Misdemeanors account for about 80 percent of the criminal dockets in California and around the country. Misdemeanors are minor crimes punished by fines, probation or short jail sentences, but the way these sanctions are handed down has been criticized by civil rights groups and criminal justice researchers. Much has been written in recent years about sentencing disparities between white and black defendants in felony drug cases, but studies reveal that these imbalances are even more pronounced in misdemeanor cases.
Over 90 percent of residents in California and the rest of the nation who are older than 16 years old have a license to drive. It is not unusual for them to have multiple vehicles registered in their names.
A person caught by California authorities driving without a license issued by the state could face penalties ranging from a fine to jail time. The exact circumstances determine the severity of the punishment.
On Aug. 19, a California man was arrested after he and several other drivers performed a series of donuts on the top deck of the Bay Bridge in San Francisco. The "sideshow," an informal performance of automobile stunts, brought traffic to a standstill. Several videos of the incident were posted on social media.
A California man who was too drunk to drive was arrested on Oct. 22 for allegedly making his pre-teen nephew get behind the wheel of his car. The incident occurred in Port Hueneme at approximately 2:45 p.m.
Some California drivers who face fines for traffic violations might soon have another alternative to forking over the money. Advocates for motorists in Solano County have reached a settlement with the Superior Court that would allow people who owe fines for traffic tickets they can't afford to pay to pay in installments or request community service instead of a fine.
California lawmakers are considering a bill that would base the fees associated with a traffic violations on the person's income. According to the state senator who introduced the bill, the state's large fines for minor traffic violations can cause many people to go into debt as well as lose their driver's license and their job if they can no longer get to work.
Many Californians are tempted to simply pay for their traffic tickets and to move on without challenging them. Doing so may cause problems with your driver's license, however, as points may be assessed against your driving record. This could potentially impact your privilege to drive.
California residents who find themselves facing charges for public intoxication may be interested in considering how their case might be viewed in criminal court. A number of elements must usually be met in order for a public intoxication charge to be viable, and if one is not, then a legal defense could be raised that might potentially lead to a beneficial outcome for the charged individual.
At first glance, it appears that getting a speeding ticket in California will not be that expensive. The base fine for going up to 15 miles per hour over the speed limit is just $35, and the base fine for going more than 15 miles over the speed limit is $70. However, this is misleading because the state tacks on a variety of fines and surcharges.