illegal searches and seizures

California’s Attitude Towards Illegally Obtained Evidence

illegal searches and seizures

Most of us assume that the laws about what is and what isn’t legally obtained evidence to be black and white, however there are actually quite a few gray areas when it comes to illegally obtained evidence in California.

One example of the murkiness surrounding how evidence is obtained is a police officer who happened to notice what looked an awful lot like a drug related transaction. Unable to ignore the situation, the officer approached the car and after a brief skirmish, the officer found that the car was full of drugs, ammo, and an alarming number of weapons. The question is, since the officer didn’t have a warrant, could the evidence be used as proof of guilt.

The Fourth Amendment was created to protect citizens from illegal search and seizures, and to make it nearly impossible for the United States to become a “police state/country.” The problem is that a lot of time has passed since the Fourth Amendment was drafted and the world has changed a great deal. In an attempt to keep up with the increasing challenges law enforcement faces and to also honor the Fourth Amendment, courts all over the country, including California, have tweaked and even created some laws about what is and isn’t illegally obtained evidence.

In the case of the evidence collected by the officer who witnessed a crime in progress, the prosecution can claim that since the officer did witness an actual crime, the evidence can be used during the trial despite the fact that the officer didn’t have a warrant allowing them to inspect the car. However, if the defense can prove that the officer was staking out the driver or didn’t actually witness a crime taking place, it’s likely that judge will rule that the evidence was in fact obtained illegally and throw out the entire case.

Whenever there’s a case involving a car and evidence, things always get complicated. Technically, an officer can’t go through your car looking for proof of illegal activities, however, if they pull you over for speeding and there’s a bag full of drugs on your backseat, they can arrest you and use the baggie of drugs as evidence.

If you’re involved in a case and don’t think the evidence was obtained with a legal search warrant, it’s in your best interest to hire a good defense lawyer who has a strong understanding of the Fourth Amendment.

san bernardino bail bonds

The Truth About Criminal Threats

online criminal threats

Threats are a part of life, a knee jerk reaction to anger, hurt feelings, and fear. Most people make threats without any intention of ever carrying them out. However, in this current world where school shootings and other heinous acts seem to be a weekly occurrence, people and members of the law enforcement community are taking threats more seriously than ever before.

Threats made on school grounds or that include a school system tend to be the first ones that law enforcement crack down on. In these instances, law enforcement act first and ask questions later. A perfect example of this is a recent situation where a few students had a conversation about their desire to shoot up at their school in Los Angeles was overheard. The students had barely finished their conversation when police arrived on the scene and arrested both students. The charge was making criminal threats.

This type of thing is happening all over the country.

There aren’t any statistics outlining how many of the students who are charged with making criminal threats are actually doing nothing more than blowing off steam, but if the police and media are to be believed, for the most part, this is a situation of where there’s smoke, there’s fire. Police report that in many instances, after arresting a student for making criminal threats, they discover that the student was in possession of an alarming amount of firepower. An example of this is the arrest of a 17-year-old L.A. student who was arrested. When the police investigated the student’s home they not only found 90-high-capacity magazines, but also 2 assault weapons as well as some handguns.

In California, the law is clear when it comes to making criminal threats. California Penal Code Section 422 clearly states that making any type of verbal or written threat of death or bodily injury to another person is against the law. Comments posted on social media sites count as a written threat.

One interesting loophole In Penal Code Section 422 is that there’s no mention of gestures. At this point, this means that gestures that are symbolic to a gang or pointing a finger gun at someone doesn’t break the law. Whether or not gestures should constitute as a criminal threat was discussed in front of the California Supreme Court during the 2017 case, People v. Gonzalez. The court agreed with the defendant that gestures weren’t admissible in court. So far, the Penal Code hasn’t been amended to include the use of hand gestures as a criminal threat.

san bernardino bail bonds

LASD Active Shooter Preparedness

preparing for active shooter

Sadly, it is no secret that active shooter situations are occurring more frequently across the country. There have already been several instances this year and many people have been injured or killed. While these events are still very rare, there recent frequency is causing many people to consider what they would need to do if an event occurred near them.

