Will California Make it Easier to Get a DUI?

Will California Make it Easier to Get a DUI?

Will California Make it Easier to Get a DUI?

Most people are aware of the fact that driving while drunk is a very bad thing to do. Driving under the influence (DUI) is an incredibly risky and dangerous act, not just for the driver, but everyone else they pass on the road. This is due to the fact that alcohol impairs a person’s abilities and thoughts, making them unfit to drive any sort of vehicle.

Despite knowing this fact, many drivers out there still break this law every single day. These drivers convince themselves that they are fine to drive, and that they aren’t that drunk. They drive off to wherever, and that’s where things go wrong.

There are laws against drunk driving in every single state in the Union in order to keep people safe. The laws here in California may just become a bit stricter thanks to a proposed bill currently going through the California State Assembly.

Current DUI Laws in California

The laws against drunk driving here in California are pretty straightforward and mesh with the laws in most other states. Anyone who is caught driving a motor vehicle, whether it be a car, truck, or boat, with a blood alcohol concentration of .08% or greater is guilty of committing DUI under state law.

For the most part, DUI in California is charged as a misdemeanor offense, unless someone was injured as a result of the crime. A first time DUI offense earns a driver:

  • Up to 6 months in jail.
  • A max fine of $1,000.
  • 4 month driver’s license suspension.
  • Up to 9 months of DUI School.

Subsequent offenses earn a driver more jail time, longer license suspensions, and more required DUI School. After a driver receives four DUI’s, or injures someone due to their recklessness, they will be charged with felony DUI. This comes with much heftier consequences, including:

  • A state prison stay ranging from 16 months to 16 years.
  • A max fine of $5,000, plus any owed restitutions to victims.
  • A driver’s license suspension ranging from 1 to 5 years.
  • 18 to 30 months of DUI School.

The exact consequences of felony DUI are dependent on the circumstances of the crime in question, mainly if another person was injured or not.

California Assembly Bill 1713

Recently, California lawmakers in the State Assembly began considering Assembly Bill (AB) 1713. This new bill seeks to tighten restrictions on drunk driving by lowering the legal BAC in California. At first, this bill seeks to make it more legal for those who have been drinking to drive, it actually does the opposite.

By lowering the BAC from .08% to .05%, as the bill proposes, less alcohol would be required to be in a person’s blood for them to be considered drunk while driving. Many people across the state are in favor of this because they feel that having the standard at .08% is too high, and far too many drivers get away with driving while drunk because they didn’t reach that threshold.

This new proposed standard may seem extreme, but it is important to remember that commercial drivers, taxi drivers, truckers, and bus drivers, are all held to this standard already here in California. This proposed bill would be relatively new ground, since only one other state in the country has lowered the BAC of DUI’s, that state being Utah.

Don’t Drive While Drunk

Driving while drunk is never a good idea. It puts the driver’s own life at risk, as well as everyone else’s. While intoxicated, a person’s brain is not up to the task of controlling a motor vehicle. They have slower reaction times, less control over their body, and therefore are more likely to get into an accident.

With today’s modern technology, there is no reason to drive drunk. Anyone with a smartphone in their pocket can easily call a friend or family member to come pick them up, or better yet, hire a driver to come get them. With taxis, Lyft, and Uber, getting a ride home has never been easier.

What do you think of this proposed bill? Should California go through with lowering the BAC of DUI’s, or should the limit be left where it is at .08%? Let us know what you think in the comments down below.

Can You Get Arrested for Making a Phone Call?Can You Get Arrested for Making a Phone Call?

Can You Get Arrested for Making a Phone Call?

Can You Get Arrested for Making a Phone Call?Can You Get Arrested for Making a Phone Call?

Cell phones have made communication very easy since their creation. Before, the only times when people could use phones were when they found one mounted to a wall. Nowadays, everyone walks around with a phone in their pockets. Staying in touch with loved ones has never been easier.

Unfortunately, there is a drawback to this. Not only is it easier for a person to contact whoever they want, it is easier for others to reach that particular person. This is both a blessing and a curse. Just ask anyone who has ever found themselves in the unfortunate position of having their phone number on a telemarketer’s list.

What some Californians are not aware of, is the fact that making annoying phone calls can be considered a crime in the state. If phone calls meets certain conditions, it can get the caller into legal trouble.

