Seattle Criminal Defense Attorney

Ph# (206) 459-1310

Posts made in March, 2012

By on Mar 16, 2012 in Case Law, Communication, Court, Criminal, Noah Weil, Procedure | 0 comments

My job as a criminal defense attorney involves a host of roles: counselor, negotiator, advocate, investigator, and more, if the situation requires. Classically though, an attorney is known as someone who practices law. But what does that mean? Fundamentally, the practice of law is applying both the facts of a case and the law as written (or as, you argue, it should be) to obtain a desired result. Both facts and law are necessary. If you’re asking for the court to rule on a motion, merely reciting someone’s life story won’t get you anywhere. Similarly, reciting a few case cites and court rules, without explaining why they’re relevant to this case, offers nothing helpful either. A blend is required, and deciding which law and which facts are important, along with how to present them, is the essence of good lawyering, of practicing law. With that in mind, we can see that having a strong legal knowledge is absolutely critical to successfully advocating. Where does this knowledge come from? A little is from law school, but law school is more about teaching research skills than just a mass of case law.  And in law school, where you take a variety of classes, you might not get to delve too deep into what ultimately becomes your practice area. In addition, the law is constantly changing. An attorney who’s interested in staying on top of developments in their field needs to take active steps to stay current. Today’s post is about what I do to stay informed of evolving case law as a criminal defense attorney.    Trade Organizations Trade organizations are groups of people who work in the same area or have similar ideological bents. I am a member of a number of these organizations, for a few reasons. One, as a solo attorney, I have no one else in the office to bounce ideas off of. There’s a real danger of tunnel vision with no one to brainstorm with. These organizations maintain active listserves where attorneys dialogue about cases. I’ve asked plenty of questions, answered a few, and generally just appreciate “being in the room” with interesting email chains. I’m not ashamed to admit I’ve “flattered” many attorneys’ arguments in my...

Read More

By on Mar 1, 2012 in Administration, Criminal, DUI, Immigration, Noah Weil, Procedure, Sentencing/Penalties | 1 comment

One of my goals in this blog is to emphasize how devastating the effects of the criminal justice system can be. That process start with being charged with a crime, which is inordinately stressful. One of my roles as a criminal defense attorney is to ease some of that stress and give the client the heads-up on the process as their case winds their way through the system. Another role, of course, is to get them the best possible outcome on their matter. Some people, in an effort to avoid the gravity of the situation, assume that a criminal conviction “isn’t a big deal.” Well, it is. It’s an enormous deal, with enormous consequences. The immediate consequences are obvious enough: the final sentence. As I’ve explained previously, the maximum sentence for a crime depends on its classification. More often than not though, even if a person gets the minimum sentence, they will also be on some kind of probation. And as that early post indicates, being on probation is no joke either. But regardless of all the immediate consequences of a criminal conviction, there are plenty of collateral effects as well. These can include employment and housing concerns, ineligibility to apply for federal financial aid or vote or obtain a firearm, or even deportation for non-citizens. But today’s post revolves around a collateral consequence particularly relevant to Washington residents and other folks in the northern parts of the United States: Canada-based criminal inadmissibility. I’ll start off by saying I don’t practice Canadian immigration law, which is rather specialized. But I’ve been doing this long enough that I can give some background info for people attempting to enter Canada after being subject to the criminal process. What is Criminal Inadmissibility? Countries have the right to protect their borders. One way they do this is to limit people from entering their territory. These limitations take a variety of forms. A country can forbid people from a certain country from entering at all, e.g. Malaysia not allowing Israeli citizens to visit. A country can limit the length of a stay. For example the United States has a B1/B2 (tourist visa), which generally last six months. An F1 (student) visa last as long...

Read More
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.