Going through a divorce in California requires each spouse to complete and disclose financial forms and information.

If you thought that getting a divorce in California could be just as easy as getting married, you may have to think again. California family courts require each spouse to make sure they disclose to one another any and all debts or properties each has during the divorce process. So each spouse will be required to fill out many of the financial forms, declarations concerning income and expenses, and disclosures of assets and debts as required by the California Judicial Council.

Why is disclosure so important? Well, certain answers can be found in the California Family Code. Family Code Section 721 states that "spouses are subject to the general rules governing fiduciary relationships that control the actions of persons occupying confidential relations with each other. This confidential relationship imposes a duty of the highest good faith and fair dealing on each spouse, and neither shall take any unfair advantage of the other". In addition to the concept of "fiduciary relationship". the California legislature has also stressed the importance of protection of assets and a fair division of any debts involved in a marriage such that, assets in particular, are not disposed of by any spouse taking unfair advantage of the other prior to any orders for child support or spousal support. In California Family Code Section 2100(c), it states that " a full and accurate disclosure of all assets and liabilities in which one or both parties have or may have an interest must be made in the early stages of a proceeding for dissolution of marriage or legal separation of the parties, regardless of the characterization as community or separte, together with a disclosure of all income and expenses of the parties."

As you can see, Calfornia law requires spouses to disclose their assets and debts, their income from all sources and expenses, and by doing so, the spouses can fairly divide such assets or debts, fairly assign such assets or debts to the other spouse upon settlement or conclusion of a divorce case, and receive fair orders concerning child or spousal support orders depending upon the circumstances of a case.

When a spouse refuses to disclose, there can be legal consequences such as ssnctions, awards for attorney fees, or contempt orders. The forms and declarations involved in a divorce or legal separation case in California can be overwhelming. However, when property disclosures and financial declarations are done correctly, a spouse can be comfortably assured that he or she is not being unfairly treated or taken advantage of by the other spouse.

The Gonzalez Law Firm is located in the cities of Fullerton and Santa Ana, and has helped many individuals receive fair treatment and outcomes in divorce, child custody, property division, child support and spousal support cases. Call 877-345-2997 to schedule a consultation with Attorney David Gonzalez.

Fullerton Attorney David Gonzalez discusses DUI checkpoints and DUI penalties.

Law enforcement begins to be more aggressive during the holidays when it comes to driving under the influence of alcohol or even driving while being under the influence of drugs.  Police will often set up more checkpoints looking for such drivers.

Before going out of for the evening, and when you know you may be drinking, set up a plan to avoid drinking and driving. It is the best thing to do to avoid harming someone or yourself while driving and after having had a few. It certainly is the wise thing to do to avoid being arrested and suffering the consequences that may arise if you are convicted of drinking and driving. 
But if you cannot avoid drinking and driving and you insist on doing so, here are a few things to consider:

Check on-line for any DUI checkpoints.  There are many real time websites that allow a person to check for DUI checkpoints before driving. These sites allow a person to avoid certain areas where the police is setting up road blocks to catch and arrest drunk drivers. For the Orange County area, a site like www.ocduicheckpoints.com is one example. 

If you get arrested, the California Vehicle Code provides the following as penalties:

1. First Offense: Probation, a six month suspension of your driver license, 48 hours in jail, a fine of $390.00 plus penalties, and attendance and completion of an alcohol or drug program ranging to three, six, nine or even eighteen months;

2. Second Offense within 10 years: Probation, a minimum of ten days of jail, a fine of $390.00 plus penalties, two year suspension of your driver license, and attendance and completion of an eighteen month alcohol program. The maximum jail sentence is one year jail.

3. Third offense within 10 years: a minimum of 120 days of jail, $390.00 fine plus penalties, being labeled as a habitual offender for three years, a revocation of your driver license for 3 years, attendance and completion of an 18 month alcohol or drug program. The maximum penalty is one year in jail.

