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Commercial Driver License (CDL) and DUI - Washington State

Posted Wednesday, February 14, 2018 by Lizanne Padula.

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A Commercial Driver License (CDL) is required to operate large or heavy vehicles. A CDL is necessary to drive vehicles weighing 26,0001 lbs. or more, vehicles hauling trailers weighing 10,001 lbs. or more with a combined weight of 26,001 lbs. or higher, vehicles transporting 16 passengers or more, and vehicles carrying placarded amounts of hazardous materials.

Your CDL is part of your livelihood, and a DUI arrest or conviction will put your CDL in jeopardy.

Commercial Driver License (CDL) and DUI - Washington State

Your CDL will be suspended for not less than one year if:

• You are convicted of a first time DUI offense (RCW 46.25.090(1)(a));

• You are found to be driving a commercial motor vehicle with an alcohol concentration of 0.04 or higher, or with any measure of THC concentration (RCW 46.25.090(1)(b));

• You are found to be driving a noncommercial motor vehicle with an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher, or with a THC concentration of 5.00 nanograms per milliliter of whole blood or more (RCW 46.25.090(1)(b));

• Your refuse to submit to a test or tests to determine your blood alcohol concentration or the presence of any drug while driving a motor vehicle (RCW 46.25.090(1)(e)); or

• Your CDL can be suspended for a variety of other reasons pursuant to Washington State law.

Understand that your CDL can be suspended for a either a conviction for DUI or a positive alcohol or drug test while driving.

Your CDL can be suspended for life if you are convicted of two or more DUIs or other violations that are legal grounds for suspension, including being found to have a blood alcohol concentration over the legal limit or other drugs in your system while driving any vehicle. (RCW 46.25.090(2)).

Administrative Suspension of Your Commercial Driver License (CDL)

In Washington the Washington State Department of Licensing (DOL) and/or the Court can mandate suspension of your CDL and your personal driver license.

After an arrest for suspected DUI, the DOL will suspend your CDL 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 do not request a hearing within 20 days, or the hearing examiner does not rule in your favor, your CDL license will be suspended.

Also, the DOL will suspend your CDL for one year or more if it receives a report that you “received a verified positive drug test or positive alcohol confirmation test as part of the testing program conducted under” the federal Procedures for Transportation Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing Programs. (RCW 46.25.090(7)).

Duty to Notify Your Employer

If your CDL is suspended you must notify your employer before the end of the business day following the day of the notice of suspension.

Under federal law, if you are an operator of a Commercial Motor Vehicle, who holds a CDL, you must notify your employer of any conviction for violating a State or local (non-parking) traffic law in any type of vehicle. (49 CRF 383.31(a)). In such instances, you must notify your employer within 30 days of the date of conviction. (49 CRF 383.31(b)).

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 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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Stay Silent and Ask for An Attorney

Posted Tuesday, February 13, 2018 by Lizanne Padula.

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If you are being questioned by police on suspicion of a crime our advice is to stay silent and ask for an attorney. You may think you can talk your way out of an arrest, or garner sympathy from the officer, but in our experience that is almost never the case. Exercise your right to remain silent until your attorney is by your side.

Founding attorney and managing partner Lizanne Padula has 20 years criminal law experience, 15 years as a criminal defense attorney and 5 years as a prosecutor. Through the decades Lizanne has gleaned significant insight into the tactics used by law enforcement and how to best defend people accused of crimes. Here are a few things Padula & Associates wants you to know about your rights:

You always have the right to remain silent. The police do not have to inform you of your rights (or read you your Miranda rights) for them to be in effect. You always have your rights, including your right to remain silent.

You can ask law enforcement officers if you are free to leave. If they say yes, then you may leave. If they so no, then you are considered in police custody and they have a duty to Mirandize you (read you your rights).

Answering questions on the spot can severely harm you. If you answer questions in the heat of the moment without thinking about your answers and without consulting with an attorney, you may inadvertently give the police evidence that will help secure a conviction against you.

Anything you say can and will be used against you. When talking to the police never lose sight of the fact that anything you say may potentially bolster the State’s case against you and/or harm your ability to defend yourself against criminal charges.

The most advisable course of action is to stop talking and get yourself a lawyer.

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

As soon as you ask for an attorney the interrogation should stop. Once you ask for an attorney the police are no longer supposed to interrogate you until your attorney is present.

Our advice is to never give a statement or answer police questions without an attorney present. Our Attorneys are available right now, 24/7. Call us at 425-883-3366 for advice on how to react to law enforcement.

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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King County Swears In A New Sheriff, Mitzi Johankneckt - May Increase Law Enforcement Focus on Cyber and Financial Crimes

Posted Monday, February 12, 2018 by Lizanne Padula.

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King County has a new Sheriff in town. Mitzi Johankneckt was sworn in as Sheriff of King County on January 2, 2018. At the swearing-in ceremony Johankneckt asked her command staff and every sheriff’s employee present to join her and retake the oath of office. The Seattle Times reported that this symbolic gesture was meant to “denote the kind of unity and healing Johanknecht wants to bring to a Sheriff’s Office bruised by sexual-misconduct allegations leveled at Sheriff John Urquhart and scarred by what several deputies say has become a toxic work environment.”

During Sheriff Johankneckt’s campaign she stated that her opponent had been “plagued by lawsuits, arbitrations and sexual assault allegations.” She went on to state that “King County deserves a Sheriff who treats people with respect and dignity, who abides by the law of the state and county, and the policies of the Sheriff’s Office.”

