Is it a Crime to Witness One, and Not Report it?

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It is a crime to file a false police report, but it is not a crime to witness one, and not report it happen. It might come as a surprise for some people to know that someone is not obligated to report a crime to the police if they have witnessed one or know about one, though it could affect their conscience. Nonetheless, if you witnessed a crime and you do not report it, you would not get in trouble.

The reason most people are not obligated to report a crime if they know about it is because it can be risky. By reporting the crime, they are getting involved. Depending on the situation, it can cost them time, money, and even safety. Their lives can be put into danger if they get involved; they could be threatened by the suspect or those who side with the suspect.

There are people in certain professions who must report crimes they know about or suspect. People who are required to report crimes are those who are health care and medical professionals, psychiatrists, counselors, and educators. For example, if a young child comes to school every day with a new bruise and an unclear explanation of where those bruises came from, the teacher may suspect the kid is being abused at home. If so, they must alert the police to investigate. If they neglect this duty and the well-being of the child, they too can be punished by the law.

Hopefully you are never in that position where you witness a crime or know about it, and question yourself as to whether you should report it to the police or not. Legally, you have no obligation. Morally that is ultimately on you to decide as to whether you can spare getting involved.

When the Police Don’t Need a Search Warrant

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Under the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution, people are protected against unreasonable searches and seizures conducted by law enforcement. This means that the police cannot conduct a search, or seize anything, unless they either hold a valid search warrant executed by a judge, or the search falls under an exception to the requirement of needing a warrant. Here are instances when a search warrant is not needed:

  • During consented searches, where the individual allowed the police to search and possibly seize items rather than asking the police to come back with a warrant.
  • During inspection searches, like those done at international borders.
  • During an emergency situation where the police have strong evidence that harm or damage can be prevented immediately, or when the police would be able to catch a suspect immediately.
  • During a lawful arrest, and the police look for weapons that can be used against them or they look for evidence that can be destroyed, such as a computer in the process of erasing all of its data, which is pertinent to their arrest and case.
  • During a lawful search and an incriminating item is in plain view.
  • During a stop and frisk search while the person is being temporarily detained.
  • During a vehicle inspection where the police have probable cause that there is evidence in or on the vehicle.
  • The court and the police are supposed to abide by their authority and boundaries in order to conduct lawful searches. If a person denies the police a search, they must come back with a warrant, no questions asked. The police will approach a judge to request a search warrant, and they must prove to the judge that they have probable cause and reason to conduct this search. If approved, the search warrant will list specifically where the police may search, and what items. The officers cannot search any place that is not listed on the warrant, nor may they seize anything not related to the warrant.

    If a person believes they were searched unlawfully, they can consult with a lawyer to figure out if they have a case or not.

    You Will Not Believe These are Actually California Laws

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    It can be hard to believe statements like “men who have mustaches are forbidden from kissing women” and “no driver-less vehicle may exceed 60 miles per hour” are laws in California. They leave you wondering why it is even a law, as absurd as it sounds but believe it. They are written in the law books. These are not the only weird, ridiculous laws California has. California has a whole long list of them. Here are some of our favorites to poke fun at:

    A person who detonates a nuclear device in a city will have to pay a $500 fine. $500, is that it? Nuclear devices can be catastrophically devastating.

    It is illegal for animals to mate in public within 1,500 feet of a church or school. We want to know who gets in trouble if animals are caught mating in public within those boundaries, especially if they are wild animals like 2 squirrels. Are the squirrels arrested?

    In Dana Point, you cannot use your own restroom if the window is open. So, you will just need to hold your breath until you are done with your business before you can open the window to let the bathroom air out a bit.

    In Carmel, a man must not go out in public if he is wearing a jacket and pants that do not match. To make things a little more fair, women cannot wear high heels. The fashion police may serve citations to the men and women who violate these ordinances!

    Sorry kiddos, but you cannot eat ice cream while you are standing on the sidewalk. We guess you will need to get lucky and find a chair inside the shop, or stand in the street!

    There is a long list of other insane laws in California. Unfortunately we too are unsure as to why exactly many these are still laws. Many are not enforced anymore, like telling people they cannot sing Happy Birthday in public because it is copyrighted, but some still are. Plus, you never know how your luck will turn out or how a police officer is. Maybe they will fine a woman for wearing high heels. Either way, it is helpful to be aware of some of these absurd laws, not to mention it can be pretty entertaining to read about.

    Need a Warrant Check in Santa Ana?

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    It is not uncommon for a warrant to be issued for someone’s arrest without that person actually knowing. Eventually, the person gets wind of this warrant somehow, and can begin to panic. No one wants to get arrested, and finding out that law enforcement have been looking to arrest you can be terrifying.

