Areas of Practice

FAMILY LAW

Every marriage and divorce is unique. Accordingly, our firm tailors our approach and objectives to your specific circumstances. For example, if you retain a cordial relationship with your spouse, we may recommend mediation that can save you time, money and stress while putting more control over the outcome in your hands. However, our trial lawyers are willing and prepared to litigate divorce issues if your spouse is uncooperative, hostile or abusive.

Your life will undergo many changes upon the dissolution of your marriage. The steps you take during this pivotal period can have a substantial impact on your future. Samra Dhillon & Associates is dedicated in helping you reach the most equitable possible divorce settlement. Our partners have a strong litigation background with years of experience in divorce proceedings, which makes us both strategic negotiators and aggressive courtroom advocates. Our legal counsel focuses on reaching your goals while helping to ease the stress of this difficult process.

We have helped many clients with filing for separation and annulments. The requirements of obtaining an annulment are often limited. If you do not qualify for an annulment, then you must determine whether to separate or file for a divorce. California requires a married couple to live in the state for six months before they may file for divorce. In that case, a couple may choose to be legally separated for a period of time before seeking to dissolve their marriage. Our attorneys can help explain the requirements and all available options you have.

You want what is best for you child. So do we. Our job is to reach a child custody and parenting arrangement that puts your child’s interests first and allows you to spend as much time together as you can. We negotiate a custodial and parenting time agreement that reflects your family’s specific needs and wishes. This can sometimes prove to be a difficult task to accomplish and it is helpful to have a committed attorney on your side.

A dependency hearing is a court proceeding involving a juvenile, typically in cases of abuse or neglect. The first step may begin with children being removed from their parents and placed in protective custody. When the children are placed in protective custody and taken from the home, there will be an investigation to decide whether the children can be safely returned to the home from which they were taken.

Our partner is a former deputy district attorney who has experience dependency matters. We can help you throughout this process, while the court determines whether allegations of abuse or neglect are legally sufficient to support state intervention on behalf of the child.

Both parents should share the financial responsibility of raising their children. To do this, the noncustodial parent pays the custodial parent child support based upon a number of factors, including the time the child spends with each parent, income of each parent and particular circumstances that may require additional funds. Our attorneys make sure the amount of child support is fair to you and is in the best interest of your child.

California law does not guarantee spousal support. However, the courts will often grant temporary support for about half the length of the marriage and permanent support in the dissolution of a lengthy marriage. In making this determination, the court considers income disparity, costs of obtaining training and education to become marketable in the workforce, your marital standard of living and domestic abuse. Our legal team works to negotiate an equitable spousal support agreement based upon what the court is likely to rule in your case.

You and your spouse may not earn the same amount. In this case, the higher earning spouse may be responsible for temporary or permanent spousal support. However, unlike child support, spousal support is negotiable and waivable. You should be prepared to build a strong argument for or against spousal support and to include support in your overall divorce strategies.

Our family law practice negotiates equitable spousal support and asset division during dissolution mediation. If in your best interests, we petition the court for your rightful support.

Alimony Factors the California Court Considers:

Earning capacity of each spouse. What are your marketable skills and the current job market? How much money and time do you or your spouse need to obtain necessary education and training and ultimately a job?

Standard of living during the marriage. Your earning capacity should allow you to maintain a standard of living that is close to what you had during your marriage.

Contributions to the marriage or spouse. Did you help your partner earn a college degree or obtain a professional license? Did you sacrifice opportunities to support your spouse’s career advancement?

Length of the marriage. When a marriage is less than 10 years, the law states that a spouse should pay support for a “reasonable period of time,” which is defined as one-half the length of the marriage. However, the judge has discretion to alter this formula based upon other important factors. For marriages that last 10 or more years, the court may establish permanent support.

Domestic violence. California law imposes a rebuttable presumption against granting spousal support to an abusive spouse with a conviction for domestic violence against a paying spouse. In reverse, the court considers emotional distress as one factor in determining an abused spouse’s rights to support.

Childcare duties. The court recognizes the unique challenges of working full time while undertaking full time childcare duties. Depending upon the circumstances, the court may grant support that allows the custodial parent to work part-time or not at all.

