What to do if you find a lost pet

Found a Lost Pet? Here’s What you Have to Do

What to do if you find a lost pet

It happens all the time. A dog appears in your yard or you find a cat while your out on a walk. Even though the animal isn’t yours, you invite it into your home. At this point, you find yourself in the crossroads of an ethical decision. Do you keep the lost pet or do you make an effort to track down the owners?

Protocol for Finding Lost Pets

While you might think it’s up to you to decide if you want to keep the pet or find it’s owner, California lawmakers think differently. Many lawmakers are animal lovers who have gone through the agony of having a cherished pet disappear. In an effort to help lost pets reunite with their devastated owners, the lawmakers passed legislation that requires that you report the found animal within 48 hours of finding them.

You can report the lost animal to animal control, the local police, or a local vet clinic. This gives the owner a chance to contact the same organizations as they attempt to track down the missing pet. In most cases, as soon as you contact animal control or the vet clinic, you’ll find the owner has already reported the missing animal. At that point, the only thing left for you to do is arrange for the owner to pick up their missing pet.

Don’t be surprised if you’re told that you have to bring the pet in and have it scanned for a microchip.

What Happens if you Don’t Report a Found Pet

Not reporting that you’ve found a pet within 48 hours means you’re facing a misdemeanor charge. The good news is that if you have reported the found pet and no one claims them, you are free to keep the pet.

Tips for Reuniting Found Pets with their Owners

It’s is always in your best interest to reunite a found pet with its owner. This can be a problem if it doesn’t have a microchip. The good news is that you’re not out of options. In addition to contacting the local shelters, animal control, and vet clinics about the animal, you should also post it in local social media groups. These groups are often the first place devastated owners go when they’re trying to find their missing pet.

If you’re a pet owner, it’s in your best interest to get your pet microchipped. It drastically increases the chances of you enjoying a happy reunion if the worst happens and your pet somehow escapes.


bail bonds

Ponzi Schemes and California Law

bail bonds

Ponzi schemes aren’t legal in California. The state considers these financial cons a type of financial fraud. California’s judicial system is currently set up in such a way that it helps protect whistleblowers and consumers from getting caught up in the legal drama that always surrounds Ponzi schemes.

Understanding the Difference Between Ponzi Schemes and Pyramid Schemes

Many people mistakenly assume that Ponzi schemes and pyramid schemes are the same things. While there are quite a few similarities, there are also a few key differences.

Ponzi schemes are usually handled by a single person. That individual convinces investors to take part in something, usually a promised investment, that never comes to fruition. Investors are convinced that they can’t possibly lose money and will make a huge return on their investment. It usually takes a great deal of time for the investors to realize that the person who is “managing their portfolio” is actually running a con and is keeping their money.

The Bernard Madoff debacle is a perfect example of a Ponzi scheme. Madoff created the Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC and was able to convince several people he was the real deal. His pitch was so good, he amassed close to 5,000 investors. It’s believed that his take was close to $65 billion.

A pyramid scheme is more elaborate and involves more people, some of which don’t realize that they’re committing a crime. With a pyramid scheme, a single person not only recruits investors but also recruits people who gather even more investors. The original person is the very top of the pyramid in this particular scheme. Most pyramid schemes involve a type of product that does actually exist.

Business in Motion is an example of an illegal pyramid scheme. The program revolved around the sale of economical vacation plans. Each person who bought into the program invested $3,200. If the person was able to sell additional vacation packages to friends and family, they’d earn a $5,000 commission.

Approximately 2,000 people bought into the pyramid scheme. In 2008, they launched a class-action lawsuit against the program’s creator. A judge agreed that the program was a pyramid scheme and awarded the investors a $6.5 million ruling.

The Legal Ramifications of Running a Ponzi Scheme

Ponzi schemes are prohibited in California. The laws that address Ponzi schemes are found in the California Penal Code Section 319. The creators of Ponzi schemes in California can be charged with:

Charles Ponzi is considered the father of the Ponzi scheme. Ponzi was eventually convicted of mail fraud and spent 14 years in prison.


bail bonds

Strange Laws from California

bail bonds

When people think about laws, they often think about sensible rules that make sense. However, it is important to remember that laws are made by people, and this means that some real nonsense can be made into actual laws that govern the people. This is true of every country, state, and city. California is no exception.

