We Are Here For You

We Are Here For You

No one ever wakes up and plans on one of their friends or family members getting arrested. However, thousands of people are arrested every single day here in California alone. This means that chances are, you’ll wake up one day and need to deal with an arrest. You may not even be the one who is in trouble, it could be a friend or family member.

If you have found yourself needing to rescue someone from jail, do not panic. You can get affordable and professional bail help by contacting Bail Bonds in Concord.

We have helped Californians deal with bail for over 30 years.

You can trust that we know exactly how to help you and your loved ones.

All of our bail agents are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They are ready and waiting to assist you. All they need to get started is for you to provide the name of the person you want to bail out, his or her date of birth and the location/county where the arrest took place. With that information in hand, our agents will be able to locate your loved one in the county jail system and begin filling out the paperwork for the bail bond.

As our agents work with you, they will walk you through each step of the bail process and answer all of your bail-related questions. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Our agents know that most people don’t have any experience with bail, so they know that most people have a lot of questions. Consultation is FREE, so ask away. Here at Bail Bonds in Concord, we strive to make the bail process as simple to understand as possible.

Services we provide 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

At Bail Bonds in Concord, we know how shocking and intimidating the arrest of a loved one can be. That is why we are here to help. We have been dealing with bail since 1987 and can help you get your loved one out of jail at a price that you can afford. Call us today! We promise, we won’t let you down.

To learn more about our affordable bail bonds, just call Bail Bonds in Concord at 925-228-5858 or click Talk To An Agent Now to chat.

 

What Would You Do If A Loved One Was Arrested?

What Would You Do If A Loved One Was Arrested?

Everyone has a group of people in their life that they deeply care about and they claim they would do anything for these people. Does that include bailing them out of jail? This is something most people don’t think about. They don’t plan on any of their loved ones ever getting arrested, which can lead to them facing the decision to post bail or not. With bail costing several thousands of dollars on average, this is a tough decision to make.

Most people don’t have a lot of money just sitting around that they can spend on bail. Add on the fact that bail isn’t cheap, and you can see where people start to have problems. The thing is, you don’t have to face bail alone. You can talk to the professionals here at Bail Bonds in Antioch about getting an affordable bail bond.

Here at Bail Bonds in Antioch, we do everything that we can to make it so our clients can afford to rescue their loved ones from jail. To start with, our bail bonds only cost 10% of the bail that they are for. This means that you can save 90% just by coming to us for help. In addition, we also provide the following for our clients:

  • 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

We know how expensive and intimidating the prospect of bail can be, which is why we try to simplify it for our clients. Our bail agents will do all of the hard work for you and answer all of your questions. We will also provide you with a personalized payment plan that comes with 0% interest on it. This way you can take your time paying for your loved one’s bail while still getting them out of jail right away.

If you care about a person and they end up getting arrested, you should help them out. Posting bail can be expensive, but it allows your loved one to be free during their trial. It allows them to have a semi-normal life. That is worth the cost, and besides, with Bail Bonds in Antioch helping you, it will be more affordable than you think. You can rest easy knowing that with us on your side, you’re in good hands.

Talk to one of our bail agents and get your FREE consultation by calling Bail Bonds in Antioch at 925-228-5858 or click Talk To An Agent Now to chat.

 

What Is Money Laundering And Why Is It Illegal?

What Is Money Laundering And Why Is It Illegal?

Everyone is aware of the obvious fact that committing crimes is illegal. What can often get people into trouble is not knowing which acts are considered illegal in the first place. This leads to people doing something they thought was okay and then winding up in trouble with the law.

For instance, people are aware that stealing money from someone else is bad. However, many people do not realize that just depositing illegally obtained money into a bank account is illegal. While it sounds a little, silly, there is a good reason for this.

The Definition Of Money Laundering

The act of depositing illegally obtained money into a bank account or any other legitimate institution is called money laundering. This is a reference to how the person depositing the dirty money, because it was obtained from criminal activity, is trying to “clean” it by putting it to use in legitimate institutions such as banks and other businesses.

