Seattle Criminal Defense Attorney

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Posts made in September, 2011

By on Sep 26, 2011 in Administration, Communication, Noah Weil, Office, Procedure | 0 comments

Once in a while I’ll talk to someone who says they want to be a lawyer. They ask me about trials and law school, but very few ask about the day to day work of being in business as an attorney. Unlike what the TV shows will tell you, lawyers don’t talk to juries every day. I can’t speak for every attorney, but this office’s activities are broken down into three categories: court time, trial, and non-court time. Trial is its own post, many posts actually. I’ll cover general court activities (arraignments and hearings and sentencing and so on) in Part 2. Today I’m going to give a sampling of what I do when I’m not in a courthouse at all. Phone Calls and Emails A lot of my time is spent on the phone or talking to people via email. Who are these people? Anybody and everybody. First, of course, my clients. I have a rule that any client who calls asking a question or needs a status update gets called or emailed back by the end of the day. Anyone who trusts me with their legal needs deserves timely updates and answers to their questions. It’s not always good news, but I don’t want anyone left wondering on my watch. I also get a lot of contact from potential clients. Some people need a lawyer, and know they need a lawyer, and we set up a time to formalize the process. Some people aren’t sure they need an attorney, and so we talk about their case a bit. It turns out some of those people realize they don’t really need or want an attorney. Not everyone does. For those I wish them good luck and send them on their way. While these calls don’t turn into clients now, most of the calls are from people who appreciate an honest appraisal of their case and their options. I put the time into those calls now so when the person does need an attorney, they give some thought to my office. I get the occasional contact from marketers. Generally unsolicited calls don’t get much respect from me, but it’s just part of the deal of owning a business. I...

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By on Sep 9, 2011 in Court, Criminal, Noah Weil, Police, Procedure | 0 comments

Being charged with a crime is a stressful experience with enormous consequences. And the beginning of that stress is the arrest, when an officer either tells you charges will be placed in the mail, or worse, locks you up for the night. In either case you’ve been arrested and in either case your response will go a long way in achieving a positive outcome. Most people mess this part up, which wreaks havoc for the criminal case down the road. Here is what you should do before and after you’ve been arrested. An arrest is stressful. Stay focused As I’ve written many times before, when you are interacting with police you are incredibly vulnerable. In any interaction with the police, your goal isn’t to avoid arrest (often impossible) or avoid spending the night in jail (more on that below). Your goal is always to avoid a criminal conviction. This is why I always recommend you 1) stop talking, and 2) ask for an attorney. This is easy to read on a website but tough to remember when you’re caught up in the flashing lights, with an officer bearing down on you. An officer makes hundreds of arrests every year and they’re very good at it. They deal with plenty of people who have never been investigated for a crime before and are clearly stressed, and they elicit information based on that stress. Don’t be fooled and don’t try to appease the big bad authority figure. Your first step is to stay respectfully silent and ask for your attorney. Once you say those magic words, “I would like to speak with an attorney,” they know they’re dealing with someone with above-average sophistication. That’s a good thing, because then they know if they start cutting corners or fudging the rules they will be be held to task. Can you avoid a night in jail? Sometimes you can, but before we get into that let’s talk about being processed into jail itself. Let’s say you were arrested in Seattle on suspicion of DUI. And while cops have some discretion, let’s say they decide they want to book you into jail for that DUI. What happens next? First they’ll transport you to the...

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The facts and circumstances of your case may differ from the matters in which results and testimonials have been provided. Every case is different, and each client’s case must be evaluated and handled on its own merits.