Did You Hear About This Change To Kids Car Seats?

Did You Hear About This Change To Kids Car Seats?

Any experienced parent will tell you that kids need different kinds of car seats at different ages. As the child grows, they need different styles of car seats until they are finally big enough to sit in the seat without any additional device. For a long time, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended that children should remain in rear-facing car seats until they are 2 years old. However, that has now changed.

Recently, the American Academy of Pediatrics changed their recommendation and eliminated the age limit. Now they say that a child should remain in a rear-facing car seat until they weigh over 40 pounds. The lead author of the updated rule said:

“It’s best to keep your child rear-facing as long as possible. This is still the safest way for children to ride.”

This change breaks a long held rule, largely due to the fact that manufactures of car seats are now making rear-facing seats that can support children up to 40 pounds. Since this is the best way for children to travel, the Academy changed the long standing rule.

According to the academy, using the right kinds of car seat for a child can reduce the risk of serious injury or death by 70%. That is not a number that should be ignored by parents. Furthermore, the Academy goes on to list when kids should be moved from one style of car seat to the next.

  • Rear-facing seat – Up to 40 pounds.
  • Safety seat with harnesses – Up to 65 pounds.
  • Belt positioning booster seat – Until the child is 4 feet 9 inches tall.

Parents should follow these guidelines, as well as the recommendations in the car seat’s safety manual to ensure the safety and wellbeing of their child while driving.

 

Preparing To Be Bailed Out Of Jail

Preparing To Be Bailed Out Of Jail

No one wants to sit in jail any longer than absolutely necessary. Paying bail is the best way to get yourself released from jail so that you can start picking up the pieces of your life while also preparing your defense. In some cases, bail is determined by the charges filed against you. In other situations, you’ll have to appear before a judge who determines the amount of bail required for your release.

It is in your best interest to prepare yourself for the bail hearing.

Is A Bail Hearing Necessary?

Procedural shows give the impression that nearly every person who is arrested must go through a bail hearing. The truth is that in many cases, a bail hearing isn’t required. In a vast majority of cases, state and local laws already exist which determine how much your bail will be. The amount is disclosed shortly after the formal charges are filed.

Contact A Lawyer Before Your Bail Hearing

A bail hearing isn’t nearly as important as your future court dates are, but that doesn’t mean you should treat it lightly. When you appear in the courtroom, you want to appear polished, knowledgeable of the law and in control. Most importantly, you need good legal representation. It doesn’t matter if it’s a lawyer you’ve hired yourself or one the court has appointed. You want to have a lawyer beside you during the bail hearing. They will do everything in their power to convince the judge that you’re trustworthy, that you’ll make all of your future court dates, and that you shouldn’t be hit with an obscenely high bail.

Go To Court

Prior to the bail hearing, your lawyer should be familiar with the current charges you’re dealing with, your personal history and ties to the community, and if you already have a criminal record. This is the information they need to have to help you secure the lowest possible bail. Make sure you’re completely honest. Failing to disclose information to your lawyer could not only result in them being blindsided during your bail hearing but also come back to bite you in later court appearances.

After the judge listens to both sides of the case and reviews the charges, they’ll determine your bail.

Secure Your Bail

The great thing about bail is that you’re not responsible for the entire amount. You only must come up with 10% of it. If you’re lucky, you already have enough or are able to borrow some from your friends and family. If you can’t come up with the amount, you’ll have to contact Bail Bonds in Richmond.

We’re available 24/7 and will carefully review your case. Based on what we learn, we’ll determine if we’re confident that you’ll make all of your court appearances. If we think you will, we’ll cover your entire bail. In some cases, we do require you to have a co-signer.

When you find yourself in need of bail money, contact Bail Bonds in Richmond. Call us at 925-228-5858 or click Talk To An Agent Now to chat. Consultation is FREE!

