What warrants the police and/or a prosecutor to pursue an arrest or a criminal charge? Apparently that is a good question; it is amazing how seemingly arbitrary and discretionary it all can be. Case in point, the recent physical altercation at the Pacific Fishermen Yard outdoor event celebrating the new Nordic Museum. During the celebration, Seattle City Councilmember Mike O’Brien was, by all accounts, assaulted – at least as that law is defined in Washington. Regardless, it does not seem anyone in law enforcement batted an eye about the blatant assault IV, a gross misdemeanor.
Curiously, every darn day we at SQ Attorneys see much less egregious incidents ending up in our court systems. And sadly, there is little to no willingness by the prosecution to open their eyes and dismiss the case ‘in the interest of justice’. This is not to say that we at SQ Attorneys think, or even advocate, that a charge should be filed against the person, or persons, who, by law, assaulted Mr. O’Brien. Quite to the contrary, actually. It is, however, a sad commentary that some arrests and/or criminal charges have no business taking place; the sheer lack of consistency in criminal investigations, arrests and filing decisions is laughable.
So what happened at the Pacific Fishermen Shipyard over the weekend? Well, let’s revisit the assault that wasn’t. The outdoor event followed an official grand opening gala at the Nordic Museum. The shipyard is part of a coalition of business and unions fighting Seattle’s plan to create the Burke-Gilman trail’s ‘missing link’ through Ballard, of which Mr. O’Brien is a proponent. Mr. O’Brien attended the event. Members of the coalition clearly did not appreciate his presence; the shipyard general manager told him to leave. Mr. O’Brien claims he was preparing to leave, when he was grabbed behind by the shoulders and shoved towards and out the yard’s gate (ergo – an assault IV, as defined by our laws). Prior to being shoved out of the yard, Mr. O’Brien was advised that if he didn’t leave he would be criminally trespassed, and when he didn’t immediately leave, he was forcibly removed.
By all accounts, this ‘unwanted’ touching was an unprovoked assault. Such an act has on far too many other occasions resulted in an arrest, charge and even conviction for other less fortunate people. No one has ever said, ‘life is fair’, but one would hope that at least there would be some semblance of consistency on how our government enforces our laws. In the future maybe that day will come, only time will tell, however. Until such time, folks facing criminal charges best ‘lawyer up’ so as to ensure they protect their rights and interests.
Whenever cited for a crime it is imperative to hire a qualified Seattle Criminal Defense Attorney. The Seattle Criminal Defense Attorneys that make up the criminal defense team of SQ Attorneys are highly qualified and reputable Seattle Criminal Defense Lawyers that are dedicated to providing top notch, aggressive representation for those arrested or charged for crime all across Western Washington and the Greater Puget Sound region. The team creates success by working with law enforcement and the prosecuting attorney’s office to ensure that all facts and circumstances related to the allegations are considered in creating the fairest, most equitable and just resolution possible in light of all the surrounding circumstances of the given case. So, whether you are cited with an infraction or arrested and/or charged with misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor or a felony, protect yourself … call SQ Attorneys at (206) 441-0900.