I was driving to a medical appointment yesterday, March 28, 2013, when traffic slowed down to a crawl on eastbound interstate 80 in Davis. At the time, I didn’t know what the problem was other than the traffic caused me to be 30 minutes late for my appointment. This morning I read that there had been a motor vehicle crash in which a big-rig driver lost consciousness while choking on some food and it caused his tractor-trailer to veer onto the right shoulder of the roadway and then cross all eastbound lanes. The big-rig then crossed over the center divider and hit a BMW travelling westbound head-on. The two occupants of the BMW were killed instantly. In the last few years legislatures across the country have passed traffic safety laws to protect us against distracted drivers. We now have laws making it illegal to talk on a cell phone while driving unless it is hands-free, and laws that make it illegal to text while driving. In California, minors have a total ban on using cell phones while driving. Still, thousands of motor vehicle crashes occur each year because of distracted drivers.
Driving Under the Influence is a criminal charge in California that can potentially carry a wide variety of punitive actions. Throughout the state and the rest of the country, drunk driving laws are becoming more rigorous and heavily enforced. This has resulted in harsher punishments with lower legal limits for blood alcohol content. It is important to know that upon conviction for drinking and driving, you face the loss of driving privileges (a driver’s license suspension or revocation), increased insurance premiums, heavy fines, and possible jail time. Our experienced Sacramento DUI defense attorney David P. Foos offers this list of dos and don’ts if stopped by the police for drunk driving.
Often in a divorce, particularly when the income of the parties is significantly different, one of the parties will ask the court for an order of spousal support. In the past spousal support was know as “alimony” and is a court order for the husband or the wife to pay a monetary sum per month to the other spouse. The purpose of support pursuant to the California Family Code is to maintain the same standard of living for both parties in the divorce after the separation. In order to obtain a court order for spousal support the requesting party has to file a “Request for Order” with the court specifically requesting support. This request also has to have been noted in that parties first filing of the Petition for Dissolution or Legal Separation. Upon a request, the court can order temporary spousal support until the parties are able to obtain a final judgment of dissolution. At the time of the final judgment the court can also order long term support, up to one-half of the term of the marriage for marriages less than ten years.
Major Changes in the Hardship Waiver Process The absolute number one question I receive as an immigration attorney from my Mexican clientele is: “I am a U.S. Citizen but my spouse came here illegally several years ago. How do I get them legal?” The answer always was: you can apply for the family member now but they would have to go back to Ciudad Juarez, file a hardship waiver, and then wait for approximately six to eight months for approval. However, if that hardship waiver is denied in Mexico, then the family member is stuck there and cannot sneak back or they will face a permanent bar. Usually this quick conversation stopped about 70% of our potential clients from filing a hardship waiver. The reasoning being that the stakes were too high to file for this waiver. Unless a family had a “clearly approvable” case and was all but guaranteed that the hardship waiver case would be approved, most people did not choose to file this waiver.
Divorce is never easy for either spouse, but when you combine a divorce with property disputes, child support, child custody and spousal support, sometimes the entire process can become overwhelming and downright scary. Without experience in the process one party can find themselves at a severe disadvantage and sometimes this happens after it is too late. Below are the top seven reasons why you need a qualified divorce lawyer if you are going through this process: 1. Paperwork The scope and amount of paperwork necessary to file for a divorce or legal separation is extensive, particularly if there are children involved or domestic violence. Often to add to the frustration, the court rejects paperwork that is not completed just exactly the way that is expected involving even more trips to the courthouse to file once again. 2. Time Without the prior knowledge about how to complete the forms it is possible to have to set aside two days to complete the paperwork. Additionally, with the cutbacks and layoffs at the Courts there is usually no one available to help with questions. If you are employed you might have to plan on taking several days off to figure out and then complete the proper paperwork. Even if the court accepts the paperwork, later the Judge can dismiss the matter if it lacks certain elements causing the party to have to re-file once again.
I often get calls from potential clients after they receive an intimidating collection letter from their timeshare company. Usually our clients stop making payments after they get fed up with the increasing maintenance fee(s) and extreme difficulty in booking a date. You would think after paying thousands of dollars for the timeshare, booking a date would be a bit easier, right? Unfortunately, when the payments stop, the collection letters start pouring in. Legally speaking, most of the collection letters are correct in that you may be on the hook for damages for breaching your timeshare contract. (Remember, the 30 page contract you signed and initialed in a hurry in order to get your free prize?) Over the last couple of years our Sacramento law firm has started firing back at these collection efforts and terminating the timeshare contracts. Recently, there have been numerous class action lawsuits filed against these companies throughout the U.S. Federal courts for their unscrupulous practices. In every contract there is an implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. This is a covenant of fairness and equity implied in all contracts for liability purposes, and this covenant is breached when there is “conscious and reckless disregard” to the rights of the contracting party: Jenkins v. Family Health Program, 214 Cal.App.3d 400 (1989). We believe the timeshare companies breach this covenant every time they modify the contract by increasing the maintenance fees, overbook the timeshare, or force you to “bank” your points with an unknown company that charges you more user fees. Don’t let these collection letters scare you into paying more money into this terrible investment. On numerous occasions we speak to the timeshare company’s legal department, and to avoid costly litigation we will try to resolve your [...]
