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California Dog Bite Laws

California Dog Bite Laws

For the most part, dog owners are good at taking care of their animals. They love their pup and treat it like a member of the family. However, not everyone is very good at taking care of their dog, which can cause some trouble. If a dog gets out and bites someone, the dog’s owner could get into legal trouble.

California is a strict liability state. This means that if a dog bites someone, whether or not they have a history of biting, the owner is liable for the incident. If a dog owner doesn’t want to be held responsible for a dog bite, they need to take the proper precautions to keep their dog under control.

When Dogs Bite People

California Civil Code (CC) 3342 makes it so that dog owners are liable for the injuries their dog caused, as long as the person didn’t provoke the dog and the person had a legal right to be in the area they were in.

People who cannot look to recover damages for a dog bite include anyone who is bitten:

  • While trespassing.
  • For provoking the dog.
  • While attacking the dog’s owner.
  • By a military or police dog.

In all of these instances, the person who was bitten by the dog did something that warranted them getting bitten. This means they cannot seek damages.

Anyone who is bitten but doesn’t fit into one of the above categories can seek legal compensation for the incident. If they do, the dog owner could end up paying for:

  • Medical bills.
  • Physical or vocational therapy.
  • Psychological counseling.
  • Lost wages.
  • Lost earning capacity.
  • Pain and suffering.
  • Scarring.
  • Loss of the use of a limb.

If the dog killed someone, then the owner could end up paying for a wrongful death.

After the incident, the dog will typically be quarantined for 10 days to ensure it doesn’t have any diseases such as rabies.

The dog will only be euthanized for biting someone if it has bitten two other people in the past, or if the dog was trained to fight, attack, or kill.

When Dogs Bite Other Animals

California CC 342 only applies when dogs bite people. When it comes to dogs biting other animals, things are a little different. This difference is because California views dogs, and all pets, as personal property. In this instance, when a dog bites another dog, it has damaged another person’s property.

If a person’s pet is attacked by someone else’s dog, they have to file a property damage lawsuit against the dog owner. The only way that a person can get reparations for their pet beings attacked is if:

  • The dog owner had notice of the dog’s aggressive behavior.
  • The dog owner was negligent in keeping their dog contained and under control.

If one of those criteria is met, then the person can recover the greater of one of the following costs:

  • The reduction of the animal’s market value caused by the injury.
  • The reasonable and necessary costs of the animal’s treatment following the injury.

If the attack was caused by recklessness on the dog owner’s part or was an intentional attack, then the victims can also recover:

  • Damages for the intentional infliction of emotional distress.
  • Punitive damages.

Don’t Let Your Dog Bite Anyone

Dogs can truly be great companions, and most people love their dogs like they are members of the family. These people do everything they can to keep their dog safe, which is good. Unfortunately, some people out there don’t take the proper precautions to keep their dog contained, or in some instances, despite the owner’s best efforts, a dog gets out and causes trouble.

When a dog gets out and bites someone, the owner will be held liable for the incident. This means they could end up covering all medical bills. If the dog bites another dog, the owner is only liable if the dog has a history of being aggressive or if the owner was negligent in keeping the dog under control.

What are your thoughts on California dog bite laws? Are the consequences fair? Should pet owners be able to recover more for the attack of their beloved pet?

California’s Edible Marijuana Laws

California’s Edible Marijuana Laws

Back in 2016, Californians voted to allow the recreational use of marijuana. This created a whole new mess of laws that dictated how people could use marijuana. The laws rolled out bit by bit over the next few years. While this made things easier for lawmakers and gave them the time they needed to create these laws, this did cause some confusion.

When it comes to marijuana, a lot of people are still confused about what is and isn’t allowed in California. For instance, what are the rules regarding foods and drinks infused with cannabis? Are those allowed in California, and if so, how much can a person carry on them before getting into trouble?

What Are Edibles?

Some people prefer edibles, or foods infused with cannabis, over smoking marijuana. The reason for this is often linked to people not wanting to inhale smoke, which can cause health problems. Edibles can provide the same effects as smoking marijuana but without the inherent dangers of smoking.

The largest difference between smoking marijuana and ingesting edibles is the timing. When smoking marijuana, the effects of the drug are felt sooner and they wear off more rapidly. Edibles, on the other hand, take longer for the effects to be felt and those effects last longer as well.

Edibles are legal to use and sell, provided the person has a license to do so, here in California.

Keeping Them Out of the Wrong Hands

The largest concern with edibles, as with all marijuana usage, is making sure that they stay out of the hands of minors. In California, anyone under the age of 21 is prohibited from consuming marijuana in any form.

To help that, state regulations require that all edibles packaged in such a way that the product:

  • Is safe contamination.
  • Has a tamper-evident seal.
  • Is child-resistant.
  • Does not imitate packaging typically marketed to children.
  • Is opaque to hide what is inside.
  • Is re-sealable, if it contains more than one serving.

All edible packaging must state that it contains cannabis, display its THC and CBD contents, as well as nutritional values.

It is also important to note that transporting marijuana, including edibles, across state lines is still illegal because marijuana is still considered a controlled substance at the federal level.

