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California Labor Laws That Employees Should Know About

California Labor Laws That Employees Should Know About

M
ost people work their butts off to make the money that they do. They need it to pay for groceries, gas, bills, and anything else they might want to purchase. Money is a precious commodity that everyone is always trying to get more of. Some people get more money by working harder. Others get it by taking advantage of people.

Things can be particularly bad when it is an employer that is taking advantage of its employees. This can lead to employees getting paid less than what they are owed for the work they did. To prevent this from happening, the state of California has several different labor laws meant to protect employees from dishonest employers.

Bad Employers Do Exist

Some of the basics that California’s labor laws cover include minimum wage, overtime, and requiring employees to work off the clock. By putting stuff about these kinds of practices into law, the state of California has made it very difficult for employers to take advantage of hardworking employees.

There are plenty of bad employers out there who will overwork their employees and threaten to replace the person with someone else if they don’t like the working conditions. Other employers make sure that all of their employees are only considered part-time employees so that they do not have to provide certain benefits.

People are better off avoiding employers that are sneaky and shady like this, but since they are so common, California is very on top of labor laws.

California’s Minimum Wage

California is currently working on making it so that the minimum wage for workers in the state is $15 an hour by the year 2023. The current minimum wage for 2020 is $13 an hour for companies with 26 or more employees and $12 an hour for companies with 25 or fewer employees.

This state minimum wage overrides the federal minimum wage which is set at $7.25 an hour.

Employers cannot pay less than the state minimum wage to their employees except under specific circumstances, such as:

  • The person is an independent contractor.
  • The person is a student employee.
  • The person is a camp counselor.
  • The person is a participant in a national service program.
  • The person is mentally or physically handicapped and working for a non-profit or rehabilitation facility.
  • The person is an outside salesperson, someone who spends more than half of their working hours away from the employer’s place of business selling and obtaining items.

It is important to note that employers in California have to waiters and other employees who work for tips minimum wage. Employees also cannot agree to be paid less than minimum wage.

Overtime Laws

Some employers out there prefer to overwork their employees and never let them get a day off. This is why the state has strict overtime laws that list when exactly an employee needs to be paid for overtime. These instances are:

  • When the employee has worked more than 8 hours that day.
  • When the employee has worked more than 40 hours that week.
  • When the employee has worked more than 6 days that week.

When an employee meets any one of those requirements, their employer has to pay them overtime pay. Typically, in California, this is 1.5 times the employee’s regular hourly pay. So, if a minimum wage employee qualifies for overtime, then their employee needs to pay them $19.50 an hour for each hour of overtime the employee worked.

Overtime only applies to non-exempt employees, such as those who are paid a salary rather than hourly. Under California law, an employee can be considered exempt from overtime laws if they:

  • Spend more than half of their time working doing creative, intellectual, or managerial work.
  • Exercise discretion and independent judgment regularly when performing that work.
  • Earn a monthly salary that is at least double the state minimum wage for a 40-hour workweek.

If all three of those criteria are met, then the employee can be considered exempt and the employer does not have to pay them overtime.

What Is Hazard Pay

Hazard pay is an additional payment that an employer may agree to pay to their employee who is working a hazardous job. No law in California requires employers to pay their employees hazard pay. There isn’t even a law that defines what hazards can earn hazard pay.

The following conditions and jobs can be considered hazardous and worthy of hazard pay:

  • War zones.
  • Hostile locations.
  • Healthcare facilities.
  • Mining.
  • Construction.
  • Dangerous or extreme weather.

Since there is no law regulating it, hazard pay is an agreement between employer and employee. Typically, hazard pay is an extra percentage of the employee’s wage. For instance, if an employee regularly is paid $13 an hour, and their employer has agreed to pay them an extra 10% as hazard pay, then that person would make $14.30 an hour while working in hazardous conditions. If the employee qualifies for overtime while earning hazard pay, then they’d be paid time and a half based on the hazard pay rate ($14.30) instead of being paid off of their regular rate ($13). This means the overtime rate in this example would be $21.45 an hour.

Some companies have begun issuing hazard pay for people who are working jobs that put them at a greater risk of being exposed to the coronavirus.

