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What Happens if You Wrongfully Park in a Handicapped Spot?

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

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

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

Disabled Parking Spots

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

Other places where vehicles with disabled passengers can park include:

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

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

Misusing Handicapped Parking Spots

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

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

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

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

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

Penalties for Wrongfully Parking in a Handicapped Spot

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

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

When charged as a misdemeanor, a person will face:

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

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

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

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

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

The California Crime of Larceny

It is no secret that legalese, the language of legal documents commonly spoken by lawyers, is pretty complicated for normal people to understand. This is due to the “language’s” thorough nature. In its attempts to explain every technical point, the language drags on and makes things more complicated. Combine that with the fact that legalese often has its terms for common things that aren’t used by most people, and it is easy to see where the confusion comes from.

A perfect example of this is the term larceny. People have typically heard of this crime before, but they may not know what the crime is. It turns out that larceny is just a more official and technical term for a crime that everyone is familiar with.

What Is Larceny?

A crime that people may have heard of, but do not know exactly what it entails, is larceny. Hearing this crime can make people wonder what exactly a person has to do to be charged with larceny. However, everyone is aware of what this crime is, they just use a different name. Larceny is just a fancy name for stealing and would fall under the broad category of theft.

The distinction between larceny and theft does vary from state to state. Some states and jurisdictions view the two terms as synonymous while others classify them differently.

Here in California, larceny occurs when someone physically steals another person’s tangible property. The legal definition is that a person took possession of property owned by somebody else, when they didn’t have permission to do so, with the intent to permanently or temporarily deprive the owner of the property.

Theft can be committed in several different ways. Some other forms of theft, that don’t involve larceny, include theft by false pretense. This occurs when a person lies to another individual to get them to hand something over.

There is also theft by trick, which is similar to theft by false pretense. The distinct difference is that with theft by false pretense, the victim lets the person have both possession and ownership of the property in question. With theft by trick, the victim only ever let the other person have possession of the property, they never intended for the person to have ownership.

Lastly, there is theft by embezzlement. This occurs when a property is entrusted to someone, and the person then abuses that trust for their fraudulent gain. Even if the person intends to return the property, they can still be guilty of theft by embezzlement.

Hopefully, this helps differentiate between all of the different types of theft.

What Are the Penalties for Larceny?

Since larceny is so closely tied to theft, it faces the penalties for theft under Penal Code (PC) 487 and PC 488. PC 487 lays out the consequences for grand theft, and PC 488 is all about petty theft. The difference between the two crimes is the dollar amount of the stolen goods. If a person steals less than $950, they will face petty theft charges. If they steal over $950, then they will be charged with grand theft.

Petty theft is always a misdemeanor offense and comes with:

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

Grand theft is a wobbler offense, meaning that it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. How it is charged depends on the facts of the case. As a misdemeanor, the charges come with:

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

When charged as a felony, grand theft comes with:

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

Larceny Is Theft

Often, reading legalese can be very annoying. The words used to describe something are often rarely use, or seemingly overly complex. The structured language of the law can make even the simplest of crimes sound foreign and unheard of. This is the case when it comes to larceny. For some reason, larceny sounds so much worse than theft.

Despite how it sounds, larceny is viewed as a specific type of theft here in California. The kind of penalties that a person will face when charged with larceny will depend on the value of the stolen items. The best way to avoid those consequences is to not commit any type of theft or larceny.

Is There a Difference between These 3 Crimes?

When it comes to legal stuff, there is a lot that the general public doesn’t know, and it’s understandable. Anyone who has ever tried to read a law before has come face to face with the seemingly cryptic language known as legalese. That stuff is not easy to understand and so it’s only natural that people don’t have a perfect understanding of the thousands of laws in existence here in California.

A common misconception is that theft, burglary, and robbery are all the same crime. However, they are not. The law views each one differently. Each crime has specific circumstances tied to it that helps distinguish it from the others.

What Is Theft in California?

Theft is defined under California Penal Code (PC) 484 as the wrongful taking of someone else’s property. This can be done in a number of ways, such as taking an item, or money, when no one is looking or lying to get someone to hand over an item or money.

This crime is broken up into two categories, petty and grand. Which category a person falls into depends on the monetary value of what was stolen. If the monetary value of the stolen goods is under $950, then the thief will be charged with petty theft. If the monetary value is over $950, then the person will face grand theft charges.

