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Monthly Archive March 28, 2023


Why Some People Are Sentenced to a Maximum-Security Prison

When you watch news stories covering criminal cases, you’ll often hear the word maximum security prisons and minimum security prisons mentioned. Many people find it difficult to understand why some people are sentenced to maximum security prisons.

What are Maximum Security Prisons

Maximum-security prisons doesn’t necessarily mean that the prison is considerably worse than a low-security prison. When a person is sent to a maximum security prison, it means they will be incarcerated at a facility where they will experience the maximum amount of supervision.

In the United States, maximum security prisons are designed so that the perimeter is heavily reinforced, making an escape difficult. The exact housing situation inmates experience depends on what type of treatment they require, solitary confinement or communal living. Most maximum security prisons have both single cell housing and multiple cell housing. The biggest difference between maximum-security prisons and low-security prisons is the staff. Maximum security prisons have a significantly higher staff-to-inmate ratio than other types of prisons.

Inmates who are sentenced to a maximum-security prison will sometimes have access to educational, religious, and health services, but they won’t be offered the work-related programs lower security prisons offer. They will also find that visitors face stricter rules. The ability for inmates to socialize is extremely limited in a maximum-security prison. In most cases, inmates at maximum security prisons are confined to their cells for 23 hours a day.

Why Some Inmates are Sent to Maximum Security Prisons

Several different things are considered when it comes to deciding where a person will be sent after they’ve been convicted of a crime. The severity of the crimes they’ve been convicted of. They’re criminal history. Whether they seem like an escape risk.

No one is sent to a maximum-security prison without serious consideration. The main thing that’s taken into consideration is whether the inmate is someone who is considered a great risk to the general public. If the answer is yes, they will be sent to a maximum-security prison where their ability to interact with the public and other inmates is severely limited. If an inmate has tried to escape from prison, they will be sent to a maximum-security prison. Inmates that have a history of aggressive behavior toward other inmates and/or prison staff will likely be transferred to a maximum-security prison.

Individuals who commit non-violent crimes and who stay out of altercations while they serve their sentence are usually allowed to stay at lower-security prisons.


What Parents Should Know About Fentanyl (Accidental Exposures to Fentanyl)

Every parent should be worried about fentanyl. It’s showing up with increasing regularity in common street drugs. Unfortunately, the synthetic opioid is often missed with common street drugs because it’s a cheap way to increase the potency of other drugs. Fentanyl is 50 times stronger than plain heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine. In some cases, it’s also deadly. With more than 150 USA deaths linked to fentanyl daily, parents should be concerned about their children encountering this opioid.

It’s a Common Drug Additive

Illegal drug makers love fentanyl because they can make it cheaply. Since it increases the effectiveness of the drugs they sell, adding fentanyl to the mix allows them to charge more money. The problem is that if even just a little too much fentanyl is added to the mix, it becomes deadly. And drug manufacturers aren’t careful about how much fentanyl they lace into their products.

Fentanyl is being found with increasing regularity in pressed pills. It’s highly likely any of the following drugs could be laced with fentanyl:

  • Xanax
  • OxyContn
  • Hydrocodone

Your Child May Not Know They Are About to Consume Fentanyl

The increasing number of fatalities linked to fentanyl has made some teens and young adults wary of the opioid. Some try hard to avoid it. The problem is that there have been many instances where the person who suffered from a fentanyl overdose didn’t know the drugs they were using contained the product.

If you’re unable to curb your child’s drug habit, at least teach them how to use test strips that detect the presence of fentanyl. This drastically decreases the odds of them inadvertently suffering from a fentanyl overdose.

A Single Dose of Naloxone May Not Be Enough to Reverse an Overdose

The good news is that naloxone can help reverse a fentanyl overdose. The bad news is that a single dose may not be enough to complete the job. In most cases, it takes at least two doses of naloxone to stop the overdose.

The Sooner You Recognize the Signs of a Fentanyl Overdose, the Greater the Odds Become that Your Child Will Survive

A key component to surviving a fentanyl overdose is catching it and taking steps to reverse the process as quickly as possible.

Symptoms of a fentanyl overdose are:

  • Extreme nausea
  • Confusion
  • Repressed breathing
  • Constricted pupils
  • Choking sounds

In addition to administering naloxone, as soon as you realize your child is overdosing, you need to contact 911. EMTs are trained in dealing with fentanyl overdoses and have the supplies needed to reverse the process. The sooner your child is in the capable hands of a medical professional, the better their chances of survival become

Bereavement Leave in California

Bereavement is the time it takes a person to handle the passing of a loved one. It isn’t much time. It is literally just enough time to arrange for a funeral and to handle the immediate legal necessities connected to your loved one’s passing. Once the bereavement period has passed, you’ll have to return to work or arrange for personal time.

