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Seattle Criminal Defense Blog

Repeat Business

Posted by on 12:45 pm in Communication, Criminal, Noah Weil, Office | 0 comments

Recently I was wrapping up a client meeting in my office. The case was going well. We got together to discuss updates and talk about a plan of attack for the remainder of the issues. The client seemed happy with how things were going and said as much. But then as he was packing up to head home, he said really took me aback: (more…)

Washington’s Public Records Act

Posted by on 5:21 pm in Civil Rights, Communication, Court, Office, Procedure | 0 comments

Sunshine is said to be the best of disinfectants.” – Justice Louis Brandeis. (more…)

A Tale of Two Breath Tests

Posted by on 4:06 pm in Communication, Criminal, Department of Licensing, DUI, Police | 2 comments

There are two breath tests.

Does that sound simple? Many, many drivers across Washington make a mistake when stopped by the police because they do not realize there are two breath tests. Some of my clients are among those people, and my job gets a lot harder when they treat one breath test like the other. So today let’s put the ambiguity to bed and explain the differences between the two breath tests. (more…)

Conversations and Critiques of the System

Posted by on 5:21 pm in Civil Rights, Communication, Constitution, Criminal, First Amendment, Police | 0 comments

As the year winds its way out, many people are discussing 2014. They’ll talk about what they accomplished, what they failed to accomplish, and what they hope to accomplish in the future. These are great conversations to have.

Another conversation emerged too. A conversation about the criminal justice system in America. Being a criminal defense attorney, I regularly have thoughts on the system. But today’s post is about the growing social consciousness of the criminal justice system itself. 2014 was a banner year for non-attorney, non-police officers to take a hard look at how our country accuses and processes people charged with crimes. (more…)

That Time I Was Pulled Over

Posted by on 12:13 pm in Communication, Criminal, DUI, Noah Weil, Police, Traffic Ticket | 0 comments

The last time I was pulled over was in 2007 for expired tabs. It was annoying. I paid the ticket.

The second to last time I was pulled over was in 2004 and that one was more interesting.

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More Thoughts on Plea Bargains

Posted by on 4:39 pm in Communication, Court, Criminal, Negotiation, Sentencing/Penalties, Trial | 1 comment

A colleague recently posted an article from The Economist. Called The Kings of the Courtroom, it was about prosecutors and the power they have in the criminal justice system. While the article touched on a few different areas, a section on plea bargains stood out. (more…)

A Conversation on Justice

Posted by on 12:04 pm in Court, Criminal | 0 comments

I’m in court the other day with a case. It’s an extremely flimsy property crime allegation. In fact it’s so flimsy I believe no crime actually took place. To clarify this issue at the last hearing I filed a motion requesting the prosecution give me additional materials that supported their allegations. The prosecution did not respond to this motion. So at the next hearing I talked to the prosecutor and we had the following conversation.

 

Me: “You guys never responded to my last motion and this case is garbage.”
Prosecutor: “Hmmm, let me look at this again.”
::Reviews police reports and witness statements::
Prosecutor: “Yeah, wow, this case is garbage.”
Me: “I know! Let’s dump it today. I have this motion to dismiss ready to go.”
Prosecutor: “I may not have the authority to sign on to your motion to dismiss. But if you make a motion to dismiss to the judge, we will not oppose it.”
Me, laughing: “Sure.”

So later the case is called and we go up in front of the judge.

Me: “Your Honor, the prosecution never responded to my motion for more materials because I’m pretty sure they have nothing. On its face the facts do not support a criminal charge here. Therefore I’m making a motion to dismiss.”
Judge: “Prosecution? Any response?”
Prosecutor: “Nope.”
Prosecutor: “We will defer to the Court.”
Judge, after reading the materials for a bit: “Okie dokie. Motion granted. Case dismissed.”

 

Sometimes my job is a lot of fun. If you or someone you know is charged with a crime, even if it’s really, really flimsy, feel free to give me a call.

Changes on Becoming a Lawyer?

Posted by on 6:06 pm in Bar Exam, Communication, Noah Weil | 0 comments

The process of becoming a lawyer is arduous. A person has to graduate high school and obtain a four-year degree from an accredited college. Then the person has to apply, and be accepted into, law school. Graduating from law school is required, followed, of course, by the dreaded bar exam. Passing that still isn’t the end of the story. The applicant must also pass a “character and fitness” examination where they must prove the requisite character of becoming an attorney. This portion is no joke. Prospective attorneys have been denied a license. It’s this extra examination that’s the subject of today’s post. (more…)

Good Case Bad Case

Posted by on 4:32 pm in Civil Rights, Constitution, Court, Criminal, DUI, Fourth Amendment, Police | 0 comments

As I’ve written before, a part of my practice is staying on top of new cases that could affect my clients. The landscape for criminal defense is constantly shifting, and clients need an attorney who can stay on top of relevant developments in the field. Today’s post concerns two recent cases in search and seizure jurisprudence. One case is a step forward for citizen protections and the other goes backwards. (more…)

Police Interaction and the Deaf Community

Posted by on 5:23 pm in Civil Rights, Communication, Police, Traffic Ticket | 2 comments

As regular readers know, I enjoy discussing the interactions between police and ordinary citizens. I care about those interactions because the stakes can be very high. People can be arrested, or even killed, when a police encounter goes south.

So I was very interested when a video by Marlee Matlin came across my desk. Marlee Matlin is a deaf actress, as well as the wife of a police officer. Her video is directed to the deaf community, and gives good advice on how, during a police encounter, individuals who are deaf can do their best to escape unscathed because of, or despite, their unique challenges. Even if you are not deaf, the video is well worth a look:

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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.