How Much Can A Person Possess?

When it comes to possession, edibles follow the same laws as other marijuana products. A person is legally allowed to have in their possession up to one ounce of marijuana, or 8 grams of concentrated cannabis. If a person has more than that one them at a time, then they can face misdemeanor charges of simple possession.

The consequences for this crime can include:

  • Up to 6 months in county jail.
  • A max fine of $500.

Another point to consider is that it is illegal to possess any amount of marijuana on the grounds of any K-12 school. This includes when the school is in session and any after-hours programs as well.

Be Responsible and Keep Marijuana Out of the Hands of Minors

The most important rules to remember when dealing with marijuana in California are that a person must be over 21 to smoke or ingest any form of marijuana and that there are set limits to how much a person can have on them at a time. If a person forgets these laws and breaks them, they will face some consequences.

This is especially important when it comes to edibles. Minors, especially children, may not know that there is marijuana in something and consume it without realizing the risks. This is why the packaging of edibles has to be child-resistant and can’t have anything on it that might appeal to kids.

What are your thoughts on edibles and marijuana usage here in California? Should edibles be allowed, or are they too risky because they can easily be consumed by kids? What about the consequences, are they fair or too light? Let us know what you think in the comments down below.

California Forgery and Fraud Laws

California Forgery and Fraud Laws

When it comes to filling out and signing official paperwork, people are required by law to provide honest and accurate information. Official documents are meant to have accurate information, and when a person knowingly lies on these documents, they can end up in trouble with the law for forgery.

Most people hear the word forgery think of signing someone else’s name, however, there is more to the crime than just that. The acts of signing someone else’s name on a document, modifying one without permission, or providing false information all fall under the crime of forgery.

The Act of Forgery in California

Forgery is made illegal here in California under Penal Code (PC) 470 and is defined as the intentional act of trying to deceive or lie to a person to deprive that person of money or property. PC 470 lists out multiple different ways that a person can commit the act of forgery. Some of these ways include:

  • Signing someone’s name without their approval.
  • Counterfeiting or forging someone’s handwriting or a document seal.
  • Changing or falsifying certain documents, especially legal ones.

Documents that are illegal to falsify or forge include, but are not limited to:

  • Bonds.
  • Checks.
  • Contracts.
  • Lottery tickets.
  • Money orders.
  • Property deeds.
  • Stock certificates.
  • Traveler’s checks.

As far as PC 470 is concerned, a person does not have to be successful in their attempt to deceive someone. All that matters is that the person tried to commit forgery.

It is also important to note that this law does not apply to instances where spouses might sign each other’s names on checks so they can be deposited into shared accounts. There are two reasons for this:

  • Spouses have their significant other’s approval to do so.
  • There was no intent to defraud their spouse.

Penalties for PC 470

PC 470 is a wobbler offense here in California. This means that the crime can either be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the facts of the case. How the crime will be charged is dependent on the person’s criminal record and whether the value of the attempted forgery is less than $950.

When charged as a misdemeanor, a person will face:

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

When charged as a felony, a person will face:

    Up to 3 years in county jail.

  • A max fine of $10,000.
  • Felony probation.
  • Forgery is considered a crime of moral turpitude, a crime that involves dishonesty or vile conduct that is shocking to the reasonable person. This means that a charge of this crime could lead to non-US citizens being deported or being marked as inadmissible.

    California Fraud Laws

    When it comes to the act of fraud, which is any act that results in unfair or undeserved benefits for a person while causing harm or loss to someone else, there is no singular law against the act. Instead, since fraud can come in many different forms, several different laws could be considered laws against fraud. A small examples of acts that count as fraud in California include:

    • Auto Insurance Fraud.
    • Check fraud.
    • Credit card fraud.
    • Foreclosure fraud.
    • Health Care Fraud.
    • Identity theft.
    • Perjury PC 118.
    • Unemployment fraud.
    • Welfare fraud.
    • Worker’s compensation fraud.

    Most crimes involving fraud here in California are wobblers. This means they can be charged as either misdemeanors or felonies depending on the facts of the case. The consequences for these crimes can vary greatly depending on which one a person is accused of.

    Don’t Try to Trick People

    The bottom line when it comes to forgery and fraud is that if a person has to lie or trick someone to better themselves, then they probably shouldn’t do it. Chances are the act will be considered illegal under California law, meaning they could face some harsh consequences that include jail time and some hefty fines. It doesn’t even matter if the person was successful in their attempt. Asa long as they tried to commit forgery or fraud, they can be found guilty of the crime.

    What are your thoughts on forgery, fraud, and their respective laws here in California? Do the laws help keep people safe, or are their consequences to little? Let us know what you think in the comments down below?

    What Is California’s Shelter in Place Order?

    What Is California’s Shelter in Place Order?

    Over the last few weeks and months, Californians have seen a drastic change in their lifestyle, just like millions of others across the world. The pandemic caused by the COVID-19 Virus, more commonly referred to as the Coronavirus, has forced closures of businesses all over the state, and the world at large.