    If you were in this position, would you know what to do? If you are like most people, your answer is probably no. Luckily, there are people who can help in this sort of situation. You can talk to the people here at Santa Ana Bail Bonds. We will be more than happy to help you with a warrant.

    Santa Ana Bail Bonds provides free warrant checks for everyone. All we need to see if someone has a warrant is the person’s name, birthday, and the county where the warrant was possibly issued. If that county allows third parties to perform warrant checks, we will be able to see if there is a warrant for your arrest.

    If there is no warrant out for your arrest, then that is all there is to it. You can about your life as usual. However, if there is a warrant out for your arrest, do not panic. We can help you by getting a bail bond ready to go. We will fill out as much as the paperwork as we can before your turn yourself in. Then, a bail agent will accompany you when you turn yourself in. as you are getting booked into the system, we can finish filling out the paperwork with any information, and post your bail right away.

    With our help, you will spend as little time in jail as possible. There is no reason to not call Santa Ana Bail Bonds if you think there is a warrant for your arrest. All warrant checks and consultations are free at Santa Ana Bail Bonds, so talk to an agent today.

    Strange Laws from Around the US

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    As many people are aware, not every law is a good law. There are some very strange and obscure laws out there. Every single state in the country has some weird law that would make a person wonder why it even exists. Here are a few examples:

  • Whistling while underwater is prohibited in West Virginia.
  • In Maine, you may not step out of a plain that is currently in flight.
  • In Delaware, it is illegal to fly over any body of water unless one is caring sufficient amounts of food and drink.
  • Prisoners in Louisiana who hurt themselves can end up serving an additional 2 years in jail.
  • Women in Vermont have to get permission from their husband in order to wear false teeth.
  • It is illegal to teach others what polygamy in Mississippi.
  • These are just a sampling of weird laws from around the country. For something a little closer to home, check out some of these weird California laws.

    • Women may not drive in a house coat.
    • Animals are banned from mating publicly within 1,500 feet of a tavern, school, or place of worship.
    • Bathhouses are illegal.
    • In Baldwin Park, nobody is allowed to ride a bicycle in a swimming pool.
    • Blythe residents are not allowed to wear cowboys unless they own more than 2 cows.

    As you can see, there are strange laws all over the US. It doesn’t matter what state a person lives in, there is undoubtedly some bizarre law that makes no sense. Luckily, most law enforcement agencies would not arrest someone for breaking these weird laws, although it could lead to being a great story later in life.

    Beware of Scams in the Modern Age

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    In the age of modern technology, it is important to be wary of scams used to gain private information from one of your accounts or devices. This sensitive information can be used to take money from the victim without him or her even knowing.

    There are several different ways someone can gain access to a person’s account or device. Some of the more common ways are:

    • Sending malicious emails. A favorite tactic among scammers is to send an email that disguises itself as being from someone in the target’s contact list. The email will usually say something along the lines of “Hey, check this out” followed by a link. Upon clinking the link, the victim grants the virus access to the computer. The virus can then grab whatever it wants, and will also send itself to everyone on the victim’s contact list.
    • Sending malicious texts. The victim will receive a text message, making some claim that a balance is overdue on some account, and may request that the person open a link to a website to pay the balance. The text could also ask for account information to verify that the victim is who they claim to be. Upon doing so, the victim grants the scammer access to the account.
    • Phone scam. For phone scams, the scammer calls an unsuspecting person and claims to be a representative from some company or law enforcement agency. They will tell the intended victim that money is owed, and it needs to be paid right away or a warrant will be issued for the victim’s arrest. It is a common scare tactic. The idea is to get the victim so freaked out that they no longer think straight. If a person receives a call like this, they should hang up right away. If they are truly concerned that there may be an issue, contact the company or law enforcement agency that supposedly called. This ensures that the real company or agency is actually reached, not someone claiming to be from them.

    The best thing to do in all of these cases, is to stop and think. You should never click on a link unless you are completely sure that you can trust the source of the link. The case of emails, check to see the actual email address that sent the message. You may find that even though it says it came from someone you know, it actually came from a random address.

    If you are unsure if something came from a friend or not, simply ask the friend through some other means, not replying to the email or text that sent the questionable link. Your friend may have no idea what you are talking about, which tells you the message was a scam.

    Another important note, is that no government or law enforcement agency will require people to pay fines or debts with money transfers or store bought cards. Scammers prefer these methods of payment since it is harder for the victim to get the money back once it is sent away.

    Whenever you receive a message that seems strange, or a phone call that you can’t quite believe, question it. Take a step back and think your next move out carefully. It can save you a lot of trouble and headaches later on.