Co-Signing For A Loved One’s Bail

Co-Signing For A Loved One’s Bail

One of the worst middle of the night calls you’ll ever get is a loved one telling you that they’ve been arrested. There usually isn’t much you can do after the initial call. Soon your loved one will find out how much their bail is and will likely call you again.

In many cases, the bail is a small enough amount that you’re able to come up with the money on your own, but sometimes it’s just too much for you or your loved one to handle.

If your incarcerated loved one decides to contact Bail Bonds in Contra Costa and request that they need help with bail, there’s a chance you’ll be asked to co-sign.

Is A Bail Co-Signer Necessary?

Just because your loved one has contacted Bail Bonds in Contra Costa it doesn’t mean that you’ll have to co-sign. One of the reasons we’ve become the best bail bond company in California is because we don’t have a one-size-fits-all approach to bail bonds. When we are contacted, we dig deep into your loved one’s history. Based on what we find we decide if:

  • We’ll let them make payments.
  • If they have collateral we’ll accept.
  • If they get a discount.
  • If they need a co-signer.

If You Have To Co-Sign For Bail

If you do have to co-sign for your loved one’s bail, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.

First, you’re co-signing for the entire amount of the bail and not just for the ten percent we’ll keep after your loved one’s case.

If your loved one fails to make one of their court appearances, you’ll be responsible for reimbursing the entire amount of the bail to us.

If you decide to co-sign for your loved one’s bail, keep in mind that you’ll likely be using some tangible property, such as a home, car or jewelry as collateral. If your loved one fails to appear in court, we’ll take the items.

Because you have a vested interest in the case, you do have some rights. For example, if something happens to shake your faith in your loved one and you suddenly decide that they’re not going to show up for a court date, you can contact us and we’ll see that their bail is revoked and they will be arrested.

At the end of the day, only you can decide if your loved one will be a flight risk. If you’re confident that they’ll behave themselves and make their court dates, agreeing to co-sign for their bail is an excellent way to develop a closer relationship and also gain their loyalty.

Are you thinking about co-signing for a loved one’s bail? Contact Bail Bonds in Contra Costa for a FREE consultation at 925-228-5858 or click Talk To An Agent Now to chat.

Pepper Spray: California’s Laws And Ownership Regulations

Pepper Spray: California's Laws And Ownership Regulations

If you consider pepper spray the perfect self-defense tool, you’re not alone. The world is full of people who feel safer when they have a small container of pepper spray in their pockets. The spray is affordable, easy to find and legal. Or is it?

Who Can And Can’t Use Pepper Spray In California?

Most people don’t realize that California prohibits several people from using pepper spray. The people who aren’t allowed to purchase or use pepper spray includes:

  • Anyone who has been convicted of either a felony or any type of assault case
  • Anyone who has a known drug abuse problem
  • Minors

Sixteen-year-olds are the one exception to the “minors who can’t use pepper spray” rule. A sixteen year old is allowed to both purchase and carry pepper spray but only when they’re in the presence of a legal guardian.

California’s Rules Regarding The Use Of Pepper Spray

California lawmakers didn’t want a bunch of people walking around who were randomly spraying people with pepper spray. To keep things under control they took their time and carefully drew up a law that restricted how and when you can use pepper spray.

You’re not allowed to spray pepper spray directly into every person who made a pass at you. The only time you’re allowed to legally use the pepper spray is when you feel a need to defend yourself. You’re not even allowed to pull it out and hold it up in a silent warning to an attacker that they need to back off. If you get it out, you must prove that you needed to save yourself.

It is illegal to use your pepper spray canister as a projectile. The pepper spray canister can not contain more than 2.5 ounces of the spray.

Consequences Of Breaking California’s Pepper Spray Law

If you’re unlucky enough to get caught breaking California’s pepper spray law, you could be charged with either a misdemeanor or a felony. If found guilty, possible sentences include:

  • A $1,000 fine
  • Incarceration for 16 months, 2 years or 3 years

California won’t allow you to claim that the canister was empty or jammed as an excuse for breaking the pepper spray laws.