    As the scale of this pandemic became known, officials began encouraging social distancing as a way of combating the spread of the disease. The simple act of avoiding social events and keeping 6 feet away from people at all times drastically lowers the chances of the virus spreading. As more cases began popping up, local governments were forced into action. Recently, Governor Gavin Newsom issued a shelter in place order as some people began to push the boundaries of their so-called social distancing.

    What Does the Shelter in Place Order Mean?

    The shelter in place order issued by Governor Newsom means exactly what it sounds like. This order makes it so that people can only leave their homes for essential errands, such as getting the mail, getting groceries, getting gas, providing aid to friends and family members, or going to work at jobs that are considered essential.

    While people are out running errands and working, they are expected to practice social distancing. This means they should stay a minimum of 6 feet away from other people at all times.

    A lot of times, one might here officials talking about flattening the curve of the virus’s spread, but what does that mean? To put it simply, they want to reduce how often the virus is spread. Consider someone who is sick, if that person goes out and interacts with just two people, they become sick too. Then those two people go out and interact with 2 more people each and now 6 people are infected. If each person keeps interacting with others, they keeping infecting more and more people at a faster and faster rate. When charted on a graph, the line would start with a shallow slope and then rapidly curve up until it was almost vertical.

    Social distancing and sheltering in place reduces human interactions and thereby reduces the chances for the virus to spread. This slows how quickly that line on the graph curves upwards.
    If enough people practice social distancing and shelter in place, the bulk of the spread could be delayed until a cure or treatment is found.

    What Happens if Someone Doesn’t Follow the Order?

    Some people were a bit confused when Governor Newsome issued the recent shelter in place order since many people were doing that already. The thing is, before the order was issued, sheltering in place and avoiding people was just a recommendation. Now it is an official order. This means that if someone doesn’t heed the order, they could get into trouble.

    Law enforcement agencies across the state have been instructed to ensure people comply with this order. This means that a person could be arrested and charged with a misdemeanor for failing to heed the order. This is because not listening to this order is considered an imminent threat to public health.

    That is something that everyone should be aware of. However, the chances of actually getting arrested for venturing outside are slim. More than likely, people who don’t heed the order will be told to go home.

    Could Martial Law Be Issued?

    After hearing that the National Guard would be deployed to help deal with the virus, many people began to worry that martial law would be issued, however, that is not the case. Martial law, the act of suspending civil laws and putting a military force in charge of a jurisdiction, is something that is very rarely used here in the US. The last time it was used was in Hawaii after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

    Yes, martial law could be used to enforce the shelter in place order that has been issued, however, that would only happen as a last resort. As long as people continue to shelter in place like they are supposed to and follow any other orders issued by the government, there won’t be a need for martial law.

    Just Stay Home and Don’t Panic

    This pandemic is a natural disaster on a scale that many people have not seen in a long time. It is shocking and scary. People’s lives have been disrupted in ways many had thought impossible. However, this is not the time to panic. If enough people can remain calm and follow the advice of health officials to shelter in place, the virus’s spread could be slowed drastically.

    As many people have already pointed out online, this is probably the only time where people can save lives by staying at home, so don’t mess this up.

    The best thing to do is to listen to government officials and only accept information about the virus from reputable sources, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

    Hiking Safety Tips

    Hiking Safety Tips

    S
    pring has barely arrived and already parts of California are starting to see warmer weather. As the temperatures begin to rise, more and more people begin to venture outside. Whether it is just to their yard, or to something more adventurous like a natural forest, the outdoors are calling people. One of the best ways to explore the state is with a hike.

    Living in the city, it can be easy for people to forget how truly wild natural areas can be. They are great places to see and visit, but a person needs to explore these places with the proper caution. Failing to do so can result in some nasty run-ins with the local wildlife. To help ensure everyone’s safety, check out these hiking tips.

    Some Tips for the Trail

    When it comes to hiking safely, there are all sorts of things that a person should. These different things can either ensure that a person doesn’t get lost or that they don’t have a run-in with the local wildlife. Unfortunately, wild animals don’t always understand that most people mean them no harm.

    Before heading out on a hike, a person should:

    • Check the forecast. No one wants to hike in inclement weather.
    • Have a trail map, a physical one. Don’t rely on cellphones in the wild where reception is often spotty at best.
    • If taking a pet, consider getting them a backpack. This way they can carry their supplies. Also, bring a first aid kit for the critter.
    • Learn to identify poison oak by its distinct, three-leaf shape. No one wants to get itchy.
    • Tell someone where they are going and for how long. Doing this can help prevent a 127 Hours type situation.
    • Wear appropriate, comfortable clothing.

    Lastly, have a list of all necessary items and check it off before leaving.

    When a person is out on the trail, they should:

    • Always pay attention to where they are stepping or placing their hands. There could be a snake, or other critters, hiding there.
    • Apply sunscreen, especially in Southern California.
    • Avoid eating wild plants. This is especially important for pets.
    • Drink plenty of water. Bring plenty of water for any pets on the hike too.
    • Give wild animals enough space and never try to feed or touch them.
    • Hike in groups. Staying in groups decreases the chances of attacks from predators. When hiking in groups, stick together.
    • If a person chooses to hike in a group, they should notify a trusted friend or family member of where they are going and for how long. Doing this can help prevent a 127 Hours type situation.
    • Keep any pets on leashes and harnesses. Don’t let them wander off and definitely don’t let them pester other hikers.
    • Only hike during the day. Hiking at night is an easy way to get lost.
    • Stay on the trail and never forge their own trail. Stepping off a trail increases the chances of getting lost.

