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When Does Discipline Become Child Abuse?

When Does Discipline Become Child Abuse?

When Does Discipline Become Child Abuse?

A parent’s job is not easy. Raising a child takes a lot of effort and time, and that is putting things mildly. Taking care of a child and raising him or her to be a functional adult is tough. It is even tougher when parents have to worry about whether or not what they are doing could get them into legal trouble.
This kind of thought is often brought up when it comes to punishing a child, especially corporal punishment. With all of the debating that surrounds this subject, many parents are left wondering where the line between punishment and abuse is drawn. They wonder if it is okay for them to spank their child in a public place for misbehaving, and fear that if they do, someone will report them to the authorities.

Child Abuse Is Harmful

Child abuse is not something to be taken lightly. This terrible crime occurs when a parent or caregiver causes injury, emotional harm, risk of harm, or death to a child, whether they intended to or not. This abuse can come in all sorts of forms, from the obvious physical harm to other types of abuse, including:
• Sexual abuse
• Emotional abuse
• Neglect

Abuse like this can leave lasting impacts on a child well into adulthood. That is why people fight so hard to stop and prevent child abuse, and why it is illegal to abuse a child.

Where Is the Line?

Many adults nowadays grew up getting a spanking or two as a child. The spanking sent a very clear message to the child that that kind of behavior wouldn’t be tolerated. For some people, after getting just a few spankings, the threat alone of one would keep them in line from that point on.
However, nowadays this is a very controversial subject. There is a lot of debate amongst people on whether or not spanking a child is a form of child abuse. Here in the state of California, there is a somewhat clear line that separates corporal punishment from child abuse.

California Penal Code (PC) 273 covers many things relating to children, such as child endangerment and child abuse. The law makes it illegal to inflict and cruel or inhumane punishment on a minor under the age of 18. At first, this may sound like spanking would be illegal under this law, however that is not the case.

Spanking a child, with a bare hand or an object, is legal under California law so long as it falls within reasonable discipline. This is often determined by two factors:
1. Whether or not the punishment was warranted.
2. Whether or not the punishment was considered excessive.

This means that a parent is allowed to spank their child, provided there was reason to do so and that they do not overdo the punishment.
What Are the Consequences if a Parent is Guilty of Child Abuse?
Here in California, PC 273 is a wobbler offense. This means that it can either be charged as a misdemeanor or as a felony. How the offense is charged is dependent on the facts of the incident in question.

When charged as a misdemeanor, PC 273 carries the following consequences:
• Up to 1 year in county jail.
• A max fine of $6,000.
• Some combination of fine and jail time.

When charged as a felony, PC 273 consequences increase to:
• 2, 4, or 6 years in state prison.
• A max fine of $6,000.
• Some combination of fine and prison time.

Aside from the legal consequences, being convicted for child abuse will also brand the person in the eyes of society, which can negatively affect the person for years to come.

Know the Difference

The bottom line is that here in California, a parent is allowed to spank their child so long as the punishment fits the crime. If a parent overdoes the punishment, then it could be considered abuse.

If a person suspects that a child may be the victim of abuse, they should report it to the proper authorities. Here in California, this means reporting the incident or case to the California Department of Social Services (CDSS). The CDSS has a 24-hour emergency hotline for Child Protective Services for each individual county, the numbers of which can be found here. It can also be a good idea to make a report with the local police or sheriff’s department.
What do you think of California’s ruling on spankings and child abuse in general? Let us know in the comments down below.

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What Happens to Parents Wrongfully Accused of Child Abuse?

What Happens to Parents Wrongfully Accused of Child Abuse?

What Happens to Parents Wrongfully Accused of Child Abuse?

Raising kids is no easy feat. It takes a lot of patience and hard work. Children can be unruly as they grow. They test boundaries and like to see what they can get away with. This can lead to standoffs between child and parent, which is a difficult encounter depending on the age of child. Arguing with a toddler can be especially difficult since they don’t have a great sense of logic at that age.

Due to that fact, not everyone is cut out to be a parent. Some people simply don’t have the temperament or patience. Unfortunately, this fact isn’t always realized ahead of becoming a parent. There are far too many instances of bad people doing horrible things to their children, or children under their care.

