Gustine Police Department
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: "I got a notice telling me that I have a warrant. What does this mean?"
A: There are two types of warrants for persons. 1) Bench and 2) Arrest., 1) Bench Warrants
A Bench Warrant of arrest may be issued whenever a defendant fails to appear in court as required by law including, but not limited to, the following situations:
• If the defendant is ordered by a judge or magistrate to personally appear in
court at a specific time and place.
• If the defendant is released from custody on bail and is ordered by a judge
or magistrate, or other person authorized to accept bail, to personally appear
in court at a specific time and place.
• If the defendant is released from custody on his own recognizance and promises to
personally appear at court at a specific time and place.
• If the defendant is released from custody or arrest upon citation by a peace officer
or other person authorized to issue citations and the defendant has signed a
promise to appear in court at a specific time and place.
• If the defendant is authorized to appear by counsel and the court or
magistrate orders that the defendant personally appear in court at a specific
time and place.
• If an information charge or indictment has been filed in the superior court and
the court has fixed the date and place for the defendant personally to appear
for arraignment. The bench warrant may be served in any county in the
same manner as a warrant of arrest.
|2) Arrest Warrants |
A warrant of arrest may be issued when a complaint is filed with a magistrate charging a public offense, if the magistrate is satisfied from the the complaint that the offense charged has been committed and that there is reasonable ground to believe that the defendant has committed it, the magistrate shall issue a warrant for the arrest of the defendant.
• The warrant of arrest shall specify the name of the defendant or, if unknown,
the defendant may be designated therein by any name. It shall also state the
time of issuing it, and the city or county where it is issued, and shall be signed
by the magistrate issuing it with the title of his office and the name of the court
or other issuing agency.
• At the time of issuing a warrant of arrest, the magistrate shall fix the
amount of bail which in his judgment in accordance with the provisions
of section 1275 PC. (this section deals with
considerations the magistrate makes when determining the setting of
bail). The amount will be reasonable and sufficient for the appearance of
the defendant following his arrest, if the offense is bailable, and said
magistrate shall endorse upon said warrant a statement signed by him,
with the name of his office, dated at the county, city or town where it is
made to the following effect "The defendant is to be admitted to bail in the
sum of ------------ dollars". (Stating the amount).
In either case, if you have a warrant or your arrest, and you legally come into contact with a police officer, you may be subject to arrest. You could also be contacted by a law enforcement officer and served with a warrant and/or arrested. Once in custody, you may be given the opportunity to post bail or be processed to court usually within 48 hours.
Q:"I'm getting stopped by the police, what do I do next?"
A: First of all, you're supposed to pull over to the right-hand edge or curb of the highway, clear of an intersection, and stop. Some people get confused and stop in the lane of traffic, creating a very dangerous situation. Others make left turns into private driveways or businesses, still others continue on their way, thinking the sirens aren't for them. None of these courses of action are appropriate, and could lead to additional violations being charged.
After you're stopped, the Officer will make contact with you, during which time you should be advised why you are being stopped. You are required to furnish the Officer with your driver's license pursuant to sections 12951(a) and 12951(b) of the California Vehicle Code [CVC], as well as your vehicle registration card (or a copy of that document). NOTE: You should NEVER keep your original Certificate of Title in your car. That is your proof of ownership of the vehicle. It does not validate your registration, and if someone else gains possession of it, they will then be the position to claim ownership.
You may simply be warned for the offense(s) you committed, or issued a citation. If you are issued a citation, the Officer will explain what you're being cited for and then ask you to sign the citation. The citation will have all of the pertinent information on it, including: the date and time of the violation, your name, the offense(s) you're being cited for, the location of the offense(s), the Officer's name, and applicable court dates and information. Signing the citation IS NOT AN ADMISSION OF GUILT. It is ONLY A PROMISE TO APPEAR. Should you refuse to sign the citation, you are subject to arrest pursuant to 40302(b) CVC and your car could be towed pursuant to (22651(h)(1) CVC.
Q:"I've been involved in an accident. What am I required to do?"A: Accidents are classified as either Property Damage Only (PDO), Injury or Fatal.
Referencing section 20001 CVC . Under sub-section (a), the driver of any vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury to any person other than the driver, or in death of any person, shall immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the accident and shall fulfill the requirements of sections 20003(a) and 20004 CVC.
