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Margaret Forbes Mendoza
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Margaret Mendoza’s Answers

74 total


  • What can I do? Misdemeanor corporal spousal injury charge.

    At the age of 18 I was arrested for dv and shortly after for a criminal threat and received one strike and prison time on the criminal threat charge. Since prison I've turned my life around have been off of parole for 6 years and obtained my assoc...

    Margaret’s Answer

    I would retain an attorney as soon as possible to help you with this matter. You should not attempt to handle this on your own, especially with a prior DV conviction.

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  • After being charged with a drug possession misdemeanor,what steps can i take right now to help myself right now?

    I have been charged with a drug possession misdemeanor at hard summer and it's my first time offense.

    Margaret’s Answer

    I am assuming this is your first offense? Retain an attorney, who will be able to review the incident with you and then also the reports, once you are arraigned, to determine if the search was lawful.. If not, then the case could be dismissed pursuant to a Motion to Supress Evidence. If there are issues for such a motion, but the Judge denies the Motion, you are still entitled to PC 1000.

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  • Do I need an attorney to help drop a DUI charge that was not filed before my court date?

    BAC was .19, I was pulled over because of a traffic violation (pulling too far into the crosswalk), arrested and spent night in jail, went to court on date issued and was told my charge hasn't been filed yet. Need to know if I can get it dismissed...

    Margaret’s Answer

    I agree with my colleagues. Additonally, in Orange County, while the DA may send a letter advising when the case has been filed, it could be submitted as a "warrant filing." You may or may not receive notice.

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  • Reducing a felony to a misdemeanor in California

    I was convicted of a felony in April 2015, CALIFORNIA penal code 245a 4 and my public defender said I would h ave to earn a misdemeanor. Before the conviction, the judge never lowered the felony. How can I get a misdemeanor.

    Margaret’s Answer

    Your charge does not qualify for a re-classification as a misdemeanor under Prop 47. Your charge is a wobbler, meaning that it can be reduced to a misdemeanor. To earn a misdemeanor prior to the completion of your probationary period, you will need to have completed any of the terms you agreed to, such as caltrans, etc, if any was imposed. The judge usually wants to wait at least six months, usually twelve months prior to agreeing to reduce to a misdemeanor. The specific facts of the case play a role in that decision. Once you have completed probation, you can also file paperwork asking for the reduction, and dismissal pursuant to 1203.4. Your Public Defender can assist with both of these options.

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  • 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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