Friday, January 23, 2015

Meet Our New Attorney: William B. Gonzalez

De Castroverde Law Group has earned a reputation in the Las Vegas area for providing clients with the highest possible level of legal counsel and representation. We have achieved this goal by building a team of knowledgeable, skilled, and outstanding attorneys, and we are pleased to introduce our newest addition: Attorney William B. Gonzalez.

Attorney Gonzalez has practiced law in Nevada for nearly two decades, and was a successful attorney for a number of years before he was appointed to the Family Court Bench in 2009. Prior to receiving his Juris Doctor from J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University, he graduated from Redlands University with a degree in business management and later earned an MBA from the Monterey Institute of International Studies. 

After being admitted to the Nevada State Bar in 1997, Attorney Gonzalez worked as an associate attorney with another local firm for two years, and then served as a deputy public defender with the Clark County Public Defender’s Office for nearly ten years. In 2009, the Nevada Judicial Selection Commission assessed Attorney Gonzalez’s experience and determined that he was one of the most qualified finalists to become a judge. Governor Jim Gibbons appointed Attorney Gonzalez to the Family Court Bench in March of 2009, and he was one of only two family court judges that were Spanish-speaking Latinos.

During the five years that Attorney Gonzalez served as Family Court Judge Department F in the Eighth Judicial District Court, he had the opportunity to represent over 2,000 at-risk children from the community.  His tireless work ethic and dedication during his appointment as a family court judge continue to have a positive impact on local families.

In light of his extensive experience handling family domestic relations cases, Attorney Gonzalez is well-equipped to lead De Castroverde Law Group’s expanding Family Law Department. “We are proud to have such an experienced attorney and community leader join our firm,” Attorney Alex De Castroverde said of Attorney William Gonzalez. “I have known Bill for about 15 years and have come to respect and admire his work as an attorney and as a former Family Court judge.”

Attorney Gonzalez is deeply committed to helping children and families throughout Southern Nevada, and this dedication extends beyond the courtroom. He served as the Vice-Chair of the City of Las Vegas Housing Authority for four years, and has been an active member of the Advisory Board for the Boyd School of Law Clinical Program for the past five years. Attorney Gonzalez also volunteers as a judge for local high school mock trial programs, and for the past 14 years he has served as a Boy Scout leader for the local Las Vegas Unit 269.  

Attorney Gonzalez and his wife, Ana Maria, have been married for 27 years. They have four children and have called Southern Nevada their home since 1997. “I’m really happy to join De Castroverde Law Group,” Attorney Gonzalez said. “I know I’m joining a group of attorneys who are well-established and well-respected throughout the community.”

Fluent in both English and Spanish, Attorney Gonzalez is dedicated to using his unique legal to obtain the best possible results for his clients’ family court cases. Contact the esteemed team at De Castroverde Law Group to learn more about Attorney William B. Gonzalez and the firm’s divorce and family law services. 

Friday, January 16, 2015

Understanding the Criminal Appeals Process in Nevada

If you were found guilty of a criminal offense in a Nevada court, you may be able to challenge the court’s decision by filing an appeal. According to NRS 177, an appeal can be used when someone convicted of a crime would like to request that a higher court review the decision of the lower court. 

The appeal is used to determine if there were certain factors present in the case that could overturn the court’s decision. Appeals typically involve showing that legal and factual errors were made during the trial, and these errors had a profound impact on the case’s outcome.

Factors that can lead to a successful appeal include: 
  • Misconduct on the part of the prosecution
  • The evidence failed to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt
  • The jury received improper instructions
  • The judge made errors during the course of the trial
  • Defendant’s legal counsel was so ineffective that it impacted the outcome of the case
  • A law or regulation was applied erroneously
If an appeal is filed based on any of these factors, the higher court will review the trial. During the appeal, no new evidence or information can be provided to the higher court that was not addressed in the original trial. The record of the original trial will be used to determine if any error was made during the prosecution of the alleged crime.

Filing an Appeal: An Overview

If your attorney determines that you have grounds to appeal the ruling of your case, you must act quickly. If you were convicted in district court, your lawyer has 30 days from the date of conviction to begin the appeals process. If you were convicted in federal district court or justice court, your lawyer has just 10 days to start the appeals process.

The Nevada appeals process typically involves the following steps:
  1. Your attorney will file a notice of appeal with the court that handled your trial before the deadline.
  2. The trial court will file the transcripts (“record”) of your original trial with the appellate court. Your lawyer then has 120 days to review the transcripts and create an appellate brief, which is a lengthy document that argues why you should win the appeal based upon laws and past cases.
  3. After your lawyer has submitted the appellate brief, the state’s attorney can file an opposition that challenges the arguments presented in your brief. Your lawyer then has the opportunity to file another brief in response. Based upon the case, your attorney may be allowed to also present an oral argument before the appellate judges in addition to the appellate brief.
  4. The appellate judges will review the briefs and any oral arguments, and then prepare and deliver the court’s decision as a written opinion.
Following an appeal, the higher court can overturn the lower’s court’s decision, acquit the defendant of the charges, order a new trial, or rule that the lower court’s original decision still stands.