Sections 20003 and 20004 describe what a driver must do at the scene. Section 20003 is entitled Duty upon Injury or Death. In essence, any driver involved in an accident resulting in injury or death must provide his or her name, current address and vehicle registration information to the person struck or the driver or occupants of any vehicle involved in the collision, and shall give this information to any traffic or police officer at the scene of the accident. The driver also shall render to any person injured in the accident reasonable assistance, including transporting, or making arrangements for transporting any injured person to a physician, surgeon or hospital for treatment.... There is more to this section, and this is by no means the full text, just the basics. Section 20004 is titled Duty upon Death. It deals with the issue of no traffic or police officer at the scene of a fatal accident and requires the driver of any vehicle involved to report the accident to the nearest CHP office or duly authorized police authority and submit with the report the information required by Section 20003. (20002 CVC) is titled Duty Where Property Damaged, and deals with Property damage only (PDO) accidents. the driver of any vehicle involved in an accident resulting in damage to any property, including vehicles, shall immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the accident and do either of the following:
1. Locate and notify the owner or person in charge of that property of the name and address of the driver and owner of the vehicle involved, and upon being requested, present his or her driver's license and vehicle registration to the other person. The information presented shall include current residence address of the driver and of the registered owner.
2. Leave in a conspicuous place on the vehicle or other property damaged, a written notice giving the name and address of the driver and of the owner of the vehicle involved and a statement of the circumstances thereof and shall without unnecessary delay notify the police or CHP.
3. The above rules also apply to a roll away (runaway) vehicle situation. Again, the above is not the full text, just the basic information.
Also, the exchanging of insurance information at an accident is mandatory, per Section 16025 CVC. A lot of accidents are caused by drivers speeding (i.e. 40 MPH in a posted 30 MPH zone) or driving at a speed unsafe for conditions (i.e. raining and foggy, with heavy traffic). Inattention (changing radio stations, picking up dropped items, etc.) plays an "associated factor" in many accidents.
Do I have to wear seat belts? And when does a child have to be in an approved Safety Seat?
A: Wearing seat belts is mandatory (27315(d)(1) CVC). As a driver you can be stopped and cited if you and/or your passengers 16 years of age or older aren't wearing a seat belt. There doesn't have to be another violation associated with this for the officer to stop you (prior to 1993), there did have to be another violation, but this is now considered a "primary" violation).
The law regarding child safety seats has changed recently. Per 27360 CVC, no driver shall transport a child in a motor vehicle "...without providing and properly securing the child in a child passenger restraint system meeting applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards unless the child is
at least one of the following:
(1) Six years of age or older. (2) Weighs 60 pounds or more. The fines associated with the above violations have also increased, in some cases up to $250 for multiple violations
|Can I tint all of the windows on my vehicle?|
A: No, you cannot. (26708 and 26708.5 CVC) deal with tinted windows. As a rule, any windows which are to the rear of the driver's door/window may be tinted. However, if you tint the back (rear) window, you must have both a left and right hand side mirror.
How does an officer recognize a drunk driver?
A: An officer will recognize a drunk driver by the driver's impaired driving ability. Impaired driving can be as obvious as a vehicle speeding, running a stop sign, weaving/crossing over lanes, or driving without lights. Less obvious signs of an impaired driver are erratic movements, over-correcting turns, stopping before/past limit lines at controlled intersections, long signaling before turns, or poor depth perception.
What happens when I am stopped for driving while under the influence?
A: If you have been stopped and are suspected of driving while under the influence, the officer will be looking for objective symptoms of intoxication. Some of these objective symptoms are the odor of an alcoholic beverage, bloodshot or watery eyes, slurred speech or unsteady balance.
If the officer notices these objective symptoms, the officer will then administer field sobriety tests. The officer will be looking at basic coordination, balance, and concentration. A P.A.S. (Preliminary Alcohol Screening) Test may also be administered in the field.
If you have passed the field sobriety tests, the fficer at his/her discretion can call a taxi, have a friend to drive you home, or let you drive away.
What happens if I have been arrested for suspicion of driving while under the influence of alcohol?