    Most importantly, a hiker should know and be honest about their skill level. The same is definitely true for a person’s pet if they chose to bring it along. Always consider what hikes are appropriate for pets.

    What to Do if an Animal Attacks

    For the most part, wild animals just want to be left alone. As long as people give them a wide berth and leave them alone, the animal will keep to itself. However, there are times, though rare, when animals attack people for seemingly no reason.

    How a person should respond to acts of aggression from animals depends on what animal is being aggressive. Tactics that work for one species, such as bears, probably won’t work for species like mountain lions. A person should be aware of what animals are present in the areas they are hiking, and know the appropriate responses for encounters with them.

    A good defense, that is available to anyone without the need of a special license, is pepper spray. Most animals don’t enjoy the feel of pepper spray and will leave anyone who sprays them with it alone. However, some animals are more persistent.

    Some animals, such as mountain lions, are legally protected from hunting. However, if the animal is attacking a person, it can be killed. While the act of killing a protected species is frowned upon, if the act was in the defense of human life, it is usually permitted.

    Have Fun and Stay Safe

    The warm weather is so inviting that the ideas of going out and enjoying nature are hard to ignore, especially after being cooped up indoors for winter. Going for a hike is a great way to enjoy the warmer weather, and see a more natural version of California.

    While out exploring nature, a person needs to be prepared. They need the right gear, equipment, and mindset while on the trail. They also need to know how to respond to wildlife and how to protect themselves in the rare event that they are attacked.

    What are your thoughts on hiking? Is it a fun pastime, or is it too dangerous? Do you have any hiking safety tips that didn’t make this list?

    Don’t Cheat in the Carpool Lane

    Don’t Cheat in the Carpool Lane

    P
    retty much every California driver out there can agree that the state has horrible traffic problems. No matter which end of the state you are on, whenever a driver gets close to a large urban area, traffic will slow to a crawl. In Los Angeles, it can easily take two hours to drive a distance that would, without traffic, take 30 minutes to traverse.

    One of the most commonly implemented ways to avoid traffic is carpool, or High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV), lanes. These lanes are usually found all the way to the left and are only allowed to be used by vehicles that have more than one person in them. This means that any vehicle in these lanes should have a driver and at least one passenger.

    The idea behind these lanes is to convince people to rideshare more to take advantage of these lanes. Doing this would reduce the number of cars on the road and help reduce traffic. However, a lot of people don’t want to give up the freedoms that come from driving themselves, or they simply have no one to carpool with. In these instances, some people decide to try to trick the system and drive in the carpool lane without a passenger present. What these people don’t realize is that doing so is illegal, and can earn them a nice ticket.

    Carpool Cheaters

    Some drivers, in an attempt to get around the traffic, will try to make it look like they have a passenger riding with them. They can do this in several ways, including:

    • Dressing up mannequins.
    • Putting baby dolls in car seats.
    • Dressing up the passenger seat to look like a person.

    There are probably plenty of other schemes out there, and most California Highway Patrol (CHP) officers have seen them all. It is important to note that

    The thing with these so-called sneaky tricks is that they don’t work as well as drivers think they do. Officers are well aware of the tricks and can spot them pretty easily. The mannequins are often too stiff and unresponsive to the road to be considered real for more than a second.

    If a CHP officer notices a person trying to pull one of these tricks in the carpool lane, they will pull the driver over and will give them a ticket.

    The only good thing about these tricks is that often times when a driver uses them, they at least strap the doll or mannequin in properly.

    Penalties of Misusing a Carpool Lane

    California Vehicle Code (VC) 21655.5 makes it illegal for a person to misuse a carpool lane. This means it is illegal for a person to drive in any carpool lane without having another, living, person in the vehicle.

    Breaking this law results in infraction level charges that come with a fine of $490 and no potential jail time. A person will not receive any points on their driver’s record for this kind of violation.

    Also, be aware that entering or exiting a carpool lane over a double yellow line is illegal and can result in a separate ticket. This ticket would cost anywhere from $100 to $150 and does add a point to the driver’s record. If a driver acquires too many points on their record within too short a period, they can have their license suspended, or even revoked altogether.

    Don’t Cheat Traffic

    No one likes getting stuck in traffic, but it is a part of life in highly urbanized areas. Trying to get passed the traffic by using a doll or mannequin to enter into a carpool lane is an easy way to get a ticket. Not only do CHP officers see through the ruse, other drivers who notice it are more than likely to report it. After all, why would they allow someone else to cheat through the carpool lane while they are stuck in traffic?

    Luckily for all the law-abiding drivers out there, anyone caught in the carpool lane without a living passenger in their vehicle will earn themselves a nice ticket. What do you think of carpool cheaters? Do they deserve the ticket for sneaking into the carpool lane, or are they just being smart?