The above is only a summary of the possible consequences. There can be additional jail time in the event a person is also guilty of violating probation on other DUI cases. Some courts also want a person to complete a Mother’s Against Drunk Driving classes. There are also harsher penalties for a driver who has a commercial driver’s license. 

So whether it is Halloween, Thanksgiving or the Christmas season you are celebrating, be wise. Don’t drink and drive.

If you get caught, call the Gonzalez Law Firm located either in Fullerton or Santa Ana in the Orange County. Attorney David Gonzalez can aggressively fight against a DUI charge. He can consult with you concerning your best defense against a DUI violation. He helps his clients in such cases whether the DUI charge is in the courts of Orange County, Los Angeles, Riverside or San Bernardino Counties. 

Santa Ana Attorney David Gonzalez explains child support.

If you ever have a case in family court, you most likely will encounter the issue of child support. Parents often times want to know how much will be the amount ordered for child support by the family court judge. Before getting to the how much part, it is important for parents to understand why the State of California puts much emphasis regarding the issue of child support when children are involved in a family court case.

California has a strong public policy in favor of adequate child support. That policy is expressed in the statutes under the California Family Codes, 4050 through 4076, or often called the statewide uniformed child support guidelines. The purpose of such guideline child support is to make certain that the interests of children are met given that such interests are of high priority for the state. As one family law case put it, " A parent's first and principal obligation is to support his or her minor children according to the parents' circumstances and station in life. Each parent should pay for the support of the children according to his or her ability." In re Marriage of Cheriton.

Family courts, therefore, are obligated to adhere to the child support guidelines and mathematical formulations provided by the child support statutes.

However, the family courts are also directed to consider the following principles when making child support orders:

  1. Both parents are mutually responsible for the support of their children;
  2. The guideline formula takes into account each parent's actual income and level of responsibility for the children;
  3. Each parent should pay for the support of the children according to his or her ability;
  4. Children should share in the standard of living of both parents;
  5. Child support orders in which both parents have high levels of responsibility for the children should reflect the increased costs of raising children in two homes and should minimize significant disparities in the children's living standards in two homes;
  6. The financial needs of the children should be met through private financial resources as much as possible;
  7. It is presumed that a parent having primary physical responsibility for the children contributes a significant portion of available resources for the support of children;
  8. The guideline seeks to encourage fair and efficient settlements of conflicts between parents and to minimize the need for litigation;
  9. The guideline is intended to be presumptively correct in all cases, and only under special circumstances should child support orders fall below the child support mandated by the guideline formual;
  10. Child support orders must ensure that children actually receive fair, timely, and sufficient support reflecting the state's high standard of living and high costs of raising children compared to other states.

So you can see and now understand the reason the family courts in California place a high priority when considering orders for child support. Children and their interests are of high priority for family cours. The principles stated above are weighed by family courts when making orders for child support. Family courts will often make child support orders based upon the child support guideline and the above principles. There are times orders for child support can deviate from the child support guideline. If there is any deviation, the court must explain the reason for the devation.

Whenvever you are faced with the need to have child support orders or the need to change or modify a current order, seek the legal help and experience from the Gonzalez Law Firm. Attorney David Gonzalez can review and analyze your current legal issue and advise you accordingly. His offices are located in Santa Ana and Fullerton. He has represented many individuals with their child support issues in the family courts in Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles Counties.

Santa Ana Criminal Defense Attorney Gonzalez explains arraignment in criminal cases

So you either just got cited with a ticket that states you need to appear in court for a violation of either a vehicle code or penal code offense, or you got arrested, or at worst you were told you are being charged with a felony. You are told you need to come to court and make an appearance. What should you do?

The first court appearance for charges involving a crime is called an arraignment. It really is the first court appearance whereby the person accused of a crime is brought before a judge, is informed of the criminal charges he or she faces, and asked by the judge whether he or she wants to plead guilty, not guilty, or nolo contendere (no contest) to the charges.