This crime is made illegal under 2 California laws: Penal Code 186.10 and Health and Safety Code 11370.9. The reason for the two different laws is the distinction between how the money was obtained. Health and Safety Code 11370.9 is only concerned with money that was obtained through all drug crimes. Penal Code 186.10 covers money from any other type of crime.

Both of these crimes require specific intent or knowledge of criminal activity. In other words, money laundering can only occur when a person is knowingly trying to “clean” the money by placing it into a financial institution.

Why Is Money Laundering Illegal

After learning what money laundering is, some people are left wondering why the act is even illegal. Why punish someone for depositing illegally obtained money? Shouldn’t the illegal act be punishment enough?

For California, money laundering became illegal to help combat organized crime rings. In these crime rings, the lower-ranking people were the ones who would commit the illegal activity and therefore they were the ones who faced the consequences. Meanwhile, the bosses were able to get away with the money and without any consequences.

Making it illegal to handle criminally obtained money made it possible to go after the bosses of criminal organizations.

Penalties For Money Laundering

Money laundering is a wobbler offense under both Penal Code 186.10 and Health and Safety Code 11370.9, meaning it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. How exactly it is charged will be dependent on the person’s criminal record and the crime itself.

When either crime is charged as a misdemeanor, the person will face:

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

When Penal Code 186.10 is charged as a felony, a person will face:

  • 16 months, 2 years or 3 years in county jail.
  • A max fine of either $250,000 or twice the amount of the money that was laundered, whichever is greater.

The maximum fine for this crime can increase if this is not the first time the person was convicted of money laundering. Also, the maximum prison sentence can increase if the total amount of money laundered was greater than $50,000.

When Health and Safety Code 11370.9 is charged as a felony, a person will face:

  • 2, 3 or 4 years in state prison.
  • A max fine of either $250,000 or twice the amount of the money that was laundered, whichever is greater.

It’s An Odd But Important Crime

Money laundering is a bit of an odd crime. For starters, it doesn’t involve laundry in any way. Then there is the fact that people are being punished for putting money into a bank account. However, as strange as this may seem, it does make sense. Making this simple act illegal allows law enforcement agents to go after those in charge of different crime organizations. This way, everyone in the criminal organization can get punished, not just those doing the grunt work.

 

What Happens If You Wrongfully Park In A Handicapped Spot?

What Happens If You Wrongfully Park In A Handicapped Spot?

Having a disability can make tasks that most people take for granted difficult to complete. To make things easier for people with disabilities, several laws and practices have been adopted here in California, and the rest of the nation at large. This includes things such as automatic doors, ramps instead of steps and even specialized parking spots.

Disabled or handicap parking spots can be found in most parking lots. These spaces are often located close to the entrance of the building or near an elevator. This is meant to help provide a person with a disability better access to their intended destination.

Since these spots are located in such desirable locations in the parking lot, and can regularly be found empty, some people decide to use them even though they are not disabled. They don’t see it as a big deal, which is why they are often surprised by the consequences of wrongfully parking in a handicap spot.

Disabled Parking Spots

Disabled parking spots are easy to spot thanks to their blue paint and the symbol of a person in a wheelchair. These parking spaces will also have a section beside them that is marked off by diagonal white lines. These spots are not for parking but are intended to provide room for the disabled person to get in and out of their car.

Other places where vehicles with disabled passengers can park include:

  • Along blue curbs.
  • Street-metered spaces free of charge.
  • On public streets where parking is typically reserved for residents and business customers.
  • Along green curbs without a time limit.

To legally park in one of these spots, a person has to have a handicapped placard or license plate.

Misusing Handicapped Parking Spots

If a person doesn’t have a handicapped placard or license plate or misuses a handicapped placard, they can find themselves in trouble. For starters, if a person parks in a handicapped without a placard or license plate, then they can expect to have their vehicle towed and impounded.

