Padula & Associates, LLC Washington Criminal Defense Attorneys, Bellevue - SeattleDUI and Criminal Defense Attorneys

Call Now 425-883-3366

The Washington Criminal Law Blog

Your Constitutional Rights As A Criminal Defendant

Posted Tuesday, April 17, 2018 by Lizanne Padula.

alt text

You have numerous rights under the Federal Constitution and the Washington State Constitution. Your rights exists even when―especially when―you are a criminal defendant and the State is accusing you of committing a crime. Our criminal defense firm wants you to have a basic understanding of your rights so that you are empowered to exercise them. If you are facing criminal charges, we urge you to hire a criminal defense attorney so that you can mount a strong legal defense and ensure your rights are protected.

The right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure.

The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution creates the right to be free from unlawful search and seizure. In general, you have the right to refuse a search of your property or vehicle in the absence of a valid search warrant. However, if law enforcement officers have a search warrant or a valid exception to your Fourth Amendment right is present, you must submit to the search.

The right to remain silent.

The Fifth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States grants us the right against self-incrimination―the right to remain silent. If you are being questioned by law enforcement regarding a crime, it is usually in your best interest to remain silent. You do not have to answer questions posed to you by law enforcement. When talking to the police never lose sight of the fact that anything you say may potentially bolster the State’s case against you and/or harm your ability to defend yourself against criminal charges. Be polite but firm in your desire to remain silent.

Your right to remain silent extends to situations when being interrogated by law enforcement and when testifying in legal proceedings.

The right to a speedy trial before a jury.

The Sixth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States guarantees criminal defendants a number of rights, including “the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed.”

The right to confront your accuser.

The Sixth Amendment also guarantees the right “to be confronted with witnesses” against you and “to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor[.]” You have the right to cross-examine any witness proffered by the State. Further, you have the right to proffer your own witnesses in support of your defense.

The right to be presumed innocent unless and until the State proves each element of the crimes charged beyond a reasonable doubt.

The presumption of innocence is a constitutional principle. To secure a conviction, the State must prove each element of the crime(s) charged beyond a reasonable doubt. This is the highest legal standard.

The right to an attorney.

You have the right to be represented by an attorney during any police interrogation and during any legal proceeding. Exercise this right. If you do answers questions, your attorney will be there to protect your rights and ensure you do not offer statements that will bolster a criminal case against you.

Also, know that once you ask for an attorney the police are no longer supposed to interrogate you until your attorney is present.

Defending Against Criminal Charges

If incriminating evidence against you was obtained in violation of your rights, you may be able to suppress that evidence from being used against you at trial. The Exclusionary Rule generally prevents the State from using evidence gathered in violation of your constitutional rights.

Criminal defense attorneys work diligently to Motion the Court to get evidence suppressed at or before trial so that the jury never sees it. When we get a key piece of evidence in the Prosecution’s case suppressed, this gives us leverage to have the charges reduced, dismissed, or to negotiate a favorable plea agreement.

The laws encompassing the rights afforded by the U.S. Constitution and Washington State Constitution are complex and nuanced. Hire a criminal defense attorney to advocate for your rights and mount a strong defense against aggressive prosecution.

The skilled attorneys at Padula & Associates, LLC can defend your rights and help you fight for a just resolution. A smart, well-planned defense aimed at dismantling the Prosecution’s case against you is critical to obtaining the best possible outcome in your case.

Call us 24/7 at 425-883-3366 or contact us here to schedule a free case consultation today.

We invite you to read about our demonstrated results here, and learn more about founding attorney, Lizanne Padula here.

Padula & Associates, LLC handles State and Federal criminal cases throughout Washington State, including King, Snohomish, Pierce, and Lewis Counties. Our firm’s experience is extensive and our success is frequent.

Permalink to this entry

When Can A WA Commercial Driver License (CDL) Be Suspended or Revoked?

Posted Friday, April 13, 2018 by Lizanne Padula.

alt text

If you hold a Commercial Driver License (CDL) in Washington State, you need to know under what circumstances your CDL can be suspended or revoked. Your CDL is part of your livelihood and you must do all you can to protect it.

When Can A WA Commercial Driver License (CDL) Be Suspended or Revoked?

In Washington State your CDL can be suspended for either a conviction for DUI or a positive alcohol or drug test while driving. Further, your Washington State CDL can be suspended, revoked, or disqualified if your Washington driver license is suspended, revoked, canceled, or surrendered for any reason.

The Washington State Department of Licensing lists the following violations for which your CDL can be suspended or revoked:

• Conviction of DUI.

• Entering into Deferred Prosecution in lieu of DUI charges.

• Driving a commercial motor vehicle with an alcohol concentration of 0.04 or higher, or with any measure of THC concentration.

• Refusing to submit to a test or tests to determine your blood alcohol concentration or the presence of any drug while driving a motor vehicle.

