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.


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.


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.


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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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Distracted Walking in California

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Everyone is familiar with distracted driving, but few of us have ever heard of distracted walking laws. If you’re wondering if that’s even a real thing you’re not alone.

Rest assured, not only is distracted walking a viable concern, but one California city, Montclair, has already passed a distracted walking law. In April 2018, the city’s distracted walking law officially went into effect. Once that happened, anyone caught using their cell phone while walking across the street was subjected to a $100.

It seems like a silly rule, but if you take a few minutes watching people walking on the sidewalk and you can see why distracted walking is a concern. These days, people are completely glued to their phones and often unaware of what is happening around them. Some don’t even look up when they start crossing the street. This type of behavior has prompted more cities to explore the concept of distracted walking laws.

A team of researchers at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, Newark revealed that the number of medical emergencies that included head and neck injuries has substantially increased in the past 20 years.

Legally, drivers are supposed to be aware of pedestrians and do everything in their power to avoid hitting them with their vehicle. The problem that arises is how are drivers supposed to predict when a pedestrian who is texting will suddenly step into the path of oncoming traffic. What makes the issue even more challenging is that many of these pedestrians don’t even realize that they are now in the middle of the road and don’t behave rationally.

Do you think more cities should have distracted walking laws? If distracted laws became common and patrol cops started issuing tickets and fines, would you be more inclined to leave your phone in your pocket, or would you continue to talk and text?


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.


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

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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.


California wildfire season

Staying Safe During California’s Wildfire Season

California wildfire  season

Each year, California has wildfires that attract national and sometimes even international media attention. The various media channels like to talk about what might have caused the wildfire, how big it’s gotten, and how teams are desperately working to fight it, as someone who lives in California, you’re first priority is doing everything possible to keep yourself and your loved ones safe during this year’s wildfire season.

Prepare Early

Don’t wait until you can hear the roar of the wildfire bearing down on you to start preparing. Wildfires spread quickly and they can also start quickly. Don’t wait until you’re in a high-risk area to start preparing for a wildfire. As soon as you move to California, you need to create start preparing for the possibility of a fire.

Early California fire preparations include:

  • Turning your property into a defensible space
  • Having an evacuation plan in place
  • Keeping your vehicle prepped in case you have to evacuate
  • Having a bag packed with life essentials in case you need to evacuate
  • Making sure your personal property is covered by property insurance

Creating a Defensible Space

You want to surround your property with a defensible space. This space serves as a buffer between an approaching fire and your home. The space shouldn’t have any items or vegetation that’s likely to burn. The defensible space should extend at 30 feet past your house.

Packing Evacuation Supplies

You don’t have enough room in your car for all of your personal belongings. Limit what you need to one bag per person. Most of the time you can keep his bag in your closet, but if it looks like there is a chance that you’ll have to evacuate, stow the emergency fire bag in your car. Fire moves quickly so each second you save is important.

Items you should have in your emergency fire evacuation bag include:

  • A change of clothing
  • Cash/credit cards
  • An extra charger for your cell phone
  • The contact information for your insurance company
  • A first aid kit
  • Any medication you take
  • Water
  • Food
  • A flashlight

Keep Tabs on your Neighbors

Fire doesn’t care who it hurts. It’s up to you to keep in touch with your neighbors and make sure that they’re able to protect themselves from a wildfire. Whenever possible, offer to help them evacuate. Taking a few seconds to contact your neighbor’s emergency contact, or helping load up their car helps save lives.

Prepare your Pets

You can’t afford to forget about your pets during an emergency fire evacuation. They can’t fend for themselves. You should also be prepared for even the most docile pet to become stressed as you evacuate. They might not understand exactly what is going on, but they do know that a fire is approaching and that you’re stressed.

Lock your pets in a different part of the house while you prepare to evacuate. This prevents them from bolting out the door and getting lost while you’re packing up your vehicle. When you’re ready to load your pets in the car keep them leashed or in a carrier. Don’t assume they will just follow you. Each time you stop the car for gas, make sure your pets are restrained before you get out of your car.

It’s a good idea to get your pet micro-chipped and to write its name and your phone number on their collar before you evacuate.

Before you drive away from your home, take a couple of seconds to double-check that all people and pets are loaded in your car.

Even though it’s hard to stay calm when you’re evacuating, you really need to. The calmer you can keep yourself in this situation, the smoother the evacuation will go.


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.