If Sheriff Johankneckt upholds her campaign promises, King County can expect an increase in law enforcement’s focus on cyber crime and financial crimes. On her website promoting her run for the Sheriff’s Office, she stated that her focus on public safety would address current and emerging crime trends: “Cybercrimes like fraud, identity theft and harassment are on the rise. Many other crimes also have a computer-related component and [King County Sheriff’s Office] is wholly underequipped to address these crimes. I will create a cybercrimes unit to focus on cyber and financial crimes. This unit will also serve as a resource for other investigative units who need forensic computer support.”

Sheriff Johankneckt says she has an eye toward fostering collaboration among law enforcement agencies. The King County Sheriff has the legal authority to assemble county-wide task forces to address community crime trends. Such collaborations can include other law enforcement and governmental agencies, and even include private sector and non-profit entities.

Defending Against Criminal Charges

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 in King County or Snohomish County.

Call us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 425-883-3366 or fill out this simple web form to schedule a free consultation. Padula & Associates, LLC are skilled criminal defense attorneys prepared to mount a strong defense against any State or Federal criminal charges you are facing. We will thoroughly investigate your case, advocate for your rights, and keep you informed and prepared every step of the way.

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Conviction of 17 Year Old in "Sexting" Case Upheld By Washington State Supreme Court ― State of Washington v. Eric D. Gray

Posted Friday, February 9, 2018 by Lizanne Padula.

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Recently the Washington State Supreme Court ruled, 6-3, that it was a crime for a 17 year old boy to send an unsolicited, sexually explicit picture of himself to an adult woman. In Washington v. Gray the Court held that the State’s child pornography law Dealing in depictions of minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct (RCW 9.68A.050) is applicable to minors sending pictures of themselves. (State of Washington v. Eric D. Gray, No. 93609-9).

The Petitioner (Defendant) Eric Gray texted a picture of his genitals to a 22 year old woman when he was 17 years old. Gray had been harassing the woman for a year with anonymous phone calls. She had previously worked for Gray’s mother and suspected the photo came from him. She took the texts to the Spokane County Sheriff’s deputies, who then traced the photo back to Gray.

Gray, who was already a registered sex offender from a previous incident, was found guilty in juvenile court of second-degree Dealing in depictions of minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct and sentenced to 30 days in jail and 150 hours of community service.

Grey challenged the conviction in the Washington Court of Appeals, which upheld his conviction, and then at the Washington State Supreme Court, which also upheld his conviction. The Court was unpersuaded by Gray’s argument that the law is designed to prevent adults from trafficking in child pornography and that “the legislature never intended to criminalize teenagers consensually exchanging sexually explicit photographs, opining that doing so would be an impermissible infringement of those teenagers’ First Amendment freedom of expression.” (Id. 8).

The Court held: “RCW 9.68A.050 is unambiguous and anticipates Gray’s actions. The statute prohibits any person from developing or disseminating a sexually explicit image of any minor. Here, Gray sent a sexually explicit picture of himself to an adult woman. Because Gray is a person and because he sent a sexually explicit picture of himself while he was a minor, he was properly charged under the statute. Further, the statute does not unconstitutionally infringe on Gray’s freedom of expression, nor is it unconstitutionally vague.” (Id. 17).

The majority ruling states that the law in question makes it illegal for any person to produce or disseminate child pornography. This includes minors producing or disseminating photos of themselves. Under this ruling a minor texting another minor a sexually explicit photo of him or herself is a crime under RCW 9.68A.050.

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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3 DUI FAQ's - Seattle DUI Defense

Posted Thursday, February 8, 2018 by Lizanne Padula.

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When you are facing a DUI in Washington State a lot is at stake. We’ve been defending the rights of people accused of DUI for over 15 years. It is important for you to understand the criminal DUI process, what to expect, and what your rights are. Many of our clients asks the same questions, so we complied the top 3 DUI Frequently Asked Questions.

1. Will I go to jail if I am convicted of DUI?

Washington State has some of the most stringent DUI laws in the United States. Whether or not you will serve a jail or prison sentence depends heavily on the specific facts of your case and if you have prior convictions.

If you receive a criminal conviction in court and have no prior DUIs in the past 7 years, you could face the following penalties:

• Sentence of 1 day to 364 days in jail.

• Driver license suspension of 90 days (not including any administrative suspension of your license by the Washington State Department of Licensing).

• And/or fines ranging from $940 to $5,000.

• You may also be required to attend Alcohol/Drug Education, Victim Impact, or Treatment programs.

The above are the possible penalties for a first time DUI conviction in court. If you have prior convictions or other aggravating circumstances, the penalties will be harsher. You can view Washington State’s DUI penalty schedule here.

It is important to understand that sentencing laws are complex. Even when a statute lists a minimum sentence a defendant may actually serve less than that amount of time. Numerous factors can affect the punishment handed down in DUI cases. Discuss the possible punishment and penalties you may be facing with your DUI defense attorney.

2. Will I Lose my license if I am convicted of DUI?

The answer to this question is most likely yes.

First, your license can be suspended for 90 days to 2 years administratively. 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.

Second, if convicted of DUI your license will be suspended as part of your punishment. The suspension will begin 45 days after your conviction. If the DOL and the Court suspends your license, the term will most likely run concurrently (rather than being added together).

During a license suspension you may apply for an Ignition Interlock Driver’s License, which if granted allows you to drive during your license suspension under certain conditions. RCW 46.20.385. One of the conditions is to install an Ignition Interlock Device into any vehicle you will be driving.

3. Do I have to go through a criminal trial?

You will probably not have to go through a criminal trial, but it is a possibility.

The majority of criminal cases are resolved prior to trial. Often criminal charges are either dropped or resolved through negotiating a plea deal with the prosecutor. There are a number of legal strategies available to successfully get DUI charges dropped or 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.

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 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, 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 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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