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The Washington Criminal Law Blog

Padula & Associates Seattle-Bellevue DUI Client Walk, No Legal Consequences

Posted Wednesday, October 4, 2017 by Lizanne Padula.

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Here’s the truth about DUI charges in Washington State: there are mandatory minimum penalties for any DUI conviction, even for a first time offense, and there are numerous long-term consequences of having a DUI on your record. You want to do everything possible to get DUI charges dropped or reduced to lesser charges.

Here at Padula & Associates, LLC most of the DUI cases we handle are reduced to lesser charges or dismissed entirely. We are experienced DUI defense attorneys and we are fierce advocates for our clients. Recently we successfully executed a legal strategy for one of our clients to get the DUI charges against her completely dropped based on officer error!

DUI Client Walks, No Legal Consequences

Our client was charged with a DUI in a case where there was substantial evidence against her. The damaging evidence included breath test evidence that our client was driving with a breath alcohol concentration well over the legal limit of .08g/210L, and an in-car video of her interactions with the police officer who arrested her. Without the proper defense, this may have been a slam-dunk case for the Prosecutor.

In fact, given the evidence against our client the Prosecution’s only plea offer was for our client to plead guilty to the DUI as charged. Instead of accepting an unfavorable plea agreement, we pushed forward to a Motions hearing before the Court to argue legal reasons why the Judge should dismiss the case. We spent many hours reviewing the evidence against our client and came up with a series of goal-oriented tasks and strategies that we implemented at the hearing in our cross-examination of the police officer and our arguments for dismissal before the Court.

Ultimately, the Court agreed with us that the police officer did not have probable cause to arrest our client for DUI and, as a result, the criminal charge was dismissed. We were further able to convince the Department of Licensing to take no action against our client’s license based on the same legal issue we won in the criminal court. Due to our efforts, our client walked away from this DUI arrest with no legal consequences!

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

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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Why It Is Critical To Write Out Everything You Can Remember About Your Arrest

Posted Monday, October 2, 2017 by Lizanne Padula.

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Criminal cases are often won or lost on details. For example, the right detail about the events leading up to an arrest may be crucial to the case, may even lead to the case being dismissed. If you were arrested, it is critical that you write out everything you can remember about your arrest. And we really mean everything. We want every detail you can recall, even if it seems trivial to you – it may very well be the fact that gets your criminal charges dropped.

Write Out Everything You Can Remember About the Arrest

As soon as possible after arrest, take the time to sit down and write out everything you can remember about the arrest and investigation. If you recall more details later, go back and add them to your account.

Why It Is Critical To Write Out Everything You Can Remember About Your Arrest?

The arresting Officer has written a report that he/she can use to refresh his/her memory down the line. You should have the same benefit of a written account you can later reference to refresh your memory.

Moreover, after we get the arresting Officer’s report, we will sit down together and go through all the details of your case. Your account will greatly assist our efforts to fight the Officer’s accusations.

We will also conduct our own investigation. We will gather evidence in your favor, poke holes in the Officer’s account, and dismantle the prosecution’s case against you. Our goal is to mount a strong defense based on a solid legal strategy designed specifically for your case.

Seek the advice of a criminal defense attorney.

If you are facing criminal charges we urge you to seek the advice of an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. The attorneys of Padula & Associates, LLC are experienced in all aspects of criminal defense, and they will help you take on criminal allegations with confidence. We will be your fierce advocates, and we will mount an aggressive defense in your case and help you fight for a just resolution.

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.

We proudly serve the folks in King County, Snohomish County, and Washington State with aggressive and effective criminal defense.

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I Was Arrested - What Do I Do?

Posted Thursday, September 28, 2017 by Lizanne Padula.

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If you are arrested, exercise your right to remain silent and contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. The same is true when you are formally charged with a crime, which may come sometime after an arrest in Washington State.

What to do:

• Hire an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Exercise your right to remain silent.

• Understand the charges against you.

• Understand the legal process.

What not to do:

• Never be resistive, combative, or impolite to law enforcement.

• Do not ignore your arrest or the charges until your court date.

• Refrain from talking to people about the facts of your case. Speak only to your attorney - your communications are protected and private under attorney/client privilege.

• Never talk to law enforcement or the prosecution without your attorney present. Always have your attorney by your side during any questioning or legal proceeding.

• Don’t panic.

The truth is every criminal charge is winnable and every charge is losable. The success of your criminal defense in large part hinges on how you deal with the investigation in the aftermath of being arrested and how you prepare to fight the prosecution. A smart, well-planned defense aimed at dismantling the Prosecution’s case against you is critical to obtaining the best possible outcome in your case.

