juvenile procedures

What Happens If a Minor Breaks a Law?

juvenile procedures

Getting arrested is not a great experience. Everyone knows that. However, it is not something that adults can’t handle. As an adult, a person knows that it will be rough, but eventually they will get out of jail again. Kids don’t understand that. Several things are so much worse as a kid than they are as an adult, and getting arrested is definitely one of those things.

When a minor gets into trouble with the law, they are often returned to the parents. The parents or other legal guardians are responsible for taking care of the minor and keeping him or her out of trouble. If the minor repeatedly commits the same crimes, then the parent will become responsible for paying for damages.

The minor may also have to go to juvenile court. If it is determined that a minor did commit the crime in question, they will face consequences. In juvenile court, the goal is not to punish minors who committed crimes, but to rehabilitate them. This way, they can go on to be productive members of society when they grow up.

Minors can end up on probation if they are caught committing lesser crimes, while more aggressive crimes can get a minor committed to the Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ). The DJJ is equivalent of jail for minors and it is not a great place to be, just like regular jail and prison.

If a minor is convicted of certain lesser crimes, they may be able to have those records sealed when they turn 18. This will allow him or her to continue into adulthood without worry. Getting arrested as an adult is terrifying, but as a child it is so much worse. This is why it is important for parents to talk with their children on a regular basis. Make sure your children know the difference between right and wrong.

Fireworks and California

Fireworks and California

Fireworks and California

Fireworks are lots of fun. They’re a great way to entertain your friends and neighbors during gatherings, but when you live in California there are some pretty strict rules about setting off fireworks in your backyard.

Types of Fireworks

California’s law makers have divided fireworks into two different types of categories. There are “safe and sane fireworks” and “dangerous fireworks.”

“Dangerous fireworks” are the ones that are typically set off by the cities, the large massive explosive ones such as rockets. Even sprinklers that are over 10 inches long are listed as dangerous.

Safe and sane fireworks are lots of fun, even if they are small. These fireworks include: spinners, small sprinklers, fountains, and snap caps.

It is always illegal for anyone who doesn’t have a display pyrotechnics license to set off any type of dangerous fireworks, however those without a license who are over the age of sixteen can buy and use safe fireworks.

Obtaining a display pyrotechnics license in California is quite complicated. Getting one involves:

  • Filling out an extensive application
  • 2 years of experience working with public fireworks display
  • 5 written letters of recommendation
  • Passing a pyrotechnics exam
  • Passing a background check

The Cost of Setting off Illegal Fireworks in California

Using dangerous or illegal fireworks in California is strictly frowned on in California. Simply being caught with illegal fireworks can result in you being sentenced to 12 months and/or paying a $1,000 fine. If you have a large quantity of the illegal and dangerous fireworks the charges are bumped up to a felony that can result in a $50,000 fine and 3 year prison sentence.

Selling to Minors

If a licensed fireworks dealer is caught selling illegal fireworks to a minor, the legal penalties are both swift and severe. The dealers aren’t allowed to sell any fireworks to anyone who is under sixteen years old and can’t sell any dangerous fireworks to anyone under the age of 18.

llegal Fireworks within California

Illegal Fireworks within California

llegal Fireworks within California

The Fourth of July is coming up, and it’s an exciting time to let your American spirit fly. It feels like just yesterday we were talking about Valentine’s Day and recommending great date ideals. Now we’re here gearing up to get as patriotic a possible. What better way to enjoy being an American than by dressing up in the flag and setting off fireworks.

