About Robin Sandoval


Robin Sandoval is a California Licensed Bail Bondsman and owner of SCV Bail Bonds. Robin writes blogs and articles to help increase community awareness of the bail industry. If you have questions or want to suggest a topic, email robin@scvbailbonds.com, visit www.scvbailbonds.com or call 661-299-2245.

Ads / Latest items listed

Sorry, no listings were found.

Posts / Recent blog posts

California Penal Code 1001.36 PC – Mental Health Diversion

| Police Blotter | October 11, 2018

In recent years, both police and the courts have been paying more attention to the mental health status of suspects with whom they come into contact. Under California Penal Code 1001.36 PC, recently enacted in June of 2018, a qualifying defendant can undergo mental health treatment after they’ve been charged with a crime and, upon successful completion of the treatment program, have their charges dismissed.

Known as California’s Mental Health Diversion Program, PC 1001.36 is part of a broader pretrial diversion system designed to allow defendants in certain situations seek treatment before their trial continues. Treatment can be requested at any point in the defendant’s criminal case before they are sentenced.

A person’s mental health status isn’t the only qualifier that can render them eligible for one of California’s diversion programs. Penal Code 1000 PC describes California’s Pretrial Drug Diversion Program that defendants who are being charged with some non-violent drug crimes involving simple possession to undergo drug treatment.
If they successfully complete their treatment, the charges will be dismissed. There’s even a “bad check” diversion program, where a defendant who is convicted of writing bad checks can request an alternative sentencing program that will allow them to pay restitution toward the victim and, at their own expense, attend an intervention program.

Not every defendant will qualify for one of California’s Diversion Programs. Under Penal Code 1001.36 PC, both misdemeanor and felony defendants can qualify for a mental health intervention if:

  • The defendant suffers from a mental condition other than pedophilia, borderline personality disorder, or antisocial personality disorder
  • The defendant’s mental disorder played a significant role in the commission of the crime
  • A qualified mental health expert believes the defendant would respond to treatment
  • The defendant consents to diversion and waves their right to a speedy trial
  • The defendant agrees to comply with the treatment as a condition of diversion
  • The court is satisfied that the defendant will not pose an unreasonable risk of danger to the community

When a defendant undergoes mental health treatment as part of the diversion program, the treatment can last up to two years and can consist of in-patient and/or out-patient therapy. If the defendant successfully completes the treatment, the court will dismiss the charges against them at the end of the treatment period. If the defendant does not successfully complete treatment, they aren’t sent to jail. Instead, the criminal proceedings in the defendant’s case are resumed and will continue to move toward trial.

Kidnapping Attempt in SCV

| Canyon Country Magazine | October 10, 2018

A near-tragedy occurred last month when a man attempted to kidnap a toddler from her mother’s arms outside a local shopping center. According to the girl’s mother, she and her 2-year-old daughter were walking along a storefront when a man attempted to grab the little girl. The quick-thinking mother noticed the man reaching for her daughter and was able to grab her before the suspect could, after which he ran off.

The mother of the little girl immediately called police, who were able to arrest the man about a mile from where the incident occurred as he was getting into his motor home. The suspect was in his 60s and is currently being held at the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station in lieu of $100,000 bail.

Having a child kidnapped is a terrifying prospect for any parent, and it’s a frighteningly common crime nationally. Even in the SCV, reports of kidnappings and alleged kidnappings aren’t outside the norm. And in August a 12-year-old boy was able to escape from an attempted kidnapping in the stairwell of a Canyon Country apartment building. Last year in June, another Canyon Country resident – a 15-year-old girl – was nearly kidnapped when a man tried to snatch her from a parking lot at around 10:00 in the morning.

Teenage girls and young children are targeted by would-be kidnappers the most. Kidnappers, like most criminals, don’t want attention, and the best thing you can do is to teach your child how to react in a situation like this starting from an early age. Most children are taught not to talk to strangers, but as they grow older they tend to distrust unknown people less than they did when they were younger. Still, it’s important to remember that they should never get into a stranger’s vehicle, even if they seem helpful and offer to take them home or to work. If your children ever find themselves being grabbed or forced into someone else’s vehicle, make sure they know to yell and scream. Creating a scene will get others to notice and may scare off the kidnapper.

Be sure that all young children know their full name, age, and phone number as soon as they’re able to, and know to contact a police officer or other safe adult if they ever find themselves separated from their parents or guardians.

California Penal Code 503 PC – Embezzlement

| Police Blotter | October 4, 2018

Recently, a Santa Clarita woman was arrested on suspicion of embezzling money from the Girl Scouts of America and a cancer organization. The suspect had been the volunteer treasurer for the Girl Scouts of America for 20 years, and also served as the CFO for the Beverly Hills Cancer Center.

The investigation began just over a year ago when a Girl Scouts group alerted law enforcement to financial irregularities and suspected that the woman was stealing. When police began looking into it, their investigation quickly widened. After the suspect’s arrest on September 25, investigators served a search warrant in her home where they located additional evidence of theft. It’s believed that the suspect embezzled $58,000 over the past five years from the Girl Scouts, and another $30,000 from the time when she was serving as CFO for the Beverly Hills Cancer Center. According to police, the suspect didn’t live an extravagant lifestyle and it’s believed the embezzlement occurred due to financial struggles on the part of the suspect.

Embezzlement is covered under California Penal Code 503 PC and is described as fraudulently appropriating property that belongs to someone else and has been entrusted to you. In TV and movies, embezzlement is usually associated with the theft of very large sums of money and high-powered executives, but in realty, embezzlement frequently involves very small amounts of money or property and suspects have a wide range of jobs and relationships.

Interestingly, it’s possible to be charged with embezzlement even if the suspect doesn’t intend to keep the property they appropriated. For embezzlement to occur, the owner of money or property must entrust it to the suspect because they trust them. Simply being an employee of a given company or a member of an organization doesn’t imply a position of trust, and when someone steals under these conditions, it’s usually charged as theft. You can think of the crime of embezzlement as betraying the trust of someone who entrusted you with money or property because they trust you – not necessarily just because it’s part of your job.

The penalties for violating California Penal Code 503 PC will depend on the value and type of property that was embezzled. If the amount of money or value of the property was worth more than $950 dollars, was an automobile, or was a firearm, the defendant will face the penalties for grand theft (PC 487) – which is a “wobbler” that can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. If charged as a misdemeanor, the possible penalties include misdemeanor probation, up to 1 year in county jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000. If charged as a felony, the possible penalties include felony probation, 16 months to three years in county jail and/or a fine of up to $10,000. If the value of the money or property stolen was exceptionally high, the defendant faces additional and consecutive penalties of as many as four years in jail.

