Providing people with equal opportunity is something we believe in strongly here in the United States, which is why we have passed state and federal laws that protect a person's right to fair treatment by the law. On occasion though, actions are taken that violate these rights. And as our more frequent readers know, it's these violations that can lead to civil lawsuits.
In the United States, we consider justice to be blind. We believe that if you do something that is against the law, you should be punished for it regardless of who you are or your ethnicity. It's this belief that gives people trust in the criminal justice system and makes them believe that justice will be fair every time.
Did you know that in some parts of California, it's considered against the law to not pay court fees? Take for example Orange County where failing to pay court fees can result in a misdemeanor charge and the penalties associated with it. This creates a problem for many low-income individuals because the penalty for failing to pay court fees can be imprisonment, which is a penalty that can cost an individual much more than their freedom. It can cost them their job.
Have you ever run up behind someone on the street, calling their name, only to find out it wasn't the person you thought it was? It's an honest mistake that has probably happened to many of our Pleasanton readers. Usually in these situations, you both walk away from the situation -- no harm done.
In the last 10 years, there have been significant changes in the laws surrounding juvenile offenders and how they can be sentenced. A California inmate's release last week is among the first signs that these laws are being utilized.
There are a lot of people in California as well as across the nation who are stunned when a police officer is arrested for allegedly committing a crime. That's because most people believe that because police are sworn to uphold the law, they should know better or simply wouldn't take the risk of attempting to commit a crime. But when you think about it, police officers are people too and just as we do, they too can make mistakes that can leave them on the wrong side of the law.
Prior to the passing of Proposition 47 -- the piece of legislation that reduced some property and drug crimes from felonies to misdemeanors -- it was difficult to know how much of an impact it was going to have on California. All anyone knew was that it was likely going to lead to the release of hundreds of prisoners who could have their sentences commuted because of the legislation.
When most kids reach a certain age, they begin to question whether they have to attend school every day. For some, the question turns into the decision to skip a couple of days of school without their parent's permission. But while this action might seem innocent enough to the student, the law considers it anything but. In fact, unexcused absences and truancies are considered infractions in the eyes of the law; and if a student racks up enough, they as well as their parents could face prosecution and penalties.
If your child has been arrested, you might have no idea what to do or where to turn. Juveniles can face very harsh penalties under California law, and it is important that you talk to a lawyer to ensure you understand exactly what your child is up against.
Few people in California expect that the law will stay unchanged for too long. That's because most people know that societal and political pressures are huge driving forces when it comes to bringing in new legislation and casting aside the old.