In an effort to help people stay alert and safe, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) has created a new site and page to help teach people what they should and shouldn’t do in an active shooter situation. The goal is of course to help educate people and prepare them for a worst case situation.

The site features a 9 and a half minute video depicting different situations and what should be done during them. The video covers the three options that a person has in these kinds of situations:

  • Get out
  • Secure
  • Defend

The video does contain graphic content, so viewer discretion is advised. However, it does offer several important tips that everyone should know, just in case. Hopefully you will never need to use any of the information in the video, but it is best to have this handy and never need it.

hit and run laws

Citizens Push for Tougher Hit and Run Laws

hit and run laws

A recent string of hit and run accidents has shaken the Los Angeles community to its core. In April there were four fatal hit and run accidents that are particularly troubling. These accidents took place on the 110 Freeway and were within a three-mile section. The hit and run accidents involved the deaths of one pedestrian, two cyclists, and one man who was in his wheelchair when he was struck.

Los Angeles’s Vision Zero Called to Task

Vison Zero is a program that was created in 2015 by the Los Angeles Mayor, Eric Garcetti after he became aware that more than 200 people who are either walking or biking near streets are struck and killed each year. He was horrified to learn that in Los Angeles, the leading cause of death in children is traffic collisions, many of which are hit and run accidents.

The programs purpose was to not only create more awareness amongst motorists, but to also help experts like transportation engineers, policymakers, and local law enforcement together to explore ways that the streets can be made safer for everyone.

The ultimate Vision Zero goal was to eliminate pedestrian/cyclist vs motorist deaths by 2025.

When it was first created, support for the Vision Zero program was high, but this recent string of fatal accidents has people questioning how effective the program really is. The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition has become the most vocal group that’s questioning the Vision Zero program. They claim that while city officials and police were excited in the program’s early days, in recent months little action has been taken to reduce cyclist/motorist collisions.

Changes Brought on by Vision Zero

Vision Zero has triggered some changes. The city has identified the streets and crosswalks that are the highest risk of pedestrian/cyclist vs car accidents. In these areas, the city has posted signs alerting motorists to pay attention, used electronic signs that alert motorists of their actual speed, and taken steps to improve crosswalk visibility, yet despite all of this, the city didn’t experience a 20% decrease in the number of pedestrian/car collisions it was hoping for. The number of accidents did decrease but only by 3%.

The Mayor Steps in

While the mayor hasn’t precisely agreed with claims that a sense of apathy currently surrounds the Vision Zero program, he recently stated that he still believes in the program and that he remains committed to ending the troubling hit and run deaths. The first step in improving the program and hopefully saving lives was increasing the Vision Zero budget to $91 million, which is triple the original budget.

With Vision Zero not reaching its goals, motorists should expect that activists will start pushing for more drastic measures, such as stiffer penalties for striking pedestrians and increased patrolling and camera usage to ensure that the drivers involved in hit and run accidents are caught.

What Cinco de Mayo is Really About

What Cinco de Mayo is Really About

What Cinco de Mayo is Really About

May fifth is right around the corner. Now if you’re not influenced by Mexican culture, you probably don’t really care about the date. However, if you are like most of southern California, you’ve been preparing for May fifth for a long time. Your family has been making plans for weeks, and you have been mentally preparing for the fun you’re about to have.

May fifth, commonly known as Cinco de Mayo, is a huge festivity. Cinco de Mayo celebrates the Mexican army’s victory over the French. According to Histoy.com, Cinco de Mayo specifically commemorates the 1862 Battle of Puebla. However, Cinco de Mayo has evolved into a celebration of the Mexican culture.

Surprisingly, Cinco de Mayo is a smaller celebration in Mexico. American-Mexican cultures are a little bit louder when it comes to celebrating Cinco de Mayo. Americans love to celebrate anything and everything. Mixing American culture with Mexican culture will result in one giant good time.

