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Animal Abuse Now Illegal at the Federal Level

Animal Abuse Now Illegal at the Federal Level

 

W

inter hasn’t even officially arrived yet and already California is beginning to see winter weather. This means that all pet owners should get ready to really start taking care of their pets this winter. This is especially true for pets who spend a lot of time outdoors. Failing to do so can get a person into trouble for animal abuse here in California.

On top of that, a new law has been signed into effect at the federal level surrounding animal abuse. This means that if a person abuses an animal, they can face charges at both the state and federal level.

 The PACT Act

Surprisingly, there hasn’t been a federal law that prevents animal cruelty here in the United States until recently. The only thing that came close was the Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act that was signed into law back in 2010. That law only made it a crime to abuse an animal if the person filmed it. This law came about in response to a horrible internet trend where small animals were crushed by people stepping on them and then the videos were uploaded online.

This law had an unfortunate loophole that meant people who abused animals but didn’t film the act would not get into trouble, at least at the federal level. Luckily, many states have their own laws about animal abuse that likely covered the issue.

However, this has all changed thanks to a new law recently signed into effect. The Prevent Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act was passed through Congress and signed into law by President Trump. Under this new federal law, it is now illegal for a person to purposefully burn, crush, drown, suffocate, impale, or perform any other violent act that causes serious bodily injury to an animal.

If a person is caught breaking this law, they can face federal felony charges, fines, and up to 7 years in prison.

 Animal Abuse in California

Here in California, animal abuse is outlawed by Penal Code (PC) 597. PC 597 is what is known as a wobbler offense, this means it can either be charged as a misdemeanor or as a felony depending on the facts of the case and the person’s criminal record.

When charged as a misdemeanor, a person faces:

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

When charged as a felony, a person faces:

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

Some additional consequences for both levels of the charges can include:

  • Having the animal permanently removed from the abuser’s care.
  • Paying for the housing costs of the animal during the trial.
  • Completing counseling as a part of probation.
  • An extra year added to the sentence if the abuse involved a deadly weapon.

 Take Care of Animals

Animals are living creatures just like humans and they deserve the same care and respect as people. They also deserve the same protections, which is what this new federal law provides. Now, no matter where a person is in the United States, if they abuse an animal, they will face federal charges.

This law comes at a good time of year. With all of the cold weather of winter, pet owners need to take the proper precautions to keep their animal healthy and safe. Failing to do so can get them into legal trouble here in California, and maybe even at the federal level as well.

What do you think of the country’s new animal abuse law? Is it about time, or did we really need this law at all? Let us know what you think in the comments down below.

Reckless Driving in California

Reckless Driving in California

 

W ith the millions of people here in California driving every single day, it should come as no surprise that there thousands of car accidents daily. Sometimes the accidents couldn’t be avoided, and other times the accidents are caused by a person driving their vehicle in a dangerous fashion.

What many people fail to realize is that driving recklessly is actually a crime here in the state of California. It becomes even more of a crime when that reckless driving causes an accident and someone gets hurt. In order to keep people safe, and to avoid getting a ticket, drivers need to follow the rules of the road.

 California’s Reckless Driving Laws

Here in California, Vehicle Code (VC) 23103 is the law against reckless driving. This law prohibits a person from driving with wanton disregard for the safety of people and property. This is due to the fact that a person driving recklessly is more likely to cause an accident. That is something no one wants to deal with, so lawmakers tried to discourage that kind of behavior by making it illegal.

All sorts of different acts can be considered reckless driving, ranging from speeding and swerving through traffic, all the way down to eating or applying makeup while driving.

If someone else, other than the driver, is injured in an accident caused by reckless driving, then the driver will get into even more trouble. This is regardless if the reckless driver caused the accident. After all, the whole point of the law is to prevent that from happening in the first palace.

Aside from reckless driving being illegal, the act of recording reckless driving, or even just intending to record reckless driving, is illegal. This is done under VC 40008. This law makes it illegal to record reckless driving for commercial purposes.