The consequences for theft are dependent on which version a person has been accused of. For petty theft, a person faces misdemeanor charges that come with:

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

If the person has been charged with grand theft, they can be charged with either a misdemeanor or a felony. As a misdemeanor, a person faces:

  • Up to 1 year in county jail.
  • A max fine of $1,000.
  • If grand theft is charged as a felony, a person faces:

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

      Burglary is defined by PC 459 as entering a structure or vehicle with the intent of committing a crime. As far as this law is concerned, a person is guilty as soon as they enter the building or vehicle, regardless if they actually stole anything after that. All this law is concerned with is entering a place with the intent of committing a crime.

      As with theft, burglary is also broken down into two categories: first- and second-degree burglary. First-degree burglary occurs when a person burglarizes a residence. Second-degree burglary occurs when a person burglarizes a commercial building.

      This law is a wobbler, meaning that it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. How it is charged depends on the facts of the case. First-degree burglary is always charged as a felony and comes with:

      • 2, 4, or 6 years in state prison.
      • A max fine of $10,000.
      • Felony probation.

      Second-degree burglary can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. As a felony it carries the following consequences:

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

      When charged as a felony, the crime comes with:

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

      What Is Robbery?

      In California, the crime of robbery is defined under PC 211 as taking something from someone’s immediate presence against their will through the use of force or fear. Basically, this means that a person took something from someone by force. An example of this crime would be using a gun to take a woman’s purse from them.

      Again, as with the other 2 crimes, robbery can be broken down into two categories: first- and second-degree robbery. First-degree robbery occurs when one of the following is true about the case:

      • The victim was driving some sort of motor vehicle.
      • The crime took place in some sort of residence.
      • The victim had just visited an ATM.

      Second-degree robbery occurs when a robbery doesn’t meet any of the above qualifications.

      First-degree robbery is a felony that comes with:

      • 3, 4, or 6 years in state prison.
      • A max fine of $10,000.
      • Felony probation.

      Second-degree robbery is also a felony, and it comes with:

      • 2, 3, or 5 years in state prison.
      • A max fine of $10,000.
      • Felony probation.

      They Are Different

      When written out in plain English, it is easy to see the differences between these crimes. Theft is stealing something, robbery is forcibly stealing something from a person’s immediate possession, and burglary is entering a structure with the intent of committing a crime. Burglary doesn’t have anything to do with stealing at all.

      The consequences that a person faces depends on which crime the person has been accused of. Theft has much lighter consequences than robbery does due to the nature of the two crimes. Robbery is inherently more violent and threatening. Meanwhile, burglary consequences can be a bit light, but that is likely due to the fact that a person will probably face other charges on top of the burglary charge.

      The bottom line is, even though the general public views these terms as synonymous, they are actually distinctly different.

What Is Criminal Conspiracy?

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

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

What Is Penal Code 182?

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

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

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

The Penalties for Criminal Conspiracy

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

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

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

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

The Difference between a Joke and the Real Deal

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

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

US Counterfeiting Laws

Money is a very precious resource that everyone spends a lot of time trying to get. After all, this is why everyone goes to work five days a week. It is safe to assume that if people weren’t getting paid, then they wouldn’t go to work. That being said, money isn’t easy to get, but everyone needs it to pay bills, purchase food, and hopefully have some leftover for something fun.

Since money can be so difficult to earn, some people try to take shortcuts in order to get more for themselves. One particular way that they do this is by making their own money. This seems like such a simple thing, a person printing their own money, but as many correctly assumed, it is very illegal.

Why Counterfeiting Is Bad

The idea of simply making more money so everyone can have enough sounds like a simple solution to poverty, however, it is not that simple. Basic economics shows that the more of something there is, the less valuable it is. This is why dirt is considered worthless, because it is available everywhere, while diamonds are so valuable.

The same holds true for money. The more bills that the US Treasury prints, the less valuable they become. This devaluing is why the US Treasury only prints so much money. This is also why it is illegal for someone other than the US Treasury to print US money.

US Law On Counterfeiting

The crime of money counterfeiting is made illegal under 18 US Code § 471. This law states that anyone who intentionally makes, forges, counterfeits, or alters any obligation or security of the United States is guilty of counterfeiting. In this description, security is used to mean money. It, combined with obligation, also has the added benefit of including other valuable pieces of paper, including:

  • Treasury bills,
  • Federal Reserve notes,
  • Bonds,
  • Other financial instruments issued by the federal government.