    How Many Types of Restraining Orders Are There?

    How Many Types of Restraining Orders Are There?

    People interact with one another on a daily basis. For the most part, these interactions are fine and end with each person going their way. Unfortunately, there are some instances, where people don’t get along too well. Often when people part from bad interactions like that, they hope they will never see that other person again. Most of the time, they don’t but every once in a while, someone refuses to leave the other alone.

    In those instances, one person may seek to get a restraining order against the other person. A restraining order is an official document approved by a court that prohibits one person from going near or interacting with a specified person in any way. If the person in the restraining order violates it in any way, they will face some legal consequences.

    The 4 Types of Restraining Orders

    There are four different types of restraining orders that a person can get. The different types are dependent on the relationship between the two people mentioned in the order. The first and most common type of restraining order is a Civil Harassment Restraining Order. This kind of order can be issued for the following reasons:

    • A credible threat of violence.
    • A pattern of behavior that reasonably scares or harasses someone.
    • Any type of violence.

    If a person deals with any of this due to another individual, then they can seek to get this kind of restraining order.

    The next most common type of restraining order is a Domestic Violence Restraining Order. This kind of order can only be obtained between two people who share a certain relationship and there is evidence of emotional or physical abuse between the two people. The kind of relationships that qualify for this restraining order include:

    • Immediate family members.
    • Dating.
    • Have a child together.
    • Live together.
    • Married.
    • Registered domestic partners.

    If the two people are in one of these relationships, or used to be in one of these relationships, but have since separated, they can get this kind of restraining order.

    Next up on the list is an Elder Abuse Restraining Order. This one is a bit self-explanatory. This arises when an elder is being abused. It is important to note that the abuse doesn’t have to be physical. It can also include:

    • Abandonment.
    • Finical abuse.
    • Neglect.

    If an elder is experiencing any of these from someone, then they can seek a restraining order of this kind to protect themselves from the abuser.

    The last type of restraining order available in California is a Workplace Violence Restraining Order. This kind of order is requested by employers to protect one of their employees who is suffering in the workplace due to:

    • Credible threats of violence.
    • Patterns of conduct that cause reasonable fear.
    • Physical violence.
    • Serious harassment.
    • Stalking.

    This kind of order can only be requested by an employer for an employee. If an employee feels that they are being harassed in the workplace then they need to get a civil harassment restraining order against the person harassing them.

    All restraining orders can be of varying lengths from 1 to 5 years.

    Consequences for Violating a Restraining Order

    Restraining orders are meant to keep people safe from certain people who have been harassing or threatening them. Therefore, when a person doesn’t follow a restraining order’s rules, they can get into serious trouble.

    Breaking a restraining order is made illegal under California Penal Code (PC) 273.6. Under this law, most violations of restraining orders are misdemeanor offenses. This means that a person faces the following when they disregard an order against them:

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

    However, if this is not the first time the person has violated a restraining order, they could face felony charges that come with:

    • Up to 3 years in state prison.
    • A max fine of $10,000.

    They Keep People Safe

    Not everyone gets along with every other person in the world, though in most instances, this isn’t a big deal. The two people prefer to avoid each other rather than end up in a confrontation. However, some people would rather fight and antagonize a person who just wants to be left alone. In those instances, the victim should seek a restraining order.

    When a person gets a restraining order against someone, that person is ordered by the court to leave the victim alone and stay a certain distance away from them at all times. The hope is that this will keep the victim safe. If the person chooses to ignore the restraining order, then they will face legal consequences.

    What are your thoughts on restraining orders and the consequences of violating them? Should the penalties be tougher for restraining orders, or are they too tough already?

    What Are California’s Laws on Car Chases?

    What Are California’s Laws on Car Chases?

    California residents, especially those living in Southern California, are pretty used to seeing car chases on television. They happen all of the time out here, and they can be kind of entertaining. The question of how will the chase end can keep everyone glued to their screens. Will the driver give up quietly, or will the chase end in crash?

    As exciting as watching a police chase may be, being in one is never a good idea. A person running from their problems never helps them solve those issues. This is definitely true for car chases. The person went from getting pulled over by one officer to being chased by an entire fleet of vehicles. On top of that, they are adding a whole lot of charges to their rap sheet for running away. Running just makes everything worse.

    Running from the Police Is Illegal

    No one ever wants to get pulled over. Being pulled over means getting a ticket in most cases, and in severe instances, getting arrested. Nobody wants that. Unfortunately, once an officer has a driver in their sights and is flashing their lights, the driver can’t avoid the inevitable. Trying to do so will only make things worse.

    Take for instance California Vehicle Code (VC) 2800. This law makes it illegal for a person to fail to comply with a uniformed officer’s instructions, orders, or signals. When an officer flashes their lights and blares their siren that is a signal for a person to pull over. Complying with the officer is in the person’s best interests because if they don’t, they have broken this law.

    Failing to pull over just adds another offense that the person will be charged with when caught. Remember, every police chase comes to an end with the person being arrested. The longer the chase takes, the worse the consequences.