Fireworks are exciting, but can be dangerous. Here in California, certain fireworks are banned for the public’s safety. The list of banned fireworks is long, but it’s all in the public’s best interest. California is a very populated state, as well as one of the driest. Fireworks going wrong can result in a large fire, and deaths. Rules regarding where you can set fireworks off vary from city to city. Some towns don’t even allow their residents to set off fireworks. The following are the banned fireworks in California:

  • Firecrackers.
  • Skyrockets.
  • Rockets.
  • Roman candles.
  • Chasers.
  • All wire & wooden stick sparklers.
  • Surprise items.
  • Friction items.
  • Torpedoes.
  • Firework kits.
  • Fireworks containing arsenic, phosphorus, thiocyanates magnesium (magnesium-aluminum alloys permitted ), mercury salts, picrates or picric acid, gallates or gallic acid, chlorates (with few excepts), boron, titanium (except particle sizes larger than 100 mesh), zirconium, gunpowder, and fireworks kits.

There are a lot of restrictions when it comes to setting off fireworks in California. For starters you can’t even purchase fireworks unless your 16 years or older. Fireworks are considered illegal, unless you have special permit. You can also only find fireworks being sold from June 28 to July 6. That’s why you can’t find fireworks year round.

If you decide to let your American spirit go out of control, you’ll probably land in some big trouble. California takes their laws regarding fireworks very seriously. However, most firework violations typically result in misdemeanors, which can result in up to one year in county jail and/or up to $1,000 in fines. Having a large quantity of fireworks that are considered dangerous without the proper permits can result in a felony. Receiving a felony charge can result in three years in prison and a $50,000 fine.

Fireworks sometimes feel like an American staple. In order to be considered an American, you must enjoy fireworks on the Fourth of July. Fireworks are mind blowing contraptions that excite us with their danger and beauty. However, we need to remember that while we go full blown American, we need take precautions. We need to be aware of the safety of others as we set off fireworks.

protecting your home while on vacation

How Safe Is Your Home While On Vacation

protecting your home while on vacation

Going on vacation is lots of fun but coming home and finding out that your house has been broken into isn’t. There are several things you can do to keep your home safe while you’re having a good time.

Talk to Your Neighbors/Friends

An abandoned house is one that attracts burglars. You want there to be some activity in your home while you’re vacationing. One of the simplest ways to do this is having a friends and neighbors pull into your driveway a few times a day. Other good solutions is hiring a house sitter, a pet sitter who stays in your home. If you can’t arrange from someone to come to your home while you’re gone, set some of your lights on timers. It’s best if the lights come on and go off at random times which gives the impression of a person moving around the house.

Stop Your Mail and Paper

Talk to both the post office and your newspaper company and have all deliveries stopped. A bunch of papers and an overflowing mailbox is one of the first things burglars are looking for when they drive through a neighborhood looking for a likely target. You should also make sure that you’re not going to get any packages delivered while you’re gone.

Restrict Your Social Media Posts

The biggest mistakes that many people make when they’re going on vacation is announcing their plans. This is a horrible idea. It’s impossible to know who is and isn’t monitoring your social media posts. By saying you are leaving on vacation, burglars know that your home is standing empty. Not only should you not post that you’re leaving, but you should also restrain yourself from posting vacation pictures until you’re back home. In fact, it wouldn’t hurt to hold onto a few photos that have been taken at our home and posting those while you’re away.

Boost Your Home Security

Don’t leave your home vulnerable when you take off on vacation. Before leaving home you should go through your home and make sure it’s secure. This is the time to make sure that all your windows are closed and locked. If the locks look worn or damaged, it’s time to get a locksmith into to repair or replace them.

Don’t forget to move any hidden keys to a more secure location before you leave on vacation.

Once you know that your home is safe, you’re free to sit back and really enjoy your vacation.

when to leave child alone

At What Age Can You Leave Your Child Alone

when to leave child alone

Every parent has been there. They need to quickly run into town for something such as a gallon of milk, an emergency dental appointment, or to pick up something from work. You don’t want to bring your child with you, but you’re not sure if you’re legally allowed to leave them at home.

California’s Laws About Leaving Children Home Alone

At this moment, the State of California doesn’t have any actual laws that deal how old your child has to be before you can leave them unattended while you run to the store. The only states that currently have such laws are Maryland, Illinois, and Oregon. However, that doesn’t mean you’re free to leave your two-year-old in the crib while you nip out for a quick breakfast.

