California knife laws

The Various Legal Aspects of Owning and Carrying a Knife in California

California knife laws

Some states have incredibly strict laws when it comes to carrying knives. California isn’t one of them. The state actually has a surprisingly permissive attitude when it comes to both open carry and concealed knives.

The general rule of thumb is that yes, you’re free to carry a knife while you’re out and about. Things don’t start to get sticky until it comes to the number of knives you own.

California’s Laws Regarding Carrying Knives

It’s common knowledge that California states you can carry a knife either open or concealed. What is less well known is that there are some knives you can carry concealed and others that must be open carry. If you have a dirk or a dagger, you’re allowed to keep the knife on you, but you’ll have to make sure it’s visible. The same is true if you have a pocketknife or utility knife that’s blade is stuck in the open position.

The list of knives you’re allowed to carry either as open carry or concealed includes box cutters, pocket knives, and utility knife. Remember, in order to meet the requirement, the blade must be less than 2” and it can’t be stuck in an open position.

You’re never allowed to carry a misleading or undetectable knife while you’re in California. Misleading knives are knives that are designed to look like something else. Examples of this include knives concealed in a cane, a belt, or built into a lipstick tube. Undetectable knives are knives that are made out material that doesn’t set off metal detectors.

What Happens When you Break one of California’s Knife Laws

The broad nature of California’s knives laws means that few people are arrested for simply having a knife on them. The bulk of knife-related arrests in California stem from using a knife while committing a crime or for carrying a knife into a weapons-free zone. That being said, some people have been arrested for carrying exactly the type of knife California prohibits, such as getting caught with an undetectable knife.

If you’re caught doing something you’re not supposed to, such as carrying a concealed switchblade knife, you will be charged with a misdemeanor. In most cases, the defendant gets charged a fine and assigned community service, though you could face up to 3-years imprisonment.

Something to Keep in Mind

While you are allowed to carry a concealed knife in California, you do have to be mindful of where you are. Certain places are deemed “weapons-free zones.” Both open and concealed knife carrying is prohibited in these areas. Schools are a perfect example of weapons-free areas. The same is true for any building that’s owned/rented by the U.S. government and most state-owned/operated properties.


Witnessing a crime in california

Legal Responsibilities Attached to Witnessing a Crime in California

Witnessing a crime in california

As you were walking your dog, you witnessed a hit and run. No one was hurt, but the fleeing car did do quite a bit of property damage. Suddenly you’re in the middle of a moral dilemma. Should you report the crime or should you pretend it didn’t happen and simply go home.

While no one can tell you what you should do, you should know that if the police find out that you witnessed the hit and run, or any other type of crime, you should report the incident. There are some crimes, such as child abuse, where failing to report the situation could land you in hot legal water.

Why You Should Report the Crime

Witnessing a crime triggers a strange surge of emotions. On the one hand, you know you have a moral responsibility to tell the authorities what happened. On the other hand, you can’t stop thinking that doing so will make you some sort of tattletale, a title you worked hard to avoid while you were in grade school.

What you have to understand that telling the police about a hit and run driver, or blowing the whistle on white-collar crime is not the same thing as telling your teacher that your best friend is jumping in mud puddles and splashing water on everyone.

When it comes to crime, no matter how small the issue might be, you have a moral obligation to report it.

How Much Time do you Have to Report the Crime?

When it comes to reporting a crime, sooner is better than later. Reporting the crime right away prevents someone else from going to the police and telling that you were on the scene and have failed to report the incident. The other advantage of reporting the crime as quickly as possible is that your memory of the incident will be clear, making you a credible witness.

What Happens if You Don’t Report a Crime?

There are some crimes, particularly those that involve children, that you’re legally required to report. Failing to report a crime that involves a child comes with serious legal ramifications. If you know a child is being abused or neglected you are required to report the crime to a child welfare professional or a police officer. You have to report the situation within 36 hours of witnessing the event.

The maximum penalty for failing to report a child is a $1,000 fine and a six-month jail sentence.


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.


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.


Can children be home alone

When Can Children Be Left Home Alone?

