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DUI versus DWI

Posted Thursday, January 4, 2018 by Lizanne Padula.

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DUI stands for “Driving Under the Influence” and DWI stands for “Driving While Intoxicated.” Often these terms are used interchangeably in everyday language, but under criminal law they are not the same thing.

Generally speaking, DUI refers to people who operate a vehicle while intoxicated over the legal limit, while DWI is reserved for drivers who are alleged to be impaired, but may not have reached the legal limit of intoxication of any specific drug or alcohol. It is important to understand that there is no mention of “Driving While Intoxicated” in the Washington State criminal code or on the Department of Licensing website.

Under Washington State’s law against DUI a person may be found guilty of DUI without necessarily being found to have a blood alcohol concentration or THC concentration above the legal limits of the code. In Washington State:

“(1) A person is guilty of driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, marijuana, or any drug if the person drives a vehicle within this state:

(c) While the person is under the influence of or affected by intoxicating liquor, marijuana, or any drug; or

(d) While the person is under the combined influence of or affected by intoxicating liquor, marijuana, and any drug. (RCW 46.61.502).

Subsection (c) and (d) create the possibility of being convicted of a DUI even if the state does not have evidence showing a blood alcohol content above the legal limit of 0.08 or a THC concentration above the legal limit of 5.00. Also, it is possible to be convicted of DUI for driving under the influence of, or affected by, any illicit drug, legally prescribed drug, or any over-the-counter drug, or a combination of alcohol and/or drugs, that impairs your ability to drive.

While it may be more difficult for a prosecutor to secure a conviction for DUI without proof of intoxication above the legal limit, it is not impossible. If you’ve been arrested for DUI, it is critical that you hire an experienced DUI defense attorney. The consequences for DUI conviction are steep―you need to mount a strong defense from the start.

Hire a Fierce Advocate to Help You Defend Against DUI Charges

Between the minimum penalties and the long-term consequences of having a DUI on your record, you need to hire a fierce advocate to defend you against the state’s accusations. There are a number of ways to successfully defend against DUI charges, including the possibility of getting the charges dropped completely or reduced to lesser charges.

Most of the DUI cases we handle at Padula & Associates, LLC are reduced to lesser charges or dismissed entirely. Hiring our experienced DUI defense attorneys can help you get the best possible outcome in your case.

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.

For over 20 years, Padula & Associates, LLC has been serving the people of King County, Snohomish County, and throughout Washington State with aggressive criminal defense services.

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What is Harassment?

Posted Tuesday, January 2, 2018 by Lizanne Padula.

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Harassment involves knowingly threatening another without lawful authority. The crimes of harassment are defined under Title 9A.46 of the Revised Code of Washington.

Under Washing State law, Harassment occurs when a person knowingly threatens:

• To cause bodily injury to another person, immediately or in the future.

• To cause physical damage to the property of another person.

• To subject the person threatened or any other person to physical confinement or restraint.

• Maliciously to do any other act which is intended to substantially harm the person threatened or another with respect to his or her physical or mental health or safety. RCW 9A.46.020(1)(a)(i)-(iv).

For harassment to occur it is necessary that “the person by words or conduct places the person threatened in reasonable fear that the threat will be carried out.” RCW 9A.46(1)(b). “Words or conduct” includes any form of communication, including e-mail or other electronic communications.

Harassment is a gross misdemeanor unless the threat is a threat to kill or the person making the threat has a prior conviction for threatening the same victim or this victim’s family―in those cases harassment is a class C felony.

Harassment is actually a difficult crime to be charged with. Usually there is no physical evidence to prove or disprove the allegation. Most often harassment charges and whether a threat was actually made hinges solely on testimony from an alleged victim. Padula & Associates attorneys have successfully negotiated dismissal of felony harassment charges. We have also successfully litigated these charges. Call us now at 425-883-3366 for a free consultation if you are facing harassment charges. We answer the phone 24-hours a day, seven days a week.