This law makes it illegal to not only make counterfeit money but to knowingly use counterfeit money as well. If a person gets a counterfeit bill and tries to use it to purchase something or make a deposit in a bank, they can be charged with counterfeiting.

It is important to note that a person is only guilty of counterfeiting when trying to use a counterfeit bill if they know it is counterfeit. If a person unknowingly used the bill to try and but something because they themselves, thought it was real, they are not guilty. This is due to the fact that they did not intentionally try to defraud anyone.

The Penalties for Counterfeiting Money

Counterfeiting money is a very big deal and as such, the crime comes with some harsh consequences. Counterfeiting is a felony offense under federal law. If a person is charged with counterfeiting, they will face:

  • Up to 25 years in federal prison.
  • A max fine of $250,000.

If someone else, other than the person accused of counterfeiting, gains or loses money, then the defendant will face harsher consequences. This can include fines that are up to double the amount of financial gain or loss.

Don’t Print Your Own Money

Even though the thought of a person printing their own money may seem harmless, it is very illegal due to how it can devalue the money already in circulation. The US Treasury is in charge of printing all US money in order to help control its value. Anyone who tries to cheat their way into getting more money through counterfeiting is just causing problems.

Anyone caught printing counterfeit bills, or any other forms of US securities or obligations will face harsh criminal charges.

Transporting Marijuana in California

 Transporting Marijuana in California
Transporting Marijuana in California

Nearly four years ago, Californians voted to legalize the recreational use of marijuana in the state. That law went into effect in 2018 and as such, there is still some confusion about what is and isn’t legal when it comes to marijuana in the state of California. People are still unsure about what can and cannot get them into trouble when it comes to the drug.

While the drug is legalized for recreational use, it is heavily regulated. If a person doesn’t follow the rules and laws, then they can find themselves in some serious trouble even though they thought they were doing something legal. A big thing that people need to worry about when dealing with marijuana is transporting it.

Transporting and DUI

A big issue with transporting marijuana is the potential for DUI. A person is guilty of DUI if they drive a motor vehicle with drugs or alcohol in their system. This does include driving while high on marijuana.

As such, legal marijuana is subject to the same types of laws as alcohol. This means a driver cannot have an open container of marijuana in their vehicle. Marijuana also needs to be transported in the storage compartment of the vehicle, just like alcohol. Basically, if a person couldn’t expect to do something with alcohol in a vehicle, then they can’t do it with marijuana either.

A person caught driving high will face standard DUI charges.

Marijuana Possession and Transport Laws

When it comes to transporting the drug or someone keeping it on their person, they need to be careful. A person is only allowed to have so much marijuana in their possession at a time. If they have more than that legal amount, then they could face simple possession charges.

As far as California law is concerned, a person over the age of 21 can only have up to 28.5 grams of marijuana, or up to 4 grams of concentrated cannabis, on them at a time. A person having any more than that in their possession at one time is illegal here in California. Having possession of the substance doesn’t just include the person holding the item. It can also include:

  • Being in a person’s home.
  • Being in a person’s car.

The person doesn’t have to actively be holding something to have possession of it, they just need to have the marijuana in a place where they have control. Under this definition, a person can get into trouble with the law if they legally buy more than 28.5 grams of marijuana from a licensed dispensary.

The only time a person can carry or transport more than the personal legal limit is when they are intending to sell it. The only time a person can legally sell marijuana in the state of California is when they have a license to do so.

Penalties for Having Too Much Marijuana

When a person possesses more than the legal amount of marijuana, they can face possession charges under Health and Safety Code (HS) 11357. This law dictates how much marijuana a person can have in their possession at any given time and where they are allowed to have.

Breaking this law is typically a misdemeanor offense that comes with:

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

The charges are reduced to infractions if the person is under the age of 18.

Transporting marijuana with the intent to sell it without a license is illegal under HS 11360. The consequences for breaking this law are typically misdemeanor charges that come with:

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

The charges can be upped to felony charges if a person has certain prior convictions that include:

  • Certain serious violent felonies.
  • More than 2 prior convictions of HS 11360.
  • The defendant knowingly attempted to sell marijuana to a minor.
  • Defendants who transported more than the personal legal limit of marijuana into California.

