Sunday, December 26, 2010

The IID

In today’s society there is a growing problem of people driving while under the influence of alcohol. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, alcohol-impaired driving contributed to approximately 13,000 deaths last year nationwide. There are many ways of punishing drunk drivers, such as fines, loss of license, and even jail time; but many states are now looking for updated technology to deter future problems of drunk driving. Many US states are now turning to a tool called the ignition interlock device. The IID has existed for many years, but is beginning to grow in popularity. What is it? Basically the IID is a new gadget designed to deter drunk driving by requiring the vehicle operator to provide a breath sample before starting the vehicle. The device can also require furthered rolling samples after starting and while driving the car to ensure alcohol isn’t being consumed. When faced with a DUI, contact your Seattle DUI attorney at SQ Attorneys immediately to avoid such harsh consequences.

An IID is a bit larger than a cell phone and is installed into the vehicles ignition. It is designated to act like a breathalyzer to measure Breath Alcohol Content (BAC). If the driver's BAC is above the states allowable limit, the IID will enter a lockout period not allowing the car to start for a predetermined amount of time. (The level of BAC generally varies from state to state, but on average it resides between .2% to .4% percent.) If an administered test is failed while the vehicle is in operation, the car will not shut off as this could cause an accident. Instead, the IID would turn on the alarm, flash lights, or other display to attract attention to the driver. The Seattle DUI lawyers at SQ Attorneys can fight hard to avoid having to have an IID installed in your vehicle.

If an offender is convicted and required to have this device installed in their vehicle, they must have it installed by a state approved manufacturer/installer. There are many different manufacturers and models, all which accomplish the same basic goal. The offender is responsible to pay for the installation fee which can range from $100-$200, along with the monthly rental fees that can range from $70-$100. The monthly rental fee can also go towards the monthly calibration that some models require.

The IID is largely tamper proof and designed not to be fooled by using balloons or other such things to blow samples of air into it. If any such attempts are made they are logged and will be flagged upon calibration inspection. Basic IID systems aren’t completely foolproof. For instance, to start the car the driver could recruit a friend to take the initial test. However, due to this complication one company called Smart Start, Inc. from Irving has developed an IID that takes a picture of the driver each time the test is administered, answering the question, who is taking the test. Many probation departments in Washington have seen this as quite an effective method. Contact your Washington DUI Lawyer at SQ Attorneys to find out more information on the IID.

While IID’s are not mandatory in all states, they certainly seem to provide a high level of deterrence where drunk driving is concerned.

If you or a loved one is faced with a DUI charge in Western Washington, you deserve the assistance of a reputable and qualified Seattle DUI attorney who will relentlessly defend your case. You deserve a Seattle DUI lawyer who has an intimate understanding of Washington DUI laws and the legal issues that could win your case. You deserve a Seattle DUI attorney who is not afraid to stand up to the prosecution, and who will aggressively fight for your rights and interests. SQ Attorneys is the right Western Washington DUI law firm for the job. Call for a free initial consultation – (206) 441.0900 (Seattle); (425) 998-8384 (Eastside) – it will be the best decision you make all day.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Say No To Drugs!

Drug offenses come in many varieties with one common factor, the penalties for a conviction are severe and may result in lengthy prison sentences and fines. An aggressive Seattle Criminal lawyer is necessary. The Washington criminal attorneys at SQ Attorneys are trained to effectively fight any drug case that you may be faced with.

Drug charges come in many different varieties. Regardless of the offense, penalties may be severe. For even a first offense on a possession with intent to sell, state sentencing guidelines often result in up to many years in prison. In the federal system, the penalties may be even more severe.

Civil penalties may also apply. Police authorities make money by confiscating your property. If you were arrested for drug offenses, property can be seized. This includes cash that the person may have had with them, vehicles they may have been using or even homes where drug offense are alleged to have occurred. The evidence will be held without releasing it so long as there is an ongoing investigation. Often, prosecutors will attempt to forfeit the property permanently. It is often possible to file a lawsuit seeking the return of your property. Contact the Seattle criminal lawyers at SQ Attorneys today to fight these charges.

The collateral consequences of a conviction are also severe. Even a minor drug offense conviction may result in the inability to work in certain fields. For example, a drug conviction can disqualify a person from ever working in the health care field in almost any capacity. It may also impact employment in many other careers, particularly jobs that require a background check or security clearance. Background checks may also be performed for those seeking to rent a residence. A conviction may result in a denial. Finally, a conviction for a drug offense can have a significant impact on immigration and, in some instance, may result in deportation for non U.S. citizens.

Given the significant impact of drug offenses, consulting with experienced legal counsel is imperative at an early stage so that all defenses can be explored and evidence challenged.

If you or a loved one is charged with a drug offense in King County, Pierce County, Snohomish County, Kitsap County, Thurston County or one of the following cities or towns: Algona, Bellevue, Black Diamond, Bonney Lake, Bothell, Burien, Des Moines, Duvall, Edmonds, Enumclaw, Everett, Federal Way, fife, Hunts Point, Issaquah, Kenmore, Kent, Kirkland, Lake Forest Park, Lake Stevens, Lakewood, Lynnwood, Maple Valley, Marysville, Medina, Mercer Island, Milton, Monroe, Mountlake Terrace, New Castle, Normandy Park, North Bend, Olympia, Puyallup, Redmond, Renton, Sammamish, Sea Tac, Seattle, Shoreline, Snohomish, Sumner, Tacoma, Tukwila, University Place, and/or Woodinville, or any other city or town in Western Washington, call The Criminal Defense Team of SQ Attorneys at (206) 441-0900; (425) 998-8384 for an initial free consultation – it will be the best decision you make all day.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Facts Behind Domestic Violence

It is imperative for anyone accused of domestic violence to have a basic understanding of domestic violence law, including how a prosecutor attempts to prove domestic violence; punishments for domestic violence; and defenses to domestic violence allegations. When faced with a domestic violence accusation, call the Seattle criminal attorneys at SQ Attorneys to protect your rights.

“Domestic violence” is a common criminal charge in Washington. Simple arguments often lead to domestic violence allegations. Domestic violence is a common criminal offense and any one can find themselves faced with such allegations, in which a Seattle criminal lawyers services are needed.

What is required to prove domestic violence? The prosecution must generally prove the following facts to find a defendant guilty of domestic violence under the Revised Code of Washington: (1) defendant abused a spouse, former spouse, a current or former live-in girlfriend or boyfriend, or the mother or father of the defendant’s child; (2) the defendant used intentional (non-accidental) force to cause the abuse; and (3) the victim suffered some form of visible injury, even if the visible injury is small. A Seattle criminal attorney can assist in fighting these allegations against the prosecution.

What are some common defenses to domestic violence charges? While any domestic violence charge must be evaluated on its specific facts, in many cases there are strong defenses to a domestic violence charge, including: (1) false accusations – domestic arguments often result in false accusations of domestic violence; (2) self defense – it is not domestic abuse when someone uses reasonable self defense to protect himself; and (3) accident – it is not domestic violence when someone does not deliberately do an act to cause injury to a spouse or domestic partner.

What is the punishment for a domestic violence assault in WA? If charged with domestic violence in Washington as a gross misdemeanor, it is punishable by up to 1 year in jail and a $5,000 fine, or both. A domestic violence assault can also be a felony depending upon how serious the injuries are. If charged with a felony the Seattle Criminal Lawyers at SQ Attorneys will assist in fighting such allegations.

If you or a loved one is cited for committing a crime such as domestic violence in King County, Pierce County, Snohomish County, Kitsap County, Thurston County or one of the following cities or towns: Algona, Bellevue, Black Diamond, Bonney Lake, Bothell, Burien, Des Moines, Duvall, Edmonds, Enumclaw, Everett, Federal Way, fife, Hunts Point, Issaquah, Kenmore, Kent, Kirkland, Lake Forest Park, Lake Stevens, Lakewood, Lynnwood, Maple Valley, Marysville, Medina, Mercer Island, Milton, Monroe, Mountlake Terrace, New Castle, Normandy Park, North Bend, Olympia, Puyallup, Redmond, Renton, Sammamish, Sea Tac, Seattle, Shoreline, Snohomish, Sumner, Tacoma, Tukwila, University Place, and/or Woodinville, or any other city or town in Western Washington, call The Criminal Defense Team of SQ Attorneys at (206) 441-0900; (425) 998-8384 for an initial free consultation.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

DUI?? What do I do?

If a police officer suspects you may be driving under the influence, you will be pulled over. Would you know what to say and do?

As many car owners know, simply being pulled over may very well be a nerve-wracking experience. Just like the officer is simply doing his work and adhering to standard protocol, there are certain important things a driver should keep in mind to make what may just be a routine stop more pleasant for those involved. The Seattle DUI Lawyers at SQ Attorneys are experienced DUI attorneys who are available to assist when you are faced with a DUI.

Maybe it's common knowledge, but stop the instant you notice red and blue lights in the mirror. Use the turn signal when pulling to the side, as this can suggest you’re not merely aware right now but a low-risk driver in most cases. Stay in the car with your hands on the wheel and seat-belt properly fastened.

Make sure you make sure to be respectful at all times. It’s not always easy, particularly if you believe you’ve been stopped unjustifiably, but first impressions are even more significant than usual at that point. Remaining collected and courteous could only benefit you, whether this means coming out of a normal routine stop all the sooner, or your respectful behavior setting up a good impression that might be taken into account later.