For over 20 years, Padula & Associates, LLC has been serving the people of King County, Snohomish County, Pierce County, Lewis County, and throughout Washington State with aggressive criminal defense services.

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Arson and Malicious Mischief - Washington State

Posted Friday, December 29, 2017 by Lizanne Padula.

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Arson involves the knowing and malicious causing of a fire or explosion. Malicious Mischief involves the knowing and malicious causing of damage to property of another. Title 9A.48 of the Revised Code of Washington describes the crimes of Arson, Reckless Burning, and Malicious Mischief. The code section includes also the crimes of Tagging/Graffiti, Defacing a State Monument, and Civil Disorder Training.

Arson in Washington State

Under Washington State law, Arson can be charged in the first degree as a class A felony, or in the second degree, as a class B felony.

Arson in the first degree occurs when:

(1) A person is guilty of arson in the first degree if he or she knowingly and maliciously:

(a) Causes a fire or explosion which is manifestly dangerous to any human life, including firefighters; or

(b) Causes a fire or explosion which damages a dwelling; or

(c) Causes a fire or explosion in any building in which there shall be at the time a human being who is not a participant in the crime; or

(d) Causes a fire or explosion on property valued at ten thousand dollars or more with intent to collect insurance proceeds. RCW 9A.48.020.

Arson in the second degree occurs when a person “knowingly and maliciously” causes a fire or explosion which damages any property. RCW 9A.48.030. The code lists a number of specific types of property, including but not limited to: a building, structure, machine, motor vehicle, bridge, crop, or fence.

Charges for Arson are serious felony charges and if convicted can come with severe, life-altering punishment and penalties. If you’ve been charged with Arson in Washington State, you need a fierce criminal defense attorney on your side. Call our office 24/7 at 425-883-3366. We are ready to protect your rights and your freedom.

Malicious Mischief in Washington State

The most commonly charged crime under Title 9A.48 is Malicious Mischief. Charges for Malicious Mischief requires that a person ” knowingly and maliciously” cause damage to the property of another. Malicious Mischief in the first degree is a class B felony, in the second degree is a class C felony, and in the third degree is a gross misdemeanor. Whether charges are in the first, second or third degree depends on the cost of the damage.

Proving Your Mental State

Arson, Malicious Mischief, and other crimes that can be charged under RCW 9A.48 include required mental states like “knowing” and “reckless.”

This means that law enforcement will either need to confirm or infer your mental state. Any interview you give or questions you answer will assist them in pursuing criminal charges. Accordingly, protect yourself and politely explain that you cannot speak to the law enforcement officer without your attorney being present. Call us 425-883-3366 – we are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Defending Yourself Against Criminal Charges

If you are facing arson or malicious mischief charges we urge you to seek the advice of an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. The attorneys of Padula & Associates, LLC have handled hundreds of these types of cases, both simple and complex. As your fierce advocates, we will mount an aggressive defense in your case and help you fight for a just resolution.

Our attorneys are experienced in all aspects of criminal defense, and they will help you take on arson or malicious mischief allegations with confidence. For over 20 years, Padula & Associates, LLC has been serving the folks in King County, Snohomish County, and Washington State with aggressive and effective criminal defense.

We are available 24/7. Consultations are free. Call us 24/7 at 425-883-3366, email us at info@paduladefense.com, or fill out our online free consultation form today.

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2 Separate License Suspensions for DUI in Washington State: Arrested for DUI & Convicted of DUI

Posted Tuesday, December 26, 2017 by Lizanne Padula.

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If you’ve been arrested under suspicion of DUI in Washington State you are understandably worried about what will happen to your license. You need to be aware of the two different ways in which your license is at risk when it comes to DUI charges in our state.

First, after an arrest for DUI your license may be administratively suspended by the Washington State Department of Licensing (DOL). Second, after a conviction for DUI the DOL may suspend your driver license.

