Driving with a Costume

Driving with a Costume

Arguably the biggest part of Halloween is dressing up in spooky, fun, or entertaining costumes. Both adults and kids alike get a kick out of dressing up as something else for the evening. The act of getting suited up can be a bit involved, especially for some costumes. As such, some people may decide to drive to their destination while fully decked out in their costume.

This may seem harmless, but it could be considered dangerous, or even reckless. Driving while in full costume can actually get a person into legal trouble if they are not careful.

What Is Reckless Driving?

Here in California, there may not be any law that specifically states that a person cannot drive while wearing a costume, however there is another law that could be applied to the situation. California Vehicle Code (VC) 23103 is the state’s reckless driving law.

As far as this law is concerned, a person commits reckless driving whenever they drive on a highway, this includes public roads, or in a parking facility with wanton disregard for the safety of people and property. Basically anytime a person drives in a way that could be considered dangerous, they are guilty of this crime.

While it may not seem like it, this law could apply to driving while wearing a costume. This is due to the fact that the costume can make it difficult for the driver to operate their vehicle safely. For instance, driving while wearing a mask can restrict a person’s view, making them less likely to notice pedestrians.

Loose or bulky outfits can also make driving difficult. Bulky costumes can prevent a person from moving properly to operate the vehicle, or accidentally bump something. Loose clothing can catch on switches and activate them without the driver meaning to.

If the costume starts to noticeably affect a person’s driving, a police officer will pull them over. Then the person will likely be charged with reckless driving. Even if the person’s driving isn’t noticeably affected by the costume, if they are pulled over, the officer could still charge them with reckless driving while wearing the costume.

Penalties of Reckless Driving in California

The penalties for reckless driving are dependent on whether or not the driver injured someone with their driving. If no one is injured, other than the driver themselves, then the person faces misdemeanor charges. These charges come with the following penalties:

• Up to 90 days in county jail.
• A max fine of $1,000.

 
When the driver causes severe bodily injury, then they face felony charges. As a felony charge, a person faces:

• 16 months, 2 years, or 3 years in county jail.
• A max fine of $10,000.

 
If the reckless driving leads to someone’s death, then the driver could face vehicular manslaughter charges under Penal Code (PC) 192.

Drive Safely This Halloween

Halloween is supposed to be fun. Dressing up as something spooky or a favorite character can be very entertaining. Unfortunately, if a person is not careful and decides to drive while wearing their costume, they could get into legal trouble here in California. That is the last thing anyone wants to happen on Halloween, so it is best to drive carefully and only do so without a mask or bulky, loose-fitting costumes.

What do you think of California’s reckless driving law and how it can be applied to driving while in costume? Is this too ridiculous, or is it a good idea that can keep people safe?

Read more >

How Much Does a Bail Bond Cost Though?

How Much Does a Bail Bond Cost?

One of the biggest questions people have when it comes to bailing someone out of jail is: how much is this going to cost? The answer to that varies from case to case. If a person is tackling the bail on their own, then it will probably cost several thousands of dollars. If the person gets a bail bond from Cal Bail Bonds in Los Angeles, then it will cost significantly less.

Here at Cal Bail Bonds in Los Angeles, our bonds only cost 10% of the bail they are for. This means that when our clients come to us for help, they get a 90% discount off the price of the bail. This can take the cost of a $20,000 bail and turn it into a much more affordable $2,000 bail bond. Who wouldn’t want a discount like this?

Aside from that discount, which all of our clients get, we also have other ways of reducing the cost of bailing someone out. For instance, we provide all of our clients with affordable, 0% interest payment plans. This breaks up the cost of the bail bond and spreads it out over several months.

We also offer special discounts for qualified clients. For instance, clients with approved credit can qualify for 0% down on their bail bond. This means they don’t have pay for the bail bond until a month after their loved one has been released. We also provide a 20% discount of the price of the bail bond for clients and co-signers who:

• Are union members.
• Are members of the military.
• Are members of AARP.
• Are homeowners.
• Have private attorneys.

 
So long as a co-signer meets just one of those requirements, they can qualify for that discount.

While how much does a bail bond cost should be a simple questions to answer, it is hard to give a good answer without knowing the specifics of the case. Luckily, our bail agents are available to offer free consultations 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Our bail agents will be more than happy to answer all of your questions about bail.

If you want to know how much a bail bond will cost for your loved one, call 877-793-2254 or click Chat With Us now.

Read more >

You Don’t Have to Help an Officer

You Don’t Have to Help an Officer

When it comes to interacting with the police, it is often wise to do as they say. Resisting or arguing with them will often only lead to more trouble than people want to deal with. So, unless a person wants to end up in some trouble with law enforcement, then they should probably do whatever an officer asks them.

However, California law has recently changed in one aspect of doing what officers ask. It used to be that if a law enforcement officer asked a person to help them with something, such as arresting another individual, that person had to agree. If they didn’t, they could end up in trouble with the law. However, thanks to the recent passing of a State Senate Bill, that is no longer the case.