If you’re legally allowed to carry pepper spray in California, go ahead and do so, just be very careful that you keep the canister tucked into your purse or pocket. Only bring it out if you are genuinely convinced you need to defend yourself.

 

Ponzi Schemes And California Law

Ponzi Schemes And California Law

Ponzi schemes aren’t legal in California. The state considers these financial cons a type of financial fraud. California’s judicial system is currently set up in such a way that it helps protect whistleblowers and consumers from getting caught up in the legal drama that always surrounds Ponzi schemes.

Difference Between Ponzi Schemes And Pyramid Schemes

Many people mistakenly assume that Ponzi schemes and pyramid schemes are the same things. While there are quite a few similarities, there are also a few key differences.

Ponzi schemes are usually handled by a single person. That individual convinces investors to take part in something, usually a promised investment, that never comes to fruition. Investors are convinced that they can’t possibly lose money and will make a huge return on their investment. It usually takes a great deal of time for the investors to realize that the person who is “managing their portfolio” is actually running a con and is keeping their money.

The Bernard Madoff debacle is a perfect example of a Ponzi scheme. Madoff created the Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities, LLC and was able to convince several people he was the real deal. His pitch was so good, he amassed close to 5,000 investors. It’s believed that his take was close to $65 billion.

A pyramid scheme is more elaborate and involves more people, some of which don’t realize that they’re committing a crime. With a pyramid scheme, a single person not only recruits investors but also recruits people who gather even more investors. The original person is the very top of the pyramid in this particular scheme. Most pyramid schemes involve a type of product that does actually exist.

Business in Motion is an example of an illegal pyramid scheme. The program revolved around the sale of economical vacation plans. Each person who bought into the program invested $3,200. If the person was able to sell additional vacation packages to friends and family, they’d earn a $5,000 commission.

Approximately 2,000 people bought into the pyramid scheme. In 2008, they launched a class-action lawsuit against the program’s creator. A judge agreed that the program was a pyramid scheme and awarded the investors a $6.5 million ruling.

The Legal Ramifications Of Running A Ponzi Scheme

Ponzi schemes are prohibited in California. The laws that address Ponzi schemes are found in the California Penal Code Section 319. The creators of Ponzi schemes in California can be charged with:

  • Laundering Money
  • Business Fraud
  • Mail Fraud
  • Securities Fraud
  • Tax Fraud
  • Wire Fraud
  • Theft

Charles Ponzi is considered the father of the Ponzi scheme. Ponzi was eventually convicted of mail fraud and spent 14 years in prison.

 

California’s Three Strikes And Your Out Policy

California's Three Strikes And Your Out Policy

California was once famous for its three strikes and your out brand of criminal justice.

How The Three Strikes Law Worked

The Three Strikes Law went into effect in 1994. The law was originally proposed in direct response to the horrific murders of Polly Klass and Kimber Reynolds.

The way the Three Strikes Law works is if someone already had a felony conviction on their record when they were found guilty of a second felony, the amount of time they served in prison for the second felony was instantly doubled. If the same felon found themselves in trouble for a felony a third time, they were automatically sentenced to 25 years to a life in prison term. It didn’t matter if they were convicted to two or three different types of felonies, the extended sentence stuck.

The purpose the Three Strikes Law served was to get dangerous felons off the streets for a long stretch of time. This law was written in such a way that:

  • Multiple sentences can’t be run concurrently. They have to be handled as consecutive sentences.
  • Suspensions and probation isn’t allowed.
  • While a felon is allowed to earn credits that shorten the amount of time they spend in prison, they can only use the credits to reduce the sentence by 1/5.

Changes To The Three Strikes Law

Nothing stays the same. As the years have passed, tweaks have been made to California’s Three Strikes Law. One such change took place on November 6, 2012, when the voting public approved Proposition 36.

