Is It Illegal To Brake Check?

Is It Illegal To Brake Check?

“Brake check” is a term that refers to the act of someone slamming hard on their brakes while they’re driving in front of another driver, forcing the other driver to either slam on their own brakes or swerve out of the way. It’s often done because the driver of the lead vehicle feels the second car is following too closely, or tailgating, them. The hope is that slamming on the brakes will convince the other driver to back off. It’s important to understand that this isn’t just a light tap of the brakes. During a brake check, the driver exerts enough pressure on the brake pedal to quickly and significantly slow their vehicle. They usually hit the gas pedal equally hard and speed off.

The interesting thing about brake checks is that both the brake checking and the tailgating are considered to be examples of aggressive or reckless driving. In this particular incident, both drivers can be issued a ticket. Both actions can lead to a serious accident.

There are a couple of different reasons people tailgate. The first is because the driver is impatient and hopes that they can encourage the other driver to go faster. In this scenario, the tailgating is a form of road rage and aggressive driving. The second most common reason for tailgating is because the driver isn’t paying attention or doesn’t realize just how close they’re getting to the other car’s back bumper. In this instance, the tailgating is a perfect example of distracted or careless driving.

If a police officer observes you doing a brake check, they can nail you for reckless driving. Don’t assume that it will merely be a ticket and a fine. Depending on the circumstances, your brake check could result in you gaining a criminal record, possibly losing your driver’s license, and even ending up in a jail cell.

If your brake check results in someone getting hurt or killed, the penalties are more severe and could include the suspension of your driver’s license. It’s also likely that the injured party will file a civil case against you.

The next time you get tired of being tailgated, take a deep breath and keep your foot off the brake pedal. Remind yourself that it’s far better to be irritated than to do something that could cost you both your freedom and your means of transportation.


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.


California’s Child Safety Seat Laws Keep Kids Safe

California’s Child Safety Seat Laws Keep Kids Safe

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All of us know that young kids have to be strapped into a safety seat whenever they’re in a vehicle. The reason for this is because those safety seats save lives. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that properly installed car seats reduce the number of infant fatalities suffered during car accidents by 54 percent and lower the number of serious injuries sustained during car accidents by 71 percent.

Like other states, California has strict child safety seat laws. Lawmakers used data collected during accidents that involved seriously injured children and accidents that involved a child fatality to decide how they could make it safer for parents to transport their children.

If you’re driving with children who are two years old or younger, the child must be securely strapped into a rear-facing car seat. The child will have to use this seat until they are either 40 pounds or 40 inches tall. The seat the child uses much comply with all the manufacturer’s height and weight restrictions.

Don’t assume that because your child is older or bigger that they no longer need special seating in the car. Children who are under eight years old can only ride in the back seat of the car and they must be in a car seat or a booster seat that’s designed to handle their weight and height. State law mandates that your child use the seat until they’ve passed their eighth birthday or until they are at least 4’9” inches tall.

It’s not enough to have your child secured in the car seat. The seat must also be properly installed. It is in your best interest to visit your local police or fire station. Someone who is on duty will have the training and time to make sure your car seat is properly installed. You are free to get help each time you purchase a different car seat or need to use a different vehicle.

Failing to make sure your child is properly secured in a safely installed child car seat is an infraction. You won’t go to jail if your child isn’t properly strapped into their car seat but you’ll get a ticket. The first time you get a ticket for not having a child in a car seat it’s a $100 fine. Each child’s car seat violation ticket after the first is a $250 ticket.

No matter how big a hurry you’re in when you leave your home, always take a few seconds to make sure your child is properly secured in their car seat before you pull out of your driveway.


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.


Drug Trafficking in California

Drug Trafficking in California

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Drug trafficking is a concern throughout the United States. It’s particularly concerning to California lawmakers who are aware that the state’s relatively close location to both Canada and Mexico, as well as the massive number of ports the state has made it a popular choice for drug traffickers who want to either import or export drugs.

The issue of drug trafficking is discussed in California’s Health and Safety Code 11352. It states that:

“Except as otherwise provided in this division, every person who transports, imports into this state, sells, furnishes, administers, or gives away, or offers to transport, import into this state, sell, furnish, administer, or give away, or attempts to import into this state or transport (1) any controlled substance specified in subdivision (b), (c), or (e), or paragraph (1) of subdivision (f) of Section 11054, specified in paragraph (14), (15), or (20) of subdivision (d) of Section 11054, or specified in subdivision (b) or (c) of Section 11055, or specified in subdivision (h) of Section 11056, or (2) any controlled substance classified in Schedule III, IV, or V which is a narcotic drug, unless upon the written prescription of a physician, dentist, podiatrist, or veterinarian licensed to practice in this state, shall be punished.”

If you’re charged with drug trafficking the potential consequences connected to a conviction are frightening. The judge has the option of sentencing you to 3-9 years for your first offense. You could also be hit with a $20,000 fine and be ordered to serve felony probation.

It’s important to note that you could be charged with drug trafficking even if you never make a single penny off the deal. Simply moving the drugs or giving them a friend can result in legal action.

The list of drugs you’re not legally allowed to transport in California includes, but isn’t limited to:

  • Cocaine
  • Peyote
  • Opiates
  • Heroin
  • LSD
  • Multiple types of prescription drugs

Most people who are hit with drug trafficking charges also find that they are charged with other crimes. Crimes commonly connected to drug trafficking include drug dealing, selling controlled substances to minors, having drugs near a controlled facility or government building, illegal distribution, prescription fraud, and more.

There are very few legal defenses that can be successfully used in drug trafficking cases. The only thing the prosecution has to prove is that not only were you moving the controlled substances from one location to another but that you were also aware that the drugs were controlled substances.


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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Earthquake Safety Tips

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There are many great reasons to live in California. There’s also one huge drawback. In exchange for easy access to beaches and year-round wonderful weather, you always have to be prepared for an earthquake.

The good news is that most of the earthquakes we experiences are really small, little more than slight tremors that give people something to chat about. They seldom do more than cause a few things to fall off shelves. However, every once in a while, there is a massive earthquake.

Since no one really knows when a big earthquake will arrive or how bad the earthquake will be, it’s important that everyone is up to date on current earthquake safety tips.

Create a Safety Plan

Everyone who lives in your home should have a plan about how they will handle things if they’re home during a massive earthquake. Not only does this mean knowing the safest point in your house, but also having a system in place that allows you to connect with loved ones to let them know that you’re safe. Keep some survival supplies, including non-perishables, blankets, and bottled water in the earthquake designation zones.

When You’re Indoors

If you’re inside when a massive earthquake hits get somewhere protected. Ideally, this would be a closet, which has a frame that provides additional protection. If you’re not near a closet, get under a table or desk. The idea is to get some protection from falling debris. Make sure you’re well away from bookcases, windows, and anything heavy that could shift or fall.

Drop low to the ground, preferably on your knees, and stay still until the shaking stops. You should stay indoors for several minutes after the shaking stops. The only exception to staying in place is if you smell gas or smoke. If you smell gas or smoke, get out as quickly as possible while yelling for help.

When You’re Outside

If you’re outside when an earthquake starts, you want to get low to the ground while also moving away from trees, buildings, and power lines. If you’re in a vehicle, stop the car somewhere that there’s little damage of it being hit by a powerline tree, or sliding into a ditch.

Once the earthquake has passed, you need to first take care of yourself and make sure you’re not injured. Once you’re confident you’re in good shape, your next course of action is checking in with your loved ones and helping anyone who was injured during the earthquake.


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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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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.