You have a right to an equal share of community property. As a vital first step, our attorney determines which property is classified as community and assesses value of that property. We then pursue the best possible disposition. Community property includes most property that was acquired while married and residing in a community property state. It includes wages, salaries and self-employment income, as well as assets such as houses and cars. Investment income from assets that are community property is also considered in this category.

On the other hand, Separate property was either owned separately before marriage, bought with separate funds. It can include gifts received by one spouse during or before marriage, property acquired in spouse’s name and never used for benefit of other spouse, inheritances, and certain personal injury awards. Investment income from separate property is considered separate income.

We have handled many cases involving the issue of unvested and vested stocks during a divorce proceeding. Stocks are similar to bonuses and may still be considered as an asset or income when dealing with support payment. However, certain factors come into play when making this decision like the maturity of the stock during the marriage and agreements which may have been made prior. It is essential to speak to one of our attorneys who can guide you confidently through this process.

The main difference between prenuptial agreements and postnuptial agreements is the date it was created. A prenuptial agreement is signed within a specific time frame before two people are married and a postnuptial agreement is signed after marriage. Both agreements address factors like spousal support, asset division, future income and retirement benefits and are tools that couples use to identify asset ownership and marital ground rules.

If you have questions about a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, it can be crucial to discuss them with an attorney who can explain your rights and your options.

When somebody you love hurts you, the experience is surprising, disheartening and terribly frightening. Know that you are not alone. You and your family have options to safely escape the abuse. Our lawyers can help you obtain a restraining order against your abuser and assist you in divorcing an abusive spouse.

Our partner is a former deputy district attorney who has experience prosecuting domestic violence, and child abuse and child porn charges. We can help you escape the abuse and regain your safety, security and freedom. Our attorneys can help you obtain a restraining order and we take special precautions during divorce proceedings to protect you from the abuser.

CRIMINAL DEFENSE

A dependency hearing is a court proceeding involving a juvenile, typically in cases of abuse or neglect. The first step may begin with children being removed from their parents and placed in protective custody. When the children are placed in protective custody and taken from the home, there will be an investigation to decide whether the children can be safely returned to the home from which they were taken.

Our partner is a former deputy district attorney who has experience dependency matters. We can help you throughout this process, while the court determines whether allegations of abuse or neglect are legally sufficient to support state intervention on behalf of the child.

Our partner, Rosie Dhillon, is a former deputy district attorney at the Contra Costa County and Yolo County District Attorney’s Offices. In these roles, she successfully prosecuted DUI cases. Now she applies the insight and knowledge she gained prosecuting drunk driving cases to defend her clients.

Being arrested for a DUI can cause a lot of stress and worry for someone. We understand this and strives to alleviate this stress for you. DUI convictions can come with some serious consequences; you may be facing driver’s license suspension, community service, alcohol rehabilitation courses, heavy fines, and even jail time.

Our attorneys are known in Sacramento and the Bay Area for our strong DUI defenses. We regularly take DUI cases to trial where we challenge the prosecution’s evidence, including the Breathalyzer results and field sobriety tests, and introduce doubt. Our substantial trial experience also makes us more strategic negotiators if a plea deal is a better option for you. Our goal is to minimize jail sentences and reduce the financial burden caused by the DUI. Depending upon your personal circumstances and the evidence the prosecution has against you, we may pursue alternatives to incarceration such as home detention, Sheriff’s Work Project or service of your sentence on weekends.

The prosecutor has a duty to prove you were driving under the influence beyond a reasonable doubt. If the state does not meet this burden, you must be acquitted of DUI. At Samra Dhillon & Associates we challenge the evidence to demonstrate that the prosecution has not met this high burden of proof.

Under California law, you are considered impaired if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .08 percent or higher. Penalties are enhanced if your BAC is at .15 percent or higher.

 

Raise a Strong Defense to Your DUI Charges:

The Breathalyzer is the gold standard of drunk driving prosecution. Unless you demonstrate that the Breathalyzer reading was incorrect or did not reflect your condition, your BAC is damaging evidence. Our criminal defense attorneys investigate whether:

-The Breathalyzer machine was not recently calibrated.

-The officer administering the test lacked the requisite training.

