distracted driving laws in california

What Kind of Driving Is Worse Than Drunk Driving?

distracted driving laws in california

Driving is something that pretty much every single adult does every day. They drive to get to work, to run errands, and take their kids wherever they need to go. Driving is such a part of everyone’s day to day life that no one really bats an eye at it. Everyone is used to driving, which makes driving more dangerous.

When people deal with something on a daily basis, they tend to forget how risky that something can be. This is definitely the case with driving. On its own, driving can be very dangerous. When travelling that quickly, it doesn’t take much for something to go wrong. This is why a driver needs to keep their focus on the road and the task at hand. Looking away for even a second can have deadly consequences.

Distracted Driving Isn’t Harmless

Distracted driving often seems harmless, which is why millions of people do it every single day. However, these people often fail to realize that by distracting themselves like that, they are increasing their chances of being in an accident. Cellphone use while driving is responsible for roughly 1.6 million car accidents in the US each year. This is around 64% of all car accidents in the US.

Cars are large, heavy objects moving at very high speeds. They need precise control to keep them operating the way we want them to. One small jerk of the steering wheel while driving at 50mph can send the car careening in an unintended direction. If a person takes their eyes off of the car in front of them, they might not see it slam on the brakes, which means they won’t have time to stop their car before slamming into the one in front.

It doesn’t cause much to cause a distraction, which is why certain activities should never be performed while driving. Some of these activities include:

  • Texting
  • Phone calls, hands-free or not
  • Smartphone usage
  • Eating
  • Applying makeup
  • Looking for something in the car
  • Talking to other passengers

All of these activities seem harmless, but reduce a driver’s concentration, thereby increasing their chances of being in an accident.

In some studies, it has been found that texting and driving actually reduces a driver’s response time more than being drunk. This means that texting and driving is more dangerous than driving drunk.

California Laws against Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is such a big deal that the state of California even has laws against it. What started out as laws against using a cellphone, expanded to cover other, common activities that could be considered distracted driving.

If any over the age of 18 is caught using a cellphone or other electronic devices, without hands-free, while driving will face infraction level charges, which means some small fines. Anyone under the age of 18 using any sort of electronic device, even hands-free, while face an infraction and possible suspension of their driver’s license or permit.

Don’t Drive While Distracted

When driving, it is very easy to become distracted. In most cases, looking away for a second seems harmless, and sometimes it is. However, there are plenty of examples of when a person looked away for a second and caused a car accident. If the driver is lucky, they will be able to walk away for the incident. Unfortunately, not all drivers are lucky.

Distracted driving affects everyone, from fresh new drivers to seasoned veterans. It is every driver’s problem, and everyone needs to commit to the idea of remaining focused while behind the wheel of a vehicle.

juvenile procedure laws in california

Minors Breaking the Law

juvenile procedure laws in california

Mveryone knows that kids get into trouble. Luckily, for the most part, kids tend to only get in trouble with their parents. As long as parents keep an eye on their children, and play an active role in the child’s life, the kid is less likely to wind up in serious trouble. However, that is not always the case. Sometimes kids mess up in a big way, and find themselves on the wrong side of the law.

Finding out that a child has broken a law is a terrible situation for a parent to deal with. No parent ever wants to answer the front door, or a phone, to learn that their child is in some serious trouble. While rare, this does happen from time to time. As such, a parent should be aware of what happens when a minor has a run in with law enforcement agents.

How the Law Handles Juveniles

When a minor gets in trouble with the law, officers react a little differently. In most cases, minors receive lesser penalties for crimes than an adult would. Still, there are times when a minor could find themselves locked up.

What happens to a minor who broke the law is largely dependent on the crime itself. If the charge is relatively minor, then the child will likely be allowed to go home, or be escorted home. Most of the time, the law prefers that parents take care of the children themselves. However, that is not always an option.

If things are a little more serious, then the minor may be given a summons to appear in court at a later date. If things are real bad, then the minor may be arrested and taken to juvenile hall.

Juvenile Hall

Just because a minor is taken to juvenile hall does not mean that they will be forced to stay there forever. This isn’t the end of the world.

A probation officer will look at the case and decide how to proceed. The officer can do one of the following:

  • Give the minor a citation to appear in court and send him/her home.
  • Place the minor on probation, which allows them to go home and avoid going to court, unless they continue to misbehave.
  • Hold the minor in juvenile hall until a judge can look at the case.

