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DUI in WA State - What You Want to Know

Posted Tuesday, December 5, 2017 by Lizanne Padula.

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If you are reading this, even after hours, call us - we will answer - (425) 883-3366.

If you are facing charges for DUI in Washington you likely have a lot of questions and are worried about what penalties you may be facing. The DUI defense attorneys of Padula & Associates have got you covered. This article covers the basics of what you need to know about DUI in Washington State.

Legal Limit for DUI in Washington State

After DUI Arrest

Automatic License Suspension

Mandatory Alcohol Evaluation

Getting DUI Charges Reduced to Lesser Charges

Defending Against DUI Charges

For answers to your questions and for a free consultation, contact us on the web here or call (425) 883-3366. We have ample experience in DUI defense. You want us on your side.

Legal Limit for DUI in Washington State

Under Washington State law, 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:”

• The person has, within two hours after driving, an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher as shown by analysis of the person’s breath or blood; or

• The person has, within two hours after driving, a THC concentration of 5.00 or higher as shown by analysis of the person’s blood; or

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

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

After DUI Arrest

After you are arrested under suspicion of DUI in Washington State, formal charges of DUI will likely be filed against you. From there, the criminal process will move forward starting with an arraignment.

At any stage of the criminal process after arraignment and prior to a verdict at trial, you and your DUI defense attorney may negotiate a plea agreement with the Prosecutor. If you do get the charges dropped or plead out to lesser charges, then your case will proceed to trial, and if convicted, to sentencing.

Automatic License Suspension

Your license will be automatically suspended if you do not request a hearing with the Washington State Department of Licensing (DOL) within 20 days. If you do not request a hearing within 20 days, or the hearing examiner does not rule in your favor, your license will be suspended for 90 days to 2 years.

When you hire Padula & Associates, LLC to defend you against allegations of DUI, we will guide you through the DOL process and we will ensure your hearing request is submitted on time. Learn more in our article Will I Lose My License? DUI in Washington State.

Mandatory Alcohol Evaluation

If you are convicted of a DUI in Washington State, it is mandatory that you undergo an Alcohol Evaluation. The Alcohol Evaluation must be done by an alcoholism agency, or a qualified probation department , approved by the Department of Social and Health Services. Lean more in our article Alcohol Evaluation After DUI in Washington State.

Getting DUI Charges Reduced to Lesser Charges

There are a number of ways to successfully get charges for DUI reduced to lesser charges. Depending on the facts of your case, it may be possible to weaken the case against you by demonstrating that the evidence is somehow tainted or inadmissible. For example, demonstrating that a malfunctioning breathalyzer machine was used, or proving up other problems with how or when your blood alcohol concentration was tested, can weaken the case against you. Perhaps we can show police misconduct, a DUI checkpoint carried out unlawfully, an unlawful stop, or other violations of your rights. Once the case against you is weakened, the Prosecutor may be compelled to reduce the charges rather than risk losing at trial or having the case dismissed by the court.

Defending Against DUI Charges

It is in your best interest to consult with an experienced Washington DUI Criminal Defense Attorney immediately. After a DUI arrest deadlines approach quickly and the longer you wait, the more difficult it can be to gather evidence in your favor. We invite you to meet with us for a free case evaluation - call us 24/7 at 425-883-3366.

The skilled DUI defense attorneys at Padula & Associates, LLC are experienced in all aspects of DUI defense. We will help you face your charges head-on and 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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What "Beyond A Reasonable Doubt" Means

Posted Friday, December 1, 2017 by Lizanne Padula.

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You have probably heard the phrase “beyond a reasonable doubt,” but what does it mean? How is it applied?

Standard of Proof

In a criminal case the prosecutor (the state) must prove that the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The burden of proof in criminal cases is on the prosecutor. The legal standard of proof is “beyond a reasonable doubt.” Essentially to secure a conviction the prosecutor must prove to the jury (or judge in a bench trial) that the defendant committed each element of the crime charged beyond a reasonable doubt. If there is any reasonable doubt left in the jurors’ minds that the defendant did not commit the crime, then they are instructed to acquit (return a not guilty verdict).

What “Beyond A Reasonable Doubt” Means

Proving the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt is a high legal standard. In fact, it is the highest standard of proof in our legal system.

