Seattle Criminal Defense Attorney

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Posts made in February, 2013

By on Feb 22, 2013 in Criminal, Drug Law, DUI, Noah Weil, Police | 0 comments

Our local news affiliate, KIRO TV, did a video about driving while high on marijuana. Everyone seems to be having a lot of fun. You can see the video here. As I discussed in the Initiative 502 FAQ the per se levels of charging someone with DUI based on marijuana is 0.05 nanograms percentage in blood. What this video was attempting to do was show how much marijuana is actually required before a driver will be significantly impaired. As opponents of I-502 argued, it looks like significant impairment doesn’t occur until well above 0.05 nanograms. But 1) there does seem to be some impairment even at that level, and 2) the per se limit means even if there’s no impaired driving you can still be charged with a crime. And this comes up fairly often: people think they’re ok to drive regardless of how much they’ve had to consume, so they drive home and end up in trouble. My advice is if you think you’re on the edge of being on the limits of marijuana (0.05) or alcohol (0.08), don’t risk it. Call a cab. But if you do get in trouble on the way home, or anywhere else, feel free to give me a call. I represent people across the state charged with marijuana DUI, alcohol DUI, and other...

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By on Feb 13, 2013 in Communication, Court, Criminal, Police, Trial | 0 comments

There’s a recent New York Time article going around right now about why some police officers lie under oath. It’s a good piece and I’m glad it’s out there. Folks have forwarded it to me a few times now; the general sentiment being that it will be useful for when I cross-examine police officers. While the article is interesting, it’s not particularly relevant for trial work in criminal defense. Today’s post is about the prevalence of lying police, and trial tactics in dealing with truth-deficient witnesses. A few years ago when I was working at the public defenders, a friend of mine was working in Anchorage for the summer as a prosecutor. He and I would get into good-natured debates about the role of law enforcement, prosecution, defense: all the fundamentals of the criminal justice system. They were fun conversations. When my friend came back to Seattle he did some pro-bono work with another public defense agency helping out with a serious felony trial. After a day of testimony, my friend called me: Friend: “You’ll never guess what happened at trial today.” Me: “What’s that?” Friend: “I was doing a cross-examination of one of the detectives. I asked a question and she turned to the jury to answer and SHE LIED! She lied on the stand!” Me: “Hmm? Oh yeah, cops lie sometimes on the stand. It’s annoying.” Friend: “WHAT?!” And my friend never went back to prosecution work, which means I won all of our debates. But I digress. My friend was shocked that an officer of the law would lie, but he really shouldn’t have been. Of course cops lie sometimes. And of course defendants lie sometimes, and other witnesses lie sometimes too. Every person on the witness stand is a human being, and that means they have the potential to lie, Class B felonies notwithstanding. What I appreciate about the New York Times article is that it exposes what motivates some officers to lie. A defendant could lie to save his own skin – that makes sense to most of us. An officer’s reasons may be a little more amorphous, but as the article shows, are no less compelling. I’ll make a couple quick points here...

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