Another Crackdown in Seattle

May 25th, 2015

Another crime crackdown is in the works in the City of Seattle. Seattle is out to squelch hate crimes by stepping up its efforts to reduce malicious harassment around the city. Mayor Murray announced this past Thursday, along with Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole, that the city is going to make a concerted effort to reduce crimes against people based on their sexual orientation. The increased effort comes after a number of violent attacks in the Capitol Hill area.

To initiate this plan, local businesses, educational institutions and organizations will be provided with decals and information on how to report hate crimes around the city. In addition, there will be training on when to call 911, how to shelter crime victims until police arrive and proactive outreach about working with the police department’s LGBT liaison officer.

Sometimes good people make bad mistakes. None of us are perfect, and sometimes our mistakes result in criminal charges. This is where SQ Attorneys fits into the picture. If you or a loved one is arrested for a crime in Washington State it would be smart to immediately contact a Seattle criminal defense attorney to protect your rights and interests. 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 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 criminal 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 cited for assault, property destruction or some other crime, protect yourself … call SQ Attorneys immediately.

Base Fines Increase in July

May 19th, 2015

We all know all too well that getting a traffic ticket proverbially hurts.  And now the sting just got a bit more painful. Effective July 1, 2015, base fines for most traffic infractions will increase by $12. This monetary bump is the largest since 2007, and is said to be initiated so as to help cities and counties provide legal defense for indigent people accused of crimes, and for a new computer system for the state’s district courts. So driver beware, get a ticket and you quite possibly will be subsidizing our government even more than in past years.

If cited for a traffic offense in Washington State it is always a stellar idea to immediately contact a Seattle traffic defense attorney. The Seattle traffic defense attorneys that make up SQ Attorneys are highly qualified and reputable Seattle traffic defense lawyers that are dedicated to providing top notch, aggressive representation for those cited for traffic violations all across Western Washington and the Greater Puget Sound region. So, when cited for a traffic violation do the smart thing … call SQ Attorneys immediately.

VP Biden’s call for Heigtened Awareness Undoubtedly Increases the number of Criminal Complaints Filed

May 11th, 2015

Like DUI’s, domestic violence is getting a ton of exposure over this past year. The latest hyperbole of exposure in Seattle revolves around the Seattle Seahawks first round draft pick of 2015, Frank Clark. As is well known by now, Mr. Clark was alleged to have struck his then girlfriend in an Ohio hotel room last year. He ultimately plead guilty to a non-DV related reduced charge.

What some folks may not know is that prior to this latest air play on domestic violence, Vice President Joe Biden in May called domestic violence a “public health epidemic“, and warned that it requires urgent attention. For decades now, domestic violence has been a signature issue for Vice President Biden. In 1990, he introduced the landmark Violence Against Women Act, which was signed into law in 1994.

Clearly, a greater emphasis on ‘outing’ domestic violence is at play today, and surely it will be moving forward into the future; it is front and center on a national level. As a direct consequence, rightly or wrongly, any incident that even hints of domestic violence is probably going to end up in our criminal justice system. Clearly, the current mentality is ‘better safe than sorry’, and anyone charged with domestic violence better be prepared to defend themselves.

Any person charged in Washington State with a domestic violence should immediately seek the assistance of an experienced Seattle domestic violence defense attorney. An experienced Seattle domestic violence defense lawyer can level the playing field and protect an accused’s rights against unfair domestic violence criminal charges. The law firm of SQ Attorneys are Seattle domestic violence lawyers with a proven record of success in domestic violence defense in Washington. If arrested for domestic violence call SQ Attorneys at 206.441.0900 for the answers to your important questions, or to schedule an appointment for a free and completely confidential consultation. It will be the best decision you make all day!

No Duty to Retreat Alive and Well

May 6th, 2015

In another case of ‘stand your ground’ precedent, two Utah men who fatally shot would-be criminals over the weekend are not expected to face criminal charges for their actions. This comes on the heels of the well publicized Florida case involving George Zimmerman, who shot Trayvon Martin in ‘self defense’.

The Utah cases were separate incidents. In the first shooting, a man who possesses a concealed carry permit intervened when a carjacker jumped into a woman’s vehicle. The perpetrator was shot while lunging for the bystander’s gun, police say. In the second shooting, which occurred hours later, a homeowner shot a man who pounded on his front door in the middle of the night, climbed to a second-floor balcony and allegedly attempted to force his way into the home. Because Utah is a ‘stand your ground’ state, the shooters will likely be cleared of any wrongdoing in either of the incidents.

Utah allows for use of deadly force in public without a duty to walk away. It may not be wholly clear whether Washington state has such broad coverage for similar cases under our stand your ground policies, but pursuant to case law, our state Supreme Court has ruled that there is no duty to retreat when a person is assaulted in a place where they are lawfully allowed to be: State v. Studd, 137 Wn.2d 533 (1999), and in State v. Redmond, 150 Wn.2d 489 2003.