Can children be home alone

Parenting is rarely an easy task at the best of times. When times get tough, like they have recently, parenting can get even tougher. With schools shut down all over the country, many parents have suddenly been reminded of just how tough parenting is. This is only made worse when some parents are still working, meaning their kids have to be left home alone.

Parents of younger kids can be left in a very tough spot. They need to work, but they also need to keep an eye on their children at home. They worry that their children may not be old enough to be left home alone. Then they wonder at what age a child can legally be left home alone in California.

It Depends on the Child

Deciding to leave a child home alone is not an easy decision to make. Most parents spend hours agonizing over that decision the first time. They may search online for answers, but unfortunately, there is no easy answer to this question. The one nice thing is that there is no law here in the state of California that states when a child can be left home alone.

When it comes to leaving a child home alone, things vary from kid to kid. This is one of the main reasons why the state doesn’t set an age limit to when a child can be left home alone. Some kids mature faster than others, and so an 8-year-old may be ready to take care of herself for an hour or two while a 9-year-old may still need constant supervision. The state can’t make exact guidelines for this kind of thing and so refer to the parent’s expertise on their child.

To help parents make a truly informed and well thought out decision, the state does provide parents with a list of questions to ask themselves regarding their child on the California Department of Education’s website. These questions include:

  • Can he creatively solve problems?
  • Do you live in an isolated area without close neighbors?
  • Does he always let you know where he is going and when he will return?
  • Does your child become bored easily?
  • Is a neighbor home to help if needed?
  • Is he easily frightened?
  • Is she responsible?
  • Is your neighborhood safe?
  • Will you or another adult always be available to your child in case of an emergency?
  • Would caring for the younger sibling restrict the older child’s activities?
  • Would she be at home with an older brother or sister? Do siblings get along?
  • Would she spend her time responsibly?
  • Would the older sibling resent caring for the younger one?
  • Would your child rather stay home than go to a child care or after-school program?

A parent should carefully consider all of these before coming to a conclusion about what they should do with their child. Some parents may find that after considering these points, their child isn’t ready to be left on their own. Others may determine that child is ready to handle the extra responsibility that comes with being home alone.

If a parent decides that they can leave their child home alone for a few hours, the California Department of Education recommends creating some rules for the child. Some of the rules they recommend are:

  • Are they allowed to leave the house or go outside?
  • How she can reach you.
  • The foods she may eat, preferably nothing involving the stove.
  • What appliances and devices can be used.
  • What TV shows can be watched.
  • Which friends are allowed to come over.

These simple rules can help keep a child safe while they are on their own.

It’s the Parent’s Decision

No one ever said that raising kids would be easy, and that was when things were generally right in the world. With schools shut down now, parents who are stuck going to work are being forced to face the dilemma of whether or not their child is mature and responsible enough to be staying home alone.

Luckily, there is no direct law stating when a child can be left on their own for a little while. This means the act of leaving a child home alone itself is not illegal. However, a parent can run into complications if by leaving the child alone, the child stood a more than likely chance of getting hurt. In those instances, a parent could be charged with neglect. If taken to court, the judge would likely default to the parent’s reasoning and thoughts on the matter. After all, parents are the best experts on how responsible and mature their children are.

What do you think of California’s lack of laws surrounding when a child can be left home alone? Should there be a law regulating this, or is it best to leave the decision up to the parents? Let us know what you think in the comments down below.


lynwood bail bonds smash and grab crimes

Why Are People Smashing Car Windows?

lynwood bail bonds smash and grab crimes

Most law abiding citizens see a locked door or window and assume the building or car is inaccessible. However, there are people out there who view those barriers as minor obstacles. If they want inside, they will get inside. Nothing is going to stop them, not even a pane of glass.

When a criminal sees something they want, particularly something that is valuable, not much can stop them from trying to get the item. This is especially true when all that stands between them and their prize is a single pane of glass. With the right tool, they could have that window shattered in seconds, have their prize, and be out of there before anyone can catch on to what has happened. This can prove to be very problematic, especially for car owners.