Don’t Let an Employer Take Advantage of You

This is just a quick sample of some of the more basic labor laws. If a person is aware of these facts, they are less likely to be taken advantage of by their employer. This, in turn, means that they will be paid what they have earned without having to worry about their boss shorting them.

When everyone is paid a fair rate, and no one is taking advantage of anyone, employees tend to be a lot happier.

Do You Know What OR Release Means?

There are a lot of things about bail that the average individual doesn’t know about. Most people never expect that they will need to post bail at any point in their life. Unfortunately, thousands of people are arrested every single day in the state of California alone. This means that chances are, a person will find themselves in the unexpected position of needing to post a friend or family member’s bail.

As people start looking into bail, they are bound to run into terms that they don’t understand. There are all kinds of terms and phrases that are regularly used in the bail industry but rarely used outside of it. A perfect example of this would be OR Release. This is a phrase that can come up quite often when dealing with bail, and it is something that most people want, but what is it?

What Is OR Release?

After a person has been arrested, they will likely start hearing about being OR’ed and how it’s a good thing. Getting OR release is a very exciting thing for someone who was just arrested because it means that they don’t have to post bail but are still getting released from jail.

OR stands for Own Recognizance. When a person is released on their own recognizance, they are released from jail and must sign a contract stating that they will return to court for all of their court dates until the trial is over. This is a big deal because it means the person doesn’t have to pay anything to get out of jail, which is why people want to be OR’ed.

How Bail Normally Works

Getting approved for own recognizance release is not easy. A judge will look at the case and the arrested individual to decide what their bail amount will be. The judge looks at:

  • The person’s criminal record. The more crimes a person has committed in the past, the more likely they are to commit more crimes, which leads to a higher bail amount.
  • The crime they were accused of. Certain violent crimes are restricted from being granted bail since the people who committed them threaten the safety of the community. The worse the crime the person is accused of, the higher the bail amount.
  • The person’s ties to the community. If a person has a steady job or family in the area, they are less likely to run away. The less likely it is that someone will run, the lower their bail amount will be.

After considering all of these, the judge will decide a bail amount. The worst-case scenario is that the judge will determine that it is too risky to allow the person to be out of jail during the trial and will then deny bail altogether. The best-case scenario for the person is that they will be granted own recognizance release.

Do not attempt to speak with the jail or judge to try and convince them to lower the bail amount. Only a judge can alter a person’s bail amount and once they’ve made their decision, chances are they won’t change it.

Paying for Bail with a Bail Bond

What’s more likely is that the person will be assigned a bail amount. This will be the amount of money that a person has to pay in order. This money will need to be paid in full to the jail for the person to be released. At the end of the trial, this money will be returned to the person who paid it, minus some court fees.

If a person can’t afford to pay the full amount, then they will want to get a bail bond. At Riverside Bail Bonds in Moreno Valley, our bail bonds only cost 10% of the price of the bail. If someone’s bail is set at $20,000, then the bail bond will only cost $2,000. The bail bond can be paid off with a payment plan.

The biggest downside to this method of posting bail is that the money is not returned to the person at the end of the trial. This is due to the fact the person didn’t actually pay for the bail.
They paid the bail agent to pay for the bail, meaning they paid for the service. That service is considered complete once the person is released from jail.

Count on Riverside Bail Bonds in Moreno Valley

When it comes to the bail industry, there are a lot of regularly used terms that don’t see much usage outside of the industry. When dealing with the arrest of a loved one, most people hope that their loved one will be released on their own recognizance. However, people shouldn’t completely count on that. Most people aren’t granted OR release. Most people have to post bail.

If a person needs help with a bail bond, then they should contact Riverside Bail Bonds in Moreno Valley. Bail agents are available to provide their assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Whenever someone needs help with bail, they can count on Riverside Bail Bonds in Moreno Valley.

Why Can’t Minors Be Bailed Out of Jail?

Why Can’t Minors Be Bailed Out of Jail?

Bail is a confusing and unknown subject to a lot of people out there. Most people don’t think about one of their friends or family members getting arrested, so they don’t even consider how they would bail that person out. In most instances, this is just for adults. Many parents may not even consider the possibility of their child being arrested.