Minors in Court

When dealing with courts, minors go to a separate court that focuses solely on minors. If a child has to go to a hearing in court, they could be going for any of the following reasons:

  • Detention Hearing. This will determine if the child needs to stay in juvenile hall or not.
  • Transfer Hearing. This will determine if the case will stay at this level, or be moved up to an adult court.
  • Adjudication. This is the actual trial held in front of a judge, without a jury.
  • Disposition Hearing. If the juvenile is found guilty, this is where they receive their sentencing.

Despite the fact that these court hearings are for minors, they are still very serious. A person should treat these hearings the exact same way they would any other court appearances. This means a person, especially the minor, should dress appropriately and behave while in the court.

Consequences of Court

The goal of the juvenile delinquency system is to rehabilitate minors and to help mold them into good, well-behaved individuals. As such, judges have a lot of options when it comes to sentencing any minor that is found guilty.

What is likely the best case scenario for a guilty verdict, is probation. This means the minor is able to go home. They just have to be on their best behavior to ensure they don’t receive a worse punishment. Some common probation conditions can include:

  • A curfew.
  • Going to counseling.
  • Going to school.
  • Making restitutions to the victims.
  • Performing community service.

A worst case scenario would be when a judge determines that a child is better off away from their home. The child could become a ward of the state, which is where the state takes responsibility for the child. The minor could be placed into a probation camp, or into California’s Division of Juvenile Justice. Neither of these are great outcomes.

Be a Part of Your Child’s Life

No parent ever wants their child to have to face hardship, and getting into trouble with the law definitely counts as hardship. Luckily, a child has to screw up pretty majorly in order to wind up in juvenile hall. So long as a parent takes an active role in their kid’s life, they should be able to prevent that from ever happening.

When kids have guidance, they are able to make better choices, and therefore are less likely to end up getting into trouble in the first place. That is why parents need to pay attention to their kids. If they don’t, their child could make a bad choice and find him or herself in juvie.

public intoxication laws in california

California Drunk in Public Laws

public intoxication laws in california

Most people like to go out and party from time to time. After all, it is nice to cut lose and forget about any responsibilities for the evening. Often times when people do this, they like to consume alcohol. There is nothing wrong with that. However, there are ways that people can get themselves into trouble with alcohol.

Everyone is aware of the obvious problems with drinking and driving, but there can also be problems for just being drunk and out in public. If a person is so drunk that they begin to risk their own safety or interfere with others, they can get into legal trouble.

California Penal Code 647f

California Penal Code (PC) 647 is the state’s law against disorderly conduct. This law covers things from begging for money to prostitution. One aspect of disorderly conduct that this law covers under section f is public intoxication.

PC 647f defines public intoxication as being any person in a public place who is under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or any other controlled substance and is in a condition where they are unable to exercise care for their own safety, or the safety of others. This includes things such as stumbling along the sidewalk, almost falling into the street, or even passing out on the sidewalk and blocking people from using it.

This law does not prevent a person from getting drunk while out on the town. What it is aimed at is preventing a person from getting so drunk that they could hurt themselves or someone else. To get to this level of drunk, a person usually has to overdo their drinking. So, in order to avoid getting into trouble a person needs to be aware of their limits and not push things while out in public.

Penalties of Being Drunk in Public

Breaking PC 647 is a misdemeanor offense. This means that a person faces the following consequences:

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

It is possible for a person to get probation instead of jail time for this crime, but that is up to the case judge.

No matter how a person is punished for this crime, it goes on their criminal record. There, it will be visible to any potential employers, which means a drunk in public charge could cost a person a future job. It is really in a person’s best interest to not overdo things and wind up in trouble with the law.

Don’t Overdo It

Whenever a person decides to go drinking, they need to do so responsibly. That means not drinking too much so they don’t get to the point that they can’t take care of themselves. If they do that, and are out in public, they can get into trouble with law enforcement for disorderly conduct. Nobody wants that, especially since it sticks around on a person’s criminal record. No one wants to miss out on a job because of something dumb they did a long time ago.

What do you think of California’s take on disorderly conduct and being drunk in public? Are the laws too lenient, or are they too strict? Let us know what you think in the comments down below.

how to prepare for an earthquake

California and Earthquakes

how to prepare for an earthquake

Here in California, there are a few different types of disasters that state residents have to be prepared for. One of the big ones is earthquakes. The San Andreas Fault Line runs through most of California, with hundreds of other smaller faults lacing the state. Due to this fact, every Californian needs to be prepared for an earthquake to occur at any time.