If the police officer questions whether you know why he or she pulled you over, a simple ‘No’ will be enough. Present your driver's license and insurance when it is requested; it may be beneficial to know precisely where these are continuously, as a frantic or stressed hunt for them might appear bad. The authorities are trained to possess a good eye for even the smallest details, and any indication of physical incapability may likely be kept in mind if your stop ultimately leads to court. Always exercise your right to a lawyer upon an arrest. Contact the Seattle DUI attorneys at SQ Attorneys immediately.

Moreover, be cautious, as well, with what you reveal. The law enforcement official will likely try to have you chatting - reply to their questions honestly but do not provide too many details inadvertently and always exercise your right to a Seattle criminal lawyer.

Of course, you have a right to not allow specific sobriety tests, but consider the final results very carefully. Refusal of a breath test could lead to increased likelihood of the officer completing an arrest; it does, on the other hand, limit the quantity of proof which can be later employed in court.

The Seattle DUI Attorneys of SQ Attorneys are experienced and proven negotiators that make a world of difference for those accused of DUI. SQ Attorneys is a team of seasoned Seattle DUI lawyers that work tireless to achieve the best possible outcome for each and every client they have the honor of representing. Arrested for DUI in Western Washington? Call The Criminal Defense Team of SQ Attorneys at (206) 441-0900 or (425) 998-8384 for an initial free consultation.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

No Contact Means NO CONTACT!

A "no contact order" means that the defendant is precluded from having any contact and or communication with the victim or the person under the protection of the no contact order. This includes but is not limited to letters, emails, text messages or messages delivered through a third party. If faced with a criminal charge in Washington for violating a no contact order, contact the Seattle criminal lawyers at SQ Attorneys so they can fight for your rights.

In other words if a person is under this type of restraining order and sees the victim in public they must leave the area immediately and not acknowledge the victims existence. A person cannot even say "hi" if they walk by the victim by chance on the street. In a situation like this, an individual may in fact be charged with a crime in Washington, at which point it is important to contact a Washington Criminal Attorney.

A person can be arrested for a violation even if the victim initiates the contact and calls the defendant. A person can be charged with a violation even if invited by his wife to come back to the marital home.

Even if the victim tells you that the no contact order has been dropped, do not take the victims word for it. You must see the piece of paper signed by the judge dismissing the order before any contact or communication is initiated. A no contact order expires when the sentence period is finished. It also expires if the case is dismissed or the defendant is found not guilty after a trial. However, be careful because there may also be another restraining order issued as a result of a divorce or a civil court matter or a District Court restraining order. Contact the Seattle criminal lawyers at SQ Attorneys for more information.

A person who is on probation, bail or a probation attached to a suspended sentence must be even more vigilante in order to not violate the no contact order. A violation is a crime in itself which is also a violation of the conditions of probation, filing or bail.

The Seattle criminal lawyers at SQ Attorneys are trained to create success by working with law enforcement and with the prosecuting attorney’s office so as to ensure that all facts and circumstances related to the criminal allegations brought against the accused are considered in creating the fairest, most equitable and just resolution possible in light of all the surrounding circumstances. If accused of a crime, protect your rights – contact SQ Attorneys – (206) 441-0900, (425) 988-8384; it will be the best decision you make all day!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

No Canada Ehh??

Many convictions in the U.S., including DUI and Reckless driving, can make a person inadmissible to Canada for many, many years. This is because criminal inadmissibility is based on how the equivalent offense is treated in Canada, not in the country where the conviction occurred. That is why it is important to contact a Seattle DUI Attorney when charged with a serious crime such as a DUI.

In many cases, an American with a criminal record may have been able to travel in and out of Canada without any problem. This is largely because Canadian border officials do not routinely ask every person entering Canada whether they have a criminal conviction. However, Canadian border officials do have computer access to many U.S. criminal records, and more frequently now Americans with criminal records are experiencing problems at the Canadian border, especially those charged or convicted of a DUI in Washington. Being denied entry into Canada can be both embarrassing and costly to a business and trade.

If a border official asks whether you have any criminal convictions, always answer truthfully. Failure to disclose could result in a temporary ban from Canada for misrepresentation, and will make border officials less willing to use discretion to permit entry into Canada.

If a border official finds someone is criminally inadmissible, there are both temporary and permanent ways to overcome the inadmissibility, including the following options: 1) Expungement of U.S. convictions, when available, will generally overcome inadmissibility, 2) Five years after the completion of the sentence, individuals can apply for Criminal Rehabilitation; 3) Prior to the five years, a person can apply for a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) which does not do away with the inadmissibility, but allows temporary entry into Canada; or 4) Ten years after the completion of a sentence (where there is a single conviction) a person may be eligible for Deemed Rehabilitation

It is always recommended that you consult a Canadian immigration lawyer about any criminal offense, no matter how minor or how ancient, before trying to enter Canada. The more lead time the better, as the process can time to process. In order to avoid any of these issues, it is important to contact a Seattle DUI Lawyer to ensure that you are protected.

The Seattle DUI Attorneys of SQ Attorneys are experienced and proven negotiators that make a world of difference for those accused of DUI. SQ Attorneys is a team of seasoned Seattle DUI lawyers that work tireless to achieve the best possible outcome for each and every client they have the honor of representing. Arrested for DUI in Western Washington? Call The Criminal Defense Team of SQ Attorneys at (206) 441-0900 or (425) 998-8384 for an initial free consultation.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sting Operations

In the Internet era, there has been a proliferation of escort Web sites and directories. Some of the most common being Eros, tnaboard, Craig’s List, The Erotic Review. Men of all backgrounds and professions frequent these sites and contact escorts for companionship. In Washington, if caught hiring an escort in exchange for sexual contact, one can be criminally charged for solicitation of a prostitute. Contact the Seattle Criminal Lawyers at SQ Attorneys if faced with such charges.

The services an escort can provide many times go beyond mere paid companionship and law enforcement tries to step in to control any prostitution, assignation, solicitation and any other sexual acts conducted for money. The Seattle Criminal Attorneys at SQ Attorneys have handled numerous cases in which an individual gets caught hiring an escort during a sting operation.

Sometimes, men will come to Washington on business, to attend a convention or on vacation and frequent these or other sites to contact an escort. They will arrange a time to meet and find themselves in the midst of sting operation where the escort was not an escort at all, but an undercover police officer who could be employed by any number of police agencies. Law enforcement agencies may conduct these stings in order to control the amount of prostitution that has arisen in the recent years as the popularity of the Internet keeps exploding. The Washington Criminal Lawyers at SQ Attorneys are trained to fight these charges in order to avoid serious consequences if convicted.

If you are caught up in such a scenario you want to be able to make sure that none of your rights were violated and have a Seattle criminal attorney who is experienced with these types of crimes defend your rights.

The SQ team is designed to create success by working with law enforcement and with the prosecuting attorney’s office so as to ensure that all facts and circumstances related to the criminal allegations brought against the accused are considered in creating the fairest, most equitable and just resolution possible in light of all the surrounding circumstances. If accused of a crime, protect your rights – contact SQ Attorneys – (206) 441-0900, (425) 988-8384; it will be the best decision you make all day!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Commit a Crime, Serve the Time

For those who have never before faced criminal charges, an arrest can be a frightening experience. The stress and anxiety of an arrest may cause you, your family members or friends to overlook important factors, such as the right to remain silent and the right to consult with a lawyer.

During and after arrest, it is imperative for one to remain calm. Not everyone who is arrested is guilty of committing a criminal offense. An arrest is not a conviction. You are innocent until proven guilty. With the help of a Seattle Criminal Lawyer at SQ Attorneys, you can fight your charges.

Arrest
In an arrest, a police officer, state trooper, or sheriff restrains your freedom of movement because of your possible involvement in a criminal offense. The arresting officer may take you into custody, or you may be stopped, verbally or physically, for questioning about a crime.

A warrant for arrest is a written order signed by a judge directing the police to arrest the person named in the warrant. If a judge issues a warrant for your arrest, the police may arrest you in your home or in a public place. At the time of your arrest, the arresting officers should inform you they have a warrant and produce the warrant for your review.

Without your consent or extraordinary circumstances, the police cannot arrest you in your home without a warrant. The police can arrest you without a warrant if they have probable cause to believe that you committed an offense in their presence, or when an individual informs an officer that you have just allegedly committed an offense.

You can be arrested for committing a misdemeanor, which is a lesser crime. Some examples of misdemeanors are: disorderly conduct, driving under the influence of alcohol, driving without a valid driver's license, assault, domestic battery, criminal damage to property, indecent exposure, theft, resisting a police officer, stalking, and deceptive practice. The Seattle Criminal Attorneys at SQ Attorneys can fight any and all misdemeanors and felonies for you.

The police can also arrest you without a warrant if they have probable cause to believe that you have committed a felony, a more serious crime, in their presence, or when an individual informs an officer that you have just allegedly committed an offense. Some examples of felonies are: arson, burglary, forgery, kidnapping, armed robbery, murder, possession of stolen motor vehicle, sexual assault, trespass to residence, obstructing justice, possession or delivery of narcotics, home invasion and unlawful discharge of a firearm. The Washington Criminal Attorneys at SQ Attorneys are trained to handle all criminal cases.

In addition, a citizen, such as a security guard or store owner, may detain you if you have committed, for example, the offense of retail theft, in their presence. In this instance, they must promptly turn you over to the police.