The Golden State is home to its own bits of weirdness thanks to some odd laws. Many of these laws were created long ago, and as such, show their age. Others are a little more recent, and while it may be possible to see what the lawmaker was going for, the wording of the law isn’t quite right.

Why Are These Even Laws?

California became a state on September 9, 1850. Over the last 170 year period, a lot of laws have been enacted and removed across the state’s 160,000 square miles. Some of the laws have made sense, such as don’t steal from people and don’t kill each other. Others are a bit stranger. Some of the weirder laws that are still technically active in California include:

  • A person can only wear cowboy boots in Blythe if they own two or more cows.
  • A person cannot wash someone else’s car without the owner’s permission in Los Angeles.
  • Cursing on a golf course in Long Beach is illegal.
  • Detonating a nuclear device in Chico will result in a $500 fine.
  • Flying a kite higher than 10 feet is illegal in the city of Walnut.
  • Garages in San Francisco are meant for storing personal vehicles and nothing else.
  • In California, it is illegal for women to drive cars while wearing housecoats.
  • In San Francisco, ugly people are not allowed to walk down the street.
  • It is illegal to drive in reverse in Glendale.
  • It is illegal to pour salt on Hermosa Beach streets.
  • Men and boys are not allowed to dress as women in Walnut unless it is for a play, or they receive a permit from the sheriff.
  • Peacocks always have the right of way in Arcadia.
  • San Diego homeowners can be fined $250 for having their Christmas lights up after February 2nd.
  • Vehicles without drivers cannot drive over 60 mph.
  • Visitors of Fresno city parks are prohibited from bothering lizards.
  • Women may not wear high heels in Carmel city limits.

What Are the Penalties?

With how easily broken some of these laws can be, some people may wonder what would happen to them if they did break any of these laws. Luckily, the enforceable laws are pretty unknown by most law enforcement agents. Even if they do know about these laws, no one in their right mind would fault someone for breaking these laws.

The only law on the above list that will result in penalties, and rightfully so, is detonating a nuclear device within Chico city limits. However, the consequences for doing so will probably be more than just a $500 fine. The person will have to pay $501, at least.

These Laws Are Still in the Books

What seems to happen with a lot of these odd laws, is that they just get laughed at and forgotten. No one in this day and age is going to fine someone for wearing cowboy boots when they don’t own a cow, or arrest a woman for wearing high heels. Most of these laws are so outlandish that a person has nothing to worry about. These laws serve only as jokes at this point.


Juvenile vs adult

Laws That Minors Can Break but Adults Cannot

Juvenile vs adult

Everyone knows what crimes are and what would happen if they were to commit one. This is just something that people learn over time. However, there is something about laws and crimes that people know, without ever really considering. What a lot of adults may not consider, is that there are somethings they can do without fear of breaking a law, while a minor would face legal trouble for doing the same.

What Are Status Offenses?

According to the law, there are plenty of things out there that adults can do, but minors cannot. This leads to an interesting section of the law where things are considered illegal, but only for minors. This means these acts can’t be crimes, because adults can do them pretty much any time they want. This is why the term status offense exists.

A status offense is any activity that a minor could get in trouble for doing simply because of their age at the time of the act. It is estimated that 20% of all juvenile arrests are due to status offenses.

Some of the most common status offenses that a minor can be charged with include:

  • Being uncontrollable by parents or guardians.
  • Consuming alcohol.
  • Consuming marijuana.
  • Consuming tobacco.
  • Possessing alcohol.
  • Possessing marijuana.
  • Possessing tobacco.
  • Running away.
  • Skipping school.
  • Violating curfew.

It is easy to see how these kinds of things affect minors, but aren’t a big deal for adults. Most adults don’t have to worry about skipping school or following their parents’ rules anymore.