If the value of the money or property embezzled totals less than $950, the crime will likely be charged as a misdemeanor with the possible penalties of misdemeanor probation, up to six months in county jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.

California Penal Code 262 PC – Spousal Rape

| Police Blotter | September 27, 2018

It’s a subject in the news quite a bit, but for some, difficult to discuss … Rape – having sexual intercourse with someone without their consent – is illegal no matter who the person is, even if it’s the defendant’s spouse. A lot of people may not realize that spousal rape (also referred to as marital rape) is a crime, but it is, and it’s been on the books since the late 1970s.

Today, spousal rape is illegal in all 50 states, but the punishments can vary pretty widely. In California, rape of a spouse is treated similarly to rape of a stranger (PC 261), and all of the penalties are nearly identical.

Under California Penal Code 262 PC, rape of a spouse must be accomplished using one of the following criteria: force, violence, duress, menace, or fear of bodily injury. Additionally, a person can be charged with spousal rape under PC 262 if they engage in sexual intercourse with their spouse and:

  • The defendant knows that the spouse is unable to resist due to intoxication with drugs, alcohol or medication
  • The spouse is unconscious of what’s going on
  • The defendant persuades the spouse into having intercourse by threatening kidnapping, inflicting extreme pain, serious bodily injury or death AND there is reasonable possibility that the threat will be carried out
  • The defendant coerces the spouse into having intercourse by making them believe that the defendant is a public official who can arrest, incarcerate or deport the spouse

According to California Law, for sexual intercourse to occur, there must be some form of penetration, no matter how brief or how slight. The state defines “consent” as being able to act freely and voluntarily, and knows the nature of the act they are agreeing to.
Interestingly, requests for contraception or birth control before performing intercourse does not show that the victim consented to have sex in the eyes of the law. For example, suppose a spouse is threatened into having intercourse by an abusive partner and the victim requests that his or her spouse use protection during the intercourse. The victim in this situation isn’t considered to be giving consent, as far as the law is concerned, simply because the individual requested that a condom be used.

As previously mentioned, the penalties for spousal rape are similar to those for rape of a stranger. The crime is a felony and the penalties include: three, six, or eight years in California state prison, increased by three to five years if the victim suffered great bodily injury, up to $10,000 in fines, and possible mandatory registration as a sex offender. If the defendant has been convicted of multiple sex crimes, and the spousal rape was accomplished using force, fear, or threats of death or great bodily injury, it’s possible to receive a sentence of life in prison.

How a Bail Bondsman Serves the Community and Assists Law Enforcement Officers

| Police Blotter | September 20, 2018

Bail Bondsmen and women provide a valuable service to both the community and to law enforcement by monitoring defendants and ensuring that they attend their court mandated appointments without putting further stress on law enforcement officers and individual tax payers.

Additionally, the bail process itself serves as a powerful motivation for a defendant to return to court. No one wants to lose tens of thousands of dollars, nor would a defendant want to be the reason that their friends and/or family lost money by his or her not returning to court. Bail provides defendants a financial incentive, along with the family or friends that cosign on the bail bond.

When someone is arrested and taken into custody, generally, the first stop they will make is the local police or sheriff station in the area where they were arrested. They will go through the booking and processing procedure, which includes having their fingerprints recorded, photograph taken, and a comprehensive national background check is conducted to check for any outstanding warrants. Once all of these processes are complete, bail will be set for those who are eligible, depending on the nature and severity of the crime they have been charged with. A bail bondsman can help to administrate all of the details post-arrest, giving the defendant important information and guidance they’ll need to get through the court process in a smooth, trouble free way.

A bail bondsman doesn’t have to go through the court system to bail someone out of jail; they can bail someone out of just about every police station, sheriff station, jail or any time of day or night, including weekends and holidays. They can also bail out people directly from court.

When people work with a bail bondsman, they choose to not have to pay the full amount of bail set by the judge. For example, if an individual wants to bail someone out who has been charged with a $20,000 Felony, they would only pay 10 percent or less, instead of the full twenty-thousand dollars. This makes it easier for families to help their friends or loved one deal with their charges from the outside, not from the inside of a jail cell. Additionally, working with a bail bondsman allows people to choose to finance the bail bond at low monthly payments, instead of paying it all in one lump-sum. No taxes, interest, fees, or other charges are levied when a bail bond is financed.

The way the bail process currently stands, if a defendant does not fulfill all of their court-related obligations, it is the bail bondsman – not the police, or already over-worked staff of law enforcement in charge of locating a defendant and bringing them back to jail. The bail process via a bondsman has never cost the tax payer any money, and is a sound part of criminal justice system that has worked well for many, many years.

Penal Code 118 PC – Perjury

| Police Blotter | September 13, 2018

Perjury is a serious crime. It’s covered under California Penal Code 118 PC and is described as deliberately giving false information while under oath. Perjury usually comes up in the news when someone lies while giving testimony during court proceedings; however, there are several situations in which an individual is subject to California’s perjury law, including: when being deposed, in a signed affidavit, in a signed declaration or certificate, and on a DL 44 drivers license application at the DMV.

When a person is accused of committing perjury, there are four separate facts that a prosecutor must be able to prove.

The Statement was Willful or Deliberate

When a person makes a verbal or written statement that is then conveyed to another person that is intended to be taken as true, then the statement is considered to be willful and deliberate. Conveyance of the verbal or written statement from one person to another is required for this element of the crime to be true. It isn’t considered perjury if someone says or writes something to themselves that contains a false statement.

You Must Know that the Statement is False

Stating something that is false doesn’t necessarily constitute lying if the person making the statement believes it to be true. People mistake facts all the time, and making an honest mistake when you’re under oath isn’t a crime. For example, if a person gives testimony in court that they saw a defendant wearing all black clothing during the commission of a crime, when the defendant was actually wearing dark blue clothing, the person on the stand likely won’t be charged with perjury because they were unaware that the person’s clothing was different from what they thought.

