Different Types of Domestic Violence

Different Types of Domestic Violence

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Most of us are familiar with the concept of domestic violence. What many of us don’t realize is that there is different types of domestic violence charges.

There is both misdemeanor and felony domestic violence. The exact circumstances surrounding the domestic violence incident determine which of those charges you face.

When the prosecutor is trying to decide if a specific case represents felony or misdemeanor domestic violence there are a few factors they consider. These factors include:

  • The circumstances surrounding the incident
  • How serious the victim’s injuries were
  • Criminal history

It’s also possible that witness statements and medical records will play a role in determining how the charges will be handled.

In misdemeanor cases, a guilty verdict can result in a maximum sentence of 12 months in jail as well as possible fines. In felony domestic abuse cases the sentence can be 2,3, or 4 years in a state prison, mandatory counseling, a fine that could be as high as $6,000.

Felony domestic violence is a crime that often has sentencing enhancement added. The circumstances surrounding the case will often determine if the enhancements are added. If the newly convicted person already had a record that includes previous domestic violence convictions that occurred within the last seven years an additional $10,000 in fines as well as 2,4, or 5 years can be attached to the sentence.

If the domestic violence incident that’s currently on the table involved a great bodily injury, the judge has the option of using a sentence enhancement that adds 3,4, or 5 years to the sentence.

A single domestic violence charge can have a massive negative impact on your life. It can cause loved ones to turn their back on you, hurt your chances of securing houses, and make it significantly more difficult to find a romantic partner. The best way to prevent a domestic violence conviction from ruining your life is thinking before you act and removing yourself from the situation when you feel that you’re losing your temper.


What You Should Know When you Need to Make Bail Bonds

What You Should Know When you Need to Make Bail Bonds

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When you sign a contract with Lynwood Bail Bonds you’re entering into a written agreement with us that states in exchange for us posting your bail and helping secure your release from jail, you agree to appear at all of your scheduled court appearances and follow any other rules the court has attached to your bail.

For many people, a bail bond is the only way they will be released since they simply can’t come up with the money on their own.

If you find that you need to make a California bail bond, here is what you need to know.

Make sure the bail bonds company you’re about to work with is genuinely allowed to write a bail bond for you. There are some scam artists in the bail bond industry who are perfectly content to collect a 10% fee from you and disappear with your money, leaving you sitting in a cell and now in even more desperate financial straits than you were before contacting the felonious bail bonds agency.

Lynwood Bail Bonds has a history that spans several decades. We’re a fully licensed and insured bail bonds industry that already has a relationship with the court and jail system you’re currently dealing with.

Plan on talking to us. When you contact us, you should be prepared for a kind of two-way mini-interview process. We want to make sure that you’re comfortable with our process and we want to make sure that you’re a good risk. We have made this process easy by creating both phone and online consultations. Each of these consultations is completely free. Not only won’t we charge you for the consultation, but we also won’t pressure you into making an immediate decision. You can contact us 24/7.

Be prepared to read through the California bail bonds contract. This is yet another opportunity to ask us questions and make sure that you feel good about making a bail bond. You will have to present a valid ID when signing the contract. If necessary we can ask the booking officer to retrieve the ID from your personal belongings long enough for us to confirm that you are who you say are.

While there are sometimes things that slow down the process, we can usually have you released from jail in practically no time at all. It normally takes less than four hours. Make sure you have arranged for a ride home.

While we don’t require that each of our clients touches base with us every couple of days, we want you to feel free to contact us if you have any questions or concerns. We would far rather have you touch base with us than have you accidentally do something that will get you arrested for a bail violation.

For additional information, feel free to call (323)357-0575.


Avoid a DUI This Thanksgiving

Avoid a DUI This Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving is right around the corner. This is a time for family stories, friends, and great food. Many of us use the few days at home to catch up with loved ones that we rarely get to see.

Thanksgiving should be spent with friends and family. You shouldn’t spend it in jail facing DUI charges, yet that’s exactly what happens to many people.

There is something about the Thanksgiving holiday that inspires people to drink. This is particularly true the night before the actual holiday. Each year an astounding number of people are charged with DUI during the holiday weekend. In addition to not drinking and getting behind the wheel, make sure you’re buckled up.

Getting charged with a DUI will do more than ruin your Thanksgiving, it will ruin your immediate future.

If this is your first DUI offense, you can:

  • Be fined $390-1,000 (plus penalty assessments can be added, driving the total even higher)
  • Be sentenced to between 48 hours and six months in jail
  • 3-5 years of probation
  • Lose your driver’s license for at least six months.