Why Status Offenses Are a Big Deal

When people began to look closer at status offenses, they noticed the alarming trend that minors who committed status offenses were more likely to commit more delinquent acts in the future. This has led to many states, including California, to adopt programs and strategies aimed at achieving the following:

  • Preserving families.
  • Ensuring public safety.
  • Preventing young people from becoming delinquents.

This is one of the many reasons why, when minors get into trouble they receive lighter penalties. The goal of punishing a minor after committing a crime is to teach them that their behavior was wrong and that they don’t want to commit that type of behavior again.

Penalties for Status Offenses

The penalties that a minor will face for a status defense can vary greatly depending on the minor’s record and the status offense they are being charged with. Some of the common penalties that a minor will face for a status offense include:

  • Being required to attend an educational program.
  • Being required to attend counseling.
  • Having their driver’s license suspended.
  • Paying a fine.
  • Paying restitutions for any damages.
  • Removing the minor from the care of the minor’s parent or guardian.

This is just a small sample of what a minor can face when charged with a status offense, and some of these consequences are more common than others.

Minors Need Different Rules

It’s a bit of an odd thought to realize that minors can get into trouble for doing things that some adults do daily without having to worry about breaking a law. However, many of these status offenses make sense. Kids should be in school, furthering their education so that they have a better chance once they reach adulthood. It wouldn’t make sense for many of these things to be made into crimes for everyone, which is why they are status offenses that only apply to minors.


marijuana laws

Can Marijuana Legally Be Smoked in Public?

marijuana laws

Back in 2016, Californian voters chose to approve the legalization of the recreational use of marijuana. The law went into effect at the start of 2018, and so for the last two years, people have been able to enjoy marijuana. However, even though marijuana usage has been legal for 2 years, there is still a lot of confusion around the law.

Two years isn’t a lot of time in legal terms. Many of the laws that people are familiar with have been around for decades, which is why people are so familiar with them. Since the marijuana laws are so new, the general public hasn’t had enough time to get to know every single detail. This is why some people are still confused

Where Can Marijuana Be Smoked?

One of the biggest questions people still have is where can marijuana legally be smoked and consumed now. Even though the usage of marijuana has been legalized, there are still restrictions on where it can be used. When people aren’t aware of these restrictions, they can find themselves in trouble with the law.

The laws surrounding marijuana usage are practically identical to the laws surrounding alcohol and cigarettes. A person can get a good understanding of when and where marijuana can be consumed by looking at those regulations.

Since smoking cigarettes is banned in most businesses and public areas, smoking marijuana is also banned in those areas. Just like people have a right to not be exposed to secondhand smoke from cigarettes, they also have the right to not be exposed to marijuana.

The usage of marijuana is banned on all government property, especially schools. Employers are permitted to keep their workplaces marijuana free just like they can keep them alcohol-free. They also are legally allowed to test their employees for marijuana.

Marijuana also cannot be consumed while a person is in a car, especially if they are driving. A person cannot consume or have an open container of alcohol in their vehicle, so they cannot do the same with marijuana.

The biggest thing to note about the legalization of the recreational use of marijuana is the recreational part. Primarily, a person is only allowed to consume marijuana in places where they would normally relax, such as their home or backyard.

Penalties for Using Marijuana Where It Is Prohibited

The penalties for misusing marijuana in California can vary greatly depending on where the person consumed marijuana. If a person smokes or consumes marijuana at their job, where it is banned, they may not face legal consequences, but they could be fired.

If a person is caught with marijuana on school grounds, they could be charged with a misdemeanor that comes with:

  • Up to 6 months in jail.
  • A max fine of $250 for a first offense.

Simply having an open container of marijuana in a vehicle can get a person charged with an infraction that comes with a fine of up to $100.

If a person is charged with DUI, then they could face:

  • Up to 6 months in jail.
  • A max fine of $1,000.
  • Up to 9 months of DUI school.
  • A 4-month driver’s license suspension.

