What’s In Your Kid’s Halloween Candy?

What’s In Your Kid’s Halloween Candy?

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very year, as Halloween rolls around, people begin seeing articles about how they can keep their kids safe during the holiday. One of the big topics is being sure to check kids’ Halloween candies for any tampering before allowing them to eat it. Unfortunately, there are people out there who think it’s fun or funny to harm people by messing with their food.

The first step to making sure your child is safe from tampered Halloween candy is to make sure that they don’t eat any of it while they are out trick or treating. Do not let them eat any of the candies until you have been able to examine it under good lighting. Check for damaged wrappers, candy that smells funny, homemade sweets from strangers, or any candy or sweets not in their original packaging.

If a piece of candy doesn’t seem right to you, throw it out. In this instance, it is better to be safe than sorry, especially when it comes to your child’s safety. If you do find any candy that has been clearly tampered with, such as having needles, razors, or glass shards in it, report it right away to the local authorities.

As uncommon as tampering with candy may be, this kind of thing does happen. Recently Australia has been dealing with people putting sewing needles into strawberries. So, check your kids Halloween candy this year just to be safe.

 

Be Responsible This Halloween

Be Responsible This Halloween

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t’s that time of the year again, and people are busily preparing for what custumes to wear this Halloween. Kids are plotting out the best route to get them as much candy as possible, while adults are figuring out which party to go to. However, something else adults should be considering, is who will be driving to the party.

If a person plans on drinking at any Halloween parties, then they need to have a designated driver (DD) or use a ride share service such as Lyft, Uber or even just a taxi. They have to do this because drinking and driving is never a good idea on any day of the year. On Halloween, it is an even worse idea.

On Halloween, kids are out and about trick or treating. This usually continues after the sun goes down. This means that the roads are often dark and lined with kids. This increases the chances of a drunk driver causing a horrible accident. This is why it is so important for a person to drink responsibly.

The likelihood of people getting behind the wheel after drinking at a party on Halloween is why there will also be an increase of DUI checkpoints that night. Law enforcement officers know that there will be more drinking on Halloween night. In order to reduce the chances of any accidents occurring, they will setup numerous checkpoints to catch as many drunk drivers as possible.

If you plan on having a few drinks this Halloween, be sure to do so responsibly.

Designate a friend or a family member to drive, or get a Lyft, Uber, or a taxi cab to get to your destination safe and sound. In today’s world, there is no need to get behind the wheel of a car while drunk. Especially not this Halloween.

 

Protecting Your Property From Creditors In California

Protecting Your Property From Creditors In California

Just because you owe a debt, it doesn’t mean you should sacrifice your home. To protect homeowners, California legislatures created a series of California homestead real estate laws that are specifically designed to ensure that non-consensual creditors drive you away from your home, or that they take the money you made from selling a piece of property. It is worth noting that these laws only protect your home from non-consensual creditors, but not voluntary liens placed against your property.

Examples of voluntary liens include:

  • Mechanic’s liens
  • Mortgages
  • Federal tax liens
  • Judgement liens (child support, spousal support)
  • Deed of trust

Chapter Seven Bankruptcy

The best way to help erase your debt load and still maintain ownership of your home is filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Even though Chapter 7 bankruptcy does require that you liquidate nearly all of your assets, one of the things that remains yours during the bankruptcy process is the equity you have built as a home owner. This means that if you keep up on your mortgage payments and consistently pay federal and state property taxes, you will continue to have a place to live, and there is nothing your creditors can do about it.

Protection from Lawsuits

California is one of the few states that has passed legislation that prevents the sale of your primary residence in order to meet debts owed to creditors, a law that allows you to keep your residence even if you lose a large civil lawsuit. The exception is, lawsuits that deals with either child support or spousal support.

It is important to note, that only your primary residence is protected by California’s homestead laws. If you own a secondary residence, you could be ordered to give it up. This is going to be true for both rental and vacation properties.