The consequences of a Thanksgiving DUI go far beyond ruining the holiday, they can have a huge impact on the quality of your life the entire following year. Even once you’ve completed all the requirements connected to the legal system, you’ll likely have to deal with significantly higher insurance rates and the fact that you now have a criminal record.

When it comes to drinking and driving this Thanksgiving, it’s in everyone’s best interest to and error on the side of caution. If there is even the slightest chance that you could drink while you’re hanging with friends and family, take precautions and find a place to either crash or a way to get home safely. You should expect that the police will be out in force with their eyes peeled for drunk drivers.

Stay safe and have a lovely Thanksgiving.


The Unlawful Taking of Pictures and Video Recording

The Unlawful Taking of Pictures and Video Recording

The Unlawful Taking of Pictures and Video Recording

Thanks to built-in cameras on smartphones, most of us have a camera at our disposal 24/7. We’re able to record everything. We use the phone camera for selfies, points of interest, and to record the actions of others. We’ve grown so accustomed to taking photos and videos of everything that we rarely stop and think about the fact that there are certain times, places, and situations when taking pictures and video recordings is actually against the law.

Learning that there are cases where a person has broken the law with videos or photos they’ve snapped can make you have second thoughts about using your camera. The good news is that the odds are pretty good that you’re not going to record anything that will break the law. Both federal and state laws are written in a manner that allows you to legally take a photo of anything that’s plainly visible. You’ll be pleased to learn that this includes federal buildings and even police officers who are working.

You’re also legally allowed to take photos and videos of things that can be seen from public property. For example, as long as you can do so from the road, you’re allowed to photograph an interesting-looking barn.

If you’re on private property, the property owners get to make rules about what you can and can’t take photos/videos of. For example, if snapping a few shots of the barn requires you to walk across a private hayfield and jumping a fence, the property owners could insist that you destroy the images and also file trespassing charges against you. The same is true if you walk up to someone’s house and start snapping pictures or videos through their windows. You’re not legally allowed to take photos or videos of a person (or their belongings) if the property owner had a reasonable expectation of privacy.

If you’re caught taking photos or videos in an area where the property owner had a reasonable expectation of privacy, they can file invasion of privacy charges as well as trespassing charges against you. If you’re convicted of invasion of privacy, the judge could sentence you to up to six months in a county jail and order you to pay a fine of $1,000. If this isn’t the first time you’ve been convicted of invasion of privacy, the sentence could double.

The best way to avoid getting into trouble while you shooting pictures or videos is to make sure you’re feet are always firmly planted on public property.


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The Truth About Parking Lot Safety

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We take parking lots for granted. We treat them like a casual place to leave our car while we run into a nearby building.

We’re usually so focused on either getting to the store/office/school/government building or getting into our vehicle to go home, that we seldom stop and think about how dangerous parking lots really are.

The truth is that every time you use a parking lot, you put your life at risk.

A surprising number of people are injured in parking lot falls every single year. In most cases the reason for the fall is innocent, you tripped on a stick, a pothole, or even your own feet. The problem with parking lot falls is that not only is there the danger that you’ll hit your head on the asphalt when you land and possibly sustain a traumatic brain injury, but while you’re down, there’s a chance a driver won’t notice you on the ground and will run over you.

The best way to avoid a dangerous fall is walking with care, staying well out of the routes the vehicles take through the parking lot, and not walking behind/in front of any running vehicle. If you do fall, yell at the top of your lungs so drivers will know you’re in distress and drive defensively and cautiously.

Drugs and other criminal activity are a huge problem in parking lots. There’s something about the layout of parking lots and the sheltered nature and accessibility of the parking garages attract a huge criminal element. This isn’t something you want to get mixed up in. Avoid groups of people who are simply standing around or who appear to be conducting business. Avoid making eye contact with these people. Once you’re in a safe place, contact the police.

Parking lot abductions are a serious problem, particularly for women and children. So many people are distracted by either plans or their cell phones that they are easy to grab and shove into a car. The best way to avoid being a parking lot abduction victim is to keep your head up, your ears free of any headphones so that you can hear an approaching car or footsteps, don’t walk in shadows, and enter your car as quickly as possible.

If you suspect you’re being stalked through the parking lot, abandon your plans to leave and go to the building and alert an employee to the situation.

The next time you’re in a parking lot, don’t take your safety for granted. Be aware of the potential danger and have a plan to stay safe and healthy.


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Trick-or-Treat Safety

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Finally! Halloween is here. Not only does that mean cooler weather, pumpkin spice coffee, and an excuse to snuggle up with a good book rather than going out, kid will tell you that it’s time for free candy.

