Oh No! Not a DUI Accident!??

Every DUI case comes down to two major pieces of evidence against your client. One is a field sobriety test, and the other is the Breathalyzer test, also known as the BAC test if your client chose to take it. So as a Seattle DUI Lawyer, you have to be able to defend your client’s performance on the field sobriety test. More importantly, you need to be able to effectively cross-examine the police officers both on the administration of the test and how they grade your client’s performance. Contact the Seattle DUI Lawyers at SQ Attorneys to fight any and all of your alcohol related charges.

An example of an effective cross examination would be to get the officer to admit that he did follow the proper procedure in administering the tests, i.e. he did not follow the Field Sobriety Testing Manual in one or more aspects such as asking the operator if he were injured in any way from the accident that would effect his or her ability to perform the tests. Another effective tool relative to field sobriety tests and cross examination is that the officer has no baseline to assess your clients performance in another words the officer has never seen your client walk, talk, count, balance, or perform any task for that matter so the officer cannot say he failed or passed the tests with any credibility when he does not even know your client. Another point to make on cross is that an accident can be stressful, among other things, and a stressful situation can cause anxiety, nervousness and and lack of attentiveness which can effect ones performance on the field sobriety tests in a negative fashion.

Differences in strategy arise between a non-homicide DUI charge and one where vehicular homicide is involved. In your normal drunk driving case, non-motor vehicular homicide, the defense comes down to the field sobriety test, and maybe a Breathalyzer reading which your Washington DUI Attorney may have been able to get suppressed. However, in DUI homicide cases, the majority of the clients are taken to the hospital as a result of the accident. There is no Breathalyzer and no field sobriety test, but there is blood work so the big area of defense in motor vehicle or homicide cases most of the time is to exclude the blood results.

The major challenge in the vehicular homicide case, where obviously someone has been killed, is convincing the jury to get beyond that and look at the facts of the case. Contact the Seattle Criminal Lawyers at SQ Attorneys to defend your rights. Mitigation would come in the form of fault. In some cases the issue of who caused the accident that lead to the homicide is a live issue and if you can show that the victim caused the accident (by their driving) then you may be able to mitigate the harsh feelings toward your clients. In cases where the victims was in the defendant’s car perhaps you can show that the victim had a higher alcohol level than your client and gave the keys to your client so that he or she had to drive. Defending against a blood alcohol reading as opposed to a breath result is more difficult. A blood test is much more reliable than a breath test so it makes it more difficult to defend cases where there is a blood reading as opposed to a breath reading. If you are involved in a motor vehicle case where the government has the blood reading from the hospital you will need to file a motion to suppress the results of the blood tests. Some grounds for such suppression motions would be that the hospital did not receive your clients consent prior to drawing the blood, that your client was incapable of providing consent due to his or her injuries or medication that was given in the course of treatment at the hospital.
These are issues the Seattle Criminal Attorneys at SQ Attorneys investigate when litigating your case.

If you or a loved one is faced with a DUI charge in Western Washington, you deserve the assistance of a reputable and qualified Seattle DUI attorney who will relentlessly defend your case. You deserve a Seattle DUI defense attorney who has an intimate understanding of Washington DUI laws and the legal issues that could win your case. You deserve a Seattle DUI attorney who is not afraid to stand up against the prosecution and aggressively fight for your rights and interests. SQ Attorneys is the right Western Washington DUI law firm for the job. Call for a free initial consultation – (206) 441.0900 (Seattle); (425) 998-8384 (Eastside) – it will be the best decision you make all day.

Advertisements

Don’t Let Them Forfeit WhatsYours!

The Government can seize your property even if you did not commit a crime using the state and federal civil forfeiture statutes. Many times the government will take large amounts of cash just because a drug sniffing dog alerted to the money. Contact the Seattle Criminal Lawyers at SQ Attorneys when faced with a forfeiture action.