While scientists continue to study faults and earthquakes, there is still no proven method for predicting and forecasting earthquakes. An earthquake can occur at any time, and will do so without warning. If a person uses a specific app, they may be able to get a few seconds warning but that isn’t much.

The Great Shakeout

Each October, people from earthquake prone areas around the world participate in what is known as the Great Shakeout. The Great Shakeout is an organization with the goal of helping make sure everyone is prepared to deal with an earthquake. The group sets aside a day every year, for 2019 the date is October 17th, where people from around the world pledge to practice an earthquake drill.

Most people remember practicing earthquake drills back when they were in school. It wasn’t a whole lot of fun, and most people have stopped practicing that since graduating. This is a bad thing, since repetitive practice is what helps ensure a person remembers something even when scared or in a panic.

With the sudden nature of earthquakes, it is safe to assume that people will be scared and panicked when one occurs. However, with the proper practice, a person will be more than prepared to deal with one. That is why The Great Shakeout exists to help people be better prepared.

How to React

Most people are aware of the basic safety tips for earthquakes. When the shaking starts, and a person is indoors, they should drop, cover, and hold on. This means dropping to the ground, finding cover under a sturdy piece of furniture such as a desk or table, and then holding on until the shaking stops.

The same method applies for outdoors, though the person should first try to get away from any tall structures that could drop debris on them, then drop, cover, and hold on. While finding a safe, open space is important when outside during a quake, a person should be careful while walking through a quake so that they don’t hurt themselves.

If a person is in a vehicle when an earthquake hits, they should safely pullover to the side of the road in a clear location away from trees and powerlines and wait for the shaking to stop. Once the shaking has stopped the person should proceed with caution. The road and other structures could be damaged. There can also be aftershocks.

For a more comprehensive collection of safety tips, check out one of our other articles on earthquakes here or check out the earthquake section of Ready.gov here.

Be Prepared

Living in California means living with earthquakes. The state is one of the most earthquake prone in the country, it is part of what gives the state all of its beautiful mountains. However, the sudden shaking can be very terrifying. The aftershocks following larger quakes can be nerve-wracking.

When it comes to dealing with earthquakes, the best thing a person can do is be prepared. A person can be prepared by knowing how to react during and after an earthquake. A simple way to do this is by identifying good places to take cover. Doing this before the need arises can really pay off when an earthquake actually occurs. Better ways to be prepared include regularly running earthquake drills and having emergency plans ready to go.

Interested in learning more about the Great Shakeout and how to join the movement, check out their website here.

Do you have any earthquake stories or tips you want to share? If so, leave a comment down below. You never know, maybe your story can help someone else.

california open container laws

Open Container Laws in California

california open container laws

Everyone knows about the dangers of drinking and driving. Consuming alcohol puts a person’s mind in a weird place. The person is still sort of aware of what they are doing, but they are incapable of doing things precisely. An intoxicated person may see something happening, but won’t be able to react in time, or in the right way, to prevent it.

This is why drunk driving is prohibited by law in every single state. Drunk driving is very dangerous and claims thousands of lives across the country every single year. However, it is not only the act of being drunk and driving that is illegal, especially here in California. There are also laws aimed at preventing the act from ever happening in the first place.

What Are Open Container Laws?

Being drunk while driving is bad. Drinking while driving is worse. That is why there are so many laws that make it illegal to have an opened container of alcohol inside of a motor vehicle. No one wants someone to grab a drink while they are behind the wheel.

The state of California has several different laws against drunk driving. One particular set is often, collectively, referred to as California’s Open Container Laws. This grouping of laws from Vehicle Code (VC) 23221 to VC 23229 covers every type of situation that might see an open container of alcohol within a motor vehicle.

When it comes to the term “open container,” the law views the following as open containers:

  • A container that has been opened.
  • A container with a broken seal.
  • A container whose contents have been partially consumed.

Under these definitions, it doesn’t matter if a lid or cork has been placed onto the container, it is still considered open. This also means that a person does not have to actively be drinking from the container to get in trouble. Just having the open container in the vehicle is illegal.