You Must be Under Oath at the Time the Statement is Made

If you’re not under oath, or signing paperwork that falls under PC 118 (such as a DL 44 application at the DMV), then you can’t be charged with perjury. The law explicitly states that an individual must deliberately give false information while under oath. No oath, no perjury.
The Statement was Related to Material Fact

Not every false statement made under oath necessarily qualifies one to be charged with perjury. To be eligible for charges, one must make a false statement under oath pertaining to a “material fact.” A “material fact” is a fact that has great importance or consequence. For a statement of fact to be considered material, it must satisfy one of two criteria.
The statement must be used to affect the outcome of the proceeding or
The statement has the probability of affecting the outcome of the proceeding
It’s important to note that the statement doesn’t have to actually affect the proceeding, it just has to be made with the intention of affecting it or has to have the probably of affecting it.

Perjury is a felony in California, and carries the possible penalties of felony probation with up to one year in county jail or two, three, or four years in county jail. Judges have a great deal of leeway when it comes to sentencing someone for perjury, and will take into account the defendant’s prior criminal history as well as what effect, if any, the perjury had.

Back to School Safety Tips

| Canyon Country Magazine | September 8, 2018

It’s the time of year when kids go back to school, and during our morning commute the Canyon Country streets will be bustling with kids of all ages. There’s also likely to be extra congestion as buses pick up and drop off passengers. Drivers need to slow down and pay attention this time of year, as there will be children on the streets.

According to the National Safety Council, there are a few things you should keep in mind during the times of day when children will be traveling to and from school.
Don’t block the crosswalk when stopped at an intersection. It could force pedestrians to step into areas where traffic is moving to get around your car.
Yield to pedestrians when you’re driving in a school zone – especially if there are flashers blinking.
Watch for children in school zones, near parks, and in residential areas, because younger kids are prone to darting out from between cars.
Never pass a vehicle that’s stopped for pedestrians (especially a bus) because there may be people crossing in front of it.

If you’ve lived in or near a school zone for a while, you’re probably used to all of this by now. But for a lot of people, it can be jarring to suddenly have to change how you drive because children are flooding the streets on the way to school. Luckily, it’s really only the early morning and mid-afternoons that most children are going to be out.

Last, but not least, hectic mornings and afternoons are times when child predators are more likely to strike. If you see something that seems strange, don’t hesitate to call the police. Kidnappings don’t happen often, but they do happen, and the sooner the police can be informed, the better.

Alcohol a Factor in July 4 Collision

| Police Blotter | September 6, 2018

On July 4 of this year, a young Santa Clarita man who served in the Marines was killed when he lost control of his vehicle, flipped it, and slid into a utility pole. It’s recently been released that he had a BAC of .22 when the accident took place, and that alcohol very likely played a factor in the collision.

According to reports, the man was driving down the street at a high rate of speed near the intersection of Bouquet Cyn. Rd. and Wellston Dr. when he attempted to make a lane change. He ended up hitting a vehicle traveling in front of him, causing him to lose control as the vehicle flipped onto its side and slide into a SoCal Edison pole. The vehicle he collided with was an SUV carrying three people, two of which were transported to the hospital after the collision. Investigators took blood samples to test for the presence of alcohol or drugs, the results of which were made public this week.

A blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or greater is the legal limit used by law enforcement to determine whether or not a person is intoxicated. At or around this level, a definite muscle coordination impairment is experienced, as well as impaired driving skills. With a BAC of .18 to .25, people generally experience disorientation, confusion, dizziness, and exhibit exaggerated emotional states. Their vision is effected by way of color perception, form, motion and dimensions. They also suffer a significant lack of muscle coordination, can begin slurring their speech and even feel apathetic and lethargic.

This tragic incident, and others like it that occur every day, prove positive the need to take care of ourselves, our friends, and our loved ones when it comes to drinking and driving. If you’re hosting a party where people will be consuming alcohol, take special care to watch out for them and make sure nobody gets behind the wheel drunk. Make sure those who drink give you their keys, or at least have someone with them who can drive sober. Call them a taxi or insist that they get an Uber or Lyft to get them where they’re going. If all else fails, and you can’t get them to call an alternative ride or stay at your place, call the cops. It may sound like a rotten thing to do to a friend or a family member, but it may just save their lives.

It’s also important to take the speed at which you or others drink into account. It’s entirely possible to get behind the wheel feeling in control, only to have the alcohol one consumes get absorbed into their bloodstream during the drive home, resulting in an unexpected impairment.

The three people in the SUV are lucky that the collision didn’t cost them more than a trip to the hospital, as alcohol-related collisions often take the lives of others on the roads as well as the impaired driver.

Historically, holidays that are closely associated with drinking have been extremely dangerous times to be on the roads. Just this past Labor Day Weekend, between Friday August 31st and Sunday September 2nd, ten motorists and two pedestrians were killed on California roads and the CHP had arrested over 700 people for DUI.

Labor Day 2018 Celebration Safety Tips

| Police Blotter | August 31, 2018

Labor Day is synonymous with the consumption of alcohol, making Labor Day weekend one of the most dangerous times of the year to be on the road. National statistics show that an alcohol-related fatal traffic collision occurs once every 51 minutes. Over the course of the three-day Labor Day weekend, that number nearly doubles, increases to one every 34 minutes. Whatever you choose to do, whether it be hosting a party yourself, staying home, or heading out of town, there are steps you can take to help keep your friends and family safe this holiday weekend.

Travelers and Party-Goers
Ideally, staying off the roads is the most effective (and obvious) way of avoiding dangerous traffic conditions. However, staying home isn’t always an option. If you plan to head out this weekend, here are a few safety tips to consider:
Recognize the signs of impaired driving on the roadways, stay away from these drivers, and don’t hesitate to report them. If you see someone swerving, drifting to one side or another, tailgating, unsafe lane changes and turns, etc. can all be signs of an impaired driver at the wheel. These people are extremely dangerous and need to be taken off the road as soon as possible. Calling the police is the right thing to do.
Don’t be one of them. If you’re going to consume alcohol, either make plans to stay where you’re going, set a designated driver, or use a ride sharing app like Uber or Lyft. Also, never, ever get into the car with a driver who has been drinking.
Don’t drive too closely to other cars. If you’re on the road during peak travel times, this may be unavoidable. Still, try to practice defensive driving and leave yourself some room to react.

Hosting your own gathering is a great way to stay off the roads yourself, but it’s important to be protective of the people you invite. Here are a few things to consider if you plan to have people over:

Have everyone who plans to consume alcohol give their keys to you and keep them in a large bowl or jar. This way, they have to go through you before they get behind the wheel.

Provide non-alcoholic drinks for designated drivers and others who may choose to remain sober.

