An annulment is very different from divorces. In a divorce, there are no questions about the marriage. You simply want to end it and move forward with your life. In an annulment, the marriage itself is questioned—whether it is valid and enforceable. In California, there are 2 types of annulments: (1) void marriage (not legally…

Your criminal defense attorney should engage in serious talks with the prosecutor about a plea bargain. The goal is to get the charge and the penalties decreased.  One of the lesser offenses is what is commonly referred to as “dry reckless” pursuant to Vehicle Code Section 23103. A “dry reckless” is a misdemeanor charge defined…

I have a client that has a visitation order of a mere 5% due to a prior restraining order. He came to my office and wants to know what his options would be. Since the restraining order had expired, a modification is “necessary or proper” in the child’s best interests. Generally, a custody or visitation…

Like most states, the standard for child custody determinations in California is the overall best interest of the child with an emphasis on assuring the “health, safety, and welfare” of the child and “frequent and continuing contact” with both parents. This is especially true when there are no issues of child abuse, domestic violence, or…

I just dealt with a case dealing with the victim of a very serious crime (attempted murder).  The initial bail in this amount was $100,000 but after discussing the case with the victim and his wife, this amount was too low. I immediately worked with the victim and his wife to contact the District Attorney…

As all of us know, immigration under the current Trump administration is in the state of “flux”—to put it mildly. For many who have entered a guilty plea to a criminal charge or have “open” criminal cases, it has never been so critical to understand that a guilty plea to criminal charges will have negative…

Family Code (FC) 2030 (a) to (d) enables a party without financial resources to have an “equal” playing field. Access to representation and preservation of each spouse’s rights is critical. This code section applies to divorces, annulment or legal separation cases and any subsequent family law matter related to those three types of actions. The…

A mother who resides in Norway is pursuing a case against my client who resides in California. As noted in my prior articles, Department of Child Support will enforce child support cases even if the mother and child is outside of the United States since we have treaties with certain countries. My client did not…

A new client just called me about being arrested for a DUI from a checkpoint. Yes, as we know the holidays mean festivities and parties more likely than not include alcoholic beverages. So again, checkpoints are legal but the police are required to insure that state and federal laws are followed before they institute a…

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…

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…

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…