Typically, when someone parks where they shouldn’t, officers will just stick a ticket to the windshield of the vehicle. However, since there are only a limited number of handicapped parking spots in an area, and they can be needed at any moment, officers will have offending vehicles towed to open up the spot. This means a person will then have to pay to get their vehicle out of impound, which can easily cost a few thousand dollars.

Misusing a disabled placard or license plate is illegal here in California under Vehicle Code 4461. Instances that count as misuse include:

  • Using disabled placards or plates.
  • Using someone else’s placard.
  • Using an invalid placard or plate.

The only time a non-disabled person is allowed to use a disabled person’s placard or plates to park in a handicapped spot is when they are driving the disabled person somewhere. If a person is borrowing a handicapped driver’s car, they cannot park in a handicapped spot even though the car has valid plates. This is because the disabled person is not there with them. Handicapped placards and plates are only valid with the person they are assigned to.

Penalties For Wrongfully Parking In A Handicapped Spot

Vehicle Code 4461 is a wobbler offense that can be charged as either an infraction or as a misdemeanor. How the offense is charged is dependent on the severity of the incident and the person’s record. For instance, if they have done this sort of thing multiple times in the past, they are more likely to be charged with a misdemeanor.

When charged as an infraction, a person will face a fine between $250 and $1,000 with no possibility of jail time.

When charged as a misdemeanor, a person will face:

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

Regardless of how the offense is charged, the court can add a fine of $1,500. The local city can also add on a $100 fine.

If You Don’t Need The Spot, Park Somewhere Else

Sometimes it can be easy for people to forget how great they’ve got it. Sure everyone wants to park close to their destination, but that isn’t always possible. Most people are fortunate enough that they can walk a far distance. Some people aren’t so lucky.

Handicapped parking spots exist for an important reason: to make things easy for people with disabilities. When a person parks in these spots and doesn’t have a disability, they are preventing that spot from being used by someone who needs it. This is why it is illegal for a person to wrongfully park in a handicapped parking spot.

 

What Is Solicitation?

What Is Solicitation?

There are things out there that some people might want to do, but can’t because it is illegal. For most people, that is enough for them to let the idea go altogether. However, some people still want to do whatever illegal thing it was that they were thinking of, and they might just have a way around the law.

To stay out of trouble and still get the illegal task done, some people resort to hiring someone else to do the deed for them. They think this leaves them free and clear, but it does not. Hiring someone to commit a crime is just as illegal as committing the crime itself.

The Definition Of Solicitation

The act of hiring or convincing someone else to commit a crime is referred to as solicitation. This crime is covered under 2 different laws, Penal Code 647 and Penal Code 653(f).

Penal Code 647 is solely concerned with someone soliciting another person for lewd acts and/or prostitution. If a person tries to convince another person to commit a lewd or sexual act in public, then they are guilty of disorderly conduct. The same is true if a person tries to solicit another individual with prostitution.

Meanwhile, Penal Code 653(f) covers solicitation of pretty much every other criminal act. Some examples of crimes that are covered under this law include:

  • Arson
  • Assault
  • Burglary
  • Extortion
  • Murder
  • Rape
  • Robbery
  • Theft

This is just a small sample of the crimes that are covered under Penal Code 653(f).

In all instances, the person being solicited does not have to agree to the intended action of the solicitor for them to be guilty of soliciting. A person is guilty of soliciting the minute they intentionally ask someone to commit something that they know is a crime.

The Penalties Of Solicitation

The penalties that a person will face for solicitation are dependent on the crime the person solicited. When it comes to Penal Code 647(a), soliciting lewd conduct in public and Penal Code 647(b), soliciting prostitution, these crimes are both charged as disorderly conduct. This means that a person will face misdemeanor charges that come with:

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

If a person has previous charges of solicitation in prostitution charges, then they will face increased consequences. If the act is committed in a vehicle, then a person can also have their driver’s license suspended.

When it comes to the other types of solicitation, those covered under Penal Code 653(f), the penalties are much more varied. In these instances, a person will face consequences related to the offense they solicited. This means that they could face misdemeanor or felony charges depending on what crime it was they tried to solicit. The worse the crime, the worse the consequences.

