Bigger & Harman, APC - January 2020

Toll-Free (661) 859-1177 Se Habla Español www.bakersfieldtraffictickets.com HARMAN CALIFORNIA TRAFFIC DEFENSE ATTORNEYS , APC BIGGER

DAILY

THE

DRIVER Attorneys Defending Your Right to the Road

JANUARY 2020

GOODBYE 2010s

LESSONS FROM THE LAST DECADE

Another year — and another decade — is in the books. I hope you had a fantastic end to 2019, and your 2020 is off to a good start. For me, the new year is usually an invitation to look toward the future and plan the road ahead. But with the 2010s coming to a close, I can’t help but look back on the last 10 years and the changes they brought. Obviously, many changes occurred on a global scale, especially where social media is concerned. In 2010, we were already complaining about how much these sites were invading everyday life, and most of us weren’t even using our smartphones to access Facebook at that point! Nowadays I hardly know anyone who still uses an actual computer to check their feed — nearly everything is done using phones these days. And that’s not entirely a bad thing. I go back and forth on this change. On the one hand, it’s nice to be interconnected with loved ones no matter how far away they are from you. As someone whose family lives in Michigan, I’m eternally grateful I don’t live in an era where we’d have to communicate by snail mail or even landlines for that matter. Still, our dependence on these devices is more than a little concerning. Having the whole digital world in your pocket makes it very difficult to focus on the real one. Still, I’ll admit life would have been far more convenient for me in 2010 with the apps and tech that exist today. Ten years ago, I was a solo practitioner with a little office and no employees. I had to do everything from fielding phone calls to fixing the fax machine, and things were hectic, to say the least. Sure, I now have the pressure any boss feels to take care of their employees and make payroll, but I far prefer that to a one-man show. The camaraderie alone makes the growth of this firm worthwhile. We even got rid of the landline fax machine for good! And, of course,

over the past 10 years, I had the opportunity to grow as a lawyer — something I wouldn’t have done as well without Paul. Early on in our partnership, several traffic courts in the area began taking a much harsher stance on even minor offenses, vastly increasing the number of cases that went to trial. The result was a lot of work for very little pay as Paul and I did our best to

“THROUGH THESE TRIALS BY FIRE, PAUL AND I BECAME SHARPER LAWYERS AND A STRONGER TEAM.”

find novel and creative ways to vigorously defend our clients. In the moment, it slowed our firm’s growth due to the sheer amount of time and resources we had to spend reinventing strategies to find success. But, as I said in the first edition of this newsletter, iron sharpens iron. Through these trials by fire, Paul and I became sharper lawyers and a stronger team. Being able to bounce strategies off one another and help prep each other for cases was invaluable. I’m not sure how I could have summited this hurdle as a solo practitioner. So, it’s with gratitude that I look back on the last 10 years. It was a winding journey to get here, and the road ahead will likely continue to have its ups and downs. But, if there’s one thing that hasn’t changed for me in the last 10 years, it’s my love of a thrilling drive.

Happy New Year,

–Mark Bigger

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NOW YOU SEE THEM ... THE WORLD’S TINIEST ANIMALS

the world. At night, they climb high into the trees to sleep — though, for them, this might only mean a foot or so off the ground. Just like their larger counterparts, the pygmy leaf chameleon uses its tongue to capture its prey. TINIEST MAMMAL: ETRUSCAN SHREW At an average of 3.5 centimeters long and weighing about 2 grams, the Etruscan shrew is the smallest living terrestrial mammal by mass. These timid creatures aren’t keen on being startled. In response to sudden noises, they’ve been known to jump, faint, and even drop dead. Don’t be fooled by their small stature though; relative to their body size, their brains are larger than most creatures (even humans), and shrews have a higher metabolic rate than any other animal. Because of this, they must eat 80–90% of their body weight in food each day. Of course, these are only the smallest known animals in their respective categories. As scientists and conservationists continue to explore remote parts of the world, it’s likely they’ll uncover many more natural wonders.

Often, it’s the big animals in the room — er, forest — that get all the attention. But a look at their smaller counterparts reveals a bustling world of fascinating creatures. From reptiles no larger than your fingernail to tiny primates that only come out at night, these animals are proof that size is not a limitation. Jumping from tree to tree, Madame Berthe’s mouse lemur is a tiny ball of nocturnal energy. At 3.6 inches long and weighing in at just an ounce, this is the world’s smallest known primate. First seen about 20 years ago in western Madagascar, it was named for charismatic conservationist and primatologist Madame Berthe Rakotosamimanana. While its body may be small, its large round eyes help it see in the dark, allowing it to catch insects TINIEST PRIMATE: MADAME BERTHE’S MOUSE LEMUR

for food. Found only in Kirindy Mitea National Park in western Madagascar, this species is identified as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources.

TINIEST REPTILE: PYGMY LEAF CHAMELEON The pygmy leaf chameleon also calls Madagascar home, but at half an inch long at birth, it is much tinier than its primate neighbor and not much bigger than an ant. These reptiles are the smallest in

SUSPENDED LICENSE?

HERE’S HOW TO STAY ON THE ROAD

REQUESTING A HIGHER POINT COUNT FOR CLASS A DRIVERS Truck drivers are on the road much more than the average driver. The DMV Hearing Officer is required to make allowances for high mileage when Class A drivers face a suspension for too many points. Many of our Class A drivers have gone for years without points then suddenly receive three tickets in a 12-month span and face a suspension. We have had the privilege of representing those drivers in front of the DMV, and in many circumstances, they not only avoided the suspension, but also avoided any kind of probation on their driving privileges. Bigger & Harman can assist you with a DMV NOTS hearing, fighting traffic tickets, and obtaining a restricted driver’s license in the Central Valley and across California. Give us a call at (661) 859-1177. Se habla español: (661) 349-9755.