Transporting Marijuana across State Lines

As far as federal law is concerned, marijuana is still a schedule 1 hallucinogenic drug, making it very illegal. This means that even if a person follows all of the rules and regulations presented by the California government, they could still get into trouble at the federal level.

Transporting even legal amounts of marijuana can become a problem when a person tries to cross state lines or get onto a plane. As far as airports are concerned, once a person goes through TSA security checkpoints, they are on federal grounds. Federal law takes precedent over state law, which means a person can get into trouble for having any amount of marijuana on them. People should leave their marijuana at home if they plan on flying anywhere.

When crossing state borders, it is important to remember that not all states have legalized marijuana. Many still have the same rules and restrictions as set forth by the federal government. This means that getting caught bringing drugs into another state could have very disastrous consequences depending on the state.

Don’t Get Into Trouble with Marijuana

There is still a lot of confusion surrounding the recreational use of marijuana here in California. Part of this is due to the relative newness of the laws. Another part is due to the varying views on the drug across the country.

When looking at marijuana, a person is better off treating it the same way they would alcohol and cigarettes since it faces many of the same restrictions. It is also better to keep the marijuana here in California and not try to take it across state lines or into federally controlled areas, such as airports. As long as a person can do those things, they shouldn’t run into any trouble with the law.

What Happens If a Person Misses a Bail Payment?

What Happens If a Person Misses a Bail Payment?

Most people have a lot of questions and concerns when it comes to dealing with bail. This is largely because most people don’t know a whole lot about bail in the first place. After all, they never expected to need bail. Still, that doesn’t mean that someone they know will never get arrested. In California alone, thousands of people are arrested every single day.

One of the big concerns that people have when dealing with bail, is what happens when they miss a payment or miss a court date? Everyone understands that missing either one of those would not be good, but they aren’t sure exactly how bad it is. Does it lead to harsh consequences, or does the person just receive a slap on the wrist?

There Is a Contract

When a person posts bail with a bail bond, they sign an agreement with the bail agent. By signing the contract, the person is promising to go to all of their court dates. They are also agreeing to pay off the money they owe for the bail bond. Breaking a contract does have repercussions.

Just like with any other contract, once a person has signed it, they are expected to keep to their word. This means that there can be very harsh consequences if a person misses a payment or a court date. However, before anyone starts to panic, things aren’t always horrible if a person truly misses a payment or court date.

Was It an Accident?

The consequences of missing either a payment or a court date are largely dependent on why they were missed. For instance, at Riverside Bail Bonds, if it was a genuine accident that led to something being missed, and the client responsibly contacts their bail agent as soon as they realize the mistake, then things don’t have to be so severe.

At Riverside Bail Bonds, we understand that life is messy and things that were once certain can become uncertain very quickly. Maybe something happened that made the once manageable payments difficult. When it comes to missed payments, we can work with clients to re-evaluate their payment plan.

If a person missed their court date because they were held up in traffic, or they forgot, they need to talk to their bail agent right away. When someone misses their court date, the court can consider the bail forfeit and the bail agent will begin trying to get into touch with the person. As long as the agent can get in touch with the person, they can help them set up a new court date.

Both of these outcomes are only available if the person talks with their bail agent immediately.

The Person Ran

If the person purposefully missed a payment or court date because they are running, then things will proceed differently. First, whenever something is missed, the bail agent will immediately begin trying to talk to their client. This includes trying all known phone numbers for the person, as well as contacting friends and family members to try and get the person’s whereabouts.

If agents cannot get ahold of the person, then the worst will be assumed and investigators will be called in to begin searching for the person. The investigators sometimes referred to as bounty hunters, will track down the person and bring them into the proper authorities to be arrested. The chances of them being granted bail again will be a whole lot slimmer.

The expenses for tracking the person down will be charged to whoever ran. If they cannot pay it, then whoever signed for the bail bond will have to pay for those expenses.

Sometimes Things Happen

Missing a payment or a court date while out on bail can be a very big deal. The immediate thought is that the person ran away, however that isn’t always the case. More often than not it was a mistake or accident and the person is still trying to follow the rules.

If that is the case, Riverside Bail Bonds is more than willing to work with our clients. We know that sometimes things happen. As long as our clients talk with us, we will help them deal with their bail.

