Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thieves Target Holiday Shoppers

With the holiday shopping season in full swing, it's prime time for crooks to pounce. That's why Puyallup police launched new patrols to make sure shoppers' cars don't become targets for thieves. As they try to prevent thefts, they spot some major mistakes by some shoppers that make it easier for thieves. It's part of the Puyallup Police Department's effort to prevent car prowls and make drivers more aware of the risk. In some cases, police are leaving notes on car windows to remind drivers not to leave valuables inside while shopping. There's already been one attempted break-in at a local Best Buy parking lot, and officers hope to prevent more such incidents. During one Saturday patrol, officers found vehicles with money, purses, mail and GPS devices - all in plain sight. Prowlers are peeking through windows of parked cars in the daytime and at night. They use tools to break in or smash windows. And police say you should never leave your garage door opener on your car. It's one of the most common items people forget when they leave their vehicles, but if thieves get your registration and garage door opener your home can become an easy target. In addition to stepping up patrols in parking lots, police are also setting up DUI checkpoints. That's happening now through New Year's Eve. The Seattle criminal attorneys that make up the criminal defense team of SQ Attorneys are highly seasoned and reputable Seattle criminal lawyers that are dedicated to providing top notch, aggressive representation for those arrested for domestic violence in 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 a crime protect your rights – contact SQ Attorneys at (206) 441-0900.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

SPD Lieutenant Acquitted

A Seattle police lieutenant was found not guilty of a misdemeanor domestic violence charge Tuesday, but he still faces a criminal charge for allegedly violating a no-contact order in that case. Lt. Donnie Lowe was charged in June with domestic violence assault and ordered to stay away from his wife, who was involved in the case. Police say in August, Lowe was stopped in Seattle and his wife was believed to be a passenger in the car. The assault charge was the one of which Lowe was acquitted Tuesday in Seattle Municipal Court. The other charge for the no-contact order is also a misdemeanor and a pre-trial hearing is scheduled for Oct. 22. Lowe has a troubled history with the department. In 2008 he was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence after police said he blew a 0.113 on a breath test. The Seattle Times reported he also was reprimanded for inappropriate dealings with his son in a holding cell and over his effort to retrieve nude photographs of a relative. Despite his DUI case at the time, Lowe was allowed to travel to Washington, D.C., to work as security for President Barack Obama's inauguration. According to the police report from earlier this year, Lowe and his wife of 10 years got into an argument at their home. The argument escalated, and police alleged Lowe pushed her against the wall and slapped her. Investigators said two witnesses had to pull Lowe off of his wife and that alcohol was on his breath. The woman refused medical treatment and refused to give a statement, All of the witnesses also refused to give a written statement, they said. Lowe had been in the leadership section of the SPD's 20/20 reform plan, but was removed from that assignment. The Office of Professional Accountability is expected to investigate Lowe's domestic violence case once the criminal case is completed, which is standard procedure. DV allegations are extremely serious in Washington State. Anyone charged with domestic violence in Washington State should immediately seek the assistance of a seasoned Seattle domestic violence defense lawyer. The Seattle criminal attorneys that make up the criminal defense team of SQ Attorneys are highly qualified and reputable Seattle domestic violence defense lawyers that are dedicated to providing top notch, aggressive representation for those arrested for domestic violence 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 criminal allegations are considered in creating the fairest, most equitable and just resolution possible in light of all the surrounding circumstances.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

New DUI Law Allows for Involuntary Blood Draw

A new law that took effect Aug. 1 in Washington allows State Patrol troopers to have blood drawn from drunken driving suspects, even if they won't give it voluntarily. This allows repeat drunken driving cases to be handled as felonies from the time of arrest. Felony DUI carries a 5-year sentence, versus 1-year for misdemeanor DUI. Troopers don't draw blood themselves, but use a medical professional. In addition dispatchers have been trained to check records and let troopers know when they have stopped a felony suspect. A blood sample was taken last Sunday from a 30-year-old Port Orchard man after he was stopped for swerving in traffic. Records showed it would be his fifth DUI in 10 years. 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 against the prosecution and 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.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Advertisement to Legalize and Tax Marijuana Begins

A group pushing a measure to legalize and tax marijuana in Washington state is launching a three-week television ad campaign. New Approach Washington, the group behind Initiative 502, says the advertisement will begin airing throughout Western Washington on Wednesday of this week. The advertisement features a woman who says she doesn't like marijuana, but it's a multi-million-dollar industry that doesn't benefit the state. She says that if marijuana is taxed and regulated, the state would control the money - "not the gangs" - and it could go toward schools and health care, while freeing up police to go after violent crime. The campaign has plenty of supporters, but also has its critics. Holmes, who is Mercer Island's chief of police, stated simply taxing and regulating marijuana will not make the job any easier for law enforcement officers. "People (using marijuana) say things they wouldn't say, they do things they wouldn't do, they commit crimes they otherwise wouldn't commit and that's the concern we have with smoking marijuana," he said. Voters in Washington, Colorado and Oregon are voting this fall on whether to legalize marijuana for recreational use. If you or a loved one is faced with a Marijuana related offense in Western Washington, you deserve nothing less than the very best representation from a reputable and qualified Seattle criminal attorney who will relentlessly defend your case. You deserve a Seattle criminal lawyer who has an intimate understanding of not only Washington’s criminal laws, but also the legal issues that could win your case. You deserve a Seattle criminal lawyer who is not afraid to stand up against the prosecution and aggressively fight for your rights and interests. SQ Attorneys is the right Western Washington criminal 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, July 29, 2012