There are two types of forfeiture available to the government, civil and criminal. Civil forfeiture allows the government to confiscate property used in violation of the law, although no formal charges were ever brought. This confiscation results in the transfer of all right title and interest in the property. There are three types of property which are subject to forfeiture; contraband, proceeds from illegal activity, and tools or instrumentalities used in the commission of a crime. Civil forfeiture actions are legal actions against the property and not against the person or violator in possession of the property. In order to start a civil forfeiture, the government need only establish probable cause that the property was used in the commission of a crime. With that said, if they begin a civil forfeiture action against you, you only have a limited time with which to contest probable cause. If you miss this deadline you lose your right to contest probable cause. The government may seize the property by executing a warrant, and no criminal charge or conviction is required for the government to seize the property. There are over 200 federal forfeiture laws for non-drug related crimes in addition to the drug related crimes. the Seattle Criminal Attorneys at SQ Attorneys can work with you in fighting to get your property returned.

There are two types of proceedings that the government may employ in a forfeiture action. Judicial and administrative hearings, both of which the Washington Criminal Lawyers at SQ Attorneys can handle. An administrative proceeding is conducted by the government agency which seized the property. However, administrative proceedings cannot be employed by the government when the action is contested by the owner of the property. A person can contest the confiscation by filing a claim. When filing a claim, it is recommended that the owner employ the services of an attorney for the simple fact that there are strict deadlines and you must sign the claim under penalty of purgery. During these judicial proceedings the government need only show by a preponderance of the evidence that the property was used in illegal activity. This standard is lower than the criminal standard of beyond a reasonable doubt. The property owner is provided a few statutory defenses, however these defense have been interpreted very narrowly by the courts. Often, courts will determine an owners knowledge of criminal activity using an objective standard, not the owner’s actual knowledge. Attorney’s representing clients who have had property confiscated may attack the governments action by arguing, in addition to the statutory defenses, that no crime ever occurred, probable cause is lacking, or that the connection between the crime and the property is too attenuated for the government to demonstrate that it was an instrumentality or proceeds of criminal activity.

Additionally, the Supreme Court has extended all of the rights of the First Amendment free speech for expressive materials, Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizure, the Fifth Amendment due process right, and the Eighth Amendment protection against excessive fines to civil forfeiture actions. Lastly, these Constitutional limitations have been applied to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment.

If you or a loved one is cited for committing a crime in King County, Pierce County, Snohomish County, Kitsap County, Thurston County or one of the following cities or towns: Algona, Bellevue, Black Diamond, Bonney Lake, Bothell, Burien, Des Moines, Duvall, Edmonds, Enumclaw, Everett, Federal Way, fife, Hunts Point, Issaquah, Kenmore, Kent, Kirkland, Lake Forest Park, Lake Stevens, Lakewood, Lynnwood, Maple Valley, Marysville, Medina, Mercer Island, Milton, Monroe, Mountlake Terrace, New Castle, Normandy Park, North Bend, Olympia, Puyallup, Redmond, Renton, Sammamish, Sea Tac, Seattle, Shoreline, Snohomish, Sumner, Tacoma, Tukwila, University Place, and/or Woodinville, or any other city or town in Western Washington, call The Criminal Defense Team of SQ Attorneys at (206) 441-0900; (425) 998-8384 for an initial free consultation.

The Felony Impact

A felony conviction in WA allows the state, individuals, and organizations the legal right to discriminate against you.

The textbook penalties of felony prosecutions are the punishment ranges for this sort of offenses, which include fine and prison. However felonies act as trap doors as a consequence of the heaps of the collateral civil statutes which gut your rights. If charged with a felony contact the Seattle Criminal Lawyers at SQ Attorneys immediately.

Specific instances of collateral outcomes of felonies are their effects on professional licensing. The Washington State Board of Medical Examiners will have to suspend licenses for felony convictions. The State Bar of Washington disbars attorneys guilty of felonies, and the Department of Insurance will not release a certificate of authority to act as an insurance provider if a company officer or member of the board of directors has been guilty of a felony involving moral turpitude or breach of fiduciary duty. There are quite a few Washington occupational laws which have an effect on your capacity to make a living as a felon for big and small-scale job opportunities alike. That is why a Seattle Criminal Attorney is needed to fight for your rights when charged with a felony.

