Lemon Cars in California

Lemon Cars in California

Lemon Cars in California

A lemon is a vehicle that continues to malfunction, even after several repairs have been done in an attempt to remedy the situation. Basically, cars that are considered lemons simply have something wrong with them that defies mechanical explanation.

The good news is that lemons are quite rare. The bad news is that they are both frustrating and expensive to own. The good news is that there are lemon laws that help protect you from bad vehicles.

Just because a vehicle has been to a shop for repairs over and over again, it doesn’t mean the vehicle is a lemon. In California, a vehicle can’t be older than 18 months or have more than 18,000 miles on it to qualify as a lemon. It’s also important to understand that both motorhomes and off-road vehicles aren’t covered by the state’s lemon laws.

The second criteria is that the mechanical problem the car keeps experiencing has to be the same thing over and over again. Even if it’s not the exact same issue each time, the mechanic working on the vehicle should be able to show how each repair is related.

A third thing that will be considered before a vehicle is officially labeled a lemon is how well the vehicle was cared for. If there are signs that the vehicle failed because of owner neglect or an accident, the lemon law won’t come into play.

California lemon law is very specific about what mechanics must have done prior to the California Lemon Law taking effect. Requirements include:

✦ Manufacturer approved mechanics have made a minimum of two attempts to repair an issue that, if not rectified, could become dangerous
✦ Manufacturer approved mechanics have made a minimum of four attempts to repair an issue that isn’t dangerous, but does impede the vehicles overall reliability
✦ Due to repair problems, you haven’t been able to drive the vehicle for at least 30 cumulative days

It’s in your best interest to document everything connected to the car. This doesn’t mean simply keeping the repair records. You should keep a written record of every strange driving experience you have with the vehicle and all the maintenance you’ve done on the vehicle. The more detailed your records are, the less pushback you’ll get when you press to have the vehicle declared a lemon.

If you’re able to get your vehicle officially declared a lemon, the manufacture has to replace it or purchase it from you for the original value.

Bankruptcy Fraud in California

Bankruptcy Fraud in California

Bankruptcy Fraud in California

Bankruptcy fraud is hardly a new concept. As long as bankruptcy has existed, people have taken advantage of the program. Most people simply weren’t aware of it happening.

Many people first started thinking about bankruptcy fraud when Abby Lee Miller, the star of Dance Moms, was convicted of it and served time in federal prison. The case alerted people to several truths about bankruptcy, including how easily the system could be corrupted and that it was a crime that didn’t just result in a slap on the wrist.

While there are many negative connotations connected to bankruptcy, for many people it’s a last, desperate attempt to climb out of a horrible financial situation and rebuild their lives. In some situations, it’s a chance at redemption.

The way California’s bankruptcy system works is that complete honesty and transparency are required. When you file for bankruptcy, you’re required to report all of your assets, your earnings, and your debt load. The problem many people run into is that the temptation to hide things proves too strong. If the court finds out, trouble ensues.

Things you can’t do when you’re declaring bankruptcy includes:

✦ Failing to mention property you own
✦ Concealing/destroying/falsify information that relates to your financial state, debt load, earning, assets
✦ Failing to produce financial records
✦ Failing to disclose cash payments
✦ Making false statements
✦ Failing to update the courts about a sudden change in your financial situation
✦ Transferring/concealing property

In the past, many people likely committed bankruptcy fraud and got away with it. It was easy to hide a second source of income or assets. Thanks to computers and the tendency people have to share every little detail of their lives on social media sites, more people are getting caught.

In the case of Abby Lee Miller, a judge caught an episode of Dance Moms and realized a few things didn’t add up. This prompted her to start digging into Abby Lee’s case and ultimately revealed that Abby Lee was failing to report significant amounts of money.

Other people have been caught posting pictures and comments of them enjoying vacation properties in other countries that they neglected to reveal to the court. All it takes is one person notifying the court of these pictures and a bankruptcy fraud investigation starts.