 The Penalties for Reckless Driving

VC 23103 is a wobbler offense, meaning that when someone is accused of driving recklessly, they face either misdemeanor or felony charges. The severity of the charges depend on whether or not someone, other than the driver, was seriously hurt or if property was damaged.

If there were no injuries, than the driver faces misdemeanor charges that come with:

  • Up to 90 days in county jail.
  • A max fine of $1,000.
  • Misdemeanor probation.

If there were minor injuries to a third party, which can include a passenger in the driver’s vehicle, people in other vehicles, or a pedestrian, then the driver will face misdemeanor charges that come with:

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

If someone suffered any serious injuries, the driver can face either misdemeanor or felony charges. What the driver will face is dependent on how the prosecution goes after the case, or if the driver had a prior conviction for reckless driving, exhibition of speed, or DUI. If charged as a felony, the driver will face:

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

If someone is killed because of the reckless driving, then the driver could face vehicular manslaughter or even second-degree murder charges.

If a person is accused of breaking VC 40008 for recording reckless driving, they will face misdemeanor charges. This comes with:

  • Up to 6 months in county jail.
  • A max fine of $2,500.

However, if a minor was present in the vehicle at the time of the incident, the charges go up to:

  • Up to 1 year in county jail.
  • A max fine of $5,000.

 Drive Safely and Avoid a Ticket

Driving recklessly can be done in all sorts of ways, and it is always dangerous. That is why there is a law against reckless driving. Lawmakers didn’t want anyone to get hurt because a driver didn’t take the time to consider other people.

When driving from one place to another, a driver needs to consider everyone else that they are passing by on the road. Speeding, swerving across lanes, and distracted driving put not only the driver, but everyone else, at risk. One small mistake can lead to an accident with deadly consequences. If that happens, the driver will likely face harsher consequences than just driving recklessly.

What do you think of California’s reckless driving laws? Are they justified, or do their consequences need to be readjusted? Let us know what you think in the comments down below and remember to drive safely.

There for You Anywhere in California

There for You Anywhere in California

 

No one ever expects an arrest to occur, but a person can get arrested at anytime, anywhere. If someone you care about got arrested in the state of California, you can count on Riverside Bail Bonds. We are a statewide bail bond company that has helped thousands of Californians get their loved one’s released from jail over the years.

We have bail agents located all over the state of California. They work in local offices, or roam the areas in between offices. This ensures that we cover the entire state and will always be there to help you. No matter where you are, or where your loved one was arrested, we will be there for you.

On top of being able to help you anywhere in California, our bail agents are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This means that the moment you learn about the arrest, you can talk to a professional bail agent. Day or night, one of our agents will be ready and waiting to help you deal with your situation.

With their years of training and experience, our bail agents will be able to answer all of your questions. They can explain every part of the process for getting someone released from jail.

Some of the other services we provide for our clients include:

  • 20% Discount
  • Phone approvals
  • 0% Interest payment plans
  • No hidden fees
  • No collateral with working signer
  • Se habla Español

No matter where you are in California, you can count on Riverside Bail Bonds to be there. With our local agents scattered across the state, we will always be there for you, no matter the time. Our expert agents will be ready to answer your questions and help get your loved one out of jail today.

Ready to get started? Call (951) 684-4484 or click Chat With Us now for a free consultation.

What Is Own Recognizance Release?

What Is Own Recognizance Release?

There are so many different terms that can come up when dealing with bail. It can be a lot to take in all at once, especially while concerned for a loved one. Luckily for you, the professionals here at Riverside Bail Bonds in Rialto can answer your questions and explain any part of the bail process to you.

One term that can come up during the bail process is Own Recognizance (OR) release. When a person is OR released, they are released from jail without the need to post bail. All the person needs to do to get released is sign a paper saying that they agree to show up for all of their court dates. This is what most people would prefer to get, rather than posting bail, but it isn’t easy.