• Leaving the scene of an accident involving a motor vehicle.

• Using any motor vehicle in the commission of a felony.

• Driving a commercial motor vehicle with a suspended, revoked, canceled, or disqualified CDL.

• Causing a fatality through the negligent operation of a commercial motor vehicle (including but not limited to vehicular homicide or vehicular assault).

• Committing 2 or more of the above listed violations, in separate incidents.

• Committing 2 or more serious traffic offenses within 3 years, in separate incidents.

• Driving a commercial vehicle while under an out-of-service order.

• Committing railroad-crossing violations while operating a commercial motor vehicle.

Your CDL can be suspended or revoked for any of the above violations. If you hold a CDL it is imperative that you take great care while driving, both commercial vehicles and personal use vehicles. Understand that your CDL can be suspended for life if you are convicted of two or more DUIs or other violations that are legal grounds for suspension, including being found to have a blood alcohol concentration over the legal limit or other drugs in your system while driving any vehicle.

If you have a CDL and are facing criminal charges for DUI or DUI related offenses in Washington State, you need an experienced and aggressive DUI defense attorney on your side. When you have a skilled attorney on your side you are more likely to get the best outcome possible in your case. Your attorney will serve as your guide, your advocate, and will protect your rights through the legal process.

Our attorneys specialize in DUIs. In fact, attorney Lizanne Padula built her outstanding reputation winning unwinnable DUI cases. For over 20 years we have been fierce advocates defending our clients against the State’s accusations.

Call us 24/7 at 425-883-3366 or fill out this simple web form to schedule a free consultation with an experienced DUI defense attorney.

Permalink to this entry

What You Need to Know About Domestic Violence (Washington State)

Posted Wednesday, April 11, 2018 by Lizanne Padula.

alt text

Allegations of Domestic Violence are taken seriously and Washington State has strict laws when it comes to alleged acts of Domestic Violence (DV).

What You Need to Know About Domestic Violence (Washington State)

Washington state law requires law enforcement to make an arrest if they have probable cause to believe an act of Domestic Violence (usually an assault) has occurred within the last 4 hours. RCW 10.31.100. If law enforcement contacts you and they have reasonable grounds to believe you committed an act of DV, even if you acted in self defense or if their information is incorrect, you will be arrested.

It is likely that a No Contact Order will be issued, prohibiting your from contacting the alleged victim. When a No Contact Order is in place, contacting or attempting to contact the alleged victim will constitute a new criminal act which can come with harsh penalties.

If you are convicted of DV, your right to possess a firearm will be lost. And you will not be able to “expunge” a DV conviction from your record.

If you have been accused of DV, you need a criminal defense attorney experienced in all aspects of Domestic Violence defense in Washington State. At Padula & Associates, LLC we are prepared to defend you against DV charges. We answer our phone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call us 24/7 at 425-883-3366.

Domestic Violence” includes a number of crimes when committed by one family or household member against another. DV includes, but is not limited to, the following crimes: Assault, Reckless Endangerment, Rape, Stalking, Kidnapping, Drive-by Shooting, Burglary, Criminal Trespass, Violation of a No Contact Order, and Interference with reporting DV. RCW 10.99.020(5).

An alleged victim may be contacted by a DV Advocate. Understand that a DV Advocate is an employee of the Prosecutor’s Office, shares office space with Prosecutors, and regularly works with and takes orders from Prosecutors. By the very structure of their employment, they are influenced and controlled by Prosecutors. There is absolutely no way for a DV advocate to be completely independent and able to advocate for the alleged victim.

If You Are Accused of An Act of Domestic Violence

If you are about to be accused or are being accused of an act of Domestic Violence, it is usually in your best interest to remain silent and ask for an attorney. You do not have to answer questions posed to you by law enforcement. Be polite but firm in your desire to remain silent until you have an attorney by your side.

The skilled attorneys at Padula & Associates, LLC know how important it is to defend your rights. Our attorneys are experienced in all aspects of Domestic Violence defense in Washington State. We know how to advocate for our clients and to pinpoint the weaknesses in the Prosecution’s case. For more than 20 years, Padula & Associates, LLC has been serving the people of King County, Snohomish County, and Washington State with aggressive and effective criminal defense.

We answer our phone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call us 24/7 at 425-883-3366, email us at info@paduladefense.com, or fill out our online free consultation form today.

Permalink to this entry

DUI Related Offenses Under Washington State Law

Posted Monday, April 9, 2018 by Lizanne Padula.

alt text

If you are arrested under suspicion of DUI in Washington State, you may ultimately be charged with DUI. Or, you may be charged with another DUI related offense, or even charged with DUI along with other related offenses. Alternatively, you may be able to plea DUI charges down to lesser criminal charges. For these reasons, it is important to know the various DUI related offenses under Washington State Law.