Unfortunately, sometimes kids do push the boundaries of the law too far and wind up in big trouble. This is when parents begin to freak out. What are they going to do? How do they help their child? No one wants someone that they care about to be stuck behind bars, and this is especially true when that someone is a child. However, can minors even be bailed out?

The Juvenile Court System

When minors get into trouble with the law, they do not face the same system that adults do. Instead of being booked into the system and placed into jail, more often than not minors are released back to the custody of their parents. As far as the state of California is concerned, the parents are the best authorities when it comes to punishing their children.

When a minor is arrested, they will have a court experience that is different than what adults face. There will be four different hearings that they will have to attend. Those hearings will be:

  • Detention hearing: Here the judge will determine if the minor will be held in custody or be released to his or her parents. In California, this must occur within 48 hours of the initial arrest to inform the minor why they were arrested.
  • Fitness Hearing: This will be used to determine if the case will be heard in juvenile court or an adult court. This is usually skipped in most cases as the accused crime was not severe enough to warrant this question to be asked.
  • Adjudication Hearing: This is the ‘trial’ portion of the case. It is held before a juvenile court judge.
  • Disposition Hearing: This is where the judge reveals his or her verdict on the case and the sentence if found guilty.

During the entirety of the trial process, minors are not bailable.

If a minor is found guilty of their accused crime, they will face consequences. However, these consequences will be different than what an adult would face. The main goal of penalties for minors is to prevent them from wanting to break the law again in the future.

Some of the common penalties that minors receive in California include:

  • Following a curfew.
  • Going to counseling.
  • Going to school.
  • Paying restitutions to the victim.
  • Performing community service.

Instead of being sent to jail, minors will be sent to places like:

  • A probation camp.
  • A foster or group home.
  • The California Division of Juvenile Justice.
  • Juvenile Hall.

After sentencing, juveniles must follow through their entire sentence, even if they turn 18.

When Are Minors Tried as Adults?

If a minor over the age of 14 is accused of certain, serious crimes, then they can be tried as an adult. Some examples of these severe crimes include, but are not limited to:

  • Rape.
  • First-degree murder.
  • Forcible sex offenses.

Other times when minors can be tried as adults include when the minor is 16 or older and has a history of being a delinquent or exhibited a high degree of criminal sophistication.

If a minor is tried as an adult, then they will have a trial by jury and will be eligible for bail, if the crime allows for it.

Minors Cannot Be Bailed Out.

Minors can’t be bailed out of jail, and the reason is that they aren’t usually held in jail since the preferred option is to leave the child under the supervision of their parents. Even if the minor is taken into custody, they aren’t sent to jail. While Juvenile Hall is often viewed as a jail for kids, it is nowhere near as bad as actual jail. Take into account that trials for minors are conducted faster than adult trials, which means minors held in custody won’t be held for long.

Our Family Will Help Your Family

Let Our Family Help Your Family

The most important thing in this world is family. This close group of people, whether related by blood, marriage, or bond, is a group of people that you would trust with your life. You know that if you ever need help, you can count on them to be there and vice versa. You support one another through thick and thin so if one of your loved ones gets arrested, you will help post their bail.

Having this kind of support group helps you get through anything, even the arrest of a loved one. You and your family will work together to get your loved one out of jail. Make sure that when you hire a bail agent, they share a similar resolve. Here at Riverside Bail Bonds in Arcilla, we are all about family so you can count on us.

Our company was founded in 1987 and ever since we have remained a family-owned company. Each bail agent here is a part of the family, and like your family, our family works together to help yours. Even though you may only talk to one bail agent, you can rest easy knowing that our entire team is working behind the scenes to help you.

As a family, we know how important it is for you to rescue your loved one from jail. This is why our bail agents are available 24/7 to ensure that you can get the help you need exactly when you need it. We know that the longer it takes topost bail the more time your loved one spends behind bars.

Some of the other benefits that we provide for our clients include:

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

You never want your family to suffer, so when you learn that one of your loved ones was arrested, you spring into action, and you are not alone. Riverside Bail Bonds in Arcilla will be by your side whenever you need us. You can count on our family to help you take care of yours.