One of the biggest changes brought about by Proposition 36 was that the third strike could only be enacted if the felony was considered serious or violent. Proposition 36 was written in such a way that felons were serving their third strike sentence but hadn’t been convicted of a serious or violent felony was allowed to appeal to the court for a reduced sentence.

Within a few months of voters passing Proposition 36, approximately 1,000 prisoners were released from California’s state prisons. Experts estimate that Proposition 36 has helped the state save over $1 billion during the course of 10 years.

Serious and violent felony offenses in California include:

  • Violent sexual assault including rape
  • Murder
  • Robbery
  • Assault with the intent to commit robbery
  • Attempted murder

The Downside Of The Three Strike Law

Some people aren’t happy about the Three Strikes Law. They’re quick to point out that extending sentences makes it difficult for the children of felons. Another issue is that by the time a second strike felon is released, the community they lived in before their arrest is so different it’s difficult for the felon to fit in, which increases the likelihood of them returning to a life of crime.

Does The Three Strike Law Work?

While there have always been people who claim that the Three Strikes Law is too harsh and that it doesn’t work, the numbers seem to indicate otherwise.

According to the state, since implementing the Three Strikes Law:

  • There was a 10.9% decrease in rape convictions
  • There was a 4% decrease in homicide convictions
  • There was a 1% decrease in assault convictions
  • There was a 1% decrease in robbery convictions

If you’re concerned about the kind of impact the Three Strike Law would have on you, keep in mind that as long as you don’t commit any serious or violent felonies, you won’t have anything to worry about.

 

How To Get A Loved One Released From Jail

How To Get A Loved One Released From Jail

Getting the call that someone you love has been arrested is a heart-wrenching experience. You immediately start to worry about their current situation and what the future holds from them. The last thing anyone wants is for them to have to spend the months it takes for the case to go to trial sitting in a jail cell. Everyone wants to do whatever it takes to get their loved ones out of jail and back home. Thanks to the bail bond program, it’s possible to do just that!

It’s no secret that court systems throughout the United States move slowly. The good news is that the amount of time that typically passes between the initial arrest and bail hearing is usually quite short. It doesn’t take long to hear how much it will cost to bail your loved one out of jail. The other bit of good news is that you don’t need to have the money on hand right after the judge decrees how much bail is. It’s okay if it takes you a few days to figure out how you’re going to handle paying the bail.

The first thing you should know is that paying bail doesn’t mean you’re saying good-bye to that money forever. If your loved one makes all their court appearances, you’ll get the money back. The bad news is that it could be a long time before the court returns the money. Before they sign it over to you, your loved one has to make every single one of their court appearances, including the sentencing if they’re found guilty of the charges. Given how many months will pass before the case reaches its conclusion, you don’t want to use your grocery or rent money to bail your loved one out of jail.

Don’t despair if you don’t have the funds needed to bail your loved one out on your own. You have the option of contacting Bail Bonds in San Ramon for help. We have a great deal of experience working with people who are in your position. We are compassionate, understanding and efficient. We provide a FREE consultation with one of our experienced bail bond agents who works closely with you to create a plan to get your loved one released from jail.

Bail Bonds in San Ramon have provided you with two different ways to take advantage of your FREE consultation. Call us at 925-228-5858 or click Talk To An Agent Now to chat. We’re available 24/7, so call us anytime!

 

Do You Require Bail Bond?

Do You Require Bail Bond?

Getting arrested for any reason is a life-altering event. Not only do you face public ridicule, but you also must figure out how you’re going to launch your defense, how you’re going to provide for your family and how to deal with the aftermath of the arrest. The entire situation is stressful, time consuming and costly.

First Things First

One of your first priorities is getting yourself released from jail. Despite how things are portrayed on television, the legal process moves at an incredibly slow rate. If your case goes to trial, it could take as long as a year before the matter is resolved. You do not want to spend that time sitting in a jail cell. Getting released allows you to continue working, to easily meet with lawyers and lets you maintain control of your life until the legal matter is resolved.