If you would like to learn whether you have grounds to file an appeal in Nevada, speak with an experienced Las Vegas criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Contact our skilled team at De Castroverde Law Group to discuss your case and legal options. 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Liability for Construction Site Injuries

Construction is among the most dangerous industries in the nation, as these workers put themselves in harm’s way on a daily basis at job sites. The injuries sustained by construction workers can range from minor to catastrophic, depending upon the type of accident. Accidents on construction sites frequently involve:

  • Falling from scaffolding and other heights
  • Trip, slip, and falls
  • Lifting and repetitive motion injuries
  • Defective and unsafe equipment
  • Electrocution, fires, and explosions
  • Machinery accidents
  • Falling debris, equipment, or materials
Although the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has established numerous rules and regulations to protect employees on job sites, thousands of construction workers are injured each year. When a construction worker is seriously harmed on the job, who is at fault for their injuries and expenses?

Determining Fault in Construction Accidents

Fault could potentially be attributed to multiple parties for a construction site accident. Liability will be determined based upon the factors that led to the incident, the level of control each potential party had over the job site, and the level of control each potential party had over the work that was being done when the accident occurred.

Depending upon each party’s legal responsibilities and duties, the following individuals could be held liable for a construction worker’s injuries:
  • Owner of the construction site
  • General and sub-contractors
  • Engineers
  • Architects
  • Prime contractors
  • Manufacturers of equipment or machinery used on the site
  • Each party’s insurer
If you were hurt in a construction accident, you could greatly benefit from hiring an experienced injury attorney to handle your case. Your attorney can determine which parties may be liable for your injuries, determine if any OSHA violations occurred, and build a comprehensive case that seeks maximum compensation for your suffering and expenses.

De Castroverde Law Group is a family-run firm that aggressively fights for the rights and interests of accident victims in Las Vegas. If you were injured on a job site in Clark County, NV or the surrounding areas, get in touch with our highly-reviewed firm to discuss your legal options!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Felony Charges for Auto Theft in Nevada

Las Vegas Auto Theft Lawyers
Under NRS 205.228, grand larceny of a motor vehicle is charged as a felony offense in the state of Nevada. This offense can be charged when an individual intentionally steals, drives away, takes and carries away, or in another way removes a vehicle from the rightful possession of another person.

The severity of auto theft charges will depend upon the value of the vehicle stolen and if there were any aggravating circumstances involved, such as the use of a weapon. Various actions can lead to charges for grand larceny of a motor vehicle, including:  
  • Failure to return a rented car
  • Breaking into an unattended car and driving it away
  • Agreeing to purchase a car but leaving with the vehicle before payment has been made
  • Taking off with a car intended only for employment duties
  • Driving away in a vehicle without the owner’s permission
  • Forcing a person out of their vehicle and then taking it through the use of force or threats
If the individual did not have permission to take the vehicle, auto theft can be charged regardless of whether they were in possession of keys to the car, if the car was removed by a method other than driving, or if the car was only being borrowed for a short amount of time.

Penalties & Defenses for Grand Theft Auto

The penalties for grand theft auto differ depending on the value of the vehicle stolen. If the stolen vehicle is valued at less than $3,500, the offense will be charged as a category C felony punishable by:
  • Incarceration in state prison for 1 to 5 years
  • Fines up to $10,000
  • Restitution to the victim
If the stolen vehicle is valued at $3,500 or more, the offense will be charged as a category B felony punishable by:
  • Incarceration in state prison for 1 to 10 years
  • Fines up to $10,000
  • Restitution to the victim
If you or a loved one has been charged with auto theft in Las Vegas, it’s important to know your defense options before making any decisions about your case. Our experienced theft attorneys at De Castroverde Law Group can evaluate your unique situation to determine what legal options are available to fight the charges.

Depending upon the factors involved in the alleged crime, possible defenses to auto theft charges include:
  • You are the rightful owner of the car that was purportedly stolen. 
  • You borrowed the vehicle with permission from the owner, and there was no intention to commit auto theft.
  • The prosecution cannot prove that a crime occurred because there were no witnesses to the alleged theft and the vehicle was never found in your possession.
Every situation is different, so it’s imperative to get a seasoned defense team on your side as soon as possible if you are facing auto theft charges in Clark County. De Castroverde Law Group is a family-run law firm in Las Vegas with an impressive record of success in all types of misdemeanor and felony cases. Contact our firm today to discuss your rights and defense options with our dedicated attorneys!