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The Washington Criminal Law Blog

Credit and Debit Card Fraud in Washington State

Posted Tuesday, April 3, 2018 by Lizanne Padula.

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In Washington State credit and debit card fraud is called “unlawful factoring of transactions” under RCW 9a.56.290. Under this law, credit and debit card fraud can be carried out in five different ways. A person commits the crime of unlawful factoring of a credit card or payment card transaction if the person:

• (a) Uses a scanning device to obtain information encoded on a payment card without the permission of the authorized user or with the intent to defraud the authorized user, another person, or a financial institution;

• (b) Uses a reencoder to place information encoded on a payment card onto a different card without the permission of the authorized issuer or with the intent to defraud the authorized user, another person, or a financial institution;

• (c) Presents to a financial institution for payment a payment card transaction record that is not the result of a payment card transaction between the cardholder and the person;

• (d) Employs, solicits, or otherwise causes a merchant or an employee, representative, or agent of a merchant to present to or deposit with a financial institution for payment a payment card transaction record that is not the result of a payment card transaction between the cardholder and the merchant; or

• (e) Employs, solicits, or otherwise causes another to become a merchant for purposes of engaging in conduct made unlawful by this section. RCW 9a.56.290.

Unlawful factoring of a credit card or payment/debit card is a class C felony. A second or subsequent violation of Washington’s credit card fraud law is a class B felony.

In some credit card fraud crimes, the credit card in question is physically present. For example, when a person’s credit or debit card is stolen or when a new payment card is applied for in another person’s name. In other credit card fraud crimes, the card itself is not present. In such cases having the credit or debit card number alone is sufficient to carry out the fraud. For example, fraudulent charges can be made online or over the phone with only the numbers.

In many cases charges for alleged unlawful factoring of transactions (credit or debit card fraud) are accompanied by charges for identity theft. This is particularly true in cases where the credit or debit card was not present during the commission of the alleged crime. In Washington State identity theft is committed when a person knowingly uses the identification or financial information of another person, living or dead, with the intent to commit any crime. RCW 9.35.020.

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. 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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What Are Aggravating DUI Sentencing Factors in Washington State?

Posted Friday, March 30, 2018 by Lizanne Padula.

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Washington State has some of the toughest laws on DUI in the nation. And when a DUI involves certain “aggravating” circumstances, the penalties are even greater.

Aggravating DUI sentencing factors include:

• If a child under the age of 16 was in the vehicle.

• The driver refused to submit to a blood or breath test.

• There was injury or property damage caused.

• The driver was under 21 years old.

• The driver has a Commercial Driver License (CDL) and was at the time driving a commercial vehicle.

If any of the above circumstances are present, then the penalties for DUI will be harsher. Also, harsher penalties can come as a result of higher Blood Alcohol Content and for prior DUI convictions.

Child Under 16 In the Vehicle

Under Washington State law, the law enforcement officer is required to make a “clear notation if a child under the age of sixteen was present in the vehicle” when an arrest for DUI or Physical Control of Vehicle Under the Influence is made. RCW 46.61.507. Law enforcement is also required to notify child protective services whenever a child is present in a vehicle being driven by his or her parent, guardian, legal custodian, or sibling and that person is being arrested for a drug or alcohol-related driving offense. However, the officer is not required to take custody of the child “unless there is no other responsible person” available to take care of the child. RCW 46.61.507(2).

When a DUI occurs with a passenger under 16 in the car, the Court shall order the installation of an Ignition Interlock Device for at least 60 days if an IID is not mandatory. If an IID is mandatory, the Court shall order an additional 60 days of the IID requirement.

Defending Against DUI Charges

Between the license suspension, 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 these 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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Seattle DUI Defense

Posted Wednesday, March 28, 2018 by Lizanne Padula.

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If you’ve been arrested for DUI in Seattle or anywhere in the State of Washington, you need to do everything possible to avoid the serious consequences that come with a conviction. The penalties and fines for DUI in Washington State are steep. Even first-time offenders can serve jail time. A criminal record can affect your ability to get a job or pass background checks. Do not face DUI charges alone. Hire the Seattle DUI Defense Attorneys of Padula & Associates, LLC to help you get the best possible outcome in your case.

DUI Defense - The Prosecutor’s Concerns

You want to do anything you can to help alleviate the Prosecutor’s concerns about you. While you cannot do anything about the level of your breath test or your criminal history, you can take steps to demonstrate that you are deserving of a second chance. You want to show the Prosecutor that if they cut a plea deal with you for lesser charges, that you will not drive under the influence of alcohol again. To that end, if possible you want to demonstrate that this DUI was an isolated incident and that you do not suffer from alcoholism.

DUI Defense - Be Proactive

Be proactive in dealing with DUI charges pending against you. Here are a few things to do:

• Hire a DUI Defense Attorney immediately.

• Understand what will be expected of you and complete those tasks as soon as possible.

• Undergo the mandatory Alcohol Evaluation from a reputable treatment agency.

• Follow up with any treatment recommendations from the Alcohol Evaluation.