One of the nice things about working in California is that on January 1, 2023, a bereavement law went into effect. The law requires that any employer who has more than five employees must provide their employees with up to five days of bereavement time. This particular bereavement law is for the loss of a domestic partner, a close family member, or an extended family member.
In order to qualify for the five days of bereavement time, the employee must have been on the payroll for at least thirty days.

Things everyone should know about California’s bereavement laws:

  • The days don’t have to be used consecutively
  • The leave must be taken during the first three months of the person’s death
  • Employers aren’t required to pay their employees for bereavement time.
  • The employer is allowed to request proof of the loss.

If the bereavement time has passed and you still don’t feel able to return to work, you’ll have to sit down and discuss the situation with your employer. It’s possible that they’ll let you take a leave of absence, use some of your personal days, or even take your vacation days so you can deal with the loss.


Can I Be Arrested and Lose My Driver’s License for Speeding

The sight of blue lights flashing in the rearview mirror and the realization that you are going way above the posted speed limit causes everyone to break out in a cold sweat. The faster you’re going, the more likely it is that you’ll find yourself spontaneously worrying about things like, can I be arrested and lose my driver’s license for speeding in California?

Technically, the answer is no. Speeding by itself isn’t a criminal offense, but that doesn’t mean that a traffic stop that starts out as a speeding offense won’t end in an arrest.

The first thing the office is going to want to know is whether you’ve been drinking. They will make a quick assessment of this as soon as they approach your car and start speaking to you. If they smell alcohol or feel that you’re behaving like you’re under the influence, they will conduct a field sobriety test. If you fail, you’ll be arrested. If you’re convicted of a DUI in California, you will lose your driver’s license for a period of time. How long you’re driving privileges are revoked depends on the judge’s sentence and whether it’s your first DUI.

If the officer happens to see something illegal, such as a weapon or drug paraphernalia on your passenger seat, they can use this visual evidence as an excuse to search your entire car. If they find additional illegal items, you’ll be arrested.

One of the most common reasons for a person to be arrested after they’ve been pulled over for speeding is a bench warrant. After they pull you over, the police run a quick criminal background check. If this background check reveals that you have an outstanding bench warrant, you’ll be arrested and required to deal with whatever matter the bench warrant involves.

While you can’t be arrested for speeding in California, the police do have one trick up their sleeves. If they feel that your speeding or the manner you were driving was reckless. While not all reckless driving ticket result in an arrest, the officer does have the right to arrest you if they feel that you’re driving in a manner that’s a danger to society. In California, reckless driving is a misdemeanor. The first time you’re convicted of reckless driving, you could be sentenced to spend up to ninety days in a county jail and fined up to $1,000.


What Most People Are Arrested for in California

There are many different crimes a person can be charged with. Interestingly, there are some charges that no one ever seems to be charged with and other charges that the California courts handle every single day.

Here are the crimes that most people are arrested for.

Drug Related Charges

You could face many different types of charges if you’re caught with drugs, but all of them are lumped together as drug crimes.
Some people are arrested and charged with a drug-related offense because they were a person of interest in a police investigation, which ultimately turned up enough evidence to justify an arrest.

In other cases, the person makes a mistake, such as having drugs in plain sight during a traffic stop and getting charged with a crime.


Larceny, or as it’s also called, petty theft, is a common charge. While people commit larceny throughout the state, the largest concentration of larceny charges tends to be in areas that are struggling economically. The reason for this is that the average person steals because they’re desperate for money to help them cover their living expenses.

To be charged with larceny rather than a more serious burglary charge, the incident could not have involved the use of force, and you could not have used coercion during the crime. You’ll face significantly more serious charges if there is even a hint of violence.

Driving Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol

Despite all the warnings and public service announcements, DUIs are still a huge problem in California. If you’re caught driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you will be charged and arrested. It’s extremely difficult to fight a DUI charge. Once you’ve been convicted, you’ll have a criminal record, be unable to drive for a period of time, and face some heavy fines. It’s even possible that you’ll be sentenced to some jail time.

Homicide and Other Gun Related Charges

One of the interesting things you discover when you look at California’s current crime-related statistics is that when you compare the crime rate of 2021 to 2019, some crimes dropped. The number of robbery-related crimes showed significant change, dropping a full 15.8% in 2021. While the decrease in robberies was good, the increase in gun-related crimes, including homicides, was significantly more alarming. During that same time frame, homicides and aggravated assaults that involved the use of a firearm increased by 52% (homicides) and 64% (aggravated assaults.)

