What Is A Plea Bargain?

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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 deal...

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Chat Room Crimes In California

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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 Penal Code 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 of...

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Standing Your Ground In California

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In California, you have the right to defend yourself, even if you’re not inside of your home at the time. The issue is dealt with in California’s self-defense laws which are more popularly referred to as Stand-Your-Ground laws.

What the Stand-Your-Ground laws do is provide you with a way to hold tight and defend yourself from an attack. They most commonly come into play when a person encounters a burglar inside their home, but they also come into play in parking lots, parks, lawns, public buildings and even on the road.

The idea behind the Stand-Your-Ground laws is that you should be able to defend yourself without having to worry about criminal prosecution.

It’s important to understand that the Stand-Your-Ground laws don’t give you free rein to do whatever you want...

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Catching Police Officers On Film

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Videos of police officers behaving badly have a history of going viral. This sheds a bad light on police officers throughout the entire state of California. Isn’t it interesting how videos of police officers doing good things never seem to make it onto the internet?

If you plan on filming a police officer there are few things you need to consider before you hit record.

California doesn’t currently have any laws that forbid you from filming police officers in action, but that doesn’t mean you can get in the officer’s way while they’re conducting official business...

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Riding A Noisy Motorcycle In California

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There was a time when riding a noisy motorcycle in California meant you might get issue a fix-it ticket. While the ticket was irritating, it was also easily correctable. All you had to do was take your motorcycle to a mechanic, have the noise adjusted, prove you changed things, and the ticket went away.

That changed in 2019 when lawmakers decided that there were too many noisy motorcycles on California’s highways. Since the law passed, if your motorcycle is considered too loud, you’ll still be issued a ticket, but adjusting the noise won’t make the fine disappear. Whether you have your bike repaired or not, you’ll have to pay a substantial amount of money to the court system.

While you might love a good loud rumbling exhaust while you’re zooming down California’s highways, that so...

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Smoking And Driving

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Somewhere along the way, a rumor started to spread. The rumor was that you couldn’t legally smoke and drive a car. This has alarmed many drivers who find that smoking helps them relax and pass the time while they’re stuck in traffic. It’s also likely resulted in the police fielding many calls from concerned motorists who report other drivers smoking while behind the wheel.

The Truth About Smoking And Driving

In California, there aren’t any current laws that prohibit you from smoking or vaping while you’re behind the wheel. That doesn’t mean that you won’t ever get into trouble for the act.

While a patrol officer can’t simply pull you over and issue a citation because you were smoking a cigarette, if you’re smoking causes you to weave all over the road, miss a traffic sign or...

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Flipping Cars In California

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Flipping cars is not a new concept, people have been doing it for decades, but it is only recently that the practice has attracted a great deal of media and legal attention.

What is Flipping Cars?

Flipping cars is the practice of purchasing a vehicle and promptly listing it for sale, at a higher price, hours later. In many cases, the person responsible for flipping the car will claim to have owned the vehicle for a long time, implying that they have an intimate knowledge of the vehicle’s history.

In California, the practice is called curbstoning. While lawmakers frown on flipping cars, at this point, they haven’t worked out a way to prevent people from doing it. Rather than coming up with laws that prohibit curbstoning, California lawmakers have focused their attention on educating bu...

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Understanding Cyberstalking

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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]...

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Obstructing The Police In California

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According to the Oxford English Dictionary, obstructing the police is, “The offense of hindering a police officer who is in the course of doing his duty (Police Act 1996 s 89). “Obstruction” includes any intentional interference, e.g. by physical force, threats, telling lies or giving misleading information, refusing to cooperate in removing an obstruction or warning a person who has committed a crime so that he or she can escape detection (e.g. warning a speeding driver that there is a police trap ahead).

It is not, however, an offense merely not to answer or to advise someone not to answer, police questions that he does not have to answer...

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Understanding Statute Of Limitations In California

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Statute of limitations is a term that gets thrown around a lot on legal shows but not everyone fully understands what they are.

The truth is that the statute of limitations is a very important legal term that addresses whether or not you can be charged for an old crime. The problem is that different crimes have different statutes of limitations.

For example, in California, the statute of limitations on felony fraud, public official misconduct and embezzlement against dependents crimes is four years. In these types of cases, it’s important to understand that the four years don’t necessarily start when the crime is committed but rather when the crime is discovered or the completion of the offense...

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