Roadside Stands in California

Roadside Stands in California

Roadside Stands in California

If you have a green thumb and a good-sized garden, you’ve likely grown more produce than you can eat. A roadside stand is a great way to find a home for the surplus fruits and vegetables while also earning some extra money.

Before you start hauling tubs of squash and green peppers to the side of the road, you should take a crash course in the legalities of owning a roadside stand.

In California, roadside stands are regulated by California Health and Safety Codes as well as many local departments. To be legal, a roadside stand has to sell fresh produce or eggs. It isn’t a closed building, but rather a structure that’s open on at least one side. If you use the stand to sell packaged food or for storage, you can only use 10% of the stand’s total space.

Traditionally, the only types of things you could sell via a roadside stand were eggs and unpackaged fruits and vegetables. That has changed a little. When California lawmakers passed AB 2168 roadside stands could be used to market some home bottled products, including jams, pickles, and olives. The one rule was that the items used to create these bottled products had to be grown either on or near the home where the stand is based.

If you plan on using a roadside stand to sell jam and preserves, you probably won’t be able to bottle the items in your kitchen. The law requires that the packaging and preparation of these artisan items have to take place in a kitchen that’s been granted health department approval. If you want to make your products in your home, you’ll have to get your kitchen licensed as a Cottage Food Operation.

Another change is that you’re also legally permitted to sell bottled water and soda pop at your road stand, but only in limited quantities. The amount of space you dedicate to these items can’t exceed 50-feet.

It’s extremely important that you run your roadside stand like a business. Keep accurate records of both any money it makes and all of your expenses connected to the stand. The bad news is that you’ll have to claim this income when you file your taxes. The good news is that you’ll be able to deduct your expenses.

It is also a good idea to explore getting liability insurance for your roadside stand so that you’re protected if any customers are hurt while they’re going through your produce.

Committing Perjury in California

Knowingly Committing Perjury in California

Committing Perjury in California

Lying to a police officer who is investigating a crime can get you in trouble for impeding an investigation. Lying while on the witness stand and under oath during a trial will result in you being charged with perjury.

What is Perjury?

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, perjury is: “the voluntary violation of an oath or vow either by swearing to what is untrue or by omission to do what has been promised under oath : false swearing.”

The topic of perjury is dealt with in Penal Code 118 PC. The code states that: “(a) Every person who, having taken an oath that he or she will testify, declare, depose, or certify truly before any competent tribunal, officer, or person, in any of the cases in which the oath may by law of the State of California be administered, willfully and contrary to the oath, states as true any material matter which he or she knows to be false, and every person who testifies, declares, deposes, or certifies under penalty of perjury in any of the cases in which the testimony, declarations, depositions, or certification is permitted by law of the State of California under penalty of perjury and willfully states as true any material matter which he or she knows to be false, is guilty of perjury.”

One of the interesting things about perjury in California is that the same penal code also states that: “(b) No person shall be convicted of perjury where proof of falsity rests solely upon contradiction by testimony of a single person other than the defendant. Proof of falsity may be established by direct or indirect evidence.”

Examples of Perjury in California

There have been many instances of people who have committed perjury. In many cases, a person deliberately lied during a trial when they were asked to identify a suspect or when they were asked how they knew specific details about a case. Other instances when perjury has been committed includes when people were asked to provide information about a car accident during either a civil or criminal trial. In these instances the false information was usually provided in an attempt to get a larger settlement or because the individual wanted to shift the blame off themselves.

Perjury and Affidavits

Most people assume that perjury is only committed when they take the witness stand during a criminal or civil trial. The reality is that a sworn affidavit also acts as a witness statement. Anyone who knowingly provides false information on an affidavit can be charged with perjury.

The Consequences of Committing Perjury

There aren’t many defenses that can be used in perjury cases. The most successful defense is that you genuinely believed you were telling the truth. If you do find that you accidentally provided false information while under oath, it’s in your best interest to let the DA know as soon as you find out. Taking a proactive stance goes a long way towards showing that you didn’t intend any malice when you inadvertently provided information that you later learned wasn’t true.

Perjury in California is a felony crime. If you’re convicted, you’ll potentially be sentenced to four years in a state prison and felony probation.