California law makers believe that it should be up to the parent to decide at what age their child is responsible enough to care for themselves while home alone. The states that do have laws have set that age from 10-12. Child care experts are quick to point out that it should be determined from one child to another.

It’s also worth noting that there’s a big difference between leaving a ten-year-old home alone while you make a quick dash to the store and leaving them alone while you go on an overnight trip with friends.

Other factors that should be taken into consideration include:

  • How safe a neighborhood you live in
  • Whether there’s anyone in the area that will keep half an eye on your child and property while you’re out of town
  • If the child has enough safe activities to keep them busy and out of trouble.
  • Alternatives to Leaving Your Child Home Alone

    If you are in a position do to work or another commitment where you can’t routinely be with your child when they get home from school, most child care experts suggest looking for an after-school activity that they can participate in rather than leaving them to fend for themselves. Good choices include art classes, school sports, and organizations such as the Boys and Girls Club. Another option is working out a deal with one of your child’s friends parents in which they watch your child for a few hours each week in exchange for you taking over other responsibilities.

    Keep in mind that if your child gets into trouble because you have left them home alone, the law could consider you both criminally and civilly responsible for their actions.

    what is sexual harrassment

    What Counts as Sexual Harassment?

    what is sexual harrassment

    There are plenty of beautiful people in the world. Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. It’s always nice to appreciate beauty, but in polite ways. You can’t just catcall some random person on the opposite side of the street. That is considered sexual harassment. There are ways to show appreciation for beauty, but you need to be aware there is a fine line between compliments and sexual harassment.

    There are several types of sexual harassment. One type of sexual harassment is “quid pro quo” which means “this for that”. This kind of sexual harassment usually occurs in a career or educational setting. The second type of sexual harassment is hostile environment, and can happen anywhere. This is when the receiver of sexual harassment feels threatened while the abuser is in a seat of power.

    Sexual harassment can happen anywhere, at any time. It also doesn’t always appear sexual in nature. It could start as just an off-handed comment. A mentor, teacher, co-worker, family member, friends, or a random stranger can harass you. Sexual harassment can happen to anyone at any time. It can be either verbal or physical.

    Sexual harassment does not discriminate, it can happen to anybody, any gender, and ethnicity. It can happen in public or in a private setting. If it ever does happen to you, it’s important that you know your rights. If the sexual harassment that you receive escalates to rape, it’s essential that you understand your rights. Your rights are as follows according to Rape Abuse Incest National Network (RAINN):

    • You have the right to determine whether or not you want to report the assault to Law Enforcement.
    • You have the right to have an advocate present at the hospital exam and at any interview by Law Enforcement, the District Attorney or Defense Attorney.
    • You have the right to be treated in a considerate and sensitive manner by Law Enforcement, medical personnel, advocates, and prosecution personnel.
    • You have the right not to be subjected to any type of discrimination because of your gender, race, age, class, religion, occupation, or sexual orientation.

    It’s important to stop and appreciate the beauty of the world, but it’s also necessary to respect people. If you admire a flower, you don’t want to cut and kill the flower. If you let the flower be, it will grow to be even more gorgeous, and produce more flowers.

    what to do during home invasion

    What to Do if Someone Breaks into Your House

    what to do during home invasion

    When we think of our homes, we think of them as our safe havens. They are our escape from work, stressful family events, and from other aspects of the harsh world we live in. Our homes are sanctuaries that protect us from the weather, and the outside world. One of the last things on our mind when we think about it is how safe it really is. We often think that locking the door is enough, but sometimes it’s not.

    It’s better to be prepared, instead of being a victim. Being prepared for a possible break-in will give you a leg up on the bad guys of the world. There are plenty of ways you can prepare your house. Installing a security system is one way, but there are also different kinds of locks you can place on your windows to help reinforce them.