A judge decides if a person will need bail and how much it will be. In some instances, a judge may decide that a person can be trusted to return to court without needing to pay any bail. The judge comes to this decision by looking at the crime the person has been accused of, their criminal record, and a few other things.

While a person would prefer to not have to post bail to get out of jail, that decision is up to the case judge. Posting bail can be an affordable option if you come to Riverside Bail Bonds in Rialto for help. We work hard to make bail easy and affordable for all of our clients. We do this by providing the following for our clients:

  • 24/7 Bail bond service
  • 20% Discount
  • Phone approvals
  • 0% Interest payment plans
  • No hidden fees
  • No collateral with working signer
  • Se habla Español

If you need help getting someone out of jail, or understanding some aspect of bail, contact Riverside Bail Bonds in Rialto. With their years of training and experience, our agents can help you handle every aspect of bail here in California.

Are you ready to get started? Just call (951) 684-4484 or click Chat With Us now.

Parking in Front of a Fire Hydrant

Parking in Front of a Fire Hydrant

 

Any driver that lives in a city knows the hassle of finding a decent parking spot. This gets incredibly difficult in highly populated areas, such as cities, or even at popular spots in rural areas. If there is someplace that a lot of people want to go to, it is safe to assume that parking will be limited. This can make finding a parking spot very frustrating.

What can get even more frustrating is finding a clear spot on a curb and thinking everything is solved, only to realize there is a fire hydrant. In some instances, people will decide that they would rather park in front of the fire hydrant than look for another spot. After all, the curb is empty, and how often is the hydrant actually needed anyway?

Well, what these people may not realize, is that doing so is actually against the law here in California.

 California Law against Parking in Front of a Hydrant

Parking in front of a fire hydrant is illegal in the state of California under Vehicle Code (VC) 22514. Under this law, no one is allowed to stop or park along a curb within 15 feet of a fire hydrant.

However, there are a few exceptions to this. If a licensed driver is sitting in the front seat who can immediately move the vehicle if need be, they won’t receive a ticket. Cities can adopt local ordinances that reduce the range from 15 feet to 10 feet. Lastly, vehicles owned by, and clearly marked, by a fire department can park in front of hydrants.

While most fire hydrants are marked with signs or a red curb, not all hydrants are clearly marked, and they don’t need to be. It is the responsibility of the driver to see fire hydrants and know not to park in that specific area.

Parking in front of fire hydrants is illegal due to the fact that, while unlikely, they could be needed at any moment. If a fire breaks out nearby, the fire fighters will need that hydrant to combat the blaze and save lives and property.

 Penalties of Parking There

Parking in front of a fire hydrant isn’t a crime, so a driver won’t go to jail for doing so. However, it is still illegal and therefore a person can count on getting a ticket, amongst other things. The ticket will have some small fines, somewhere around $100.

In some instances, the vehicle can even end up getting towed. In which case, the owner of the vehicle will have to pay some fees to get their vehicle back.

Lastly, in the event that a fire breaks out and fire fighters need access to the hydrant, they are allowed to do what they need to in order to get to the hydrant. More often than not, this means breaking the windows of the vehicle to run the fire hose through. When this happens, the driver is left with repair bills and a ticket, because it is a safe bet to assume that law enforcement agents will notice the vehicle in front of the hydrant now.

 Don’t Park in Front of Fire Hydrants

Fire hydrants are emergency tools that are meant to help fight fires. While they aren’t needed all of the time, when they are needed, they are important. They can mean the difference between a building burning down or not. That is why it is illegal to obstruct them by parking in front of them with a vehicle.

While trying to find a good parking spot near popular areas can be very difficult, parking in front of a hydrant is never a good idea. It can very easily cost a person more money than it would have to just find another spot.