A person cannot be charged with both solicitation and the crime itself. If a person solicits another person to commit a crime, and the other individual goes through with the crime, the solicitor will be charged as an accessory to the crime. This means the solicitor will face the same charges as if they had committed the crime themselves.

It Is Still Illegal

When a person tries to convince someone else to commit a crime for them, it is just as bad as if they had tried to commit the crime themselves. This law is very similar to that of criminal conspiracy in that someone is planning to commit a crime. The only difference is that in this instance, the person planning the crime isn’t the one who would end up committing the crime.

The act of soliciting a crime is illegal here in California to deter people from trying to convince others to commit crimes for them.

 

Can Police Search My Vehicle Without A Warrant?

Can Police Search My Vehicle Without A Warrant?

Pretty much every driver has experienced the slight panic of seeing a police car behind them while driving even if they haven’t done anything wrong. That shows how much people don’t want to get pulled over. On those occasions where people are pulled over, they can then find themselves worrying about the officer searching through their vehicle.

Despite what people might think, police officers and other law enforcement officers cannot just search a vehicle without reason or a warrant. This is a protection granted to every United States citizen under the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution. The Fourth Amendment prohibits law enforcement agents from conducting unreasonable searches and seizures. The amendment also sets forth guidelines for how warrants are issued.

When Is A Warrant Unnecessary?

If a law enforcement officer ever wants to search anything, including a person’s vehicle, they usually need a warrant. However, there are 5 instances when a warrant isn’t required for an officer to conduct a legal search of a vehicle. These instances are:

  1. Consent was given.
    If a driver gives the officer their consent, then the officer can search the vehicle without a warrant. The consent for the search has to be given voluntarily, not under duress from threats by the officer.
  2. There is probable cause.
    Probable cause is when the officers have reliable information from an informant, can see contraband in the car or the driver is acting suspiciously. In these instances, an officer can search the vehicle without a warrant since they have evidence that would have earned a warrant, but they had to act quickly because vehicles can be easily moved.
  3. An occupant is being arrested.
    If someone in the car is being arrested and the officer have reason to believe there is evidence in the vehicle, then they can search it without a warrant. This also applies if someone being arrested was within reaching distance of a vehicle and the officer suspect the person may have hidden something within it.
  4. An occupant is being temporarily detained.
    Otherwise known as stop-and-frisks or Terry stops, these occur when officers reasonably suspect a person of being involved in criminal activity. The officers are allowed to temporarily detain the person and search them or their vehicle for any weapons or drugs.
  5. The car has been impounded.
    Law enforcement officers are allowed to search vehicles that have been impounded to take inventory of the vehicle.

If a person’s vehicle is searched without a warrant for any reason other than those mentioned above, then the search was illegal and any evidence that may have been found within the vehicle will have to be ignored during the trial.

They Need A Warrant

The Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution was created by the Founding Fathers to protect citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures that were commonly conducted by occupying British forces at the time. They wanted to ensure that US law enforcement agents didn’t become as corrupt as their enemies had been.

If a driver is ever pulled over, they should know that unless the officer has good reason to suspect them of any wrongdoing, the officer cannot search the vehicle without a warrant. To do so would be against the law, and therefore any evidence that the officer may have found could be dismissed in the court case since it was acquired by illegal means.

 

California’s Laws On Possession Of Controlled Substances

California’s Laws On Possession Of Controlled Substances

For years now, schools and other government agencies have been working hard to send the message to kids that drugs are bad. Drugs can mess with a person’s body and mind in all sorts of harmful or damaging ways. The worst drugs are either flat out illegal or limited to only be used when a person has a prescription.

Drugs that are restricted by the government are referred to as controlled substances. These substances can be restricted for any number of reasons. If a person is found to have one of these substances on them without a prescription, then they could end up in big trouble.

Possession Of Controlled Substances In California

Here in the state of California, Health and Safety Code 11350 makes it illegal for a person to have a controlled substance in their possession without a prescription.