If arrested for a crime in Washington State it is imperative that you immediately contact a Seattle criminal defense attorney to protect your rights and interests. Even seemingly ‘silly’ cases are often taken seriously by the government, and they often will proceed on the case regardless of how silly it may seem. 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 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 criminal 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 cited for assault, property destruction or some other crime, protect yourself … call SQ Attorneys immediately.

Take a Page out of the Bama Playbook Prosecutors

May 2nd, 2015

Recently there was an interesting outcome in an Alabama domestic violence case involving a University of Alabama football player, Cyrus Jones. In dismissing the case against Mr. Jones, the prosecutor actually acknowledged, and gave credit to the fact, that Mr. Jones ‘attempted to de-escalate the situation by contacting the Tuscaloosa Police Department’.

As is well known by now, in Washington if a police officer is called to a domestic violence scene there must be an arrest of one of the parties if contact is made within four hours of the call. Once that is done the prosecutor generally charges the person arrested with domestic violence; it is virtually a ‘rubber stamp’ process. Unlike in Alabama, prosecutors in Washington State rarely, if ever, acknowledge, or even give credit for, the person who was arrested calling the police, which is a real shame.

In Washington, it seems the prosecutor defers to the decision made by the police officer as to who was at fault. This, of course, is silly because as noted above, when an officer is called to a domestic violence scene they must arrest someone if they come into contact with the parties within four hours of the call. So even if the officer did not feel strongly about the arrest, he is forced by law to make that arrest. The theory is that this must be done to (wait for it …) ‘de-escalate the situation’; in practice the arrest results in some very suspect criminal charges being filed against likely innocent people. Prosecutors in Washington would be well advised to be a bit more pragmatic in their DV filing decisions, and to take a page out Alabama’s play book … pun intended.

Any person charged in Washington State with a domestic violence should immediately seek the assistance of an experienced Seattle domestic violence defense attorney. An experienced Seattle domestic violence defense lawyer can level the playing field and protect an accused’s rights against unfair domestic violence criminal charges. The law firm of SQ Attorneys has a record of successes in domestic violence defense in and around King County, Washington. If arrested for domestic violence call SQ Attorneys at 206.441.0900 for the answers to your important questions, or to schedule an appointment for a free and completely confidential consultation. It will be the best decision you make all day!

Licensing Impact of DUI

April 24th, 2015

If you have been arrested for a DUI in Seattle or anywhere in Washington State and you are a licensed health care professional then you could face the possibility of serious job related repercussions depending on the final outcome of your case. In light of this, it is in the best interest of any licensed health care professional to immediately contact a Seattle DUI lawyer when arrested for DUI.

The applicable Washington State statute related to disciplinary actions against licensed health care professionals is RCW 18.130.180. RCW 18.130.180 lays out what conduct, acts, or conditions constitute unprofessional conduct for a license holder. A first offense DUI is a gross misdemeanor in Washington State and thus falls within the realm of RCW 18.130.180.

So what happens if a licensed health care professional under the purview of Chapter 18 of the RCW’s gets convicted of a DUI? Well that is a good question. For a conviction of a gross misdemeanor DUI the minimum conditions may be some sort of reprimand, training, monitoring, probation, or supervision. The maximum penalty could include oversight for 5 years involving the same sort of probation, training, and supervision.  Based on the foregoing, the good news is that it appears that a first offense DUI may not result in a license suspension. The bad news is that a first offense DUI conviction for a licensed health care provider, as defined and bound by RCW 18.130, probably does involve some sort of supervisory condition, at the discretion of the Department of Health.

Like anyone else, a licensed healthcare professional cited for DUI in Washington state should immediately seek the assistance of a Seattle DUI lawyer. A qualified and respected Seattle DUI attorney can quite possibly minimize not only licensing consequences, but also save a person thousands of dollars in court and insurance fees.

Yet Another DUI Proposal Comes Fom Olympia

April 19th, 2015

The powers that be in Olympia seem to be at it yet again … they are again attempting to reduce the number of DUI offenses it takes to become a felony, not a gross misdemeanor. A similar measure was proposed last year, but did not get signed into law.

Earlier this month the state Senate unanimously passed a bill which would make a fourth DUI conviction within a ten-year period a felony. Currently it takes five DUI’s to be classified as a felony. The bill now goes to the House for consideration.

In this political hot bed of a climate for DUI’s it is now more important than ever to have a qualified Seattle DUI attorney in your corner when accused of driving under the influence. A qualified and respected Seattle DUI attorney can quite possibly save you thousands of dollars in court and insurance fees. Washington DUI laws are far too complicated for any ol’ attorney to handle. Be smart … hire a qualified and skilled Seattle DUI attorney when arrested for DUI in Washington State.