What do you think about California’s law about parking in front of hydrants? Is it a good law, or does it need to be adjusted? Let us know what you think in the comments down below.

What Counts as Distracted Driving?

What Counts as Distracted Driving?

 

Pretty much every driver out there is aware of that the fact they should not drive while distracted. Some of the worst culprits for causing distractions behind the wheel, are smart phones. These amazingly useful handheld devices allow a person to access the internet and everything held within it. Unfortunately, that is a very dangerous thing to do while driving.

Distracted driving can be deadly, which is why it is illegal here in California. Unfortunately, despite knowing this, many drivers are still very guilty of putting themselves at risk by driving while distracted. 

California’s Different Distracted Driving Laws

As far as California law is concerned, there are two different ways that a person can get into trouble for distracted driving. How a person is charged is dependent on what activity they were performing when they should have been focusing on the road in front of them.

California Vehicle Code (VC) 23123 is the state’s cellphone and handheld device use while driving law. This law makes it illegal for anyone to use a cellphone, or other handheld electronic device, for any reason while driving. However, there are a few exceptions to this law:

  • Drivers are allowed to use devices if they are setup for a hands-free mode.
  • Drivers are allowed to use phones while driving if they are calling 911.
  • Emergency services drivers are permitted to use cellphones while driving.
  • This law doesn’t apply to drivers driving on their own personal property.

VC 23124 is similar to the above law, but is directed at minors, anyone under the age of 18. This law states that any driver under the age of 18 is never allowed to use a cellphone or handheld device while driving, regardless if it is in a hands-free mode or not.

VC 23103 is the state’s law surrounding reckless driving. This law makes it illegal for a person to drive on any road or parking area with wanton disregard for the safety of people or property. Law enforcement officers can sometimes use this law as another way to charge a driver with distracted driving. While the state’s distracted driving law only mentions driving with cellphones, distracted driving can mean all sorts of different activities.

Some acts that can be distracting while driving include:

  • Applying makeup.
  • Changing clothes.
  • Eating.
  • Looking for something in the back seat.
  • Petting an animal.
  • Reading a book or newspaper.
  • Talking.
  • Watching a movie.

All of these activities detract from a driver’s focus on the road, thereby making them dangerous to do while behind the wheel.

 Penalties for Distracted Driving in California

The legal penalties a driver can face for distracted driving vary depending on the law they have been charged with and how severe the incident was. For instance, a person accused of VC23123 will only face infraction level charges. This means the driver won’t face any jail time, but will have to deal with a $20 ticket for a first time offense, and a $50 ticket for any subsequent offenses.

If a minor is caught breaking VC 23124, they will face the same fines as an adult would.

If someone is charged with VC 23103 for distracted driving, they will likely face misdemeanor charges, unless someone was injured. Misdemeanor charges for this law come with:

  • 5 to 90 days in county jail.
  • A max fine of $1,000.
  • 2 points on the driver’s record.

 The Dangers of Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is very dangerous. In fact, some studies have found that distracted driving is even more dangerous than driving while drunk. This seems to be due to the fact that drunk drivers are still trying to focus on the task of driving. Meanwhile, distracted drivers are only giving half of their attention to the task. This makes them much more likely to get into an accident, which could have very serious consequences.

On top of distracted driving being incredibly risky, it can also get a person into legal trouble. Who would want to get a ticket, or face possible jail time, just because they were eating or applying makeup behind the wheel of a vehicle? A driver needs to focus primarily on driving and getting to their destination safely.

What do you think of California’s different approaches to distracted driving? Are the laws and how they are applied fair, or do you think they need to be readjusted? Let us know what you think in the comments down below.

5 Commonly Ignored Driving Laws

5 Commonly Ignored Driving Laws

 

A

nyone who has ever driven knows that there are a lot of laws to follow while on the road. With so many different things to pay attention to, it can be hard to follow all of the rules 100% of the time. This is especially true when people witness others breaking certain laws and figure if those people can do it, so can they.

