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Resisting Arrest charges In California

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Resisting arrest is one of those strange charges that people often think is unfair, in large part because it’s a discretionary charge that can make the police appear inconsistent.

What is Resisting Arrest?

If you think that bolting and running when the police pull out the handcuffs and start reciting the Miranda Rights is an example of resisting arrest, you’re absolutely right. What you might not know is that there are other, far more subtle, things you can do that could result in you being charged with resisting arrest.

Different things the police can consider to be grounds for a resisting arrest charge include:

✦ Refusing to put your hands behind your back when they’re ready to cuff you
✦ Providing false information that’s designed to conceal your identity when you’re questioned by the police
✦ Going limp when the police officers ask you to get into the car
✦ Pretending you don’t hear a request made by a police officer
✦ Getting into a verbal or physical argument with the officer when they’re preparing to arrest you
✦ Shutting the door in a police officer’s face when they’re attempting to arrest/question you

Basically, if a police officer feels that you’ve done something that makes their job more difficult, they can decide to charge you with resisting arrest.

Can You Still be Charged with Resisting Arrest After the Original Charges are Dropped?

One of the strange things about resisting arrest charges is that they don’t depend on additional charges. A resisting arrest charge is completely separate from whatever the original charge/crime that originally directed the police’s attention to you. This means that even if all of the other charges are dropped, you can still be charged with resisting arrest.

How Serious is a Resisting Arrest Charge?

The California legal system considers resisting arrest to be a misdemeanor. If you’re convicted, the maximum sentence you can receive is a year in jail and a fine of $1,000. It’s not unusual for judges to simply sentence you to summary probation following a resisting arrest conviction.

Individuals who have a history of resisting arrest are far more likely to receive the maximum sentence than individuals who have never before been charged with resisting arrest.

Can you Fight a Resisting Arrest Charge in California?

A resisting arrest charge isn’t something you simply have to accept. You can fight the charge.

The first step in fighting a resisting arrest in California charge is acquiring the services of a good criminal defense lawyer. Your lawyer will look at your case and determine what the best possible defense is.

Commonly used defenses include:

✦ The police used excessive force during the arrest and what they interpreted as resisting was really self-defense on your part
✦ That no one was harmed as a result of your actions,
✦ That the original reason for the arrest was unlawful or unsubstantiated

When all is said and done, the only thing resisting arrest does is make your current legal situation even more complicated, so it really is in your best interest to stay calm, cool, and collected and simply follow the police officer’s instructions when they’re questioning and about to arrest you.

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Criminal Trespassing in California

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When you read through California Penal Code Section 602 you’ll learn that it’s illegal to come onto someone’s property without the owner’s permission. While this doesn’t mean you’ll face criminal charges each time you have to use someone’s driveway to turn around or when you stop in at a neighbor’s home to inquire about a lost pet, it does give the property owner the right to tell you that you’re not welcome on the property.

The other thing to keep in mind is that if you’re on someone else’s property and they request that you leave, failing to do so right away gives the property owner the right to call the police and file trespassing charges against you.

Refusing to leave a hotel or restaurant is another way trespassing charges can be filed against you.

Don’t assume that just because a person’s property is a business, that you can’t potentially be charged with trespassing. There have been cases of people who have gotten into a dispute with business owners/employees/other customers being arrested for trespassing after they entered the business and did things like harass people or refused to leave.

The majority of the trespassing cases that make their way through the California court system or considered misdemeanors. The maximum sentence for a guilty conviction is six months in a county jail and/or a $1,000 fine.

It’s important to understand that it’s not uncommon for trespassing to be added to a list of additional charges that can include violating a personal protection order, property damage, assault, etc. When a judge looks at the additional charges they could decide to hand out a maximum sentence. If the trespassing charges look relatively minor and nothing indicates that you’re a habitual offender, the sentence could be minimal.

Aggravated Trespassing in California

Aggravated trespassing is an exception to the idea that all California trespassing cases are misdemeanors. Aggravated trespassing in California is one of California’s wobbler crimes.

According to Penal Code Section 602, aggravated trespassing in California takes place when a trespasser, “makes a credible threat to cause serious bodily injury to someone else with intent to place them in reasonable fear of their own safety or safety of their family, and who within 30 days of the threat, unlawfully enters their residence, property, or workplace with the intent to carry out the threat.”

