, in which case the max fine is $5,000.
  • Misdemeanor probation.
  • Paying reparations for the damages.

If the cost of the damages totals more than $400, than the person faces felony charges that come with:

  • Up to 1 year in jail.
  • A max fine of $10,000, unless the person has previous vandalism charges on their record, in which case the max fine is $50,000.
  • Misdemeanor probation.
  • Paying reparations for the damages.

How Do You Get Your Tree?

Christmas time is a great time of year, and one of the biggest aspects of the holiday is the Christmas tree. No holiday decorating is complete without one. If a person doesn’t want to go the same old route and buy a tree from a store, they can always go cut their own. However, if a person plans on doing this then they need to get the proper permissions to do so or else they could end up in trouble.

What do you think about being able to cut your own Christmas tree?

Would you like to go into a forest and find the perfect tree, or do you prefer to just get your tree from a store or farm? Let us know what you think in the comments down below.

 

Christmas Tree Safety Tips

Christmas Tree Fire Safety Tips

There are all sorts of things to do in order to get ready for the holiday. Primarily, there is all of the shopping. However, just as important to the shopping is the tree itself.

Without a Christmas tree, where would all of the presents be put? No Christmas decorating is complete without a Christmas tree. Unfortunately, with all of the beauty that comes with a Christmas tree, there is a bit of risk involved as well. Christmas trees are very flammable, and they only get worse the longer they are in a home.

Prevent A Fire In Your Home

Christmas trees are a beautiful and central part of Christmas decorating. Pretty much everyone who celebrates the holiday has a tree up in their living room. What type of tree they have is dependent on their preferences. Some people prefer the look and smell of a real tree while others prefer the convenience and safety of a fake tree. Both types have their advantages and disadvantages.

When it comes to real trees, there is always a fire hazard risk. Pine trees are very flammable, thanks to all of the oils in them, and they only get more flammable the drier they become. In order for a person to reduce the risk of their tree catching on fire in their living room, they should follow these tips:

  • Don’t get too big of a tree since a topper and stand will add to the height.
  • Don’t place trees in such a way that they block, or partially block, an exit.
  • Don’t store discarded trees in a garage, shed, or against the house since they are extremely flammable. Look into how your city wants trees to be disposed of, it might have a program.
  • Keep trees well-watered to delay the plant from drying out.
  • Never use lit candles to decorate a tree.
  • Only buy fresh trees. Trees can be tested by bouncing a tree on its stump and seeing how many leaves fall off the branches. The less that fall off, the better.
  • Only use lights tested and approved by the UL or ETL.
  • Place trees away from heat sources such as fireplaces, radiators, heating vents, candles, and lights.
  • Throw out damaged Christmas lights.
  • Try to position Christmas trees close to an electrical socket to reduce the need for extension cords.
  • Try to use flame retardant decorations on Christmas trees.
  • Turn off Christmas tree lights when not home or when going to bed.
  • When leaves begin falling off rapidly, get rid of the tree immediately.

By following these tips, a person can help prevent a fire from starting in their own living room, which is the last thing anyone wants near the holidays.

Follow These Tips & Be Safe

Christmas is such a fun and magical time of year. Nobody wants this great time to be ruined by having a Christmas tree catching on fire inside their home. Luckily, with the proper care and precautions, a person can avoid having their holiday ruined by a fire.

Do you have any Christmas tree safety tips that didn’t make it onto this list?

If so, share them in the comments below and help keep others safe.


From everyone here at Bail Bonds in Martinez, we hope you have a wonderful and safe Christmas!


 

How We Make Bail Affordable For Californians

How We Make Bail Affordable For Californians

Dealing with the prices of bail can be tricky. Most bails for crimes, even at their lowest amounts, cost several thousands of dollars. This is far too much for the average person to afford, but you don’t need to worry. Even if a loved one’s bail is too expensive for you, there is a way to get the price reduced for you. All you have to do is get a bail bond from Bail Bonds in San Ramon.

Bail Bonds in San Ramon is a statewide bail bond company that has helped Californians afford bail for over 30 years. Thanks to our years of experience, we know everything about bail and how to make it more affordable for our clients. You can count on getting a huge discount on the price of bailing someone out when you come to us for help.

For starters, our bail bonds only cost 10% of the bail that they are for. This means that if your loved one’s bail is set at $20,000, a bail bond from us will only cost $2,000. You save 90% and get help from our professional bail agents.

If this isn’t enough of a discount for you, don’t worry. We also provide personalized payment plans for every single one of our clients. This way, the upfront cost of the bail bond is reduced and you have the time you need to gather the funds to pay for it. Meanwhile, your loved one still gets released from jail the day you make your first payment.