If you’re worried about creditors coming after either a primary or secondary residence, one of the courses of action you can take is gifting it to another family member. Not only does this keep the property out of the creditors hands, but often reduces estate tax liability. The trick is to make sure you gift the property to a family member that doesn’t have issues with creditors and who is willing to let you continue living on the property.

 

Be Safe This Halloween

Be Safe This Halloween

There are certain holidays that just call for parties, and Halloween is one of those days. While kids are out trick-or-treating in search of candy, adults are out partying with friends. While there will still likely be some candy at these parties, most adults have upgraded to something different. Many adults will be consuming alcohol while having a good time.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with this, provided it is done responsibly, which is what most people do. However, there are still far too many people out there who will be consuming alcohol this year, and then getting behind the wheel of a vehicle. Due to this fact, don’t be surprised to see a rise in DUI checkpoints on Halloween.

Law enforcement officers will be doing everything in their power to keep everyone safe that night, which means trying to prevent as many drunk drivers as possible.

When a person drives drunk, their cognitive functions are drastically decreased, making them much more likely to get into a car accident. This is bad enough on any night of the year, but even worse on Halloween when kids are out roaming the streets.

If you plan on going to a party and having a few drinks this Halloween, be sure to do so responsibly. Assign someone as the designated driver (DD), or get a taxi, Uber, or Lyft. This way, you do not have to drive and risk your life, and the life of everyone else out on the road.

 

Taking The Perfect Selfie Can Be Dangerous

Taking The Perfect Selfie Can Be Dangerous

When people do something fun or amazing, they like to document it in some way. For most people in this day and age, that means taking the perfect selfie of the moment. For those unaware, a selfie is a picture that you take of yourself. For the most part, the action of taking a selfie is harmless. However, there are instance when it can become dangerous, or even deadly.

Posting a cool selfie on social media sites is a surefire way to get a lot of attention, which is why selfies are so popular. The problem is, some people don’t pay enough attention to their surrounding when taking the picture. People have fallen from cliffs or been attacked by wild animals while attempting to get the “perfect” shot.

Perhaps what is worse than simply not paying attention to their surroundings, are the people who perform dangerous stunts in order to gain more attention online. The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department (LASD) reports that search and rescue teams performed over 680 rescue missions in 2017. Many of those missions were to rescue attempted daredevils who injured themselves performing a stunt in a remote area.

Taking a good selfie is nice, but it is not worth risking your life to gain a few additional likes on your social media. If you are going to be taking pictures, always be aware of your surroundings. Don’t walk to close to a cliff or wild animal, or else you could wind up in some serious trouble and in need of a rescue.

 

The Police Towed Your Ride, Now What?

The Police Towed Your Ride, Now What?

It doesn’t matter if your vehicle is towed after you’ve been pulled over and arrested for a bench warrant or because you left it parked too long in one place and someone reported it as an abandoned vehicle, learning that the police have towed your vehicle triggers a sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach. It’s worth noting that if a vehicle is parked on a street or public/business lot for more than a week without moving, the police consider it an abandoned vehicle and will tow it.

The fact that many police stations, especially in small towns, contacts a third-party towing service to move and store the car, makes getting your vehicle back even more complicated than if it was sent to a local garage.

Find Out Where Your Vehicle Is At

Finding out where your vehicle is shouldn’t be complicated. All it takes is a simple call to the nearest police station and they will provide you with the information you need. What they might not know is how much it’ll cost to free your vehicle. When you collect your car, be prepared to pay for towing fees and storage fees. The sooner you pick up the vehicle, the lower the storage fees.

Collecting Your Vehicle

You should be able to collect your car as soon as all the bills connected to the police towing have been paid. The only real exception is if the vehicle is being held as evidence of a crime, such as an accident, because drugs were found in it, or if the police believe it was used to commit a felony.

When you pick up your vehicle, make sure you have your driver’s license, current proof of insurance, and valid registration, or the vehicle won’t be released. If you no longer have a valid license, you will want to ask someone to go with you and drive the vehicle for you. In some cases, if the car isn’t properly plated or insured, arrangements can be made to have the vehicle towed to your home.