Be Considerate of Others

It is important to remember that while the recreational use of marijuana has been legalized here in California, it is still illegal at the federal level. This means that even if a person follows all of the rules laid out in the state legislature, they could still be arrested at the federal level. Luckily, this is unlikely to happen unless a person is doing a lot of illegal things with marijuana, or they bring it onto federal property. Some common examples of federal property include airports and federal government buildings.

The recreational use of Marijuana was legalized to allow people who wanted to consume it to do so in ways that don’t bother other people. Most people do not enjoy the smell of marijuana and would prefer to not have to smell it when they are out in public. Then there is the fact that no one wants their kids exposed to marijuana.

If a person is wondering if they can have marijuana in a certain area, such as a public park, they should think about whether cigarettes or alcohol are allowed there. Most parks ban smoking, so that includes marijuana.


What are protesters rights

What Are Protester’s Rights?

What are protesters rights

One of the great things about living here in the United States is that people can always speak their mind. The First Amendment to the Constitution grants every US citizen the right to freedom of speech and peacefully protest. This way, if someone doesn’t like something that is going on in the world, they can speak out against it and try to make a change.

While this law is a great one, there is often a bit of confusion around it. Sometimes people find themselves being arrested for what they believe to have been them exercising their First Amendment Rights. This is especially common during protests. The problem is that some people don’t understand what is and isn’t protected, and so they may overstep and do something they think is protected when, in fact, it is considered illegal.

The First Amendment to the Constitution

The US Constitution is what gives us citizens our many rights. The First Amendment to the Constitution grants citizens freedom of speech, freedom of the press, the freedom of religion, and the right to assemble/petition. This is the amendment that gives people the right to protest when they are upset about something.

The Amendment was a part of the Bill of Rights, which is the first 10 amendments to the Constitution. It was adopted into law in 1791 to protect the civil liberties of US citizens.

Where People Run Into Trouble

The problem that most people run into while protesting is that they start to break laws even though they think they are just exercising their right to free speech.

True, everyone has the right to free speech. However, no one is allowed to threaten the safety of others or to lie or slander other people. Threatening to hurt or kill people is never acceptable and is not protected under the First Amendment. Doing this will get a person arrested, and rightfully so. No one should ever be made to feel like their life is in danger. A protester is also not allowed to say things that could start a riot or other dangerous behavior.

People are allowed to gather and protest, as long as they do so safely and in designated public areas. Some acceptable places to protest include parks, sidewalks, public streets, public auditoriums, the steps of city hall, in front of government buildings, and on private property with the property owner’s permission. A person can protest in any of these locations without fear of arrest, so long as they are not exhibiting any unsafe behavior, such as blocking traffic.

Protesters still have to listen to orders given by peace officers whose jobs it is to protect people’s safety. Police officers are meant to keep people safe. If they are telling someone to stop acting in a dangerous manner, which can include disrupting traffic, disturbing the peace, or risking public health, the person needs to listen or they will be arrested.

A protester is allowed to peacefully express their opinions as long as they continue to follow other established laws. If they don’t do that, then they could be arrested for breaking those laws.

Laws Protesters Can Be Charged with in California

A person can get arrested while protesting if they start breaking laws. Some of the laws that are most commonly broken by protesters include:

  • PC 148: Resisting arrest. A person breaks this law when they resist arrest or obstruct an officer from arresting someone else.
  • PC 403: Disturbing a public meeting. A person breaks this law when they willfully disturb or break up a lawful public meeting.
  • PC 409: Failing to disperse. A person breaks this law when they stay at a riot or other unlawful assembly after being told to leave by a police officer.
  • PC 415: Disturbing the peace. A person breaks this law when they play excessively loud music, start a fight with someone, or use offensive language meant to start a fight.
  • PC 602: Trespassing. A person breaks this law when they enter or remain on private property when they don’t have permission to be there.

Everyone Has Rights

Here in the US, is a person doesn’t like something, they have the right to say so. They have the right to try and peacefully convince others of their idea. However, they do not have the right to do whatever they want while protesting.

