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The Washington Criminal Law Blog

After DUI Arraignment - What to Expect

Posted Tuesday, December 19, 2017 by Lizanne Padula.

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Now that your DUI Arraignment is behind you, you need to know what to expect. First, if you did not have a DUI defense attorney represent you at the arraignment, it is time to hire an attorney immediately. Second, it is highly advisable to have your DUI defense attorney by your side at every stage of the criminal process (before and) after arraignment.

Understandably, you may be reeling from worries and confusion about what to do next. It may not feel like it right now, but you will survive this experience. We are here to make sure that you do. If you’re reading this, even after hours, call us – we will answer – (425) 883-3366.

What to Expect After DUI Arraignment

After DUI Arraignment the criminal law process proceeds forward. The following assumes you pleaded not guilty at Arraignment.

Pretrial Hearing

After Arraignment a pretrial hearing will be set. The pretrial hearing is an opportunity for the Court to check on the status of the DUI case pending against you. This hearing will conclude with either an agreed resolution between you and the prosecutor (a plea bargain) or with the court setting dates for evidentiary/motion hearings and a trial date.

There are a number of things for you and your DUI defense attorney to do prior to the pretrial hearing. Before the pretrial date your attorney should have sufficiently investigated all of the facts and legal issues of your case, and crafted a legal strategy for your defense. By this point your attorney should also have begun negotiations for reduced charges and/or terms of a plea bargain with the prosecuting attorney handling your case.

Motion Hearing

Before trial there will be a court date set for the court to hear motions from each side. At this hearing the judge will make determinations on what evidence may or may not be admissible at trial. Your DUI defense attorney will be making arguments as to why certain evidence against you should be suppressed at trial. If a piece of evidence is “suppressed,” or is ruled “inadmissible,” then the jury will never see it. This is part of any solid defense strategy.

If your attorney gets key pieces of evidence suppressed, the prosecutor may be more likely to reach a favorable settlement before trial because their case has been weakened.

Trial

If a resolution in your case is not reached, then the case will proceed to trial. The fact is most criminal cases are resolved before trial. This is because trials are expensive and risky for both you and for the prosecution. If your case proceeds to trial, the prosecution has the burden of proof and must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty of the crime(s) charges.

In general, the elements of a trial include jury selection (voir dire), opening statements, questioning of the witnesses, closing statements, and jury deliberations. If the jury returns a guilty verdict, then a date for sentencing is set. Criminal trials are complex, so reach out to us with any questions you have about trials or the criminal process leading up to trial.

Defending Against DUI Charges

If you have been arrested for DUI, it is critical that you have an attorney represent you at every stage of the criminal process - from arraignment, to plea negotiations, and through trial if it comes to that. An experienced DUI defense attorney is your best chance at getting the most favorable outcome possible in your case.

The skilled attorneys at Padula & Associates, LLC will provide you with tenacious defense in court to combat serious DUI charges. Our attorneys have built our reputation on defense of charges for DUI. We have successfully litigated DUI charges to not guilty verdicts and obtained reduction in charges to lesser crimes, such as Reckless Driving or Reckless Endangerment. Our experience is extensive and our success is frequent.

We invite you to 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. Ms. Padula was appointed to serve as a Judge Pro-Tem in Snohomish County in May of 2017. She also serves as the Board President for Citizens for Judicial Excellence (CJE), teaches Ethics as part of the Continuing Legal Education credits (CLEs) offered by CJE, and teaches CLEs for the Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (WACDL).

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. Padula & Associates, LLC will fiercely advocate on your behalf.

For more than 20 years, Padula & Associates, LLC has been serving those in King County, Snohomish County, and throughout Washington State with aggressive criminal defense services.

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Our Commitments To Our Clients

Posted Friday, December 15, 2017 by Lizanne Padula.

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When the state files criminal charges against you, your very freedom is at risk. Criminal conviction in Washington State often carries mandatory minimum penalties, which may include incarceration and hefty fines. A lot is at stake and hiring the right attorney to mount a strong defense against the state is critical.

Our Commitments To Our Clients

Padula & Associates, LLC is a criminal defense law firm. Our practice is dedicated solely to fighting for the rights of the accused. We practice solely in criminal defense and have been for over 20 years.

Zealous Advocacy

We fight for our clients’ rights and freedom. We work hard to get the best possible results for our clients. Our attorneys will fiercely advocate on your behalf. You have found a law firm that will fight until the last full measure, guide you to a just resolution, and stand with you when you feel confused or afraid. Read about our demonstrated results here.