Child abuse is not something that is taken lightly. When Child Protective Services (CPS) or law enforcement agencies get a report of child abuse, they take it very seriously. After all, a child’s health and safety is on the line. It is far better to investigate a possible false claim and confirm that it is false, than it is to not investigate and realize too late that it was true. However, these false accusations can shake a good parent, and make them question everything about themselves and their child rearing methods.

How Investigations Are Conducted

As the debate of where does punishment end and abuse begin rages, many good parents out there are afraid that someone may report them for child abuse. It could come from some stranger who thought they saw something as a parent argued with their young child at a supermarket, or it could even come from an estranged spouse who is trying to get sole custody. Wherever it comes from, being accused of child abuse, even when the person didn’t do anything wrong, can be scaring.

Finding out about the report will be shocking. One moment the person is having a normal day, and the next thing they know police officers are at their home with a social worker, asking to talk about a report of abuse. At first, the parent will likely be shocked, but will brush it off to let the officers and social worker conduct their investigation. After all, the parent has nothing to hide.

However, as the social worker begins asking the parent and kids questions about the reported incident, the weight of the situation will begin to sink in. the parent will realize that, despite all of the hard work they put into being a parent, someone out there thinks that they would abuse their own child. That can fact can deal a major blow to that parent and their confidence. Perhaps whoever made the report did so because they are required to because of their job.

In most cases, the social service worker will be able to tell that the parent didn’t actually hurt the child, and the investigation will be over relatively quickly. False reports of child abuse are more common than people may realize. They are particularly common when parents are getting a divorce and fighting over custody. One parent may knowingly file a false report of abuse to try and gain an upper edge in the court battle. When this plan is inevitably figured out, the parent who filed the report will face severe repercussions.

Mandatory Reporting Professions

There are some professions out there that require people to report suspected incidents of child abuse. These are called mandatory reporting professions and include:
• Daycare workers
• Family practitioners
• Foster care workers
• Hospital personnel
• Police Officers
• School administrators
• Social workers
• Teachers

This is just a short list. The full list contains a lot of professions. Basically, if a job includes, even in just small doses such as a dental hygienist, looking after kids, then the person has to report any suspected child abuse.

False Reports Do Happen

Unfortunately, false reports of child abuse do happen, and since authorities are unable to tell straight away that a report is false, they have to treat it as a serious case. Failing to do so could risk a child’s health and safety.

If a parent is ever wrongfully accused, they need to remain calm, as best as they can. They have to trust that the situation will take care of itself and that the truth will be revealed.

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Is It Really Illegal to Pick Poppies in California?

Is It Really Illegal to Pick Poppies in California?

Is It Really Illegal to Pick Poppies in California?

California has had a surprisingly wet winter and spring, helping bring much needed water to the entire state. While people are rejoicing over this fact, the wildlife in the state is ecstatic. Plant life especially is taking advantage of this rare, water filled season. The entire state is blooming with life.

Flowers are blooming all over the state, and especially so in the deserted areas of Southern California. Beautiful California Poppies are spring up everywhere and painting hillsides with their vibrant orange color. Places like the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve are popping with colors and butterflies are filling the skies. For years, Californians have spread the rumor that it is illegal to pick poppies in the state, however, that isn’t quite the case.

The Rains Bring Life

California has been in a state of drought for several years now, which has caused all sorts of problems for people and wildlife alike. This has included things such as water shortages and wildfires. However, over the past few months, the state has gotten a much needed drink of fresh water.

Even in the drier, southern half of the state, the rains have been plentiful. So much so, that the desert hills and fields are green and mixed with vibrant patches of purples, oranges, and yellows. The Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve is seeing spectacular blooms already, and is expecting the blooms to increase through to April.

While the wildflowers alone are spectacular, and just in time for spring, they did not come alone. The increase in vegetation has attracted winged bugs, and a lot of them. Painted Lady Butterflies are currently filling the skies in Southern California as they migrate north. Thousands upon thousands of these primarily orange butterflies with black wing tips and white spots are fluttering through the skies, enjoying the fresh food available to them. Experts are saying that this is the biggest migration the state has seen since 2005.

A giant migration of bugs may sound like a bad thing, these butterflies, and their caterpillar young, actually don’t cause much harm to commercial crops, meaning people can just enjoy the butterflies while they are here, before they move further north.