Further, be proactive in completing all requirements that the court orders. Keep records of all that you do and forward those to your DUI Defense Attorney.

DUI Defense - Help Your Defense

Hiring a criminal defense attorney is an advantageous first step, but we encourage you to be part of your defense, too. The best clients we serve are the clients who are both pro-active and involved in their defense. We want you to be informed of your case throughout the process. We want you to know what to expect and what the likely case outcome is for you. And we also want you to work with us to develop the strongest legal defense against aggressive prosecution. We welcome and appreciate clients who ask questions, stay informed, and participate in their defense.

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.

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.

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WA Senate Law & Justice Committee Heard Testimony On Bipartisan Bill to End the Death Penalty in Washington State

Posted Monday, March 26, 2018 by Lizanne Padula.

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Earlier this year the Senate Law & Justice Committee heard public testimony on a bipartisan proposal to end the death penalty in Washington state, and to replace it with life in prison without the possibility of parole for those convicted of aggravated first-degree murder. Those testifying in favor of the bill included Attorney General Bob Ferguson, King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg, and families of murder victims.

There are currently two bills before the Washington State legislature to end the death penalty in our state. The 2018 Senate bill, SB 6052 and the House version, HB 1935, are for “Reducing criminal justice expenses by eliminating the death penalty and instead requiring life imprisonment without possibility of release or parole as the sentence for aggravated first degree murder.” You can follow the bills here and here to stay abreast of developments and updates.

According to a Seattle University study, seeking the death penalty in a murder case costs about $1 million more, on average, than a case where capital punishment is not sought. Due to the higher cost of pursuing capital punishment, there tends to be a concentration of capital cases in more affluent counties that have the economic resources to absorb the higher costs. Proponents of ending the death penalty argue that this fact contributes to the inequity of death penalty cases.

Currently under Washington State law, the death penalty can be sought in aggravated first degree murder cases. A person is guilty of aggravated first degree murder if he or she commits first degree murder (as defined by RCW 9A.32.030(1)(a)) and one or more of the following aggravating circumstances exist:

• The victim was a law enforcement officer, corrections officer, or firefighter who was performing his or her official duties at the time of the act resulting in death and the victim was known or reasonably should have been known by the person to be such at the time of the killing;

• The person committed the murder pursuant to an agreement that he or she would receive money or any other thing of value for committing the murder;

• The person solicited another person to commit the murder and had paid or had agreed to pay money or any other thing of value for committing the murder;

• The person committed the murder to obtain or maintain his or her membership or to advance his or her position in the hierarchy of an organization, association, or identifiable group;

• The murder was committed during the course of a drive-by-shooting. RCW 10.95.020.

And there are other aggravating circumstances that give rise to a charge of aggravated first degree murder under Washington State Law. The full list can be viewed here. Currently there are eight inmates on death row in Washington State.

If You Are Facing Criminal Charges

The skilled attorneys at Padula & Associates, LLC know how important it is to defend your rights. Our attorneys are experienced in all aspects of criminal 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.

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DUI Charges Reduced to Negligent or Reckless Driving - Seattle DUI Defense

Posted Friday, March 23, 2018 by Lizanne Padula.

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In Washington State there are mandatory minimum penalties for a DUI conviction, even for a first time offense. Considering the minimum penalties and the long-term consequences of having a DUI on your record, there is compelling reason to do everything possible to get DUI charges reduced to lesser charges. In fact, most of the DUI cases we handle at Padula & Associates, LLC are reduced to lesser charges or dismissed entirely.

DUI Charges Reduced to Negligent or Reckless Driving - Seattle DUI Defense

The majority of criminal charges are resolved prior to trial―often through plea bargaining. In a plea bargain the defendant enters into an agreement with the prosecution to plead guilty to some or all of the criminal charges filed against him or her in exchange for concessions from the prosecutor, such as reduced punishments. The advantages of accepting a plea agreement can be numerous, such as pleading to lesser charges and avoiding the uncertainties of trial. We strongly urge you to have an experienced DUI criminal defense attorney negotiate and review any plea agreement you’re considering.

Depending on various factors and the specifics of your case, a charge for DUI in Washington State may be reduced to reckless driving, negligent driving, reckless endangerment, or some other reduced charge.

Reckless Driving: “Any person who drives any vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving. Violation of the provisions of this section is a gross misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for up to three hundred sixty-four days and by a fine of not more than five thousand dollars.” RWC 46.61.500.

Negligent Driving―First Degree: “A person is guilty of negligent driving in the first degree if he or she 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 or exhibits the effects of having inhaled or ingested any chemical, whether or not a legal substance, for its intoxicating or hallucinatory effects.” RWC 46.61.5249.

Reckless Endangerment: “A person is guilty of reckless endangerment when he or she recklessly engages in conduct not amounting to drive-by shooting but that creates a substantial risk of death or serious physical injury to another person.” RWC 9a.36.050.

There are a number of ways to successfully get DUI charges reduced to lesser charges. 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.Understand that every case is different and fact specific. For an evaluation of your DUI case, contact us here or call 425-883-3366.

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.

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