While a person is protesting, they must remember other peoples’ rights as well. People have the right to go about their daily lives peacefully, they have the right to not be threatened with violence, and everyone has the right to speak their mind, even if their opinion is different.


robbery

Is There a Difference between These 3 Crimes?

robbery

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.


Stimulus check

Don’t Get Scammed out of Your Stimulus Check

Stimulus check

As the world practically shuts down in response to the spreading COVID-19 Pandemic, many people are now finding themselves stuck at home. For some, this time away from work can be very welcome. For others, however, not making any money is very stressful. Millions of people across the country have either had their jobs shutdown and are receiving no paycheck, or were laid off entirely. This is a pretty big deal for those who were living paycheck to paycheck.

To counteract the lack of income, and to keep the economy from crashing entirely, the US government agreed on a $2 trillion stimulus plan. All of this money would go to places it was needed most, such as the pockets of American citizens trying to pay their bills.

As great as this plan sounds for many Americans, it sounded even better for a shady group of people. Scammers heard news of the stimulus plan being approved and immediately began creating schemes. There has been a very noticeable uptick in scams revolving around the stimulus checks that will soon be going out to people.

What Is the Stimulus Plan?

The approved stimulus plan will be issuing checks of up to $1,200 to eligible Americans across the country. People who are eligible for these checks include:

  • People making less than $75,000 a year.
  • Couples making less than $150,000 a year.
  • Disabled veterans.
  • People who receive social security.

The money will be delivered to individuals based on how they receive their tax returns. If people chose to have their tax returns deposited directly into their bank account, then that is what will happen with their stimulus money. If people selected to have their tax return check mailed to them, then their stimulus check will be mailed to the same address.

For people who do not have to file taxes each year, such as low-income taxpayers, they will need to fill out a simple tax form. More information on that can be found on the official IRS website.

The money is slated to start going out in the next few weeks, but it will likely take several months for everyone to get their money.

Scammers Are Surfacing

Scammers love when people are scared or in a panic. In this state, people are easier to trick since they aren’t paying as much attention to details as they normally are. This is why scammers always try to scare their victims. However, with all of this fear from the pandemic, they don’t have to instill that fear, they can go straight to feeding off of it.

If a person receives any form of communication regarding their stimulus money, they should ignore it. There will be no fees that need to be paid before funds can be issued. There will be no need to give personal information over the phone or through email.

The IRS states that people on social security and those that file their taxes will not have to do anything to get their stimulus checks. The system will figure out who’s getting money and how/where to send it based on previous tax information. Chances are, the IRS, or any other government agency, will not be contacting people about their checks, so there is no reason to respond to any communications about the subject.

If a person suspects that a communication is legit, then they still should not respond through the presented method. Instead, a person should go to the official IRS website and contact someone through the methods presented there. The site can be identified by having .gov at the end of the site address instead of the usual .com.

Don’t Panic

Everyone can understand how money is a bit tight right now for a lot of people. Shutting down entire industries means that millions of people are without work and likely without pay. This is why the government enacted this stimulus package. They want to ensure that people get the money they need to stay in their homes until this pandemic has come to an end.

During this tough and confusing time, it is important for people not to panic. Doing so could cause them to fall victim to any number of scams. The best thing for everyone is to stay calm and to never give personal information to anyone who contacted them first.


California marijuana laws

What Are the Laws on Marijuana in California?

California marijuana laws

It seems like just yesterday that the usage of marijuana was illegal here in California. However, Californians voted to make marijuana usage legal in the state back in 2016, and the recreational use of marijuana became legal January 1st, 2018. This change allowed a whole lot of people to use marijuana without having to worry about getting into trouble with the law or needing it for medical reasons.

While this legal change has been in effect for 2 years now, there is still the occasional bit of confusion for some people on what is and isn’t legal. For instance, some people don’t know how much marijuana they are allowed to grow, or how much they can have on their person at one time.

The State’s Marijuana Possession Law

California has several different laws that describe what is and isn’t legal in regards to marijuana. For instance, when it comes to possession of marijuana, Health and Safety Code (HS) 11357 states how much a person can carry on them. Under this law, people over the age of 21 are allowed to hold 28.5 grams or less of marijuana. That’s just a little more than an ounce. Under this law, a person is also allowed to carry up to 8 grams of concentrated cannabis.