Are Poppies Off Limits?

Pretty much every Californian has heard that it is illegal to pick Poppies in the state. This is largely due to the fact that the California Poppy is the state flower, and is perceived to be off limits to all. However, that is not entirely the case.

California Penal Code (PC) 384a is most likely the cause of this urban legend, even though it does not expressly mention poppies. PC 384a states, in the simplest of terms, that it is illegal for an individual to pick, harm, or destroy any plant life that is on property that they do not own, or do not have permission to do so. This law basically makes it illegal to vandalize someone else’s plants.

Under this law, it can be illegal to pick poppies, if they are on land not owned by the picker. However, if the picker owns the land, or has permission to pick the poppies from the land’s owner, then they can pick the flowers.

If a person is caught breaking this law, they will face misdemeanor charges. This means they can face:

  • Up to 6 months in county jail.
  • Up to $1,000 in fines.
  • Some combination of fine and jail time.

Those are some pretty hefty fines for a crime that could basically amount to flower picking.

Just Enjoy the Show

While Californians are out enjoying the beautiful blooms and plentiful butterflies, they should keep this law in mind. After all, they don’t want to end up in trouble with the law because they picked a few flowers off the side of the road. Besides, many flowers like poppies won’t last long after being picked, so it is best to leave them where they are. Besides, that way everyone can enjoy them.

Are you enjoying this year’s super bloom and butterfly migration? If so, tell us all about it the comments below. Maybe even share a pic or two and let others join in on the fun.

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Did You Miss Jury Duty? Or Is It a Scam?

Did You Miss Jury Duty? Or Is It a Scam?

Did You Miss Jury Duty? Or Is It a Scam?

In today’s modern world, communication has never been easier. The internet and smartphones allow people to get in contact with one another in seconds. This means that people can always keep up to date with everything that is going on with their friends and family members. Unfortunately, this constant connectivity has some drawbacks as well.

For instance, being able to connect with anybody means that anybody can connect with you. It has never been easier for scammers to get in touch with their intended victims. The Los Angeles County Sheriffs have issued warning for more potential scams that people need to be aware of. In these latest scams, the caller pretends to be an LA County Sheriff and convince the victim that they have done something wrong when they really haven’t.

Scammers Want to Cause Panic

When it comes to scamming people, no matter the crime, the crooks always strive for the same goal. Ultimately, the scammer wants to get their target as stressed out and panicked as possible. By doing this, the scammer reduces the chances of the victim making any good decisions. This means the victim will be more likely to just hand over money or personal, private information without thinking twice.

This tactic is likely almost as old as the practice of scamming itself. This is why it is always important for a person to keep a level head, especially when someone else is possibly demanding money or private information.

You “Missed” Jury Duty

The two latest scams that scammers are using cause panic by making the person think they did something wrong, and are therefore in big trouble, despite the fact that they haven’t done anything wrong. The scamers do this by pretending to be local law enforcement agencies contacting people over missed jury duty, or are simply requesting a callback.

For the jury duty scam, a person will call claiming to be a law enforcement officer and will tell the victim that they missed jury duty summons. They will then demand a payment over the phone or else a warrant will be issued for an arrest of the victim.

The thing is, no law enforcement agency will ever call a person over a missed jury duty summons. Law enforcement agencies will also never take payments over the phone, no matter the reason. Knowing these two facts makes identifying this scam, or any like, very easy.

They “Need to Talk to You”

The other scam, usually involves a person being left a message on their phone stating that a law enforcement agency tried to contact them and that the person should call back at a specified number. If the person calls that number, they will likely be greeted by an automated voice menu, which will sound very professional and eventually direct them to a live person.

From there, the person on the other end will ask either for a payment, probably to avoid a warrant being issued, or ask for private/personal information to “verify” that the victim is the person they intended to reach. If the person gives them any information, they have essentially handed their identity over to the scammer in question.

The best way to avoid this scam, is only call back on verified law enforcement agency phone numbers. These numbers can easily be found on the respective agency’s website. Also, remember that law enforcement agencies never collect money over the phone.