Once you have the vehicle back, you will want to avoid repeating whatever it was that lead to the car being towed in the first place.

If You Don’t Pick Up Your Car

The police will not hold onto your car forever. If a certain length of time passes and you haven’t made any attempt to get your car back, the police will auction it off. Once it’s been sold, there’s nothing you can do to get it back.

 

AMBER Alerts

AMBER Alerts

If you own a cell phone then it’s likely that you’ve heard the buzzer-like noise that blasts from the speakers at any given time of the day. Depending on the time of day, you may or may not be slightly irritated at the unannounced noise. However, this noise, part of the National AMBER Alert Program, could be a signal of life or death for an abducted child.

According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response Plan, also known as the AMBER Alert program, is a partnership between law enforcement agencies, broadcast agencies, and transportation agencies to activate an urgent notification for serious child-abduction situations.

The blaring noise that comes over your cell phone is part of the Emergency Alert System that broadcasts a description of the abducted child, who the suspected abductor is, and the vehicle used for the abduction. This is done in an effort to immediately notify the public or assist in the successful recovery of the child.

You receive these notifications on your phone as part of Wireless Emergency Alert program, when you are in the geographic location that the alert has been issued. Luckily, the alerts are sent through a special wireless carrier so you are not charged the receipt of these notifications.

After you are startled by one of these notifications, it can be very tempting to turn them off – don’t.

AMBER Alerts are effective.

Out of the 179 AMBER Alerts issued in 2016, 155 of the children were recovered and 43 of those recoveries were a direct result of the AMBER Alert being issued. That’s 43 children that were reunited with their families and will be able to grow up.

These alerts aren’t very common, California only issued 10 alerts in 2016. However, as we said before, these alerts could be the difference between life and death. If you’ve turned off these alerts on your phone, we suggest turning them back on. You could be the difference in saving a child’s life.

 

Legal Gambling Options In California

Legal Gambling Options In California

The office football pool and the friendly weekly game of poker you indulge in might not seem like a big deal to you, but if you’re caught, you could find yourself on the wrong side of California’s legal system.

While gambling is legal in the state, California lawmakers have created some specific rules limiting when and how you can gamble.

Casinos Owned by Native American Tribes are Legal

Like most states, the only casinos that are legally allowed to operate in California are Tribal Casinos that are connected to and managed by a Native American tribe. In most cases, these casinos are modeled after Las Vegas casinos, in addition to offering an assortment of gambling options, they frequently have restaurants, entertainment, and lodging available.

Horse Racing is Okay

One of the preferred forms of legal gambling allowed in California is betting on horses. Whether it is Thoroughbreds, Standardbreds, or Quarter Horse races, you can spend as much time placing bets as you would like. The only catch is that the races must be officially sanctioned. You are not legally allowed to bet on the barrel races during county fairs.

Horse racing is the only form of gambling in California where pari-mutuel betting is legal. If you decide to try your hand at pari-mutuel betting while at the races, be aware that both management fees and state taxes are deducted before you’re allowed to collect your winnings.

Card Clubs are Legal

According to the state law, the only type of casinos that can legally operate in California are those run by Native American tribes; however, there is one loophole – Card clubs. These clubs represent California’s oldest form of formal gambling. As of 2016, the state had issued 89 licenses even though only 76 belonged to active card clubs.

The California Gambling Control Act which was introduced and passed in 1998 makes these card clubs legal. To operate a Card Club, the management must:

  • Submit to a highly extensive background check
  • Obey all local ordinances

State law prohibits publicly owned corporations from becoming involved in card clubs.

Card Clubs operate by charging each player a fee before they start playing. Once the game gets started, the players bet against one another. The house doesn’t have a stake in the game.

California Loves the State Lottery

California lawmakers not only permit gambling via state sanctioned lotteries, they encourage it. The couple dollars you spend on lottery ticket is a huge money maker for the state. Both the MegaMillions and SuperLotto Plus are state lotteries.