There are dozens of different driving laws that people break every single day. Some of the most common ones include the following:

 Speeding over the Limit

This one is obvious. People speed just about everywhere you go, but especially in California. In fact, it is not uncommon to come across sections of highway where the posted limit is 55 mph and yet every driver on the road is doing a minimum of 70 mph. Regardless, driving over the posted speed limit is illegal no matter how many other drivers do it.

 Stopping at Stop Signs

Some drivers see stop signs and somehow read them as “slow down a little” instead of “stop.” This in turn leads to numerous accidents. In addition to that, it can lead to a ticket for the driver. Failing to stop at a stop sign is an infraction level offense that comes with a small fine and a point on a driver’s record.

 Seatbelts Are Required

For a lot of people, buckling up when they get into a car is automatic. However, some people struggle with the idea of buckling up every single time they are in a vehicle. Being in a moving vehicle without a seatbelt is not only dangerous, but also illegal. This can earn a driver another infraction, and if they are driving a vehicle with someone under the age of 16 unbuckled in the car, they can face a separate citation for that as well.

 Distracted Driving Is Dangerous

Everyone is aware that driving while distracted by just about anything, but mainly smart phones, can be incredibly dangerous. Some studies have even found that distracted driving is more dangerous than driving while intoxicated or drunk. This is likely due to the fact that at least the drunk driver is trying to focus on the road, while the distracted driver is more concerned with sending a text, applying makeup, or eating. Despite this, and the fact that distracted driving is illegal, people do this every day. If a person doesn’t wind up in an accident, they could face a ticket with some small fines.

 Hit and Run

Whenever people mess up, they are afraid of the consequences. After all, nobody likes getting into trouble. Unfortunately, sometimes things happen and a person is in an accident. The worst thing they can do is leave the scene of the crime. If they do this, it no longer matters if they were responsible for the accident. They left the scene and could have even left someone injured and dying. That is horrible, which is why it is illegal for a driver to leave the scene of an accident that they were involved in without first administering any needed aid or leaving contact information. The consequences for doing so can vary depending on the severity of the accident.

 Keep These Laws in Mind While Driving

There are all sorts of laws that California drivers seem to forget about. Drivers need to remember these rules, not only to avoid an expensive ticket, since even the small fines are often a few hundred dollars, but to avoid ending up in a serious accident. Many of these laws were enacted to help keep people safe while driving. Failing to follow several of these could easily cost a person their life. Nobody wants that.

Are there any other California laws that you see drivers forgetting on a regular basis that are missing from this list? If so, share them below and help other drivers remember them.

California Car Theft Laws

California Car Theft Laws

 

C

ars are very expensive, but very useful to have. Owning a vehicle allows a person to go to work, run errands, and perform all sorts of other activities on their own schedule. They don’t have to rely on busses and other people to drive them around. It is very freeing to own a vehicle.

However, cars are not a cheap investment. They cost several thousands of dollars, which is why car owners try their best to take care of their investments. Unfortunately, there are people out there who would rather take someone else’s car than buy one themselves. Depending on how they take the car, they could get into all sorts of trouble.

 Different State Laws

Here in the state of California, there are all sorts of laws regarding car theft. The laws vary on how the car was stolen, and the intent behind the theft. Some of the big car theft laws include: grand theft auto, carjacking, and joyriding.

Grand theft auto is illegal in California under Penal Code (PC) 487 which is the state’s grand theft law. Grand theft auto is a sub-category of grand theft. PC 487 defines grand theft auto as the act of taking a car valued at over $950 from someone else without their permission and with the intent of depriving the owner of the vehicle, or scraping and selling the vehicle. If a person does this, then they are guilty of grand theft auto.

Carjacking is similar to grand theft, however it is its own unique crime. Under PC 215, carjacking is defined as forcefully taking a vehicle from the owner’s immediate presence. Basically, this means taking the car from a person as they are driving it, or getting into it. The person often uses force or fear to get the vehicle in these instances, making the crime more violent.