Report it to the Authorities

Having all of this connectivity with the rest of the world is great, until people with bad intentions get in touch. A scammer can strike at any time, and people need to be vigilant if they want to avoid getting conned. The best thing for a person to do if they think they are being scammed, is to remain calm. They shouldn’t let the scammer stress them out. That will only lead to them making bad decisions. By staying calm, the person should be able to see through the smoke and mirrors of the scam and avoid giving away anything that is rightfully theirs.

If a person has been scammed, or someone tried to scam them, they should report the incident to the proper authorities. Doing so can help the authorities track the scammer down and prevent him or her from running anymore scams. That helps everyone out.

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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.

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Is Parking in Front of a Hydrant a Good Idea?

Is Parking in Front of a Hydrant a Good Idea?

Is Parking in Front of a Hydrant a Good Idea?

When a person is driving in a city or heavily populated area, they know that finding a parking spot is probably going to be difficult. After all, there are a lot of people in cities, all of whom are trying to find a spot close to their destination to minimize any walk time. This process can be made even more difficult thanks to all sorts of signs, meters, and rules regarding parking.

Often times, cites have signage up that instructs drivers on when they can park in certain areas. These signs can often be a bit confusing to some drivers, but can easily be understood after some quick consideration. Other rules are much more straightforward, such as never park on a red curb. At least, that is what most people would think. Some drivers don’t pay attention to this simple rule, and end up paying the price.

California’s Color Coordinated Curbs

Parking is such a simple act. All a driver is doing is bringing their car to a stop in a safe, designated area. However, here in California, there are a lot of rules and restrictions on where a person can park their car. A driver cannot just leave their vehicle wherever they feel like, whenever they want.

A driver can come across several different colored curbs while driving, and each one tells a driver a different rule. Some examples includes:

  • Blue: Parking is reserved for vehicles of handicapped people only.
  • Green: Vehicles can only be parked for a limited amount of time.
  • Red: No parking or stopping in front of this curb.
  • White: Cars can only stop long enough to pick up or drop off someone.
  • Yellow: Cars can only stop long enough to pick up or drop off cargo and the driver needs to stay with the vehicle.

These color codes are very basic and simple to understand, and still some drivers struggle with them. If they do not follow these rules, then they can find themselves getting a ticket.

Parking in Front of a Fire Hydrant

One of the biggest no-no’s when it comes to parking, is parking in front of a fire hydrant. With every fire hydrant, fifteen feet in either direction, the curb is usually painted red. This is done to allow fire fighters to have access to the hydrant in case of an emergency. They need all of that space to do their job properly. Intruding on that space can be the difference between someone losing their home.

Parking in front of a hydrant may seem harmless, since how often do fires really break out? However, structure fires break out pretty frequently, and fire fighters will do whatever they need to in order to put the blaze out. Often times this means breaking the vehicles windows so the fire hose can run through it. There are plenty of images of this happening online when some dumb driver decided to park in front of a hydrant.

Not only does this mean the person has to pay for repairs on their vehicle, they can count on their vehicle being impounded and receiving a ticket from local law enforcement. This means that a person who parks in front of a fire hydrant will have a lot of expenses to deal with, which will add up quickly.

Don’t Park in Front of Hydrants

Having brightly painted curbs is a quick and easy way to alert drivers to where they can and cannot park, provided the driver pays attention. Of course, paint fades over time, and some hydrants may not be marked as no parking areas, however, that does not mean that a person can park in front of the hydrant.

Even if the open spot in front of a hydrant is close, it simply isn’t worth it to park there. A good rule of thumb is to never park in front of a hydrant, and keep a car length of distance between a vehicle and a hydrant. That will ensure that the car is never too close to a hydrant. A driver just needs to keep an eye out, or else they could wind up dealing with some costly consequences.

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What is The 48 Hour Internet Challenge?

What is The 48 Hour Internet Challenge?

What is The 48 Hour Internet Challenge?

The internet was built as a way to help everyone communicate. People could use this connectivity to share and spread information across the world. While the internet has done just that and made education easier, it has also helped spread some not so great things as well.

There is nothing preventing a person from putting whatever they want online, which means that the internet is filled with all kinds of misinformation and bad ideas. Sometimes the bad ideas are simply harmless pranks, but other times they can be truly dangerous. Who can forget the times when teens were thinking it was a good idea to eat Tide detergent pods, or to throw boiling water on unsuspecting people?

