Padula & Associates, LLC Washington Criminal Defense Attorneys, Bellevue - SeattleDUI and Criminal Defense Attorneys

Call Now 425-883-3366

The Washington Criminal Law Blog

Washington's Voter-Approved Firearm Background Check Initiative Stands

Posted Friday, January 19, 2018 by Lizanne Padula.

alt text

The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, by a unanimous three-judge panel, dismissed the challenges against Washington’s voter-approved expansion of firearm background check laws. Initiative 594 stands.

On the November 4, 2014 ballot, Washington State voters approved the Washington Universal Background Checks for Gun Purchases, Initiative 594. Which is a Washington law designed to require background checks to be run on every person purchasing a gun in the state, including those who purchase via private sales and to noncommercial transfers of firearms. The Initiative came under attack for violations of the Second and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution and Sections 3 and 24 of Article I of the Washington State Constitution. Northwest School of Safety, et al. v. Ferguson, No. 3:2014cv06026 (W.D. Wash. 2015).

The Ninth Circuit agreed with a lower court ruling and dismissed the Plaintiffs’ challenges against Initiative 594. U.S. District Court Judge Benjamin Settle ruled that the plaintiffs lacked legal standing to challenge the law. The Ninth Circuit agreed with Judge Settle’s ruling.

The Washington Universal Background Checks for Gun Purchases, Initiative 594 (2014) expands State laws requiring background checks to cover all firearm purchases and transfers, with limited exceptions set forth in the Initiative. The concise description reads: “This measure would apply currently used criminal and public safety background checks by licensed dealers to all firearm sales and transfers, including gun show and online sales, with specific exceptions.” Notably, transfers of antique firearms, temporary transfers for self-defense and hunting, and transfers between immediate family members are exempt from the background checks.

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 violating firearm sale or purchase laws, 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.

Call us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 425-883-3366 or fill out this simple web form. We answer our phones 24/7 and offer free consultations.

Permalink to this entry

Washington's DUI Laws Strengthened, New Laws of House Bill 1614

Posted Wednesday, January 17, 2018 by Lizanne Padula.

alt text

Throughout 2017 the Washington State legislature passed several new laws aimed at toughening up criminal laws in our state, particularly regarding DUI offenses.

As of July 23, 2017 a fourth DUI conviction within 10 years will be charged as a felony. Under the new law, offenders will be sent to prison for 13 to 17 months, which can increase depending on criminal history.

In addition to the new law making a fourth DUI a felony, the new laws of House Bill 1614 further strengthen Washington’s DUI laws. The majority of the provisions of HB 1614 took effect on July 23, 2017, while two sections (§§ 18 and 19) became effective a few weeks earlier, on July 1, 2017. The new laws create additional regulations for and sanctions against repeat offenders, provide for stricter Ignition Interlock Devise requirements, and expands alcohol-monitoring requirements for offenders determined to have a problem with alcohol. The final report of the bill can be read here.

Overview of New Laws of House Bill 1614

Vacating Criminal Records

The new law extends the amount of time it takes to vacate or expunge an impaired driving-related misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor “prior offense” for DUI sentencing under the Alcohol and drug violators―Penalty schedule (RCW 46.61.5055) to 10 years.

Mandatory Arrest

In addition to mandatory arrest and hold provisions already in place, the new law mandates that a person suspected of DUI must be arrested without a warrant and held in custody when the arresting officer knows that the person is charged with or awaiting arraignment on another offense related to impaired driving.

Ignition Interlock Devise Requirements

Under the new law, a person must have 180 consecutive violation-free days prior to release of an ignition interlock restriction. Previously the law required only four months of consecutive violation-free days.

License Suspension for Willful Failure to Appear or Comply

When a person who is provided notice of or who is served with a traffic infraction or a traffic-related criminal complaint willfully fails to appear before the court, or comply as required by the infraction or complaint, then the court must notify the Washington Department of Licensing.

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.

Permalink to this entry

5 Questions to Ask Your Criminal Defense Attorney

Posted Monday, January 15, 2018 by Lizanne Padula.

alt text

When you are facing criminal charges a lot is at stake. It is important that you hire a criminal defense attorney who is experienced and who you feel is a good fit with you and for your case. When you meet for a consultation, ask the following questions to help you gauge whether you should hire the attorney.

1. How long have you practiced criminal law?

You want to hire a criminal defense attorney with ample experience and a successful track record. Follow ups to this question include:

• How many jury trials have you done? What were the results of those trials?

• Have you successfully defended a client against the same or similar charges that I am facing?

Lizanne Padula 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.

2. How do you handle plea bargains?

The fact is that the majority of criminal cases do not go to trial and are settled through negotiating a plea bargain. Negotiating a fair plea bargain with the prosecution is an art. It requires a careful evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of your case, of the prosecution’s case, and a calculation of the odds of winning or losing at trial.

You want to understand how the attorney approaches plea bargain negotiations. With your attorney you will have to consider the maximum punishment you may face if you lose at trial versus the punishment you will certainly face if you accept a plea bargain.

3. What is your preliminary assessment of my case?

Do not be afraid to ask a criminal defense attorney who you’re considering hiring what their preliminary evaluation of the case against you is. If the attorney is unclear about what sentence you could be facing, you may want to consult with other attorneys. If the attorney lists the defenses that are likely available to you and highlights issues with the prosecution’s case, then you may have found the right attorney for you.

4. What can I do to help my defense?

When you’re facing criminal charges your attorney cannot do it all for you. If you take an active role in your defense, you will have a better chance at securing the best possible outcome in your case.

