It is the end of the year and for many that is a time to assess one’s financial situation. For many clients, it seems like child support debt is something they can never “erase.” Unlike many debts, bankruptcy does not “zero” out your child support debt. In fact, the public policy towards collecting child support…

This area of law is unique in that it requires one to make “business decisions” (i.e. money and property) as well as decisions concerning “personal relationships” (i.e. who gets the children, how often does the mother/father see the children).  These factors combine with the complexity of the rules and procedures of family law make one’s…

On November 8, 2016, voters in California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada approved ballot measures to legalize recreational cannabis. It is now legal for recreational use in in a total of 8 states (including the 4 mentioned above, the other states are Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington.) States where medical marijuana is legal: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas,…

I met with a parent whose 13-year-old son was cited for not wearing a helmet and failing to stop at a stop sign. Additionally, he also was involved in a collision with a vehicle. The scenario is that the 13 year old was riding his bike with his friend and the local police agency concluded…

My clients come to me because they want to “erase” a conviction for personal reasons but most do it because it negatively impacts them in getting a job or a professional license. A conviction may lead to an administrative investigation and hearing which will likely result in losing their job or license to work. Employers have…

Atty. Castañeda had represented one of the defendants in a multi-defendant real estate fraud case and was able to get 24 counts dismissed against him. She also prevented her client from serving any prison time unlike the other defendant. Due to her effective representation of her client, he was able to keep his job while…

Each year hundreds of thousands of older persons are abused, neglected, and exploited. The victims are generally people who are older, frail, and vulnerable. Abusers are both men and women, and may be family members, friends, or “trusted” others. The CALIFORNIA PENAL CODE SECTION 368 defines elder abuse: (emphasis added)  (a)The Legislature finds and declares…

As a result of having been taken into custody, assessed and admitted pursuant to Welfare and Institutions Code  (WIC) sections 5150, 5151 and 5152 as a danger to self or others, you are prohibited from owning, possessing, controlling, receiving, or purchasing a firearm for a period of five years from the date of discharge. A…

I have had several media outlets and contributing writers ask me about the Dissolution filing by Ms. Jolie-Pitt  (Angelina) and exactly what are at stake? The filing for Dissolution appears to be “simple” enough on its face—she is not requesting child support and spousal support. She is requesting joint legal custody but sole physical custody…

attorney-carina-castaneda-10-year-press-release

The Firm today celebrates a decade of helping clients strategically succeed in their legal battles whether it is in the criminal or family law arena. It has been an amazing journey and I am very grateful to be a part of a team that has been with me from the very beginning. We have achieved…

Most states have a zero tolerance approach for drinking and alcohol while driving. In California, Vehicle Code (VC) Section 23136 applies when you are under 21 and you drive with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .01% or greater. VC 23140 applies to those under 21 who have a BAC level of .05 or greater….

The HCSCPA Act took effect on January 1, 2016. The Home Care Aide Registry is an online site which list registered home care aides and home care aide applicants that is maintained by the California Department of Social Services (CDSS). This registry will include the individual’s name, registration number, status and expiration date. This Act…

A shoplifting or any type of theft conviction, especially in such a competitive employment environment will negatively impact your employment opportunities, getting your professional license and even getting your citizenship. Questions such as, “Is this person dishonest?”  “Is this person untrustworthy?” or even “Will this person steal from me?” But for many who are confronted…

Judges or the parties’ will request a Child Custody Evaluation, commonly referred to as a “730 Evaluation.” This is intended to assist the court in establishment of custody orders and in move-away cases. It “looks” into the mental health and parenting practices of one or both of the parents. When is an evaluation needed?  If…

Not having the funds to retain an attorney is a source of great anxiety for many family law litigants.  Proceeding without an attorney can have negative economic consequences. It is already an emotional issue and it seems even more impossible to navigate and comply with the strict guidelines required in a divorce case. Without a…

The language of Family Code (FC) section 4320(i), one of the factors that the court must consider in evaluating post-judgment or “permanent” alimony orders states: “Documented evidence of any history of domestic violence, as defined in section 6211, between the parties, including but not limited to, consideration of emotional distress resulting from domestic violence perpetrated…

The U.S. government has negotiated federal- level reciprocity arrangements with several countries on behalf of U.S. jurisdictions. If a parent who owes child support lives in one of the 26 countries, that country will assist the U.S. in working the case, and vice versa. These countries are formally called Foreign Reciprocating Countries or FRC. I…

Victim impact statements are written or oral information from crime victims, in their own word about how a crime has affected them.  All 50 states allow such statements to be introduced at some phase of the sentencing process. Most states even allow victims to submit such statements at parole hearings, and the information in this…

We all have read and seen pictures of what appears to be injuries to Johnny Depp’s spouse, Amber Heard. A petition for dissolution has been filed by Ms. Heard to terminate her marriage to Mr. Depp and appears to be requesting also financial issues, including but not limited to, spousal support and asset division. She…

With Memorial Day and the summer season coming soon, many should be aware of DUI checkpoints. Generally, probable cause to stop and question the driver-—observing a traffic violation, defect in the vehicle or driving pattern that indicates the driver may be under the influence of alcohol, narcotics or both. However DUI sobriety checkpoints are an…