Smash and Grab Crimes Moving Further South

For a while now, the city of San Francisco, and other parts of Northern California, have had to deal a rise in smash and grab crimes, particularly with their vehicles. If a driver made the unfortunate decision to leave something in their car while they shopped or went inside somewhere, a thief would come along, see the item in question, break the car window, and take off with the stolen goods.

Sometimes, there may not have been anything of value in the car, other than a bag of unknown stuff. The thief saw that and decided to take a chance on the bag, hoping there could be something of value hidden inside. Often times, the crooks may even be working in groups. One team breaks into the vehicles and then hands off the stolen goods to a getaway team.

There are entire gangs out there that have made this sort of crime their business.

It is easy to see how this could be very frustrating and upsetting for a person. Not only did someone steal something from them, but the thief broke the vehicle’s window as well.

As San Francisco and the rest of Northern California seemed to get ahold of the situation and even see a slight drop in the crimes, Los Angeles and Southern California are seeing a sudden increase in these types of crimes. The Bay Area saw a 3% drop in these types of crimes while Los Angeles saw a 30% increase.

Experts believe this is due to an oversaturation of the crimes up north. The belief is that some of the gangs that have been committing these crimes are moving south to the ‘new market’ in Los Angeles and the surrounding areas.

Consequences of Smash and Grab in California

Smash and grab crimes are essentially breaking and entering crimes. Here in California, the act of breaking and entering falls under burglary, which is made illegal under California Penal Code (PC) 459. This is due to the fact that state law does not require forced entry for a crime to be considered burglary.

The law states:

“Every person who enters any house, room, apartment, tenement, shop, warehouse, store, mill, barn, stable, outhouse or other building, tent, vessel… car… vehicle… with intent to commit grand or petit larceny or any felony is guilty of burglary.”

This means that anyone caught breaking into a car to steal something from within the car is guilty of burglary. Burglary in California is broken into two sections, first- and second-degree burglary. First-degree burglary occurs when a person breaks into any residence, basically any place where a person might live. Second-degree burglary is a burglary of anything else, including cars.

Second-degree burglary is a wobbler offense in California, meaning it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. How it is charged depends on how the prosecution wants to proceed. As a misdemeanor, it comes with:

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

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.

Keep Your Stuff Safe

Regardless of where a person lives in California, no one wants to have their stuff stolen. They definitely don’t want one of their car windows being shattered. In an effort to avoid that kind of thing happening to them, a person needs to be aware of what they are leaving behind in their vehicles. A person should never leave behind valuables, and should avoid leaving behind bags of stuff as well. Even if there is nothing of value in the bag, the thieves won’t know that.

If something has to be left in a car, then it should be left hidden. This way, there is no incentive for a criminal to break into the vehicle.

What do you think has caused this rise in smash and grab crimes here in California? What about how California view burglaries and the consequences for those crimes? Do the consequences match the crime, or do they need to be reevaluated? Let us know what you think in the comments down below.


lynwood bail bonds door to door scams

Tips for Dealing with Door to Door Scams

lynwood bail bonds door to door scams

For most people, the safest and most relaxing place to be is within the walls of their own home. There, they are isolated from the rest of the world in safety. They can rest easy and recharge before having to venture outside once again. When someone intrudes on the space it can be a bit upsetting. This is especially true if the intruder is up to no good.

In today’s modern world, a lot of scammers have taken to the internet to trick and con people. Most people are aware of this fact. However, some scammers out there prefer to stick to more old fashioned methods. Door to door scams do still occur and it is important for people to be aware of this fact.

Since there are so many different scams out there, it is important for a person to learn to spot the warning signs of something being a scam. This way, no matter what type of scam they might be dealing with, they will be able to recognize the con for what it is and avoid it.

Preferred Targets for Scams

When it comes to door to door scams, there is one age group that falls victim to it more than all the others. People over the age of 60 are more likely to be targeted by, and fall victim to, these types of scams. This is due to the fact that Baby Boomers were raised to be more trusting of people and polite towards everyone. They are also the main age group that is home during the day. These are traits that scammers love to exploit in order to get their foot in the door.

