Peeping Tom Laws in California

Peeping Tom Laws in California

Peeping Tom Laws in California

F or those unaware, a peeping tom is typically a man who spies on a woman while she’s changing. What was once a fairly common scene in movies has since died off as people admitted just how creepy the act of peeping is.

The act is so despised that there are laws against peeping and spying on people. Everyone has a right to privacy, especially when a person is in the safety of their own home, or other private areas. That is why the state of California has laws against the act. If a person thinks they want to spy on someone in a private setting, they should think again. This is not a law that a person should be breaking.

California Penal Code 647

Since spying and peeping on someone is such a big deal, because it is an invasion of privacy, many states and even the federal government have enacted laws against the act. In the state of California, spying and peeping is illegal under California Penal Code (PC) 647 i& j.

PC 647 i focuses on the act of peeping while loitering. Under this law, peeping while loitering is considered delaying or lingering on someone else’s private property without reason for being there while peeking into the door or window of an inhabited building. An inhabited building is any structure that a person lives in. If a person does this, then they are guilty of breaking this law.

PC 647 j focuses on invasion of privacy. This part of the law covers a few different acts, such as:

  • Using a telescope or other device to spy on someone.
  • Secretly photographing or recording a person’s body under their clothes for the purpose of sexual gratification.
  • Secretly recording someone in a private room in order to see them in their underwear.

Committing any of these acts is a crime under this law, and can get a person into serious legal trouble.

Penalties of Peeping in California

Breaking PC 647 is seen as form of disorderly conduct, which makes it a misdemeanor offense. This means that a person will face the following consequences for a first time offense:

  • Up to 6 months in county jail.
  • A max fine of $1,000.

These are the typical penalties for this crime, provided the victim is an adult. However, if the victim of the spying is a minor, anyone under the age of 18, then the consequences are more severe. For subsequent peeping offenses, or for peeping on a minor, the consequences are:

  • Up to 1 year in county jail.
  • A max fine of $2,000.

However, despite the nature of the crime, a conviction under PC 647 does not require a person to register as a sex offender.

No One Wants to Be Spied On

No one likes to be spied on especially when they are in their underwear or are naked. Everyone has a right to privacy, especially in their own home, in a restroom, or in a changing room. This is why peeping tom laws have been enacted to try to prevent people from committing the act at all.

Anyone caught breaking these laws will face jail time, and if they continue to break the law after that, the consequences will get worse for the person. Basically, it is never a good idea to spy or peep on someone. Doing so will get a person into trouble.

What do you think about California’s peeping tom laws and their consequences? Are the consequences enough, or should they be harsher? Should peepers be required to register as sex offenders?

Tagging and Graffiti Laws Here in California

Tagging and Graffiti Laws Here in California

Tagging and Graffiti Laws Here in California

Tagging and graffiti are two things that most people have seen, especially if they live in an urban area. Pretty much every large city in the country is littered with graffiti and other signs of tagging. A lot of times, these random markings can make signs unreadable, and change the look of the city for the worse. That is why most states have laws against graffiti.

California is one such state. California Penal Code (PC) 594 covers all sorts of vandalism, from breaking something to marking it up with paint or markers. While the crimes of graffiti and vandalism may seem minor to some, they are a very big deal to others. This is especially true for anyone stuck having to clean up the mess.

California Penal Code 594

PC 594 here in the state of California outlines every possible crime that could be considered vandalism and the punishments for them all. As far as the law is concerned, vandalism is considered to occur when someone maliciously defaces, damages, or destroys someone else’s property.

Vandalism can be any number of things, from

:

  • Smashing mailboxes.
  • Keying someone’s car.
  • Writing a name in wet cement.
  • Breaking someone’s fine china.

Basically, if someone messes with someone else’s stuff with the express intent of breaking or harming it, then they are guilty of vandalism. In fact, this can even be true if two people own something together, and one of them breaks the item. The other person could charge the first with vandalism in the state of California.

Penalties of Vandalism

As far as the punishments for vandalism go, they are dependent on the amount of damage done, the person’s criminal history, if they have one, and what exactly the person vandalized. For instance, vandalizing a place of worship comes with steeper consequences than simply vandalizing someone’s home.

If the amount of damage done totals less than $400, then the vandalism is a misdemeanor charge. This means that the person faces:

  • Up to 1 year in county jail.
  • A max fine of $1,000 unless the person has any prior vandalism charges, in which case the max fine is $5,000.
  • Informal probation.