The Law against Annoying Phone Calls

The state of California actually has a law against annoying phone calls; Penal Code (PC) 653. This law makes it a crime for a person to intentionally make annoying or harassing phone calls to a person. Aside from phone calls, this law also extends electronic communications sent through phones such as texts or emails. This law is usually applied in instances of stalking or domestic abuse, but can potentially be applied to prank phone calls as well.

The law lists 3 elements that can make up an annoying phone call:

  • The caller uses obscene language.
  • The caller threatens the person they called.
  • There are repeated phone calls.

If one of those elements is met, then the phone call can be considered annoying. However, it is important to realize the intent of the call needs to be to annoy or harass the other person. If that intent is not there, then the call won’t be considered annoying. Unfortunately, this means that calls from telemarketers aren’t considered annoying phone calls under this law.

Typically in law, the word obscene means sexual in nature. However, that is not the exact case for this law. Here, courts have decided that obscene can also stand for crude or offensive language. Basically, if a caller cusses out a person, they can be found guilty of making an annoying phone call under PC 653. However, this does not stand if the caller normally uses a lot of swearing when talking to the person and vice versa.

If a caller threatens the person they called with either violence or injury, they have committed an annoying phone call. This also extends to the person’s family and property. If either are threatened by the caller, then the caller has likely broken the law.

Penalties of Breaking PC 653

Breaking PC 653 is a misdemeanor offense in the state of California. If a person is found guilty of making annoying phone calls, then they can face:

  • Up to 6 months in county jail.
  • A fine no larger than $1,000.
  • Some combination of fine and jail time.

In some cases, the defendant may only be put on probation or be required to participate in counseling.

Annoying Phone Calls Are Annoying to Receive

While cell phones are great and open up a whole new avenue of communication, there are some calls that people just don’t want to get. No one wants to receive annoying phone calls, and no one wants to be threatened over the phone. Everyone has the right to feel safe, which is why California put this law into effect.

If a person is thinking of making a prank call, something that is often considered harmless, they may want to think again. It can get them into trouble with the law if they are not careful. After all, no one wants to go to jail for making a phone call.

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Is Driving Will Hungover Ok?

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Everyone knows that driving while drunk is a bad idea. While drunk you have poor motor control, and lack a sense of adequate risk assessment. Basically, you can’t control your actions well, and you do things that you wouldn’t normally do while sober. It is easy to see why people should not be driving in this state of inebriation.

However, what many people do not realize, is that driving while hungover can be just as bad. When a person is hungover, they may not have any more alcohol in their system, but they are experiencing other symptoms. People who are hungover are usually experiencing sleep deprivation, dehydration, and short-term alcohol withdrawal. The symptoms of all of these can make driving difficult and dangerous for the person.

A study conducted by researchers at Utrecht University in the Netherlands found that hungover drivers drove worse than drivers who had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.05%. The drivers exhibited erratic behavior and slowed reaction times.

Similar results were found by a study conducted at the University of West England.

If a person was out drinking the night before, he or she should think twice before getting behind the wheel the next morning. Doing so could be as disastrous as if he or she had driven the night before. After a night of drinking, a person should take it easy the next morning. Stay at home, rest, and get hydrated. Doing this will be much nicer than driving anyways, and it will be safer too.

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New Jersey’s Failed Bail Replacement

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At the start of this year, the state of New Jersey eliminated its bail system in favor of a system where judges determine whether or not it is safe to release the defendant. The idea of this new system was to be fairer to people who would not be able to generate the funds needed to pay for bail. This is the very same system that lawmakers want to implement in California.

It is easy to see how this system sounds like a good idea. You remove the need for people to pay to get out of jail, thus allowing even the poorest person to get out of jail. Unfortunately for many people, this new system is a problem. This system does little to protect victims, or deter criminals.

Many officers refer to this new setup as a revolving door system. Criminals get arrested, and are back out the street by the end of the day. The punishment for committing a crime has been removed, thus allowing the criminals to continue with their ways. This puts thousands of innocent people at risk.

Of course, these criminals will still face charges, they have only been released for the period of their trial. However, since they have been released, there is nothing to stop them from committing more crimes during this period. This differs from when someone is out on bail, since the person out on bail has something to lose. This person paid to get out of jail, and will have wasted the money if he or she gets arrested again.