Some of the substances regulated under this law include:

  • Cocaine
  • Heroine
  • LSD
  • Vicodin
  • Oxycontin
  • Codeine

If a person has any of these drugs in their possession without a prescription, then they are probably guilty of breaking this law.

As far as the law is concerned, a person has possession of a substance when they have control of it. The item does not have to be on them at the moment of discovery. For instance, if the substance is in the person’s car trunk or their closet, they still technically are in possession of it. This is because the person has control of that space. This also makes it possible for two or more people to possess a substance at the same time.

Another important aspect of this crime is that the person had to know of it. This means that the person had to have knowledge of the substance being in their possession and that the substance was some kind of drug or controlled substance.

What Are The Penalties For Health And Safety Code 11350?

Health and Safety Code 11350 is a misdemeanor offense here in California. This means that a person who is accused of this crime can face:

  • Up to 1 year in county jail.
  • A max fine of $1,000.
  • Possible enrollment in a drug treatment program.

Under certain conditions, a person may face felony charges for breaking Health and Safety Code 11350. For instance, if the accused has a prior conviction for a sex crime or serious felony, then they could face felony charges. If they do, they are sentenced to up to 3 years in county jail.

Other Laws To Consider

Health and Safety Code 11350 is only concerned with a person possessing a controlled substance. If they use the substance, try to transport it or to sell it, they could face additional charges under the following laws:

  • Health and Safety Code 11351 makes it illegal for a person to possess a controlled substance with the intent of selling it. This offense is a felony that can earn a person anywhere from 2 to 4 years in county jail and a $20,000 fine.
  • Health and Safety Code 11352 makes it illegal for a person to sell or transport a controlled substance. This is a felony offense that comes with anywhere from 3 to 9 years in county jail and a max fine of $20,000.
  • Health and Safety Code 11550 makes it illegal for a person to be willfully under the influence of a controlled substance or narcotic. This offense is a misdemeanor that comes with up to 1 year in county jail.

Don’t Use These Drugs

When it comes to controlled substances, there is usually a reason for their restriction. Many of these drugs can harm a person both mentally and physically if they are not used with caution. The fact that many of these drugs can also be addictive makes them even worse. This is why lawmakers made it illegal to use these substances unless they were necessary for a medical reason. Even then, when they are legally used, the usage is closely monitored.

These kinds of drugs can easily ruin a person’s life once a person becomes addicted. These laws exist to prevent that.

 

What Is Criminal Conspiracy?

What Is Criminal Conspiracy?

Everyone knows that there are certain actions out there that they can do that will be considered a crime. A person can’t take someone else’s car, break into a house or create fake money without getting into trouble with the law. However, there are some crimes out there that people aren’t aware of, but they are still just as illegal.

Something that many people may not be aware of is that it is actually illegal just to plan to commit a crime. Even if the crime is never committed, a person can get into trouble for conspiring to commit the crime in the first place.

What Is Penal Code 182?

Here in California, this crime is defined under Penal Code 182 as two or more people agreeing to commit a crime and one of those persons committing an act to further the crime. What this means is that if two people talk about robbing a store and then one of them buys ski masks to conceal their identities while robbing the store, they are guilty of criminal conspiracy.

This crime is interesting because it does not require the people to actually commit the crime to be considered guilty. In the above example, the people are guilty of criminal conspiracy regardless of whether or not they actually rob the store. Even if they thought better of the idea and decided not to rob the store, they still actively conspired to do so.

It is important to note that a person cannot be guilty of this crime if they never actually intended to commit the crime. If they were just joking around, they are not guilty of criminal conspiracy.

The Penalties For Criminal Conspiracy

Criminal conspiracy is what is known as a wobbler offense here in California. This means that it can either be charged as a misdemeanor or as a felony. The penalties that a person faces for committing this crime are dependent on what crime the person conspired to commit. If a person is conspiring to murder someone, then they will face the same penalties as if they had committed the murder.

Basically, if a person conspires to commit a felony, they will face felony charges.