Ready to talk to a bail agent? If so, call 951-684-4484 or click Chat With Us now for a free consultation.

Avoid Hidden Fees by Coming to Riverside Bail Bonds in Corona

Avoid Hidden Fees by Coming to Riverside Bail Bonds in Corona

Avoid Hidden Fees by Coming to Riverside Bail Bonds in Corona

For the most part, surprises are nice and enjoyable. However, there are some surprises out there that most people would rather avoid. A perfect example of this would be a friend or family member getting arrested. As if that wasn’t bad enough on its own, some bail bond companies make things worse by adding hidden fees into the mix to provide an extra surprise for their clients.

Hidden fees are a sneaky tactic used by bad bail bond companies to make more money off of their clients. These companies take advantage of people in need to make a quick and easy buck, which is why they need to be avoided. You need to be careful when picking a bail bond company to help you with your loved one’s arrest.

Here at Riverside Bail Bonds in Corona, we never use hidden fees. We prefer to be honest with our clients and are more concerned with actually helping them. Our bail agents will be able to tell you how much a bail bond will cost from the beginning and you will never have to worry about any hidden fees being tacked on to it.

Even at 10% the cost of the full bail price, we know that bail bonds can still be a bit pricey for people. This is why we provide all of our clients with personalized payment plans. These plans are designed with each client’s unique budget and situation in mind, which helps break up the cost of the bail bond into smaller, more manageable monthly payments.

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

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

If you need to bail a friend or family member out of jail, don’t get caught off guard with hidden fees. The best way to avoid these nasty surprises is by talking to one of the bail agents here at Riverside Bail Bonds in Corona. We never use hidden fees on any of our bonds.

For a free consultation at any time, just call 951-684-4484 or click Chat With Us now.

Don’t Get Caught Trespassing on California Beaches

Don’t Get Caught Trespassing on California Beaches

Pretty much everyone knows what trespassing is, however, there can be a bit of a gray area for people when it comes to certain locations. Some locations make sense, such as stores and restaurants. Some locations, on the other hand, seem impossible to close. How can you close a location that doesn’t have a ceiling, walls, or even fences? This is what many people wonder when they hear that parks are closed.

This is all the more prominent as people grapple with constant closures of places like these. A big talking point right now is the closure of state beaches, which is becoming more and more upsetting as the weather warms. People want to go and cool off with their favorite beach activities, but it isn’t safe to do so. What’s more, just because a place doesn’t have a fence, doesn’t mean it can’t be closed. Once a beach or any other type of park is closed, a person could face trespassing charges for entering that area.

California’s Trespassing Law

Here in California, trespassing is made illegal under Penal Code (PC) 602. This law defines the act of trespassing as a person willfully entering someone else’s property without permission, or remaining on the property after they’ve been instructed to leave.

Under this definition, there are two different scenarios in which a person can be guilty of trespassing. The first is the one that most people are familiar with. It occurs when a person sneaks onto property that they don’t have permission to be on. The second scenario occurs when a person initially had permission to be on a piece of property, but then the owner told the person to leave and the person remained on the property anyway.

Under this law, willfully entering or occupying a person’s property means the person knowing entered or remained on the property. This does not mean that they had to know they were breaking the law, just that they knew they were entering the property. If someone goes onto a closed beach with a bunch of beach gear, it is obvious that they meant to enter the closed property and will likely be found guilty of trespassing.

The Consequences of Trespassing

Since there are different types of trespassing, a person accused of the crime can face infraction, misdemeanor, or even felony charges. The exact type of charge is dependent on the facts of the case.

Most first-time trespassing offenses earn a person infraction charges that come with a $75 fine. A second offense on the same land sees the fine increase to $250. A third and any subsequent, offense on the same land will earn a person misdemeanor charges.

