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Articles Posted in DUI

A famous song from the 1960s, borrowing from Jewish and Christian scriptures, states that there is a “time to every purpose under heaven.” Encounters with police can be like that. Which is to say, when interacting with the police, there is a time to be very forthcoming, and there is a time to refrain from speaking. Suffice it to say, whatever the specifics of your situation may be, the first thing you say when you encounter a law enforcement officer should probably not be, “I did it.” One man from southwestern Washington made that mistake in his case, a case in which the Washington Court of Appeals upheld his conviction.

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If you smoke it is more than likely that you know it would be beneficial to not do so. You know about cancer, emphysema, heart problems, respiratory problems, and the list goes. The media has all but bombarded us with this information plus the surgeon general has a warning on every pack. You know it costs anywhere between five and ten dollars a pack. Some of you are even wondering, “Where did you find the five dollar ones?” So you know quitting would save you an awful lot of money. Plus, there are the concerns about smell, the less and less convenient places to go, and quite often family and friend concerns that you get the privilege of listening to over and over and over again. Yet many people continue forward with this very risky habit. Why? Well there are actually a lot of answers but this example was primarily used to show that there is a practice that has people asking the same question.

Everybody knows that if you drink you should not drive. The reasons are even of greater magnitude. You are a danger to yourself and others. The number of car crashes caused by drunk driving is way above that of any other cause. The same is true of fatal car crashes. People know this for the same reason they know the health risks of smoking – the media sends out the message at least daily. Plus, you are risking a DUI arrest. In Washington, that has jail time, hefty fines and many other penalties. Yet many people choose to engage in this risky behavior. This begs the same question – WHY? The answers are multiple. Continue reading

Are you having a crisis moment? The worst scenario happened. You drove. You got taken to the station. You were given a BAC test. Then you tested over the Washington legal limit of .08. Now you probably do not feel like fighting. What you are very seriously thinking about is pulling your hair a little, maybe biting your nails or crying for a little, worrying a lot but eventually throwing in the towel, pleading guilty just to get it over with and hoping for a merciful judge.

You did blow an over the legal limit number. So it seems like they have all the science and the law on their side. So the reaction listed above is an understandable one and one that many people have mistakenly also made both before and after you. Since you are examining a defense attorney website it can be assumed for now that you have left your options open. That is good because there are defense options available. Continue reading

Washington has been in the foreground of marijuana legalization. It was one of the first states to legalize its medical use and then its recreational use. As you walk through the cities of our state it can be noticed that it has definitely become socially acceptable. Due to this legalization and social acceptance arrests involving marijuana have understandably declined. Although it’s technically illegal you can see people smoking it openly and the police do not seem to regularly enforce this illegality. Plus now there are shops that sell marijuana. It would probably be an exaggeration to say there is a marijuana store on every block but it sometimes does feel that way. As long as you have the proper license you will not get arrested for marijuana selling. As long as you buy from an authorized dealer you will not get arrested simply for buying or using.

But there is one marijuana related arrest that is actually on the rise. Because marijuana does cause impairment it is still illegal to use it and drive and you can be arrested for DUI. The legal limit for marijuana is five nanograms of active THC in the blood within two hours of driving and the penalties for a marijuana involved DUI are the same as if the DUI involved alcohol. These arrests, unlike the others, are increasing. In fact they have almost doubled. Continue reading

You are being charged with or even been already convicted of a DUI. You probably are already aware of the official penalties – jail time, fines, license suspension, and other potential penalties. But what you may not be aware is that there are also unofficial penalties. These are the penalties that a DUI causes but are not officially part of the criminal code. One of these may be disapproval from your family and friends or another may be difficulty in finding employment or housing due to your record. Due to the Interstate Compact for Adult Offender Supervision you may have difficulties if you choose to move to another state. You will face another unofficial penalty if you ever need to go to Canada for either business or pleasure. As the border is so close this does come up as a problem in Washington more often than in many other parts of the country.

You are probably wondering why entering Canada would be a problem if it is not a penalty listed in our laws. This is because the limitation is caused not by Washington or United States law; it is caused by Canadian law. In Canada even a first offense DUI is classified as a felony. The customs officers will not allow anyone entrance to Canada to anyone with a felony on their record and they do not use US classifications – they use Canadian classifications. So it can get very difficult to enter into Canada once you have a DUI on your record. Continue reading

When someone is studying DUI laws in Washington there is a term that will come up and that is “escalating penalties”. What is usually also being discussed is whether the escalating penalties have been effective in curbing repeat offenses or DUI related fatalities. The phrase is actually used and discussed within two contexts so it can get a little confusing.

The first context you may have discovered if you have needed to deal with a second or greater DUI arrest. The more DUI’s that you get the penalties that you face increase. If you are facing a 5th or higher DUI charge the crime is then classified as a felony which would mean prison time if you were convicted. This is what is often meant by “escalating penalties”.

What can also be meant is the history of DUI law in the first place. This context of the term “escalating penalties” can also affect first time offenders. Continue reading

If you are facing DUI charges for the first time you are undoubtedly nervous and unsure of your options. This is not something anyone plans and when it happens all you know is that you are in the middle of a nightmare.

Now, of course, the best case scenario is an acquittal. But what if you do not think you have a chance of that happening? First, talk with your DUI defense attorney. The law is complex and the case against you may not be as hard as you think it is. But what if your defense attorney also thinks an acquittal is unlikely? Then what may be suggested is a plea bargain to a lesser charge and the most common charge would be a wet reckless driving charge (a reckless driving with an added statement related to having consumed alcohol). At this point you may be wondering, “Well, is this better? Do I want this or not?” Continue reading

To all parents the most important part of our lives is our children and their wellbeing. You go crazy with worry and possibly even ballistic if anything or anyone threatens them. But parents are just people like everybody else and people make mistakes. It causes extreme guilt but sometimes it is the parent that inadvertently causes the threat. You have now just been charged with a DUI. Will this threaten your child? It might. You will want to do everything to make sure that it doesn’t.

Being arrested is always stressful. Due to the stringent DUI laws in Washington being arrested for DUI can be scary as now you are facing potential jail time, large fines and other possible penalties. But let us look at your situation. Are you in the middle of a divorce involving child custody? Or are you the custodial parent and are now worried that if convicted you will be facing another custody battle? This can be terrifying. Continue reading

You’ve heard the expression “don’t judge a book by its cover”? Perhaps you even believe it and practice it in regards to people. So, perhaps you’re thinking, “It shouldn’t matter how I dress for court, I should simply be judged in regards to the merits of the case.” Maybe you’re right and maybe in a perfect world that would be the way that it is. But you would probably agree that this is not the time to make things harder on yourself. There is another old expression “honey attracts more flies than vinegar”. No one is going to get a favorable verdict or sentence simply on the basis of good clothes and behavior but the opposite can happen with bad clothes or behavior. Continue reading

Being arrested for DUI is terrifying enough. It’s usually caused by a temporary lapse in judgment with someone who has had no previous legal problems. So now, for the first time in your life, you’re facing potential jail time, fines, license suspension and other possible penalties like being required to install an ignition interlock device. But now it even just got scarier for you. Your child was in the car and now you’ve just learned that CPS is investigating you.

First – don’t panic. It may feel like it but you’re not being singled out. In WA anytime a DUI arrest happens with children in the car they are required to report it to CPS and CPS is, in turn, required to conduct an investigation. What CPS is looking for is whether there is cause to believe that ongoing abuse or neglect is happening in your home. If that does not describe your situation then you have little to worry about. But it is frightening and is one reason you need the counsel of your defense attorney. Continue reading

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