The ins and outs of bankruptcy court are found in 18 U.S.C. § 152. This is a federal offense and a felony. A guilty conviction will impact you for the rest of your life. If you’re convicted, you could face a full five years in federal prison and be fined up to $250,000.

All things considered, if you must declare bankruptcy, it’s in your best interest to be completely honest. If you do find you’ve genuinely forgotten to report something or you experience an unexpected financial windfall, contact the court and provide an immediate update.

Selling Real Estate Without a License

Selling Real Estate Without a License

Selling Real Estate Without a License

Selling real estate seems simple enough. Someone wants to sell their house. You know a few people who would be interested. You agree to act as a broker between everyone. Considering that people sell houses as “for sale by owner” all the time, what can possibly go wrong.

Yes, it’s possible that this could turn into a good deal for everyone, it can also go horribly sideways. While state laws do allow you to sell your house without the aid of a real estate agent, you’re not allowed to step in and act as a broker for another person unless you’ve been properly licensed by the state.

Getting a real estate license in California isn’t necessarily difficult, but it does require some commitment on your part. The state real estate board wants proof that you clearly understand the ins and outs of real estate law.

The State of California won’t issue a real estate license to you until you’ve:

✦ Completed a specified real estate course
✦ Passed a written exam
✦ Undergone a thorough state background check

It is important to understand that California has two different types of real estate license: a license that allows you to act as a real estate salesperson and another that allows you to act as a real estate broker. You won’t be granted a broker’s license until you’ve first obtained your salesperson license. The state won’t even consider your application to become a broker until you’ve obtained a great deal of hands-on experience working as a real estate salesperson.

Failure to become properly licensed before selling real estate has serious legal repercussions. If you’re caught, you could be facing either a felony or misdemeanor charges. The punishment often depends on why you were eventually caught, how many properties you ultimately helped sell, and if you have ever been charged with selling a property without a license in the past.

In many cases, you’ll serve time in either jail or state prison. It’s also likely you’ll be required to pay a steep fine, have a probation period, and even be required to do community service. Depending on the situation, you could also have to pay restitution to everyone involved in the case. There’s also a chance that civil charges will be filed against you. It’s unlikely that you’ll ever be allowed to legally sell real estate after you’ve been convicted.

All things considered, it’s best to put in the work and obtain your real estate license rather than trying to take a short cut.

Recording in California

Recording in California

Recording in California

When most people hear the word recording, they automatically assume that someone is a musician who is in the process of laying tracks. The term recording has a much different meaning to people involved in the California court system.

California has something that is often referred to as a two-party consent law. The main idea behind the law was to limit wiretapping, but in the digital age, it covers a wide array of issues, including using a recorder to create a copy of a phone conversation or videotaping someone without their consent.

California’s recording law is covered in California Law Penal Code § 632. It’s part of California’s Invasion of Privacy Act.

The law was originally created to encourage law enforcement to go through the legal channels and really build a strong case against people before filing charges. The hope was that by creating clear-cut recording laws, there would be a decrease in the amount of recorded evidence that was thrown out of trials.

The lawmakers who created the law didn’t really predict that a time would come when everyone would have a high-powered recording device in their pocket at all times. As result, some people unintentionally violated that state’s recording laws.

Unless you’ve received a warrant, you’re not legally allowed to record another person’s conversation without first telling them. It sounds simple enough. The problem is that it’s becoming increasingly easy to accidentally record a conversation. All it takes is having a dashcam that records sound mounted on your car. Another example is accidentally hitting the record button on your phone while you’re talking to someone. The issue has come up a few times when someone was shooting a video of something and accidentally recorded a nearby conversation.

If someone believes that you violated the recording laws, they are allowed to file charges against you. If you’re convicted, you can spend a year in jail and possibly be charged a $2,500 fine. If it’s a repeat offense, the amount of the fine can go as high as $10,000.

The good news is that if it was an honest mistake, it’s likely that the charges will be dropped. The charges will also be dropped if you’re able to prove that the recorded conversation took place in a place where the speakers couldn’t reasonably claim that they could expect complete privacy.