Joyriding is its own crime as well here in California. Vehicle Code (VC) 10851 defines joyriding as taking someone else’s car without their permission regardless if they intended to simply borrow the car, or keep it for themselves.

 Consequences of Car Theft

Depending on how a person stole the vehicle, determines which law they broke and therefor what consequences they face.

If a person breaks PC 487, they will likely face felony charges. While the crime is a wobbler here in California, which means it could be charged as a misdemeanor or felony, the crime is typically charged as a felony.

The penalties of felony grand theft auto are:

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

Since carjacking includes taking a vehicle through force or fear, it is considered a violent crime. This means that PC 215 comes with felony charges. The penalties for breaking this law include:

  • 3, 5, or 9 years in state prison.
  • A max fine of $10,000.

A person faces these punishments for each victim that was in the car at the time of the carjacking. In addition, there are other enhancements that can increase the penalties, such as whether or not one of the victims suffered great bodily injury or if the accused is a gang member.

Joyriding under VC 10851 is a wobbler offense. This means it can either be charged as a misdemeanor or as a felony. As a misdemeanor, the crime comes with the following consequences:

  • Up to 1 year in county jail.
  • A max fine of $5,000.

As a felony, a person faces the same max fine, but an increased jail stay of one of the following lengths:

  • 16 months.
  • 2 years.
  • 3 years.

If a person has prior joyriding convictions, or “borrowed” an emergency service vehicle such as a police car, firetruck, or ambulance, then they can face the following charges:

  • A max fine of $10,000.
  • 2, 3, or 4 years in county jail.

 Don’t Steal Cars in California

Cars are a pretty big deal to a lot of people, and as such, a person shouldn’t take them without permission. Stealing a car can get a person into a whole lot of trouble, especially if they do so in a violent manner. Depending on how a person stole a vehicle, what vehicle they took, and whether or not they have any priors, a person can very quickly find themselves in a heap of trouble.

What do you think of the state’s various car theft laws? Were you surprised there were so many variations? What about the consequences for each crime, are they reasonable, or do they some need adjusting? Let us know what you think in the comments down below.

Why Does a Person’s Bail Sometimes Change?

Why Does a Person’s Bail Sometimes Change?

 

Most people don’t deal with bail on a daily basis so it is often a foreign experience for them. Trying to rescue a loved one from jail can be intimidating and frustrating. What can make the whole thing more frustrating is when the price of a loved one’s bail suddenly changes. You were expecting to pay one price, and then suddenly the bail gets raised.

While this doesn’t happen all of the time, it can happen. Sometimes the bail amount goes down, though it can also go up. If the price goes down, you can breathe a sigh of relief. If it does increase, it can be very frustrating indeed.

Bail amounts can change after a person has gone to their first court hearing. This is due to the fact that the judge takes a closer look at the case and determines if the pre-assigned bail is accurate and acceptable for the crime. If the judges agrees with it, then there will be no change. However, the judge may determine that the bail should be raised or lowered.

When the bail price gets altered, the price of the bail bond will reflect that change. This is due to the fact that our bail bonds here at Riverside Bail Bonds cost 10% of the bail they are for. We know this can be frustrating, especially if the price change occurs while we’re setting up the bail bond. This is why you have to act fast when bailing someone out of jail.

We do everything that we can to make posting bail easier for our clients, including:

    • 24/7 Bail bond service
  • 20% Discount
  • Phone approvals
  • 0% Interest payment plans
  • No hidden fees
  • No collateral with working signer
  • Se habla Español

If you want to get your loved one out of jail at a cheap price, contact Riverside Bail Bonds right away. Our agents will work with you to get your loved out of jail as quickly as possible. This way we can avoid any unexpected bail changes and the headaches that come with them.

What are you waiting for? You can get started for free by calling (951) 684-4484 or click Chat With Us now.