This caused endless amounts of worry for parents everywhere who were understandably concerned. Fortunately, those trends quickly died down, but another trend is causing worry amongst parents and law enforcement agencies alike. The 48-Hour Challenge is a new challenge going around on social media that parents need to warn their children about.

What Is the 48-Hour Challenge?

The 48-Hour Challenge encourages participants to disappear for 48 hours. The more likes, comments, and shares a person receives on social media due to the disappearance, the better they did at the challenge.

Any adult can see where this can quickly causes problems. The teen engages in dangerous activity, having to hide away where they cannot be found. This, in turn, causes the parents to worry uncontrollably about their child, which leads to police involvement. Once the police are involved, they are using valuable time and resources to locate the child.

Once the challenge is over and the child comes out of hiding, everyone is relieved to know he or she is safe, but they are also incredibly annoyed about the trouble that was caused. The adults realize all of the panic was caused by a stupid online challenge. This gets the child into monumental trouble, not only with their parents but with law enforcement as well.

Emergency personnel, especially police officers, never appreciate having their time wasted. This is why it is a crime to falsely report a crime. This isn’t what happens when a child fakes a disappearance, but it still wastes the officer’s time. That is valuable time that they could be using to help someone who truly needs assistance. That is why they do not take this challenge lightly and will likely press charges against any teen that participates in the challenge.

Parents Need to Talk Their Children

The best way to prevent any of this from happening is for the parent to talk to their child or teen about the dangers of participating in online challenges. Teens and children aren’t always the best at making good choices, which is largely due to their lack of life experience. They need to rely on people who have more experience than them.

Parents need to talk to their children and teach them how to make good decisions. Teach them that participating in online challenge like this is a bad idea and can be very dangerous. Hopefully by communicating with their child, a parent will be able to avoid any of the panic and worry that can come from something like the 48-Hour Challenge.

There Will Likely Always Be Dumb Internet Challenges

The internet is always coming up with bad challenges such as this. Luckily, parents can take some comfort in the fact that there is little to no evidence that any children or teens have actively participated in this challenge. However, it is not a bad idea to warn kids against it anyways. After all, it is better to be safe than sorry.

Challenges like this surface and resurface on the internet all of the time. It is a parent’s job to make sure that their child knows how to make good decisions and to avoid challenges such as this. By doing so, a parent can greatly reduce the chances of their child participating in whatever dumb challenge that the internet concocts next.

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Remember to Slow Down in School Zones

Remember to Slow Down in School Zones

Remember to Slow Down in School Zones

Every driver knows that speed limits can vary from place. After all, a person wouldn’t expect to be able to drive freeway speeds through a residential neighborhood. These differences exist for safety reasons. It wouldn’t be safe for the driver, or pedestrians to fly down a residential street at those speeds.

By reducing speeds, a driver has more control of their vehicle and is less likely to get into a horrible accident. A driver can expect speed limits to slow down in areas where cars will be merging into traffic, or wherever a lot of pedestrians will be present. Roads near schools are perfect examples of this.

What Are School Zones

School zones are roads that are within 1,000 feet of a school. Since kids are very present in these areas, whether they are walking alongside the road, or crossing it, driving fast through these areas is not a good idea. That is why, here in California, the speed limit within school zones is 25 miles per hour (mph) when children are present. Although, drivers should be aware that some school zones have speed limits as low as 15 mph.

Kids don’t always have the best sense of awareness and danger when it comes to cars. They will often dart out into the street without looking both ways. Since it takes a while to teach road safety to children, the best way to keep them safe is to ensure that the cars near them are driving slower. After all, adult drivers are more likely to be cautious than the children are.

By reducing the speed limit, drivers are far less likely to getting into an accident, which would be horrible if it involved kids. That is something no driver wants to cause, no matter how late they may be running.

Consequences of Ignoring School Zone Speeds

Speeding is never a great idea, but it is especially bad in school zones when school is in session. Not only does doing this earn a driver a speeding ticket, it can earn them one with a higher fine due to the location. This is very similar to speeding within a construction zone.

When it comes to base ticket prices in California, the prices are determined by how far over the speed limit the driver was going.

  • 1 – 15 mph: If a driver speeds anywhere from 1 to 15 mph over the speed limit, they will receive a ticket with a base price of $35.
  • 16 –25 mph: The base ticket price for this range will be $70.
  • 26+: The base ticket price for this range will be $100.

