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Margaret Forbes Mendoza
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Margaret Mendoza’s Answers

67 total

  • Can I convert community service to fines?

    I requested community service in liue of fines and won't be able to complete on time. This was at the West Covina courthouse. Is there a way I can go to the clerks office and convert it to the original fine amount?

    Margaret’s Answer

    Yes, typically you can request community service in lieu of the fine or vice versa. It is easier to convert community service to a fine and many times that can be handled directly, simply by going to the clerks office of the courthouse. The clerk might not be able to convert, and will instead send your case up to the Judge who heard your matter. Your attorney can handle this for you if your matter was a misdemeanor. If a felony, you and your attorney will need to go to court. It is best to go in before the due date. Be sure to go early in the morning. If it does need to be sent up to the Judge, there is usually a cut off time for cases to be added to the courts calendar for that day.

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  • What may happen now? I violated a restraining order and I was arrested.

    5 months into the set order due to expire 9-18-13 The petitioner called me and said he missed me we started seeing each other again. I bought into his lies that he was sorry, he was mad at me, and that he wouldn't notify police. I trusted and I lo...

    Margaret’s Answer

    Yes, you have been charged with a crime and therefore you should have an attorney handle your case. An attorney will be able to review the reports and discuss any possible defenses with you.

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  • It is true that you must pay all fines before trying to get something expunged?

    I been trying to get a job and they do a background checks for the last 7 years and I have 1 thing that is petty theft that is stopping me from getting these job that I apply for. I need to get this removed asap.

    Margaret’s Answer

    In order to get your conviction expunged, you will need to have completed all of the terms and conditions of your probation, including the fine and any fees owed and have completed the period of probation successfully. When considering whether to grant the request to expunge., a Judge will also consider whether or not the probation has been violated.

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  • I was pulled over driving on suspended license. What am I looking at for this offense? Jail time? Fine?

    I had a dui conviction last year as well.

    Margaret’s Answer

    The short answer is: If the suspension was do to the DUI (14601.2(a)), then the minimum county jail time is 10 days and the max is 180 days county jail. Knowledge is also an issue, but with a DUI, it is often difficult to show that one did not have knowledge of the suspension. The length of the suspension depends on whether it is a first DUI or subsequent DUI conviction. The suspension can also arise from an "Administrative Per Se" Hearing with the DMV, which also increases in time after the first DMV suspension. These suspensions do not always run together, which can cause confusion to someone who thinks the suspension is over, when it is not. Once the suspension period ends, it is up to the licensee to take the required steps to get the license reinstated.

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  • What happens if you do not pay parking tickets in California and they go to collection? Can it get any worse?

    Three parking tickets gone to collection. Can it get worse?

    Margaret’s Answer

    Yes..as my colleagues have stated, the DMV could decide not to renew your license and your license could be suspended, and the fines could increase...take care of asap!

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  • Can I have my dui reduced if my bac was low?

    I was driving my friend home and was pulled for going 10 miles over the speed limit. The officer noticed my friend had alcohol with him but he is 21 and it was sealed. I passed the field sobriety tests and my BAC was .044 but I'm under the age limit.

    Margaret’s Answer

    Since you are under 21 years of age, the limit is .01 or higher (zero tolerance), not .08. That being said, as noted in the previous answers, there are alternatives to a misdemeanor DUI and there could be issues regarding the initial stop of your vehicle and your arrest. Many of us offer consultations...also remember that you only have 10 days (from the arrest/when you received your temporary license) to request an "administrative per se" hearing with the DMV, which is separate from the court action, so you should speak to an attorney soon to have the DMV and court issues explained to you in detail as you are facing a one year suspension of your driver's license, as well as other related penalties.

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  • My daughter has asked me to submit the forms requesting sentence modification but what do I put where it says the following

    modifications and the reasons

    Margaret’s Answer

    It depends on what the reasons are and what modifications she is requesting. Her previous attorney should be available to answer these questions.If not, retaining an attorney to properly prepare the paperwork could be beneficial.

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  • I got arrested and charged with petty theft. I can't afford an attorney so I will have to go with a public defender.

    Since I can meet with then until my arraignment. What should I do in the mean time??

    Margaret’s Answer

    Stay away from the location of the arrest. You will have an opportunity to speak with your PD at your arraignment. Many attorneys accept payment plans if you can not afford to pay the retainer in full. With private counsel, and if a misdemeanor, you will not have to attend your court proceedings as your attorney can appear for you at the initial arraignment and further proceedings. Good Luck!

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  • How many years would my grandson do if he is in for burglary?this is his first time in custody.

    grandson knocked on the door and returned to the car and waited in the car. While other two went to the side of the house and removed a window screen, but didn't go in. but they got caught driving off?

    Margaret’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    A residential burglary charge is a strike and could carry with it a prison sentence of 2-6 years...It would be helpful to know exactly how he has been charged with the offense....with this additional information, we would be able to state whether or not he is eligible for a probationary sentence, which could be negotiated. A probationary sentence carries up to one year in county jail, but again, depending on the facts, it is possible to have the time converted to an alternative sentence. There could also be additional facts/defense which should be litigated through trial. He needs to speak to an attorney who can review the facts and explain all of this options to him.

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  • Warrant for arrest letter

    Today i recieved a yellow piece of paper saying that i have been issused a warrant for my msised arrest for my dui court date. it shows the bail amount and my dui case number.. What kind of warrant is this? will the cops come to my house and arres...

    Margaret’s Answer

    It is a warrant and you are subject to arrest. While some agencies will send a courtesy letter once a case is filed, unfortunately that does not always happen. The arrest on the warrant usually occurs when a person is pulled over for a traffic violation. It is unlikely the officers would come to our home. Please consult an attorney asap., who can appear on your behalf (depending on the court), have the warrant recalled and a new date set for your arraignment. Good luck!

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