In contrast, the standard of proof in civil trials, where a plaintiff sues a defendant for damages or an injunction, the standard of proof is “preponderance of the evidence.” The preponderance standard is generally described as a majority standard, or 51%. The plaintiff must prove that the defendant more likely than not committed the act in question and/or was the cause of the ensuing injuries.

Our justice system has a much higher standard of proof in criminal cases because a defendant’s very freedom is often at stake in criminal cases. To prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty of the crimes charged is a much higher standard requiring a much higher degree of certainty in the minds of the jurors.

The Supreme Court on Proof Beyond a Reasonable DoubtIn In re Winship, the Supreme Court of the United States wrote of the proof beyond a reasonable doubt standard:

“The requirement of proof beyond a reasonable doubt has this vital role in our criminal procedure for cogent reasons. The accused, during a criminal prosecution, has at stake interests of immense importance, both because of the possibility that he may lose his liberty upon conviction and because of the certainty that he would be stigmatized by the conviction. Accordingly, a society that values the good name and freedom of every individual should not condemn a man for commission of a crime when there is reasonable doubt about his guilt.” (397 U.S. 358, 363 (1970)).

The Court went on to state: “Moreover, use of the reasonable doubt standard is indispensable to command the respect and confidence of the community in applications of the criminal law. It is critical that the moral force of the criminal law not be diluted by a standard of proof that leaves people in doubt whether innocent men are being condemned.” (397 U.S. 358, 364 (1970)).

Hire A Criminal Defense Attorney to Defend Against Criminal Charges

The proof beyond a reasonable doubt standard is the bedrock of the presumption of innocence in our criminal justice system. In theory this high standard reduces the risk of erroneous convictions. However, irrespective of the high burden of proof placed on the prosecution, it is imperative that criminal defendants have zealous and effective counsel to assist them in their defense.

We urge you to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately if you have been arrested for or formally charged with a crime. Do not delay. Hire the fierce advocates at Padula & Associates, LLC to protect your rights from the very beginning! We answer the phone 24-hours a day, seven days a week. We offer free consultations. Call us 24/7 at 425-883-3366, email us at info@paduladefense.com, or fill out our online free consultation form today.

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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2 Ways the Prosecution Tries to Prove DUI, Washington State

Posted Wednesday, November 29, 2017 by Lizanne Padula.

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Washington State is known for having some of the toughest laws on Driving Under the Influence (DUI) in the nation. In our state there are mandatory minimum penalties for any DUI conviction, even for first time offenders. If you’re facing DUI charges, it is imperative that you do everything possible to mount a strong defense, and when possible get the charges dropped or reduced to lesser charges.

2 Ways the Prosecution Tries to Prove DUI in Washington State

It is the job of the prosecutor to prove that you are guilty of DUI. There are generally two ways in which the prosecutor attempts to prove that you are guilty:

• Proving that your blood alcohol content exceeded the legal limit of .08 within two hours after driving. (RCW 46.61.502 (1)(a)).

• Proving that you were driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or a combined influence of alcohol and drugs. (RCW 46.61.502 (1)(c)-(d)).

Blood Alcohol Content Over the Legal Limit

The prosecutor may prove that you were driving with a blood alcohol content in excess of the legal limit (or that within two hours of driving your blood alcohol content exceeded the legal limit) with the use of a blood or breath test. The test must be administered according to Washington State law (RCW 46.61.506).

There are a number of ways an experienced criminal defense attorney can defend against evidence proffered by the state. For instance, if the evidence demonstrating your blood alcohol content was collected in violation of Washington State law, it may not be admissible. Or, if we can show that alcohol consumed after the time of driving was the cause of the .08 or higher blood alcohol level, then we have an affirmative defense to the DUI charges. (RCW 46.61.502 (3)(a)).

Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs

In cases where the prosecutor does not have evidence of your blood alcohol content, he or she may still pursue DUI charges on a theory that you were driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or a combined influence of alcohol and drugs. The prosecutor may attempt to prove that you are guilty of DUI this way if the evidence of your blood alcohol content is deemed inadmissible, you allegedly refused to take the test, or test results are not available for some other reason.

It is more difficult for the state to secure a conviction without evidence of blood alcohol content. To be successful, the prosecutor must prove with other evidence that you were “affected” by alcohol or drugs, or a combination thereof, while you were driving.