While kids love trick-or-treating, parents often have mixed feelings about the popular activity. Yes, it’s great to see how excited your kids get each year. The problem is that each year, parents worry how they will keep their child safe while they go from one house to another.

The good news is that there are things you can do to insure trick-or-treat safety while also allowing your children free rein to enjoy the holiday.

Make sure your children are visible, even if they’re out after dark. This isn’t complicated. Simply arm your child with a flashlight, and incorporate some flashing lights and reflective strips into their costume.

Remind your child about the rules of the road. Kids are so excited about being dressed up and obtaining as much free candy as possible, that they can easily forget things like watching for traffic. Before they head out to trick-or-treat it’s really important to remind them that they have to be respectful of motorist who are driving along the streets.

Trick-or-treat as either a family or friend unit. Instead of sending your child out on their own to trick-or-treat, make this an opportunity to make some excellent family memories and go out with your children. If work or life makes it impossible for you to join in the trick-or-treating fun, arrange for your child to go out with friends or other family members. Your child is far safer in a group than they are by themselves. Make sure a responsible adult will be watching over your children the entire time they are trick-or-treating.

Your children will want to eat their candy right away, but encourage them to wait until you get home. Waiting gives you an opportunity to inspect their candy and make sure it hasn’t been tampered with, plus it means your child isn’t potentially stopping in the middle of intersections in order to snatch a sugary treat.

Covid-19 is still a concern so make sure you keep a bottle of hand sanitizer on you and frequently apply it to your child’s hands. Remind them not to touch their face until they’re home and able to thoroughly wash their hands.

What steps are you taking to keep your child safe while trick-or-treating this holiday season?


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Littering Consequences in California

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You already know that you’re not supposed to litter. It’s common knowledge that you shouldn’t throw things out your car windows, leave trash scattered around a campsite, or drop food wrappers while you’re walking.

What you might not know is exactly what happens if you fail to do the right thing and clean up after yourself.

California’s littering laws are some of the toughest in the country.

California lawmakers created California Penal Code (PC) 374 specifically to deal with the issue of littering. The great thing about this law is that not only does it create clear-cut consequences for littering, it also helps define what is a waste product, which helps clear up some of the gray areas other states struggle with when dealing with littering cases.

The law defines littering in California as, “littering means the willful or negligent throwing, dropping, placing, depositing, or sweeping, or causing any such acts, of any waste matter on land or water in other than appropriate storage containers or areas designated for such purposes.”

The law goes on to clarify that the following items are considered waste and that improperly disposing of them is considered littering:

  • Lighted or nonlighted cigarette, cigar, match, or any flaming or glowing material
  • Garbage/trash
  • Refuse
  • Paper
  • Packaging/construction material
  • The carcass of a dead animal
  • Any nauseous or offensive matter
  • Any object that’s likely to injure any person or create a traffic hazard.

While the law does a nice job of stating what litter is, it’s not as helpful when it comes to the consequences associated with getting caught littering.

The first thing you have to understand is that the consequences for throwing fast-food wrappers out your window are going to be significantly different than leaving a mattress in a ditch, or failing to dispose of hazardous waste.

At this point, littering is treated as an infraction, not a misdemeanor. Don’t assume that the lack of jail time means you can litter to your heart’s content. Fines for littering can range from $100-$750 depending on how many times you’ve been cited for littering and what type of materials were involved in the littering infraction. You’ll also be required to complete anywhere from 8-24 hours of community service.


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Fall Camping Safety Tips in California

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The fall is a great time to go camping in California. Not only is the weather a little cooler, but the bugs aren’t as bad either. Another advantage is that since school is in session, there are usually fewer kids at the local campsites which means the campgrounds and trails are a little quieter.

There are a few things you need to keep in mind when it comes to safety and fall camping.

The first is that you have to be mindful of the weather. The biggest drawback to camping in the fall rather than the summer is that the weather changes faster and those changes can be more extreme. This is especially true if you’re going into the mountains. Not only will you want to watch the weather reports, but you’ll also want to pack some additional clothing that you can change into if the temperature suddenly drops.

Always let someone know where you are going, even if you are just going on a one-night hike/camping trip on your own. No matter how careful you are, there is a chance you’ll be hurt. Knowing when you’re supposed to be back and your last location drastically improves the chances of a quick rescue. The quicker the rescue, the better the odds of making a full recovery.