How Long Do You Have to Post Bail?

How Long Do You Have to Post Bail?

 

The need for bail can arise without warning. As such, most people are not prepared to post their loved one’s bail. They need time to get enough money for the bail bond, but they are afraid they will miss the window to post bail entirely. Luckily for them, the time limit for posting bail is very forgiving.

While there is a time limit to posting bail, that limit is dependent on the length of the person’s trial period. You have until the court reaches a verdict on your loved one. After that point, a person can’t be bailed out. Once the court has decided whether your loved one is guilty or innocent, they either no longer need the bail or can no longer be bailed out because they are serving their sentence.

The one problem with waiting to post bail, is that the bail amount can change. Sometimes judges will alter the bail amount after they have reviewed the case. They may decide that the bail is too high and lower it. However, they are also just as likely to raise the bail amount, meaning it will cost more to bail out your loved one.

Most people prefer to get their loved ones out of jail quickly and reduce the amount of time they spend behind bars. Riverside Bail Bonds in Rialto helps with this. We provide personalized payment plans for all of our clients. This breaks up the cost of the bail bond and spreads it out over several months, making it more affordable from the get go.

Some of the other things we do to help our clients include:

  • 24/7 Bail bond service
  • 20% Discount
  • Phone approvals
  • 0% Interest payment plans
  • No hidden fees
  • No collateral with working signer
  • Se habla Español

Needing to post bail may come without warning, but it doesn’t have to be impossible to deal with. With help from Riverside Bail Bonds in Rialto, bailing someone out can be a quick and easy process. We will always be there to help you whenever you decide to bail out your loved one.

When you’re ready to post bail, call (951) 684-4484 or click Chat With Us now.

Animal Rescue Scam

Animal Rescue Scam

 

A lot of people out there love animals. This is why so many people own cats, dogs, and other critters. Typically, animal lovers will do whatever they can to help animals, especially those in need. It is a very admirable quality. Unfortunately, some bad people out there have figured out how to take advantage of that.

Scammers know that they can play with people’s heartstrings in order to steal money from them. They’ve figured out that by pretending to be from a local animal charity and giving some sob story about an animal, they can get people to give them money without much question.

 Animal Shelter Donation Scams

Thanks to advances in modern technology, scammers can get in touch with people through various different channels. They can get in touch with you through:

  • Email.
  • Social media.
  • Phone calls.

Typically what scammers do with this scam is post pictures of animals that are “at risk” of being put down. They will ask for money donations, typically cash, money transfers, or in rare cases gift cards, to save the animal. Many kind people will jump at the opportunity to save an animal and will give up the money without questions. This is what the scammer wants. They don’t want their victims to question or worry about where the money is going.

Scammers like cash, money transfers and gift cards because the money is hard to trace once it’s been handed over. This means that once a victim gives up some money, it is gone for good, and it never goes toward helping any animals.

 Tips for Dealing with Scams

One of the best tips for dealing with or avoiding scams is to never click links in emails. This is especially true when the email comes from an unknown email address. Some other tips include:

  • Be wary of anyone who contacts you asking for money.
  • Communicate with the charity directly, not through whatever means you were contacted.
  • Double check that the pictured animal actually exists and is in need of help.
  • Never wire transfer money ton an unknown recipient.
  • Real charities don’t get pushy with asking for donations.
  • Verify that the charity is legit.
  • Verify the email came from the official charity, not some random person.

 Penalties for Scamming in California

Scamming people for their hard earned money is illegal in California. There are several laws against the act, and which one a scammer will be charged with is dependent on the scam that was run and who the victims were. Due to this fact, a scammer can face either misdemeanor or felony charges.

Misdemeanor penalties for scamming will typically be:

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

Felony penalties for scamming can include:

  • A state prison sentence of varying lengths dependent on the actual crime.
  • A max fine of $10,000.
  • Formal probation.
  • A possible strike under California’s Three Strikes Law.