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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Washington Attorney General Gets Guilty Plea in First Ever Criminal Sales Tax Case

Posted Monday, November 27, 2017 by Lizanne Padula.

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Yu-Ling Wong, owners of the Facing East restaurant in Bellevue, pleaded guilty to first-degree theft and unlawful use of sales suppression software. Wong used the sales suppression software to hide cash transactions, and pocketed an estimated $395,000 in sales tax collected from her customers.

The Punishment

Wong’s punishment includes a mandate to pay $300,000 in restitution to the Department of Revenue, $600 in penalties and fees, and the Department of Revenue will monitor Wong and her restaurant for five years.

The restaurant itself also entered a corporate guilty plea to first-degree theft, unlawful use of sales suppression software, and two counts of filing a false or fraudulent tax return. For the four charges, the court fined Facing East restaurant $40,000, which is suspended so long as Wong continues with the five-year monitoring agreement with the Department of Revenue.

The Law

In 2013, Washington State passed a law that made it illegal “for any person to knowingly sell, purchase, install, transfer, manufacture, create, design, update, repair, use, possess, or otherwise make available, in this state, any automated sales suppression device or phantom-ware.” (RCW 82.32.290 (4)(a)).

This case against Wong is the first prosecution in the United States for the use of sales suppression software. “Sales suppression software helps dishonest businesses steal from Washington taxpayers,” said case prosecutor, Attorney General Bob Ferguson.

Sales Suppression Software

Sales suppression software is designed to run on a point-of-sale cash register and operates to re-balance the company financial records to show a lower sales figure, which serves to reduce the business’ tax obligation. The business then pockets the additional sales tax customers paid instead of paying that sales tax to the state. Sales suppression software allows the user to remove cash from the register while still reflecting balanced business records.

Defending Against Criminal Charges

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.

Hiring an experienced criminal 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. 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, email us at info@paduladefense.com, or fill out our online free consultation form today.

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

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New Washington State Law: Victims and Law Enforcement Notified of Illegal Attempts to Obtain Firearms

Posted Tuesday, November 21, 2017 by Lizanne Padula.

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New requirements on Federal Firearm Licensees took effect on July 23, 2017, in Washington State. The 2017 Washington State Legislature enacted HB 1501 on “protecting law enforcement and the public from persons who illegally attempt to obtain firearms.” The new law requires that law enforcement and victims be notified when felons, domestic violence perpetrators, and certain other individuals are denied the purchase of a firearm.

When Firearm Dealers Must Report

Under the new law, firearm dealers must report to the Washington State Patrol all instances where they deny an application for the purchase of a firearm when that denial is based on legal ineligibility to possess a firearm under state or federal law. The dealer must report the denied application information to the Washington State Patrol within five days. The reported information must include: identifying information of the applicant, date of the application, date of denial of the application, and other information as prescribed by the Washington State Patrol.

Requirements on the Washington State Patrol

Under the new law, the Washington State Patrol is required to maintain a database of reported denials, investigate cases of denials, and refer cases for prosecution. Further, there is to be a statewide, automated system to notify a registered person when a respondent subject to certain court protective orders (such as no-contact orders, domestic violence protection orders, restraining orders, etc.) has been denied the purchase of a firearm.

While the new law is aimed at protecting law enforcement and the public, it places new burdens on the Washington State Patrol as well as firearm dealers.

Defending Against Firearm Related Charges

Padula & Associates, LLP has received many referrals from the Second Amendment Foundation and other firearm advocacy organizations. Lizanne Padula is a strong advocate for gun rights. She has spoken at an Open Carry Rally in Olympia and at other firearm advocacy events. The skilled attorneys at Padula & Associates, LLP have achieved dismissals or reductions in hundreds of firearm related cases.

Are you facing a firearm related charge? The experienced criminal defense attorneys at Padula & Associates, LLC know how important it is to defend your rights and can help you fight these charges in court. Our attorneys are well-versed in all aspects of criminal defense, and they will help you take on allegations of unlawful possession or other firearm related charges with confidence. For more than 20 years, Padula & Associates, LLC has been proudly serving those in King County, Snohomish County, and Washington State.

We answer our phones 24/7 and offer free consultations. Call us 24/7 at 425-883-3366 or fill out our simple web form to schedule your free consultation today.

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