While these may not sound expected, there will likely be additional fees added to the final prices, which can drastically raise the cost.

If a person is caught speeding over 100 mph, then they face additional charges:

  • First Time Offense: Base fine of $500 and a 30 day license suspension.
  • Second Offense: Base fine of $750 and a 6 month license suspension.
  • Third Offense: Base fine of $1,000 and a 1 year license suspension or a restricted license.

Speeding can carry heavy fines, but it can also lead to increased insurance rates since the driver will be seen as having a higher risk of getting into an accident.

Slow Down When Children Are Present

Speeding is never a good idea, no matter how late the driver may be. It is a very dangerous act that exchanges the safety of others to safe the driver a few extra seconds. It is not worth that risk, especially in a school zone where children are present. One wrong move by the driver or a random child could be catastrophic.

If a person wants to avoid being responsible for harming a child due to their driving, then they need to obey the speed limits in school zones. By doing so, they give themselves enough time to stop if a child does run in front of their car.

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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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How Fast Do You Have to Drive to Go to Jail?

How Fast Do You Have to Drive to Go to Jail?

How Fast Do You Have to Drive to Go to Jail?

Just about everyone is aware of the fact that speeding is a bad idea and can be dangerous. However, many driver’s still speed regardless of that fact. They fail to realize, or comprehend, just how dangerous that kind of behavior behind the wheel can be.

This was definitely the case for one Illinois driver who was caught driving way over the speed limit. She wasn’t just going 5, or even 10 miles over the speed limit. This driver was pulled over by police for going a blindingly fast 80 miles over the speed limit. What makes this worse, is that this was done during the intense polar vortex that is currently gripping the Midwest, thereby making driving conditions already incredibly hazardous.

The Dangers of Speeding and Bad Road Conditions

Speeding is one of the most common causes of vehicle accident deaths. It amounts to roughly 30% of all vehicle related deaths. This is likely due to the fact that the faster a vehicle is traveling, the more likely a driver is to make a mistake. A small mistake at high speeds can be fatal. There is also the fact that the faster a vehicle is moving, the harder the stop will be. This all amounts to deadly results for speeding.

Aside from a driver watching their speed, they also need to be aware of the road conditions. If a road is slick or wet, then driving becomes much more dangerous. That is why most states, including California, have laws stating that drivers must drive at speeds appropriate both for that section of road, and the conditions of that day. This basically means that a driver needs to slow down when the road is slick, or if conditions such as strong wind or blinding sun are present.

When roads are covered in snow and ice, they become treacherous. Car tires have a hard time gaining traction in slick conditions, meaning they take longer to start and stop moving. Drivers can have a hard time keeping the vehicle in control, especially if they have to turn suddenly. Speeding is never advised, but it is an especially bad idea when the roads are slick.

Going 80 Miles over the Limit

In Champaign, Illinois, a woman was recently arrest for driving 115 miles per hour (mph) in a 35 mph zone. Illinois State Police pulled the woman over and arrested her on the spot. They shared an image of the police report to social media with the hashtag: #ThatsGoToJailSpeed.

To make matters worse, the woman drove at those speeds during the ongoing polar vortex buffeting the Midwest. This means that road conditions were less than ideal. This is a time when safety officials are urging people to avoid driving unless absolutely necessary. The roads are covered in snow, ice, and slush, making them a driver’s nightmare.

The post to social media also included a message about how dangerous speeding is: “If you think you won’t get in a bad crash in town because the speed limits are low and you’re a good driver, think again. Just remember there are people like this driving next to you.”

Follow the Signs

There are reasons why speed limits are set the way they are for certain sections of road. By reducing the speed of traffic in certain areas, people are kept safe. Slower speeds reduce the likelihood of a driver losing control of their vehicle and careening into another car, a pedestrian, or even a building.

If a driver wants to avoid ending up in an accident that could get someone hurt or killed, while avoiding a costly ticket and jail time, then they need to follow the speed limit signs. The driver should also be aware of road conditions, and slow down when necessary. Doing so will not only ensure their safety, but the safety of everyone around them. Whatever a driver does, they should definitely not drive 80 mph over the posted speed limit.