If the cost of the damage is greater than $400 dollars, the prosecution can charge the crime as either a misdemeanor or as a felony. With misdemeanor vandalism charges in this case, a person faces:

  • Up to one year in county jail.
  • A max fine of $10,000, unless the cost of the damages was higher than $10,000, in which case the max fine would be $50,000.
  • Informal probation

If the cost of damages was over $400 dollars and the crime is being charged as a felony, then the person faces:

  • A jail sentence ranging from 16 months to 3 years.
  • A max fine of $10,000, unless the cost of the damages was higher than $10,000, in which case the max fine would be $50,000.
  • Informal probation.

Consequences of Graffiti in California

Graffiti can be penalized differently in California if the damage done costs less than $250. California PC’s 640.5 and 640.6 only cover the act of graffiti. These offenses come with slightly less harsh consequences, and increase in severity with subsequent offenses.

The first time someone is charged with this crime, they face an infraction level offense:

  • A max fine of $1,000.
  • Community service.

The second time someone is charged with this crime, they face a misdemeanor level offense:

  • Up to 6 months in jail.
  • A max fine of $2,000.
  • Community service.

For a third, or any subsequent offense after that, a person will face a misdemeanor level offense:

  • Up to 1 year in jail.
  • A max fine of $3,000.
  • Community service.

Don’t Damage Someone Else’s Property

Aside from the state having its own law against graffiti and vandalism as a whole, many cities have their own takes on ordinances regarding graffiti. Some cities have even prohibited minors, anyone under 18, from being in possession of graffiti tools such as cans of spray paint and permanent markers. As such parents may want to be careful with giving their children Sharpies. Some cities take that act very seriously, while others couldn’t care less.

Graffiti and vandalism are not fun to deal with, and they are not fun to look at either. That is why the state of California has laws against both vandalism and graffiti. Any person caught breaking those laws will face the consequences.

What do you think of California’s laws surrounding vandalism and graffiti? Are the consequences too steep, just right, or not harsh enough? Why is that?

California’s Laws on the Sale of Marijuana

California’s Laws on the Sale of Marijuana

California’s Laws on the Sale of Marijuana

While voters passed Proposition 64 back in 2016 to legalize the recreational use of marijuana within the state, there are still instances where a person can get into trouble with the drug. For more information about laws surrounding the selling of marijuana, keep reading.

Who Can Sell Marijuana?

When it comes to the sale of marijuana within the state of California, only licensed individuals are permitted to make sales. In order for a business to get a license to sell marijuana within the state, they have to apply for one through the Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC).

The BCC is responsible for overseeing all commercial sales of marijuana within the state. Anyone looking to get a license to sell any form of marijuana or cannabis within California needs to get a license from this agency. If a person fails to do that, then they will face legal consequences for selling marijuana without a license. Not only is selling marijuana illegal, but just possessing with the intent of selling it can get a person into trouble.

Possessing marijuana with the intent to sell is typically a misdemeanor offense. It earns a person up to 6 months in jail and a max fine of $500. However, this crime can become a felony level offense if:

  • A person has a prior conviction of a violent felony.
  • A person has 2 or more prior misdemeanor convictions of intent to sell marijuana.
  • A person possessed marijuana in the attempt to sell it to a minor, someone under 18.

If one of these instances occurs, than the person can face anywhere from 16 months to 3 years in jail.

The unlicensed sale of marijuana is a misdemeanor offense in most cases. It comes with a jail stay of no more than 6 months and a max fine of $1,000. As with the intent to sell marijuana, if a person meets any of the above exceptions, then they could face felony charges. Felony charges of sale without a license can earn a person anywhere from 2 to 4 years in jail.

A person is allowed to transport and give away marijuana, provided the total amount is less than or equal to the legal limit of 28.5 grams of marijuana and the person they are giving the marijuana to is 21 or older.

Minors and Marijuana

While the recreational use of marijuana may be legal in California, a person has to be over the age of 21 to take advantage of that law. Anyone under the age of 21 is prohibited from doing anything with marijuana, this includes:

  • Administer
  • Carry
  • Give away
  • Prepare for sale
  • Sell
  • Transport
  • Use

If a person is caught allowing a minor to do any of these things, they can face harsh prison sentences. If the minor was under the age of 14, then the person can face anywhere from 3 to 7 years in state prison. If the minor was between the ages of 14 and 18, then the person faces anywhere from 3 to 5 years in state prison.

