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Margaret Forbes Mendoza
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Margaret Mendoza’s Answers

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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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  • Apearing at a suppression hearing?

    In the 10 months that my friend has been sitting in jail. I have left voicemails and emails for his public defender all of which have not been responded to. Now all of the sudden an investigator for the public defender contacts me and asks me to...

    Margaret’s Answer

    You will have a chance to speak to the attorney before the hearing. Typically, investigators are used to obtain statements, which will be reviewed and then the decision as to whether or not to call the person to actually testify will be made, Attorneys use investigators to get the statements so that the attorney does not become a "witness" to the case. If you have been subpoenaed you must appear as that is a court order. If any of your statements could incriminate you, you should seek the advice of an attorney before you speak to anyone. Good Luck!

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  • First offense DUI discovery BAC level was .08. what are the chances of dismissal?

    There was a mistake in the court with my name. I finally received a court date and I'm wondering what are the chances with a case of .08 BAC getting dismissed? I also don't need to attend the DMV hearing that is a day before my court date.

    Margaret’s Answer

    Do you know for a fact that your result was a .08 or are you assuming that this was a result because the charge is referred to as ...driving with a .08 or higher? The DA will still pursue, either a DUI or alternative charge, based on the driving and the tests performed. The DMV will not pursue if it is under a .08. Why do you assume there is no DMV action against your license? Did you receive a temporary license when you were arrested and how long ago did the incident occur? You should speak to an attorney about the specific of your case...good luck!!

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  • First time offense, should I hire an attorney

    Hello, I am 20 and was caught shoplifting a week ago and ticketed. Now I'm facing petty theft charges and have to go to court. Should I hire an attorney? Will this go on my record?

    Margaret’s Answer

    Yes, you need to hire an attorney, or ask the court to appoint a public defender if you can not afford to hire an attorney. A theft conviction is priorable, so if you are arrested in the future for a theft, it can be filed as a felony. There are defenses to a theft, which your attorney can explain to you. An attorney can also attempt to negotiate an alternative disposition. If you are not a citizen of the U.S., there are serious implications. You are young and should try to avoid a conviction for theft.

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