California’s Leash Laws

California’s Leash Laws

California’s Leash Laws

Owning a dog is one of life’s greatest pleasures. No matter how bad your day is, it’s nice to know that when you get home you’ll be greeted with joy and love.

While owning a dog is wonderful, there are also many responsibilities connected to owning a dog. One of the things you must be aware of is California’s leash laws. Failing to obey the leash laws can result in both you and your best friend running afoul of the law.

The first thing to understand about leash laws is that they can vary from one city to another. This means that anytime you take your dog for a walk in a new area, you should spend a few minutes researching the local leash laws. The good news is that while there are some differences, the general concept is the same. Your dog isn’t allowed to run loose, they must be on a leash and under control.

It’s important to understand that California’s leash laws don’t exist simply to make your dog miserable. They serve an important function. California’s leash laws are in place in an effort to protect you, your dog, and the entire neighborhood from dog attacks and other dog-related accidents. By keeping your dog on a leash, you not only prevent your dog from potentially knocking over a passing child, but you also reduce the risk of your beloved pet from getting attacked by another dog, running in front of a car, and getting loose.

If you feel that being on a leash makes it impossible for your dog to get the exercise it needs, you’ll have to find a fenced in yard for them to play in or take them to a park. You may even be able to find a local farmer who is willing to rent you some land by the hour where your dog can play. K9 daycare centers are another great option if you want a place where your dog can run and play without having to worry about a leash.

The punishment for failing to adhere to local leash laws varies from one city to another. In most cities, not having your dog on a leash will result in a fine. The police could also choose to have animal control pick up your dog, forcing you to pay a fine before you’ll get them back. If someone is hurt by your unleashed dog, you could find yourself dealing with a civil lawsuit.

The next time you take your dog for a walk, make sure that they are properly secured to a leash that is in good repair and firmly held in your hand.

What Happens if your Home is Condemned in California

What Happens if your Home is Condemned in California

What Happens if your Home is Condemned in California

No one wants to find out that their property has been condemned. When a property is condemned, it doesn’t automatically mean that the house (or the other structures on the property) will be torn down. It simply means that the government has stepped I and assumed ownership of the property. This is done with the assistance of eminent domain laws.

While fighting a notice of condemnation isn’t easy, California does have some laws that allow you to object when the government says they want to condemn your property.

It’s important to understand that the government doesn’t randomly decide to condemn buildings. It also isn’t something they like to do. In nearly all situations, the reason the government steps in is that they have determined that there is something about the property that makes it no longer safe.

In some situations, they will tell the owner that they have to move out of the property until specific repairs have been made. In severe cases, the government will step in, assume control of the property, and destroy the damaged buildings.

Many people mistakenly assume that the government only condemns buildings that are vacant. That’s not the case. While vacant and abandoned buildings are the most commonly condemned, other reasons California homes can be condemned include:

✦ A hoarding situation has become so bad, it’s no longer safe for anyone to live in the home
✦ The building suffered damage during a natural disaster
✦ After renovations are done on a building, the inspector discovers problems that make it unsafe to inhabit the home
✦ In some cases, the government will order a home condemned because specific permits haven’t been properly filed

If you have been told that your home is condemned, you shouldn’t continue living in it. In most areas, continuing to live in a condemned home is against the law.

Depending on the situation, you will likely be allowed into the home in order to make the necessary repairs or to have it cleaned. Before doing so, you’ll have to speak to the housing commission and find out exactly what work is required before you can move back onto the property. If the situation has progressed to the point where the government has assumed ownership of the property, you will not be allowed to enter any of the buildings.

Even if the government hasn’t assumed complete ownership of your property, it’s likely that they’ll take steps to shut off power, gas, and water to the home. They do this in an attempt to prevent further damage and potential accidents.

The California Code of Civil Procedures deals with the subject of condemnations. In order for the government to step in and assume total control over your property, they first have to pass a “resolution of necessity.” What this means is that the government must access the property, how it’s been cared for, have the property fully appraised, and make you an offer.