It Bears Repeating …

April 12th, 2015

It cannot be said enough and bears repeating …when the police are called during a domestic dispute in Seattle or King County, Washington an arrest almost always results. Generally speaking, if a person is accused of any unwanted physical contact or breaking of property, that is sufficient ‘evidence’ for an arrest to be made. If there are allegations of unwanted physical contact, Domestic Assault charges are normally filed; if there are accusations of damaged property, Malicious Mischief charges or Property Destruction charges are usually filed.

It is a common misunderstanding that after a domestic violence arrest, the alleged victim can decide to press or drop charges. In Washington State it is the prosecutor’s decision to file charges or dismiss the case, not the alleged aggrieved party. Whether fair or not, a prosecutor will often press charges against the wishes of the alleged victim. In fact, if the accuser wants to recant or take back statements made to the police, they can be charged with making a false statement to the police, which in itself is a gross misdemeanor.

Because of the current state-of-affairs in Washington DV cases, a Seattle domestic violence attorney should be involved as early on in the process as possible. During the early stages of a case, a DV lawyer can sometimes prevent: (1) Criminal charges from being filed; (2) Incriminating statements from being made; (3) More serious or additional charges from being filed; and (4) Court orders prohibiting contact with the accuser.

In light of the foregoing, a person charged with a domestic violence should immediately seek the assistance of an experienced Seattle domestic violence defense attorney. An experienced Seattle domestic violence defense lawyer can level the playing field and protect an accused’s rights against unfair criminal charges and orders of protection. The law firm of SQ Attorneys has a record of successes in domestic violence defense in and around King County, Washington. If arrested for domestic violence call SQ Attorneys at 206.441.0900 for the answers to your important questions, or to schedule an appointment for a free and completely confidential consultation. It will be the best decision you make all day!

Limits on Over Charging

March 31st, 2015

Pursuant to a recent Washington State, Court of Appeals, Division One case, State v. Rich, it is now clear that a DUI charge, in and of itself, does not mean that someone is also guilty of reckless endangerment; in short, there has to be some additional factor(s) to show that someone else’s life was put in danger in order for such a charge to be upheld.

In Rich, the defendant was pulled over by a King County Sheriff’s Deputy after the deputy spotted her driving. The vehicle she was driving had been reported stolen about a week earlier. Shortly after stopping the defendant’s car, the deputy noticed a “seven to nine-year old boy” sitting in the passenger seat of the vehicle. After the stop the Defendant underwent two blood alcohol tests. The test results revealed breath alcohol concentration levels of .188 and .183. The Defendant was charged with DUI and Reckless Endangerment. Eventually she was convicted of both charges. The verdict was subsequently appealed and ultimately Division One found that the state did not successfully prove reckless endangerment because there was no evidence of erratic or dangerous driving, nor was there any evidence of endangerment of any other motorists or pedestrians.

The Rich ruling is very important because over the years prosecutors have resorted to adding Reckless Endangerment charges to DUI cases when there are passengers in the car. It is a tactic that prosecutors have used throughout King County to ‘encourage’ defendants to plead guilty to the primary charge of DUI in exchange for a dismissal of the Reckless Endangerment charge. Division One of the Washington Court of Appeals has now seemingly put an end to this charade, and is putting prosecutors on notice that they should not file charges that have insufficient facts to pursue.

If cited for DUI in Washington state be smart and immediately seek the assistance of a Seattle DUI lawyer. A qualified and respected Seattle DUI attorney can quite possibly save a person thousands of dollars in court and insurance fees. Washington DUI laws are far too complicated for any ol’ attorney to handle. Be smart … hire a qualified and skilled Seattle DUI attorney when arrested for DUI in Washington State.

Is it BS? Or is it BS?

March 30th, 2015

In Washington State domestic violence cases, both Prosecutors and domestic violence advocates alike often tend to treat alleged victims as if they were suffering from batterer’s syndrome (“BS”). BS is a syndrome that is characterized by a relationship where the victim is manipulated by power, control and violence by a dominant and controlling partner.

A DV advocate will, throughout the entire course of a domestic violence case, attempt to convince the victim of the ‘aggressors’ ‘escalating’ behavior.  A prosecutor, at trial, will attempt to educate the jury about the dynamics of a domestic violence relationship. In short, either directly or indirectly. the accused will be labeled as a ‘batterer’.  In reality, most of us know that life is just not that cut and dry; relationships are after all … complicated. While domestic violence advocates and prosecutors may hold on to certain harsh beliefs about those arrested for domestic violence, an experienced Seattle domestic violence attorney will demonstrate to a jury that the government has a weak case, or no case at all; a Seattle domestic violence lawyer will add color to a picture that may otherwise seem so black and white.

A person charged with a domestic violence crime needs an experienced Seattle domestic violence defense attorney who can level the playing field and protect his rights against unfair criminal charges and orders of protection. The law firm of SQ Attorneys has a record of successes in domestic violence defense in and around King County, Washington. If arrested for domestic violence call SQ Attorneys at 206.441.0900 for the answers to your important questions, or to schedule an appointment for a free and completely confidential consultation. It will be the best decision you make all day!