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San Francisco Criminal Defense Lawyer Explains Restitution

Posted by Michael Geller | Sep 01, 2022 | 0 Comments

In criminal law, many people believe that justice is served exclusively through the filing of criminal charges and prosecuting a defendant before a judge and jury with the intent to convict the defendant of the charges. This notion of how criminal law works is inaccurate. In fact, according to Article 1, Section 28 of the California Constitution, someone who allegedly suffered a “loss” due to a purported criminal activity has the option to pursue “restitution” from the individual, or individuals, who are convicted of the crime that caused the loss. 

Sealing Arrest Records in California

Posted by Michael Geller | Aug 01, 2022 | 0 Comments

Having an arrest on your record can haunt you for years into the future, even if any criminal charges were dropped or you were exonerated in a court of law by a jury of your peers. An arrest record can negatively impact your professional life and even your personal life. This is why The Geller Firm stands ready to help you remove the stigma of your arrest record by getting it sealed from public view. 

Should I Accept a Settlement for My Personal Injury Claim or Go to a Jury Trial?

Posted by Michael Geller | Jul 01, 2022 | 0 Comments

One of the most common questions asked by clients during the personal injury claims process is whether to accept a settlement offer from the insurance company or to roll the proverbial dice and take the case to court with the goal of securing a favorable verdict from a jury. The answer to this question is…it depends. No lawyer can provide a definitive yes or no answer until they've had a chance to speak to you directly, learn the specific details of your case, understand the contours of the settlement offer, and assess the viability to taking your case to a jury trial.

California Court Rules DMV’s Administrative Hearing Procedures Violate Due Process

Posted by Michael Geller | May 01, 2022 | 0 Comments

A California appellate court recently ruled that the method utilized by the California Department of Motor Vehicles to determine whether or not to suspend certain motorist’s driver’s licenses was unconstitutional. Specifically, the methods deployed by the state DMV in deciding whether to suspend the license of a motorist arrested for driving under the influence was determined to be a violation of due process.

What To Do If You Get into A Car Accident With An Uninsured or Underinsured Driver

Posted by Michael Geller | Mar 01, 2022 | 0 Comments

Getting into an accident and suffering a serious injury as the result of a careless motorist is bad. Learning that negligent motorist has no auto insurance coverage or little auto insurance coverage makes the situation even worse. This discovery often raises important questions like, “Can I even pursue financial restitution for my harms and losses when I was injured by an uninsured or underinsured motorist?” Another common question in this scenario is, “Who will pay for my medical expenses and reimburse me for my lost income?” These are perfectly valid questions that deserve an answer.

Criminal Protective Orders

Posted by Michael Geller | Feb 01, 2022 | 0 Comments

Criminal protective orders are routinely utilized by judges in California overseeing domestic violence criminal cases. In fact, in these types of cases, a California court will typically issue a criminal protective order as a matter course. This is done because a criminal protective order is essentially a type of restraining order.

How Pet Custody Works During Divorce in California

Posted by Michael Geller | Jan 01, 2022 | 0 Comments

For many people, their pet is a member of the family on par with a child. This is why it is fairly common for spouses to engage in heated disagreements when attempting to negotiate “pet custody.” In California, the landscape for these discussions was changed dramatically in 2019 when the state legislature passed, and the Governor signed, a new law directly impacting pet custody.

Legal Effects of Substance Abuse on Child Custody in California

Posted by Michael Geller | Dec 01, 2021 | 0 Comments

When parents decide to get divorced, the process can be stressful and emotionally charged, especially when it comes to the issue of child custody. This sensitive matter becomes even more complicated when you, or your spouse, has a substance abuse issue. If you are struggling with an addiction to opioids, alcohol, or any other substance, it is important to understand the uphill battle you are likely to encounter when seeking custody over your child, or children, during a divorce.

Procrastinating on Your Estate Plan Only Leads to Heart Ache

Posted by Michael Geller | Nov 15, 2021 | 0 Comments

Here is a true story highlighting the risks associated with failing to plan your estate. A happily married couple with two teenage children worked diligently and saved their earnings to the point that they had an estate worth roughly $4 million. They resided in San Rafael, California (an affluent area in Marin County). Despite having a fairly large estate, the married couple opted to procrastinate and failed to invest the time and resources in creating an estate plan. Like many couples, they thought to themselves, “We'll get around to planning our estate another time.” Unfortunately, that time never arrived.  

Impact of Mental Illness on Child Custody in California

Posted by Michael Geller | Nov 01, 2021 | 0 Comments

A divorce case involving a parent with a mental illness or psychological condition is inherently complex and will prove challenging. Why? Because the terms “mental illness” and “psychological condition” are quite broad and may include a parent who is depressed, a parent with anxiety, and/or a parent struggling with dissociative personality disorder, bipolar disorder, or another serious condition. As you can tell, the nature of each disorder is different, which typically means how a particular mental illness or condition will impact a particular child custody case varies and is unpredictable.

How Intestate Succession Works in California

Posted by Michael Geller | Oct 15, 2021 | 0 Comments

When someone neglects to draft a will, trust or any type of estate plan before they die, then the laws of intestate succession come into play and govern how the decedent's assets would be distributed to any relatives. Basically, intestate succession means the government gets to control how the fruits of your labor are distributed to any surviving spouse, children, and other relatives.

Can You Be A Nurse With A DUI?

Posted by Michael Geller | Oct 01, 2021 | 0 Comments

Getting charged and convicted of a DUI is a serious offense that can have far-reaching ramifications, including on your chosen professional career. This is especially true when you need to maintain licensure for your chosen profession. For example, registered nurses can have their jobs put in jeopardy with a DUI conviction on their record. This is because a registered nurse convicted of a DUI will be subject to an investigation by the California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN).

Creating a Revocable Trust Versus Drafting a Will

Posted by Michael Geller | Sep 15, 2021 | 0 Comments

When someone decides to take action and plan their estate, a common question arises: "should I create revocable living trust or draft a will?" This question is often followed by asking, "What are the differences between a trust and a will?" This article is intended to help address these important questions.

Four Types of Restraining Orders in California

Posted by Michael Geller | Sep 01, 2021 | 0 Comments

If you have been threatened by another individual or been subjected to physical violence, you may be able to obtain a restraining order that legally prohibits the individual from coming in contact with you or even being within a certain distance of your residence. If you are looking to get a restraining order, but are unsure about the legal process necessary to get one, this article is for you.

Drafting a Will in California

Posted by Michael Geller | Aug 15, 2021 | 0 Comments

If you want to draft a Last Will and Testament (also simply referred to as a “will”), it probably means you want to take steps to protect your hard-earned assets and protect your loved ones. A will is a legal document that formally sets forth your wishes and preferences for how your property should be distributed and what should be done with any minor children (if applicable). A will is the document where you name a personal representative who will be responsible for settling your affairs.

Understanding the Difference Between Power of Attorney and Conservatorship

Posted by Michael Geller | Jul 15, 2021 | 0 Comments

Pop star Britney Spears is doing more than making large sums of money singing and dancing in Las Vegas.  She is shedding light on a legal mechanism that can have a significant impact on an individual's life - conservatorship. If you are familiar with the concept of conservatorship, I apologize in advance, but I must hit you one more time with some facts.

How Coercive Control is Domestic Violence in California

Posted by Michael Geller | Jul 01, 2021 | 0 Comments

Experts describe “coercive control” as a pattern of abusive behavior inflicted upon someone by their partner (typically a spouse or similar significant other). Coercive control typically involves a spouse employing a combination of violence, intimidation, humiliation, isolation, and control to subordinate the will of their significant other.

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