When a scammer comes to the door, someone in this age group is more likely to answer the door to an unexpected guest. Meanwhile, people in later generations are more likely to ignore the knock at the door if they weren’t expecting anyone. Similarly, Baby Boomers are less likely to close the door on someone once they begin talking to them. Other generations have no problems closing the door in someone’s face.

Common Scams and Warning Signs

There are primarily two types of door to door scams that a person needs to be wary of:

  • Someone ‘selling’ a product or service.
  • Someone distracting the person so an accomplice can break into the house.

When it comes to selling a product or service, many scammers will dress up to play the part. They will put on uniforms and claim to be from a specific, often trusted, company. Some may even display fake badges. The goal of these types of scams is to convince the victim to pay money, or provide credit card information, for a product or service that will never be issued or delivered.

With the other type of scam, the person knocking at the door is just the distraction. He or she just wants to hold the victim’s attention, maybe even get them out of the house and into the yard, as someone breaks into the house and steals anything of value.

Just because someone looks the part or displays a badge does not mean they are legitimate. This is especially true when they knock unexpectedly on a door. Most legit companies do not send workers door to door to drum up business because they have more important things to do. When it comes to payment, no legit company will demand payment upfront, in cash. Being aggressive toward clients is a sure fire way to get bad reviews.

Tips for Avoiding Scams

The following are some tips to help identify and avoid door to door scams:

  • Always ask to see identification.
  • Always keep doors locked, even when home.
  • Ask the person to leave their information and come back next week, giving enough time to research them.
  • Be wary of people asking for payment upfront.
  • Call the company of unexpected service workers to determine if they are legit.
  • Don’t respond to unsolicited offers of service.
  • Don’t step outside with unsolicited workers when home alone.
  • Never admit to living or being alone.
  • Never invite unexpected service workers inside.
  • Never pay in cash for door to door services.
  • Report suspicious activity to local law enforcement.
  • Tell neighbors about the suspicious activity to help keep them alert too.

Don’t Get Scammed at Your Door

No one likes getting scammed, especially if the scammer comes to their front door. Home is where a person is supposed to be safe, and getting conned at the front door can make a person feel very unsafe.

While there may be dozens upon dozens of different door to door scams out there, they all have a tendency to follow the same patterns. This makes them easily identifiable, which in turn makes it easier for regular people to avoid getting conned on their own doorstep.

Have you ever encountered a scammer on your doorstep before? Do you have extra tips for dealing with door to door scams that didn’t make this list? If so, share them in the comments down below and help others stay safe while at home.


lynwood bail bonds beware of the irs mail scam

Beware of the IRS Mail Scam Going Around

lynwood bail bonds beware of the irs mail scam

Most people are just trying to live their life. They don’t want any trouble and do everything that they can to avoid it. Whenever some government official or law enforcement officer tells them to do something, they do it, often without question. Every law abiding citizen does that. Unfortunately, even that can get a person into trouble if they are not careful.

Sadly, there are people out there who don’t exactly follow the rules, and they like to cause trouble. Their favorite people to target are the ones who are afraid of causing trouble. These bad people create scams that trick good people into giving them money or risk getting into trouble with the law.

If people want to avoid something like this, then they need to be aware of all of the different scams out there and how scammers like to operate.

IRS Mail Scam

A common scam, especially around tax season, is for scammers to send letters to potential victims. The letters arrive via the United States Postal Service (USPS), which is one of the primary forms of communication that the IRS actually uses. This adds a layer of believability to the scam. The phony letters almost perfectly replicate Internal Revenue Service (IRS) forms stating that the person is behind on some type of payment or something of that nature.

The letters will often state that a discrepancy was found on the victims tax returns and that they owe the IRS some amount of money. One obvious red flag that people should be aware of when it comes to scams is that the scammer will try to intimidate the victim. This can be done in a number of ways, but often involves threatening to arrest the individual or getting the police involved. The IRS would never do that.

Another warning sign involves how they ask for payments. Often times, the scammers will request money be paid immediately and in certain, untraceable ways. This way, once they have the money, there is nothing the victim can do about it. Some preferred methods include:

  • Prepaid cards
  • Gift cards
  • Money transfers

The IRS would never demand money immediately, and they definitely wouldn’t accept these kinds of payments. Anyone asking or demanding for this kind of payment is clearly a scammer.