If someone tries to leave who has been drinking, help them get a taxi or acquire another form of transportation. If all else fails, insist they stay over.

Prepare space ahead of time for family or friends to stay. A lot of people may refuse simply because they don’t want to impose. Knowing you planned having people stay from the get-go may help alleviate their apprehension.

Getting a DUI won’t just ruin your holiday weekend, it will affect your life for months to come. A first-time DUI can result in jail time, several thousand dollars in fees and the loss/suspension of driving privileges – at best. At worst, it can cost you your life, or cost the lives of others on the roadway and result in manslaughter or even murder charges. Using common sense and looking out for others can help ensure all of you enjoy a safe and happy Labor Day Weekend.

Did Your Constitutional Right to Bail Just Get Voted Away?

| Police Blotter | August 23, 2018

Just this week, SB10 – California’s Bail Reform Law, has passed the State Assembly and now goes back to the Senate to decide whether or not they want to send it to the Governor’s desk. The bill passed by the bare minimum that senate rules allow, and the very same day voting took place, several previous backers of the bill pulled their support. Among those is the American Civil Liberties Union, saying that recent changes to the bill gave too much power to judges to decide who does and does not deserve to be freed while they await their court date.

These decisions, the ACLU claims, open doors wide open for several forms of discrimination, including racial, sex, gender, etc. – all of which currently permeate our criminal justice system at every level. Judges already have the power to reduce or even eliminate bail requirements for defendants who can’t afford to pay bail for their release. Those who aren’t deemed a threat to the community are either released or given a smaller bail amount.

A number of additional groups opposed to the bill’s passage, including the California Public Defender’s Association, that foresee more people being detained post-arrest after bail is eliminated. The bill only allows for the release of non-violent misdemeanor offenders, while most felony defendants and violent misdemeanor defendants will remain in jail without the possibility of ever getting out before their trial. Also, by removing the bail system entirely, the 8th Amendment of the United States Constitution is called into question. In the Amendment, it states that:

“Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.”

The wording of the 8th Amendment begs the questions: In mandating that excessive bail shall not be required, does it not also imply that bail is a right that citizens if the U.S. should have? Under current U.S. law, a person is “innocent until proven guilty in a court of law,” meaning that without the possibility of bail, innocent people will be held in jail until their case goes to trial (which can take several months, or even years) or until they’re forced to plead guilty to the crime (which they may not have committed) in an attempt to get out of jail. Wouldn’t jailing innocent people be considered “cruel and unusual punishment?”

If SB10 is signed into law, it’s going to change things significantly for our state, and it’s going to cost us a lot more. For example:

Will cost Calif. counties collectively $3.8 billion per year (Washington D.C. system costs $65 million with a population of only 670,000 people).
Counties will be forced to apply to the Commission on State Mandates for Cost Reimbursement. This process alone will take years to sort out and will put immense pressure on every county to first implement and outlay resources with a speculative chance at savings, only then to determine the net costs.
Will require every county to develop and staff a pretrial services department. The defendant cannot be charged any costs for services or ordered to reimburse the county, regardless of a defendant’s ability to pay.
Will crowd out funding for other county programs and agencies like the district attorney’s office, the public defender’s office, the sheriff’s office and mental health services.
More than triple the time that each person spends in jail pretrial because it completely eliminates a person’s right to post bail. Instead, every arrestee will languish in jail until that person’s case is reviewed by a judge.
Will significantly increase the number of fugitives within the state and warrants for their arrest. (Presently there are approx. 1.7 million warrants in the system, at a cost of $1775 per FTA (Research Report, Dallas County Texas 2014 Study calculates to over $3 billion.)
Persons accused of committing a violent crime, including some misdemeanors, will not be reviewed for release.
Will cause the incarceration of more pretrial defendants because it eliminates the bail schedule.
Cause the court to release high-risk defendants without bail – bail provides defendants a financial incentive to appear in court, along with friends and family that cosign on the bail bond.
Will take away the rights of the 300,000+ (Ca Bail Ins. Companies – PPIC May 2017 Pretrial Report) defendants who choose to bail out in CA each year (at no cost to the taxpayers)

Essentially, eliminating bail under SB10 will cause people to sit in jail even longer until a judge can personally review their case, take vital funds from an already budget-stretched police department, and it will put potentially violent offenders back on the street. Call your State Senator today to tell them you want them not to send SB10 to the governor. The police don’t like it, the ACLU doesn’t like it, the California Association of Judges doesn’t like it, and neither will you.

Health and Safety Code 11365 HS – Being Present for Illegal Drug Use

| Police Blotter | August 16, 2018

Under Health and Safety Code 11365 HS, it’s illegal to be present in a place where the use of controlled substances is occurring if you do something to aid or abet the people using those substances in some way. Simply being at a party where some people are using illegal drugs isn’t enough to be charged with a crime. A person has to also do something, however minute, that influences the use of the illegal drugs. Some examples could include helping someone tie-off before shooting up, encouraging someone to use their drugs, or acting as a look-out.

In order for someone to be charged with violating Health and Safety Code 11365 HS, a few things have to have occurred:

  • An individual must willfully and intentionally visit a location or be present at a place where people are using one or more substances on a list of controlled substances. Should the individual have been brought there against their will, or ended up there by mistake, they likely won’t face charges.
  • The individual must know that another person or people intended to use one or more controlled substances. If you don’t know illegal drug use is going on, you can hardly aid or abet it.
  • The individual must intend to aid or abet the use of those substances in some way.
  • The individual did do something that aided or abetted the use of controlled substances.
  • The individual knew that their words or actions aided or abetted others in the use of controlled substances.

Under 11365 HS, “aiding and abetting” is described as knowing that another person intends to use a controlled substance, specifically intending to aid, encourage or facilitate their use in some way, and actually aiding, encouraging, or facilitating the use in some way.

The list of controlled substances covered under Health and Safety Code 11365 HS includes: cocaine, cocaine base, heroine, methamphetamine, mescaline, GHB, and peyote. Notably, marijuana is not on the list.

Violation of 11365 HS are misdemeanors, and include the possible penalties of misdemeanor probation (with the possibility enrollment in a drug treatment program), up to six months in county jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000. If an individual has no prior narcotic-related offenses and their charges do not involve either violence or the threat of violence, it’s possible that they will be eligible for California’s deferred entry of judgment drug diversion program. As part of this program, a defendant’s charges are suspended while they enroll in and complete a drug rehabilitation program. Upon successful completion of the drug rehabilitation program, the charges are dismissed.