Some of the other services that we provide for our clients 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

If that still isn’t enough, we provide additional discounts for clients with qualified co-signers. You can get a 20% discount off the bail bond if one of the co-signers has a private attorney or is:

  • A union member.
  • A military member.
  • An AARP member.
  • A homeowner.
  • Have a private attorney.

With this discount, you will only have to pay 8% of the full bail price. The best part about all of this is that these discounts all work together, making posting bail with Bail Bonds in San Ramon an affordable option.

If you need to post bail, just contact Bail Bonds in San Ramon at 925-228-5858 or click Talk To An Agent Now to chat.

Commonly Broken California Laws

Commonly Broken California Laws

When it comes to breaking the law, there are all sorts of things that a person can do. There are literally thousands of different ways to break laws in California. Some of the most commonly broken laws in the state include:

  • ASSAULT: This occurs when a person hurts another individual. This can be done with a fists or a weapon. Depending on how the person attacked the other individual, and how badly the person was injured, the crime can be either a misdemeanor or a felony. The bail amount for this crime varies depending on how it was charged and often starts around $25,000.
  • DUI: Driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol is an illegal act and yet thousands of people do it every single day. A first time offense can get a person a bail of around $5,000. Subsequent offense will earn higher bail amounts, up to $100,000 in worst case scenarios.
  • POSSESSION OF DRUGS: Possessing illegal drugs, items related to those drugs, or even prescription drugs without a prescription is illegal in California. Bail for drug possession charges can range anywhere from $20,000 to over $100,000.
  • POSSESSION OF WEAPONS: Certain weapons are illegal in California, and some people are flat out prohibited from possessing any weapons. If a person is caught doing either one of those things, they will face this charge. Depending on the facts of the case, a person can face a bail amount ranging from $20,000 to $60,000.
  • RESTRAINING ORDER VIOLATION: When a restraining order is issued by a court, that person has to stay away from the person in question. Failing to do so can get a person into trouble. The average bail amount for a restraining order violation starts around $15,000.
  • THEFT/BURGLARY: Theft occurs when a person takes an item from someone else. Burglary occurs when a person breaks into a place and steals something. If less than $950 is stolen, than the crime is considered a misdemeanor. If more than that is stolen, than it is a felony. Bail amounts for these crimes can range anywhere from $20,000 to over $50,000.

Bail amounts vary from crime to crime and grow more expensive the more severe the crime is. Still, even the low ends of these bail amounts are too expensive for the average individual to afford on their own. This is why Bail Bonds in Martinez is here to help. Contact one of our bail agents and they will provide you with an affordable bail bond that costs 10% of the full bail amount.

What are you waiting for? You can get the bail process started today by calling Bail Bonds in Martinez at 925-228-5858 or click Talk To An Agent Now to chat.

Winter Pet Tips

Winter Pet Tips

As the end of the year draws near, the weather gets colder and colder. Some parts of California have already reached temperatures that make most people choose to stay indoors. As the temperatures drop, it is important for everyone to stay warm for their own health and safety.

While everyone hurries to bundle up for the cold weather, they also need to consider their pets as well. While most pets have fur coats to help keep them warm, they aren’t impervious to the cold. Just like the cold will eventually worm its way through a jacket, it will do the same to fur. Plus, there is the fact that not all animals are built to tolerate all kinds of weather. Due to this, it is important for pet owners to consider their furry companions this winter.

Keeping Pets Warm This Winter

There are all sorts of things that pet owners need to consider when winter rolls around each year. Here are some things to think about when the temperatures start to drop:

  • Adjust meals to account for changes in activity. If a dog spends more time indoors and is less active in winter, then they don’t need as much food. However, if they go out a lot and are more active, then they need more food. Plus, staying warm in the cold consumes energy, so that alone means needing more food.
  • Bring pets inside. While they may have fur, a lot of pets are just as susceptible of getting frostbite and hypothermia as people are. Think of their fur as permanent jackets. Animal can resist the cold for a little bit like people can, but eventually they need to come inside too.
  • Check under the hood of your car before starting it. Outdoor cats are always looking for warm places to hide, and a warm engine can be a nice place to curl up for a nap. Unfortunately, if someone comes by and starts the car up again while the cat is still there, disaster can occur.
  • Increase time between baths. Just like people, pets can suffer from dry skin, which can be dried out from baths. Since putting moisturizer on with all of that fur is a bit difficult, it is best to simply reduce the number of baths pets get in winter to help prevent the skin from drying out in the first place.
  • Keep dogs on leashes near bodies of water. Letting a dog off their leash near water is how the dog can end up running across the ice and falling in.
  • Keep walks shorter. Reducing the lengths of walks can reduce the exposure to the cold and help prevent any cold related health risks.
  • Provide jackets for pets. Some animals simply don’t have the fur to deal with cold or snow. Think of Chihuahuas and their short fur.
  • Provide proper shelter. The best place for pets to be in winter is indoors with their owner. However, if that is not possible, make sure outdoor pets have adequate shelter from the cold. The floor of the shelter should be raised above the ground, the door should face away from the wind, and a heavy burlap or plastic sheet should cover the door. The inside should be large enough for the animal to lay down comfortably, but small enough to conserve heat, and have a layer of sawdust or straw to lay on.
  • Take care of your dog’s paws. Wipe their paws after walks near roads that have been salted. The salt can get on the pup’s paws and make him/her sick after licking it off. Try putting booties on dogs’ paws to both keep them warm and clean.