If you are arrested for a felony without a warrant, you are entitled to a prompt hearing (preliminary hearing) to determine whether or not the arresting officer had probable cause (the minimum level of required evidence) to arrest you. However, you may not have an opportunity for a preliminary hearing, where your attorney can cross-examine the arresting officer and challenge the State's evidence. The State is allowed to avoid a preliminary hearing by submitting evidence, in secret, to a grand jury which will return a bill of indictment against you.

Being Detained vs. Being Arrested
A police officer may detain a person, without arresting the person, if the officer has articulable suspicion that the person is engaging in criminal activity. For example, a police officer may request identification and conduct a limited search for weapons (for the officer's safety) if the officer observes a person pacing in front of a closed store late at night. This is called a "Terry Stop." Or, a store owner or employee might detain a person for a short time if they have a strong reason to believe that the person has stolen or was attempting to steal something from the store.

Search
Ordinarily, the police must have search warrant before conducting a search. However, after you have been arrested, the police may search your person and the immediate area around you without a warrant. This is known as a "search incident to arrest." The police may also search, if at the time of arrest, the arresting officer observes contraband. If the arresting officer finds items that are illegal to possess, such as a gun, drugs or drug paraphernalia, at the time of arrest, the arresting officer will retrieve the item(s) and charge you for unlawful possession of the item(s). The arresting officer may also take your wallet, identification, money and other personal items from you at the time of your arrest, for inventory purposes, and maintain the items in a secure place until your items can be returned to you, or used as evidence against you. It is important to verify that all of the items the officer removed from you are inventoried on a written list.

Obtaining Legal Representation
You are entitled to telephone a Seattle Criminal Lawyer, friend or family member to notify them of your arrest. You have the right to consult with a lawyer and have him or her present when the police question you. You should remain silent until your lawyer is present, since any statements you make can be used as evidence against you.

If you cannot afford to hire an attorney, you are entitled to a court-appointed attorney. The Court may appoint a private attorney, a lawyer from a legal aid society, or a public defender. The police are required to advise you of these rights before questioning you. Ordinarily, the arresting officer provides these warnings during the confusion of the arrest. These rights are critical to your defense later on.

Even if you refused a lawyer at the time of arrest, you retain the right to have a lawyer present at any time after your arrest.

If a family member or friend, who has been arrested, calls, remind him or her that they have a right to an attorney, and that they are not required to respond to police questioning until an attorney is present.

If you or a loved one is charged with theft in King County, Pierce County, Snohomish County, Kitsap County, Thurston County or one of the following cities or towns: Algona, Bellevue, Black Diamond, Bonney Lake, Bothell, Burien, Des Moines, Duvall, Edmonds, Enumclaw, Everett, Federal Way, fife, Hunts Point, Issaquah, Kenmore, Kent, Kirkland, Lake Forest Park, Lake Stevens, Lakewood, Lynnwood, Maple Valley, Marysville, Medina, Mercer Island, Milton, Monroe, Mountlake Terrace, New Castle, Normandy Park, North Bend, Olympia, Puyallup, Redmond, Renton, Sammamish, Sea Tac, Seattle, Shoreline, Snohomish, Sumner, Tacoma, Tukwila, University Place, and/or Woodinville, or any other city or town in Western Washington, call The Criminal Defense Team of SQ Attorneys at (206) 441-0900; (425) 998-8384 for an initial free consultation – it will be the best decision you make all day.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Crimes of Moral Turpitude will Result in Deportation

If you are in the US on a visa, it is even more imperative that you follow the laws and avoid any criminal charges. Any criminal charge against you can serve as grounds to revoke your visa and have you deported back to your native country. If you find yourself in a this situation, contact a Seattle Criminal Lawyer at SQ Attorneys, so he can fight for your rights and avoid severe consequences such as deportation.

Many visa holders believe this means they cannot commit any major crimes, like drug crimes, assaults or violating US immigration laws. But even being convicted of simple, minor crime such as misdemeanor, can result in deportation and prevent you from returning to the US on any other type of visa for years.

Shoplifting, or theft in the third degree in Washington State is an example of a "minor" crime that can lead to federal removal proceedings. Some countries do not prosecute shoplifting crimes to the extent it is done in the US, so visitors from other countries may be unaware of how potentially devastating shoplifting charges can be for their immigration status. A Seattle Criminal Attorney from SQ Attorneys can help you navigate through this difficult process.

Foreign citizens living in Washingtn on visas may incorrectly believe if they steal something, all they have to do is give the merchandise back and all will be forgiven. Unfortunately, most shop owners and other retailers do not forgive theft matters so easily and many will seek to prosecute those who have taken items from their stores.

In Washington, a theft can either be a misdemeanor or a felony. If the value of the merchandise stolen is over $750 then it is a felony. If it is less than $250 then it is a misdemeanor. Either offense can result in deportation.

In addition to the possible jail time, community service, fines and other fees, those living in the state on student visas, temporary worker visas or with another immigrant status must also worry about the impact a shoplifting conviction can have on their immigration status.

One of the conditions for holding a US-issued immigrant visa is following all US federal and state laws. When a visa holder fails to do this, there can be serious consequences. Even charges as seemingly minor as shoplifting can trigger removal proceedings because they are considered to be crimes of moral turpitude.

Under federal immigration laws, theft crimes are considered crimes of moral turpitude. If a visa holder is convicted of a crime of moral turpitude, he or she may be deported from the country. A crime of moral turpitude is one that shocks the public conscious or is in contrast to community standards of justice, honesty and good morals.

To be a deportable offense, the visa holder does not have to be the one who actually committed the crime. Conspiracy, attempt, aiding and abetting and/or accessory charges related to a crime of moral turpitude also can result in removal from the country.

In addition to mandatory deportation, commission of certain crimes also can result in an alien not being permitted to re-enter the US for 5-20 years. Conviction for an aggravated felony, however, will permanently bar an alien from ever returning to the United States again, even on a visitor's visa.

Moreover, it is not only non-immigrant visa holders who need to be aware of the impact of being convicted of a crime on their immigration status. Those who hold valid legal resident status (green card) can also face removal proceedings for violating federal and state laws. Permanent residents who are convicted of an aggravated felony may be removed permanently from the country, no matter how long they have resided in the US or if they have family living here.

Legal residents who want to become naturalized US citizens may find their path temporarily or even permanently blocked if they do not have a clean record. In order to complete the naturalization process, immigrants must have good moral character. Conviction for crimes of moral turpitude may temporarily prevent an immigrant from becoming a US citizen while conviction for an aggravated felony will permanently bar a citizenship application.

If you have been charged with shoplifting or another crime, it is important to contact an experienced Washington Criminal Attorney as soon as possible. US immigration laws are very complicated and can be very unforgiving. You want to have an advocate who appreciates the seriousness of your situation and can help you maneuver through the complex legal system on your side. You do not want to face these charges on your own.

If you or a loved one is charged with theft in King County, Pierce County, Snohomish County, Kitsap County, Thurston County or one of the following cities or towns: Algona, Bellevue, Black Diamond, Bonney Lake, Bothell, Burien, Des Moines, Duvall, Edmonds, Enumclaw, Everett, Federal Way, fife, Hunts Point, Issaquah, Kenmore, Kent, Kirkland, Lake Forest Park, Lake Stevens, Lakewood, Lynnwood, Maple Valley, Marysville, Medina, Mercer Island, Milton, Monroe, Mountlake Terrace, New Castle, Normandy Park, North Bend, Olympia, Puyallup, Redmond, Renton, Sammamish, Sea Tac, Seattle, Shoreline, Snohomish, Sumner, Tacoma, Tukwila, University Place, and/or Woodinville, or any other city or town in Western Washington, call The Criminal Defense Team of SQ Attorneys at (206) 441-0900; (425) 998-8384 for an initial free consultation – it will be the best decision you make all day.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Uh Oh!! Not A Felony .... ??

Having to deal with a felony charge in Washington can be a complicated, overwhelming, and horrifying experience. Washington is currently a capital punishment state in which a death penalty can be imposed in an aggravated enhanced case. In addition, many criminal offenses can be prosecuted as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending upon the circumstances and the prosecuting attorney’s application of the statutes. A Seattle Criminal Attorney can assist in navigating through the difficult process of being charged with a felony.

A felony is a crime which can be punishable by death or imprisonment for twelve months or more in the state prison. Felony cases are always filed in the state Superior Courts in the respective county in which the crime is alleged to have occurred. Misdemeanors are every other crime or public offense, with the exception of infractions. They are usually handled in lower courts and never go to Superior Court unless a felony has been amended down to a misdemeanor upon plea negotiations.

Felonies are judged to be more serious crimes against the state than misdemeanors. They include murder, rape, burglary, arson, and robbery. In Washington, some misdemeanors can be elevated to felonies. These types of crimes are known as expedited felonies. They are generally treated as lesser felonies that allows for fines or jail time as an alternative to a state prison sentence. There are also felony DUI offenses. A DUI can be charged in felony Superior Court after an individual has been charged with five DUI's in a matter of ten years. In a situation such as this, it is imperative that one contacts a Seattle DUI Attorney as the consequences are extremely serious if convicted of a felony DUI.