Keep your phone charged. Yes, you might crave solitude and escape, but that doesn’t mean you should leave your phone home. Before leaving make sure it’s fully charged so that you can use it if you get into trouble. While you want to keep your phone close at hand during the entire camping trip, you don’t have to keep it turned on if you don’t want to deal with texts and calls the entire time you’re camping. Feel free to turn it off and keep it in your pocket.

Be mindful of fire safety the entire time you’re camping. Fall wildfires are a serious concern in California. You don’t want to be the cause of one. Always have plenty of water on hand, create a fire ring, and keep the campfire as small as possible. Douse your fire before you leave the camp and make sure the ashes are cold and that there are no remaining embers that could start a wildfire.

Be realistic about your ability. Stick to trails that you are physically suited for and don’t push yourself too hard, especially if you’re on your own. Don’t take any chances that could end with you getting hurt or overwhelmed by exhaustion. If you’ve never gone camping before, bring an experienced camper with you so they can teach you how to camp properly.

The more mindful you are about safety, the more you’ll enjoy your fall camping adventure in California.


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Wet and Reckless in California

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If you’ve never heard of a wet and reckless charge in California, you’re not alone. Very few people are aware of them. Most of the people who do know about wet reckless driving offenses are lawyers who specialize in DUI cases.

What is a Wet Reckless Driving Charge in California

A patrol officer won’t write a wet reckless ticket. The only way you’ll ever get such a thing is if you’ve been arrested for a DUI in California and your lawyer can talk it down to a wet reckless charge. The fact that it’s not a traditional driving violation is the reason so few people have even heard of wet reckless driving.

A wet reckless charge is a plea agreement the California lawyers use in drunk driving cases. They usually only apply the first time a person is involved in a DUI. The biggest difference between a wet reckless charge and a traditional DUI conviction is that the consequences connected to a wet reckless charge are milder than those attached to a DUI. In many cases, people find that having a wet reckless charge on their file doesn’t create as many problems when employers run a background check.

In the past, some lawyers haven’t been fans of wet reckless charges, but changes made in 2021 have altered their stance.

How a Wet and Reckless Compares to a DUI

If you’re able to plea a DUI down to a wet reckless in California, there is no automatic suspension of your driver’s license, though there is an exception. If the DMV learns that your wet reckless charge resulted from a BAC of 0..08% they can still suspend your license, though the suspension might not last as long. It’s also important to understand that the charge will result in two points being added to your driving record.

A wet reckless charge doesn’t involve mandatory jail time. If the judge does sentence you to jail, the maximum amount of time you would serve is 90-days.

You’ll probably still be required to take a few DUI classes, but it’s normally far fewer than you’d have to take if you were charged with a formal DUI.

While there is still a probationary period connected to a wet reckless conviction, it’s significantly shorter. The probation for a wet reckless is generally one to two years, whereas for a DUI it’s three to five years long. This can have a huge impact on your life if you plan on moving out of state or doing much traveling.

Wet and reckless charges aren’t applicable in every single DUI situation. You’ll have to consult with a highly experienced DUI attorney to determine if this is the route you should take following a DUI arrest.


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Should You Open Your Door When Someone Knocks?

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There is a knock on your door. You stand beside the door for several seconds torn between the urge to open it and find out who is on the other side and a genuine concern that opening the door could jeopardize your safety.

Knocks in the Middle of the Night

The general rule of thumb is that if a stranger knocks on your door in the middle of the night, you shouldn’t let them in. Even if the person says that they are in trouble, keep your door locked. That does not mean you have to walk away from the situation. You can continue to speak to the individual through your locked door and you can also call for help.

The reason you should not open your door to a stranger in the middle of the night is that claiming to need help is an old con that thieves use to gain access to a home. Many people who were acting as Good Samaritans have been injured or killed after letting an allegedly injured person into their home.

Kids and Door Knocks

If you have children in your home, teach them that they should never open the door, no matter who claims to be knocking on it. Kids have a trusting nature and are excited to find out who is knocking on the door. This can lead to all sorts of trouble. Advise your child to inquire about the name of the person on the other side of the door and then to alert the responsible adult who is in the home.

If someone you know is coming to your home, ask them to use their cell phone and call you when they reach your home rather than knocking on your door and temping your child to open the door.

Use a Door Bell Camera

It’s a good idea to get a doorbell camera. These are great inventions. Even better than peepholes because you can view the footage on your smartphone, well away from the front door. Not only does the doorbell camera allow you to see exactly who is on the other side of the door, but it turns out to be a threatening or suspicious individual, you can show the footage to the police.

When it comes to people knocking on your door, especially people you don’t know, it pays to be cautious.