Direct Access to Your Attorney

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

Open Lines of Communication

We are committed to keeping our clients informed about the status of their case. It is important to us that our clients understand the criminal law process and the possible directions their case could go. We return phone calls and emails in a timely manner. The lines of communication are always open and we answer our phones 24/7. We make sure we are available for our clients.

Honesty

Rooted in our legal experience and knowledge, we will be honest and upfront with you about your case and the most likely outcome.

Solid Legal Strategy and a Strong Defense

Every case is unique and requires a personalized and comprehensive legal strategy. Our experienced criminal defense attorneys will be able to evaluate the evidence against you and pinpoint the weaknesses in the Prosecution’s case that can be leveraged in your defense.

There are numerous long-term consequences of having a criminal record. You want to do everything possible to get criminal charges dropped or reduced to lesser charges. Not every criminal charge can be beat, but we successfully execute legal strategies for our clients and are able to eliminate or reduce many charges.

Contact Us - Anytime, Day or Night

If you are facing criminal charges, your life and freedom are on the line. At Padula & Associates, LLC we understand what is at stake, and we will zealously defend you against any criminal charges filed against you.

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 free consultation today.

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

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The "Alford" Plea in Washington State

Posted Wednesday, December 13, 2017 by Lizanne Padula.

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If you are charged with a crime you must plead guilty, not guilty, or in the State of Washington we have what is called the “Alford” plea. Our state does not allow for a nolo contendere (or “no contest”) plea that some other states routinely recognize. A defendant using the Alford plea maintains their innocence and does not admit that they committed the crime in question, but instead this plea is a recognition that based on the state’s evidence there is a substantial likelihood that a guilty verdict would result from trial.

The Alford Supreme Court Case

The Alford plea derives its name from a Supreme Court case. In North Carolina v. Alford, defendant Henry Alford was charged with first degree murder, which could carry a death sentence. (400 U.S. 25 (1970)). The evidence against him was strong and Alford wanted to avoid the death penalty. While he maintained his innocence, he negotiated a plea with the prosecution that he would plead guilty to second-degree murder.

Alford explained to the judge that he was only pleading guilty to the lesser charges to avoid the possibility of the death penalty and he continued to maintain is innocence. The judge reviewed evidence that supported Alford’s guilt, accepted the plea agreement, and sentenced him to the maximum 30 years in prison.

When the case came before the Supreme Court the primary question was whether his plea was “voluntary.” It is a core tenant that a guilty plea must be voluntary and intelligent. In Alford, the Court held that his guilty plea was valid. The Court perceived no “material difference between a plea that refuses to admit commission of the criminal act and a plea containing a protestation of innocence when, as in the instant case, a defendant intelligently concludes that his interests require entry of a guilty plea and the record before the judge contains strong evidence of actual guilt. Here, the State had a strong case of first-degree murder against Alford. Whether he realized or disbelieved his guilt, he insisted on his plea because in his view he had absolutely nothing to gain by a trial and much to gain by pleading.” (Id. 37).

The Alford Plea in Washington State

Depending on the facts of your case, there may be benefits to using an Alford plea. Without admitting guilt, this plea allows defendants and their attorneys to negotiate with the prosecution the punishment that will be imposed. This may lead to a significant reduction in punishment versus what would be handed down if one was convicted at trial. Pleading out the case may be the advisable course of action, particularly when the evidence against a defendant or other factors, make a win at trial unlikely. In fact, the majority of criminal cases end by plea bargain. An Alford plea allows a defendant to avoid the uncertainties of trial and the harsher penalties that can stem from a conviction.

Hire Padula & Associates, LLC to Defend You

When you hire our firm we will evaluate the facts of your case and guide you on the best course of action. You will have a former prosecutor on your side.

Founding Partner Lizanne Padula served as the Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Franklin, Clallam, and Jefferson counties. Through the course of her career with the State, Lizanne acquired extensive experience as a criminal trial attorney. As a Prosecutor, her case load included DUI cases, Domestic Violence cases, Drug offenses, and Homicide cases.

Lizanne’s 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 County and Snohomish County.

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Ignition Interlock Device for Your Vehicle

Posted Monday, December 11, 2017 by Lizanne Padula.

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An Ignition Interlock Device (“IID”) is an instrument that you must blow into before you can start the vehicle. An IID is installed directly into your vehicle and prevents your vehicle from starting unless you blow into it and your blood alcohol content (BAC) is under .025.

