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Understanding Felony Probation in California

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In some situations, when you’re convicted of a felony, a judge might decide that instead of spending time in prison, you can stay home and be placed on what is referred to as felony probation. While there are always exceptions, felony probation in lieu of prison time is usually only considered for what are considered s mild felonies or in the case of first-time offenders.

Anyone who is convicted of a felony that involves a violent crime such as murder and felony sexual assault will not be eligible for felony probation. If you have a history of violence, even if those charges were misdemeanors and you’re currently being convicted of a non-violent felony, a judge will be unwilling to consider felony probation.

The key to felony probation in California is that you have to adhere to all of the rules connected to the probation. Failing to meet a single requirement or doing something you were told not to do while on probation will result in you being sent to prison.

If the judge decides that you’re a good candidate for felony probation, you’ll hear the term suspended sentence. This term is used to provide formal notice that should you violate the terms of your probation, you’ll be sent to prison. Should you get into trouble while you’re on felony probation, not only could the judge decide to chose to sentence you to jail, you could also face additional criminal charges.

Don’t expect felony probation to be something you can just breeze through. Most felony probation periods last from 3-5 years. During this time, your life will be under intense scrutiny and there will several terms and conditions you’ll have to meet.

Conditions that are attached to felony probation often include:

✦ Regular meetings with your probation officer
✦ Drug tests
✦ Paying restitution to your victims
✦ Mandatory community service
✦ Submitting to home searches
✦ Avoiding people who are specifically mentioned in the terms of your probation
✦ Agreeing to not leave California

If you’re granted felony probation, it is in your best interest to pay careful attention to what the judge says. If you have any questions about the terms of your probation, you need to take those questions directly to your lawyer or probation officer. If you do make a mistake while you’re on felony probation, you should be honest about it, which could make a judge more tolerant and less likely to revoke your probation.

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Neighbors Partying Too Much?

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Do you have neighbors who love to party and create a lot of noise late at night, or even into the morning hours? If so, they have probably awoken you, or prevented you, from sleep on numerous occasions.

If you are like most people, you like being able to sleep so that you will have enough energy to face the day tomorrow. This means these noisy neighbors are preventing you from efficiently handling your days. If that is indeed the case, you probably want them to stop with all of the racket.

Your first step to handling this problem, should be to politely confront your neighbors. Let them know that they are making quite a bit of noise and that it is keeping you awake. Be sure to be nice and not be rude or mean to them, doing so could make the situation worse. There is a chance that your neighbors did not know they were being too loud and they might keep it down.

If you have tried talking to your neighbors, but that has not solved the problem, talk to your local authorities. Most cities have noise ordinances that make it illegal to create too much noise during normal sleeping hours. If this is what is happening with your partying neighbors, then local law enforcement will come and shut their party down. Then you will be able to get a good night’s rest.

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Are You Ready for the Next Big One?

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As Californians, we are always on the lookout for the next big earthquake. The San Andreas Fault runs along the entire length of the state, making California highly susceptible to earthquakes. In fact, California has around 10,000 earthquakes a year.

Since our state is so prone to shaking, it is important for all of us to be prepared for the next big quake. Here are some tips to help keep you ready for the next big earthquake:

  • Have an earthquake plan ready. This way, you will have a better idea of how to react when an earthquake happens.
  • Make sure large objects like bookcases or china hutches are bolted to studs in the wall so they cannot fall over during a quake.
  • Locate a spot in every room of your house where you can find shelter during a quake. This means a place where nothing can fall on you.
  • Have a supply of 3 gallons of water per person, canned food, an up-to-date first aid kit, and flashlights in an accessible place.
  • Know how to shut off your gas and water mains.

Following these tips can help you in the aftermath of a big earthquake. As Californians, we have all studied the history our state has with earthquakes. We know how bad they can be, which is why it is so important to be prepared for the next big quake.

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Do Not Believe Everything You Read Online

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You always hear that you should not believe everything you see online, and unfortunately, it still needs to be said. You can still find stories online of people who were scammed or cheated out of money.

This can happen quite often on websites such as Craigslist and Amazon were goods and services are sold and exchanged. People will advertise that they are selling one thing, but then fail to deliver on that promise. When a buyer gets their product, if they do actually get their product, they find out that what was sent did not match what was pictured.

This is why most sites have introduced review systems. This allows clients to leave a warning to any future clients. The reviews also help prospective clients determine if they want to buy anything from that seller. This is why, you should always look at the product and seller reviews before making a purchase online. Doing so can prevent you from wasting your money.

Another thing to be wary of online, is whether or not a statement or claim is true. An example of this would be when you can routinely find celebrity death hoaxes circulating different social media sites. A good way to fact check stories that you read online, is to first make sure that you are getting the information from a credible source. Next, you can check the information on Snopes.com. This is a fact checking site that looks into stories that come from less than credible sources.

The internet has a lot of information to offer, but not all of it is real. Learn to figure out what you can and cannot trust online, and you will be able to better protect yourself from all sorts of internet scams.