Getting Out Of Jail – Understanding Bail Bond

The court system uses bail as a means of encouraging individuals who have been charged with a crime to stay involved in the court process and make all their court appearances. If you do as your supposed to and appear before a judge at the appointed times, the court system returns the bail. If you do not, the court keeps it. When determining how much your bail will be, the judge considers the charges filed against you, your community ties and your criminal history.

In most cases, the judge determines the amount of your bail, but some crimes have a predetermined bail schedule. In Los Angeles, anyone charged with sexual assault receives a minimum of $25,000 bail. Manslaughter cases involve a $1,000,000 bail.

The Role Of A Bail Bond Company

Once a judge has determined how much bail is required for you to leave jail and resume your life, it’s up to you to figure out how to fund your freedom. In cases where the bail is low, you may have enough money in the bank to cover the cost. Or you may have a family member who is willing to loan you the money. If you cannot come up with the funds yourself, you contact Bail Bonds in Martinez and we’ll help you out.

When you contact us about putting up your bail, we run a risk assessment on you and determine if our underwriters will allow us to cover your bail. Factors we consider include:

  • Your professional and personal connection to the community
  • Your financial situation
  • The charges filed against you
  • The amount required

If we believe you’re not a flight risk and that you’ll appear for all of the court dates we work with the court to get you released from your jail and back with your family.

In many cases, we do require that you find someone who is willing to co-sign for your bail bond. The reason for this is to lower our risk.

Once you’re freed from jail, it’s important that you are diligent about making every single official court appearance, that you stay in communication with both us and the court, and that you don’t do anything else that attracts negative attention from the police.

Call 925-228-5858 or click Talk To An Agent Now to chat. The sooner you contact Bail Bonds in Martinez, the sooner we can help you return to your regular life.

 

Strange Laws From The Golden State

Strange Laws From The Golden State

When people think about laws, they often think about sensible rules that make sense. However, it is important to remember that laws are made by people, and this means that some real nonsense can be made into actual laws that govern the people. This is true of every country, state and city. California is no exception.

The Golden State is home to its own bits of weirdness thanks to some odd laws. Many of these strange laws were created long ago, and as such, show their age. Others are a little more recent, and while it may be possible to see what the lawmaker was going for, the wording of the law isn’t quite right.

Why Are These Even Laws?

California became a state on September 9, 1850. Over the last 170 year period, a lot of laws have been enacted and removed across the state’s 160,000 square miles. Some of the laws have made sense, such as don’t steal from people and don’t kill each other. Others are a bit stranger. Some of the weird laws that are still technically active in California include:

  • A person can only wear cowboy boots in Blythe if they own two or more cows.
  • A person cannot wash someone else’s car without the owner’s permission in Los Angeles.
  • Cursing on a golf course in Long Beach is illegal.
  • Detonating a nuclear device in Chico will result in a $500 fine.
  • Flying a kite higher than 10 feet is illegal in the city of Walnut.
  • Garages in San Francisco are meant for storing personal vehicles and nothing else.
  • In California, it is illegal for women to drive cars while wearing housecoats.
  • In San Francisco, ugly people are not allowed to walk down the street.
  • It is illegal to drive in reverse in Glendale.
  • It is illegal to pour salt on Hermosa Beach streets.
  • Men and boys are not allowed to dress as women in Walnut unless it is for a play, or they receive a permit from the sheriff.
  • Peacocks always have the right of way in Arcadia.
  • San Diego homeowners can be fined $250 for having their Christmas lights up after February 2nd.
  • Vehicles without drivers cannot drive over 60 mph.
  • Visitors of Fresno city parks are prohibited from bothering lizards.
  • Women may not wear high heels in Carmel city limits.

What Are The Penalties?

With how easily some of these laws can be broken, some people may wonder what would happen to them if they did break any of these laws. Luckily, the enforceable laws are pretty unknown by most law enforcement agents. Even if they do know about these laws, no one in their right mind would fault someone for breaking these laws.