Moreover, Washington has a Three Strikes Law. Washington legislature enacted theCthe “Three Strikes and You’re Out” felony law, which requires that repeat offenders face increasingly elevated punishment with each ensuing felony conviction. With a second offense, a convicted felon faces a doubled prison sentence and with his/her third conviction, the defendant is automatically sentenced to 25 years to life in prison without possibility of parole. The Three Strikes Law can also affect a defendant who has been convicted of a prior misdemeanor theft and then faces a felony theft-related crime.

In light of the complexity of Washington felony laws and the severe consequences that can result from a felony conviction, if you or a loved one is facing a felony charge, it is strongly advisable to seek the advice of an experienced Seattle Criminal Attorney. A defendant can retain an attorney at any stage of their case, whether it is during the investigation or the night before court dates.

If you or a loved one is cited for or charged with a crime in King County, Pierce County, Snohomish County, Kitsap County, Thurston County or one of the following cities or towns: Algona, Bellevue, Black Diamond, Bonney Lake, Bothell, Burien, Des Moines, Duvall, Edmonds, Enumclaw, Everett, Federal Way, fife, Hunts Point, Issaquah, Kenmore, Kent, Kirkland, Lake Forest Park, Lake Stevens, Lakewood, Lynnwood, Maple Valley, Marysville, Medina, Mercer Island, Milton, Monroe, Mountlake Terrace, New Castle, Normandy Park, North Bend, Olympia, Puyallup, Redmond, Renton, Sammamish, Sea Tac, Seattle, Shoreline, Snohomish, Sumner, Tacoma, Tukwila, University Place, and/or Woodinville, or any other city or town in Western Washington, call The Criminal Defense Team of SQ Attorneys at (206) 441-0900; (425) 998-8384 for an initial free consultation.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Navigating Through the Criminal Process

Comprehending the basics about the criminal justice system in Washington is probably one of the most important ways for you to protect your rights.

Criminal laws involve prosecution by the state or a city, of a person for an action that has been deemed as a crime. Civil cases, on the other hand, include people and businesses attempting to solve legal conflicts. In a criminal legal matter, the government, by means of a prosecutor, initiates the filing of criminal charges, while in a civil case the victim brings the lawsuit. Men and women convicted of a criminal offense may be incarcerated, ticketed, or both along with numerous other sanctions. However, people found liable in a civil action may only have to hand over property or pay damages, but are not incarcerated. This is why it becomes imperative for one to retain an experienced Seattle Criminal Attorney to help navigate through the process.

A "crime" is any act or failure to act that offends or disturbs a public law forbidding or commanding it. Although there are various common law criminal offenses, many crimes in Washington State are established by local, state, and federal governments. Criminal laws differ substantially from state to state. A Seattle Criminal Attorney at SQ Attorneys will be able to fight for one's rights and ensure that you are well protected.

A criminal offense in Washington State include both felony offenses and misdemeanors. Felonies are commonly offenses punishable by imprisonment of a year or more, while misdemeanors are violations punishable by less than a year. However, no action is a crime if it has not been previously set as such either by statute or common law.

All statutes explaining criminal behavior can be divided into their different elements. Most offenses (with the exception of strict-liability crimes) contain two elements: an act, or "actus reus," and a mental state, or "mens rea". Prosecutors in Washington must prove each and every element of the crime to generate a conviction. Moreover, the prosecutor has to persuade the jury or judge "beyond a reasonable doubt" of every fact required to constitute the crime charged. In civil cases, the plaintiff must show a defendant is responsible only by a "preponderance of the evidence," or more than 50%. Contact a Seattle Criminal Attorney at SQ Attorneys to assist in fighting for your rights!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Got a D.V. call SQ Attorneys

Domestic violence related crimes in Washington State invariably have a very harsh and very negative impact on the people they are leveled against. Washington citizens charged and/or convicted of domestic violence related crimes can be removed from their home, and have their right to bear firearms taken away; in fact, those folks charged with a domestic violence related crime may even be required to forfeit (give up) their weapons to the government. Additionally, those charged and/or convicted of a domestic violence related allegation will undoubtedly suffer the stigma of being labeled as an “abuser”. This can negatively impact both a person’s personal as well as professional life, and can negatively impact one’s ability to earn a living, even more so than what our economy has already inflicted. A good Seattle domestic violence lawyer can stem the negative impacts of a domestic violence charge and/or conviction.

Many domestic violence charges are the result of situations that have spun out of control during a brief moment in time. Arguments that got heated and the boundaries crossed. What happened may have simply been a misunderstanding between loved ones. Unfortunately, making things right is not as simple as explaining your side of the story and having the charges magically go away. The alleged victim is not a party to the court proceeding; the parties in the criminal suit involve the government against the defendant and often the government does not care if the alleged victim doesn’t want the case to proceed or otherwise move forward. In fact, the government will most likely ask the court to impose a temporary no contact order (NCO) so as to keep the parties separated from one another, whether they want to be or not. This may mean that one of the parties (the victim or the defendant) may find him or herself homeless; it may even cause others in the house to become homeless. Such an awful situation can last weeks, months or even years. This is one of the points of leverage that the prosecution uses to get people to agree to plea deals that may not be a true fit for the circumstances of their case just so they can go home or put their family back together. Another equally harsh tactic prosecutors employ is to overcharge a crime and then offer a plea that does not reflect an accurate picture of what happened.

Restraining orders, the loss of your Second Amendment right to have a gun, not being able to return home, and social stigma are all good reasons to find a qualified Seattle domestic violence attorney who is dedicated to uncovering your side of the story and making sure that it is heard when a domestic violence allegation has been leveled against you.

Because of the grave consequences associated with domestic violence related allegations, it is of paramount importance that a person accused of committing a crime involving domestic violence have a strong and articulate advocate on his/her side. At SQ Attorneys our Seattle domestic violence lawyers have over twenty plus years of criminal trial experience. We believe in systematically investigating the criminal allegations brought against our clients and in bringing each client’s story to light in the courtroom, before prosecutors, judges and the jury. SQ Attorneys works tirelessly to make sure that our client’s stories are told, and that the court sees more than just the fact that they’re criminally charged when they look at them. The Seattle criminal attorneys that make up the criminal defense team of SQ Attorneys have the ability and the passion to accomplish just this goal. If accused of a domestic violence related crime, protect your rights – contact SQ Attorneys at (206) 441-0900 or (425) 998-8384. It will be the best decision you make all day.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

DUI Reality

A few commonly asked questions that arise when a person is facing a driving under the influence charge in Washington State are: (1) “If I only had one drink, can I be guilty of DUI?; (2) If my breath test result was below the legal limit (.08), can I be guilty of DUI?; or (3) If there is no breath or blood test result in my case, can I be guilty of DUI? The answer to all three questions may actually be “yes”. The crime of driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs in Washington State is generally defined in two ways: (1) having a blood alcohol content of .08 or greater within two hours of driving, or (2) driving while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.

In order for a person to be guilty under the first definition, the person’s blood alcohol content must be determined to be .08 or greater within 2 hours of driving, as determined by a state approved breath test machine; if it can be proven that a person’s blood alcohol content at the time of the incident was .08 or greater, he or she will be convicted of driving under the influence, regardless of the amount of alcohol consumed by the person.

In contrast, the second definition of DUI does not refer to any particular blood alcohol content result; it focuses instead on the behavior of the person. In other words, it focuses on the “totality of the circumstances”. If the person’s driving is impaired by the consumption of alcohol and/or drugs, he or she can be found guilty of driving under the influence. This is often accomplished by a law enforcement officer testifying about the impaired driving that lead him to pull the person over and the person’s ability (or lack thereof) to perform field sobriety tests, and the overall demeanor of the individual throughout the entire DUI processing while on scene and at the police station. There are so many variables that may affect or otherwise impair an individual that they cannot be adequately or effectively outlined in this blog. Lest it be said, a susceptible person may exhibit impaired driving after one or two drinks and therefore be convicted of driving under the influence in the State of Washington.

Because of the significant implications a DUI arrest and/or conviction can have on a person, it is imperative that a person charged with DUI in Washington State retain a qualified Seattle DUI attorney or a qualified Bellevue DUI lawyer in order to best minimize potential legal consequences and protect their rights and interests. The Seattle DUI attorneys that make up the criminal defense team of SQ Attorneys are highly qualified Seattle DUI lawyers that are dedicated to providing top notch, aggressive representation for those charged with DUI in and around Western Washington. The team creates success by working with law enforcement and the prosecuting attorney’s office to ensure that all facts and circumstances related to the DUI allegations are considered in creating the fairest, most equitable and just resolution possible.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Tests Are In!

In 2008 a panel of King County, Washington judges (the “Panel”) ruled that breath test results were not admissible in DUI cases filed in King County District Courts because there were so many pervasive problems with the Washington State breath-testing procedures and protocols. An audit of the Washington State Toxicology Lab (the “Lab”) found at least 150 errors, including, but not limited to, machine calibration errors, the recording of incorrect data and a failure to test an ethanol-water based solution used to ensure correct readings by certified Washington State breath test machines. The Panel noted that the Lab had so many ethical lapses, systematic inaccuracies, violations of scientific principles and blatant negligence that the Lab was essentially condoning and/or otherwise accepting a “culture of compromise”.

