east-los-angeles-bail-bonds

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.


east-los-angeles-bail-bonds

Leaving Kids in Hot Cars in California

east-los-angeles-bail-bonds

Kids and hot cars are never a good combination. Everyone knows that, yet there is still an average of 38 children who die each year after they’re locked into a hot car.

In all fairness, nearly all of these cases are an accident. The child is strapped into their car seat in the back of the vehicle and the driver simply forgets that they’re there until it’s too late. There are even situations when the parent accidentally locked the car keys in the vehicle with the child.

While accidents do happen, children overheating in the car something everyone would like to forget. If you’re traveling with a small child who can’t possibly let themselves out of the car, you need to figure out what steps you can take to make sure they aren’t accidentally forgotten. The hotter it gets, the more you’re going to have to worry.

One of the things that might help you remember that your child is in the backseat of your car is understanding that it’s illegal to leave your child there. California passed Kaitlyn’s Law in 2001. The law was created in memory of Kaitlyn Russel, who was only six months old when she died after her babysitter forgot her in a hot car for over two hours.

Kaitlyn’s Law not only makes it illegal to leave an infant in the car, but it also makes it illegal to leave an infant in the care of anyone who isn’t at least 12 years old if the vehicle is running or there are keys in the ignition and if there are unsafe conditions, such as overheating.

Kaitlyn’s Law makes it illegal to leave your unsupervised infant in the car period. So even if there is no danger of them overheating, you still have to bring them into the store or appointment with you.

Leaving a child under the age of six in a vehicle when they have no supervision can result in a $100 fine. It’s not unusual for the judge to waive the fine after you’ve completed a community education program.

In many cases, leaving a young, unsupervised child in the car, especially on a hot day, will result in you being charged with child endangerment. It is one of California’s wobbler offenses. In felony cases, you could face up to six years in prison. In misdemeanor situations, you could be sentenced to a year in county jail. In both situations, the Child Welfare Service will likely become involved and decide if you should retain custody of your child.


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Can You Get Into Trouble for Using a Computer That Doesn’t Belong to You?

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We’ve all done it from time to time. Grabbed a friend or family member’s laptop to check our email or update our social media accounts. Most of us ask for permission first. But what if you don’t ask for permission? What happens if you simply boot up someone else’s computer and start using it.

While each situation is different, in legal terms, if you use someone’s computer without getting their permission first, you can be charged with a crime. You’d be charged with violating Penal Code 502 PC. This law states that:

“It is the intent of the Legislature in enacting this section to expand the degree of protection afforded to individuals, businesses, and governmental agencies from tampering, interference, damage, and unauthorized access to lawfully created computer data and computer systems. The Legislature finds and declares that the proliferation of computer technology has resulted in a concomitant proliferation of computer crime and other forms of unauthorized access to computers, computer systems, and computer data.

The Legislature further finds and declares that protection of the integrity of all types and forms of lawfully created computers, computer systems, and computer data is vital to the protection of the privacy of individuals as well as to the well-being of financial institutions, business concerns, governmental agencies, and others within this state that lawfully utilize those computers, computer systems, and data.”

This means that not only are you not allowed to boot up another person’s computer without their permission, you’re also not allowed to use their computer network or any of their software. You should also be aware that in most situations using another person’s cell phone without their permission would also be covered by the same law.

Most of California’s unauthorized use of a computer cases involve additional charges which frequently include fraud, identity theft, and trespassing.

At this point, unauthorized computer access is one of California’s wobbler laws. The exact circumstances of the situation determine if you face misdemeanor or felony charges.

If you are convicted of misdemeanor unauthorized computer use, the maximum sentence is twelve months in county jail and a fine that doesn’t exceed $5,000. Felony convictions can include a three-year stint in state prison and as much as $10,000. Probation is an option in both felony and misdemeanor cases.

While there are defenses you can use in an unauthorized use of a computer case, putting one together isn’t easy. In order to win, you’ll have to prove that you were actually given permission or that you didn’t realize it wasn’t your computer or cell phone.

The best way to avoid an unauthorized use of computer charge is trying to use your own electronics’ as much as possible.


Loitering laws in california

Loitering in California

Loitering laws in california

For the most part, loitering is harmless and doesn’t bother anyone, but there are times when someone will object to your behavior. When this happens, the irritated person may call the cops. It’s at this point that you learn the legal ins and outs of loitering in California.