The penalties for misdemeanor trespassing include:

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

Felony trespassing only occurs when a person makes a credible threat against another individual and then, within 30 days of making that threat, is caught trespassing on the person’s property or place of work. While this doesn’t really apply to the closed park and beaches scenario, the consequences for this particular crime include:

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

Don’t Go to the Beach Yet

So far, 2020 has been off to a rocky start and these last few months have been tough on everyone. As the weather warms up, it is only natural that all Californians begin to daydream about laying out on a towel listening to the roaring waves of the ocean. Unfortunately, now isn’t the best time to be going anywhere that is crowded.

Most California beaches are closed and will likely remain that way for a while. Even though they may not look closed, people should stay away from them for the time being, or else they could end up facing trespassing charges.

What Can You Do While Out on Bail?

What Can You Do While Out on Bail?

When it comes to bail, people have a lot of questions. This is understandable since most people never expected that they would need to bail someone out of jail. Luckily the people here at Riverside Bail Bonds are here to help. We know everything about bail and will be more than happy to answer your questions on the subject.

One common question that we receive is: what are people allowed to do while out on bail? This is only natural since people want to know what they can and cannot do to avoid getting into more trouble. After all, the last thing anyone who was just bailed out wants is to be arrested once again.

Be on Your Best Behavior

When a person is released from jail, it is easy to understand that they are walking on thin ice. After all, they were just arrested. Being out of jail doesn’t mean they are out of trouble. They need to be on their best behavior or they risk being arrested once again and being in worse trouble.

So, what does a person have to do to stay out of that extra trouble?

First and foremost, a person needs to be on their best behavior while out on bail. They should not do anything that can get them into trouble with the law. Some obvious example of activities that a person shouldn’t do while out on bail includes:

  • Trespassing.
  • Disturbing the peace.
  • Shoplifting.
  • Drug possession.

Crimes like these may seem minor, but at a time when a person is meant to be showing how trustworthy and responsible they are, getting into any sort of legal trouble is a bad sign. It can cause the court, the person’s bail agent, and even the person’s loved ones to lose faith in the individual. If the person causes too much trouble, they could be re-arrested and chances are they won’t be granted bail again.

Can You Travel?

Each case is different from the other, and so the kind of restrictions one person may face will be different from the restrictions another person faces. When it comes to traveling while out on bail, it is best to limit those trips.

It is not uncommon for people who are out on bail to be faced with travel restrictions. The extent of the restrictions are dependent on the facts of the case. Some people may be limited to going from home to work and back. Others may be restricted to just their city, or maybe county. In most cases, people are prohibited from leaving the country.

If a person isn’t facing any travel restrictions and can go on trips, they need to ensure that none of their travels interfere with their court dates. A person’s trial needs to be their top priority and they should never take a trip over going to court. if they miss a date, then they could wind up back in jail.

Don’t Get Re-Arrested

When a person is out on bail, for the most part, they get to return to living their normal life. They can work and hang out with friends and family members. Being out on bail can make the whole trial process a lot easier for a person to endure. It even allows them to earn money and pay for their bail.

However, it is important to remember that being out on bail isn’t full freedom. Yes, the person is out of jail, but they are still on trial for whatever they were arrested for in the first place. Doing anything that could jeopardize that trial, or the loose freedom they have while out on bail is a very bad idea.

Can You Drive While High in California?

Can You Drive While High in California?

Four years ago in 2016, Californian voters chose to legalize the recreational use of marijuana by passing Proposition 64. After the passing of this Prop, the state worked on creating new laws to regulate marijuana usage. These laws were then enacted over the next few years to give people time to adjust and prepare. While the laws were enacted, they did cause some confusion due to the delayed-release.

Even though four years have gone by since the legalization of recreational marijuana usage, there is still a lot of confusion around the subject. While there are many bits of confusion, one that is particularly important to understand is when it is and when it isn’t okay to smoke marijuana. Just like when consuming alcohol or smoking a cigarette, there are times and places where marijuana usage is acceptable, and times when it can get a person into trouble.

Don’t Drive While High

The rules surrounding the recreational use of marijuana are very similar to the rules surrounding alcohol and/or smoking. Under these rules, a person can smoke or use marijuana anytime they would be able to consume alcohol, provided that smoking is allowed in that location. Knowing that one of the big points of these laws is understanding that a person cannot drive while high just like they cannot drive while intoxicated.