A person breaks this law when they:

  • Are under 21.
  • Possess more than 28.5 grams
  • Possess marijuana on the grounds of a K-12.

The penalties for breaking this law vary depending on how exactly it was broken. The charges for this crime can range from an infraction to a misdemeanor. They can have fines anywhere from $100 to $500, up to 6 months in jail, and require drug counseling.

Laws about Growing Marijuana

HS 11358 dictates who can grow marijuana and how much of it they can grow. Anyone over the age of 21 can grow up to 6 plants of marijuana. It typically has to be grown indoors, unless the city has a local ordinance that permits outdoor growth. Wherever marijuana is grown, it has to be in a secure location inaccessible to minors.

If a minor grows any marijuana, they are guilty of an infraction and will face:

  • $100 fine.
  • A drug counseling course.

If an adult grows more than 6 plants, they will be guilty of a misdemeanor and face:

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

In some instances a person can face felony charges for goring more than 6 plants if they:

  • Have been convicted of serious violent felonies.
  • Are a registered sex offender.
  • Have 2 or more convictions of growing 6 or more plants.
  • Violated certain environmental laws while growing their plants.

Marijuana Selling Laws

HS 11359 outlines who is allowed to sell marijuana. Only people who have acquired a license to sell marijuana from the state are allowed to sell the drug. Anyone else who is caught selling marijuana without a license will usually face a misdemeanor that comes with:

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

However, in some instances, a person can face felony charges if:

  • They have been convicted of certain serious violent felonies.
  • They have 2 or more previous convictions of marijuana possession with intent to sell.
  • They tried to sell marijuana to a minor under the age of 18.
  • As a felony, a person can face time in county jail ranging from 16 months to 3 years.

Marijuana and Driving Laws

Driving while in possession of marijuana is made illegal under Vehicle Code (VC) 23222. This is the same law that prohibits people from driving while possessing an open container of alcohol. Basically, this law makes it illegal for anyone to drive a vehicle while in possession of opened marijuana containers.

Driving under the influence of marijuana is just as illegal as driving under the influence of alcohol. This is why the crime is referred to as driving under the influence (DUI), not driving while intoxicated (DWI). DUI is more inclusive of driving under the influence of any drugs or alcohol. If a person drives while high, they will face the same consequences they would if they were driving drunk.

These Laws Differ from Federal Laws

While marijuana usage is legal here in California, it is still illegal at the federal level. This means that even if a person is following the state laws for possessing and selling of marijuana, they could still be arrested and punished at the federal level. Despite that fact, for the most part, federal law enforcement isn’t that interested in the individual use of marijuana.

Still, there are instances where federal law enforcement will care about individual marijuana use. This will primarily occur when a person is on federal property such as:

  • Federal buildings.
  • Federal courthouses.
  • National parks.
  • Post offices.
  • Public airports.

If a person is caught possessing marijuana, they face the following under federal law:

  • A max fine of $1,000.
  • Up to 1 year in federal prison.

Growing, possessing with intent to sell, and sale of less than 50 pounds or 50 plants, is punishable with:

  • A max fine of $250,000.
  • Up to 5 years in federal prison.

Staying Out of Trouble Isn’t Too Hard

This is just a sample of some of the more common laws surrounding marijuana usage and cultivation here in California. Even though the laws went into effect 2 years ago, they are still new enough to cause some confusion.

As long as a person follows the above laws, they shouldn’t run into too much trouble with the law, at the state level anyways. When it comes to dealing with federal law, a person is better off leaving the marijuana at home. If they don’t do that, they could face some very harsh consequences.

What do you think of California’s many marijuana laws? Do they do a good job at keeping people safe, or are they too complicated? What about the federal laws regarding marijuana? Is it fair for people to get into trouble at the federal level even though they are following state laws? Let us know what you think in the comments down below.


lynwood bail bonds domestic violence

What Are California’s Laws on Domestic Violence?

lynwood bail bonds domestic violence

When a person is interacting with someone that they care about and love, they typically want what is best for them. After all, they love that person. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. Sometimes the people that someone cares about most hurts them for no good reason, and it wasn’t an accident.