For example, if you are facing DUI charges you could undergo an alcohol evaluation even before the court orders it. This approach gives you the opportunity to begin following any treatment plan and shows the court and the prosecutor that you are being proactive in handling your criminal case.

5. How much will my defense cost?

It is important to understand what costs you are facing, including attorneys’ fees, investigation costs, expert witness costs, and other costs that may come up during the course of your defense.

When evaluating the cost of your defense keep in mind the severe consequences of a criminal conviction, including possible incarceration, fines, having a criminal record, etc. Once the case is behind you, you will remember if you achieved a favorable result in your case, not the amount you spent on your defense. If you can, focus on hiring an attorney who can achieve the results you need.

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.

Permalink to this entry

Dealing with the Police - Guidance on How to Interact

Posted Friday, January 12, 2018 by Lizanne Padula.

alt text

It is never easy or simple to deal with the police. It is frightening and a lot is on the line. The following is some guidance on how to best interact with the police if you are being questioned, interrogated, or when you’re pulled over.

Be polite, be respectful.

How you interact with the police is important and can help or harm your defense against criminal charges later. First and foremost, in any interaction with law enforcement officers: be polite and respectful.

Even if they are not being respectful to you, even if they are outright rude, condescending, or cruel, we urge you to remain respectful to them. This may not be easy, but it is in your best interest.

Remember the police are not your friends.

If the police are talking to you, you are at risk. Never lose sight of the fact that they are not your friends. Some people have a natural tendency to want to please authority figures, particularly in stressful situations. Saying things in an effort to please them or get them to leave you alone will not work. The police have a job to do, and that is investigating crimes and protecting the public. If the police are talking to you in an official capacity, they are looking for suspects. They want to make arrests. Most police officers are quite good at their jobs and they know how to read people. If you’re scared they will utilize that to their advantage.

Anything you say can and will be used against you.

If you volunteer statements to the police, what you say can and will be used against you. The most advisable course of action is to stop talking and get yourself a lawyer.

Our advice is to never give a statement or answer police questions without an attorney present.

Exercise your right to remain silent.

You always have the right to remain silent. It is your right whether or not the police remind you of your right to remain silent. The police do not have to read you your rights for them to become effective: you always have your rights.

If you answer questions on the spot you may inadvertently give the police evidence that will help secure a conviction against you. You may not fully understand your rights. Remaining silent until your attorney is by your side helps ensure that you are protected.

You do not have to answer questions.

This is another way of stating you have the right to remain silent, but it is a point that bears repeating. You are under no legal obligation or duty to answer questions from the police.

Lying to the police is a crime.

If you do answer questions, know that making false statements to the police is a crime.

Police are allowed to lie to you.

Police are legally allowed to lie to you in their official capacity. This is yet another reason that you should remain silent: you cannot trust what the police tell you because they can lie to you.

Refuse voluntary tests.

This guidance is specific to being pulled over on suspicion of Driving Under the Influence (DUI). In the state of Washington you are under no obligation to submit to Field Sobriety Tests. They are purely voluntary.

A police officer may lead you to believe that you must take the Field Sobriety Tests (they are allowed to lie to you!), but you are under no legal obligation to do so. In general, you can and should politely refuse to take any Field Sobriety Test. These tests are not measured by an objective standard and typically will only serve to harm your DUI defense.

Ask for an attorney.

You always have the right to an attorney during any police interrogation and during any legal proceeding. Exercise this right.

Once you ask for an attorney the police are no longer supposed to interrogate you until your attorney is present. This effectively stops the interrogation for a time and ensures that if/when you do answers questions, your attorney will be there to protect your rights and ensure you do not offer statements that will bolster a criminal case against you.

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.

Permalink to this entry

Will My Driving Record Show A DUI Charge Reduced to Reckless Driving?

Posted Wednesday, January 10, 2018 by Lizanne Padula.

alt text

The Washington Department of Licensing (DOL) maintains driving records for all licensed drivers in the state. A driving record is “a history of violations, convictions, collisions, and Department actions incurred by a driver over a period of time.” A copy of a driver’s record is referred to as an Abstract of Driving Record (ADR). A complete Abstract will include: convictions, violations, collisions, suspensions, revocations, and disqualifications, deferred prosecutions, and failures to appear.

Will My Driving Record Show A DUI Charge Reduced to Lesser Charges?

Yes, if you are convicted of or plead guilty to charges reduced from DUI charges, it will appear on your driving record.

Depending on the facts of your DUI arrest, it may be possible to get DUI charges against you reduced to lesser charges. Reduced charges for DUI can include Reckless Driving, or Negligent Driving, or Reckless Endangerment, or some other reduced charge. The truth is, most of the DUI cases we handle at Padula & Associates, LLC are reduced to lesser charges or dismissed entirely. You want to hire an experienced DUI defense attorney who has a track record of getting results for their clients.

Between 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. There are a number of ways to successfully get the charges reduced.

Will My License Be Suspended for a DUI Charge Reduced to Lesser Charges?Whether or not your license will be suspended depends on the charges you are ultimately convicted of or plea out to, the presence of prior convictions, and the severity of the incident.

Reduced charges will not affect an administrative suspension period resulting from your arrest. The Washington Department of Licensing will administratively suspend your license after a DUI arrest unless you request a hearing to contest the suspension within 20 days of the date you were arrested and the hearing examiner rules in your favor. An administrative suspension is different and separate from any criminal proceeding against you. An administration suspension will not be affected or reduced even if criminal charges against you are reduced or dropped.

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][6] 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][7], 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][8] 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][9] to schedule a free consultation with an experienced DUI defense attorney.

Permalink to this entry