Cinco de Mayo is commonly mistaken for other Mexican traditions. Cinco de Mayo gets mistaken for other holidays like Independence Day in Mexico and Day of the Dead. They are two other colorful, traditional holidays that celebrate completely different things. Independence Day for Mexico is September 16th and is on the anniversary of the declaration of war against the Spanish government in 1810. Day of the Dead is celebrated the day after Halloween and is about honoring those who have passed away. With all of these bright and colorful holidays, it is important to know what you are actually celebrating.

The American-Mexican culture is about embracing heritage and having a good time. That is why Cinco de Mayo is so widely celebrated in California. Even though it is just a small part of Mexican culture, it is still widely celebrated as other holidays. It’s time to kick up your feet and celebrate the tradition of Cinco de Mayo.

How-Helpful-Are-Reviews

How Helpful Are Reviews

How-Helpful-Are-Reviews

In today’s modern age, we are able to research anything thanks to the internet. We can even research a company before we give them our business. This have given consumers a better way to learn about a company, and hopefully prevent them from being scammed by said company.

However, even with all of this knowledge of reviews, there are still some people out there that do not think reviews play that big of a roll in business. These people would be wrong. Reviews are very important to businesses. A large percentage of people like to look up the reviews of different businesses before deciding which one to use. Just think how many times you have used reviews to determine where to have lunch in a new city.

Often times, the problem with reviews, is that most people do not take the time to leave one unless they feel they were wronged in some way. This leads to a surplus of negative reviews out there for some companies. Even one bad review can have large consequences for a company. It can be hard to recover from, especially since good reviews are hard to get.


This has led to a surplus of negative reviews out there, which causes many people to choose the company with the least amount of negative reviews.


While these bad reviews can be very bad for most companies, some have learned to turn it into an advantage. There are actually many companies out there that will put negative reviews on their competitors. This lowers their competitor’s scores, and makes it harder for them to get clients, which in turn makes things easier for the bad company.

Reviews are very important to companies, and that is why the good ones try so hard to take care of their clients. If you have found a company that you like, and you want it to continue to do well, leave a positive review for it online. Doing so will help other people find the same kind of amazing help that you found, which will help the business stay around.

Working-a-Shorter-Work-Week

Working a Shorter Work Week

Working-a-Shorter-Work-Week

Just about every adult out there is currently enjoying the fun of the average five day work week. You can pretty much guarantee that no matter what day of the week it is, all of the employees are waiting for the weekend. This is because the weekend is when we all get to be in control of our lives, not our employers.

The weekend allows everyone to catch their breaths and relax after a long and tiring work week. Most people would argue that the weekend is not long enough. That they do not feel like they have had enough of a chance to recuperate. Many people are excited to learn, that this may be true.


There have been numerous studies over the years by researchers and companies alike. One thing that seems to be consistent, is that when the work week is shortened to 4 days, productivity actually goes up.


By reducing the work week by just one day, many researchers and companies have found that employee happiness goes up, and so does work productivity. A shorter work week actually helps employees stay healthy, by preventing them from getting too stressed. This also helps employees be more focused and motivated at work, which in turn allows them get their jobs done sooner. Companies who adopted a shorter work week also found that employees were less likely to call in sick.

It can sound a little weird, reduce the amount of time working, and work productivity goes up, but it appears to be true. Most people would assume the opposite. Perhaps this has something to do with keeping employees happy. By keeping employees happy, they are more willing to work efficiently. This is definitely something that many employees would recommend their bosses look further into, because who wouldn’t enjoy a shorter work week?

More-Commonly-Misused-Words

More Commonly Misused Words

More-Commonly-Misused-Words

There are many words within the English that confuse even native speakers. Some of the words have just been misused for so long, that it is hard to remember their proper usage. Others are so similar to other words, that it can be hard for people to know which one they want at a given time.