Negligent Driving in the first degree occurs when a person operates a motor vehicle in a manner that is both negligent and endangers or is likely to endanger any person or property, and exhibits the effects of having consumed liquor or marijuana or any drug that is intoxicating. RCW 46.61.5249.

Reckless Driving occurs when a person drives any vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property. RCW 46.61.500.

Reckless Endangerment occurs when a person recklessly engages in conduct (not amounting to a drive-by shooting) that creates a substantial risk of death or serious physical injury to another person. RCW 9a.36.050.

Vehicular Homicide occurs when a person causes the death of another while driving in a reckless manner, under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or with disregard for the safety of others. The death must ensue within three years and as a proximate result of the injury caused by the driving. RCW 46.61.520.

Vehicular Assault occurs when a person operates a vehicle in a reckless manner, under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or in a manner evidencing disregard for the safety of others and this driving results in substantial bodily harm to another person. RCW 46.61.522.

Other DUI related offenses under Washington State law include: Operating Commercial Motor Vehicle with Alcohol or THC in System (RCW 46.25.110), Operating Non-Highway Vehicle Under the Influence (RCW 46.09.470), Operating Snowmobile Under the Influence (RCW 46.10.490), Operating Aircraft Under the Influence (RCW 47.68.270), and Operating a Vessel Under the Influence (RCW 79A.60.040).

Every criminal case is unique. The criminal charges that will be filed are based upon what crimes the prosecutor believes he or she can prove based on the evidence the State has against you. An experienced DUI defense attorney will be able to evaluate the evidence against you and pinpoint the weaknesses in the Prosecution’s case that can be leveraged in negotiations.

Not every DUI can be beat, but we are able to eliminate or reduce most of them. Hiring an experienced DUI defense attorney can help you get the best possible outcome in your case. Come meet with us for a free consultation to explore how we can help you. Our attorneys have outstanding reputations. Lizanne Padula is a tireless negotiator and a tenacious litigator. Padula & Associates, LLC will fiercely advocate on your behalf. For more than 20 years we have proudly defended the rights of people in King County, Snohomish County, and Washington State.

Call us 24/7 at 425-883-3366 of fill out this simple web form to schedule a free consultation with an experienced DUI defense attorney.

Permalink to this entry

Do I Have to Let the Police Search Me or My Car?

Posted Thursday, April 5, 2018 by Lizanne Padula.

alt text

If a police officer asks you permission to search you, your car, or your property, you have the right to say no. In fact, we encourage you to deny any requests for a search. You can politely say “I do not consent to any searches of my person or my private property.”

If the police are asking permission to search it means they do not have enough evidence or probable cause to conduct a search without your consent. Do not give up your Fourth Amendment right―your constitutional right against unreasonable search and seizure.

Do I Have to Let the Police Search Me or My Car?

It depends.

Any time the police request the right to conduct a search, you have the right to refuse. You are never under an obligation to consent to a search. However, there are times when you are required to submit to a search.

In general, police are allowed to conduct a search when:

• They have a search warrant.

• Search incident to a lawful arrest.

• Exigent circumstances.

• Search of areas in plain view.

When it comes to your car, know that illegal activity is not enough for the police to legally search your car. However, police are generally granted more leeway in searching vehicles than searching private residences. This is because courts have recognized that we have a lower expectation of privacy when driving our cars than when we are in our homes.

In general, the police can search your car if:

• They have probable cause to believe there is evidence of a crime in your vehicle.

• The police officer has a reasonable belief that the search is necessary for his or her own protection.

• You have been arrested and the search is related to the arrest.

Remember, you never have to give consent to a search of your person, car, or home. However, if the police have a search warrant, or one of the other valid exceptions to the prohibition against warrantless searches is present, then you do need to step aside and allow the police to perform the search.

Defending Against Criminal Charges in Washington State

Mounting a strong defense early-on helps to ensure the best outcome in your criminal case. Getting an attorney involved as soon as possible increases your odds of avoiding a conviction. If you are facing criminal charges, your life and freedom are on the line. Hiring the right attorney to defend you is critical. At Padula & Associates, LLC we understand what is at stake, and we will zealously defend you against any criminal charges filed against you.

When you hire our firm you will work directly with your attorney. You will not be pushed off to a case manager, left to wonder what is going on in your case.

Lizanne’s previous work as a Prosecutor gives her special insight into how the Prosecutor in your case operates. She knows the tactics the government uses when bringing criminal charges. Her experience affords her insider information that greatly benefits her ability to build a strong defense against any criminal charges you are facing. We invite you to learn more about Lizanne here.

The skilled attorneys at Padula & Associates, LLC can help you fight the charges that have been filed against you. We answer the phone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We offer free consultations. Call us 24/7 at 425-883-3366 or contact us on the web to schedule your fee consultation today.

Our firm handles State and Federal criminal cases throughout Washington State, including King, Snohomish, Pierce, and Lewis Counties.

Permalink to this entry