If you’re convicted of felony aggravated trespassing, the sentence could include 16-21 months in prison, felony probation, and a $10,000 fine.

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The Dangers of Distracted Driving in California

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Everyone always talks about how horrible drunk driving is but far less is mentioned about the dangers and repercussions of distracted driving, which is as dangerous and even more common than drunk driving.

Distracted driving in California isn’t a new thing. For as long as people have been getting behind the wheel of automobiles, there have been distracted drivers. Examples of distracted driving include:

✽ Daydreaming
✽ Arguing with passengers
✽ Rubbernecking
✽ Trying to pick up a candy bar you’ve dropped
✽ Changing radio stations
✽ Using your cell phone

Distracted driving can result in a number of things going wrong. A single second of distracted driving can result in:

✽ Weaving in and out of your lane
✽ Striking another car/pedestrian
✽ Missing a road sign
✽ Running a red light
✽ Etc.

Over the past twenty years or so, distracted driving has become a much bigger problem. Data collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Association indicates that distracted driving results in approximately 1,000 injuries every single day and approximately 9 deaths a day. Many of these distracted driving accidents involved a cell phone.

In California, when someone is pulled over for distracted driving and issued a citation, the ticket usually doesn’t say distracted driving, even though that’s usually the cause of the incident. The ticket usually states the effect. For example, if you were playing with your dog who was in the shotgun seat and run a red light, the ticket will likely state reckless driving or failure to yield rather than distracted driving.

If your distracted driving results in an injury or death to another person, the citation may be the least of your worries. When someone is hurt or killed as a result of a distracted driving episode, you could find yourself acting as the defendant in a civil case.

In an effort to lower the number of distracted driving incidents in California, the state has introduced the Just Drive campaign. The idea of the Just Drive campaign is to educate/remind drivers about the dangers of using a cell phone while you’re behind the wheel. Everybody involved in the campaign hopes that the program will remind drivers about how deadly answering a single text or taking a long call can be.

California’s “Just Drive” campaign is quite similar to earlier efforts to reduce the number of drivers who use their cell phones while they’re behind the wheel, but this campaign is geared specifically towards younger drivers who are between the ages of 16 and 24.

In California, you’re not allowed to have your cell phone in your hand while you’re driving. While everyone would prefer it if you simply didn’t use your cell phone at all during your commute, you are allowed to use it provided it’s set to hands-free mode, mounted on your dash or windshield, and can be turned on and off by a single finger touch.

The best way to avoid being the cause of a distracted driving incident is to keep your eyes and mind on the road.

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California’s Drug Cultivation Laws

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Drug cultivation in California is addressed in Health and Safety Code 11379.6HS. The code clearly states that, “every person who manufactures, compounds, converts, produces, derives, processes, or prepares, either directly or indirectly by chemical extraction or independently by means of chemical synthesis, any controlled substance specified in Section 11054, 11055, 11056, 11057, or 11058 shall be punished.”

Getting caught manufacturing, growing, or otherwise producing prohibited drugs in the state could result in a sentence that includes 3-7 years in a state prison and a fine as large as $50,000.

In many cases, manufacturing a controlled substance represents only one of the things you’ll be charged with. There are usually several charges filed at once. Additional charges generally include:

✨ Possession
✨ Possession with intent to sell
✨ Possession of drug paraphernalia
✨ Transportation of drugs
✨ Etc.

If the police suspect you of manufacturing or dealing with a controlled substance in California, the last thing you want to do is make the situation worse. It’s in your best interest to cooperate with the police as much as you can, which includes not doing something like trying to resist arrest. The challenge is cooperating with the police but also not saying anything that could potentially incriminate you, which is why you should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney who has a strong background in cases that involve the manufacturing of controlled substances in California.

Drug cultivation laws involving marijuana can still be a bit confusing to some people. Many mistakenly believed that since marijuana is no a legal recreational drug in California, there are no drug cultivation laws involving marijuana in California. That’s not the case. At this point, the average person can only legally care for a maximum of six marijuana plants at a time. Only individuals who are over 21 can use it, and you can only legally carry 28.5 grams.

Some cities have ordinances that prohibit cultivating marijuana outdoors, though you’re still legally able to do so in the comfort of your own home.