Loitering in California is a little difficult to define. Loitering is essentially the act of hanging out somewhere when you don’t have any particular need to be in that place. Sitting in a restaurant and chatting with friends even though you are no longer eating, lingering at the bus stop so you can people watch, and soaking up the sun in a convenience store parking lot are all examples of loitering.

The issue of loitering in California became a legal aspect of interest in 1983 when the U.S. Supreme Court officially heard Edward Lawson’s case. Lawson was arrested a total of 15 times during 18 months when he started walking through the “white neighborhoods” of San Diego and Los Angeles. Lawson objected to the fact that when he was questioned, the police didn’t always tell him that they were police officers and that they seldom explained why they were questioning/arresting him.

After hearing Lawson’s case, the Supreme Court looked at California’s penal codes and made an important decision. They felt that the way the Penal Code was written in California gave the police too much freedom. This prompted the state to become more specific about loitering crimes.

There are several different ways a loitering charge can be written up. The type of loitering you’re charged with depends on why the police were called and why they believe you were hanging around in that area.

Most loitering charges involve:

  • Trespassing
  • Failing to dispense (this is often connected with attempting to incite a riot)
  • Loitering at a school
  • Loitering with the intent to commit prostitution
  • Loitering to solicit the purchase of alcohol
  • Loitering with the intent to commit a crime

While each type of charge is a little different, if charged with any of these types of loitering in California offenses, you’ll face misdemeanor charges. The top penalty for the first offense with most of the charges is up to a $1,000 fine, a six-month stay in a county jail, community service.

The second time you’re charged with the same offense, the penalties can double.

The best way to avoid gaining first-hand knowledge of how the legal system deals with loitering in California is by staying calm and making it very apparent to everyone who passes by that you’re not doing anything but enjoying the scenery and the fantastic California weather.


public decency laws

Avoid Inappropriate Public Display Of Affection This Valentines Day

public decency laws

One of the great things about Valentine’s Day is it provides you with an opportunity to look at your current relationship. Many people use the holiday as an excuse to try to inject some added spice into a relationship that has fallen into a comfortable rut. For some couples, this involves experimenting with public sex.

Here’s the thing about public sex. It can be exciting. It can make your relationship feel new and risky (in a fun way.) A little round of public Valentine’s Day sex is just the kind of thing you and your partner will reminisce about for years.

In books and movies, public sex is always hot and romantic. If the couple gets caught, they’re generally either embarrassed or laugh it off. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a romance novel. Here in the real world, a round of public Valentine’s Day sex (or public sex on any other day) can get you tossed in jail.

The issue of public sex is addressed in California’s Penal Code 647. The code clearly states that “An individual who solicits anyone to engage in or who engages in lewd or dissolute conduct in any public place or in any place open to the public or exposed to public view,” violates the law.

In California, you can’t have sex in any public area, or even on private property if there is a reasonable chance of innocent passersby viewing you.

If you’re found guilty of Valentine’s Day public sex, you’ll be convicted of lewd or dissolute conduct. It’s a misdemeanor.

The sentence can include:

  • Six months in county jail
  • A fine of up to $1,000

The one good thing is that as long as the charges don’t include indecent exposure, you won’t have to register as a sex offender.

A possible defense to a Valentine’s Day public sex charge is that you had reasonable expectations that no one would see you.


landlord rights in california

What Are Your Rights When a Tenant Will Not Move Out of Your Home?

landlord rights in california

Owning a rental property is a great opportunity to earn extra money while also helping resolve a small portion of California’s rental housing crisis.

While there are many good things that go along with owning a rental property there are also some downsides. One such drawback is when you have a tenant who simply refuses to move out of your home.

The good news is that there are some things you can do.

California law states that you have a right to tell your tenant that they’re evicted when they’ve:

  • Failed to pay their rent
  • When they do something that blatantly breaks the rental contract, such as having a dog in a no-pets property
  • The tenant has done so much damage to the property that it’s lowered the overall property value
  • The tenant is on the property when they break the law
  • The neighborhood has repeatedly reported that the tenant is a nuisance

You can also evict a California tenant when they fail to move out after the lease agreement has expired.

California doesn’t allow you to simply tell your tenant that they’re evicted and need to vacate the premises. There’s a legal process you must go through.

The first step involves sending a formal lease termination notice to the tenant. It’s in your best interest to send this notice via registered mail. One exception to the lease termination notice is in Epp California where landlords are allowed to send a simple 60-day notice instead.

Before you can file for an eviction, you must provide the tenant with a minimum of three days to either get caught up on repairs or deal with whatever contact violation led to the eviction notice. Just because three-days have passed doesn’t mean you can change the locks. Now it’s time to file get the court system involved. The fact your tenant didn’t respond to the eviction notice indicates that they want to fight the situation.

