Judge Gonzales is a fourth generation resident of the San Luis Valley. He attended the University of Colorado graduating with a BA in 1975 and obtained his JD from the University of Colorado Law School in 1978. He engaged in a general practice of law from that time until his appointment to the bench. Judge Gonzales served as Conejos County Attorney (1989-2001) and Costilla County Attorney (1996-2001) in addition to an extensive private civil practice. Judge Gonzales has always extensively involved himself in a variety of community activities, especially those involving mental health and children. He has served as a member of many non-profit boards including: the board of directors for the San Luis Valley Community Corrections Board, member the San Luis Valley Regional Medical Center medical ethics committee, member of the board of directors of the Colorado Hispanic Bar Association, member of the board of directors of the San Luis Valley Comprehensive Mental Health Center, member of the Board of Managers of Sycare LLC and CHP LLC [mental health MAHAS]. He is presently on the 12th Judicial Community Corrections Board, 12th Judicial Juvenile services committee, and the 12th Judicial Access to Justice Committee. He first was appointed on the bench when asked to serve as Juvenile Magistrate for the 12th Judicial District from 1997 until his appointment as Alamosa County Judge effective January 9, 2001. As the Juvenile Magistrate a specialized juvenile docket was created which reduce ADP of detentions by more than 50%. He was appointed to the District Court bench in August 2007. Judge Gonzales was appointed in 2015, by Chief Justice Nancy Rice, as a result of HB15-1094.