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Margaret Forbes Mendoza
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Margaret Mendoza’s Answers

70 total


  • Can my son be arrested for DUI after vehicle accident even if blood test does not show anything? It's been two months already.

    My son was involved in a car accident and the car was totaled. His friend, a passenger with him, was slightly injured but going to be okay. My son, nor his friend, can remember what happened. They had gone to a bar with friends and my son said h...

    Margaret’s Answer

    Based on the facts you have provided, there will most likely be some percentage of alcohol (ethanol) in your son’s system. A DUI typically has two components: VC 23152(a): driving with .08% BAC or higher and VC 23152(b): driving while under the influence…..
    Therefore, if the BAC is under .08%, the Prosecutor could pursue a DUI under VC23152(a), relying on the driving, field sobriety tests and objective symptoms. The DA could also file felony DUI if the injuries to the passenger support it. Finally, if your son is under the age of 21, he could be charged with a DUI if the BAC is .01% or higher. Assuming no drugs or alcohol, he could still be charged with reckless driving as a misdemeanor or a felony.

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  • Bench warrant/District Attorney

    I had food stamps, then I reported as fraud saying I was getting it when I shouldn't have. This was false but they took the money out of my taxes. A background report I received showed a felony and bench warrant out for my arrest because of failur...

    Margaret’s Answer

    Do not talk to anyone until you have retained an attorney. If you cannot afford private counsel, contact the public defender's office.

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  • Should I give a statement to police regarding domestic violence I am accused of from 2 months ago?

    My ex is accusing me of domestic violence in May. She already tried to get a restraining order against me but the judge didn't grant it, then 5 days later filed a criminal complaint. An investigator called me 7 days after that asking for a stateme...

    Margaret’s Answer

    Absolutely not. They do not need your statement to file a case and anything you say could ultimately hurt you.

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  • How should I plead?

    Arrested and released the next day for public intoxication at Disneyland. Court date is in 2 weeks, and this is my first offense. I am currently working towards getting my class A license and don't want this to affect my chances at getting a job. ...

    Margaret’s Answer

    I assume this happened at Disney's California Adventures or Downtown Disney as there are many facilites at both that serve alcohol. You should contact an attorney well before your arraignment, or if you can not afford an attorney, you can speak to the public defender. By all means, do not plead guilty before an attorney has had an opportunity to speak with you in detail and review the reports. Other alternatives may be possible.

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  • My daughter has been arrested for felony grand theft, should I bail her out, or will she just end up back in jail

    This is her first offence, she is young and she worked at store, she stole from

    Margaret’s Answer

    While the arrest may have been a felony arrest, it may very well be filed as a misdemeanor. It is expensive to bail someone out. Assuming you have the financial ability to do so, consider the fact that she is your daughter, she is young and this is her first offense . She would definitely benefit from being released from custody and retaining an attorney to attempt to negotiate a plea (assuming the facts support a plea and not trial) that does not involve jail, and to attempt to structure a plea so as to avoid a theft related conviction on her record, if at all possible. The specific facts of the case, and the court where the case is being heard are strong factors to consider as far as the outcome is concerned, so a definitive answer to your question is not possible with the few facts provided.

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  • Prop 47 would it apply to someone who has been recently convicted of felony first offense sales and currently on probation

    previously convicted of first time offense of very small amount of meth and rather than given prop 36 was sentenced as first offense sales and given 3 years felony probation , wondering if this new law would help me be able to submit petition for ...

    Margaret’s Answer

    Sales is not included in Prop 47, so you would not be able to benefit from Prop 47, which I understand is effective immediately.
    Per PC 1170.18(f) to (h), those whose charge falls under Prop 47, who have completed their sentence can petition for a reduction, or if they are currently serving a sentence, can petition for a recall of sentence.

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  • I responded to Craigslist add which read as hangout on weekend and i went to the place and found it was an entrapment for 288.4.

    The public defender made me plead guilty scaring that it would take 1 to 2 years to fight the case and prove my innocence and i was a student in US with just 8months old to country. 288.4 PC reads something like sexual interest and talking nasty w...

    Margaret’s Answer

    As my colleagues have stated, since you have already plead guilty to the charge, you will need to have that plea withdrawn before you can move forward with the case. A plea withdrawal is time specific and also issue specific. Discuss the facts with an attorney, who will then be able to pinpoint the relevant issues, review the plea and advise you as to whether you have a viable motion. Good luck

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  • Went to a party, then got pulled over for speeding, right away the officer didn't ask me for my lisence or anything he just said

    Step out of the vehicle.. He did the usual DUI sidewalk tests.. I didn't know if I passed them or not because I seemed to be fine and not drunk/buzz I blew on the breathalizer several times and nothing came up, so they arrested me and took me in...

    Margaret’s Answer

    It sounds like you were arrested for a DUI....when released at the station, what charges appear on the paperwork given to you? You need to speak to an attorney as soon as possible due to DMV hearing deadlines, as my colleague has stated. Once the arrest reports are obtained, an attorney will be able to spot any issues regarding the initial stop of your vehicle, the tests performed at the scene (FST's), the blood alcohol content (BAC) results, etc. Most DUI report narratives start with language such as, "upon contact with the driver, I noticed a strong odor of alcohol coming from the vehicles and/or driver's breath" and its all downhill from there, so having an attorney know what issues to look for is vital. Good luck.

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  • Is PC 602 (k) a crime involving moral turpitude?

    My son was charged with PC 647 (b). The court handling his case does not offer diversion for that penal code. The PD tried to get a deal for PC 415 (2); the city attorney refused to offer PC 415 (2) and instead offered PC 602 (k) or PC 602 (m). ...

    Margaret’s Answer

    You should definitely speak with an immigration attorney. 602(k) is considered a crime of moral turpitude, because that section involves more than merely entering onto another's property....it involves entry for the purpose of injuring one's property or property rights. The other sections mentioned are not typically deemed to be crimes of moral turpitude. As the policies regarding crimes of moral turpitude are often at odds with immigration policies, it is important to have an immigration attorney review the open case, any prior convictions, etc.

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  • Does this apply to Gang Enhancement charges?

    Hi, I have a question.. My boyfriend IS a gang member and one of his charges is for Gang Enhancements, which I do not understand. Yes, he is a gang member and he was arrested in his "neighborhood." But the problem is, when he was arrested, he was ...

    Margaret’s Answer

    Prosecutors are quick to add gang enhancements to an underlying charge, but they must be proven. If so proven, they substantially increase the sentence, which varies depending upon the underlying charged offense. What are the charges?

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