California’s Open Container Laws

California’s open container laws are as follows:

  • VC 23221 – This laws prohibits anyone from consuming alcohol while in any car, truck, or other automobile.
  • VC 23222 – This law prohibits anyone from possessing an open container of alcohol in their vehicle.
  • VC 23224 – This law prohibits anyone under the age of 21 from possessing an open container of alcohol in the vehicle.
  • VC 23225 – This law lays out how alcohol can be transported in vehicles, namely that alcohol containers must be stored in the “trunk” of a car.
  • VC 23226 – This law prohibits anyone from storing containers of alcohol in the passenger compartment of a vehicle.
  • VC 23229 – This law creates exceptions for in-hire vehicles, such as taxis and limousines. Basically, passengers of in-hire vehicles are allowed to drink in the vehicle, but drivers are not.
  • VC 23229.1 – This law prohibits in-hire vehicles from transporting alcohol when minors, under the age of 21, are riding in the vehicle.
  •  

    There is a bit of overlap between some of these laws, which is likely due to the fact that the lawmakers just wanted to be thorough.

    Penalties for Breaking These Laws

    The penalties for breaking this law aren’t as bad as one might expect. For starters, breaking an open container law is an infraction level offense. This means there are no criminal charges and a person will not face any jail time. For these offenses alone anyways. However, if a person was drunk behind the wheel, then they can face DUI charges on top of open container charges.

    Breaking an open container law in California has a max base fine of $250 dollars.

    If a minor, anyone under the age of 21, is caught breaking an open container law, they face harsher consequences. Breaking an open container law as a minor is a misdemeanor level offense. This comes with:

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

    Both types will also add points to a person’s driver’s license, which can lead to worse penalties down the line and increased insurance rates. Basically, it is in a person’s best interest to follow these laws, especially if they are under the age of 21.

    Don’t Drink in a Car

    Drinking and driving is a terrible thing to do. Not only does it put the driver’s life at risk, but it endangers any passengers in the vehicle, as well as everyone else on the road. One small mistake and the driver could wind up in a horrible accident. That is why there are so many laws against drunk driving.

    No one wants to be in an accident, and no one wants to get into trouble with the law, so it is best to never drink in a vehicle, or have an open container improperly stored within the vehicle. Doing either of those things could very quickly ruin someone’s day.

    What do you think about California’s open container laws? Is it a good idea for California to worry about this sort of thing? Are the penalties for breaking these laws too small, or not enough? Let us know what you think about these laws in the comments down below.

    back to school tips ontario bail bonds

    Are You Ready for Your Kids to Go Back to School?

    back to school tips

    Summer is drawing to a close, and for many parents, this means that their child is going back to school soon. As far as parents as concerned, this is a great day. The kids will soon be out of their parents’ hair and preoccupied with their own daily studies. This can make a parent’s life just a little bit easier, which is always appreciated.

    However, as calm as things can be when the kids are away, parents will always worry about their little ones. Parents are always concerned for their kids’ safety, even when they are a school. So while the new school year brings some peace and quiet, it does come with some extra worry too. Luckily, there are some things that parents can do to help their child stay safe at school.

    Some Tips to Keep Kids Safe and Healthy This School Year

    A parent’s biggest goal is to ensure the health and safety of their child. This can be a bit difficult to do though when the child isn’t with the parent, like when the child is at school. Luckily, there are still things that a parent can do to keep their kid safe when they aren’t around.

    One of the biggest aspects of school, is a child’s backpack. The simple device will hopefully hold everything that a student will need during their day at school. This means that choosing and properly packing a backpack is very important. Here are some backpack tips to consider this school year:

    • A full backpack should not weigh more than 20% of the child’s body weight.
    • Always use both straps to carry a back and evenly spread the weight across both shoulders.
    • Choose a backpack with wide shoulder straps and a padded back to ensure comfort and good weight distribution.
    • Use all of the compartments in the backpack to help spread out the weight within the pack itself.
    • If a backpack has a waist strap, use it.
    • Don’t put a child’s name on the outside of a backpack, strangers could use that to their advantage.
    • Avoid roller backpacks as they can cause tripping hazards for other students.

    When a child is walking, or biking to school, there are plenty of things that they should know. Somethings that parents should teach their kids include:

    • Never take shortcuts, especially through areas with low visibility. Kids should stick to parent approved routes in case the parent needs to find the child.
    • Walk in groups.
    • Wear bright colored clothes to be more visible to drivers.
    • Always wear a helmet while biking.
    • Use hand signals while riding a bike.
    • Follow the rules of the road.
    • Don’t listen to music while biking.

