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Can Criminal Charges Be Dropped or Dismissed ...

Can Criminal Charges Be Dropped or Dismissed ...

When you are arrested or receive a citation for committing a crime in California, you will be given a court date. It is absolutely vital to always appear to any ordered court dates. While some cases, such as traffic cases or local ordinance violations, may involve a ticket or fine that you can pay without appearing in court, most misdemeanor and felony charges will require an appearance in court before you have any chance to fight the case or plead guilty. While you may need to appear in court to have your case dropped or dismissed, you can usually end the case before trial. The Ventura criminal defense lawyers at the Law Offices of Bamieh and Erickson explain the criminal court process in California and when you can get charges dropped and dismissed. For help with your criminal charges, contact our law offices today to schedule a free legal consultation. What’s the Difference Between Dropped and Dismissed Charges? Many people say that they want their charges “dropped” or “dismissed,” but even police and lawyers may use these phrases interchangeably on a daily basis. However, each term has a specific legal definition and consequences you should understand. When charges are “dropped,” it means that the police or prosecutor removed them from the list of charges against you and you will no longer face any charges for that offense. When charges are dropped, they are usually dropped as part of an agreement with the prosecution and cannot be brought back. However, if charges were dropped because they think you were wrongly accused or they just need more evidence, it is possible...
Will I Lose My Green Card if I Get Divorced i...

Will I Lose My Green Card if I Get Divorced i...

Getting married when one of the spouses is an immigrant can be extremely difficult.  The federal government is very strict with immigration policies, and it does not give out green cards to married couples as easily as you might hope.  Even after a green card is awarded, you might face extended scrutiny about your relationship.  Ending a marriage quickly after the marriage may draw questions and investigations.  If you are considering getting divorced while you have a permanent residency card, talk to an attorney.  The Ventura divorce lawyers at the Law Offices of Bamieh and Erickson represent husbands and wives seeking divorce in Santa Barbara, Ventura, and other areas in California. Can You Lose Your Green Card After a Divorce? There is nothing illegal about getting married for legitimate reasons like love and companionship, even if you get the added benefit of a green card by marrying your spouse.  Many marriages do not work out.  Especially if you recently moved to the United States and up-ended your whole life, you may quickly find out that your newly married life is not right for you at this time, and seeking a divorce may be a necessary choice. The phrase “green card marriage” refers to a marriage that is exclusively for immigration purposes, not for the purpose of a happy marriage.  These marriages are considered fraud, and the government typically investigates marriages involving a green card to determine whether the marriage is legitimate.  If you seek permanent residency along with your marriage, it is likely you will undergo an investigation to ensure your marriage was not solely for immigration. Typically, these...
Can Cousins Get Child Custody Rights in Calif...

Can Cousins Get Child Custody Rights in Calif...

In times of need, families often come together to help each other, especially when it comes to caring for young children in the family.  If parents are unable to raise their children or the children are left without a parent in the household because they were involved in an accident or sent to jail, it may be up to an aunt or uncle, a grandparent, or another adult in the family to step up to keep the children out of foster care.  While grandparents or aunts and uncles may commonly try to take custody, a cousin may be able to as well.  The Ventura child custody lawyers at the Law Offices of Bamieh and Erickson discuss California law regarding taking child custody as a cousin. Child Custody for Cousins in California The law generally prefers to give child custody only to parents.  California Family Code § 3040 establishes this preference by saying that children should, as a first choice, go to both parents, or to one parent if the other parent is unfit to raise the children.  As a second priority, children may go to any adult they have been staying with if that home provides a “wholesome and stable environment.”  After that, “any other person or persons” that are “suitable” can take custody. If the parents put the child in the cousin’s home before they were unable to maintain custody, the cousin could already have evidence that their home is a “wholesome and stable environment” for the child in question, and the court could choose them for custody.  This is common in situations where a cousin acts as...
When Can You Modify a Child Support Order in ...

When Can You Modify a Child Support Order in ...

When a judge sets a child support order in place, that order must be followed for as long as the order is in place. However, when your family’s circumstances change, the order may no longer fit the situation you are in. Especially if you lose your job, have another child, or the child grows into an adult, the child support order might be inappropriate for the parents to keep paying at the same value. The Ventura child support modification lawyers at the Law Offices of Bamieh and Erickson explain when you can get a child support order modified in California. Grounds for Changes to Child Support Orders in CA When a judge sets the initial child support order, he will look at the child custody split involved in the case and each parent’s income. In cases where one parent has sole custody, the other parent will likely pay child support to offset the out of pocket expenses that the custodial parent makes. In cases with joint custody, the parent who has a greater share of parenting time usually receives child support, but the parents’ income levels are important factors in deciding the initial child support amount. If any of these factors change later, you can petition the court to modify the existing child support amount. If either parent picks up more parenting time, the initial factors that dictate who pays how much money will be altered. The same is true for any substantial changes in income. That means that if you lose your job or take a job with a different salary, your child support order should change to...
How to Lower Child Support in Santa Barbara, ...

How to Lower Child Support in Santa Barbara, ...

If you are paying child support in California, you would probably like to pay less. In many cases, parents paying child support do not get the benefit of spending as much time with their children as they would like, and paying so much money to your ex without the reward of parenting time may seem unfair. Our Santa Barbara child support modification lawyers at the Law Offices of Bamieh and Erickson explain how you may be able to get your child support payments lowered in California. How is Child Support Decided in California? In most cases, one parent has full physical custody or a higher share of parenting time, e.g., a 60/40 or 75/25 time split. That parent is referred to as the “primary custodial parent,” or just the “custodial parent.” When they have the children in their house, they typically pay for expenses out of pocket. Child support payments are used to spread the burden of paying for your children and request financial support from the noncustodial parent. In the classic child support situation, the noncustodial parent typically has higher income while the custodial parent might devote more time to child care and less time to earning income. Child support, in this case, might be necessary to keep a roof over the children’s heads and food on the table. In other cases where the custodial parent works or where there is joint custody with a parenting time split closer to 50/50 split, it may be nearly a toss-up as to whether child support is even necessary, and the amounts paid should be low to begin with. When Can...
How Does Child Support Work with 50/50 Custod...

How Does Child Support Work with 50/50 Custod...

Joint custody can be an excellent arrangement for parents who are divorced, separated, or not in a relationship. It gives both parents the opportunity to be a part of their children’s lives, and it also helps parents share the burden of raising children. One of the burdens parents think about the most in joint custody cases is child support. Courts arrange child support based in part on the parenting time split that parents with joint custody share. In a 50/50 parenting time case, who pays child support? The Ventura child support lawyers at the Law Offices of Bamieh and Erickson explain. How is Child Support Calculated in CA? In cases with a clear “primary” parent that has full physical child custody, child support decisions are often simpler. In those cases, the primary custodial parent typically pays more out of pocket to support the children, so the other, noncustodial parent will pay child support. Calculating the amounts may still require some intensive calculations and investigation by the court, but there is usually no question as to who will pay child support. In situations with joint custody, it can take further determinations to decide who pays child support and how much they pay. Child support in California is based not only on the parenting time each parent has but also on each parent’s income. Parents are each expected to pay child support according to their ability to pay, not to split the cost evenly. If one parent makes 75% of the total income and the other makes 25% of the income, the higher earner will be expected to pay a higher...
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