The tenant has the right to remain on the property until the court says they have to move out.

As the landlord, you’ll be pleased to know that most tenants don’t want to get the court involved. Most prefer to leave your property quietly because they don’t want an eviction on their record. That kind of black mark makes it nearly impossible for them to find a nice to rent in the future.

Just because your tenant has moved off your property, it doesn’t mean you’re done with them. They will want their security deposit back. You have 21 days to go through the property and make a note of any damage they left behind. At this point, you have to either refund the security deposit or explain why they won’t get it. If you’re not returning the full security deposit you have to provide your former tenant with a written explanation. The explanation should include an itemized list of deductions that make it clear that the repairs needed match or exceed the security deposit.


can employers force you to get tested

Can Employers Force you to Submit to a Covid-19 Test?

can employers force you to get tested

If you’re confused about what your employer can and can’t require of you during this pandemic, you’re not alone. Every other day it seems like some new rules and requirements and expectations seem to intrude on our rights. In many cases, getting a straight answer feels impossible.

Finding out if you have to submit for a Covid-19 test each time you go to work is a perfect example of how many people don’t know what they can and can’t fight. Some lawyers freely admit that they’re not sure how legal this topic is. For a long time, it was common knowledge that employers couldn’t legally require employees to undergo any medical examination that didn’t directly impact their work. COVID-19 has changed things.

Based on what the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has stated, it’s likely that you do have to adhere to your employer’s wishes and be screened for COVID-19. The catch is that when your employer requires that you get the test, they have to do so in a way that stays in line with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Your employer isn’t allowed to simply declare that you take a COVID-19 test. There are some strict rules that they have to follow. These rules include:

  • Adhering to both federal and California confidentiality laws
  • Stick to reliable tests
  • Understand the possibility of false/positive and false/negative tests and have a plan of action in place

What happens if the test comes back positive? You’ll have to socially distance which means you can no longer go to work. If working from home isn’t an option, how are you supposed to pay your bills for the two or more weeks you aren’t working?

The good news is that the government has taken the steps needed to make sure you don’t lose your home during this period. If you have to take sick leave because you’ve tested positive for COVID-19, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act) stipulates that provided you meet certain criteria, your employer must pay you, provided you’ve tested positive. In many cases, your employer only has to pay for 2 weeks of sick leave. If you have worked for your current employer for at least 30 days and have a genuine inability to work due to caring for a child during the pandemic, you’re entitled to a 10-week leave of absence at 2/3s of your regular salary.

Some employers who employ less than 50 employees are exempt from the required sick pay for COVID-19 victims.

If you start feeling unwell or were exposed to COVID-19 it’s in your best interest to sit down with your employer and try to find a solution that keeps everyone safe.


compton bail bonds

Don’t Let a Thing Like State Lines Deter Your From Bailing Out a Loved One

compton bail bonds

When you get a late-night phone call from a loved one where they ask you to help out with bail, it’s natural to want to agree. Most friends and family members do. However, some people don’t find out until they’ve offered to help that the loved one was arrested in an entirely different state, making bailing them out difficult.

While helping with bail is difficult when you’re in one state and your loved one is in a different one is difficult, it’s not impossible. Everyone involved in the process has to understand that geographical distance does require some research and will slow things down a bit.

The first thing you need to do is research the area where your loved one is incarcerated. S subtle laws that can influence the bail process that you will need to familiarize yourself with. At this point, it’s okay to contact a lawyer, legal aid office, or a bail bonds agency for help. The better you understand local regulations, the less stressful the entire process is.

The second thing you need to do is simpler. All that is required is gathering up some vital information about the loved one you are trying to bail out of jail.

The information you need includes:

  • The jail where they’re being held
  • Their birthday
  • The charges filed against them
  • The arresting agency
  • The amount of bail needed
  • Your loved one’s booking number

At this point, it is important that you connect with a bail bonds agency that’s familiar with the jail where you’re loved one is currently being held. The agency will tell you what you need, they will assist with the actual act of posting the bail, and make sure your loved one understands all the terms connected to their release. Most importantly, a good, local bail bonds agency will ensure that you’re loved one is released as quickly as possible.

If you find yourself in need of bail in California, it’s in your best interest to contact Lynwood Bail Bonds. We are one of the most trusted bail bonds agencies in the area.