The arraignment is not for the person to tell his or her story to a judge about what did or did not happen when that person received that ticket, citation, notice to come to court, or was arrested. The arraignment is not the time for that person to provide excuses- justified or otherwise- as to why he or she should not be in court. Any judge in a criminal court case is not interested in hearing such things from a person who is accused of a crime. The judge wants to know whether a person wants to plead not guilty or guilty.

At an arraignment, if you go without a lawyer, a judge is required to inform you of your right to be represented by an attorney, or if you are poor or have very low income means, you should be told of your right to be have attorney appointed for you- in other words, a public defender.

Some people who have been charged with a crime believe that going to the court and pleading guilty is the best thing to do. Beware of going to court by yourself. Typically you will receive the harshest sentence possible or recommended by the prosecutor assigned to your case. The prosecutor represents the People and is not interested in making friends with those accused of crimes.

It is best to get legal consultation before going to court when you are facing criminal charges. The penalties for pleading guilty may have a great impact on your record, employment, and your liberty. After consultation, you should make a decision to have an experienced criminal defense attorney represent you at all stages of any criminal proceeding. Contact the Gonzalez Law Firm for that consultation and representation. David Gonzalez has many years of experience helping persons charged with infractions, misdemeanors, or felonies. Facing criminal charges can cause much stress upon you and the ones you love. Contact Criminal Defense Attorney David Gonzalez. His offices are located in Santa Ana and Fullerton. He gets results. 1-877-345-2997.

Santa Ana Criminal Defense Attorney discusses the crime of false information to police.

Imagine you have been stopped by the police and you are asked to present your identity to that officer. In the event, you provide another identity to that officer other than your own actual identity, can you be charged with a crime?

California Penal Code Section 148.9 is labeled as false representation of identity to a peace officer. More specifically, Penal Code Section 148.9 (a) states that any person who falsely represents or identifies himself or herself as another person or as a fictitious persson to any peace officer...., upon a lawful detention or arrest of the person, either to evade the process of the court, or to evade the proper identification of the person by the investigating officer, is guilty of a misdemeanor.

Certain elements need to be met for a person charged with PC 148.9 (a) to be found guilty of that offense. It is in fact the duty of the prosecutor to make certain all elements of the crime are met with the evidence from any police investigation. In Penal Code Section 148.9(a), the prosecutor must prove:

The person falsely represented himself or herself or the person identified himself or herself as somebody else.

There was in fact false representation or identity.

The false representation of identity was given upon a lawful detention or a lawful arrest.

The false repesentation or identity was given to the police for evasion, either to avoid further court process or evading being properly identified by the officer.

The crime is a misdemeanor in the event the person accused of it pleads guilty to the crime or is found guilty by a jury. A penalty for a misdemeanor can be up to 6 months in jail.

There are defenses to being charged with false representation of identity to a police officer. A defense can be that the police officer had not made a lawful detention or a lawful arrest. A person cannot simply be targeted by an officer and then be asked by the cop to hand over or give over one's identification.

Another defense can be that the identification provided was not given for an evasive purpose. If an individual did not understand what the officer was asking for when requested from the officer, it can be argued that evasion was not the purpose.

False information to a police officer is a crime and can if one is convicted of such a crime there can be consequences resulting from it including fines, fees, jail time, probation, and immigration consequences such as denial of legal residency or naturalization of citizenship as federal authorities such as the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, otherwise known as USCIS, and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) may treat such a crime as a crime of moral turpitude under the immigration laws of the U.S.

If you or a loved one are charged with such a crime, contact the Gonzalez Law Firm to speak to Attorney David Gonzalez before you go to court and definitely before you decide to plea guilty to any crime. You are innocent of any criminal charge until you are proven otherwise guilty by the prosecution. You have legal rights and defenses.

The Gonzalez Law Firm has offices in Santa Ana and Fullerton and assists clients throughout the Southern California region whether your case is in Newport Beach, Fullerton, Norwalk, Santa Ana, Pomona, Riverside, San Bernardino,West Covina, Downey or Los Angeles. Attorney David Gonzalez can be reached at 714-992-5217 or 1-877-345-2997.