Selling Imitation Controlled Substances – California Health & Safety Code 109575 HS and 11355 HS

| Police Blotter | August 9, 2018

Not long ago, a man was driving near Gorman when he was stopped by law enforcement officers. During the stop, the officers performed a search of the vehicle and discovered 2,600 packets of a suspicious white powder – which they assumed was cocaine – and arrested the man on suspicion of transporting narcotics. Fortunately for the suspect, subsequent testing revealed that the substance in the packets was not cocaine, nor any other controlled substance. The suspect, who had been released on bond after his arrest, was not charged with any crime.

Whatever the white powder was, the fact that it wasn’t a controlled substance resulted in no charges being filed – but that doesn’t hold true in every case; much depends on what the person in the situation intends to do with the substance. For example, if a person is in possession of a substance that isn’t controlled, but they intend to pass it off as the real thing, they could be charged with a crime.

California Health and Safety Code 109575 HS makes it illegal to knowingly transport, manufacture, distribute or possess an imitation controlled substance. California Health and Safety Code 11355 makes it illegal to arrange to sell and/or transport a controlled substance and deliver a fake product instead. The laws are designed to punish an individual’s intent to traffic in illegal drugs as well as any possible harm that may come to a victim after ingesting them.

In order for something to qualify as an imitation controlled substance, it has to meet one of two possible sets of criteria. The first is that it must be a substance that was specifically manufactured or designed to resemble the physical appearance of a controlled substance which a reasonable person of ordinary knowledge would not be able to distinguish from a controlled substance by its outward appearance. For example, grinding up chalk and attempting to pass it off as cocaine would probably result in a violation of 109575 HS, whereas attempting to pass off a baggy of chopped broccoli as marijuana would probably not.

The second set of criteria stipulates that the substance is not controlled, but by its appearance and your representation it would lead a reasonable person to believe that it had stimulating or depressing effects and that they would get high by ingesting it just like they would by ingesting the controlled substance. Basically, this second definition covers substances that aren’t specifically manufactured or designed by the seller to resemble a controlled substance, but that they still try to pass off as the real thing, and look close enough to the actual product that a reasonable person would assume that taking it would lead to the same effects.

Violations of Health and Safety Code 109575 are misdemeanors with the possible penalties of up to six months in county jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000. Violations of Health and Safety Code 11355 HS are “wobblers” that can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the circumstances of the case and the defendant’s prior criminal history. Penalties for misdemeanor charges include up to one year in county jail, while felony penalties include 16 months to three years in county jail.

It’s Hot, Hot, Hot in Canyon Country!

| Canyon Country Magazine | August 8, 2018

We all know summers in Canyon Country are hot, but we make due. As temperatures hit the triple digits, it’s important to remember that too much heat and too much sun can be hazardous to your health. Plus, with more daylight and the increased focus on getting cool comes an increase in thefts.

This year, summer came roaring in, leaving a lot of us scrambling to find ways to beat the heat. If you ever find yourself in the position where your only thought is to cool down, make sure you’re paying attention to what you’re doing, or you could easily find yourself the victim of a crime.

For example, if you plan to be in your backyard, make sure you don’t leave doors or windows in the front of the house open. Not all home invasions occur while the owners are away. An open garage with nobody around can be pretty enticing to an intrepid young burglar looking for a quick score. The same thing goes for your car. Locking your car doors may seem like the most obvious thing in the world, but when it’s pushing 105 and you’ve got ice cream melting in the back seat, it can be an easy thing to forget. There are folks out there who walk around at night checking car doors to see if they’re locked. Perpetrators will often pass on locked cars, but for those that aren’t …

On the whole, Canyon Country is a safe and inviting place to live, although crimes do occur now and again. By being cognizant of what you’re doing, and not leaving yourself vulnerable, you can greatly reduce the risk of becoming a victim.

California Penal Code 529 PC – False Impersonation

| Police Blotter | August 2, 2018

In the State of California, pretending to be someone else in certain situations can get you into a lot of trouble. According to California Penal Code 529 PC, California’s “false impersonation” law, when you pretend to be someone else in their public or private capacity and do something that could cause that person to become liable to a lawsuit, prosecution, be obligated to pay money, or which might cause you to gain some sort of benefit from impersonating that individual, you’re breaking the law.

For example, suppose an individual is arrested for shoplifting and, upon their arrest, gives the police the name of their cousin instead of his or her own. After being taken to the station for booking and processing, the suspect is released on his or her own recognizance and signs the cousin’s name to the booking paperwork instead of their own. The suspect then blows off their court date and his or her cousin is subsequently arrested at a later date for the failure to appear instead of the actual suspect.

In the example above, the suspect would likely be charged with violating PC 529, because by giving police the name of their cousin instead of their own and signing the cousin’s name to the booking paperwork, the suspect placed the cousin in a situation in which they would be liable for prosecution; the simple act of impersonating someone else isn’t necessarily a crime in-and-of itself.

For another example, suppose a woman impersonates a famous contemporary singer and attends a karaoke night at a local bar. She sings the singer’s songs and “acts” as though she herself is the famous singer. The impersonator in this situation isn’t putting the singer in any legal danger, nor is the singer receiving any benefit from their impersonation and is therefore not breaking the law. However, if the were to perform her impersonation at a restaurant or a boutique in an attempt to use their target’s celebrity status to get free food or outfits, the impersonator would be committing a crime because she is benefiting from the impersonation.

“False impersonation” is a “wobbler” in California, meaning it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the circumstances of the crime and the defendant’s prior criminal record. If charged as a misdemeanor, the possible penalties include misdemeanor probation, up to 1 year in county jail and/or a fine of up to $10,000. For felony charges, the possible penalties include felony probation, 16 months to three years in jail and/or a fine of up to $10,000. Also, if convicted on felony charges, the defendant will lose his or her eligibility to own firearms.

What Happens When Someone is Arrested?

| Police Blotter | July 26, 2018

There are two different scenarios in which someone can be arrested: a police officer has probable cause to suspect a crime has been committed, or a judge has issued a warrant for someone’s arrest. Probable cause is a common situation under which someone can be arrested. If a police officer either witnesses a crime or is presented with enough evidence to suspect you committed a crime, he or she has the legal authority to arrest you. A good example of this type of arrest would be a DUI stop. The police officer sees someone driving erratically, they pull the person over and subject the driver to a breathalyzer. If that breathalyzer reads .08 or above (and sometimes even if it’s lower) the officer can legally arrest the driver.