This comes as a surprise to a lot of people who never realized that they could get into legal trouble for driving with marijuana in their system. The fact of the matter is that the California Vehicle Code (VC) 23152(f) makes it illegal for a person to drive a motor vehicle while under the influence of any drugs. This includes marijuana.

Unlike with alcohol, there is no standard legal limit for drugs in a person’s system before they are guilty of driving under the influence of drugs. This means that if a person is found to have any amounts of a drug, such as marijuana, in their system, they will be charged with DUI here in California.

Since drugs can’t be detected on a breathalyzer, officers have to test for drugs differently. They can test a person for drugs by:

  • Conducting a field sobriety test (FST).
  • Taking the driver’s vitals.
  • Interviewing the driver.
  • Getting a urine or blood sample.

What Are the Penalties for Driving While High?

VC 23152(f) is what is known as a wobbler offense here in California. This means that it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or as a felony depending on the facts of the case. The factors that will be evaluated to determine how the offense is charged include:

  • Whether the driver has been convicted of DUI before.
  • Whether or not the DUI caused a crash.
  • Whether or not there were aggravating factors during the arrest.

Here in California, a first time DUI can come with:

  • Up to 6 months in jail.
  • A max fine of $1,000.
  • Up to 9 months of DUI school.
  • A driver’s license suspension for up to 10 months.

A third, or any subsequent, DUI offense can earn a person:

  • Up to 1 year in jail.
  • A max fine of $1,000.
  • Up to 30 months of DUI school.
  • Having their driver’s license revoked for 3 years.

DUI with an injury can come with:

  • Up to a year in jail.
  • A max fine of $5,000.
  • Restitution to the victims.
  • Up to 30 months of DUI school.
  • Having their driver’s license revoked for up to 3 years.

Lastly, felony DUI comes with:

  • 16 months, 2 years, or 3 years in state prison.
  • A max fine of $1,000.
  • Up to 30 months of DUI school.
  • Having their driver’s license revoked for up to 4 years.

Don’t Get a DUI

When a person consumes marijuana in some way, their mind stops working the way it normally would until the drug has passed through their system. If the person is at home and isn’t going anywhere, then this is fine. However, if the person gets behind the wheel of a vehicle, it can cause problems.

High drivers don’t drive in safe manners and don’t have great reaction times to sudden changes. This makes them more likely to get into an accident and hurt someone, which is why it is illegal to drive while high. If a person has smoked or ingested marijuana in any way, then they will need to find someone else to drive them or they will be charged with DUI.

Can Police Search My Vehicle without a Warrant?

Can Police Search My Vehicle without a Warrant?

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

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

When Is a Warrant Unnecessary?

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

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

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

They Need a Warrant

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

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

What Are the Littering Laws Here in California?

What Are the Littering Laws Here in California?

For the most part, people don’t think about littering too much. For some, it is a concept that never crosses their mind because they always throw stuff away in trash cans. For others, it is something they do without a second thought. They don’t even consider how it might affect other people.

Littering and illegal dumping not only make places look dirty and run down, but they can also create a health hazard. This is especially important to think about when dealing with a pandemic. After working so hard to convince people to shift toward reusable items, the spread of COVID-19 has led to a rise in single-use items such as masks and gloves.

Thankfully, most people are responsibly disposing of these items when they are done with them. However, there are a few people out there that still show no concern for just leaving items on the ground wherever they want.

California Penal Code 374

The act of littering is made illegal in the state of California under Penal Code (PC) 374. This section of the law is all about how people dispose of their waste products. The law even classifies what counts as waste products. Under this law, the following can be considered waste products, which means there are subject to littering and dumping laws.

Waste matter means any used, discarded, or leftover substances such as:

  • Cigarettes and cigars
  • Matches
  • Flaming or glowing materials
  • Garbage
  • Refuse
  • Paper
  • Containers and packaging
  • Construction materials
  • Carcasses of dead animals
  • Any nauseous or offensive matter
  • Any object that can cause injury
  • Any object that can create a traffic hazard

If a person leaves any of this kind of material anywhere other than a trash can, then they could be guilty of littering or illegal dumping.