    The second step to being prepared is practicing. Practice makes perfect, and you need to be at your best. Practicing what you would do if someone breaks into your house while your home is a good way to help yourself be prepared. It may seem silly, but practicing builds muscle memory, something that you’ll have to rely on in case of an intruder. Practicing what you’ll do in each room of your home will help you keep a calm head.

    If you are home when an intruder breaks into your house, there are several things you can do:

    • First, you need to listen closely and try to determine where the intruder is in the house.
    • Second, stay hidden from the intruder unless you’ve prepared for confronting the intruder with a self-defense weapon.
    • Third, try to keep yourself separated from the intruder by locking yourself in a room, or by safely exiting the house.
    • Fourth, call 911 as soon as you know you are safe. Even if you don’t feel safe talking, in fear the intruder may hear you, stay on the line and press a button on the phone in response to the dispatcher. In Los Angeles County you can actually text 911 to notify the police.
    • Lastly, wait until emergency services arrive.

    When a break-in happens, it can be emotionally traumatizing, especially if you live on your own. Following a break-in you need to take inventory of yourself, and your mental state. It’s not uncommon for victims of a break-in to feel insecure in their own home afterwards. After all, someone has broken into your sanctuary. Your best option is to prepare for it, and hope you never have to deal with it.

    what is megans law

    What is Megan’s Law

    what is megans law

    Way back in 1995, New Jersey became the first state to enact Megan’s Law, which requires that law enforcement authorities notify any community that a convicted sex offender has moved into the area. In short, it was the law that first created the sex offenders’ registry. In California you can search if a sex offender lives near your area by going to MeagansLaw.com. This website provides information on registered sex offenders pursuant to California Penal Code § 290.46 so that members of the public can better protect themselves and their families.

    The History Behind Megan’s Law

    The law was named in honor of Megan Kanka, a young girl who was raped and then murdered by a person who’d been previously convicted of sex crimes. The logic behind the law is that had Megan’s parents known that a dangerous sex offender was living in the area, they would have been able to take steps that would have kept their little girl safe.

    Shortly after New Jersey implemented the law, the federal government took steps that required every single state enforce their own version of Megan’s Law, however it’s important to understand that each state, including California, has its own version of Megan’s Law.

    California’s Take on Megan’s Law

    Megan’s Law has been in effect in the State of California since 1996.

    In California, Penal Code S 290.46 deals with the ins and outs of Megan’s Law. When an individual with a sex offender history is released from prison, information about them and their crime is entered into the California Sex and Arson Registry (CSAR.) This information is than passed onto local law enforcement agencies.

    If a person is required to provide their information to CSAR and fails to do so in a timely manner, a judge can order them to pay a fine that doesn’t exceed $1,000 and sentence them to as much as six months in jail.

    Misusing Megan’s Law

    The great thing about California is that they have steps in place to deal with individuals who misuse Megan’s Law, either for their own advantage, or to unjustly diminish the quality of life of a registered sex offender. California’s law clearly states that the information provided on the CSAR can only be used to help a person protect themselves and their family from a perceived threat. It can’t be used to bully or threaten an individual who has served out their initial sentence.

    No one can use the CSAR to withhold basic needs such as:

    • Credit/Loans
    • Employment opportunities and benefits that accompany the employment opportunity
    • Health and other types of insurance
    • Educational opportunities
    • Housing

    If a person is caught using the information on CASR for anything other then protecting themselves from a sex offender, they face misdemeanor charges that can include a $250 fine. The person who suffered as a result of the misuse of Megan’s Law can file civil charges against the person who misused the law and potentially collect a $25,000 settlement.

    dealing with noisy neighbor

    How to Handle Noisy Neighbors

    dealing with noisy neighbor

    Noisy neighbors can seriously lower your enjoyment of life, particularly when the noise happens late at night. If you’re in the middle of a noisy neighbor situation, here’s some tips that will help you gain some peace.