    Penalties for Running

    Depending on how a person runs from the officer after being signaled to pull over determines what kind of consequences. If a person simply avoids stopping for the officer but doesn’t drive recklessly, then they will face charges under VC 2800.1. This law makes it illegal for a person to evade a police officer while in a vehicle. A person caught doing this will face misdemeanor charges with consequences that can include:

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

    If, while a person is fleeing from the police, they drive recklessly, they will face charges under VC 2800.2. This law makes it a crime to drive recklessly while evading the police. This is a wobbler offense that can be charged as either a misdemeanor or as a felony depending on the facts of the case and the person’s criminal record.

    As a misdemeanor, a person will face:

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

    As a felony charge, a person will face:

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

    If, while a person is fleeing, they cause serious bodily injury or kill someone, then they will face charges under VC 2800.3. This law makes it a crime to evade a police officer and cause injury or death. The consequences of this crime can vary greatly depending on the facts of the case.
    For instance, if a person only caused injuries, they could face either misdemeanor or felony charges. What they face depends on the facts of the case and the person’s criminal record.

    As a misdemeanor charge, a person faces:

    • Up to 1 year in county jail.
    • A max fine of $10,000.
    • Misdemeanor probation.
    • Having the vehicle impounded.
    • Having their driver’s license suspended.

    As a felony, a person will face:

    • 3, 5, or 7 years in state prison.
    • A max fine of $10,000.
    • Felony probation.
    • Having the vehicle impounded.
    • Having their driver’s license suspended.

    If a person caused a death while evading the police, they will face felony charges that come with:

    • 4, 6, or 10 years in state prison.

    It is important to remember that here in California, anyone convicted of a felony crime is prohibited from owning a gun.

    Pulling Over Is the Best Option

    No one likes getting pulled over and being given a ticket. However, taking the ticket is always the better option. Running from the police only makes things worse by adding more offenses for the police to charge the person with. This means a person will face more fines and jail time than they would if they just took the ticket, which doesn’t come with any jail time.

    What do you think of California’s laws regarding evading police officers? Do the consequences match up to the crime, or should they be readjusted? Let us know what you think in the comments down below.

    Can You Smoke in Public

    Can You Smoke in Public

    Despite the obvious health concerns that come with smoking, there are still a lot of smokers out there in the world. An estimated 42.1 million people in the United States are smokers. This averages out to roughly 18% of all adults over the age of 18. That is a whole lot of people who still smoke.

    The state of California is considered one of the leaders in anti-smoking laws and regulations. If a person violates any of these laws, then they could face fines. This makes it very important for smokers to be aware of all of these laws. A smoker needs to be very careful about where they decide to light up, or they could find themselves in trouble.

    You Can’t Smoke Everywhere

    Under California law, it is illegal for any person to smoke any tobacco products in an enclosed workplace. This law covers the entire state and cities and counties are not allowed to modify it. This means that is illegal to smoke in any indoor place where people work. This law even applies to people who aren’t employees of the establishment they are currently in, such as patrons at a bar. They may not work there, but other people do and so they cannot smoke in the bar.

    Employers can allow smoking in certain rooms of their building if they ventilate it properly. This means pumping the air in the room directly outside, so as not to harm non-smoking employees. The ventilation system has to meet set state standards.

    Hotels, and other places that host transient lodging, do have some exemptions to this law. Hotels are allowed to permit smoking in up to 65% of their rooms. Up to 25% of the hotel lobby can permit smoking as well. Smoking can be allowed in meeting and banquet halls as long as no food is present in the room.

    A general rule of thumb with smoking is that if a nonsmoker is present in an area, then a smoker shouldn’t light up there. This is because nonsmokers have very little to protect themselves from secondhand smoke. This is why the state of California has adopted such strict laws.

    If a person is caught smoking in a non-smoking area, they will face a $100 fine for a first-time offense, $200 for a second offense within a year, and $500 for a third or subsequent offense within a year.

    Cities and counties are also permitted to ban smoking completely within their limits. Smokers should be aware of local smoking ordinances in their city to ensure they don’t get into trouble.

    Don’t Litter with Cigarette Butts

    Something else for smokers to consider is what they do with their cigarette butts. Despite popular beliefs that cigarette butts are just harmless bits of paper and cotton, they are very harmful to the environment. They contain thousands of chemicals within them, which is why they are considered toxic waste.

    Throwing away cigarette butts on the ground is illegal here in California under Penal Code (PC) 374. This law makes it illegal to dump waste matter anywhere that isn’t a designated dump. Areas included in this description are:

    • Public and private roads.
    • Private property.
    • Public parks.

    The law specifically lists all forms of cigarettes and cigars as types of waste.

    If a person is caught tossing their cigarette butt onto the ground, they can face infraction charges of illegal dumping. The consequences for this crime are:

    • A fine of $250 to $1,000 for a first-time offense.
    • A fine of $500 to $1,500 for a second-time offense.
    • A fine of $750 to $3,000 for any subsequent offenses.

    Be Careful Where You Light Up

    Smoking is very unhealthy and a majority of the population chooses not to smoke. As such, they have the right to not breathe in harmful secondhand smoke. This is why smoking is so heavily restricted across the state of California. If a person chooses to smoke, then they need to be aware of both state and local laws. If they aren’t, they could easily earn themselves some nice fines for lighting up in the wrong area or disposing of the cigarette butt on the ground.