Warrants are a bit more complicated in that they are required to be issued by a judge. There are two types of warrants a judge will issue that require someone’s arrest: arrest warrants and bench warrants. Before an arrest warrant can be issued an investigation will need to take place so that law enforcement officers can gather evidence. These investigations often include police, a victim or witnesses, and even the district attorney. The evidence is then brought before a judge or a grand jury, which must decide if the evidence suggests probable cause that a crime was committed. If so, the warrant is issued and signed by the judge. If not, then no warrant is issued.

Once an arrest warrant has been issued, police have the legal authority to locate the suspect at their home, office, or wherever the person may be and place them under arrest. The person will then be held until their court date, or until he or she is bailed out of jail (if bail is set).

Bench warrants are somewhat different than arrest warrants, but the end result is often the same: The suspect is arrested and taken into custody.

Bench warrants are usually issued by a judge when a defendant either fails to appear in court, fails to pay a fine, or fails to adhere to one or another court order. Bench warrants are the most common warrant issued in California. When someone is arrested under a bench warrant, there will usually be a bail amount set already. The amount will vary depending on the reason behind the warrant. Those who fail to appear in court while out on bail will often find themselves with much higher bail amounts this time around.

Regardless of which type of warrant is issued, the police are obligated to execute it. A warrant isn’t just a piece of paper that gives the police the power to arrest someone; it’s more like an order telling them they have to.

Leave Your Dog in the Car? Better Think Twice About the Legal Issues

| Police Blotter | July 19, 2018

The weather patterns being what they are, it looks like it’s going to be another long, hot, dry summer. That said, it’s important to remember that while you and I can get hot, animals can get even hotter. Even with the shedding of their “winter coats,” dogs can still easily overheat, because they can’t sweat – and panting can only go so far.

If you’re out and about this summer and you decide to take your furry friends with you, think twice before leaving them in the car. Even if you’re “just running inside for a second,” it doesn’t take long for the interior of cars to get very hot and uncomfortable. In conditions like that, animals can overheat very quickly.

You’ve probably seen news stories or read articles about animal lovers who bash out car windows when they discover animals inside. It’s happened several times in the past, and will likely continue to happen well into the future. The act of smashing a complete stranger’s windows may seem like overreacting; and to some it is. Some folks may or may not take a tire iron to the back window of your Benz when they see your pet panting in the back seat; but they will also quickly call in law enforcement to the rescue.

You see, leaving an animal in an unattended vehicle is illegal in the State of California, and is covered under 597.7 PC. To be clear, simply leaving an animal in an unattended vehicle is not in and of itself illegal, it depends on whether or not the animal’s welfare is in danger by being left in the car. If it’s cooler outside, with a light breeze, and the windows are open to provide ventilation, then they may be fine for just a few minutes. But when the temperature is higher, the windows are closed, or the animal appears to be uncomfortable or suffering, then there will be a problem, and it could mean a huge legal one for you
Convictions of violating 597.7 PC can carry an array of penalties and circumstances under which they can/will be applied. For a first conviction, an individual can be fined $100 per animal, as long as none of the animals left in an unattended vehicle suffered great bodily injury. If the animal does suffer great bodily injury (and it’s still the defendant’s first conviction), then the defendant may face a fine of $500 and a possible six-month stay in county jail. For second convictions, the $500 fine and six-month stay in jail is the penalty he or she will possibly face, regardless of whether or not there was any injury to the animal.

Lastly, leaving an animal unattended in a car can sometimes be seen as an act of neglect, which could bring charges of violating California Penal Code 597 PC, animal neglect. If convicted of this, the defendant can face up to three years in state prison. It’s just not worth the risk, to you or to them.

Expungement of Criminal Charges in California

| Police Blotter | July 12, 2018

Spending time in jail is never easy; the difficulties one can encounter while being incarcerated vary pretty widely depending on the crime he or she was convicted of and the type of facility they were sent to. For example, a person who spends time in county jail for missed child support payments will likely have an easier time than someone who’s sent to Pelican Bay. The reasoning behind this is because the person in county jail will typically be surrounded by others who have been convicted of committing misdemeanors and relatively minor felonies. The individual in Pelican Bay, however, will share their surroundings with a variety of much more dangerous, and often violent criminals.

Unfortunately for many, the difficulties associated with having spent time in custody aren’t necessarily over once a person is released – particularly when searching for employment. When applying for a job, pretty much every employer is going to want to know if the applicant has a prior criminal record, and those who do report extreme difficulty in obtaining employment post-incarceration. Luckily, for those who were sent to county jail instead of state prison, there is hope in the form of California Penal Code 1203.4 PC: California’s Expungement Law.

Expungement is something that an individual can apply for that will have the court seal their criminal records, thereby making it impossible for employers to use that prior criminal conviction against the applicant, as well as making it illegal for them to even bring it up.

To be eligible for expungement, a person must meet three basic criteria:

  • The defendant must have completed their probation successfully (including the payment of any fines and/or court fees, restitution, counseling and/or community service)
  • They must not be currently charged with another criminal offense, on probation for another criminal offense, or currently serving time for another criminal offense, and
  • The defendant cannot have been sentenced to serve time in state prison for the offense or for a parole violation regarding their offense.

Certain offenses are ineligible for expungement. Those offenses are: 286 PC: sodomy with a child, PC 288: lewd acts with a child, PC 288a (c): oral copulation with a child and PC 264.5(d): statutory rape.

An attorney can assist with the expungement process. It includes filling out the necessary paper work, waiting for the court to process it, and then attending an expungement hearing. If an expungement is granted, it can benefit the defendant in a variety of ways, including in the search for employment, obtaining a state professional license, and even help avoid certain consequences involved with immigration. If you think that you or someone you know may be eligible for expungement, be sure to speak with an attorney first. As bail bondsman, we are happy to offer information about laws that exist, but only an attorney is qualified to provide you with advice and counsel.

Get in the Habit of the 9PM Routine to Thwart Thieves

| Canyon Country Magazine | July 10, 2018

People have been breaking into cars to steal what’s inside for a long time, and until auto companies invent vehicles that can’t be broken into, the practice probably isn’t going to disappear any time soon. As a matter of fact, the crime is becoming increasingly common all across the United States. Even here in Canyon Country, despite the numerous police patrols, vehicles are broken into all the time. Sometimes it’s to snatch a cell phone or tablet, other times it’s for the change in the cup holder.