It is important to hire the right attorney to defend you. If you’ve been arrested on suspicion of a crime, you need to hire a criminal defense attorney. Make sure you hire an attorney with criminal defense experience. Also, hire someone who you feel comfortable with, who you feel you can trust to handle your case with dignity, tenacity, and care. Your attorney’s job is to protect your rights, help you understand the legal process, and advocate on your behalf.

Hire Padula & Associates, LLC to Defend You

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

Lizanne Padula, Founding Partner, is a former Prosecutor. She 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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The Federal Government's Commitment to Prosecuting Violent Crime

Posted Tuesday, September 26, 2017 by Lizanne Padula.

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Federal prosecutors have been directed to focus their efforts on prosecuting violent crimes. Attorney General, Jeff Sessions said: “Turning back our nation’s recent rise in violent crime is a top priority for the Department of Justice, and it requires decisive action from our federal prosecutors[.]” Sessions released a memorandum calling for collaborative efforts between the federal government and local, state, and tribal law enforcement from across the nation to investigate, prosecute, and deter violent crime.

In the memo Sessions stated that “[o]ftentimes the criminal statutes specifically designed to target violent crime will be most applicable.” He went on to list specific federal criminal statutes to focus on, which included violent crimes involving firearms, drug trafficking, robbery, carjacking, and racketeering. In closing, Session urged prosecutors to “employ the full complement of federal law to address the problem of violent crime in your district.”

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has formed partnerships with twelve cities across the nation, with the intention to partner with more cities later in the year. The partnerships are geared toward prioritizing a reduction in violent crime and helping local law enforcement officials develop strategies to combat violent crime. Currently, partnering cities will not receive funding as part of the initiative. The twelve cities currently part of the DOJ’s violent crime program are: Birmingham, Alabama; Indianapolis and Springfield, Illinois; Cincinnati and Toledo, Ohio; Houston, Texas; Buffalo, New York; Jackson and Memphis, Tennessee; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Kansan City, Missouri; and Lansing, Michigan.

As leadership changes at the top levels in the federal government, the priorities on where to focus limited prosecutorial resources shift. Due to the limited nature of prosecutorial resources, a shift of focus to one criminal area necessarily means that another criminal area will not receive as much attention from the justice department or federal prosecutors.

In the absence of an increase in funding and manpower, when Attorney General Sessions shifted the focus of prosecutorial resources to violent crime, there was a decrease in resources to prosecute other types of crime, such as health care fraud or terrorism. However, reportedly the administration’s proposed budget includes $26 million for the hiring of 300 new federal prosecutors, with 230 of those dedicated to prosecuting violent crimes.

If you have been arrested for or charged with a violent crime, it is critical that you hire an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. The skilled criminal defense attorneys at Padula & Associates, LLC offer a free consultation.

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.

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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Vehicular Homicide in Washington State, Criminal Defense

Posted Friday, September 22, 2017 by Lizanne Padula.

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Vehicular Homicide in Washington State is a very serious offence with tragic consequences.

Vehicular homicide is when a person causes the death of another while driving in a reckless manner, under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or with disregard for the safety of others. The death must ensue within three years and as a proximate result of the injury caused by the driving. Like vehicular assault, DUI and reckless driving carry stiffer penalties than disregard for the safety of others.

Under state law, a person is guilty of Vehicular Assault when “the death of any person ensues within three years as a proximate result of injury proximately caused by the driving of any vehicle by any person ” and the driver “was operating a motor vehicle:

• (a) While under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug, or

• (b) In a reckless manner; or

• (c) With disregard for the safety of others. (RCW 46.61.520).

The law sets forth three ways in which Vehicle Homicide can be committed: while driving under the influence, driving in a reckless manner, or with a disregard for the safety of others. Depending on the facts of the case, each of these may carry a different punishment under state law. Generally, Vehicular Homicide committed while driving under the influence or recklessly results in harsher punishment.

Vehicular Assault is a Class A felony, the most serious type of criminal offense. A Class A felony may be punishable by confinement in a state correctional institution for a term of life imprisonment, or by a fine of $50,000, or both.

If a person suffers serious bodily injury as a result of the accident, but does not die, then the driver may be charged with Vehicular Assault.

If you are facing charges for Vehicular Homicide, your freedom is on the line. The skilled attorneys at Padula & Associates, LLC will provide you with tenacious defense in court to combat these serious charges.

Our attorneys have built our reputation on defense of charges for DUI, reckless driving, Vehicular Assault, and Vehicular Homicide. We have successfully litigated Vehicular Assault charges to not guilty verdicts and obtained reduction from felony Vehicular Homicide and Vehicular Assault charges to misdemeanor charges like Reckless Driving. Our experience is extensive and our success is frequent.

Please remember we are available 24/7 at 425-883-3366 if you find yourself the focus of an investigation for either Vehicular Assault or Homicide.

Lizanne Padula of Padula & Associates, LLC 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).

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 criminal defense attorney.

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