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What to Expect if You are Arrested as a 17 Year Old vs. as an 18 Year Old

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The upside to turning 18 years old is finishing high school, getting ready for college, and officially becoming an adult free to make your own decisions. The downside to turning 18, is becoming the adult that needs to learn how to calculate decisions and evaluate possible outcomes before making a move. Rewards are great when things go right, but when things go wrong, consequences can be much harsher than they would have been if this person was only 17. In addition, the proper steps to rectify the situation will take extra time, effort, and possibly money.

Take for example: getting arrested.

If a minor, 17 years old or younger, is arrested, they are released back to the custody of their parents or guardians. They stand before a judge to hear their punishment, which would not include jail time. Instead, they may do community service or haveto pay a fine.

Anyone 18 years or older who is arrested has a lengthier and more complex process. They stand before a judge to learn if they can bail out of jail or not. Then, at some point, they will have a trial by jury. The defense and prosecution will provide their arguments; then, the jury will deliberate and deliver their verdict of guilty or not guilty. It is worth noting that the trial can take anywhere between weeks or months, depending on the case. The defendant’s consequences will possibly include time in prison.

A silver lining to turning 18 and being a person who has had trouble with the law as a minor, is that records are sealed upon the person’s 18th birthday. For example, if a 17 year old was caught using illegal drugs, then this record “disappears” on this person’s 18th birthday. From there on out, this person is not obligated to reveal they were arrested for using/ dealing drugs when they were 17. The purpose of “cleaning the slate” when a minor turns 18 is to allow them to proceed into adulthood with promise and a chance without having their former delinquencies weigh them down

It is so easy to see the fun and advantages of turning 18, which is great! We hope that this is everything a person experiences. Nonetheless, it is necessary to understand the serious side of becoming an adult as well.

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Why You Should Pay for Uber or Lyft

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There are so many ways to avoid drinking and driving these days, so why do people still do it? Instead of drinking and driving, you can walk if you are very close to home and the walk is safe, you can take a bus so long as you do not act drunk and belligerent, you can arrange for a friend or family member to pick you up, or you can call an Uber, Lyft, or taxi.

Spending $15-$20 on a ride-sharing service is more appealing than shelling out thousands of dollars for a DUI arrest. You read that right, a first-time DUI offense can be in the tens of thousands of dollars. What factors into that outrageous cost? Bail, lawyers, getting your car back from the impound lot, increased insurance, and fees for getting your license back. That is the minimum. If you also got into an accident because you were driving drunk, then you could be looking at medical bills, repairs for your car, and any other damaged property. Some drivers might be required to retake a Driver’s Ed course and/ or go to rehab. Remember that these classes could be court-mandated, meaning you are required to enroll in rehab. If you think about that, you can bet that the DUI cost is in the tens of thousands of dollars.

The legal blood alcohol content for California is 0.08%. How many drinks it takes for a person to reach that limit really depends on quite a few factors including gender, age, whether or not they have eaten, the type of drinks they are consuming, overall health, and more. A person does not have to have a BAC of more than 0.08% to be arrested for drunk driving though. Jane Doe can blow a 0.03% into a breathalyzer and still be arrested because she was driving while intoxicated and was swerving lanes. Everyone reacts to alcohol differently, but even buzzed driving is drunk driving.

Next time you go out for some drinks with friends, figure out ahead of time how you plan on getting home at the end of the night. Your options should not include you driving home, unless you are the designated sober driver for the night.

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Rules of the Road for Bicyclists

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California drivers, especially Los Angeles drivers, are known for being fast, impatient, and rude. However, if there is one group of people that drivers are more cautious of, it is bicyclists. What are the rules of the road car drivers and bicyclists?

  • When the biker is traveling slower than the cars, they must be as close to the right side of the road as possible unless they are passing, avoiding a dangerous/ hazardous condition, going to make a left, or approaching a right turn only lane but want to proceed straight.
  • In those cases, the biker may move away from the right side of the road.

  • If there is a dedicated bike lane, the bicyclist must be in that lane unless they are passing, making a left, or avoiding a dangerous/ hazardous condition.
  • Bicyclists are to ride in the same direction as car traffic, not in the opposite direction. There are exceptions to this rule like if the street is a one-way or if the road is too narrow.
  • It is illegal to park on a bicycle path.
  • Bikes must be equipped with a visible white light in the front. They must also have reflectors: red in the back, white or yellow on the pedals, white or yellow on the front half of the bike, and red or white on each side on the back half of the bike.
  • Everyone 18 years or younger must wear a helmet. It is safe practice for adults to wear helmets as well.
  • It is illegal to drive and use a cell phone at the same time, but this law does not apply to bicyclists.
  • It is illegal to drive and have earphones in both ears, and this same law applies to bicyclists. One ear must be free of headphones and headsets.
  • It is illegal to bike while under the influence of alcohol and drugs.
  • Bicyclists are required to stop at stop signs and red lights, just like drivers.
  • Bicyclists are to yield right of way to pedestrians at crosswalks.

Bicyclist share many of the same rules and etiquette as drivers do andthey are entitled to be on the road with cars. However, both parties need to be aware of each other in order to avoid collisions and potential fatalities. They also need to be aware of pedestrians on foot.