-The brand of the machine had a history of inaccurate readings.

- Officer’s delay caused your BAC was much higher by the time you blew and did not reflect your BAC at the time you drove.

 

Challenging the Field Sobriety Tests.

Even if you refuse to blow, the prosecution can prove its case based on field sobriety test results. However, your poor performance may not prove you were intoxicated, but may have been caused by another physical or environmental condition, such as:

-Horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN) test. The officer moves an object slowly back and forth in front of your face and directs you to follow with your eyes. Alcohol can exaggerate the jerking movement of the eyes, a condition called HGN. Certain prescription medications, sleepiness or a head injury could also increase HGN.

-Walk and turn test. The officer directs you to take nine heal-to-toe steps in a straight line and then turn around and walk back in the same way. We look at whether you have any physical conditions, such as an ankle or back injury, that might affect your ability to walk straight. We also consider whether high heels or

-Flip-flops might have altered your gait. Additionally, we investigate the slope and materials of the area where you were asked to perform the test.

-One-leg stand test. The officer directs you to stand on one foot and count out loud for 30 seconds while she observes your balance. This test is difficult for anybody who suffers from an inner ear disturbance, takes certain medications or simply lacks coordination. Your shoes and the location of the test can affect your performance as well.

-Observations. The arresting officer explains why he suspected you of drunk driving in the police report. You may have a non-alcohol related explanation for any one of these subjective observations. Bloodshot eyes may occur if you were crying or tired. You may smell of alcohol if you took a small sip of beer or somebody spilled a drink on you. Additionally, any agitation observed may be due to an argument with a loved one.

Remember, you are not required to prove you were not driving while intoxicated. Rather, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were. We introduce doubt.

You have the right to remain silent and you have the right to an attorney. These are not just lines in a television show; these are your constitutional rights. If you have been arrested, you need to state unequivocally that you want to speak to a lawyer and say nothing else.

At Samra Dhillon & Associates, we protect your rights to the due process of law. Our goal is always to put you in the best position possible. If evidence is stacked against you, we may strategically negotiate a fair plea deal that minimizes jail time. If the prosecutor has insufficient evidence to prove your charges beyond a reasonable doubt or you have a solid defense, we recommend taking your case to trial.

Before organizing our criminal defense law firm, Rosie Dhillon was a deputy district attorney at the Yolo County and Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Offices. She tried numerous cases during her career with these fast-paced offices. She draws on her insight into the prosecution’s strategies and approaches to build the strongest defenses for you.

To convict, the district attorney must prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. We hold the prosecution to this high standard.

Our legal defense team protects your rights to a fair trial and helps you reach the best disposition possible to your charges. We conduct a full investigation into your charges to find holes in the prosecution’s case and to present affirmative defenses.

Don’t let your past hold you back. In the age of the Internet, it has become increasingly easier to conduct background checks on individuals. Potential employers and various government agencies alike can readily check someone’s background and disqualify a person based on their past. Don’t let this happen to you. Don’t let your criminal record prevent you from achieving your goals and moving on with your future. Contacting the experienced staff at Dhillon Law Offices is the first step to taking control of your life and not letting your criminal record control it. Not all crimes are eligible for expungement in California, so it is imperative that you contact an attorney that understands the requirements in California. Our attorneys at Samra Dhillon & Associates will walk you through the entire expungement process and attend the expungement hearings to advocate for you.

When somebody you love hurts you, the experience is surprising, disheartening and terribly frightening. Know that you are not alone. You and your family have options to safely escape the abuse. Our lawyers can help you obtain a restraining order against your abuser and assist you in divorcing an abusive spouse.

Our partner is a former deputy district attorney who has experience prosecuting domestic violence, and child abuse and child porn charges. We can help you escape the abuse and regain your safety, security and freedom. Our attorneys can help you obtain a restraining order and we take special precautions during divorce proceedings to protect you from the abuser.

As drivers, it is common for us to speed and become easily distracted while driving. Whether you were on your phone while driving or ran a red light/stop sign, our attorneys are here to fight your ticket. It is important to seeks the advice of an attorney as they can help lower the charges and avoid higher points on your license.