Consequences Of Animal Abuse

California Penal Code 597 makes it illegal for a person to kill, harm, neglect or overwork an animal. This includes failing to protect an animal from severe weather. Leaving a pet out in the cold is a type of animal abuse, since the owner is neglecting the health and safety of the critter. As such, if a person doesn’t take the time to care for their pet, they can face legal consequences.

If a person is charged with Penal Code 597, they can face either misdemeanor or felony charges depending on the facts of the crime and the person’s criminal record. As a misdemeanor, a person faces:

  • Up to 1 year in county jail.
  • A max fine of $20,000.

When charged as a felony, a person faces:

  • 16 months, 2 year, or 3 years in state prison.
  • A max fine of $20,000.

Some additional consequences for being charged with animal abuse, regardless of misdemeanor or felony, can include:

  • Having the animal removed from the person’s care.
  • Paying for the animal’s housing costs during the trial period.
  • Mandatory counseling.
  • An additional year in prison if the abuse involved a deadly or dangerous weapon.

Be Considerate Of Animals This Winter

For some people, the cold weather can be fun, in short doses. The same is often true for animals. The cold doesn’t mean that animals need to be inside 24/7 until spring, but they should definitely spend more time indoors rather than outside.

Something else to consider, is this saying “If you’re cold, they’re cold. Bring them inside.” While this is true for most animals, there are a few breeds out there that are better built for cold and snow. One dog breed that springs to mind is huskies. They often prefer colder weather, and with their stubborn attitudes, they may resist their owner when it comes time to go back inside. Basically, before reporting anyone for animal abuse, make sure the parent isn’t out there trying to coax the stubborn animal back inside.

What do you think of California’s take on animal abuse?

Are the consequences too steep or are they well deserved? Do you have any additional winter safety tips for pet owners that aren’t on this list? If so, share them in the comments down below and help other pet owners keep their critters safe this winter.

 

Pay Attention To Your Surroundings

Pay Attention To Your Surroundings

Smart devices and cellphones have greatly impacted society. It used to be, if someone wanted information, they needed to look it up in a book. If they wanted to talk someone, they need to write a letter or find a land line. Now, with all of this wireless technology, people can access the world whenever they want.

The power to do this can be very addicting, so much so that people often struggle with putting the devices down when they should. Trying to do other tasks while on the phone can be dangerous, even if the other task is as simple as walking.

Watch Where You’re Going

Using a cellphone can be very attention grabbing. People may think they are capable of multitasking with a cellphone, but they often fail to realize how their other tasks may suffer from the split attention. This distraction is why it is illegal to use a cellphone while driving.

Using a cellphone to browse the web or text while walking can be dangerous for the person. They are often more focused on the little screen and don’t see what they are walking into. There are thousands of videos online of people walking into poles or stumbling into fountains because they were on their phone.

Aside from the obvious problem of not watching where a person is walking, there are additional concerns. The people around phone users have begun to take notice of how little they are paying attention. This is not a good thing. Bad people have realized that it is easy to sneak up on and attack distracted walkers. There have been numerous cases of people being attacked or robbed simply because they were walking while using a cellphone. They were too distracted to see the thief or attacker coming. This is just another reason to not use a cellphone while walking.

City Zombie Laws

In an effort to keep people safe, some cities have begun enacting laws against distracted walking. These laws are often referred to as zombie laws due to how people using their cellphones while walking often shamble and stumble into things like zombies would.

These laws vary from city to city. Some completely outlaw the act of using a phone while walking. Others, only prohibit the act while crossing a street. Either way, both are obviously aimed at keeping people safe by making them pay attention.

Breaking these laws is often not a crime, and so results in no jail time, but a small fine. The fine is usually around $100.

To learn more and find out if your city has a zombie law, check your city’s local ordinances online.