If people try to run from the court while out on bail, they can expect to be tracked down. Someone will find them and bring them back into custody. Running just delays the inevitable and makes the whole situation worse. Sooner or later, everyone gets caught and has to face what they did.

What Happens If You Steal a Trailer in California?

As the world battles the pandemic, most people are doing their very best to hunker down and avoid going out in public. This has led to some very interesting, and kind of creepy, scenes in cities. The usually bustling streets have become barren. Most people take that as a sign that they shouldn’t be out there. A select few see it as an opportunity.

Some places are seeing rises in theft as people remain locked down. Some crooks are taking the deserted streets as chances to commit crimes without being detected. Take for instance the recent theft of a Salvation Army trailer that was recently stolen in Houston, Texas.

Stealing from the Needy

Normally, the theft of a trailer is never a good thing. However, this one is particularly heinous in that the trailer was being used to provide aid during the COVID-19 pandemic. The trailer belonged to the Salvation Army of Greater Houston. They used the trailer to store food and disaster supplies and it would accompany their mobile kitchen while assisting in the local areas.

The trailer was reported missing on March 29th and has yet to be located. It is hard to believe that someone would steal something so important and needed during a time like this. Not only does this theft affect the Salvation Army, but it also affects everyone in Houston that the organization helps.

There are millions of people out there who are struggling to get a good meal during this pandemic and this trailer could have helped thousands of people.

The Difference between Grand Theft and Grand Theft Auto

Trailers fall into this weird gray area when they are stolen. They are licensed entities that are registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), but they are not motor vehicles. This begs the question, is stealing a trailer grand theft auto?

According to California Penal Code (PC) 487(d)(1), Grand Theft Auto is defined as someone taking possession of someone else’s vehicle, valued at more than $950, to permanently deprive the owner of the vehicle or deprive the owner of the vehicle for some time. The assumption with most auto theft is that the vehicle is worth more than the $950 threshold to qualify for grand theft.

Grand theft is simply defined as the act of taking something, valued at over $950, from someone else without their permission. This is explained under PC 487. The difference between grand theft and petty theft is simply the value of the items stolen. If the value is less than $950, then the charges will be petty theft. If they are above that limit then the charges will be grand theft.

Knowing both of these definitions, it is safe to say that the stealing of a trailer will be grand theft since chances are the trailer has a value of over $950. The crime, however, will likely not be charged as grand theft auto since that crime applies when a motor vehicle is stolen and trailers don’t have motors.

The Penalties of Grand Theft

Grand theft is a wobbler crime here in California. This means that it can either be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the facts of the case and the person’s criminal record. When charged as a misdemeanor, a person will face:

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

When grand theft is charged as a felony, a person will face:

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

If the crime was charged as grand theft auto, the person would face the same charges. However, if the person has been convicted of auto theft in the past, then they could face enhanced sentences for the crime.

Don’t Steal from Anyone

Stealing something is never a nice thing to do. More often than not, the victim of the crime will miss the stolen item greatly. In this instance, the theft of the trailer is so much worse. The Salvation Army used that trailer to provide needed food and aid to people in the community struggling from the effects of COVID-19 and the resulting lockdown.

As the world faces this pandemic together, everyone should be aware of how they are affecting the community. This is a time where people need to stick together and help one another out, not hurt each other.

California’s Laws on Possession of Controlled Substances

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

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

Possession of Controlled Substances in California

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

Some of the substances regulated under this law include:

  • Cocaine.
  • Heroine.
  • LSD.
  • Vicodin.
  • OxyContin.
  • Codeine.

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

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

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

What Are the Penalties for HS 11350?

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

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

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

Other Laws to Consider

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

  • HS 11351 makes it illegal for a person to possess a controlled substance with the intent of selling it. This offense is a felony that can earn a person anywhere from 2 to 4 years in county jail and a $20,000 fine.
  • HS11352makes it illegal for a person to sell or transport a controlled substance. This is a felony offense that comes with anywhere from 3 to 9 years in county jail and a max fine of $20,000.
  • HS 11550 makes it illegal for a person to be willfully under the influence of a controlled substance or narcotic. This offense is a misdemeanor that comes with up to 1 year in county jail.

Don’t Use These Drugs

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

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

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