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Jaywalking is Legal Again

Did you know that you can legally jaywalk in California?

That’s right; you’re free to cross the road whenever you feel like it, even if you’re not in a crosswalk. You can even do so right in front of a police officer, and they won’t be able to stop you or issue a ticket. How cool is that?

You should know that this newfound freedom to jaywalk to your heart’s content does come with a catch. Jaywalking in California is legal, provided you’re able to do so in a manner that’s considered safe.

Jaywalking in California became legal in January of 2023 when California’s CVC 21955 went into effect. When you read through the law, you’ll discover that jaywalking is perfectly legal in California, provided that you’re not in a collision while you’re jaywalking. The idea is that you are expected to pay attention and use good judgment before you walk across the road. If there is a reasonable chance that you’re jaywalking could result in a collision, either with you, another car, or even a pole/sidewalk/mailbox/etc. You will be the one who gets into trouble.

If you’re caught jaywalking in a spot where your action could trigger a collision, you will be issued a ticket. The base cost of the ticket is $196, but there will also be state fees, local fees, and assessments added to the ticket, meaning that you’ll owe significantly more than $200.

Have you enjoyed your new jaywalking privileges yet?


The Danger of Fentanyl | Fentanyl Awareness

When fentanyl was first starting to generate some media attention, the synthetic opioid was a good thing. It was a popular and extremely effective method to treat extreme pain. Doctors commonly prescribed it post-surgery, and patients with advanced cancer often used it to help control their pain. When used in a medical setting and under close supervision, fentanyl is a good thing.

The problem is that illicitly manufactured fentanyl isn’t used in a medical setting.

Fentanyl is extremely popular amongst the manufacturers of illegal drugs because it’s similar to heroin but even more potent. It is extremely common for heroin, meth, and cocaine to be laced with fentanyl. The addition of fentanyl enhances the effect of the other drugs. According to narcotics experts, fentanyl is 50 times more potent than heroin. The addition of fentanyl makes the other drugs extremely popular on the street and allows dealers to charge a premium. The problem is that fentanyl also makes the drugs more dangerous.

The CDC estimates that 150 people suffer a fatal fentanyl overdose every single day.

The symptoms of a fentanyl overdose are:

  • Extreme nausea
  • Confusion
  • Repressed breathing
  • Constricted pupils
  • Choking sounds

If help is not received shortly after the first signs of a fentanyl overdose, the victim will lose consciousness and stop breathing. If they still don’t receive help, they will pass away. If you are near someone who has taken a suspected fentanyl overdose, calling the paramedics and dosing the victim with Narcan can help them survive the experience. According to LiveScience, Narcan is an effective treatment for fentanyl overdoses, but in 89% of the cases, more than one dose was required.

One of the reasons fentanyl is so dangerous is that some people don’t realize that they are using drugs that are laced with fentanyl or the fentanyl amount is higher than anticipated. The best way to detect the presence of fentanyl in drugs is to use fentanyl test strips which are relatively inexpensive and provide results in approximately five minutes. While the test strips are highly effective when determining if a supply of heroin or cocaine is laced with fentanyl, they won’t provide you with information about other popular and dangerous additives such as carfentanil.


Can I refuse to Perform a Sobriety Test?

You’ve been pulled over, and the police officer says that they suspect you’ve been drinking. They would like you to perform an immediate sobriety test so that they can determine if you’re officially driving while under the influence. At this point, some people meekly comply. Other people wonder if they have the right to refuse to take the sobriety test.

Strictly speaking, in California, you do have a legal right to refuse to perform a field sobriety test, but doing so may not be in your best interest. The problem with refusing to take the field sobriety test is that you could actually be giving the officer an excuse to arrest you so that they can perform a chemical test. In some cases, this is a good situation.

For example, if it’s been a long while since your last drink, it’s possible that your BAC will have decreased by the time the chemical test is administered, though this is rare. What is far more common is that someone who was not completely over the legal limit and who could have possibly passed a field sobriety test has more for the alcohol to be absorbed by the blood so that by the time the chemical test is administered, they have a significantly higher BAC than they did when they were originally pulled over.

By refusing to take the chemical test, you can be held in jail for a full forty-eight hours while you’re behavior is observed. You will also lose your driving privileges for a full year. It’s likely you’ll still be tried for DUI, and if you’re convicted, the sentence may be worse than what you’d have received had you simply submitted to the chemical test.

While the desire to refuse to take a sobriety test when you’re pulled over is perfectly natural, when all is said and done, it’s usually in your best interest to submit to the test.

What is the strangest field sobriety test you’ve encountered?