If the defendant did nothing to get out, like they do in this new system, then there is nothing preventing him or her from committing another crime. Let New Jersey be an example for California, this planned new system will not benefit anyone other than the criminals. Bail offers a person incentive to be on his or her best behavior, and another set of eyes to watch that person during the trial process.

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What Counts As Drug Possession?

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With the passing of prop 64, the topic of drug possession has become more prominent in recent months. While it is now legal for people 21 and older to possess some small amount of marijuana, this is the only drug that has been legalized.Even still, there are rules and restrictions to its use.

Even though the recreational use of marijuana was legalized, many other drugs and substances remain illegal to use and possess.Some of these illegal substances are:

  • Heroin
  • Cocaine
  • Meth
  • Ecstasy
  • LSD

Possessing any of these drugs can get a person in trouble with the law. Now you might be wondering what constitutes as possession in California?

Possession of a drug could be:

  • Having it on your person
  • Having it in your glovebox or anywhere else in your vehicle
  • Having it in your house

When it comes to punishment for illegal possession of controlled substances, things can vary. Illegal possession of most controlled substances is considered a misdemeanor offense in California thanks to the recently passed Prop 47.This means that someone convicted of drug possession faces no more than a year in jail, and/or a small fine. In many instances, the defendant will be required to participate in a drug treatment program.

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What is Petty Theft?

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Everyone understands the concept of theft, and how bad it is. However, once law enforcement gets involved, it can get confusing for many people not familiar with their terminology. Law enforcement officers have many different phrases and terms for different crimes. These terms help the officers identify the severity of crime, and many other factors. For civilians, these terms can be confusing.

One such term would be petty theft. Most people understand it means something was stolen, but we do not know the specifics. We do not even know the severity of the punishment for petty theft.

In the state of California, petty theft is defined as the unlawful taking of property that is valued at $950 or less. This is different than shoplifting, for example, since shoplifting can only happen in a commercial establishment when it is open for business.

There are 4 different crimes that can lead to petty theft charges:

  • Theft by Larceny – This makes up most cases of petty theft, and is probably what most people think of when they think of theft. This is simply taking someone else’s property without their permission with the intent of keeping it for yourself.
  • Theft by False Pretense – This is when a person gives ownership of an item to another person temporarily due to false information that was given by the thief.
  • Theft by Trick – This is when a person lends an item to a person who has no intention of returning the item. This is similar to theft by false pretense, except in this instance, the property owner never intended for the thief to have ownership. This could be as simple as borrowing an item from someone and promising to return it, without intending to actually return it.
  • Theft by Embezzlement – This occurs when the owner of property gives a person the property because he or she trusts that person will take care of it. An example would be when someone takes money out of an account that they manage for a company.

All of these can be classified as petty theft, so long as the value of the stolen property is under $950. Petty theft is a misdemeanor crime in California, and is punishable by a maximum of 6 months in county jail, and/or a maximum fine of $1,000.

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Tips for Avoiding the Heat

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Summer is rapidly approaching in California, and temperatures are on the rise. Summer is a season for exploring and adventure. However, it is also a season of unbearable heat. It is why many people will find themselves hiding out in the shelter of their home, waiting for cooler temperatures.

If you are looking for ways to keep cool this summer, here are a few tips:

  • Wear light colored, loose fitting, cotton clothing. Cotton stay cooler than synthetic materials.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking lots of water, and sports drinks with plenty of electrolytes.
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine since these cause dehydration.
  • Avoid going outdoors during the middle of the day. Instead, go out during the morning or evening when it is cooler.
  • Use fans to circulate the air in your house and make it feel cooler.
  • Keep water bottles in the freezer and take one with you when you go outside. This way, you will have a cool drink with you as the ice melts.
  • Visit public places like a library, movie theater, or mall during the day. These places are usually kept cool during even the hottest of days.
  • Take frequent cold baths or showers to help keep cool.
  • Visit the local public pool or beach, just be sure to wear plenty of sunscreen.

Many of these things can be done together to help keep you cool during the hottest days summer has to offer. Just remember that it is okay to take it easy during the day. Know your limits, and avoid overworking yourself. Nobody wants to end up in the hospital.

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How To Answer: Have You Been Drinking?

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If you have never been pulled over for a DUI before, you may wonder how you should answer when asked if you have been drinking after having a drink or 2. As a United States citizen, you have the right against self-incrimination. This means that you do not have to answer that question.