Some other good examples incorporate restrictions on an individual’s ability to adopt or become foster parents particularly in circumstances concerning child abuse or neglect or spousal abuse. In a divorce scenario, a parent who is a felon may be refused custody of the children.

Yet other examples are a felon’s capability to possess guns (which is not allowed by federal legislation). Felons cannot be a member of a jury. Convicted felons cannot act as executors of estates in probate cases. Felons can’t vote. A number of nations won’t permit felons to emigrate or even visit. The list is endless. Not only that, but the state of Texas and the federal authorities in a number of situations hold the legal rights to cloud the lines between a felony conviction and deferred adjudication (meaning a number of laws say words to the effect, “for the purposes of this statute, deferred adjudication will be handled as a final conviction.”)

The bottom line is this — felonies are awful news. The collateral destruction of felonies is far beyond simply the minimum and maximum jail or prison sentence ranges. It is important that you address any and all unique concerns about felony charges with your legal professional.

If you or a loved one is faced with a felony in Western Washington, you deserve nothing less than the very best representation from a reputable and qualified Seattle defense lawyer who will relentlessly defend your case. You deserve a Seattle criminal defense attorney who has an intimate understanding of not only Washington’s criminal laws, but also the legal issues that could win your case. You deserve a Seattle criminal defense lawyer who is not afraid to stand up against the prosecution and aggressively fight for your rights and interests. SQ Attorneys is the right Western Washington criminal law firm for the job. Call for a free initial consultation – (206) 441.0900 (Seattle); (425) 998.8384 (Eastside) – it will be the best decision you make all day.

Shall I plead out?

After you are arrested for a DUI, you may feel that your case is hopeless and that you should just plead guilty. This is especially true if you agreed to a breath test that revealed a high blood alcohol level. However, it is important to consult with a Seattle DUI attorney to discuss your case before determining whether you should plead guilty. There may be other legal aspects of your DUI arrest in Washington that can be challenged.

According to the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution, arrests must be based on probable cause and protect against unreasonable search and seizures. If you were arrested for a DUI in Seattle and it was not based on probable cause, a competent Washington DUI Attorney may be able to have the case dismissed based upon a violation of the Fourth Amendment.

Police Officers often make mistakes during DUI arrests. If the police question you without reading you the Miranda warnings, your Seattle DUI attorney may move to have certain evidence suppressed or possibly have the case dismissed. In some cases, your DUI attorney may challenge the history and credibility of the arresting officer as part of your defense.

In Washington, the DUI laws requires DUI suspects to submit to a breath test or provide a blood sample to determine blood alcohol content(BAC). Refusal of a breath test will result in greater penalties, including the loss of driving privileges for a period of at least one year.

Even if the BAC results of a breath or blood sample are over the legal limit, your Seattle DUI Attorney may challenge the breath or blood samples based upon the following:

• The results of the test the testing procedure
• The collection, handling and storage of the sample
• The manner in which other tests were conducted
• The arresting officer’s actions
• The cause for the traffic stop

Many Seattle DUI lawyers utilize expert witnesses at trial to testify for the defense in DUI cases and refute the BAC evidence.

If you or a loved one is faced with a DUI charge in Western Washington, you deserve the assistance of a reputable and qualified Seattle DUI lawyer who will relentlessly defend your case. You deserve a Seattle DUI attorney who has an intimate understanding of Washington DUI laws and the legal issues that could win your case. You deserve a Seattle DUI attorney who is not afraid to stand up against the prosecution and aggressively fight for your rights and interests. SQ Attorneys is the right Western Washington DUI law firm for the job. Call for a free initial consultation – (206) 441.0900 (Seattle); (425) 998-8384 (Eastside) – it will be the best decision you make all day.