A Law from the Wild West

Back in the days of the Wild West, the state of California enacted the California Posse Comitatus Act of 1872. The law was enacted to help sheriffs create posses to hunt down escaped prisoners or other criminals. The law stated that any able-bodied person 18 or older has to help an officer with an arrest if the officer requests assistance from the person. Failing to do so is a misdemeanor offense that could come with a max fine of $1,000.

The law is nearly 150 years old, and that caused some people to take notice of it. Specifically, Senator Bob Hertzberg and his interns. They deemed the law too old and outdated to still be a law today. That is why, back in January of 2019, the Senator introduced Senate Bill (SB) 192.

Senator Hertzberg was quoted as saying: “Thank you to my interns for finding a law that belongs in the history books, not the law books.”
At the start of September, Governor Gavin Newsom signed the bill into law, which officially repealed the California Posse Comitatus Act of 1872. This means that it is no longer illegal for an adult to refuse to help a police officer during an arrest if the officer asks for help.

The Ongoing Debate

Of course, like with any law these days, there is some debate to this new law and the message it sends. Many law enforcement agencies here in the state of California fear that this bill’s passing will make people think they don’t have to listen to police officers.

On the other side of things, there is the Senator and his team who seem to think that the law is old and outdated. They think that no one should be forced to help a police officer just because the officer asked them to do so.

What do you think about the recent passing and signing of SB 192? Should California have gotten rid of the law because it was old and outdated, or was it a good idea to make sure people provide help to law enforcement officers who need it?

Read more >

California’s Seat Belt Laws

California’s Seat Belt Laws

Every driver has seen a sign telling them and their passengers to buckle their seat belts. Most people don’t need to be reminded to buckle up. They know that wearing their seat belt is the best way to stay safe in the event of an accident. However, there are still some people out there who need to be reminded of that fact.

In an effort to try to keep everyone safe, every state in the union has created laws against driving without a seat belt. Here in California, Vehicle Code (VC) 27315 is the state’s seat belt law. It lists the times when a person needs to wear a seat belt and what kind of consequences a person would face for not wearing the belt.

California Vehicle Code 27315

VC 27315 is more commonly referred to as the Motor Vehicle Safety Act. This act was created in an effort to keep motorists safe while driving across California. The act basically states that no person over the age of 16 can ride or drive in a moving vehicle without being properly restrained.

Being properly restrained is defined as having the lower lap portion strapped over the stomach and the upper shoulder portion of the belt being strapped across the front of the chest. Basically, for any vehicle from the year 1996 or newer, passengers have to wear the full seat belt. A person cannot place the shoulder portion of the seat belt behind their back.

Another factor in this law is that all seat belts need to be kept in proper, working order.

Consequences of Not Buckling Up

Breaking VC 27315 is an infraction level offense. This means it does not come with criminal charges or jail time. A person simply faces a small fine for not wearing their seat belt while riding in a moving vehicle.

When a person doesn’t wear their seat belt, they will be the ones to get a ticket, not the driver of the vehicle. Unless the un-belted person is a minor, in which case the driver is responsible for the child’s safety.

For a first time offense, a person faces a $20 base fine.

For any subsequent offenses, a person faces a $50 base fine.

In some instances, a person may be able to avoid a fine if they can take a traffic school course, provided the course teaches about seat belt safety.

Despite the nature of breaking this law, a person will not receive any points on their driver’s license. This helps a person avoid collecting too many points on their license and the increased insurance rates that would come with them.

It is important to remember that all of these consequences are on top of the fact that if a person doesn’t wear a seat belt and winds up in an accident, they are much more likely to receive serious injuries. Seat belts save lives. By not wearing one, a person is risking their own life.

Kids and Seat Belts

It is pretty easy to see how seat belts aren’t exactly designed for children. That is why there are car seats built to keep kids safe at all ages. According to California law:

• Kids under the age of 2 should be restrained in rear-facing car seats unless the child weighs more than 40 pounds, or is taller than 40 inches.
• Children under the age of 8 must be secured in a car seat in the back seat.
• Children 8 and older, or taller than 4 feet, 9 inches, should be in a booster seat, or at least secured by a seat belt.
• Children 16 and older must wear a seat belt.

 
Failing to follow these regulations can result in the parent receiving fines, and a point on their driver’s license.

A first time offense comes with a base fine of $100.

Subsequent offenses come with a base fine of $250.

Don’t Ignore the Ticket

With such a small ticket price, some people may feel like ignoring the ticket and its court date. However, that is a terrible idea. By ignoring a ticket and failing to appear in court, a person violates VC 40508. Unlike VC 27315, breaking VC 40508 comes with actual criminal charges.

When a person breaks this law, they can face:

• Up to 6 months in jail.
• A max fine of $1,000.

 

Just Wear the Seat Belt

At the end of the day, it is best that everyone just buckle up when they get in a vehicle. Doing so can keep them safe in the event of an accident. Plus, getting caught not wearing a seat belt can earn a person a nice fine, and they will have to appear in court. It is so much easier to just wear the seat belt.

What do you think of California’s take on seat belt laws? Is it too much, or not enough? Should driving without a seat belt earn a person a point on their driver’s license?

Read more >