As a result of the Panel’s ruling, breath tests were not an acceptable form of evidence to prove one guilty of DUI in our King County District Courts. On Tuesday, the Panel reversed course. The Panel ruled that changes in leadership, protocol and quality control checks at the Lab over the last two years have greatly improved the ability of the Lab to eliminate errors, and thus breath tests can again be used as evidence in DUI cases prosecuted in King County District Courts. The Panel did mandate, however, that each breath test must include a calculated “principle of uncertainty” or “margin of error”. The uncertainty calculation is based on a mathematical formula that takes into account operator error and instrument error, as well as other variables such as the breathing pattern and even temperature of the individual being breath tested. Currently Washington State certified breath test machines do not perform these types of calculations. As a result, the Panel’s ruling will require Lab personnel to do the mathematical equation by hand.

It appears that DUI cases in King County, Washington just got a lot trickier to defend. A person charged with DUI in Western Washington would be well served in retaining a reputable and qualified Seattle DUI Lawyer. A person charged with a King County DUI should retain a qualified Seattle DUI attorney so as to not only best minimize the myriad of legal consequences he/she faces, but also to protect his/her rights and liberty interests. The Seattle criminal attorneys that make up the criminal defense team of SQ Attorneys are highly qualified Seattle DUI lawyers that are dedicated to providing top notch, aggressive representation for those charged with DUI in Western Washington. The team creates success by working with law enforcement and the prosecuting attorney’s office to ensure that all facts and circumstances related to the DUI allegations are considered in creating the fairest, most equitable and just resolution possible.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Commit a Crime, PAY the Time!

The cost of a hiring a Seattle criminal defense lawyer or a Seattle DUI attorney can vary significantly depending upon the jurisdiction, and the nature of the charges which have been filed against the defendant. A Washington criminal defense lawyer will typically require a greater retainer fee for a complex and/or more serious case than for a simple case. It is possible for a Seattle criminal defense attorney to require a higher retainer fee for a minor charge, where the attorney expects to have to engage in extensive motion practice, or where it will be necessary to utilize expert witnesses, or whether travel is involved to other counties.

As previously stated, in a misdemeanor case, typical fee will vary significantly between cities, counties, and states, it is not unusual for a Seattle DUI lawyer to request a retainer of several thousand dollars. For felony cases, retainers often start at $10,000 - $15,000, and can be $25,000 or more for serious violent felonies, such as sexual assault cases or a serious violent felony. The anticipated cost of expert witnesses can also significantly increase the retainer.

Be wary of entering into a retainer agreement which calls for additional payments if the case will go to trial. It is important the Washington criminal defense attorney discusses all of the costs with you prior to being retained on the case. If you do decide to enter into an agreement with a Seattle criminal lawyer whereby you will pay an additional retainer if your case goes to trial, make sure that it is an amount you can afford.

Monday, September 13, 2010

What is Domestic Violence??

Domestic violence is a pervasive and extremely serious criminal allegation in Washington State. The sheer seriousness of domestic violence related crimes in Washington State often results in voluminous probationary conditions being imposed on those convicted of domestic violence. One such condition that is routinely imposed by Washington State courts is a No Contact Order. A No Contact Order, among other things, prohibits the convicted person from having any contact whatsoever with the alleged victim, and can last up to the total duration of probation, or in other words, however long the convicted person is under the guise of the court.

Often folks ask me about how the government would ever know a No Contact Order was being violated, especially if no one affirmatively disclosed the contact to the court, probation or even law enforcement. Does the government do random checks at their home or work? Are there police officers that are specifically dedicated to following up and/or watching? Is “Big Brother” spying on them? In short – “no”. Law Enforcement has neither the funds nor the man power to conduct such auspicious and far reaching maneuvers. But below following are but just two examples that I personally have heard of that have lead to the government becoming aware that someone is violating a No Contact Order, which, by the way, is not only a violation of probationary conditions but also a crime in and of itself – one in which the government will file a criminal complaint and seek a jail sentence against the offender.

First, a police officer is cruising the streets during day-light hours. Not much happening on his “beat”. Thus, he decides to drive by hotels and conduct random license plate checks on the vehicles parked in the hotel parking lots (a common and lawful practice of law enforcement). As he does this, he notes that the registered owner of one of the vehicles at hotel “A” has a No Contact Order imposed against him. This person is not to have contact with a specific person. The police officer continues running the random license plate checks of all the vehicles at hotel “A”. In short order the police officer determines that a registered owner of one of the other vehicles parked in the parking lot of hotel “A” is the beneficiary of the No Contact Order that is in place. The officer determines what room these folks are in and thereafter proceeds to contact and arrest the person who he deems is violating the terms of court probation, and the conditions of the No Contact Order that is in place.

Second, a police officer is traveling the streets late at night. He knows that it is lawful to conduct random license plate checks. He also knows that people at night often drive after consuming alcohol. He conducts a random license plate check on a vehicle that is stopped directly in front of him at a red light, waiting for the light to turn green. The registered owner of the vehicle has a suspended license, a crime in Washington State. The officer initiates a traffic stop of the vehicle. There is a passenger in the vehicle. The officer obtains names and after a background check determines that there is a No Contact Order in place that prohibits the passenger from having contact with the registered owner of the vehicle, which happens to be the driver. End result – both folks are arrested and put in jail for committing crimes in Washington State.

Because of the significant implications that a Washington State domestic violence and/or a No Contact Order related conviction carries, it is imperative that when a person is facing single or even multiple criminal charges arising out of an argument that got out of hand, a person cannot simply entrust his life, his future, his reputation or even his profession to an inexperienced and untested Washington State criminal lawyer. He must seek – he must demand – only the very best criminal defense representation available. Anyone charged with domestic violence in Washington State should immediately seek the assistance of a seasoned Seattle domestic violence defense lawyer.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

I.D. Theft ...Don't do it!

One of the most common white-collar crimes in Washington State is identity theft. It should go without saying, identity theft in Washington State is considered a very serious crime; often an identity theft allegation results in criminal charges being filed in the federal (not state) court system. Identity theft can happen in many different ways, but more often than not, identity theft involves the purchase of goods and/or property by a person or entity using someone else’s identity or financial information.

Identity theft in Washington State is considered to be a crime in which a person uses someone else’s personal or financial information, such as their name, credit card number, bank account number or Social Security Number without permission or authority. Some examples of identity theft may include, but are certainly not limited to, mail fraud, opening a bank account or forging a check in another person’s name, illegally obtaining and using another’s credit card, debit card, or social security card without lawful authority and/or fraudulent wire transfers or electronic money transfers.

Identity theft is a felony in Washington State. A felony conviction in Washington State will cause a person to lose certain civil rights and may prevent him from future employment opportunities. In addition to the criminal penalties and restitution a person faces when convicted for identity theft, the convicted person will also face a civil fine of up to $1000 for each individual count of identity theft alleged.

Because of the very serious consequences associated with identity theft, it is imperative that a person charged with identify theft retain a qualified Seattle criminal defense lawyer. A qualified Seattle criminal defense attorney can assess what the best strategy is to defend against the allegations. There are many defenses that can be used to fight against identity theft charges. For example, the evidence in identity theft cases is often obtained through a search of a person’s home or car; if that search was illegal or unconstitutional, the evidence may be suppressed, or otherwise not used by the prosecuting authority.

At SQ Attorneys we have overcome seemingly insurmountable odds through continuous, intensive and sustained plea bargaining efforts; we create success by applying the factual circumstances of our cases to the applicable law, and presenting mitigating factors throughout the entire negotiating process. These efforts have routinely resulted in reduced charges, reduced sentences and even dismissals. SQ Attorneys creatively works with prosecutors, courts and local agencies to keep our client’s criminal records clean; especially in first time offender situations and those situations where the individual does not have a long criminal history.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Deferred Prosecution? What is it??

A DUI “arrest” in Washington State may result in very harsh and undesirable consequences if the driver arrested is “convicted” of the crime in a Washington State court of law. One way to avoid a DUI conviction is to enter (and successfully complete) a “Deferred Prosecution,” as authorized by Revised Code of Washington 10.05. Below following is a brief description of Washington State DUI Deferred Prosecutions:

• What is a Deferred Prosecution? A Deferred Prosecution is a Washington State program that allows a person accused of committing DUI to petition a court to dismiss his case if he: (1) enters and completes a two year alcohol/drug treatment program at a Washington State certified alcohol/ drug treatment agency, and (2) complies with all other court imposed conditions.

• Should a person petition for Deferred Prosecution when charged with a DUI in Washington State? The answer to this question really depends on a number of variables, ranging from the facts of the person’s case to the person’s criminal history and everything in-between. Retaining a qualified Seattle DUI attorney is the first step in making the determination.

• Will a person retain his Washington State driving privileges if he does a Deferred Prosecution? In short, yes. However, there are conditions associated with retaining the driving privilege. For instance, the person will be required to install an ignition interlock device in any non-work vehicle he drives.

• Will a person go to jail if he enters a Deferred Prosecution? In short, no; there is no jail time associated with a Deferred Prosecution. Unless, of course, the person is found to have violated the conditions of the Deferred Prosecution and the court thereafter revokes the Deferred Prosecution and convicts the person of DUI.

• Is a Deferred Prosecution easy to complete? No, it is actually very time consuming and difficult; it is very expensive and labor intensive. The person also is required to admit that he has an alcohol/drug problem, and that without treatment it is likely he will get stopped again for DUI.

• How many Deferred Prosecutions can a person be granted? A person is only authorized one Deferred Prosecution in his lifetime; not one Deferred Prosecution every five years like it was in the 1990’s. In short, “you use it, you lose it.”