Over the last five years our Sacramento law firm has been flooded with potential clients that want to “get rid of their timeshare.” Even our most affluent clients that are sophisticated investors fall into these timeshare traps and do not know what to do after they sign a timeshare contract. From my experience, it is obvious that timeshare companies prey on people with good credit and solid financial backgrounds. They pull the bait-and-switch trick by enticing people with anything from free dinners, shows, free trips, or appliances. (We heard one timeshare company offering free toasters). Trust us; your “free” prize will be one of the most expensive purchases you will ever make in your life! Once you walk into the presentation, the timeshare salesman will try to sell you a package at whatever price you can afford. It will be guaranteed to be one of the most high-pressured sales pitch you’ll ever experience with promises of how a timeshare is such a great investment for you and your kids. Here’s the truth and example that we give our clients: For the purchase price you just paid for the timeshare and future maintenance fees: you could have booked the Presidential Suite in whatever hotel they’re offering you, ordered 10 cases of fine champagne, taken a bath in it, and that will still cost you less money than paying for a timeshare. The unfortunate part is, most people are forced to quickly sign the timeshare contract without reading it and they do not bother to do the math. Sacramento Attorneys for Contracts Most companies have figured out that people are sick and tired of the timeshare craze, so there are plenty of timeshare buy-back programs. From what our clients [...]
To best define secured debt, it would be helpful to first describe unsecured debt. Credit or money can be loaned only on the promise of the borrower to pay. If the borrower defaults then collection depends on the ability of the borrower to pay. The lender takes a loss if the borrower cannot repay. Secured debt, in contrast, requires the borrower to abide by a contract to pay on the debt and give the lender an interest in the property. If the borrower fails to pay the monthly bill then the creditor can use the property to satisfy the debt by repossessing it, selling it and applying the proceeds to the contract balance. If the proceeds do not fully pay the debt then the secured creditor has a claim for the deficiency as an unsecured debt. A secured creditor is in a better position than an unsecured creditor because it can collect on the debt and take back the property. Sacramento Bankruptcy Attorney The experienced debt resolution lawyers of Bowman & Associates help clients throughout California from our offices in Sacramento and Folsom. If you or someone you know has legal questions regarding secured debt, bankruptcy and protecting your property, contact our law firm for a free case evaluation. We have helped thousands of clients hold onto their belongings and we can help you.
One fact is certain: the United States Government monitors internet activity. Whether an individual is simply “surfing the net”, downloading content through peer-to-peer file-sharing programs, or communicating in a chat-room, law enforcement surveillance should be assumed, and there is no anonymity in an individual on his or her computer. Based on internet surveillance and monitoring, federal agents investigating internet crimes can and do obtain warrant to seize computers. An internet crime is a criminal act that is committed while using the internet or while on the internet. If you are under investigation for or have been arrested for an Internet crime, including identity theft or Internet fraud, our veteran Rocklin internet crimes lawyer is prepared to build a strong defense on your behalf. Bowman and Associates attorneys are experienced negotiators and litigators, defending clients charged with matters such as:
Bankruptcy law is about getting a fresh financial start. It is not about “failure” or “fault.” Bankruptcy law is a balancing of the interests of debtors and creditors, with the underlying policy of allowing for payment to creditors of what the debtor can reasonably afford to pay after necessary living expenses (Chapter 13) or of the liquidated value of assets in excess of what a debtor is allowed to keep in Chapter 7. Chapter 13 Bankruptcy cases, are commonly referred to as a wage earner plan, and is what some unscrupulous persons advertise by saying, avoid bankruptcy, file a wage earners plan or a debt consolidation, implying that it is a non bankruptcy procedure. Of course they aren’t being truthful. Our seasoned West Sacramento Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorneys at Bowman and Associates understand that serious financial difficulties can invade every area of your life, causing undue stress, depression, and feelings of desperation. However, bankruptcy allows you to take charge of your financial situation and start with a fresh financial slate, so that you may move on with life.