Gambling for Charity

Charity organizations are allowed to host gambling functions in order to earn money for their cause. The trick is that they have to be a registered non-profit organization. For the longest time, the only game allowed during the events was bingo but in 2007, legislatures voted to increase the types of games charitable organizations were allowed to offer, which is why it’s not common to see poker, raffles, and a few other casino-style games being played at these events.

 

What You Need To Know About Police Radar Jammer Devices

What You Need To Know About Police Radar Jammer Devices

Even though you’re in a hurry to get to your destination, you don’t want to get a speeding ticket. Not only does getting pulled over mean you’re even later getting to work, but there’s also the expense of the fine, plus the extra points on your driving record means your insurance premiums will sky rocket.

One of the things that many motorists consider when they’re hunting for ways to speed and not get caught is the possibility of jamming the police radar. If the officer doesn’t know how fast you’re going, they can’t pull you over.

If your about to purchase a device designed to jam a police radar, don’t. The only thing the device will bring to your life is trouble.

First, using a radar jammer is a Federal offense, and one the courts take seriously. If you get caught using one, a speeding ticket will be the least of your worries.

Not only will driving a vehicle that’s equipped with a radar jamming device get you into serious legal trouble, but now that most officers use laser speed guns or LIDARs means that the laser jammer doesn’t even work. The officer still knows exactly how fast you’re driving.

In California, laws have been passed that specifically prohibit any attempt to interfere with both police laser and radar devices is illegal. California Vehicle Code Section 28150 (Division 12: Equipment of Vehicles, Chapter 5: Other Equipment, Article 17: Jamming Devices) deals with the topic of jammers.

It states that:

  • It’s against the law to drive or equip a vehicle with any type of device that scrambles, jams, disables, or otherwise neutralizes the system a police officer is using to measure the speed of your vehicle.
  • It’s against California’s law to even purchase, possess, or sell a device that’s designed to interfere with the system a police officer is using to measure speed.
  • Having such a device is a misdemeanor.

While you’re not legally allowed to have any device that jams police radars, the state doesn’t currently have any laws stating you can’t have radar detectors in your vehicle. These devices don’t interfere with the system the police use, but they do alert you to the fact that an officer is in the area and that they’re looking for speeding vehicles. Before you rush out to purchase a radar detector, you should know that they’re not always reliable.

 

Do You Have A Scooter Problem?

Do You Have A Scooter Problem?

If you have been to any of the popular beaches around Los Angeles or the surrounding areas lately, you may have noticed a lot scooters lying around. These scooters belong to companies like Bird and Lime. These tech companies supply scooters and charge $1 to unlock the device and 15 cents per minute to use it. Once the person is done with the scooter, they can leave it wherever they like.

This is just one of many tech based ideas that are meant to help clean up urban environments. The idea behind these scooters is to give people a cheap and easy alternative to using a car. The idea sounds great, but has recently begun to receive a lot of backlash in the areas where these products can be found.

Anyone can pick up a scooter, which means that not every rider is considerate of pedestrians and vehicles. Many angry drivers and residents have complained about scooter riders weaving recklessly through traffic and crowded sidewalks alike. This kind of reckless behavior has led to numerous accidents.

Another problem is that these devices can be left wherever for the next person to take, which leads to discarded scooters cluttering sidewalks and parks.

These two factors have created a lot of backlash, leading some city councils to create laws restricting or even outright banning the devices. Some people have even taken things to an extreme and begun to vandalize the scooters. Some people are even brazen enough to posts videos or pictures of their “handy work” on social media.

Make no mistake, vandalism is still illegal no matter how mad you might be at a company or product. In the state of California, Penal Code 594 defines vandalism as maliciously destroying someone else’s property. If the damage is done to something worth more than $400, then the person can be charged with felony vandalism.

While the value of Bird’s scooters is not publicly known, similar devices on Amazon sell for over $1,000. This means that a person could face felony charges for destroying a scooter. This would mean a possible jail stay between 1 and 3 years, plus a max fine of $10,000. Is destroying a scooter really worth all of that?