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The Washington Criminal Law Blog

Will I Lose My License? DUI in Washington State

Posted Thursday, October 19, 2017 by Lizanne Padula.

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Facing criminal charges for a DUI is gut-wrenching. You’re likely reeling and not sure what to do or what consequences you may face. As for the question: Will I lost my license? The truth is: it depends. Every DUI case truly is unique, and if the charges cannot be beat or reduced to lesser charges, then consequences will depend on a number of factors, including any prior DUI’s.

What we can tell you with certainty is this: it is in your best interest to hire an experienced Washington DUI Criminal Defense Attorney immediately after arrest. Deadlines approach quickly and the longer you wait, the more difficult it can be to gather evidence in your favor. If you delay, the more difficult it will be to save your license.

Administrative License Suspension - 90 Days to 4 Years

After an arrest for suspected DUI, the Washington State Department of Licensing (DOL) will suspend your license administratively, unless you request a hearing to contest the suspension within 20 days of the date you were arrested, and the hearing examiner decides in your favor.

If you miss this deadline, the administrative suspension from the DOL will go into effect 60 days after your arrest and you will have lost your ability to fight this action.

If you refused to submit to a breath test your license will be automatically revoked for at least one year. (RCW 46.20.308(2)(a)). However, submitting to Field Sobriety Tests are strictly voluntary and refusal does not come with a mandatory, automatic license suspension.

DOL Administrative License Suspension vs. Court Ordered License Suspension

The DOL’s actions and any accompanying license suspension are completely independent from any criminal prosecution. However, if the DOL and the court suspend your license, the term will most likely run concurrently.

Court Ordered License Suspension

If you are convicted of DUI, your driver’s license will be suspended. If you had no prior DUI’s in the past 7 years, you could face a 90 day license suspension. If you are convicted of a second DUI offense, you could face a 2 year license suspension. In cases where there are multiple previous DUI’s, and depending on the severity of the incident, your license suspension will be for a longer period. The suspension will begin 45 days after your conviction.

And license suspension is not the only penalty you may be facing if you’re convicted of DUI. Penalties also include imprisonment and hefty fines. Further, even for first-time offenders there are mandatory minimum penalties that the judge must impose.

You Want the DUI Criminal Defense Attorneys of Padula & Associates By Your Side

Because the penalties for conviction can be harsh, contact us immediately after a DUI arrest. We will help you face your charges head-on and with confidence. When you hire the skilled DUI defense attorneys at Padula & Associates, LLC, we will fight to prevent the interruption of your ability to drive.

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

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Contact A Criminal Defense Attorney 24/7

Posted Tuesday, October 17, 2017 by Lizanne Padula.

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The attorneys of Padula & Associates, LLC are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. And this is not just lip service - we really answer our phone at 2:00a.m. We do not use an answering service. When you call us, you will get to speak to a licensed criminal defense attorney and you will be able to get advice from an attorney right then.

Contact an Attorney 24/7

Call (425) 883-3366

FIGHT until the last full measure,

GUIDE you to a just resolution, and

STAND with you when you feel confused or afraid.

When people contact us, they are scared. They have just been arrested or they have been notified of criminal charges files against them. Most of our clients are going through something they have never gone through before. They need a guide, they need us to be available when we are needed. That’s why we answer our phone 24/7.

Watch Lizanne Padula explain why she has dedicated her career to helping people who are facing criminal charges here.

Lizanne has 20 years criminal law experience, 15 years as a criminal defense attorney and 5 years as a prosecutor. 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. Learn more about Lizanne here.

What sets our firm apart from other criminal defense firms? We care about our clients. We are warriors for each client who entrusts us with their case. The people we represent are never just a number to us. Our clients are never left in the hands of a case manager, and always have access to their attorney.

Contact Us - Anytime, Day or Night

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.

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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Domestic Violence: When Police Must Make An Arrest in Washington State

Posted Friday, October 13, 2017 by Lizanne Padula.

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Washington State has strict laws when it comes to alleged acts of Domestic Violence. 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.

Under the law, an officer “shall arrest … a person without a warrant when the officer has probably cause to believe that:

• (i) A felonious assault has occurred;

• (ii) An assault has occurred which has resulted in bodily injury to the victim, whether the injury is observable by the responding officer or not; or

• (iii) That any physical action has occurred which was intended to cause another person reasonably to fear imminent serious bodily injury or death.” (RCW 10.31.100).