The Best Way to Be Sure

Probably one of the best ways to check on whether or not something claiming to be from the IRS is a scam is to just contact the IRS. If a person receives a letter in the mail stating there was a discrepancy on their tax returns and they are unsure of the authenticity of the letter, then they should call the IRS.

Finding contact information for the agency is as easy as going to their website: IRS.gov. A person can then call up and talk to someone who actually knows something in order to confirm whether or not the letter is real.

Contacting the IRS may not be the most fun thing in the world to do, but it is better to be safe than sorry.

Don’t Get Scammed

No hard working individual ever wants to scammed out of their money, but they also don’t want to get into any trouble with law enforcement. That fear of getting into trouble is what scammers feed off of. They want to scare their victims into acting without thinking things through enough to see the cracks in their scam. This is why it is always best for a person to take a step back and think things through. Doing so could easily help a person see the scam for what it is.

Have you received a letter claiming to be from the IRS that states you owe money on your taxes? If so, be sure to really examine that letter, and talk to the actual IRS to confirm the letter’s authenticity to avoid being conned.


lynwood bail bonds store driving with an animal on your lap

Is It Legal to Drive With an Animal on Your Lap?

lynwood bail bonds store driving with an animal on your lap

Pretty much every pet owner out there has a furry companion that they would do everything they can for. Some pet owners love their critters so much that they take them everywhere they go. This seems like a harmless and fun way for a person to spend time with their beloved companion, however it can be dangerous and even illegal in some states.

Laws from Across the Country

Across the nation, different states have different rules about how pets can be transported in cars. This can make driving through different states with a furry companion that much harder. Any driver looking to take their pet somewhere, especially on road trips, needs to be aware of these laws. If they aren’t, they could inadvertently end up in trouble with the law.

Some states, such as Hawaii and Arizona, have specific laws that make it illegal to drive with a pet in the person’s lap or in the driver’s immediate vicinity. Other states such as Maine and Connecticut can use their state’s distracted driving laws against drivers with pets on their lap.

The state of New Jersey takes things a step further. In this state, officers can stop any driver who improperly transports an animal, such as driving with the animal in their lap, and charge the person with animal cruelty. A person found guilty of this can face fines ranging from $250 to $1,000 dollars and can even face up to 6 months of jail time.

California Law

Here in California, the laws surrounding the transportation of animals are surprisingly lax. The state only has one law regarding the transportation of animals in vehicles, and it applies to pick-up trucks.

Vehicle Code (VC) 23117 states that no driver should transport an animal in the back of a vehicle in a space intended for any load unless the space is enclosed or has side and tail racks that are at least 46 inches high, has installed means of preventing the animal from getting out, or the animal is in a cage.

Basically, this means an animal can’t be carried in the bed of a truck unless the sides of the truck are higher than 46 inches, the animal is tied to the bed of the truck, or the animal is in a cage of some sort. This means that as long as an animal is in an enclosed space, such as the interior of the car, they are being transported safely and correctly.

This law does not apply to the transportation of livestock or the transportation of a ranch dog for ranching/farming purposes.

The consequences of breaking this law for the first time come with a fine ranging from $50 to $100. A second or any subsequent offense within a year will earn a person a fine ranging from $75 to $200.

Why These Laws Exist

The important fact to remember is that these laws exist for safety reasons. Transporting the animal safely keeps not only the critter safe, but the driver as well. A pet owner wants to make sure that in the event of an accident, their companion stays safe. This means keeping it safe and secure in the vehicle.

On top of the pet’s safety, there is the driver’s safety to consider as well. Everyone knows how dangerous distracted driving can be. What people may not realize is just how many things can be considered distracted driving besides using cellphones. Having to deal with a pet, especially one that is on the driver’s lap, can be very distracting. If the driver becomes too engrossed in whatever their pet is doing in their car, they could cause an accident.

What do you think of all of these different takes on laws surrounding the transportation of animals? Which state has your favorite law and which one takes things too far? Does California need to update its own animal transportation and distracted driving laws? Let us know what you think in the comments down below.