Here is a brief sample of commonly misused words:

  • A lot vs. alot: This is one that can be seen a lot, and the difference is pretty easy to understand. A lot means either a plot of land, or a large group of something. Alot is not actually a word.
  • Factoid: Many people assume that a factoid is a small bit of information, but that is wrong. A factoid is actually false information that is presented as fact.
  • Its vs. it’s: Its is used to show possession, meaning that whatever it is, it owns the following object. It’s is a contraction between it and is, or it and has.
  • Literally: this one gets misused quite frequently. When something literally happens, it means that something actually happened in the real world. A person’s head cannot literally explode, nor can they literally die of embarrassment.
  • Lose vs. loose: When you do not win a game, you lose a game. When something is not tight, it is loose.
  • Than vs. then: Than is used for comparisons, such as you like this more than that. Then is used for time, such as first we will do this, then that.
  • To vs. two vs. too: You use to when you give something to someone. Two is the number 2. Too, means there is too much stuff, or that someone else will be coming along too.
  • Your vs. you’re: Your shows possession of something. When you own something, it is yours. You’re, is a contraction of you and are.

The English language has thousands of words within it, so it is only natural that some of the words get messed up from time to time. However, if a person wants to write or speak accurately, they need to have a good understanding of each word they are using, otherwise they can send the wrong message.


Getting-Arrested-in-a-Foreign-Country

Getting Arrested in a Foreign Country

Getting-Arrested-in-a-Foreign-Country

No one ever wants to get arrested. Doing so means being placed into a small concrete cell with iron bars, possibly with other inmates. A person loses their freedom when arrested, and it is not fun at all. However, something most people do not consider, is what happens if they are arrested outside of the United States.

Here in the US, the Constitution grants all US citizens certain rights. These rights may not be granted in other countries. Some of these rights include:

  • Innocent until proven guilty
  • Having a speedy trial
  • Having a trial with a jury of your peers
  • Safety from cruel and unusual punishment

Here in the US, we are very lucky to have these rights. Not every country offers these rights to its citizens, let alone visitors from other countries.


When a US citizen is arrested while abroad, they are subject to that country’s laws. They will face whatever kind of trial that country offers. They will need to serve their sentence in one of that country’s jails as well. A US citizen abroad cannot rely on the US Constitution to protect them.


A US citizen who has been arrested abroad does have the right to request that the local US embassy or consulate be notified of their arrest. A consular officer will be sent to visit with the arrested person and provide them with some assistance. This right is thanks to the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.

This is why it is extremely important for a person to familiarize themselves with the laws of the country they are visiting. Things that may be legal here in the US, may be illegal in some foreign countries. No one wants to get arrested, especially when they are outside the US.

DUI-Checkpoints-and-Holidays

DUI Checkpoints and Holidays

DUI-Checkpoints-and-Holidays

Whenever holidays roll around, especially big ones that involve parties and drinking, you can expect to see an increase in DUI checkpoints. These checkpoints help police officers discover drunk drivers before they have a chance to cause any accidents. The checkpoints increase around holidays because officers know that people are more likely to drink during these times.

Some people find DUI checkpoints annoying, and it is completely understandable. These checkpoints do tend to slow down traffic wherever they are set up, no matter how quickly the officers are at running them. This is why it is legal for people to avoid DUI checkpoints if they want, provided they do not break any traffic laws to do so.

However, even though DUI Checkpoints can be annoying, they are incredibly helpful. They remove drunk drivers off the road before anyone gets injured. These checkpoints help prevent thousands of injuries and save hundreds of lives.

Coming across a DUI checkpoint is nothing to worry about. An officer will motion for you to pull up and will then ask you some questions. The officer will ask where you are going, where you are coming from, and have you been drinking. The officer may also ask to see your license and registration. As long as everything checks out, and the officer has no reason to expect that you might have been drinking, they will send you on your way.

If the officer does think a driver has been drinking, they will have the driver pull over to the side. Depending on how drunk the driver is, they may arrest the person or have him sit in a drunk tank until sober.


No one should ever get behind the wheel of a vehicle while drunk. Unfortunately, hundreds of people do it on a daily basis. This causes thousands of accidents and harms thousands of people. This is why officers set up checkpoints to try and reduce that number.