Don’t Be Caught Off Guard

Knowing what lies around the next turn in life can be difficult, especially when a person has their head buried in their phone. Walking and using a cellphone can be a dangerous multitasking attempt. A person can very easily misstep and end up colliding with something they’d rather not bump into, such as a pole, fountain, or even a speeding car.

What’s more is that there are bad people out there who have picked up on this lack of attention and are using it to their advantage. If a person wants to avoid running into something or being snuck up on in broad daylight, then they need to put their phone down or stop walking until they are finished. Don’t try to do both at the same time.

What do you think of zombie laws that prohibit walking and using a cellphone at the same time?

Are they fair or is it cities taking too much control of a person’s life? Let us know what you think in the comments down below.

 

Beware Of Porch Pirates And Package Theft

Beware Of Porch Pirates And Package Theft

One of the nicest benefits of living in today’s modern world is that pretty much anything can be ordered online and delivered to a person’s home. This allows people to buy things they want or need without ever having to leave the house. This ability is very useful. However, as with all good things, there are those people out there that have to ruin it for everybody.

There are always people looking to make a quick and easy buck, and that is exactly what porch pirates are. They take advantage of people’s orders being left out in the open and claim them for themselves. This problem only becomes more prominent as the holiday season draws nearer and people begin ordering more things online.

What Are Porch Pirates?

Porch pirate is a name for anyone who steals a delivered package from somebody’s front porch or yard. More often than not, these kind of thefts are crimes of opportunity. The person just happened to be walking, or even driving, by and they saw the package, or letter then decide in a moment to take it. They have no idea what could be inside, but they want it for themselves.

Of course, there are some people who have turned this kind of behavior into their day job. They will spend their days scouring through neighborhoods looking for unattended packages that are just waiting to be taken. They steal the packages and either keep the contents for themselves or sell them to someone else to make a profit.

Either way, one can easily see why this crime can be so distressing and upsetting for the victim, especially around Christmas time when the package could have been a gift for someone else.

Tips To Avoid Porch Pirates

Everyone wants to avoid falling victim to a porch pirate, especially during the holiday season. Luckily, there are a few different ways to reduce the chances of having a package stolen.

  • Amazon now has a service that allows for delivery inside a home. A person just unlocks their front door with an app on their phone so the delivery person can put the package in a safe place. They also have a similar thing for delivering inside a person’s car.
  • Have a trusted friend, neighbor or family member who is home during the day get the package off the porch while at work.
  • Have packages delivered to work. If your workplace allows this, your packages will be delivered and watched over until you can pick it up.
  • Make sure someone will be home to answer the door and receive the package. By getting it off the porch, it is far less likely to be stolen.
  • Require a signature for the delivery. This ensures that the package isn’t left alone.
  • Set up a security camera aimed at the porch to help deter thefts in the first place. If a theft does occur, their will at least be video evidence of the culprit and their illegal act.
  • Some delivery companies, such as UPS, allow for customers to leave delivery instructions, such as hiding the package in a shed, instead of leaving it on a front porch.
  • The USPS provides a service called USPS Package Intercept that allows customers to change delivery destinations before the package has been sent out for final delivery.
  • UPS has a service called UPS My Choice that alerts a customer to a delivery the day before and allows them to change the time or location of the delivery for a small fee.
  • UPS, FedEx, and Amazon offer services where packages can be delivered to secure locations such as an office, warehouse, or locker. This way the package is safe until the customer comes to pick it up.

Penalties For Mail Theft

Stealing another person’s mail is illegal under both federal and state law. United States Code 1708 defines how mail can be stolen, and then lists how states should punish offenders of this crime. In a very long and descriptive way, the law basically states that anyone who knowingly takes someone else’s mail without permission to do so is guilty of mail theft. This law also defines what counts as mail, and includes the following items:

  • Letters.
  • Postcards.
  • Packages.
  • Mail bags.

Here in California, mail theft is a misdemeanor offense under Penal Code 530.5e. This law makes it so that people who steal mail, such as porch pirates, face the following:

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

This law also makes it so that people can be charged with other laws on top of this one. This means that a person accused of breaking this law could actually face harsher consequences as well.

Don’t Get Pirated This Holiday Season

The holiday season is all about giving, but porch pirates out there are only concerned with taking. Don’t fall victim to them. Follow the tips above to help prevent a porch pirate from walking off with a loved one’s Christmas gift this holiday season.

Have you ever been victimized by a porch pirate?

Do you have any tips to avoid porch pirates that aren’t listed above? If so, add them in the comments down below. What about California’s take on mail theft? Are the consequences harsh enough or does there need to be more of a deterrent against porch piracy? Let us know what you think in the comments down below.