    A few extra tips include:

    • Reinforce Stranger Danger rules.
    • Don’t pack lunches and snacks that can spoil.
    • Talk to kids about bullying.

    Give Kids a Brighter Future

    As a parent, it can be hard to not worry about kids when they aren’t around. If a parent follows the tips listed above, they can help keep their child safe this school year. That is all any parent wants. By keeping their kids safe, their children will be able to do well in school this year. This will, in turn, help set the kid up for a brighter future.

    Do you have any school safety tips that aren’t on this list? If so, add them in the comments down below and help out other parents.

    safety tips for social media posting

    Be Careful What You Share Online

    safety tips for social media posting

    Most people nowadays are in quite a rush to post something on social media after an exciting or infuriating event happens. Everyone is so used to that sharing, that often times, they forget to realize that they might be oversharing. There somethings that are better kept to oneself, and not posted online.

    Everything that goes up onto a social media site can affect a person in one way or another. Creating a post can get a person attention, but sometimes it can come with more attention the person really wanted. For instance, in today’s modern world, most companies will examine a person’s social media accounts to determine if the person is the kind of employee they want to have working for them.

    This is why a person needs to be very careful with what they share on social media, or even share with friends through electronic communications such as text and email. A person never really knows who might see things.

    Good Tips for What Not to Post or Share

    When it comes to a person posting things online, it is best to assume that nothing they share is private. This rings true even if a person has a private account. There are countless ways for people to get around that privacy. For instance, a friend of the posters could like the post and share it with their friends, and so on and so on. Perhaps a hacker gets ahold of the account and makes some of the more embarrassing or private posts public. Something like this could lead to problems later on for whoever created the post.

    Another good bit of advice when it comes to making a social media posts is to never make one when upset. People don’t always make the best decisions when they are angry or upset, which means they would most likely make a bad post that could come back to haunt them. The worst part about them is these things are permanent. Even if the post is deleted, it can still exist elsewhere on the internet.

    Even when it comes to messaging people, a person should be careful of what they send and to who. Some people can be trusted with private information and pictures, others can’t be. This is especially true when it comes to sending nude photos to significant others. If the couple experiences a bad break up, they may post the photos online as a form of revenge. While this is illegal, some people still do it and once those photos are online, they can never truly be taken down.

    Things That Should Never Be Shared

    There are a few basic things that should never be shared online, these things include:

    • Confidential information. This includes things such as social security numbers, home addresses, online account passwords, info that could be used as a clue to a password, and personal phone numbers. This information can be used to steal a person’s identity, find their home, or harass them over the phone.
    • Financial Information. This includes bank records, account numbers, and credit card information. Identity thieves can use this info to access those accounts and steal the money within.
    • A Person’s Schedule. This includes the person’s work schedule and any vacation plans they might have. Thieves can use this to know when a person isn’t home, and know exactly when to rob the person’s home.
    • Work Information. This includes clients that the person may work for, or coworkers they may work with. Sharing stuff like this can get the person into trouble at work if they are not careful.

    A person should never share this kind of information about themselves online, and they definitely shouldn’t share this kind of information about others. Once this information is posted online, it can be there forever, despite having the post deleted. If it falls into the wrong hands, someone could find themselves in serious trouble.

    Practice Safe Sharing Online

    As fun as it can be to share exciting information with friends on social media, sometimes it is best to not share everything. Somethings can cause trouble if a person is not careful. Add that to the fact that once stuff is on the web, it can be very difficult to remove. That is why everyone should carefully consider everything they post online. Doing so could mean the difference between embarrassment, and staying sane, or getting the job the person really wants.

    california drone laws

    Did You Know about These FAA Drone Regulations?

    california drone laws

    Today, drones are the latest and greatest thing. These small, remote-controlled little vehicles can provide just about anyone with a stunning, bird’s eye view of an area. Some of the imagery captured by drones, whether it be pictures or video footage, is usually quite stunning. This has people racing to get out there and buy their own drones. Unfortunately, this has caused quite a few problems.

    Many either forget, or just don’t know, that flying a drone is regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). This means that there are a lot of rules to flying these tiny vehicles around. If a wannabe pilot breaks one of these rules, they could face some pretty serious consequences.