A suspended license can upend your life even if you’re not a Commercial Driver. Suddenly getting to and from work or school becomes a major hurdle, loved ones who depend on you for transportation have to look elsewhere, and in an emergency, you might find yourself stranded. But if you do drive for a living, your license is your livelihood. Here is what you need to know to protect it. (NOTS) “Order of Suspension/Probation,” your license is not yet suspended. Upon receiving this notice, you have a very short window (10 days) to request a DMV NOTS hearing. This gives you a chance to remove points from your motor vehicle driving record and keep your license. While not required, hiring an expert traffic attorney to represent you at this hearing gives you the best chance at a favorable outcome. If you’re already suspended, it’s time to think about getting a restricted license. Under certain circumstances, an interview with DMV maybe granted even if the 10-day window was missed. Please contact us for further details. PREVENTING SUSPENSION If you’ve received a Negligent Operator Treatment System

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PUT DOWN THE PHONE DISTRACTED DRIVING IS NOT WORTH THE RISK

INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE MISSION

Thanks to your referrals, we were able to give $680 to fight human trafficking. To learn more about International Justice Mission, please go to IJM.com.

MISSION:

To protect the poor from violence by rescuing victims, bringing the criminals to justice, restoring survivors to safety and strength, and helping local law enforcement build a safe future that lasts. Our long-term vision is to rescue millions, protect half a billion, and make justice for the poor unstoppable.

We live in an increasingly online world, making phones and other smart devices invaluable to keep us in the know. Whether you want to keep up a conversation with a loved one or update a coworker on your ETA, it can be tempting to send a quick text while on the road. But doing so can get you in serious legal trouble, or worse. WHAT’S LEGAL AND WHAT’S NOT How much phone use qualifies as distracted driving? Well, according to the CA Vehicle Code, a communication device can be used if mounted and intended for hands-free or voice-activated control. You’re allowed to use the device “with the motion of a single swipe or tap of the driver’s finger.” Any more contact will result in a ticket. WHAT COMMERCIAL DRIVERS SHOULD KNOW Class A Drivers should be even more aware of consequences for a cell phone ticket. A cell phone violation for a commercial driver is considered a serious offense even though it does not carry a point. Two serious offenses on your record activates an automatic 60 day suspension. WHAT’S AT STAKE On the surface, California’s penalty for illegal cellphone use while driving may seem small. First-time offenders face a base fine of $20 — but, when you add in the county and state penalties, surcharges, and fees, the amount is closer to $160. Subsequent offenses will cost you even more. Of course, these fines are far from the worst-case scenario. According to the National Safety Council, 1 out of 4 car accidents in the United States is caused by texting and driving. Don’t take the risk— save a life. Fighting a distracted driving ticket is difficult, usually requiring irrefutable evidence that you were not using or even holding your phone. However, in certain situations, such as when you might be named responsible for an accident, disputing the charge may be worth it. Consulting a qualified traffic attorney will help you understand your legal options.

PUZZLE

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, APC HARMAN CALIFORNIA TRAFFIC DEFENSE ATTORNEYS BIGGER

Toll-Free (661) 859-1177 Se Habla Español www.bakersfieldtraffictickets.com

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1701 Westwind Drive Suite 203 Bakersfield, CA 93301

INSIDE THIS ISSUE

Where Were You 10 Years Ago? ............ PAGE 1

The World’s Tiniest Animals ................... PAGE 2

Options After License Suspension ........ PAGE 2

The Truth About Texting and Driving ... PAGE 3

The Tech of 2020 ...................................... PAGE 4

Have a ticket in California? Give us a call, and we’ll help you out! Regardless of the location, we can point you in the right direction free of charge!

Here we are in the future. We may not have flying cars yet, but 2020 promises to be an exciting year for multiple tech industries. Judging by predicted developments for this year, this new decade could see many of our sci-fi fantasies come to life. Here are a few of the most promising trends we have our eyes on. EXPANDED 5G ACCESS While the long-coveted 5G mobile network became a reality in 2019, it was by no means widespread. Now, with many cellphone companies upgrading their equipment at the beginning of this year, it’s likely the average American will soon have access to this latest generation of mobile internet. If it’s anything like the rollout of 4G, we may not see much of a difference in our connectivity right away. However, as access increases, 5G devices will become more common, paving the way for some very high-speed experiences in 2021 and beyond. EXTENDED REALITY Extended reality, or XR, is an umbrella term covering virtual reality headsets, Instagram filters, augmented reality devices, and more, and it is expected to become a household term this year. While price and hardware limitations have made this technology little more than a TECH OF TOMORROW WHAT’S COMING IN 2020?

novelty until now, interest in XR is burgeoning in major industries like architecture and education. The line between digital and physical worlds may truly start to blur this year. MEDICAL IMPLANTS While devices like pacemakers and artificial hips have been around for decades, a new generation of implanted care devices has begun to emerge. For example, Stimwave’s micro-stimulators made a splash in the medical world last year when early tests showed they were an effective means of pain relief. As an alternative to drugs, these wireless implants block pain signals using an electrical field. This breakthrough alone may bring an end to the opioid epidemic. No one can say for certain what the future may hold, but with so many promising new technologies being implemented and improved upon today, the sky’s the limit for what we might see tomorrow.

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