In an effort to help residents take proactive steps to protect themselves, the SCV Sheriff’s Station and other law enforcement agencies have taken to popularizing a protocol known as the 9PM Routine. The routine is simple. It’s a reminder for residents to go out to their vehicles at 9 p.m. every evening and remove their valuables – including loose change – and to make sure the windows are up and the doors are locked (in their vehicles, as well as in their homes).
Simple routines like this can be effective because breaking into someone’s vehicle is a crime of opportunity most of the time. Someone walking by a vehicle notices a pair of expensive sunglasses on the dash, a cell phone on the seat, or even random coins in the center console or cup holder and decides to bash in and relieve the owner of his/her property. When perpetrators peek through a vehicle’s window and see nothing worth stealing, they’re far more likely to move on to other vehicles rather than try their luck breaking into what appears to be an empty car.

Sometimes it’s the little things you can do that keep you from being the victim of a crime, and the 9PM Routine is one of those things. It’s easy, it’s quick, and it’s effective.

California Stalking Law – PC 646.9

| Police Blotter | July 5, 2018

Police responded to popular YouTube star Logan Paul’s residence in Los Angeles recently after two alleged stalkers hopped a fence and vandalized one of his cars. One suspect, a male, was arrested while the other, an underage female, was released into her parents’ custody.

Stalking is covered under California Penal Code 646.9 and is described as (willfully and maliciously) repeatedly following, harassing, or threatening someone to the point that they fear for the safety of themselves and/or their family. Some examples include:
Frequently sending emails to an ex-lover that include threats (either specific or non-specific in nature)
Following someone home from school or work while occasionally making menacing statements to them at work or school
Making frequent unwanted advances toward someone and threatening them if they don’t respond favorably
California has some of the toughest stalking laws in the nation, and they are usually associated with the large number of celebrities who live out here. California’s stalking laws were passed in 1990 in response to the cases involving two actresses: Theresa Saldana and Rebecca Schaeffer, who were both stalked and attacked by deranged fans. Saldana was stalked and repeatedly stabbed, though she survived. Schaeffer, unfortunately, wasn’t as lucky and did not survive the attack.

Interestingly, celebrity stalking cases comprise a very small amount of California’s stalking cases. Most of the time, stalking cases come from someone who the victim already knows, and the stalking occurs via the internet (cyberstalking), through the workplace, or in connection to a domestic violence case. Additionally, 80 percent of stalking victims are female.

Stalking can occur in a variety of ways, including following someone or “accidentally” running into them repeatedly, sending emails, voice mails or text messages, calling them on the phone, driving by their home or office, sending unwanted gifts, and gathering an inordinate amount of information about someone. If the victim of a stalking is a current or ex-lover, a roommate, a parent of one of your children, or someone you were dating, the crime will be known as “intimate partner stalking” and be addressed under California’s domestic violence laws.

Stalking is a “wobbler” that can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the defendant’s prior criminal history and the circumstances surrounding the specific case. However, the crime will always be charged as a felony if the victim had a restraining order active against the defendant, and/or the defendant has a prior stalking conviction.

When charged as a misdemeanor, the possible penalties include the typical misdemeanor penalties of informal probation, up to one year in county jail and a fine of up to $1,000. It can also include a restraining order against the defendant and/or treatment in a mental facility. Felony penalties include formal probation, 16 months to five years in California state prison, a maximum $1,000 fine, a restraining order, possible treatment at a mental health facility, and possible registration as a sex offender.

Fourth of July Celebrations in Santa Clarita

| Community | June 29, 2018

The Fourth of July is holiday is upon us once again, and Santa Clarita is hosting several events and festivities for residents to celebrate Independence Day. The celebration begins with the Independence Day 5K and 10K runs hosted by the Santa Clarita Runners’ Club. The race follows the Fourth of July parade route beginning at Newhall Park at 7 a.m. for the 10K, 7:45 a.m. for the Kid K, and at 8 a.m. for the 5K run/walk. The whole community is invited to attend and cheer the runners on, but those who want to participate will have to pre-register at scrunners.org.

For the early birds out there, the Santa Clarita Rotary Club will be hosting their annual pancake breakfast from 6:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. at Roger Dunn Golf Shop at 24200 Main St. in Santa Clarita. The breakfast includes pancakes, coffee, and sausage and costs $5 per person; the proceeds will be donated to various charities. If you’re an early-riser, come and enjoy a delicious breakfast and find out what a rotary club is.

Once the races have finished, Santa Clarita’s Fourth of July Parade will begin at 9 a.m. The parade route begins in Old Town Newhall and continues down Lyons Avenue and Orchard Village before finishing at 16th Street.

To close the city’s festivities, the fireworks show begins at 9:15 p.m. The show takes place at the Westfield Valencia Town Center and will likely receive heavy attendance this year as it does every year. Those looking for a good spot are encouraged to arrive early to stake out a good spot. If you do plan to show up early, be sure to bring good sunscreen, chairs, water, and even an umbrella or two to create a little shade. The Fourth is usually hot, and prolonged exposure to the sun can be dangerous.

Last but not least, remember to be responsible and stay safe this Fourth of July. If you choose to consume alcohol, whether on the Fourth, on the weekend, or both, don’t drink and drive. There are plenty of alternatives for getting home safely, including a designated driver, the use of a ride-hailing app, or simply choosing to stay where you are and getting a hotel/motel room. Law enforcement agencies will be conducting DUI stops and saturation patrols all over Los Angeles County, and there will be zero-tolerance given for those who choose to drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Additionally, if you witness a friend under the influence who is getting behind the wheel, stop them. There is always a spike in the numbers of alcohol-related collisions around holidays, but taking responsibility for ourselves, our friends, and our loved ones can help reduce those numbers and keep ourselves and our community safe.

Firework Safety in Santa Clarita This—And Every Season

| Police Blotter | June 14, 2018

While some folks are still dealing with the effects of this weeks “South Fire” which forced evacuations in Santa Clarita, it goes without saying that fireworks are strictly controlled and prohibited in California under Health and Safety Code 12500 – 12728 HS.

Under these laws, fireworks are divided into two separate categories: “safe and sane fireworks” and “dangerous fireworks.” Those that fall under the “dangerous fireworks” category, such as large rockets, explosives, and sparklers longer than 10 inches, or greater in diameter than 1/4 inch are always illegal in California. The “safe and sane fireworks” category includes fountains, spinners, and snap ‘n’ pops.