PERSONAL INJURY

After any car accident, it is important to determine who is at fault for the accident. This will help you understand your right to compensation for any damages or injuries the other driver caused. In some cases, the fault is simple to determine, but in others it may be far more complex, depending on the circumstances which caused the accident. When determining fault, both police officers on the scene and insurance adjusters reviewing the case after the accident will look for factors such as the other driver’s negligence, reckless behavior, or traffic law violations. The other driver will most commonly be held at fault if they were:

- Vehicle Accident

- Speeding

- Making an illegal maneuver

- Talking or texting on the phone

- Driving while intoxicated

- Otherwise distracted while driving

Although police officers and insurance adjusters do their best to review the accident, their determination of fault may not always be correct. Additionally, they may not fully understand the extent of the damage you are facing. In these cases, a car accident lawyer can help plead your case and ensure that you receive the justice you deserve.

In general terms, “slip and fall” accidents refer to situations where a person is injured by slipping, or tripping, and falling due to a dangerous condition on the premises. Such falls can happen inside or outside a building, and be caused by such conditions as bad flooring, wet floors, poorly lit steps, or, in the case of outdoor accidents, weather-related or hidden hazards. An icy patch outside a door or a crack or pothole can be the cause of a slip and fall in a parking lot, for instance. It is always in your best interest to consult with an attorney to review the matter and your injury.

Dog bites and attacks can be a devastating event. If you are a victim or the parent of a child who has been hurt by a domestic animal, you should consult with one of our attorneys today. We are experienced with animal injury and can help determine fault, insurance and other resources that are helpful.

WORKERS COMPENSATION

Our office focuses on Workers’ Compensation Law in all parts of California. The Attorneys on our team have years of experience and the knowledge to review your workers’ compensation matter. We offer a free consultation to discuss the case, your injury, explain the procedure step by step and go over all your options in detail.

It is crucial to act as soon as possible. You have suffered enough, let our skilled Attorneys help communicate directly with your employer’s legal team, the insurance company’s, and fill out all the necessary forms on your behalf. Our goal is to provide you with the best legal representation and increase the chances of maximizing all the benefits you deserve.

Generally, the time frame to file for workers’ compensation benefits is one year from the date of your injury. However, some employers in the State of California require an injured employee to fill out a DWC-1 form within 30 days of injury. It is important to recognize that some injuries develop over time and it is crucial to speak to one of our Attorneys today, to discuss your case. Our office is ready to help you fill out these complex forms and file your claim in time.

There are many benefits you are entitled to as an injured employee. The Attorneys at our office are prepared in taking an aggressive approach to best represent you and your individual case. We are experienced and familiar with all types of workers’ complete cases including:

  • Medical care: Paid for by your employer to help you recover from an injury or illness caused by work
  • Temporary disability benefits: Payments if you lose wages because your injury prevents you from doing your usual job while recovering
  • Permanent disability benefits: Payments if you don’t recover completely
  • Supplemental job displacement benefits: Vouchers to help pay for retraining or skill enhancement if you don’t recover completely and don’t return to work for your employer
  • Death benefits: Payments to your spouse or other dependents if you die from a job injury or illness
  • Willful Misconduct: You might be entitled to benefits if your employer does not maintain a safe work environment or neglects hazardous issues at the workplace
  • Employers discrimination: Your employer cannot terminate or threatened to terminate you because you filed for workers’ compensation
  • Social Security Disability Insurance: You are entitled to benefits if you suffer an injury which prevents you from working until the age of retirement

The Attorneys at our office guarantee we will win your case, or your case is free. We will not charge any money upfront, unless we win a settlement on your behalf. Each individual case may differ in the time it takes from start to end. Our office will be on top of all deadlines to file, the collection of medical and legal documentation required and court dates on your behalf. Do not waste any time or suffer any longer than you already have. It is in your best interest to contact our office today, for a free consultation to discuss your case.

ESTATE PLANNING

Often the term will and trust are used together. However, there is a significant difference and purpose between the two. Both are used for estate planning and drawing up legal instruments to leave assets behind for family, friends and charity. A will generally directly who receives property after death and a legal representative carries your plan out. On the other hand, a trust is generally used to distribute properly before or after death. With a trust, a trustee is given the responsibility to carry out your wishes.