However, the same doesn’t hold true for when a person conspires to commit a misdemeanor. If a person conspires to commit a misdemeanor, they could face either felony or misdemeanor charges. It all depends on the facts of the case.

In addition to facing the actual penalties for conspiring to commit a crime, anyone accused of criminal conspiracy can face charges for the conspiracy and for the actual act if they go through with it. This can drastically increase the jail time and fines that a person will face.

The Difference Between A Joke And The Real Deal

Sometimes people joke around about committing crimes, but never intend to actually commit those crimes. Everyone has a good laugh and then moves on with their lives. In these instances, no one is guilty of criminal conspiracy because they never actually intended to commit the crime.

When people are serious about wanting to commit a crime and begin planning it, going so far as to begin prepping for said crime, then they are guilty of criminal conspiracy. That is when they can get into real trouble with the law.

 

Thieves Are Stealing Parts Off Of Cars

Thieves Are Stealing Parts Off Of Cars

Cars that remained parked for long periods of time, which is pretty common at the moment, offer plenty of opportunities for crooks because they are always looking for easy targets. However, car theft isn’t the only thing to worry about. Some crooks prefer to just take parts off of idle vehicles. These crimes are less noticeable, giving the thief plenty of time to get away and perform the same crime again on another vehicle.

California is seeing a rise in crime, particularly thefts of a vehicle part called catalytic converter. This part helps a vehicle’s exhaust system reduce the amount of harmful emissions the engine creates. It does that by causing chemical reactions between the emissions and certain precious metals such as platinum and palladium. These metals are very valuable, and thieves know that.

Theft In California And Its Penalties

The crime of theft in California can be broken into two categories: Grand theft and petty theft. The difference between these two is the value of what was stolen.

Grand theft occurs when a person steals something valued at over $950 or a bunch of items whose combined value is over that amount. Petty theft is pretty much the same, except the value of the stolen goods is less than $950.

This begs the question, what is a person who stole a catalytic converter guilty of, Petty theft or grand theft?

The cost of a catalytic converter can fluctuate greatly between vehicles. The cost of this part can range anywhere from $100 to $2,500. Due to California’s strict emission guidelines, cars in the state have to have more advanced catalytic converters installed, which translates to they cost a whole lot more here than they would in most other states.

This means that a person could potentially face charges of grand theft after stealing only one catalytic converter. They could also just face petty theft charges. The more times the person commits the crime, the worse their consequences will be.

Petty theft is a misdemeanor crime in California. The penalties for committing petty theft are:

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

Grand theft is a wobbler crime in California, meaning that it can either be charged as a misdemeanor or as a felony depending on the facts of the cases. As a misdemeanor, the penalties for grand theft are:

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

As a felony, the penalties increase to:

  • 16 months, 2 years or 3 years in county jail.
  • A max fine of $10,000.
  • Felony probation.

How To Tell If The Catalytic Converter Was Stolen

Noticing that the catalytic converter on a vehicle has been stolen will be a lot easier than people realize. They might not see anything different as they approach their vehicle, but once they start it, they will hear the difference.

The catalytic converter is a part of a vehicle’s exhaust and muffler system. This system removes the engine exhaust from the vehicle and helps muffle the sound of the engine while it is running. Taking out the catalytic converter puts a hole into this system, which means the car will be much louder while it is running.

In addition, most new cars have electric sensors in the catalytic converter. The vehicle’s computer system will detect that it is not getting any information from those sensors and activate the check engine light. These missing sensors will also affect how well the engine runs since they help it run more efficiently. This means that the car will run, but it won’t be as smooth as it normally is.

How To Keep Your Car Safe

Thieves are always looking for easy targets. They want to find taller vehicles, ones with a lot of room underneath them, which makes accessing the catalytic converter easier. They also want to find vehicles that have been sitting unattended for long periods of time, such as vehicles left at a car park.

The best ways for a person to keep their car safe include always parking in well-lit areas close to buildings. This way, more people will be looking at the car making it a less-than-ideal target for thieves. A person should always try to park their car in their garage and keep the garage door shut, so no one can just waltz right on in.