    Drone Laws and the FAA

    Drones is very loose term that means anything from the large unmanned aircrafts that the military uses, to model aircrafts, to the quadcopters that most people now think of when discussing drones. The FAA views drones as aircraft. Small ones, yes, but aircraft nonetheless. This means that as an aircraft, it and the pilot, the person controlling it from the ground, are subject to regulations from the FAA.

    For starters, all drones .55 and 55 pounds need to be registered with the FAA. This costs $5 and the registration lasts for three years. This will give the owner a registration number that must be marked on their drone in some way, such as:

    • Engraving
    • Permanent Label
    • Permanent Marker

    Most importantly, it is important to know where a person can legally fly their drone. Drones can be flown on private property, provided the pilot has permission from the owner, or at local parks. Some areas where drones shouldn’t be flown include:

    • Over 400 feet in the air.
    • Near airports.
    • Near manned aircraft.
    • Near stadiums.
    • Near large crowds of people.

    Some other remaining rules include:

    • Taking a class before flying in the open.
    • Don’t fly recklessly.
    • Don’t fly anything over 55 pounds.
    • Don’t fly drones for money unless licensed to do so.

    Drone Spies on Baseball Game

    Recently, drones made headlines when it was discovered that someone flew their drone over Boston’s Fenway Park during a Red Sox game. This goes against FAA regulations, and once Park Security saw the drone, they immediately reported the incident to the police. Police, along with other security agencies are investigating the matter.

    The drone appeared to be a DJI Phantom and the manufacturer is working with the authorities as best as possible to hopefully locate the pilot. The company released a statement that the pilot must have found a way to override the geofencing that would have been in place around the stadium.

    This recent incident has added fuel to the fire of the FAA requiring all drones to have a remote identification system so that airborne drones. This way, when drones are noticed flying in restricted areas, the pilot can be found through the drone’s registration.

    More Laws Are on the Horizon

    Flying a drone can be a lot of fun, and offer a person a spectacular view of the world around them. Unfortunately, drones can also pose a risk to people and operations going on in the area. Flying drones near airports can causes flights to be delayed or even diverted since air traffic control doesn’t want to risk a collision. Similar incidents can happen near forest fires where firefighting aircraft need to fly low to battle the blaze. Drones can risk the aircraft’s safety.

    Did you know about these rules and regulations, and what do you think about the FFA possibly requiring drones to be equipped with remote identification systems. Is it a good idea, or too much of a hassle? Let us know what you think in the comments down below.

    california stun gun laws

    Is It Legal to Own a Stun Gun or Pepper Spray in California?

    california stun gun laws

    Everyone wants to feel safe wherever they go. Sometimes that means a person carries something around with them in case they need to defend themselves. Two of the most common and popular forms of non-lethal defense are stun guns and pepper spray. While people want to be safe, they also want to ensure that they aren’t breaking any laws in doing so.

    This can be especially tricky here in California. This state has a lot of laws that people aren’t familiar with, but are pretty easy to break. This is especially true when it comes to weapons of any sort. While both pepper spray and stun guns are non-lethal, they are still categorized as weapons. This means there are strict rules that have to be followed, or else a person could find themselves in legal trouble.

    Pepper Spray Laws in California

    Pepper spray is a chemical compound derived from chili plants. When it is sprayed onto a person’s face, it can cause severe, but temporary reactions, including:

    • Eyes tearing up.
    • Coughing.
    • Tightening of the chest.
    • Mucus secretions.
    • A burning sensation.

    Needless to say, being sprayed with the stuff is not a pleasant experience, which is why it is commonly used as a self-defense, non-lethal weapon.

    Pepper spray is legal to own and use within the state of California by both law enforcement agents and private individuals over the age of 16. However, pepper spray can only legally be used in self-defense situations. It cannot be used to attack someone.

    To complicate things a little further, the term “use” is looked at in a unique way here in California. A person can be considered using pepper spray if they simply hold the container in threatening manner. It doesn’t matter if the container is empty or full, sprayed or not. Holding it means it was used.

    Using pepper spray in non-self-defense situations can earn a person a misdemeanor or felony charge, depending on the circumstances. That means there can be heavy fines, and even jail time.

    People who are prohibited from using pepper spray include:

    • People convicted of a felony.
    • People convicted of assault.
    • Minors under the age of 16 without parental permission.
    • Anyone addicted to narcotics.

