What is a Plea Bargain?

What is a Plea Bargain?

What is a Plea Bargain?

Considering how many people are arrested each year in California, there are surprisingly few criminal trials. There are usually two reasons a case doesn’t go to trial. The first is because the charges were dropped, either due to lack of evidence or because the person who filed the charges changed their mind.

The second reason is that the accused ultimately decides to accept a plea bargain.

The simplest way to describe a plea bargain is that it is an agreement that both the defendant and the prosecution enter into. In most cases, the defendant opts to take the plea bargain because they’re worried that if the case goes to trial, they’ll be found guilty and face steep consequences. When compared to the possible consequences connected to the trial, the plea bargain feels like a good d...

Chat Room Crimes in California

Chat Room Crimes in California

Chat Room Crimes in California

Chat room crimes are a term that typically refers to specific cases that ultimately deal with the solicitation of a minor. The term first became popular after it was used by the television show, To Catch a Predator.

Chat room crimes typically involve an older person, usually, a male, who uses things like chat rooms and instant messaging to connect with and ultimately lure a minor. In many cases, the minor thinks that they are chatting with someone who is of a similar age to themselves.

Chat room crimes are typically covered by solicitation of a minor laws, which are outlined in California’s PC 288.2. The code states that:

“Every person who knows, should have known, or believes that another person is a minor, and who knowingly distributes, sends, causes to be sent, exhibits, or offers ...

Oops, I Opened my Neighbor’s Mail!!

Oops, I Opened my Neighbor’s Mail!!

Oops, I Opened my Neighbor’s Mail!!

The postal service isn’t infallible. They’re prone to making human mistakes. One of the most common mistakes the postal service does is occasionally putting your neighbor’s mail in your mailbox.

Most of us don’t really look at the mail before we open it. Since it’s in our mailbox, we automatically assume it’s for us. As a result, occasionally we open a piece of mail that belongs to our neighbor.

This can instantly lead to a sense of panic because most of us know that opening other people’s mail is a federal offense.

If you’ve accidentally opened a piece of mail that isn’t yours, the first thing you need to do is take a deep breath and relax. Unfortunately, these things happen.

The best way to deal with the situation is to return the mail to the envelope, seal it with ...

Roadside Stands in California

Roadside Stands in California

Roadside Stands in California

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

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

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

Traditionally, the only type...

Knowingly Committing Perjury in California

Knowingly Committing Perjury in California

Knowingly Committing Perjury in California

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

What is Perjury?

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

The topic of perjury is dealt with in Penal Code 118 PC. The code states that: “(a) Every person who, having taken an oath that he or she will testify, declare, depose, or certify truly before any competent tribunal, officer, or person, in any of the cases in which the oath may by law of the State of California be administered, willfully and ...

How to get Free Legal Assistance in California

How to get Free Legal Assistance in California

How to get Free Legal Assistance in California

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

Public Defenders

Every American should know that if they find themselves on the wrong side of the law, they’re entitled to a defense attorney. There’s a well-known line in the Miranda Rights that states, “if you can’t afford an attorney, one will be provided for you.” The reason the line is in the Miranda Rights is so that you understand that getting a g...

Felony Animal Cruelty in California

Felony Animal Cruelty in CaliforniaFelony Animal Cruelty in California

Felony Animal Cruelty in California

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

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

Sadly, this kitten’s story isn’t unusual. Every single year, California animal shelters to rescue and care f...

Understanding Cyberstalking

Understanding Cyberstalking

Understanding Cyberstalking

We’ve all turned to the internet when we’ve wanted to learn about a person we’re interested in. For most of us, this involves a quick Google search or reading through their social media posts. That’s fine. It’s not illegal.

However, when the interest goes deeper, it can turn into cyberstalking, which is illegal in California.

According to the Cyberbullying Association, cyberstalking, “involves the use of technology (most often, the Internet!) to make someone else afraid or concerned about their safety [1]. Generally speaking, this conduct is threatening or otherwise fear-inducing, involves an invasion of a person’s relative right to privacy, and manifests in repeated actions over time [2]...

Child Endangerment in California

Child Endangerment in California

Child Endangerment in California

California’s lawmakers believe that adults have a moral and legal responsibility to protect children. Failing to do so can put you on the wrong side of the law.

The California Penal Code 273a PC deals with the issue of child endangerment.

The interesting thing about Penal Code 273a PC is that while it deals with child endangerment, it isn’t the same law that defines child abuse.

The idea behind child endangerment is that the episode is often a single episode. It doesn’t always involve a child getting hurt, but rather addresses the fact that a child, which according to the California legal system is anyone under the age of 18, could have been hurt or killed as a direct result of your actions...

Spring Break is Coming! Know What an Underage Drinking Charge Will Cost you

Spring Break is Coming! Know What an Underage Drinking Charge Will Cost you

Spring Break is Coming! Know What an Underage Drinking Charge Will Cost you

Spring break is finally here! It’s time to cut loose, forget all about your studies, and have a good time.

While there’s nothing wrong with relaxing and enjoying yourself, don’t forget that you’re not allowed to drink alcohol until you’re at least twenty-one years old. If you choose to ignore this, an underage drinking charge won’t just ruin your spring break, it will also have a negative impact on your life over the next few years.

It doesn’t matter if you’re pulled over for speeding or if the cops show up at a party, if your blood alcohol content is over .05 and you’re under twenty-one, you’ll find yourself on the wrong side of the law.

For the record, a single beer is all it takes to put you over .05.

The days when an underage drinking charge resulted in a diffi...