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Contact DUI attorneys Smith and White to discuss an alternative to jail time for a DUI charge.

If you’ve been charged with a DUI, Pierce County offers an alternative to jail time. Immediately contact your attorney to see if you qualify for serving time in a detox facility versus the Pierce County Jail. Proper representation is crucial in DUI and DWI cases, a service DUI attorneys Smith and White provide.

What are some of the benefits?

Under Washington law, if a person violates the terms of a no-contact order by assaulting the protected person, he or she can be convicted of a felony. Further, a person subject to a no-contact order cannot violate the terms of the order, regardless of the reason for doing so. In State of Washington v. Steven Brian Yelovich, the Supreme Court of the State of Washington reiterated this standard, in holding that a person subject to a no-contact order could not use the affirmative defense of defense of property when charged with a felony violation of the order due to assault. If you are charged with a violation of a no-contact order, it is in your best interest to consult an experienced Washington domestic violence defense attorney to discuss defenses available to the charges you face.

Facts of the Case

The suspect dated his alleged victim for five years. At some point thereafter, victim obtained a court order prohibiting the suspect from contacting her or causing her any physical harm. The suspect was at his son’s house moving boxes from the garage. The suspect’s car was parked in the driveway approximately four feet from the garage. The suspect thought he saw someone near his car. When the suspect checked his car, the passenger window was broken and items including his cell phone had been removed from the car. He then saw the victim walking down the street. The suspect believed the victim broke into his car and allegedly began following her with his car, regardless of the fact he was prohibited from contacting her. Shortly thereafter he exited his vehicle and reportedly assaulted the victim. The suspect was charged with felony violation of a no-contact order due to his alleged assault.

Under Washington law, a person who has lost their firearm rights due to a conviction of certain felonies may petition the court to have his or her firearm rights restored after a five year period without any convictions or charges. In State of Washington v. Edgar Dennis III, the Supreme Court of the State of Washington held that a person eligible for restitution of firearm rights after five years need not prove that the five year period immediately precedes the application for restoration. If you were prohibited from possessing firearms due to a prior conviction and would like to have your right to possess a firearm reinstated, you should consult an experienced Washington weapons charge defense attorney to discuss your options.

Facts of the Case

Allegedly, in 1991, Petitioner was convicted of robbery, assault, and two felony violations of the Uniform Controlled Substances Act, after which he was prohibited from possessing a firearm.  Petitioner was also convicted of third-degree assault in 1998. Petitioner was not convicted of any crimes for the next fifteen years. Then, in 2014, petitioner was convicted of negligent driving, which is a misdemeanor. In 2016, petitioner filed a petition for restoration of his firearm rights, without disclosing his 2014 conviction. The state objected, arguing that the law required a five year period in which the petitioner was free of convictions, which must immediately precede the petition. The court denied the petition. Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration, arguing that any five year period without convictions met the five-year requirement set forth under the law. The court denied the motion, after which the petitioner appealed. The appellate court affirmed the trial court ruling, after which petitioner appealed to the Supreme Court of the State of Washington.

A felony conviction may affect your ability to possess a handgun under Washington law. If you are prohibited from possessing a firearm due to a conviction, the state must advise you of the prohibition at the time of your conviction, and the state must show that you were advised of the prohibition to prosecute you for unlawful possession of a firearm. In State of Washington v. Joaquin David Garcia, the Supreme Court of the State of Washington held, however, that a suspect could be convicted of unlawful possession of a firearm even if he or she was not advised of the prohibition at the time of his or her conviction, if he or she later became aware of the prohibition. If you are charged with unlawful possession of a firearm, it is important to confer with a knowledgeable Washington weapons charge defense attorney to ensure your rights are protected.

Facts of the Case

Purportedly, the suspect’s girlfriend advised her physician during an appointment that the suspect threatened her and was in the waiting room with a gun. Upon arrival of the police, the suspect allegedly admitted he had a gun but stated it was his girlfriend’s. The suspect further advised the officer he was a convicted felon and was not permitted to carry a gun. The officer found a gun on the suspect’s person.