However, that does not mean you have the right to lie to the officer, or ignore his or her requests. If the officer asks for your license and registration, you should provide it. Lying, will only make things worse for you. The officer will be able to tell if you have had too much alcohol. If you admit to having a two drinks, when you really had 6, you will still be asked to take a field sobriety and a breathalyzer test. These tests will show how many drinks you truly had, and will cause the officer to disregard anything you say from that point on.

If you choose to not answer the question, you can inform the officer that you would rather not say. You can also say that you would like to speak with your attorney. Asking to speak to your attorney cannot be used against you. Remaining silent does not mean you will be allowed to leave. Chances are, you will still need to take a field sobriety and a breathalyzer test. Remaining silent simply keeps you from admitting guilt, or lying to the officer.

Your final option is to just be up front and honest with the officer. You cannot be legally be arrested for drunk driving if your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) is under 0.08%. In this instance, if you have only recently had one or two drinks, you should be okay. This is even truer if there was an hour or more time between the 2 drinks. You may still have to take a field sobriety and breathalyzer test in this situation. However, there is a chance that the officer might deem that you are capable of driving and let you go on your way.

Ultimately, the best way to avoid this kind of situation, is to have a plan ready when drinking will be involved. Either designate someone as the driver so that he or she will not drink, or get a ride from a taxi, Uber, or Lyft. This way, you will be safe, and you will not have to worry about getting pulled over.

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Why You can Rely on Porterville Bail Bonds

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For 30 years, Porterville Bail Bonds has led the California bail bond industry with excellence and poise. It is a solemn time whenever anyone needs a bail bond, but Porterville Bail Bonds quickly turns the mood around by bailing that person out of jail and reuniting them with their beloved friends and family members at a more affordable cost than traditional cash bail. Porterville Bail Bonds promises:

  • 24/7 availability anywhere in California
  • Quick, courteous, confidential service
  • Custom payment plans
  • Cash, credit, debit, and checks accepted
  • Secure online payment portal
  • 0% interest
  • No hidden fees
  • Phone approvals
  • Discounts available for qualifying individuals

Porterville Bail Bonds has successfully assisted hundreds of families throughout their 30 years of industry experience. Though every family comes to Porterville Bail Bonds for the same purpose, each family is facing a different experience with the justice system. No matter how big or small the situation is, Porterville Bail Bonds always finds a way to help the family in need.

If you have a loved one in jail, we know that you want nothing more than to get them back home to you as fast as possible. Porterville Bail Bonds will do this for you and you will not pay more than the 10% premium, making the bail bond more affordable than cash bail.

Contact Porterville Bail Bonds online or at 559-784-8660 .

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When Can You Turn the Police Away?

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Not enough people in the United States know their rights when it comes to police searches and seizures, and this is a problem. Some people get so intimidated around the police, even if they did nothing wrong. Others just do not know if and when police are overstepping their authority. There are certain rights people have that protect them, even against the police, such as when they can say “no” to a police search.

Law enforcement officers do not always have the right to conduct a search. First, the police must have reasonable suspicion that a crime has occurred or will occur. If they ask to search a person, his or her belongings, and/ or his or her home or vehicle, the person can deny the police. Then, the police must get a search warrant from a judge in order to move forward. They cannot conduct the search without this warrant.

A search warrant will specifically list persons, items, and locations. Whatever is listed on the warrant is allowed to be searched. If, for example, a bedroom is not listed on the search warrant, but the bathroom is, then the police cannot search in the bedroom. However, if an officer finds guns, for example, while conducting their legal search, and guns are not listed on the warrant, the officer is allowed to seize these items.

In recent years, the discussion of needing a search warrant has come up frequently when it comes to social media profiles and digital devices like cell phones and laptops. Since these are personal items that hold personal and private information, the police do need a warrant to search and seize these items, unless the original owner grants the officers a search without one. Officers also need a search warrant to look through someone’s social media profile. Like with other searches, they still need reasonable suspicion in order to even begin the search and seizure process.

Having the right to deny a search is a right that protects a person. Though a person cannot deny a search if the police come back with a search warrant, they continue to have rights down the line if matters get worse for them. For example, if they are arrested, they have the right to remain silent, the right to a lawyer, and the right to post bail. Even if it seems like the odds are stacked against a person, it is always important and beneficial to exercise rights as much as possible.