License Suspension After DUI Arrest

If you are arrested for DUI your license will be administratively suspended by the DOL unless you request a hearing to contest the suspension within 20 days of the date you were arrested. To avoid suspension the hearing examiner must rule in your favor.

If you fail to request a hearing with the DOL within 20 days of the date of your arrest, or the hearing examiner does not rule in your favor, your license will be suspended for 90 days to 2 years.

License Suspension After DUI Conviction

If you are convicted of DUI the DOL may suspend your driver license for 90 days to 4 years. The length of suspension is dependent on prior offenses and the severity of the incident for which you were charged. The suspension will take effect 45 days after the DOL receives notice of your DUI conviction from the court.

If your license was suspended after arrest, the length of that suspension will be credited toward any suspension time for the conviction. You have the right to request that the DOL review the accuracy of the information it receives from the court; however, you do not have the right to request a hearing with the DOL to contest a suspension resulting from a court conviction.

Getting a Restricted Driver License During License Suspension

In Washington State you may apply for an Ignition Interlock Driver License (IIL) while your license is suspended. Among other parameters, this type of license requires you to have an Ignition Interlock Device installed on any vehicle you drive during the length of the IIL.

Hire a Fierce Advocate to Help You Defend Against DUI Charges

When you hire the skilled DUI defense attorneys at Padula & Associates, LLC, we will fight to prevent the interruption of your ability to drive. We understand how stressful your situation can be, and we will explain and defend your rights. Our attorneys are experienced in all aspects of criminal defense, and we will help you face your charges with confidence. For over 20 years, Padula & Associates, LLC has been serving the people of King County, Snohomish County, and throughout Washington State with aggressive and effective criminal defense.

Come meet with us for a free case evaluation. Call us 24/7 at 425-883-3366, email us at info@paduladefense.com, or fill out our online free consultation form today.

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Washington AG's Office Wins $3M Federal Grant to Investigate Backlog of Sexual Assault DNA Kits

Posted Thursday, December 21, 2017 by Lizanne Padula.

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The Washington State Attorney General’s Office recently won a three year, $3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to “inventory, test and help investigate the state’s backlog of sexual assault kits, which provide DNA evidence for sexual assault investigations.”

The grant is to fund a team within the Office of the Attorney General (AGO) dedicated to processing the backlogged sexual assault kits, to fund the processing of an estimated 6,000 untested sexual assault kits, and for victim-centered trauma training to law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, and victim advocates. The grant is available as part of the Bureau of Justice Assistance Sexual Assault Kit Initiative.

The AGO is to establish a Sexual Assault Kit Initiative team, which will use an estimated $1.5 million of the grant and include two new investigators to work solely on the project. In the first six months the team investigators are to travel the state and collect and create a detailed inventory of backlogged sexual assault kits.

After the inventory is complete, the investigators are to help local law enforcement prioritize and submit the kits to the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab. An estimated 2,100 kits will be tested at Washington State Patrol Crime Labs in Seattle, Tacoma, Marysville, Spokane, and Vancouver. The remaining $1.5 million grant funds will cover the costs of testing, which is about $680 each. Once the backlogged kits are tested, the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative team and the Washington AGO will support local law enforcement as they use the new evidence to reopen old cases.

Charges for Sex Crimes

Sex crime cases range from misdemeanor charges with sexual motivation to class A felonies, such as Rape in the First Degree or Child Molestation in the First Degree.

As with all crimes, if contacted by law enforcement, exercise your right to remain silent and politely explain that you cannot speak to the law enforcement officer without your attorney being present. No matter what type of pressure, coercion or fear tactic they use, we urge you to resist the impulse to speak with the police. Talking to the police without your attorney present will not improve your situation, but most often will make it significantly worse.

Call us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 425-883-3366 or fill out this simple web form to schedule a free consultation. Padula & Associates, LLC has handled sex crime cases at both a Federal and a State level. We know how to assist you in your efforts to combat prosecution.

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