Loved ones attacking and hurting one another is more than just shocking and mentally damaging, it is also illegal. This is illegal within the state of California, just like it is illegal to attack anyone.

California’s Domestic Violence Laws

There are two laws within the state of California that layout what counts as domestic violence and what kind of penalties a person will face for committing the crime. The two laws are California Penal Codes (PC) 234(e)(1) and 273.5.

PC 234(e)(1) is known as the state’s Domestic Battery Law. Under this law, it is a crime for a person to willfully and unlawfully touch a certain person in a harmful or offensive way. The type of people that are included in this are:

  • A person’s spouse or former spouse.
  • A person’s cohabitant or former cohabitant.
  • A person’s fiancé(e) or former fiancé(e).
  • A person’s significant other or ex-significant other.
  • The parent of a person’s child.

A key note for this law, is the fact that it does not matter if the victim of the incident suffers any injuries, serious or otherwise. The only requirement for this crime is that the person used force or violence against someone from the above list.

PC 273.5 is the state’s Corporal Injury to a Spouse Law. Under this law, it is illegal for a person to willfully inflict a corporal injury, serious or minor, onto anyone from the same list as above. This law is similar to the above law, but applies when the victim suffers an injury.

Examples of corporal injuries include:

  • Broken bones.
  • Bruises.
  • Cuts.
  • Scrapes.

Together, these two laws cover pretty much every act of domestic violence and determine what kind of consequences a person will face if they break the laws.

The Penalties for Domestic Violence

The consequences for domestic violence here in California vary depending on the facts of the case and the person’s criminal record. For instance, if the victim didn’t suffer any injuries, than the defendant will face lesser consequences than they would have if the victim had suffered some sort of injury.

Under PC 234(e)(1), domestic battery is a misdemeanor offense. This means that a person found guilty of this crime will face:

  • Up to 1 year in county jail.
  • A max fine of $2,000.
  • Misdemeanor probation.

Typically, if assigned, the probation period will involve the person going to complete a 1 year batterer’s treatment program. This is simply a program to try and help teach a person to not harm their loved one’s in the future.

Sometimes, the court may decide to waive the fine and instead the convicted individual will have to pay up to $5,000 to a battered woman’s shelter and/or pay for any reasonable expenses that the victim might have had to pay as a result of the incident. This could include things such as counseling.

PC 273.5is what is known as a wobbler offense. This means that a person accused of this crime could face either misdemeanor or felony charges. As a misdemeanor offense, a person faces:

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

As a felony offense, a person faces:

  • 2, 3, or 4 years in state prison.
  • A max fine of $6,000.

If the conviction for this occurs within 7 years of other felonies, including:

  • Corporal injury of a spouse.
  • Assault/battery resulting in serious injury.
  • Assault/battery with a caustic chemical.
  • Assault with a stun gun.
  • Assault with a deadly weapon.
  • Sexual battery.

Then the consequences for PC 273.5 increase to:

  • Up to 1 year in county jail or 2, 4, or 5 years in a state prison.
  • A max fine of $10,000.
  • Domestic Violence Is Against the Law

Getting hurt is always awful, but it is even worse when the person causing the pain is supposed to be someone that cares about you. That is what makes domestic violence so horrible, and why it is illegal here in California. Anyone who is caught hurting someone, especially someone close to them, will have to face the consequences.

If a person has found themselves in an abusive relationship and they are struggling to get out, they do not have to do so alone. There are places that can help. The National Domestic Violence Hotline is a free, professional, 24 hour service that can be reached at their website, www.thehotline.org, or by calling 1-800-799-7233. The website recommends that if a person suspects that their internet usage is being monitored, to call the hotline instead.

What do you think of California’s domestic violence laws and their penalties? Do the laws cover everything? Do the penalties match the crime, or do they need to be changed? Let us know what you think in the comments down below.