    What are your thoughts on smoking, and California’s laws against smoking? Should smokers be allowed to light up wherever they want, or do you think there should be more restrictions? What about the penalties for smoking in non-smoking areas, are they fair, or should they be re-adjusted? Let us know what you think in the comments down below.

    What Counts as Looting in California?

    What Counts as Looting in California?

    Whenever an emergency strikes, people are bound to panic. This is only natural as systems that people have been able to rely on for their day to day lives begin to shut down. This is exactly what is happening as the COVID-19, Corona, Virus pandemic spreads across the world. In response to this virus, many non-essential systems have been shut down to reduce the spread of the disease.

    Combine this with the fact that thousands, if not millions, of people have been panic stockpiling all kinds of resources, making it harder for everyone to get even the essentials, a lot of people are scared. For most people, this just means staying at home and avoiding going into public, which is what everyone should be doing anyway.

    Unfortunately, there are people out there that see the deserted shopping centers and decide to use that to their advantage. These people figure that if no one is around to stop them, they can do whatever they want without fear of repercussion. However, that is not the case. Law enforcement agencies are still operating and enforcing the law. If they catch anyone looting, there will be consequences.

    California’s Different Looting Laws

    California state law defines the act of looting as someone committing second-degree burglary within a county or area that is currently experiencing a state of emergency due to natural or manmade disasters. This definition does include the national emergency called in response to the Corona Virus.
    The following laws can all be considered looting under California law:

    • Penal Code (PC) 459 Burglary
    • PC 484 Petty Theft
    • PC 487 Grand Theft

    Burglary is defined as the act of entering a house or any other building with the intent of committing larceny. In other words, burglary is the act of going into a building to steal something. First-degree burglary occurs when a person enters a residential building. Second-degree burglary occurs when a person enters a commercial building.

    Petty theft is defined as wrongfully taking someone else’s property that is valued at less than $950. Grand theft is the same, except the value of the items exceeds $950.

    The difference between burglary and theft is that burglary is entering a place with the intent to steal something. Theft is the actual act of stealing something. This means that a person may not be charged with theft if they try and fail to steal something, but they could still be charged with burglary for attempting to do so.

    The Penalties of Looting

    The penalties for looting are dependent on what particular crime the person committed. When it comes to burglary or grand theft, a person can either be charged with either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the facts of the case.

    Looting by burglary and looting grand theft have the same consequences. When the crimes are charged as misdemeanors, they come with:

    • Up to 1 year in county jail.
    • A max fine of $1,000.
    • Misdemeanor probation.
    • Up to 240 hours of community service.

    As a felonies, the crimes comes with:

    • 16 months, 2 years, or 3 years in county jail.
    • A max fine of $10,000.
    • Felony probation.
    • Up to 240 hours of community service.

    Petty theft looting is always a misdemeanor offense and comes with:

    • Up to 6 months in county jail.
    • A max fine of $1,000.
    • Misdemeanor probation.
    • Up to 80 hours of community service.

    Don’t Be a Looter

    Stealing is never a good idea. However, doing it during an emergency is especially horrible. People already have enough problems to deal with during an emergency, such as the spreading of a virus. They shouldn’t have to worry about people looting their homes and stores. This is why the act of looting is illegal, and it is taken very seriously.

    What are your thoughts on California’s looting laws and looters in general? Do you think the laws are enough of a deterrent or should the consequences be more severe?

    What Is Price Gouging?

    What Is Price Gouging?

    Anyone who knows about economics and the concept supply and demand knows that as demand goes up and supply struggles to keep up, prices can rise too. The more people want something, and the less of it there is, the more expensive that item becomes. This is something that a lot of people are experiencing as shortages of basic goods abound thanks to the panic caused by the COVID-19 (Corona) Virus.

    As people struggle to get basic necessities, some people are taking advantage of the shortage to make a quick buck. For instance, the prices of hand sanitizer and facemasks shot up by roughly 500% on eBay. Similar practices can be found pretty much everywhere due to the virus, and while some people may think it is okay, raising prices like this during an emergency is pretty frowned upon by most people.

    Is It Legal?

    Here in the state of California, the act of price gouging is made illegal under the Penal Code (PC) 396. Under this law, it is illegal for someone to unjustifiably raise the prices of basic goods and services by excessive amounts during a state of emergency. As far as the law is concerned, an excessive amount is 10% or more of a price increase during an emergency compared to the prices before the emergency was declared.

    The items that are protected from price gouging are mostly basic household items that families regularly need. Some of the items that are specifically listed under the law include:

    • Food and drink.
    • Pet food.
    • Toiletries.
    • Emergency supplies.
    • Diapers.
    • Batteries.
    • Radios.
    • Medical supplies.
    • Construction materials.
    • Oils and gasoline.

    Services that could be essential to recovering from a disaster are also protected from price gouging. Some of these services include:

    • Transportation.
    • Storage.
    • Towing.
    • Building repairs.
    • Hotel rates.