The only law on the above list that will result in penalties, and rightfully so, is detonating a nuclear device within Chico city limits. However, the consequences for doing so will probably be more than just a $500 fine. The person will have to pay at least $500.

These Laws Are Still In The Books

What seems to happen with a lot of these odd laws, is that they just get laughed at and forgotten. No one in this day and age is going to fine someone for wearing cowboy boots when they don’t own a cow or arrest a woman for wearing high heels. Most of these laws are so outlandish that a person has nothing to worry about. These laws serve only as jokes at this point.

 

Can Marijuana Legally Be Smoked In Public?

Can Marijuana Legally Be Smoked In Public?

Back in 2016, Californian voters chose to approve the legalization of the recreational use of marijuana. The law went into effect at the start of 2018, and so for the last two years, people have been able to enjoy marijuana recreationally. However, even though marijuana usage has been legal for 2 years, there is still a lot of confusion around the law.

Two years isn’t a lot of time in legal terms. Many of the laws that people are familiar with have been around for decades, which is why people are so familiar with them. Since the marijuana laws are so new, the general public hasn’t had enough time to get to know every single detail, leaving some people still confused.

Where Can Marijuana Be Smoked?

One of the biggest questions people still have is where can marijuana legally be smoked and consumed now. Even though the usage of marijuana has been legalized, there are still restrictions on where it can be used. When people aren’t aware of these restrictions, they can find themselves in trouble with the law.

The laws surrounding marijuana usage are practically identical to the laws surrounding alcohol and cigarettes. A person can get a good understanding of when and where marijuana can be consumed by looking at those regulations.

Since smoking cigarettes is banned in most businesses and public areas, smoking marijuana is also banned in those areas. Just like people have a right to not be exposed to secondhand smoke from cigarettes, they also have the right to not be exposed to marijuana.

The usage of marijuana is banned on all government property, especially schools. Employers are permitted to keep their workplaces marijuana free just like they can keep them alcohol-free. They also are legally allowed to test their employees for marijuana.

Marijuana also cannot be consumed while a person is in a car, especially if they are driving. A person cannot consume or have an open container of alcohol in their vehicle, so they cannot do the same with marijuana.

The biggest thing to note about the legalization of the recreational use of marijuana is the recreational part. Primarily, a person is only allowed to consume marijuana in places where they would normally relax, such as their home or backyard.

Penalties For Using Marijuana – Where It Is Prohibited

The penalties for misusing marijuana in California can vary greatly depending on where the person consumed marijuana. If a person smokes or consumes marijuana at their job, where it is banned, they may not face legal consequences, but they could be fired.

If a person is caught with marijuana on school grounds, they could be charged with a misdemeanor that comes with:

  • Up to 6 months in jail.
  • A max fine of $250 for a first offense.

Simply having an open container of marijuana in a vehicle can get a person charged with an infraction that comes with a fine of up to $100.

If a person is charged with DUI, then they could face:

  • Up to 6 months in jail.
  • A max fine of $1,000.
  • Up to 9 months of DUI school.
  • A 4 month driver’s license suspension.

Be Considerate Of Others

It is important to remember that while the recreational use of marijuana has been legalized here in California, it is still illegal at the federal level. This means that even if a person follows all of the rules laid out in the state legislature, they could still be arrested at the federal level. Luckily, this is unlikely to happen unless a person is doing a lot of illegal things with marijuana or they bring it onto federal property. Some common examples of federal property include airports and federal government buildings.

The recreational use of Marijuana was legalized to allow people who wanted to consume it to do so in ways that don’t bother other people. Most people do not enjoy the smell of marijuana and would prefer to not have to smell it when they are out in public. Then there is the fact that no one wants their kids exposed to marijuana.

If a person is wondering if they can have marijuana in a certain area, such as a public park, they should think about whether cigarettes or alcohol are allowed there. Most parks ban smoking, so that includes marijuana.