We offer:

  • 24/7 Bail bond service
  • 20% Discount
  • Bail approval via phone
  • 0% Interest payment plans
  • No hidden fees
  • No collateral for working signers
  • Free consultations

Call (323)357-0575 or click the Chat With Us link.


Package theft

The Ins and Outs of Package Theft

Package theft

Package theft is exactly what it sounds like. It’s the act of snatching a package that doesn’t belong to you.

Recently it seems like there are more package theft stories than ever before. It turns out that this isn’t just because people are sharing package theft stories on social media sites. Instances of package theft are genuinely rising.

A recent study indicated that in 2019, at least 31% of all Americans have had at least one package stolen before they were able to bring the package into their home. Many of these same people have had multiple packages stolen off their front porch or out of their garages. It’s estimated that the average cost of each stolen package costs retailers $109 in replacement charges.

The main reason the number of package thefts that take place each day is mostly the result of so many people ordering items online. The increased online shopping means more packages are delivered while people aren’t home, which creates an increasing number of opportunities to steal packages.

Most of the stolen packages involve things like electronics, clothing, books, etc. These are items that can be replaced. The time it takes to replace the item isn’t usually a problem. There are always exceptions. The biggest exception is the theft of packages that contain prescription drugs. In many cases, the victim of the prescription drug package theft doesn’t have enough medication on hand to wait for a replacement package.

In California, package theft is covered by the state’s mail theft laws, which are addressed in Penal Code 530.5e PC. When you read the law, you’ll discover that “every person who commits mail theft, as defined in Section 1708 of Title 18 of the United States Code, is guilty of a public offense, and upon conviction therefor shall be punished by a fine, by imprisonment in a county jail not to exceed one year, or by both a fine and imprisonment.”

Mail fraud charges can be filed against you if:

  • You remove a piece of mail or package from a mailbox/receptacle that doesn’t belong to you
  • If you use deception or fraud to obtain mail or a package that doesn’t belong to you (such as not revealing your identity to the delivery driver)
  • Open a package that isn’t addressed to you and remove the contents
  • Hide a stolen package
  • Buy stolen mail or packages

The way California handles package theft is interesting. In most theft cases, the monetary value of whatever was stolen plays a huge role in how the suspect is charged. That’s not the case with mail and package theft in California.

The reason the stolen package’s value doesn’t come into play is because mail fraud deals primarily with identity theft.

If you’re convicted of mail or package theft, the potential penalties include:

  • Spending up to 12 months in county jail
  • Having to pay a $1,000 fine
  • Probation

The best way to spare yourself the ordeal of a package theft case is to leave unattended packages alone. If you’re charged with package theft in California, one of the best defenses you can use is that the entire incident was a mistake.


california littering laws

Littering in California

california littering laws

California lawmakers want to keep the state’s environment nice so that future generations will enjoy a high quality of life in California. Strict anti-littering laws is one of the tools being used to protect the environment.

What is Littering

We should all be responsible for our trash and make sure it’s properly disposed of, but it’s also important to understand that there is a big difference between a grocery receipt falling, unnoticed from our pocket, and being convicted of littering in California.

California’s littering laws are addressed in the California Penal Code Section 374. According to the code, littering is:

“(a) 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.

(b) Waste matter means discarded, used, or leftover substance including, but not limited to, a lighted or nonlighted cigarette, cigar, match, or any flaming or glowing material, or any garbage, trash, refuse, paper, container, packaging or construction material, the carcass of a dead animal, any nauseous or offensive matter of any kind, or any object likely to injure any person or create a traffic hazard.”

The state isn’t shy about cracking down on anyone who they feel is violating California Penal Code Section 374. If you’re found guilty of littering, you will be charged with a fine.

California’s littering fines are:

  • A maximum of $1,000 for a first offense
  • A maximum of $1,500 for a second offense
  • A maximum of $3,00 for subsequence offenses

It’s worth noting that some cities, including Los Angeles, have started to crack down on littering. COVID-19 is to blame. City officials have noted a surge of face masks and surgical gloves scattered in parking lots, strewn across park benches, and tossed onto the sides of streets. Disgusted by the mess and worried about the potential health threat of the debris, police are on the lookout for anyone who carelessly discards their COVID protection.

The last thing you want is to get in trouble for tossing something silly on the ground. Instead of having to spend a day in court and pay a heavy fine because you failed to pick up the fast-food litter that fell out of your car when you opened the door. Take a few minutes to survey your surroundings clean up after yourself. Not only could the small act save you a great deal of money, but you’ll also find that doing so makes you feel good about yourself.