The best way to spare yourself from a perjury conviction is always telling the truth or admitting when you don’t know something each time you’re questioned by a lawyer or police officer.

How to get Free Legal Assistance in California

How to get Free Legal Assistance in California

How to get Free Legal Assistance in California

Nearly everyone has a point in their life where they need some sort of legal advice. If you’re lucky, you have enough money that you can pay a lawyer for their time. Sadly, not everyone is in this position. The good news is that whether you need answers to a few legal questions involving how to care for an elderly parent or need a good defense lawyer for an upcoming trial, California does have free legal assistance programs.

Public Defenders

Every American should know that if they find themselves on the wrong side of the law, they’re entitled to a defense attorney. There’s a well-known line in the Miranda Rights that states, “if you can’t afford an attorney, one will be provided for you.” The reason the line is in the Miranda Rights is so that you understand that getting a good lawyer on your side is an extremely good idea. It doesn’t matter if you are or aren’t guilty of the crime you’ve been charged with, you should have a lawyer in your corner. Even if you plan on pleading guilty they can advise you of your rights and even help negotiate a plea bargain. A court-appointed lawyer is better than no lawyer at all.

Legal Assistance and Advice

While the courts are required to assign a court-appointed lawyer to you if you’re charged with a crime, no one is obligated to provide you with free legal assistance. The good news is that there are several organizations scattered throughout California that have created programs that will provide you with either free or low-cost legal advice and assistance. If you contact an organization that doesn’t have the experience needed to help with your specific issue, they’ll likely provide you with the contact information of a group that does.

The biggest problem with using free legal aid programs is that they are usually only found in cities. Individuals who live in rural areas and small towns will usually have to look in more heavily developed areas when they need free legal counseling.

Don’t ever think that a lack of money makes it impossible for you to get your legal questions answered. There are resources out there that are far more reliable than posting your questions on social media sites and hoping for the best.

Felony Animal Cruelty in California

Felony Animal Cruelty in California

Felony Animal Cruelty in California

It’s a story that broke the hearts of animal lovers all over Los Angeles. Local newspapers have been covering the story about a kitten who was thrown out in the trash. The fact that the kitten was considered a piece of trash is bad enough, the fact that it was also severely injured makes the story even worse.

The small calico kitten was rescued from the trash in October. When it was examined, a local veterinarian discovered that not only was one of the kitten’s legs currently broken, there was also evidence that the other leg had been fractured earlier healed badly. Additional injuries included a dislocated hip, bruised lungs, missing teeth, and several bruises and cuts.

Sadly, this kitten’s story isn’t unusual. Every single year, California animal shelters to rescue and care for severely injured animals. What makes this case different is that police believe they’ve found the Lawndale man who is responsible for the kitten ending up in the trash. He’s been arrested and charged with felony animal cruelty.

In an interesting twist, the kitten provided the clue needed for the local police to arrest the man believed to be responsible for the kitten’s injuries. The most important lead in the case came from the kitten’s microchip.

While the Lawndale man was arrested, he didn’t stay in jail long before he was released on his own recognizance, meaning he didn’t have to pay any bail. He doesn’t have to appear in court until July 22 for his arraignment. Police records indicate that he’s been charged with two counts of felony animal cruelty and two misdemeanor counts of failure to properly care for an animal.

California lawmakers have taken a tough stance on animal cruelty. As a result, California has some of the strictest animal cruelty laws in the country. The issue of animal cruelty is covered in the California Penal Code Section 597. It states that anyone who knowingly tries to kill, injury, abandon, neglect, or even overwork an animal can be charged with animal cruelty. It’s important to note, that you don’t have to own the animal to face cruelty charges. The law is written in such a way that even individuals who are caught harming wildlife can be charged with felony animal cruelty.

If convicted of felony animal cruelty, the judge could sentence the Lawndale man to spend three years in prison and charge him a $20,000 fine. In addition, the judge could order the man to also cover the cost of the kitten’s expenses for the time the cat was in foster care and receiving medical attention.

If convicted of a misdemeanor for failure to care for an animal charges, the man could be required to pay a $1,000 fine and serve six months in jail.