    Prices of these goods and services can legally be raised slightly to reflect shortages or an increase in the cost of labor during the emergency. In these instances, the seller or service provider will have to prove that the increased prices were necessary.
    The Consequences of Price Gouging

    PC 396 makes the act of price gouging a misdemeanor offense. Any seller or service provider who is caught price gouging their customers will face misdemeanor charges. The penalties for this crime are:

    • Up to 1 year in jail.
    • A max fine of $10,000.

    How to Deal with Price Gouging?

    Price gouging is monitored and enforced by the California Attorney General and local district attorneys. If a person suspects that they are dealing with price gouging, then they should report the incident to their local district attorney’s office or go to the California Attorney General’s website where there is a form that can be filled out online.

    During a state of emergency, such as a global pandemic, no one should have to deal with increased prices on necessary goods and services just so one bad person can make a quick buck. This is why price gouging is a crime here in the state of California.
    What are your thoughts on price gouging and California’s law against it? Is it a good idea to protect people during times of emergency? Is the punishment for the crime appropriate? Let us know what you think in the comments down below.

    The Top 20 Safest Cities in California

    The Top 20 Safest Cities in California

    Then people are looking to move, they always want to make sure that the place they are moving to is safe. Figuring out if a particular city is safe or not requires a lot of work, more than the average individual can do on their own, and that’s just for one city. If a person wants to compare the safety of multiple cities, they need to look at a professionally done study.

    How the List Was Created

    There are several different ways that cities can be ranked in safety. Each study conducts itself a little differently than others. However, they all typically have a few similarities. Every study will examine the violent and property crime statistics for each city. What differs is how much they weigh those crimes when calculating the city’s safety.

    SafeWise created its list by referencing The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program. UCR is a national program in which cities all over the country report their crime statistics. This gives SafeWise numbers to work with from 2017, which are the most recent numbers to date.

    To prevent smaller, outlying cities who can have drastically different crime statistics from skewing the data, SafeWise only looked at cities whose populations were over the state median. Basically, they only looked at cities that would be classified as medium or larger within the state.

    When ranking the cities, SafeWise chose to prioritize violent crime rates over property crime rates. This is because violent crimes can cause physical harm to people, and are therefore typically more concerning than property crimes, which only damage property. While both types of crimes are upsetting, violent crimes are obviously worse than property crimes.

    The study compared the violent crime rates per 1,000 people. If there was a tie between two cities with violent crimes, then they ranked the cities by their reported property crimes.

    The Top Safest Cities

    The top 20 safest cities in California according to SafeWise’s research are as follows:

    1. Danville, Violent Crimes .35 per 1,000, Property Crimes 7.83 per 1,000.
    2. Irvine, Violent Crimes .61 per 1,000, Property Crimes 13.16 per 1,000.
    3. Rancho Santa Margarita, Violent Crimes .65 per 1,000, Property Crimes 6.67 per 1,000.
    4. Yorba Linda, Violent Crimes .65 per 1,000, Property Crimes 10.36 per 1,000.
    5. Murrieta, Violent Crimes .71 per 1,000, Property Crimes 14 per 1,000.
    6. San Ramon, Violent Crimes .73 per 1,000, Property Crimes 10.48 per 1,000.
    7. Rancho Palos Verdes, Violent Crimes .78 per 1,000, Property Crimes 10.48 per 1,000.
    8. Folsom, Violent Crimes .82 per 1,000, Property Crimes 15.73 per 1,000.
    9. Laguna Niguel, Violent Crimes .82 per 1,000, Property Crimes 8.72 per 1,000.
    10. Aliso Viejo, Violent Crimes .85 per 1,000, Property Crimes 7.58 per 1,000.
    11. Chino Hills, Violent Crimes .88 per 1,000, Property Crimes 17.14 per 1,000.
    12. Eastvale, Violent Crimes .88 per 1,000, Property Crimes 21.13 per 1,000.
    13. Lincoln, Violent Crimes .92 per 1,000, Property Crimes 12.67 per 1,000.
    14. Diamond Bar, Violent Crimes 1 per 1,000, Property Crimes 18.30 per 1,000.
    15. Temecula, Violent Crimes 1.02 per 1,000, Property Crimes 22.69 per 1,000.
    16. Rocklin, Violent Crimes 1.04 per 1,000, Property Crimes 17.81 per 1,000.
    17. Mission Viejo, Violent Crimes 1.04 per 1,000, Property Crimes 10 per 1,000.
    18. Poway, Violent Crimes 1.15 per 1,000, Property Crimes 11.42 per 1,000.
    19. Pleasanton, Violent Crimes 1.17 per 1,000, Property Crimes 19.67 per 1,000.
    20. Sunnyvale, Violent Crimes 1.17 per 1,000, Property Crimes 17.31 per 1,000.

    Find a Safe Place to Call Home

    While this list isn’t the only one of its kind, it is one that allows a person to make a more informed decision while looking for a new home. That is all anyone wants. If a person wants to make a truly informed decisions, a person should look at multiple lists to get as much information as they can.

    By doing this, a person should be able to make a good choice and find a place to live where they can feel safe.