• Can a person travel to Canada during (or after successfully completing) a Deferred Prosecution? It is not real clear whether a person will be authorized to travel to Canada while on (or after successfully completing) a Washington State Deferred Prosecution. Canada does not have a clear cut policy on Deferred Prosecutions; but it is clear that if a person is “convicted” of DUI that he will not be permitted into Canada.

• A DUI, Reckless Driving, Reckless Endangerment or Negligent Driving (reduced from DUI) conviction will enhance penalties if another DUI occurs within 7 years, is the same true for a successfully completed Deferred Prosecution? Even a successfully completed Deferred Prosecution will count as a “prior conviction” if that person receives another DUI within seven years; enhanced penalties on subsequent DUI convictions will thus occur.

Because of the significant consequences one faces when arrested for DUI in Washington State, it is imperative that he/she retain a qualified Washington State DUI attorney so as to not only best minimize the myriad of legal consequences he/she faces, but also to protect his/her rights and liberty interests. The Seattle criminal attorneys that make up the criminal defense team of SQ Attorneys are highly qualified Seattle DUI lawyers that are dedicated to providing top notch, aggressive representation for those charged with DUI in Western Washington. The team creates success by working with law enforcement and the prosecuting attorney’s office to ensure that all facts and circumstances related to the DUI allegations are considered in creating the fairest, most equitable and just resolution possible.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Click it or Ticket it!

As Western Washingtonians may have recently noticed, there are new highway signs going up all around the region. The first set of highway signs cover I-5 from the Boeing Access Road to the I-90 intersection, and are set to be officially lit up at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, August 10, 2010. There are at least two other sets of highway signs to be installed in the King County region in the relatively near future — Highway 520 (Fall 2010) and on I-90 (spring 2011), respectively. When the signs officially light-up, drivers best beware because if they don’t pay attention to the information posted on the signs they may get cited by law enforcement for committing a traffic violation.

The signs are regulatory in nature; in other words, all of the information posted on the signs is mandatory, not suggestive. The signs will display speed changes, direction arrows and “X’s” to let drivers know a lane is closed. There will be one sign above each lane on the freeway. If a driver chooses not to heed a signs mandate (i.e. reduce speed or stay out of specific lane), law enforcement will cite the driver for failing to obey our Washington State traffic laws. Failing to obey a traffic sign can result in a $124 fine and increased insurance premiums.

If you or a loved one is cited in Washington State for a traffic violation you should request a contested hearing and immediately contact a Seattle criminal defense attorney or a Bellevue criminal lawyer for advice and/or assistance. The Seattle criminal attorneys that make up the criminal defense team of SQ Attorneys are highly qualified Seattle criminal lawyers that are dedicated to providing top notch, aggressive representation for those ticketed in and around Western Washington and the greater Puget Sound region. The team creates success by working with law enforcement and the prosecuting attorney’s office to ensure that all facts and circumstances related to the allegations are considered in creating the fairest, most equitable and just resolution possible.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Convicted of a crime?

If you have been, or you are facing the prospect of being, convicted of a crime in Washington State, you may be curious to know whether you will be able to find gainful employment or quality housing. Employers and rental property owners are becoming increasingly more concerned about knowing whether applicants have criminal records. Undoubtedly part of this concern has been caused by jury verdicts that have been rendered against employers or rental property owners for negligently hiring or leasing to people with criminal histories; people who have caused harm to others while on the job or while leasing rental property. Another concern for employers, in particular, arises when they have to disclose criminal conviction data. An example of this is when a company is trying to raise funds and/or capital; they may be required to make certain disclosures to a bank or a private investor because the bargaining between the parties has to be done in good faith and with full disclosure. Employers and rental property owners in Washington State have a great deal of access to criminal history records. Washington State employers and rental property owners are permitted to ask potential employees or lease applicants about their criminal background.

Because of the significant implications a criminal conviction can have, it is imperative that a person stopped, cited arrested and/or charged with a crime in Washington State retain a qualified Seattle criminal defense attorney or a qualified Bellevue criminal defense lawyer in order to best minimize potential legal consequences and protect their rights. The Seattle criminal attorneys that make up the criminal defense team of SQ Attorneys are highly qualified criminal lawyers that are dedicated to providing top notch, aggressive representation for those charged with crimes in Western Washington and all across the Greater Puget Sound region. The team creates success by working with law enforcement and the prosecuting attorney’s office to ensure that all facts and circumstances related to the criminal allegations are considered in creating the fairest, most equitable and just resolution possible.

If you or a loved one is stopped, cited, arrested and/or charged with a crime in King County, Pierce County, Snohomish County, Kitsap County, Thurston County or one of the following cities or towns: Algona, Bellevue, Black Diamond, Bonney Lake, Bothell, Burien, Des Moines, Duvall, Edmonds, Enumclaw, Everett, Federal Way, fife, Hunts Point, Issaquah, Kenmore, Kent, Kirkland, Lake Forest Park, Lake Stevens, Lakewood, Lynnwood, Maple Valley, Marysville, Medina, Mercer Island, Milton, Monroe, Mountlake Terrace, New Castle, Normandy Park, North Bend, Olympia, Puyallup, Redmond, Renton, Sammamish, Sea Tac, Seattle, Shoreline, Snohomish, Sumner, Tacoma, Tukwila, University Place, and/or Woodinville, or any other city or town in Western Washington, call The Criminal Defense Team of SQ Attorneys at (206) 441-0900 for an initial free consultation.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Protocols, protocols, protocols ....

In Washington State DUI cases police officers are not only required by law to follow specific “protocols” but are also required to follow state and federal constitutional principles when making a DUI stop and/or arrest. The following are but a few examples of the protocols and/or principles that law enforcement officers must follow. First, a police officer must have “probable cause” or “reasonable suspicion” to believe a traffic infraction or crime has been committed in order to make contact with a driver in Washington State. Second, Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (to be considered valid) must be conducted according to very specific protocols that are outlined by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”). Third, if a breath or blood test is conducted, it must comply with the protocols outlined in the Washington Administrative Codes as well as the Revised Codes of Washington, and in the case of breath tests, the breath test machine used to obtain the breath sample(s) must be properly calibrated and in good working order.

Because of the protocols and principles that must be followed by police officers in Washington State, it is important that in all Washington State DUI cases an accused preserve as much evidence as possible. For example, if there is an in-car camera it is imperative to request and obtain any film footage the camera may have caught during law enforcements’ contact with the accused. Similarly, if there is a camera in the room where a breath test is obtained at the police station, it is extremely important to request and obtain the film footage the camera may have caught during the accused’s breath test processing. Obtaining film footage is important because it may confirm or dispel whether all protocols and procedures were followed by the law enforcement officer during his processing of the person accused of DUI. Many folks believe, for example, that the NHTSA Standardized Field Sobriety Tests are designed to ensure failure; it goes without saying that a good percentage of the population will have difficulty performing some, if not all, of the tasks required. This is true because of age, weight, height and whole host of other impactful factors. The tests are “standardized” and thus how they are administered is very important. Viewing film can help determine if the tests were administered correctly, and thus can help assess whether the police officer truly did have sufficient grounds (“probable cause”) to arrest the person accused of DUI.

Because of the significant implications a DUI arrest and/or conviction can have on a person, it is imperative that a person charged with DUI in Washington State retain a qualified Seattle DUI attorney or a qualified Bellevue DUI lawyer in order to best minimize potential legal consequences and protect their rights and interests. The Seattle criminal attorneys that make up the criminal defense team of SQ Attorneys are highly qualified Seattle DUI lawyers that are dedicated to providing top notch, aggressive representation for those charged with DUI in Western Washington. The team creates success by working with law enforcement and the prosecuting attorney’s office to ensure that all facts and circumstances related to the DUI allegations are considered in creating the fairest, most equitable and just resolution possible.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Fighting a Seattle DUI

Being involved in a DUI case can be frightening, stressful, and financially draining. To successfully fight a Seattle DUI, you must find an experienced attorney who has a complete understanding of the DUI laws in Washington State, and who is willing to represent your case in a professional manner.

Being convicted of a DUI in Washington can have strong consequences that can affect the future of everyone involved. The convicted person may face jail time, lose driving privileges and be faced with hefty fines. The embarrassment and inconvenience of these consequences is often long lasting and can affect loved ones and spouses as well.

To effectively fight a DUI case, it’s important to find effective legal representation. The most qualified Seattle DUI attorneys are well-versed in all areas of DUI law in Washington state, including any new updates or alterations to DUI law. In most cases, attorneys who specialize in DUI cases will meet with you for a free consultation. During this meeting, they will listen to the details of your situation and provide a brief evaluation of your options. Taking advantage of free consultations can help you to learn more about the legal firm and their approach to handling cases like yours.

Researching law firms online that specialize in DUI cases is also an effective way to determine which attorneys are the best for your needs. Most reputable law firms will include testimonials from previous clients that speak to the firm’s successes. Reading through the experiences of past clients can help you decide if the approach the firm takes is right for you.

The stress of a DUI case can be scary, but being prepared with the best legal counsel for you can take the guesswork and fear out of your case. Whether you are facing a DUI or BUI, understanding your rights and laws in Washington state is best achieved by hiring an attorney that specializes in cases similar to yours. Being prepared with a well-qualified attorney or legal team will give you the chance to fight your DUI case and insure a fair outcome.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Accused of domestic violence?