Washington ignition interlock laws require that any driver convicted of DUI must install an Ignition Interlock Device. In Washington State you will be required to install an IID if you have had:

• A conviction for an alcohol or drug related DUI or Physical Control of a motor vehicle.

• Certain convictions for reckless driving.

• Certain convictions of negligent driving.

• Any court ordered IID requirement.

If you are required to install an IID, you must first apply for an Ignition Interlock Driver’s License (RCW 46.20.385). An Ignition Interlock Driver’s License does not fully reinstate your driver’s license, but if granted allows you to drive during your license suspension under certain conditions of your Ignition Interlock Driver’s License.

Overview of Ignition Interlock Device Rules

• If you are granted an Ignition Interlock Driver’s License, then an interlock must be installed on all the vehicles you drive. You are not permitted to drive a vehicle that does not have an IID installed.

• An ignition interlock prevents your vehicle from starting if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is above .025. (WAC 204-50-110).

• The device also requires periodic tests while you are driving. If you fail, the information is recorded, and your lights and/or horn will signal you to pull over.

• Your IID must be a certified device and installed by an installer who is certified by the Washington State Patrol. You can review a list of certified devices and installers on the Washington State Patrol website here. The installer will submit proof of installation to the Washington State Department of Licensing.

Consult With an Experienced Washington DUI Defense Attorney

The penalties and punishments for a DUI conviction in Washington State are steep. If you’re facing DUI charges or have questions about the penalties you may be facing, please contact us here or call (425)883-3366 for a free consultation.

Understand that every DUI case is different. Our experienced DUI defense attorneys will be able to evaluate the evidence against you and pinpoint the weaknesses in the Prosecution’s case that can be leveraged in your defense. When you hire the skilled DUI defense attorneys at Padula & Associates, LLC, we will fight to prevent the interruption of your ability to drive.

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.

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 or fill out this simple web form to schedule a free consultation with an experienced DUI defense attorney.

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Fraud: Knowledge of the Misrepresentation & Your Intention

Posted Thursday, December 7, 2017 by Lizanne Padula.

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In Washington State there are a number of crimes on the books that involve the making or use of a misrepresentation. In a criminal case, the prosecution has the burden to prove each element of the crime charged. When the elements of a crime include making a misrepresentation with the intent to defraud or get unlawful gain from a misrepresentation, then the prosecution has the difficult job of proving what went on in the defendant’s mind (proving the defendant’s intention).

Fraud Crimes

Fraud is an intentional misrepresentation of material fact made with the purpose of inducing another person to act, and results in damages. The following are all fraud crimes, all of which involve making a misrepresentation.

• Forgery (RCW 9A.60.020).

• Obtaining a Signature by Deception or Duress (RCW 9A.60.030).

• Criminal Impersonation (RCW 9A.60.040; RCW 9A.60.045).

• False Certification (RCW 9A.60.050).

• Creation of use of False Academic Credentials (RCW 9A.60.070).

The foregoing crimes each have multiple prongs that constitute the crime; however, each of the fraud crimes above includes either the “intent to defraud” or acting “knowingly” of the misrepresentation.

Your knowledge of the misrepresentation or your intention can be critical to law enforcement’s investigation.

Proving intent to defraud or knowledge of misrepresentation, which speaks to a person’s state of mind, may be difficult to prove. When defending against fraud charges, demonstrating that you did not have the requisite intent or knowledge is one key to a solid defense. Part of your defense strategy may be to show that you did not have the requisite Mens Rea, the intention or knowledge of wrongdoing that constitutes part of the crime charged. If the prosecution is unable to prove each element of the crime charged beyond a reasonable doubt, then they cannot secure a conviction.

An experienced fraud defense attorney can help you understand the nature of the fraud charges against you and utilize all available defenses in your case.

Exercise Your Right to Remain SilentBecause your mental state is important to an investigation into fraud charges, you should not make any statements to law enforcement that may document your knowledge or intentions. Exercise your right to remain silent until you consult with an attorney. Do not make statements that will serve to bolster the Prosecution’s case and harm your defense.

Exercise Your Right to an Attorney

You have a right to have an attorney present during all stages of criminal proceedings, including during interrogation by law enforcement. Having your attorney present during questioning helps ensure that your rights are protected and that you do not say anything that will inadvertently harm your defense.

If you have been arrested for a crime involving fraud, the skilled attorneys at Padula & Associates, LLC understand how stressful your situation can be and can help you fight the allegations. Our attorneys are experienced in all aspects of criminal defense, and they 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 criminal defense services.

We answer the phone 24-hours a day, seven 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.

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