 Don’t Get Scammed Trying to do a Good Deed

No one wants to get scammed, especially when they are trying to help an animal in need. Unfortunately, there are bad people out there that love to get money the easy way. These scammers have figured out they can convince people to just give them money by pretending there is an animal in need.

Whenever a person contacts you asking for money that should send up red flags about the legitimacy of the charity. Don’t let yourself get scammed while trying to do a good deed.

Do you have any tips about avoiding scams like this? If so, share them in the comments below and help other people avoid this scam and others like it.

 

Halloween and DUI’s

Halloween and DUI’s

 

October is here and that means Halloween is only a few weeks away. For kids, this means getting ready for a massive candy score after trick-or-treating. Adults are often more concerned with what parties they will be attending that night. These can be a lot of fun, provided the person is responsible with their actions.

It’s no secret that there will be alcohol at these parties, and most adults will enjoy themselves. This alone isn’t a problem. The real problem arises when people who have been drinking decide that they are going to drive. Drunk driving is always a bad idea. It can get a person into a lot of trouble, and yet people break this law all of the time.

 DUI Is Illegal in California

It is illegal to get behind the wheel of vehicle while intoxicated, or high, in the state of California. The reason for this is that being drunk, or high, greatly reduces a person’s mental capacities. They have less control over their body movements and have slower reaction times.

All of this adds up to really bad driving. If something unexpected happens in front of a drunk driver, they will be less likely to react in time to avoid an accident. They also struggle to perform simple tasks such as driving in a straight line. Bottom line, all of this puts people in danger.

 Penalties of Driving While Drunk

The penalties for driving while drunk here in California depend on a few different factors. For starters, is this the driver’s first time breaking this law, or have they done this before? Also, was someone injured or even killed due to the driver’s actions. All of this plays a part in how the driver is punished for driving drunk.

For a first time offense, a person faces:

  • Up to 6 months in county jail.
  • A max fine of $1,000.
  • A 4 month driver’s license suspension or 6 months with an ignition interlocking device (IID).
  • 3 – 9 months of DUI school.

A second offense comes with:

  • Up to 1 year in county jail.
  • A max fine of $1,000.
  • A 2 year driver’s license suspension or 1 year with an IID.
  • 18 – 30 months of DUI school.

Third and subsequent offenses come with:

  • Up to 1 year in county jail.
  • A max fine of $1,000.
  • A 3 year driver’s license suspension or 2 years with an IID.
  • 30 months of DUI school.

If another person is injured due to the driver’s actions, then the driver can face either misdemeanor or felony charges. For a misdemeanor DUI with injury, the penalties are pretty much the same as a first time DUI offense, except the max fine is increased to $5,000. For felony DUI with injuries, the penalties are:

  • 16 months to 16 years in state prison.
  • A max fine of $5,000.
  • 1 year of driving with an IID.
  • 18 – 30 months of DUI school.

As one can see, the more often a person drives while drunk, or high, the worse the consequences become.

 Don’t Drive While Drunk

Driving while drunk is bad enough on any other day of the year, but becomes extra dangerous on Halloween. On this night, lots of kids are out and about trick-or-treating. This means that a drunk driver is more likely to get into an accident on this night, and that accident is more likely to involve children.

No sane person would want to risk getting into a car accident with children, so why take the chance? That is why anyone planning on drinking this Halloween should also plan a safe ride home. Assign a designated driver (DD) before going to the party, and make sure the DD knows they are the DD. In addition, getting a safe ride home is less than a phone call away nowadays with apps like Uber and Lyft. There is no reason for anyone to drive drunk.

A person can usually also count on a friend or family member to come pick them up too. While the loved one may not enjoy the call, it is arguably better than finding out someone was hurt because they decided to drive drunk rather than bug someone.

Let’s keep this Halloween safe and fun by not driving while drunk or high this year.