Like many of California’s laws, HS 12500 – 12728 are flexible, allowing counties to make changes to the laws which provide further restrictions. That being the case, in Los Angeles County, ALL fireworks are considered illegal – even those that fall under the “safe and sane” category. The restriction may seem heavy-handed, though in this case it’s probably the safest thing to do. L.A. County is prone to wildfires, and last year’s wildfire season was the worst ever recorded. There were 43 people who lost their lives, over 9,000 homes were burned and over one million acres were devastated by raging wildfires that taxed the limits of our firefighters’ abilities to contain them.

All it takes to start a fire that can quickly get out of control is a single spark, and under the right conditions, embers have been known to travel as far as a few miles before finding and igniting a piece of brush. Due to last year’s rainfall, there’s a great deal more dry vegetation in and around the county this year, making this season’s potential for wildfires even worse than previous years.

If you choose to light fireworks this year in celebration of the 4th of July, make sure to buy them from legal vendors and remain in counties ONLY where they’re legal. Additionally, be sure to light them in areas free of vegetation and dry brush. Whether legal in your county or not, the threat of wildfires in Southern California is very real, and taking a few simple precautions can help keep you, your friends, and your neighbors safe.

Remember: All fireworks are illegal in Los Angeles County. If you spot anyone lighting them off in the weeks leading up to the 4th of July celebration, call the Santa Clarita Sheriff’s Station at 661-255-1121.

California Penal Code 417 PC – Brandishing a Firearm

| Police Blotter | June 7, 2018

Firearms and who should be prohibited from owning them has been a hotly-debated issue in the U.S. for decades. According to the Second Amendment, “… the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” While the ability to “keep and bear arms” isn’t going anywhere, just how those arms are kept and borne is subject to regulation by the state.

One of those regulations is California Penal Code 417 PC – brandishing a deadly weapon or firearm. PC 417 makes it illegal to “draw, exhibit, or using a deadly weapon or firearm in a manner that is rude, angry or threatening.” For example, suppose two people get into an argument and one of them pulls out a gun so that the other can see it. It’s possible that the person who brandished the weapon could be charged with violating 417 PC, because the implication was that they’re willing to use the weapon to resolve the argument.

A deadly weapon is any object, instrument or weapon that is inherently dangerous or that is used in such a way that it could cause great bodily injury or death. This is a very broad definition that encompasses a very wide variety of objects including tools, pipes, cutlery, and even broken glass. The definition of a firearm under 417 PC is “any device designed to be used as a weapon, from which is expelled through the barrel, a projectile through the force of any explosion or other form of combustion.” This includes traditional guns as well as homemade items like zip guns. It does not include pellet or BB guns because they do not fire through force generated by combustion or explosions, they’re instead fired through the use of compressed gasses.

Brandishing a firearm under 417 PC is not illegal if the weapon was brandished in self-defense or the defense of others. Generally speaking, self-defense and the defense of others includes situations in which:

You reasonably believe that you or someone else is in imminent danger of suffering harm, AND
You fight back with no more force than is reasonably necessary to defend against that danger.

Basically, just because one has a firearm, that doesn’t mean they should use it in any situation in which they need to defend themselves or others. It should only ever be brandished/used in a situation where that type of force is reasonably necessary to protect oneself or others.

417 PC can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances surrounding the specific incident. Misdemeanor penalties include a minimum of three months to a maximum one year in county jail and/or a $1,000 fine. When facing felony-level charges, the possible penalties include 16 months to three years in California state prison.

What Happens After a DUI Arrest?

| Police Blotter | May 31, 2018

If you were out and about after 6 p.m. on Memorial Day weekend, you may have come across one or more DUI stops. These stops are usually put in strategic places with the dual purposes of serving as a deterrent to keep intoxicated drivers off the roads and to hopefully catch those who drive anyway. When someone chooses to drive under the influence, their actions can have tragic results for both them and any innocent motorists or pedestrians unlucky enough to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Driving while impaired is extremely dangerous, and if someone is stopped by police, whether at one of the checkpoints or anywhere else, and is found to be driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the penalties are severe.

The penalties for a first offense can vary significantly, and will depend on the circumstances of each individual case. Generally speaking, when someone is caught driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 percent or above, they’re likely to face penalties that include:

  • 3 to 5 years of informal probation
  • Up to 6 months in county jail
  • $1,500 to $2,000 in fines and penalty assessments
  • A 3-month court-approved alcohol and/or drug education program
  • Driver’s license suspension of 6 months

When someone is sentenced to probation for a first-time DUI, the following conditions are always included:

The defendant must not drive with any measurable amount of alcohol in their blood
On a second suspected DUI, the defendant shall not refuse a chemical test of blood, breath, or urine
The defendant shall not commit any other crimes

DUI convictions fall into a legal category known as “priorable offenses,” a term which indicates that the penalties for committing the crime get worse if someone commits the crime again within a 10-year period. For example, when a defendant is convicted of driving under the influence the first time, they’ll face penalties similar to those above. For a second offense, they’ll face penalties that include:

  • 3 to 5 years of informal probation
  • A minimum of 96 hours and maximum of 1 year in county jail
  • Between $390 and $1,000 in fines
  • Completion of an 18- to 30-month court-approved DUI school and
  • A 2-year driver’s license suspension that can be converted to a restricted license only after 12 months

The penalties above are for misdemeanor DUI charges. If another party is injured as a result of a defendant driving under the influence, the crime becomes a “wobbler” that can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. If charged as a felony, the penalties include:

  • 16 months to 10 years in California state prison
  • A possible “strike” on the defendant’s record under California’s Three Strikes Law
  • $1,015 to $5,000 in fines
  • Mandatory completion of an 18- to 30-month court-approved alcohol or drug program
  • Habitual Traffic Offender (HTO) status for 3 years and
  • Possible restitution to all parties

When another person is killed as a result of someone driving under the influence, it’s possible to be charged with vehicular manslaughter or even murder, depending on the circumstances surrounding the individual case.

This day and age, it’s never been easier to refrain from driving under the influence, thanks to the variety of alternatives available like ride-hailing apps. The legal consequences for a DUI can be tough, especially the inability to drive, and can lead to significant difficulties getting to work or school. If a collision occurs and someone is injured or killed, the legal consequences, and the emotional consequences, can be severe.

Page 1 of 111 2 3 11