    Is the Noise Chronic

    Truthfully, if the noise issue is just an occasional thing, your best course of action is to probably just ignore the situation. However, if the noise takes place in the form of a weekly party, loud vehicles pulling in an out at all hours of the night, or a barking dog, you will want to address the matter.

    Have a Heart to Heart with your Neighbor

    When the noise levels have become an unbearable nuisance, it’s time to sit down and have a heart to heart with your neighbor. Before knocking on their door, take a few moments to prepare yourself. You do not want to be short tempered at this point. Take a few deep breaths to calm down and plan ahead. Once you arrive at your neighbors, speak calmly about the issue and ask if there’s a way to resolve the matter that makes both you and your neighbor happy. You may learn that they have no idea just how disruptive their noise is.

    While you’re at your neighbor’s, try to get them to work with you to come up with a compromise. Don’t be afraid to, calmly, explain why and how their noise is disrupting your life.

    Remember, the most important thing you can do during this stage is staying cool, calm, and collected.

    Write a Letter

    If you’ve had a heart to heart and the noise continues, write a formal letter, again using calm, non-aggressive language, asking that they do something to keep their noise levels down. Mail the letter through the post and keep a copy of the letter for yourself. The letter is the first formal proof you’ll have that you’re attempting to work with your neighbor to handle the noise. If you rent, this is the time when you’ll want to start working with your landlord.

    Start Keeping a Record

    Pick up a cheap spiral notebook and use it as a journal to record each time your neighbor gets loud. Make note of the type of noise, when it started, and how long it went on.

    Contact the Police

    If you’ve truly done everything you can think of to convince your neighbors to keep the noise down, it’s time to contact the police. This is a non-emergency call, so you’ll want to dial 311. Provide the dispatcher with the exact location of the noise as well as the type of noise that’s taking place. Let the dispatcher know that you wish to remain anonymous. Do not go to your neighbors to watch while the police discuss the situation with them.

    Good luck!

    difficulties of being a single dad

    Being a Single Dad

    difficulties of being a single dad

    We live in a world where we preach independence. We want independence from everyone and if someone says we can’t do something, we prove them wrong. When people say you can’t raise a child without being married, you prove them wrong. There is nothing wrong with being a single mother and to all those single moms out there, you’re killing it. Single moms get their holiday in May; single dads also get their holiday in June. Father Day is coming up on June 17th, and it’s time that we give them some recognition as well.

    Being a single father is a taboo thing. It’s a foreign concept to most people. After all, why wouldn’t the mother be in the picture? We’re not surprised when a father is absent in a child’s life, but when a mother is gone, we can’t believe it. Maybe it’s because as children we’ve seen movies where the only reason why a mom is out of the picture is because of some tragic death or possibly because she is in jail. This could be the case for some, but not all. Let’s face it, some people aren’t meant to be parents, while others are destined to be both parents.

    Single fathers are just like single mothers. Society, family, friends, and even their kids will challenge them. Whatever the reason is for being a single parent, you know that you’re doing it for your kid. You are accepting the responsibility to play both roles in your child’s life. You realize that you family is going to critique your methods. Your kid’s teacher may suggest that because of you, just child doesn’t understand math. Your friends will be put off at time when you can’t go out because your child is sick and the sitter canceled. The worst part of it all will be when your kid is mad at you, because they can only be mad at you.

    Those are some of the challenges a single father will face, but it isn’t all-bad. Being a single father is not a death sentence. Through all the unwanted advice and exhaustion you’ll find a rhythm. As a single father, you still have a lot to offer your kids. You’re showing your kid love in another way. You’re showing them perseverance. Life may not always go as planned, but you’ve got them. As a single father you get a front row seat to watch your kids grow into adults.

    Fathers typically provide for and discipline their children. The mother generally is the nurturer of the family. However, having two parents is becoming a rarity in the world around us. Wherever you’re the mother is, whether that be in jail, or out of the picture indefinitely, just know that you are capable of providing everything your child needs. As long as you provide your kids with love, they will be appreciative of you this Father’s Day.