In Washington State a call to police regarding an allegation of domestic violence can lead to significant and immediate consequences – consequences that may never have been intended by the 911 caller or even by the alleged victim, if different from the caller. Once a person has been accused of domestic violence in Washington State, he/she should ensure that he/she does not go through the legal process alone; it is a minefield that can realistically only be navigated by the most seasoned and adept Washington State domestic violence attorney. Below is a general synopsis of what is likely to happen if police are called to an alleged domestic violence scene:

(1) The Police are legally obligated, or otherwise required, to arrest and take to jail anyone accused of domestic violence if the police contact the parties within four hours of when the crime allegedly occurred.handcuffs

(2) The Police will arrest the person they decide is the primary aggressor in the incident. Often, the determination of who was the primary aggressor is made with little to no investigation; in fact, the decision is generally made on no more than a few simple things like a person’s size or gender, or who told a better story or who appeared more believable.

(3) A person charged with a domestic violence related allegation is required to appear at all court proceedings. There are usually several times an accused must appear in court; the loss of time at work and/or school can be significant no matter what the outcome of the case may be.

(4) It is likely that a person accused of a domestic violence related crime will be required to post a bail; those costs typically range from hundreds to even thousands of dollars.

(5) Courts are likely to issue a No Contact Order which prohibits an accused from having any contact with the alleged victim and possibly others involved in the incident such as children and/or other relatives. The No Contact Order may also include a prohibition of one’s presence in places, such as his/her home, business or even school.

(6) Courts are likely to issue an order mandating that an accused surrender any and all weapons that he/she owns; the weapons, depending on the outcome of the case, may be forfeited, and if a person is convicted of any domestic violence related offense he/she will lose his/her right to possess a firearm for life pursuant to federal laws and regulations.

Because of the grave consequences associated with domestic violence related allegations, it is of paramount importance that a person accused of committing a crime involving domestic violence have a strong and articulate advocate on his/her side. Washington State domestic violence cases often involve complex family dynamics that require a true understanding of the circumstances surrounding the facts and issues that gave rise to the police being called in the first place. The parties’ story often needs to be conveyed to the prosecution and to the court in a manner that can be understood and accepted; it needs to be conveyed in a manner that can be appreciated, without passing judgment. The Seattle criminal attorneys that make up the criminal defense team of SQ Attorneys have the ability and the passion to accomplish just this goal. SQ Attorneys is a collection of Washington State litigators with a stellar reputation for being highly effective Seattle domestic violence defense lawyers; they are dedicated to providing top notch, aggressive representation for those arrested for domestic violence in and around Western Washington and the greater Puget Sound region. The team is designed to create success by working with law enforcement and the prosecuting attorney’s office so as to ensure that all facts and circumstances related to the criminal allegations brought against the accused are considered in creating the fairest, most equitable and just resolution possible in light of all the surrounding circumstances. If accused of domestic violence in Washington State, protect your rights – contact SQ Attorneys.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Can I get a job with a DUI??

A DUI arrest in Washington State can potentially have a very significant impact on one’s employment status, especially if driving is part of one’s job duties. Even if it is not part of one’s job duties, and the person simply needs to drive to and from work, a DUI arrest in Washington can have devastating consequences on that person’s employment status. If you are cited for DUI in Washington there are two ways you can suffer a loss of your driving privilege: (1) administratively at the hands of the Department of Licensing, and (2) by court action if you are subsequently convicted of DUI.

Because of a relatively recent change in Washington State DUI law, most Washington drivers are now able to apply for an ignition interlock license if they lose their driving privileges due to a DUI arrest. This license permits persons to drive, but only if their vehicle is equipped with an approved ignition interlock device, and only if they have special “high risk” insurance coverage. The ignition interlock license is even required on work-related vehicles unless the applicant qualifies for an exception as outlined in the Revised Code of Washington 46.20.720, which states in part: “The device is not necessary on vehicles owned by a person’s employer and driven as a requirement of employment during working hours. The person must provide the department with a declaration pursuant to RCW 9A.72.085 from his or her employer stating that the person’s employment requires the person to operate a vehicle owned by the employer during working hours.” Unfortunately this exception is not helpful to employees who rent vehicles when travelling out of town on business, nor for real estate agents driving their personal vehicle to show houses to clients.

Moreover, if a person’s job involves traveling out of town by airplane and/or train, and the subsequent rental of cars, a DUI arrest in Washington can cause problems because law enforcement personnel are required to punch a hole in the arrested person’s driver’s license at the time of the DUI arrest. First, Airport TSA personnel may not accept the punched license as a valid form of identification to permit entry into the airport. Second, most car rental agencies presume the hole in the license means that it is not valid and will not rent the car to the person. The foregoing is true even though the license may actually be valid. No amount of explaining by the embarrassed business traveler, however, will overcome either TSA’s or the car rental company’s suspicions. As to the first problem, the best practice in the airport security situation is to travel using a passport as identification. As to the second problem, the best practice in the car rental situation is to try and obtain a letter from the Washington State Department of Licensing indicating the driver’s license is valid, regardless of the hole-punch.

Some employment positions can be lost by a Washington State DUI arrest or conviction. This may be so for reasons other than the loss of the ability to drive in Washington State. For example, employees with security clearances, corporate officers, and even some “public figures” may find language in their employment contract that indicates that being arrested for DUI in Washington will result in negative employment implications. Because of this, it is always wise to determine what the corporate policy is in the event of a Washington DUI arrest so that you will not be terminated for failing to report an arrest if you are required to do so; in particular, Pilots and/or medical professionals who are arrested for DUI in Washington State should be particularly careful to abide by any applicable reporting requirements to their employer and/or licensing agencies. Even if not by contractual terms, the affected person may find that if the matter comes to the attention of the media that the impact of negative publicity is more damaging to their career than the actual “legal” consequences of the Washington DUI.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Oh Canada ... Oh Canada ... Why won't you let me in??

The Canadian Immigration and Refugee Act (hereinafter referred to as, the “Act”) legislates who is authorized to enter and/or travel into the great white north — Canada. Under the Act, no person who has been deemed to have committed an “Indictable Offense” may enter Canada unless he has been found to have been “Rehabilitated.” Even if a criminal charge is pending (unresolved) in the United States, the Refugee Act treats the accused as if he is “Under Indictment” and thus excludes him from entry into Canada. It is neither the status of the United States crime, nor the seriousness of the United States crime that determines eligibility to enter or travel into Canada; admissibility is determined by what the United States crime equates to under Canadian law.

The Canadian government views DUI’s differently than our United States governmental bodies. For instance, a DUI charge in Washington State is generally a gross misdemeanor. In Canada, however, a DUI is considered a “hybrid” offense, and as such a Washington state DUI is considered either (1) an “Indictable Offense” (Felony), or (2) one that can be prosecuted as a “Summary Conviction Offense” (Misdemeanor); the prosecuting authority gets to elect how to proceed on hybrid crimes. As such, a person with a Washington State DUI can (and most likely will) be excluded from entering and/or traveling into Canada.

Generally, anyone convicted for DUI in the United States is automatically prohibited from entry and/or travel into Canada for a minimum of 10 years, or until otherwise deemed “Rehabilitated”. If a DUI charge is reduced, the final resolution of the case may be helpful for purposes of entering Canada, but even a reduction of a DUI charge does not guarantee smooth processing at the Canadian border. Retaining legal counsel can help in a person’s effort to gain entry into Canada after a criminal conviction. Unfortunately, however, it will probably take the assistance of both a licensed attorney in the United States, and a licensed attorney in Canada.

When retaining a Washington State attorney to represent you in a DUI allegation you should ensure that the attorney being retained has a basic understanding of the issues related to entering into Canada, and how a criminal conviction can curtail Canadian travel plans; many, many people in Washington enjoy the luxury of routinely traveling to and from Canada. If an attorney fails to adequately contemplate the implications of a criminal conviction on his client’s ability to travel to Canada, it can have far reaching and long lasting negative consequences.

Because of the significant consequences one faces when arrested for DUI in Washington State, it is imperative that he retain a qualified Washington State DUI attorney so as to not only best minimize the myriad of legal consequences he faces, but also to protect his rights and liberty interests. The Seattle criminal attorneys that make up the criminal defense team of SQ Attorneys are highly qualified Seattle DUI lawyers that are dedicated to providing top notch, aggressive representation for those charged with DUI in and around Western Washington and the greater Puget Sound region. The team creates success by working with law enforcement and the prosecuting attorney’s office to ensure that all facts and circumstances related to the DUI allegations are considered in creating the fairest, most equitable and just resolution possible.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

To Speak or not to Speak... that is the question??

What are the infamous “MIRANDA WARNINGS” that we all hear about on the TV and in the Movies? Miranda Warnings are the “heads up” that law enforcement is required to give so as to put a person suspected of committing crime on notice that his statements might incriminate him. Prior to any criminal interrogation, a person in police custody must be clearly informed that he has the right to remain silent, and that anything he may say will be used against him in a court of law. The suspect must be clearly informed that he has the right to consult with an attorney, and to have an attorney present during questioning, and further that if he is indigent, an attorney will be provided to him at no cost. These protections are created by virtue of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments of our Country and State Constitutions, respectively.