Some more advanced precautions include getting the catalytic converter welded to the frame of the vehicle thereby making it harder to steal. Also, try engraving the vehicle identification number (VIN) onto the catalytic converter so that it can be identified if stolen.

Sadly, just because a part is attached to a vehicle doesn’t mean that it is safe from theft. There are plenty of thieves out there who are more than willing to unbolt or even cut a part off of an unattended vehicle. If people follow the above tips, they should be able to avoid getting into any trouble.

 

What Are Protester’s Rights?

What Are Protester’s Rights?

One of the great things about living here in the United States is that people can always speak their mind. The First Amendment to the Constitution grants every US citizen the right to freedom of speech and peacefully protest. This way, if someone doesn’t like something that is going on in the world, they can speak out against it and try to make a change.

While this law is a great one, there is often a bit of confusion around it. Sometimes people find themselves being arrested for what they believe to have been them exercising their First Amendment Rights. This is especially common during protests. The problem is that some people don’t understand what is and isn’t protected, and so they may overstep and do something they think is protected when, in fact, it is considered illegal.

The First Amendment To The Constitution

The US Constitution is what gives us citizens our many rights. The First Amendment to the Constitution grants citizens freedom of speech, freedom of the press, the freedom of religion, and the right to assemble/petition. This is the amendment that gives people the right to protest when they are upset about something.

The Amendment was a part of the Bill of Rights, which is the first 10 amendments to the Constitution. It was adopted into law in 1791 to protect the civil liberties of US citizens.

Where People Run Into Trouble

The problem that most people run into while protesting is that they start to break laws even though they think they are just exercising their right to free speech.

True, everyone has the right to free speech. However, no one is allowed to threaten the safety of others or to lie or slander other people. Threatening to hurt or kill people is never acceptable and is not protected under the First Amendment. Doing this will get a person arrested, and rightfully so. No one should ever be made to feel like their life is in danger. A protester is also not allowed to say things that could start a riot or other dangerous behavior.

People are allowed to gather and protest, as long as they do so safely and in designated public areas. Some acceptable places to protest include parks, sidewalks, public streets, public auditoriums, the steps of city hall, in front of government buildings and on private property with the property owner’s permission. A person can protest in any of these locations without fear of arrest, so long as they are not exhibiting any unsafe behavior, such as blocking traffic.

Protesters still have to listen to orders given by peace officers whose jobs it is to protect people’s safety. Police officers are meant to keep people safe. If they are telling someone to stop acting in a dangerous manner, which can include disrupting traffic, disturbing the peace or risking public health, the person needs to listen or they will be arrested.

A protester is allowed to peacefully express their opinions as long as they continue to follow other established laws. If they don’t do that, then they could be arrested for breaking those laws.

Laws Protesters Can Be Charged With In California

A person can get arrested while protesting if they start breaking laws. Some of the laws that are most commonly broken by protesters include:

  • PENAL CODE 148: Resisting Arrest
    A person breaks this law when they resist arrest or obstruct an officer from arresting someone else.
  • PENAL CODE 403: Disturbing A Public Meeting
    A person breaks this law when they willfully disturb or break up a lawful public meeting.
  • PENAL CODE 409: Failing To Disperse
    A person breaks this law when they stay at a riot or other unlawful assembly after being told to leave by a police officer.
  • PENAL CODE 415: Disturbing The Peace
    A person breaks this law when they play excessively loud music, start a fight with someone or use offensive language meant to start a fight.
  • PENAL CODE 602: Trespassing
    A person breaks this law when they enter or remain on private property when they don’t have permission to be there.

Everyone Has Rights

Here in the US, when a person has an objection to something, they have the right to say so. They have the right to try and peacefully convince others of their idea. However, they do not have the right to do whatever they want while protesting.

During a protest, protesters must remember other peoples’ rights as well. People have the right to go about their daily lives peacefully, they have the right to not be threatened with violence and everyone has the right to speak their mind, even if their opinion is different.