A: If you have been arrested for suspicion of drunk driving, you are required by California State Law to submit to a chemical test to determine the amount of alcohol in your blood (implied consent law - 23157 CVC(23157 (a) (1) ). The three tests that are offered are:
If you select a blood test a nurse or phlebotomist will draw a blood sample and the sample will be analyzed at a lab on a later date. If you select a urine test you will be required to give two samples in a 20 minute period. The 1st sample is used to void the bladder and it is discarded. After a period of 20 minutes, a 2nd sample will be collected and analyzed for alcohol at a later date. If you select a breath test, you will be required to blow into a breathalyzer machine twice to complete the test. The results of this test are available immediately. Should you refuse or fail to complete a test, your privilege to drive will be suspended for one (1) year by the Department of Motor Vehicles. After the testing, if your test results show you have a blood alcohol content of .08 percent or more, your license will be taken away on the spot. An Administrative "PER SE" (in and of itself) order of suspension 13353.2 CVC(13353.2 (a) ) is given. This is a driver's license suspension which is issued by the officer at the time of arrest. (You will be given a 30-day temporary driving permit to allow for review and appeal of your case to the DMV). The suspension becomes effective 30 days after it is issued.
- urine or
- breath. One or more of these tests may not be available due to special circumstances (i.e. injury to driver, etc.)
|What happens if I am found guilty of DUI?|
A: If you are found guilty in court, fines and penalties will be imposed on you. These fines and penalties will be determined by the court and can range from one (1) year in County Jail to four (4) years in State Prison.
1.On your first conviction (misdemeanor), you will be fined $400-$1000, and you may be required to serve up to six months in jail with three to five years of probation. Attendance in a drug/alcohol treatment program and community service may be required.
2.On a second (2nd) conviction you will have to pay the same fines, spend more time in jail (90 days to one year), and lose your license for up to eighteen (18) months. A judge may require attendance for over a year in a drug/alcohol treatment program.
3.On a third (3rd) conviction within seven (7) years, you could go to jail for two (2) to four (4) years, and fines could be as high as $5000.
4.The fourth (4th) conviction is an automatic felony.
If the drunk driving charge involves an injury or a fatality, you will be arrested on felony charges. A felony conviction will bring you the same or higher fines, a longer license suspension, attendance in a drug/alcohol treatment program and a longer jail sentence
Q: What are the rules of the Road for Bicycles?
A: One rider per bicycle! Unless of course there is another seat, such as a child seat. Carrying passengers on handlebars and pegs is illegal. Bicycle riders must use hand signals when turning or braking suddenly. Bicycles are responsible for following the same laws as cars. This means obeying all posted signals, signs, and riding on the right side of the road.
Q: Why is there a curfew law for juveniles?
A: The City of Gustine recognizes the youth of the city as our most precious resource. The purpose of this ordinance is to protect the youth of our community, reduce juvenile crime, and reinforce parental authority. One significant portion in the curfew ordinance holds parents accountable for their children's actions. A state law enacted in 1994 allows cities to recoup the law enforcement costs associated with the detention and transportation of juveniles who violate curfew laws.
What can I do about cars and trucks parked in front of my house?
Streets are considered public parking, therefore, vehicles parked on a city street are allowed as long as they have current and valid registration and are in operating condition and does not appear to be abandoned. If a vehicle meets one or more of the above criteria and has been marked and tagged with a red warning sticker and it has not been moved, it will be considered abandoned and can be towed. This also includes the vehicles of the property owner.
What should I do if I see someone spraying graffiti or committing some other minor violation?
If you see vandalism or another crime in progress and also see the people committing the crime you can call 911. Give the dispatcher the location, the suspect information/description and the type of tool used. If you find a crime has been committed, and have no suspects in the area, you can call the non-emergency phone number 854-1010.
What can I do about speeding vehicles on my street?
To report a speeding vehicle in your neighborhood, get the vehicle license plate number and a vehicle description. If the problem is not a single vehicle, but an ongoing problem with multiple vehicles, you can contact communications at 854-1010 and request extra patrol checks in that area.
In my neighborhood, sometimes I see things that are out of place or unusual or people who are "suspicious" Can you tell me what I should do?
If you see something "suspicious" or unusual in your neighborhood you can contact Gustine Police Department at 854-1010.