    Interestingly, pepper spray is illegal to use in war since it is considered a chemical weapon, but is still allowed to be used in self-defense situations.

    What Are Stun Guns

    Stun guns, or Tasers as they are commonly called, are a special type of weapon designed to immobilize an attacker by applying large amounts of electricity. California Penal Code (PC) 244.5 defines a stun gun as any offensive or defensive weapon capable of immobilizing a person by the infliction of an electrical charge. By simply sending jolts of electricity through a person’s body, their muscles will tense up, restricting movement and causing pain, thereby incapacitating the person.

    For people wondering about the difference between stun guns and Tasers, Tasers are actually a specific brand of stun guns. This is similar to how Chap Stick is actually a specific brand of lip balm.

    Stun guns are legal to own and use, for self-defense purposes, within the state of California by law enforcement officers and private individuals over the age of 16 and have parental permission. Felons and minors under the age of 16 are prohibited by law from owning or using a stun gun.

    Assaulting someone with a stun gun can be a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the circumstances of the crimes and the person’s criminal record. This can earn a person jail or prison time, and up to $10,000 in fines.

    Stay Safe Out There

    Everyone wants to feel safe, and everyone has their preferred method of self-defense. For those out there using pepper spray or stun guns, just be sure to only every use or brandish these weapons in self-defense. If a person uses these items to attack another person, they can face serious legal trouble. That is something nobody wants to deal with.

    It is also important to note that these sort of laws vary from state to state. What may be okay to do here in California may not be allowed in other states. A person should keep this in mind if they are ever traveling across the country. After all, no one wants to get into legal trouble for simply trying to defend themselves.

    What do you think about California’s take on pepper spray and stun guns? Should there be more or less restrictions? Are things fine the way they are now? Let us know what you think in the comments down below.

    california assembly bill 272

    Could Cellphones Be Banned in California Schools?

    california assembly bill 272

    Things have changed a lot since most adults were in school. A popular question in math classes used to be if a student could use a calculator on their test. The teachers would usually say no, along with a comment about needing to know how to do the math on their own because: “You won’t be walking around with a calculator in your pocket.” Flash forward 10 years and everyone is doing just that.

    Pretty much everyone has a cellphone, and regardless if it is smart or not, they all have calculators built in. This makes some math teachers sound pretty silly nowadays. Aside from proving our old math teachers wrong, smart phones allow a person to get any kind of information that they could possibly need thanks to their connection to the internet.

    While this can be a very useful tool, it can also be very distracting. Let’s be honest, more often than not, when a person is on their phone, they are goofing off rather than working. This is just for adults, kids have even less self-control. This is why cellphones are such a problem in schools. They distract students and disrupt the flow of teaching. That is why one lawmaker is looking to change things.

    Assembly Bill 272 has been Introduced

    According to a report from 2016, around 73% of teens had a smart phone. California Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi recently introduced a new bill that would require all school boards across the state to create new policies that would limit or restrict cellphones, particularly smart phones, usage on school grounds.

    Schools wouldn’t have to outright ban smart phones on their grounds, but the law would force them into reevaluating their policies. This would thereby ensure that the school is doing everything it can in regards to the matter.

    For instance, some schools could chose to ban smart phones, but still allow a student to use one if it is for academic purposes, provided they have teacher approval. This way, the distraction of the cellphone is removed, but its usefulness as a tool could still be available when needed.

    In part, the new bill was inspired by a recent law that France enacted last year. This law banned cellphones from primary and middle schools across the country. The law was enacted with the intent of increase student performance at school.

    This law is also inspired by countless studies that have found smart phones can be distracting and lower a student’s performance in school. In addition, children who spend too much time on social media are more likely to describe themselves as unhappy.

    Cellphones Are Distracting

    There is no denying that smartphones can be incredibly distracting to us adults, and especially to children. In addition, spending too much time on social media sites can potentially increase chances of depression and suicide in a person, especially teenagers. At least as adults, people are able to better set limits for themselves. Adults are able to recognize when enough is enough and take a step back. Students have a much harder time doing that.

    In an effort to help kids learn more and schools, and protect their mental health, some lawmakers are pushing to ban or restrict cellphones in and on school grounds. What do you think of this new bill? Should cellphones be banned on school grounds, or should they just be restricted? Let us know what you think about this new bill in the comments down below.