Two factors trigger when law enforcement must issue Miranda Warnings to a person suspected of committing a crime. First, the person must be in the custody of law enforcement and not free to leave; non-law enforcement agents, such retail loss prevention officers, are generally not required to give Miranda Warnings. Second, law enforcement must be questioning or interrogating the suspect regarding involvement in a crime; generally questions about personal information, such as name and date of birth, do not trigger the Miranda Warning requirement.

In any Washington State criminal case, a qualified Washington State criminal attorney will review the case to ascertain: (1) if any statements were made by his client, (2) if statements were made by his client, were they made at a time in which his client was in custody and while being interrogated, and (3) if the answer is yes to (1) and (2), were Miranda Warnings properly given and did his client knowingly and willingly waive them. Generally, law enforcement will attempt to have a suspect sign a Constitutional Rights Form that states: “I understand my Constitutional Rights. I have decided not to exercise these rights at this time. Any statements made by me are made freely, voluntarily, and without threats or promises of any kind”. Invariably it is always a wise decision to exercise one’s Constitutional Rights and to not sign the form.

If you or a loved one is charged with a crime in Washington State it is imperative that you seek the assistance of a qualified and reputable Washington criminal defense attorney. The Seattle criminal attorneys that make up the criminal defense team of SQ Attorneys are highly qualified and reputable Washington criminal defense lawyers that are dedicated to providing top notch, aggressive representation for those arrested for crime all across Western Washington and the Greater Puget Sound region. The team creates success by working with law enforcement and the prosecuting attorney’s office to ensure that all facts and circumstances related to the criminal allegations are considered in creating the fairest, most equitable and just resolution possible in light of all the surrounding circumstances of the given case.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Dishonesty Crimes...Don't do it!

Being charged with a property crime in Washington (such as Theft or Possession of Stolen Property) is embarrassing and has the possibility of significantly impacting a person’s personal and professional life. This is so because these types of crimes are considered “crimes of dishonesty”. At SQ Attorneys we have overcome seemingly insurmountable odds through continuous, intensive and sustained plea bargaining efforts; we create success by applying the factual circumstances of our cases to the applicable law, and presenting mitigating factors throughout the entire negotiating process. These efforts have routinely resulted in reduced charges, reduced sentences and even dismissals.

SQ Attorneys creatively works with prosecutors, courts and local agencies to keep our clients’ criminal records clean; especially in first time offender situations and those situations where the individual does not have a long criminal history. Some examples of this creative effort includes establishing counseling initiatives, full payment of restitution, and/or the immediate return of stolen items to the aggrieved party. Undergoing counseling places the client in the best light in the eye’s of the prosecution and of the court. Similarly, immediate payment of restitution and/or the immediate returning of property can often reduce charges and may even result in the dismissal of charges in less serious cases.

If you have been arrested for Theft in Washington, or if you have been charged for being in possession of stolen property in Washington, it is essential that you speak with a qualified Seattle criminal defense lawyer who has knowledge of the Washington State court system and the Washington State police procedures. The Seattle criminal attorneys that make up the criminal defense team of SQ Attorneys are highly qualified Seattle criminal defense lawyers that are dedicated to providing top notch, aggressive representation for those charged with property crimes in Western Washington. The team creates success by working with law enforcement and the prosecuting attorney’s office to ensure that all facts and circumstances related to the allegation are considered in creating the fairest, most equitable and just resolution possible.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Field Sobriety Tests 101

The defense of a driving under the influence charge is a highly technical and an extremely difficult undertaking. There are many advantages that a Seattle DUI attorney can bring to a case.

Most DUI cases begin with an officer requesting that the defendant take a set of voluntary field sobriety tests (FST). The FST’s are given by police officers to determine if an individual has been operating a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol, drugs, or both. Field sobriety tests frequently consist of the ‘gaze nystagmus test,’ the ‘one-leg stand,’ test, the ‘walk and turn’ test, and may include other tests. If you are stopped by the police for a suspected DUI, you need to know that you are not required to take these or any field sobriety tests. What is more important to know, a Seattle DUI lawyer will be able to explain how these FST’s lack scientific merit and are invalid, and will always recommend that you refuse to take these voluntary tests.

Unlike a chemical test such as a blood alcohol test, where the refusal to take such a test can have far-reaching and negative consequences, an individual is not legally required to take any field sobriety tests. Reality is that police officers have typically made up their minds to arrest the individual when they administer one of more of the field sobriety tests. In a word, field sobriety tests provide additional evidence that the driver inevitably ‘fails.’ As a result, in most cases the Washington DUI attorney, will advise his clients to politely refuse to take any field sobriety tests.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Hit & Run - Don't Do it!

In Washington State the law dictates that drivers involved in any kind of road traffic accident that causes injury to a person or damage to someone else’s vehicle or property must stop immediately at the incident scene. If it is not possible to stop at the scene without causing further problems, then stopping nearby is acceptable. The only mitigating circumstances which negate these laws are those which have rendered the driver incapacitated. Following such traffic incidences all drivers are obliged to fulfill certain disclosure and assistance requirements. It is therefore imperative that they remain at the site of the incident until these things have been attended to.

Perhaps one of the most commonly held but wrong beliefs when it comes to hit and run situations is that the driver is not obliged to stop if they hit an unoccupied vehicle. Ask any Seattle DUI lawyer and they will tell you this is simply not true. If a driver hits an unoccupied vehicle, he or she is still legally required to adhere to the legal guidelines set out above. Failure to stop at the scene in such circumstances does constitute a Hit and Run and the driver may faces charges of Misdemeanor.

There are four clearly outline aspects to how Hit and Run is classified and each carries with its own penalty. Your Washington DUI Attorney will be able to advise you in more detail about this, but in short the basics are as follows:

1. Failure to stop and comply at the scene of any accident that causes the death of another may be classified as a Class B Felony
2. Failure to stop and comply at the scene of any accident that causes injury to another person may be classified as a Class C Felony.
3. Failure to stop and comply at the scene of any accident that causes damage to an occupied vehicle may be classified as a Class D Felony.
4. Failure to stop and comply at the scene of any accident that causes damage to an unoccupied vehicle or any property belonging to another may be classified as a Class D Felony.

Revoking of driver’s licenses is also a possible penalty if a driver fails to stop and comply.

The Seattle Criminal Defense Lawyers of SQ Attorneys is a highly skilled, knowledgeable and experienced team dedicated to providing aggressive representation for those charged with Hit and Run. The team creates success by not only working with alleged victims to develop a relationship and encourage positive communication, but the team also works with law enforcement and the prosecuting attorney’s office to ensure that all facts and circumstances related to the Hit and Run allegations are considered in creating the most equitable and fair resolution possible.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Smoke Dope, Get Stoned ... by the Government

Being arrested, cited, charged and/or convicted of a crime involving Marijuana in Washington State may be a much bigger deal than one might imagine. This is so even though many of our state governmental agencies claim they are de-emphasizing their pursuit of marijuana possession arrests and convictions. Don’t be fooled, the majority of Washington State governmental bodies are still seeking out arresting, citing, charging and even convicting people for possessing Marijuana – even for possessing very minimal amounts of Marijuana. Below following are some of the many affects being arrested and/or convicted of Marijuana possession in Washington State can have on an individual:

1. If you are convicted for Marijuana possession, you may: (a) be put on court supervised probation, and (b) be required to participate in mandatory random Urinalysis Testing;

2. A Marijuana conviction in Washington State can detrimentally impact federally insured student loans;

3. A Marijuana conviction may significantly impact child custody issues in Washington State family law court, and may also detrimentally impact an individual’s ability to successfully adopt children;

4. A felony Marijuana conviction, like all felony convictions, deprives a person of their constitutional right to vote;

5. A felony Marijuana conviction, like all felony convictions, deprives a person of their constitutional right to possess firearms;

6. Being arrested for Marijuana possession with Intent to Distribute in Washington State, or being arrested for “manufacturing” five or more Marijuana plants, may result in the government attempting to forfeit your home, car, cash and even other valuable assets. The government is permitted to do “Asset Forfeiture” even if the charges are later dismissed or even if the defendant is acquitted (found not guilty) at trial;

7. A Marijuana conviction may detrimentally impact an individual’s right to qualify for government subsidized housing;

8. A Marijuana conviction may result in an individual being denied entry into Canada and possibly even other countries around the world;

9. A Marijuana conviction may detrimentally impact an individual’s ability to obtain food stamps as well as other equally important welfare benefits;

10. A misdemeanor Marijuana conviction, like many other misdemeanor convictions, remains on your Washington State criminal record for at least three years before it can ever be expunged. Criminal records are available to the general public and thus a misdemeanor Marijuana conviction in Washington State can detrimentally impact both current and future employment opportunities;

11. A felony Marijuana conviction in Washington State remains on an individual’s criminal record for at least five years before it can ever be expunged. Criminal records are available to the general public and thus a felony Marijuana conviction in Washington State can detrimentally impact both current and future employment opportunities.

No matter the circumstances one may find themselves in, the best approach to take when arrested for Marijuana possession in Washington State is to contact a qualified Washington State criminal defense attorney who has knowledge of not only the Washington State court system but also Washington State police procedures. The Seattle criminal attorneys that make up the criminal defense team of SQ Attorneys are highly qualified Seattle criminal defense lawyers that are dedicated to providing top notch, aggressive representation for those charged with possessing Marijuana in Western Washington. The team creates success by working with law enforcement and the prosecuting attorney’s office to ensure that all facts and circumstances related to the Marijuana possession allegations are considered in creating the fairest, most equitable and just resolution possible.