Consequences of Littering and Dumping

The penalties for littering vary depending on how many times a person has been charged with the crime, but it will always be charged as an infraction. This means that it will only come with a small fine and no possibility of jail time.

A first time littering offense comes with lighter consequences than a third-time offense. A first time littering offense comes with a minimum fine of $100 and 8 hours of community service, which is typically picking up trash on the side of the road. Any third or subsequent offenses come with a minimum $750 fine and up to 24 hours of community service.

For many people, this may seem like a harsh overreaction for throwing a plastic bottle out of a car window. The problem is, that it wasn’t just one bottle. So many people here in California just toss garbage on the ground without a care. The large fine exists to try and prevent people from doing that. The community service helps show people just how bad the problem is.

How to Properly Remove Medical Gloves

This sounds a bit silly, but there is a proper way to remove gloves, especially when they might be contaminated with something like coronavirus. The idea of wearing gloves is to keep all of the pathogens on the outside of the glove and away from the hand on the inside. Wearing the gloves becomes pointless if a person doesn’t take them off properly and winds up touching the contaminated areas.

To properly take off gloves, grip the cuff of one glove with the opposite hand. Carefully pull the cuff out and down toward the fingers. The idea is to start to turn the glove inside out. Pull the glove until it is almost completely off of the fingers. From there, grab the inside out glove in the opposite hand and ball it up. Now with the ungloved hand, slip a finger under the cuff of the remaining glove and pull it out and down like the first one. If done properly, the second glove should be inside out with the first one contained inside of it.

When gloves are removed in this manner, a person limits how much they touch and safely keep the contaminated services of the gloves wrapped up. Now all that is left to do is to dispose of the gloves in a trash can, not on the ground.

Stay Safe and Healthy

Littering may not seem like a big deal, but it is. It becomes even worse during a pandemic when people are trying to stop the spread of disease. Just tossing used masks and gloves on the ground is not only bad for the environment, but it also increases the chances of a disease spreading to unsuspecting people.

If you want to stay safe and healthy during this pandemic, then be sure to wear gloves and masks when needed. When you are done with these items, be sure to properly dispose of them to decrease the chances of the disease spreading.

Not All Snitches Get Stitches

Not All Snitches Get Stitches

When people spend a lot of time together, they will inevitably upset one another. It is only natural. What is not okay is when someone upsets another person and then begin hurting them for it. While most people don’t stoop to this level, there are some people out there who do.

Thanks to the forced isolation, patience is running thin for people all over the place. This is especially problematic for people in abusive relationships. Living with an abuser can be bad enough in good times, but when in quarantine, things can get a whole lot worse.

It is always important for people to know what to do when they witness abuse, but now it is even more important.

You Are Not Alone

Domestic violence and abuse is not something that should be taken lightly. Hurting anyone is bad, but it is even worse when it is a loved one. It breaks a person’s trust and can harm them both physically and mentally.

People who are suffering from abuse caused by a loved one don’t have to stay in that relationship. Some people can help. There are hundreds of domestic violence services here in California. All of these services can help people getting out of bad relationships.

Another good place to look for help is at the National Domestic Violence Hotline’s website: https://www.thehotline.org/. This useful website provides people with the guidance and tools that they need to get safe if they want it. The website even has features that allow visitors to quickly leave the page and go to Google if they need to leave the website in a hurry.

Helping Loved Ones Deal with Abuse

While the choice to leave an abusive relationship is ultimately up to the person in the relationship, it can be nice for them to know they aren’t alone. If someone knows a person who they suspect is in an abusive relationship, the first thing they should do is talk to that person in a safe space away from the potential abuser. The person should let the potential victim know that they are worried about them. No matter what the potential victim says or decides to do, try to provide non-judgmental support.

The Hotline states that it can take, on average, 7 attempts for a victim to leave their abusive relationship for good. This can be hard for people to deal with when it is their loved one being abused. The Hotline reminds people that they cannot save someone from an abusive relationship unless the person wants to leave. If this is the case for a person and their loved one, the person should not lose hope or give up on their loved one. Instead, as long as it is safe to do so, the person should continue to provide love and support for their loved one. In time, that could be what helps someone leave an abusive relationship.