If law enforcement contacts you and they have reasonable grounds to believe you committed an act of Domestic Violence (even if you acted in self defense or if their information is incorrect) you will be arrested.

Even if the evidence against you is shaky at best, the police are still likely to make an arrest because the standard of “probable cause” is low, and it may cause problems for the officers if it later comes out an act of Domestic Violence did occur. Due to the stringent mandate to make an arrest when it comes to suspicion of Domestic Violence, law enforcement officers often error on the side of caution – even when that means arresting an innocent person.

Further, if an officer has probable cause to believe that household members have assaulted each other, the officer is not required to arrest both persons. The officer’s duty is to arrest the person whom the officer believes to be the primary physical aggressor. (RCW 10.31.100(2)(c)).

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.

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Charged with DUI, What You Need to Know

Posted Tuesday, October 10, 2017 by Lizanne Padula.

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If you have recently been arrested for or charged with DUI in Washington State, this following is what you need to know right now.

Go to a Hospital and Request a Blood Test

If you are reading this within a few hours of your arrest: go to a Hospital and request a blood test for alcohol and/or drugs. Do not drive yourself, get a ride to the Emergency Room. Do not sign a release for anyone else to see these results. Do not inform the arresting Officer that you are getting a blood test. We can use these results later to compare to your breath test results in order to asses accuracy.

You Have 20 Days to Request a Hearing From the Department of Licensing

You only have 20 days to request an administrative hearing from the Washington State Department of Licensing (DOL). After an arrest for suspected DUI, the DOL will suspend your license administratively, unless you request a hearing to contest the suspension within 20 days of the date you were arrested, and the hearing examiner decides in your favor.

You should have been given a form telling you this, but even if you were not, you will still be held to this deadline. If you miss this deadline, the administrative suspension from the DOL will go into effect 60 days after your arrest and you will have lost your ability to fight this action.

When you hire our firm 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. Do not wait until you receive notice of your criminal charges. Your criminal case and this administrative DOL action are separate. Waiting for the criminal charges to be filed may hurt your ability to challenge the DOL action.

If Criminal Charges Have Not Yet Been Filed, They Will Be

Understand that if you were released without criminal charges being filed against you, do not assume charges will never be filed. Many counties (especially King County) take months to file charges. Do not wait until you receive notice of your criminal charges to contact a DUI Defense Attorney.

Consult with a DUI Defense Attorney Immediately

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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A Guide to the Fourth Amendment - Your Right Against Unlawful Search & Seizure

Posted Friday, October 6, 2017 by Lizanne Padula.

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The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution creates the right to be free from unlawful search and seizure. It reads: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

Your Right Against Unlawful Search & 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, you must submit to the search. There are other notable exceptions to your Fourth Amendment rights.

Search Incident to a Lawful Arrest

When a person is lawfully arrested, the police have the right to search his or her person and the area immediately surrounding them. The rationale is that the search is permissible without a warrant as a protective measure for the arresting officers.

Plain View Exception

No warrant is required for police to seize evidence that is in plain view so long as the police are legitimately in the location where the evidence is out in plain view.

Stop and Frisk

Police may stop and frisk (pad down) a suspect when they have “reasonable suspicion” of a criminal act. Also, if there is reason to believe the suspect may be armed, police can execute a stop and frisk.

Automobile Exception

A search warrant is not required to search a vehicle if the police have probable cause to believe the vehicle contains evidence of a crime, contraband, or the “fruits” of a crime. This exception is limited to a search of areas within the vehicle that might contain evidence of the type suspected to be present. The rationale is that vehicles are highly mobile and may be out of reach if the police had to wait for a search warrant to issue.

Emergencies

Similar to the Automobile Exception, evidence that can be easily moved or destroyed before a warrant can be issued may be seized without a warrant.

In the absence of one of the above exceptions, a valid search warrant, or your consent, the police do not have the right to search you or your property.

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 the United States Constitution. 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 Fourth Amendment are complex and nuanced. Hire a criminal defense attorney to advocate for your rights and mount a strong defense against the Prosecution’s case against you.

The skilled attorneys at Padula & Associates, LLC can defend your rights and help you fight for a just resolution. We proudly serve those in King County, Snohomish County, Pierce County, Lewis County, and Washington State.

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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