In most cases, the situation doesn’t reach the point where the government assumes ownership of your property. It’s far more likely that they’ll send you an order to make repairs or demolish the building (they’ll also likely order you to leave the building if it’s considered unfit.) You’ll be expected to cover the cost of both the repairs, demolition, and clean-up. If you don’t act in a timely manner, the government will handle the situation and send you a bill.

The best way to avoid having one of your California properties condemned is by staying on top of its upkeep.

What Happens When You Fail to Pay A Parking Ticket

What Happens When You Fail to Pay A Parking Ticket

What Happens When You Fail to Pay A Parking Ticket

Parking tickets are a royal pain. The second you see the little slip of paper on your windshield, you know your weekly budget is about to take a hit. Considering how tight money is these days, it’s perfectly natural to wonder what would happen if you simply threw the parking ticket in the trash and pretended it never existed.

The good news is that you won’t be arrested for failing to pay a parking ticket. It’s not a criminal act, but don’t assume that just because you won’t go to jail that your actions won’t have consequences. They will.

The first thing that happens when you fail to pay your parking ticket on time is that the amount you owe increases.

The next step is if an officer notices that you’ve collected five unpaid parking tickets they can arrange to have your vehicle towed and impounded. At this point you have two choices, you can pay the tickets, the cost of the towing, and the impound fees, or you can appeal the decision.

If you decide to fight the impounding of your vehicle, you need to contact the city offices and find out when the tow hearing will take place. During this period it’s up to you to prove that the vehicle was either towed illegally or that you, the registered owner, wasn’t notified when the vehicle was towed. Or that the tickers were paid and there was simply a glitch in the system that made it appear that you had several outstanding parking tickets. If you’re able to prove your case, all the fees connected to the towing and impounding of your vehicle will be waived. If you can’t, the impound fees will increase daily until you’ve paid all of your outstanding bills.

One of the more irritating things many drivers report is that they continue to get parking tickets for a vehicle that they no longer own. This isn’t just costly, it’s also irritating and can do severe damage to your reputation. The most likely reason this happens is that the person you sold the car to failed to register the vehicle to themselves and is still using the same license plate that you put on the vehicle.

In order to fight parking tickets that were actually issued to the driver of a vehicle you sold, you’ll have to go to court and show a bill of sale that includes the date you sold the vehicle. Pulling the plate off any vehicle you sell should prevent you from getting into a similar situation in the future.

What Happens When You Fail to Pay

Committing Perjury in California

Committing Perjury in California

Committing perjury in California isn’t a laughing matter. According to state law, perjury happens when you knowingly lie while you’re under oath. The issue is addressed in the state’s penal code sections 118-131.

The legal system only works if everyone believes that anyone who has sworn an oath to tell the truth really is doing so. When someone feels free to lie while under oath, the entire system falls apart, which is why the court takes such a hard stand against people who are found guilty of committing perjury.

If you’re convicted of committing perjury, the judge can have you imprisoned or placed on criminal probation. Those are just the short-term consequences of committing perjury in California. The long term damage is how the guilty conviction completely destroys your reputation and makes everyone question everything you’ve ever said or done.

In California, perjury is considered a felony. If the judge decides to hit you with the maximum sentence, you’ll spend four years in prison.

It’s important to note that you can be charged with perjury even if you haven’t testified in court. California has created a system where a perjury charge can be filed again you if you lie while dealing with a written document. A perfect example of this is deliberately giving false information when selling a house. A second example is providing wrong information when you apply for your driver’s license.

It’s interesting that we don’t hear about more perjury cases. It’s likely that the lack of perjury cases that make their way through the court system has less to do with people telling the truth each time they are under oath and more to do with the fact that perjury, particularly when it’s spoken perjury in court, is surprisingly difficult to prove. To win the case, the prosecutor has to prove that you deliberately lied while under oath which is quite different from accidentally giving wrong information. Perjury charges that involve written documentation are much easier to prove.

The best way to avoid facing perjury in California charges is by always telling the truth while you’re under oath. It’s better to say that you can’t clearly recollect the details of a specific action or that you flat out don’t remember than to lie.