Just like car drivers, bicyclists can actually be cited for violating the above laws and others that were not named, like if they biked right through an intersection that they should have stopped at because there was a stop sign.

Whether you travel by foot, car, bike, bus, or anything else, knowing the rules of the road and what your rights are is very important for yourself and to keep the road safe for everybody!

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Is a Bail Bond Tax Deductible?

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Every year when it is tax season, we try and pull together everything we can think of that we could write off as deductions in our taxes: donations, cars, clothes, investments, you name it! Not everything can be tax deductible, as you know. This includes bail; most people who are put into the situation of needing to pay for bail will ask this and the answer is no.

It is not uncommon to ask if bail is tax deductible. After all, bail is money that goes to the government in order to release a defendant from jail for their trial. However, bail serves as a guarantee to ensure this defendant appears in court for their trial. It is like a bribe, because if the defendant does show up, they can have their bail money returned to them.If they do not show up, it is not returned and the defendant is taken back into custody without the option to bail out again.

If the defendant and his or her loved ones use a bail bond to post bail, the 10% premium that they pay to the bail bond company is not refunded. The same release terms and conditions apply where the defendant has to appear for court as scheduled, but there are other requirements as well, such as needing a bail bond co-signer and collateral. Even a bail bond is not tax deductible.

We hope you have never had to pay for bail and we hope you never will. No one ever expects to pay for bail, they are just suddenly in that situation.

If that happens to you, please contact Portervile Bail Bond Store online, or at 559-784-8660 , so we can provide you with a free consultation and the most affordable bail bond and a custom payment plan.

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Out-Of-State Bail Bond Options

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The next 3-day weekend coming up is Memorial Weekend, and for many, that is a weekend that will be spent traveling! Whether going by plane, train, or automobile, take note of what is on your itinerary. You have a bunch of fun activities planned like the beach, hiking, and camping, probably with varying amounts drinking. Do everything responsibly because the best way to ruin a fun getaway is to end up behind bars.

People who are arrested in California can bail out of jail with a bail bond from Portervile Bail Bond Store. We provide affordable bail bonds and custom payment plans that get defendants out of jail as soon as possible. We are available 24/7, and are more than willing to assist anyone in need of a California bail bond.

However, if someone is arrested outside of California, then Portervile Bail Bond Store cannot assist with the bail bond process. A local bail bond company will need to be involved. However, that is not the hard part. The more stressful part in these instances is understanding all the details of the case, because more often than not, the defendant will have to be present for their court appearances, and their court appearances will be held in the city and state in which they were arrested. This means they will need to travel back and forth from California, make lodging arrangements, and work out a plan with their employer and family. Depending on the complexity of the case, this can be months of back and forth chaos.

Your plan for the 3 day Memorial holiday should go without issue. Just enjoy your getaway and relax with a little bit of booze. Drink responsibly and be mindful of your actions. No one wants to go from laying out on the beach to lying inside an uncomfortable jail cell, wondering what is going to happen next.

If you are ever in need of a bail bond, for yourself or a loved one, in a California, please contact Portervile Bail Bond Store online or at 559-784-8660 .

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What Are the Rules for Minors Getting a License?

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“Driving is a privilege” is a phrase parents use often towards their teenage children when they begin to learn how to drive. For the minor, obtaining a driver’s license represents freedom and fun. For the parent, it represents growth and responsibility that must be earned and proven. In California, there are certain rules and laws around obtaining a permit and license as a minor.

If both parents or guardians share custody, both of their signatures must be on the application. If one adult has sole custody, then only their signature is required on the application.

Before they get a license, a minor must first get a permit. The minor must be at least 15 and a half years of age, but under 18 years of age. Anyone 18 years or older can skip the permit process and work straight for the license. Minors will need to pass a written test that covers safety and driving rules. If they fail the test, they must wait at least 7 days to retake it. The minor will also need to complete and pass a Driver’s Education course. Then, they will receive their permit.

A minor’s permit is valid the day they begin their behind-the-wheel training with a licensed instructor, who can be a parent/ guardian, a driving instructor, or another adult who is at least 25 years of age. It is illegal for minors to drive alone with this permit.

To “graduate” and obtain a driver’s license, a minor must be at least 16 years of age, have completed their behind-the-wheel training, and pass their final behind-the-wheel driving test. With their permit, they have 3 chances to pass the driving test. If and when the minor receives their provisional license, they are then allowed to drive alone. However, they still have restrictions:

  • They may not drive between 11 PM and 5 AM.
  • They may not have anyone who is under 20 years old in their car unless an adult who is 25 years or older is with them too.

When the minor turns 18, the provisional restrictions end.

If a minor is caught violating their permit and provisional license allowances, both they and their parents can get into trouble with the police and the DMV. In addition, a parent should enforce additional rules if they feel their child is not ready and responsible enough to drive safely. Again, driving is a privilege and it can easily be taken away and put on pause, which is a better alternative than a “too late” situation where someone gets hurt.