California’s Take on the Sale of Marijuana

It may be legal for a person to use marijuana in a recreational sense here in California, but that does not mean that a person can do whatever they want with the drug. There are still rules to follow. For instance, only licensed businesses are allowed to sell marijuana in any quantity.

Another big law is that a person has to be 21 or older to be able to use or do anything with marijuana. Anyone younger than 21 is considered a minor when it comes to marijuana, and can get into serious legal trouble for dealing with the drug.

What do you think about California’s take on the sale of marijuana and how it punishes people who break those laws? Is it too much, or just enough? How about when minors are involved? Let us know what you think in the comments down below.

The Dangers of Drunk Driving

The Dangers of Drunk Driving

The Dangers of Drunk Driving

When it comes to any party or holiday, it is safe to assume that there will be a lot of drinking. Under normal circumstances, drinking is fine. However, some people still think it is okay to consume alcohol and then get behind the wheel of a vehicle. When a person does that, they increase their chances of getting into a very serious accident that could kill someone.

According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), a person is injured in a drunk driving accident every 2 minutes in the US. This number comes from a 2010 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report. On top of that, an estimated 300,000 people drive drunk every single day in the US, and only around 2,800 people are arrested for the crime daily. These numbers have a tendency to go up around holidays that involve heavy partying and drinking.

Drunk Driving and DUI Checkpoints

Driving drunk is illegal in every single state in the US. Alcohol greatly impairs a person’s ability to make decisions and to react in a timely manner. This means it severely reduces a person’s ability to drive. Drunk drivers struggle to drive straight, maintain a proper speed, and react appropriately to sudden changes.

In order to reduce the chances of people causing accidents while driving drunk, many law enforcement agencies setup DUI checkpoints. The hope is that these checkpoints will catch drunk drivers before they cause a deadly accident. While DUI checkpoints may cause some traffic congestion, they are done in an attempt to keep people safe.

DUI checkpoints are always posted in advanced, to give people the ability to avoid them if they want to. The checkpoint is usually setup in an area that will receive a lot of traffic, especially from bars and parties. Cars will pass through, one by one, and officer will speak with the driver of each vehicle. They will ask a few questions, such as:

  • License and registration.
  • Where are you coming from?
  • Where are you going?
  • Have you been drinking?

Once they have asked their questions, so long as they don’t suspect anything, the driver will be allowed to continue on their way. However, if the officer suspects that the driver has been drinking, they will be asked to pull over to the side where another officer will conduct a field sobriety test. If the driver fails that, they will either need to call for someone to come pick them up or sit in a drunk tank until they have sobered up.

Marijuana and DUI

California recently legalized the recreational use of marijuana, and as such, some people are still fuzzy on what is and isn’t allowed with the drug. One of the big things that isn’t allowed, but most people think is okay, is driving while high. Some people don’t see a problem with it, but it can impair a person as much as alcohol can.

Marijuana can worsen a person’s reaction time, meaning they are less likely to be able to avoid an accident. High drivers also struggle with maintaining a proper speed, and suffer from impaired judgement.

The bottom line? Don’t drive high.

Penalties of DUI

Some people don’t know that DUI stands for driving under the influence. This can mean driving under the influence of alcohol, marijuana, and even certain drug prescriptions. Since DUI can lead to very serious, even fatal accidents, law enforcement agencies take the crime very seriously. A person accused of DUI can face the following consequences for a first time offense:

  • 6 months in county jail.
  • A max fine of $1,000.
  • A 6 month driver’s license suspension.
  • 3 – 9 months of DUI school.

Any following offenses come with harsher penalties, and if someone is severely hurt or killed because of a drunk driver, then that person will face felony charges, which for a first time offense includes:

  • 16 months to 16 years in state prison.
  • Anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000 in fines
  • Paying restitutions to the victim.
  • A suspended driver’s license or having an IID (Ignition Interlock Device) installed in their car for one year.
  • 18 to 30 months of DUI school.
  • Don’t Drink and Drive

    A person should never drive when they are drunk or high, and they especially shouldn’t do it around holidays.
    No matter how a person celebrates upcoming holiday, or any other day for that matter, they should never get behind the wheel of a vehicle while drunk or high. With today’s technology, there are plenty of ways for a person to get home from taxis, Ubers, and Lyfts. A person can always find a safe way home. There is no excuse for driving drunk.