What to Do If You Witness Abuse in Public

If a person is out in public and they see someone being abused by another person, the first thing they need to consider is their own safety. They won’t be helping anyone if they get hurt too. It is important to remember that there is safety in numbers meaning that a group has a better chance of making an impact.

A witness could also contact the authorities and report the incident. They can even go the extra step of recording the incident to provide evidence to the police if the victim decides to press charges. As long as people are out in public, it is perfectly legal for a person to record them because they are not in a place where a person would reasonably expect privacy.

Remember, even if the incident is recorded, it is up to the victim on whether or not they want to press charges against their abuser.

Give Them Love and Support

Being in an abusive relationship is horrible. From the outside, it may be easy to see the problems and to make the decision to leave. However, from within, the victim might not be able to see any viable options for escape. They may not even want to escape.

Are You Being Safe Online?

Are You Being Safe Online?

In the modern age, people are always being reminded of different ways to be safe while traversing the internet. A person never knows what they will run into online, or what private information they may be risking. While the majority of the most popular websites are safe and secure, every once in awhile someone manages to hack their way through the safety features.

As more and more people are forced into working or going to school from home, more people are on the internet for longer periods. With so much more free time on their hands and so many more targets, hackers are hard at work trying to find ways to mess with people. One form of trolling that is gaining popularity is referred to as zoombombing and it is greatly disrupting ongoing efforts to educate people during this pandemic.

What Is Zoombombing?

Zoombombing is the act of hacking into a private meeting and then disrupting said meeting with:

      Racist remarks
      Pornographic imagery
      Threatening violence

This is a very big problem for anyone trying to host private virtual meetings for work or school. The act gets its name because it largely happened on the video conferencing app Zoom.

The app’s popularity and usage skyrocketed in recent months as more and more people were placed on lockdown. The app provided a free way for people to conduct meetings for work and school.

There have been several incidents where a class is being held through the app and then someone gets in who shouldn’t have. They begin to spout inappropriate comments, share pornographic images, or even begin to expose their genitals for the entire class to see. Understandably, many users are very upset over this and several of the incidents have been reported to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Both the FBI and Zoom have issued statements on the matter and are looking into things. Zoom offered some tips on how to keep their video calls secure.

How to Stay Safe Online

When it comes to something getting hacked, oftentimes it is because someone got a bit careless. One of the biggest problems is that people are either unaware of certain security features available on the app, or are simply forgetting to use them.

Many people assume they won’t get hacked simply because they’ve never been hacked before. This leads to them not taking the proper steps to secure something, which in turn makes it easier for someone else to hack into it.

Some of the basic features that zoom recommends its users take advantage of include:

  • Requiring a password to join a meeting. This makes it that much harder for someone to get into the meeting, especially if the password is a good one, not something simple like password or 1234.
  • Using a waiting room to screen who is trying to join the meeting. This way, anytime someone tries to join the meeting, they are placed in a separate room where they can’t interact with anyone until they are granted permission.
  • Set the meeting to private. This makes it so that only people who know about the meeting or know the host can find it online.
  • Don’t share the link to the meeting on any public forums or social media accounts. Even if an account is set to private, hackers can still stumble across it and begin attempting to gain access to the meeting.
  • Limit screen sharing to just the host. Doing this prevents anyone else from sharing images on their screen with others unless granted permission.

These are just some basic precautions that people can take when setting up online meetings to ensure that only the people they want in can gain access.

Keep the Meeting Secure

These are unprecedented times for a whole lot of people. While some people have been working and going to school online for years, not everyone has experienced it before. It is only natural that some people aren’t aware of all of the different safety features that are available to help keep their video calls private.

Hopefully, with more awareness of the problems, people will be able to take the proper precautions to keep their meetings private and prevent hackers from gaining access. This way, no one, especially minors, has to be exposed to any hate speech or sexually explicit material.

What are your thoughts on video conferences? Are they great alternatives to being together in person, or do you miss seeing everyone face to face? Are you taking the proper steps to keep your meetings secure?