In California, there are different types of violations that can be committed by individuals or entities and that can affect safety, health, or the environment. These violations can be classified according to their severity and frequency and can lead to different legal consequences. In this blog, we will explain what types of violations are considered serious or repeated in California and what penalties they may entail.
Serious violations are those that involve a substantial violation of a legal rule and that create a reasonable probability of causing death or serious injury to a person or the environment. These violations can be committed with intent, that is, with the intention to cause damage, or with negligence, that is, with lack of care or caution. Some examples of serious violations are:
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or speeding, and causing a traffic accident with fatalities or serious injuries.
- Manufacture, possess, transport, or use explosives, firearms, toxic or radioactive substances, or any other dangerous material without authorization or for illegal purposes.
- Contaminate the air, water, or soil with chemical, biological, or residual substances that may cause damage to human health or ecosystems.
Serious violations can be punished with high fines, which can reach up to $250,000, or prison sentences, which can range from 6 months to 15 years, depending on the severity and circumstances of the case.
Repeated violations are those that are committed repeatedly or continuously and that show persistent or habitual behavior that fails to comply with the law. These infractions can be committed with intent or negligence and can be of a different nature, depending on the area they affect. Some examples of repeated violations are:
- Evade payment of taxes, fees, or fines, or submit false or incomplete returns, systematically or intentionally.
- Infringing copyrights, trademarks, patents, or other intellectual property rights, or engaging in piracy, counterfeiting, or unfair competition on a regular or massive basis.
- Failure to comply with safety, hygiene, or occupational risk prevention regulations or violating workers’ rights, repeatedly or negligently.
Repeated violations may be punished with progressive fines, which may increase depending on the number or duration of the violations, or with precautionary measures, which may involve the suspension, revocation, or closure of the offending activity or establishment.