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Margaret Forbes Mendoza
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Margaret Mendoza’s Answers

74 total


  • Charged with 2 counts of petty theft

    I'm being charged with 2 counts of petty theft from my former employer. I have no previous record, and to be quite honest, i'm terrified. I just want to know what I would roughly be facing

    Margaret’s Answer

    Without more specific facts, I can say that, generally speaking, since you do not have a prior record, you could be offered community labor in lieu of county jail...however, the punishment associated with a petty theft is NOT your biggest concern. This is a crime of moral turpitude and could have a significant impact on your obtaining employment, licensing issues, etc... So it would be to your benefit to retain an attorney to review the case and if no defense, attempt to find a resolution that will cause you the least amount of impact in the future.

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  • Hello, i just got a DUI in california. Do lawyers normally handle just the court part or do the DMV hearing as well?

    Someone told me they do not deal with the DMV and another told me they do...im confused...

    Margaret’s Answer

    As my colleagues have stated, most attorneys that handle DUI cases also handle the DMV Administrative Hearing. Having control over both aspects of the DUI is important. Please remember to request your DMV hearing within 10 days of the incident. If you retain an attorney within that time frame, that request can be made on your behalf.

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  • Accused of 664 / 459 burglery , subject was too drunk and was walking home and passed out next to a car. arrestd

    accused of 664 / 459 burglery , subject was too drunk and was walking home and passed out next to a car. arrestd and released OR subject is 19yrs. As of now no charges filed and no report is avaible to see further details. should an attorney...

    Margaret’s Answer

    Absolutely an attorney should be present for the arraignment. Although released OR, the issue of bail could be raised at the arraignment, so it is best to have an attorney present to argue on your behalf. An attorney will be able to contact the DA's office and inquire as to the filing prior to the court date. Charges can be filed up to an on the date of the arraignment. If you are unable to hire private counsel, a public defender will be available for you in court at the arraignment.

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  • Whats going to happend.. ??????please help

    My boyfriend went to court yesterday and he has charges for traspassing . The judge wants to send him to jail 60 days and pay a fine of 300$ he chose the right to remain silence and get an attorney. He is not from here and he has no legal status...

    Margaret’s Answer

    That is harsh for a trespass...are you sure that is the charge? and is this his first offense? Mandatory jail is unusual unless there are other issues involved. If he can not afford an attorney, a Public Defender can be appointed to represent him. As far as a conviction for trespass, he needs to consult with an immigration attorney.

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  • Would it be possible for me to get into a DIVERSION PROGRAM on a conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance case?

    Hello, I am going through a pretrial. My case is conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance. Right now I have only had an arraignment. It is a federal case, I am a single mom, of two, and I am a first time offender. I have no priors at all. I...

    Margaret’s Answer

    Who represented you at the arraignment? If you do not have the ability to hire a private attorney, then ask for a public defender to be appointed, if one hasn't already been appointed. The charges you face are serious. There are specific elements to this charge that must be proven. A review of the police report could show weaknesses in the charges filed. Many of the attorneys on this site offer free consultations to review the case facts with you. Also, please make sure you continue to see your therapist to help you through this difficult time.

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  • I am charged with my 1st DUI (BAC =.05) Arrested in LA County. What am i looking at if convicted?

    What are my chances of having the charges reduced or even dropped?

    Margaret’s Answer

    More information is needed. Did they charge you with VC 23152 (a), or VC 23512(a) and
    VC 23152(b)?
    With this result, you would not be charged with a VC 23152(b) unless you were under 21 years of age at the time of the offense. There are other components to a DUI, including driving pattern, field sobriety tests that need to be reviewed. The DMV will also separately be involved if you are under 21 with this result or if you refused, so be sure to schedule your hearing with the DMV within the ten day period, or retain counsel so it can be done on your behalf.

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  • What happens when the "victim" in a misdemeanor DV charge never appears in court. CA

    i was charged with misdemeanor DV, vandalism and assault w/deadly weapon. my sons father (the victim) refuses to go to court and testify.

    Margaret’s Answer

    There are three possible scenarios:
    1. Case is set for trial and the DA will not be able to proceed because no V. available to testify.
    2. DA asks court to issue a "body attachment" (arrest) for Victim who does not comply with the subpoena, basically forcing him to come to court.
    3. The DA offers a plea to another (lesser) charge prior to either of the above happening. They'll try to get a conviction by threatening to force victim to court. Defendant will need to decide whether to push DA to trial ( call their bluff) or reduce risk of a more serious conviction by accepting offer.

    How the DA handles the reluctant victim depends on the seriousness of the offense (injuries and damage). It is not uncommon in DV cases for the victim to refuse to cooperate, so DA's do not like to back down.

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  • Do my son need legal help?

    My son was arrested for felony sexual battery and misdemeanor resisting arrest. They said the DA have until Monday to file charges. I called and they said the DA have until 5:00 pm to file charges. My question is can they do this? Will my son need...

    Margaret’s Answer

    Your son is facing serious charges. Yes he needs an attorney that practices criminal defense. You could ask friends or family for a referral, look online and also contact attorneys through Avvo.

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  • I passed all three field test, they did not give me a breath test or blood test but still arrested me.

    Do I have a good chance of beating this? He did ask if I had been drinking and I told him yes earlier in the day but not in the last few hours.

    Margaret’s Answer

    I agree with the attorneys who have previously responded.... The majority of my clients believe they have passed the Field Sobriety tests,only to see otherwise when they read the reports prepared by the police. These tests can frequently be successfully attacked at trial due to being administered incorrectly, etc...Did you refuse to take a breath/blood test after you were arrested? Why did they pull you over to begin with?

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  • I'm 20 and got charged with dui, what is the chance of me keeping my liscence, with the help of an attorney of course

    I was stopped for not having a front liscence plate on my car and the officers made me do I field sobriety test I didn't pass according to them the breathelizer test showed a .14. I was never read my miranda rights. Not when I was arrested and not...

    Margaret’s Answer

    Please do not assume that your only option is to plead guilty. The District Attorney has the burden of proving you guilty of the charge. They need all of the pieces of the puzzle, and if one piece is missing or defective, then they may not be able to prove their case. An attorney will review the facts in detail with you and then, upon receiving the reports, scrutinize each detail written in the report.
    Any questions asked before arrest are deemed investigatory and if no questions are asked after arrest, then no Miranda needed.
    The DMV needs to be contacted(within 10 days) to schedule an in-person hearing. You should have an attorney present with you for this hearing. Your license issue is treated separately by the court and the DMV.

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