If you are charged with a crime, whether or not you are convicted largely depends on what evidence the state is permitted to use against you at trial. Under Washington law, the state must set forth independent evidence of a crime before any confessions made by a suspect may be considered as evidence of guilt. In State of Washington v. Abdirauf A. Isse, the Court of Appeals of the State of Washington held that circumstantial evidence that a suspect was driving a vehicle while intoxicated was sufficient evidence to support a DUI charge, and therefore, the suspect’s statements that he was driving the vehicle were admissible. If you were charged with a DUI, it is essential to your defense to retain an experienced Washington DUI defense attorney to analyze the facts of your case and what defenses you can assert against the charges you face.

Facts of the Case

Allegedly, a police officer responded to the scene of a one-vehicle accident that occurred on an interstate highway. The suspect and a tow truck driver were present at the scene upon the officer’s arrival. The suspect stated he hit black ice and lost control of the vehicle. He retrieved the vehicle registration upon request, but stated the car was registered to his cousin. The suspect did not have a license. Upon realizing the vehicle would be towed, the suspect allegedly became angry and began to yell at the responding officer. The officer observed an odor of alcohol on the suspect’s breath and began to investigate the suspect for suspicion of DUI. During the investigation the suspect spit on several police officers. The suspect was subsequently charged with third degree assault and DUI. Prior to his trial, the suspect moved to suppress any statements he made during his arrest, which the court denied. Following the state’s presentation of its case, the suspect moved to dismiss the DUI charge, which the court denied as well. The suspect was convicted on both charges. He subsequently appealed his DUI charge.

SOUTH SOUND BUSINESS

Local DUI Defense Lawyers to Reimburse Rides Home from Beer Festival

DUI defense attorneys Smith and White will reimburse rides home from the Brew Five Three Beer and Music Festival this Saturday, the Tacoma law firm recently announced. The firm will cover up to $20 of a cab or ride-share ride for the first 20 people who submit receipts.

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How to avoid a DUI offense

It’s summer time and we’re all eager to get outside, enjoy the nice weather and inevitably crack open a nice cold beer, preferably in the company of good friends. Tacoma’s legendary Brew Five Three Beer and Music Festival is quickly approaching and as a proud sponsor, we believe in DUI education for anyone who plans to attend. The truth is, no one ever PLANS to get a DUI. But arming yourself with the knowledge and understanding of a DUI may be helpful for you OR a friend in the improbable case one of you receives a DUI. Our number one goal at Smith and White is to keep you safe and protect our clients – by educating you on why you should never drive under the influence and what’s a stake if you decide to do so.

How to prevent a DUI

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By James J. White, Directing Attorney at Smith & White, PLLC.

It can be bad enough you did not realize you were on probation. But many cases do have a “stealth” probation. You do not have a probation officer, you do not need to do anything affirmative for the court, yet you are still on probation. You maybe did not know or totally forgot and then something unexpected happens.

Continue reading

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Crime bosses always seem to have plenty of money.  I’m trying to think of one movie or series where the crime boss ran out of money.  Since he has plenty of money he always has the best lawyers.  I’ve been doing this 20 years.  If I’ve ever had a crime boss for a client he was too professional to let me know.

What I do know is that as soon as the Government charges you with a crime that would be an ongoing criminal enterprise, like being a drug dealer, embezzler, forger (think Catch Me If You Can) or all around crime boss, they also immediately, and sometimes before, seize or freeze all your assets.  So, once that happens it is too late to pay for the best lawyers.  Right when you need them finally.  All the fancy cars, houses, weapons, jewelry, etc are worthless (to you, the government agents are loving it all).  They are seized.  And you cannot afford a lawyer to get them back for you.  Continue reading

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I do not give people my “elevator speech” when they ask for it.  Who wants to “market” themselves?  I mean who wants to market themselves with pithy quotes and pretty words?  We have some but what does “Compassionate Counsel, Passionate Defense” tell you about what I can do for you with your criminal case?  Yes, we are good listeners.  Yes, we do get behind your cause.  How does good fellowship and attentiveness benefit your case?

But I have been listening for about two decades now to thousands of clients.  And I am always on your side.  And one of the most common occurrences when listening to my clients and reviewing the evidence (against them) is that they often have excellent, winnable cases UNTIL we get to what they themselves said to law enforcement.  Add in what they may or may not have done at the direction of law enforcement and it’s just a few more thrusts with the shovel.  Continue reading

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