Ex-mayor and Current Snohomish County Council Chair Arrested for DUI

Brian Sullivan, chairman of the Snohomish County Council, former Mukilteo mayor and a former state lawmaker, was arrested Thursday night for investigation of DUI in Mukilteo. The incident began when Mukilteo police received a 911 call at about 7:50 p.m. reporting a suspected drunk driver heading south on the Mukilteo Speedway. The caller said the vehicle was "all over the road." Officers responded and caught up with the suspected drunk driver after he turned right at Chennault Beach Road and stopped in front of a business. The driver, identified as Sullivan, smelled of alcohol and officers asked if he had been drinking. He said he had been and agreed to take a field sobriety test. After the tests were complete, officers placed him under arrest shortly after 8 p.m. Sullivan was brought back to the police station to undergo a breath test. The first one registered an alcohol level of .168 percent and the second one registered .161. Both were more than double the legal limit. Sullivan was released to a responsible adult who was not in the car with him and issued a citation. He had his first appearance in Snohomish County District Court on Friday afternoon. 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 against the prosecution and 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.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Intense DUI Crackdown Begins

Law enforcement agencies throughout Pierce County will be out in full force this week and the coming summer weekends looking for drunk drivers. This week kicks off what officers are calling an 'intense' two-week statewide campaign to keep impaired drivers off the road. Before officers take to the streets, they'll take part in a special ceremony to honor Bruce Cromoga. Cromoga was hit by a drunk driver on his way home from a fishing trip two years ago. According to officials with the Target Zero DUI Task Force, deadly and serious injury crashes caused by drunk drivers have gone down by more than 40 percent since 2010. "In spite of all the good news, we'll never get to our goal of zero traffic deaths and injuries by 2030 unless everyone steps up their game," said John Cheesman, chief of the Fircrest Police Department and chairman of the Tacoma Pierce County DUI and Traffic Safety Task Force, in a written statement. As part of the Home Safe Bar program, officers will visit area bars and hand out special cards customers can scan with their smart phones to call a taxi. Members of the military will also be given taxi chips to help get home safely. 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 against the prosecution and 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.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Moped Driver Suspected of DUI

A 27-year-old man suffered serious injuries to his face after a car collided with his moped, said Seattle Police. Around 1:30a.m. Saturday morning the man was riding his moped northbound on 25th Avenue approaching the intersection at East Spring Street. Police say at the same time a 51-year-old man, driving a Chrysler New Yorker, was also approaching the intersection heading eastbound on East Spring Street. The two collided in the intersection causing the moped driver to be thrown off his bike and into the street. Police say he was wearing a helmet but did not have a face shield. Officers evaluated the victim at the scene after he showed signs of driving under the influence. He was taken to Harborview Medical Center with serious but non-life-threatening injuries. The driver of the car was also evaluated for DUI but officers say he was not impaired. The crash remains under investigation. 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 against the prosecution and 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, May 6, 2012

Five Pound Bucket of Marijuana Seized

Seattle Police say that two people were arrested and a five-pound bucket of marijuana seized early Tuesday morning in Rainier Beach. According to Seattle Police Department (SPD) it was 12:22 a.m. on April 24th when officers stopped a car in the 9800 block of Renton Avenue South for running a red light. Just as the suspect vehicle came to a stop two male suspects (the driver and front seat passenger) exited the vehicle and took off running. Officers gave chase and observed both suspects enter the back door of a house in the 9600 block of 53rd Avenue South. Additional officers responded to the scene and surrounded the house while others used their patrol car’s public address system and called for all persons inside the house to exit. Two females exited the house, one adult female and the other believed to be in her late teens (later determined to be a mother and her daughter). If you or a loved one is faced with a Marijuana related offense in Western Washington, you deserve nothing less than the very best representation from a reputable and qualified Seattle criminal attorney who will relentlessly defend your case. You deserve a Seattle criminal lawyer who has an intimate understanding of not only Washington’s criminal laws, but also the legal issues that could win your case. You deserve a Seattle criminal lawyer who is not afraid to stand up against the prosecution and aggressively fight for your rights and interests. SQ Attorneys is the right Western Washington criminal 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, April 29, 2012

Seattle Man Falsely Reports Car Stolen

A man ends up getting himself and his friend arrested after falsely reporting to police his car was stolen. Just after midnight on Sunday 911 dispatchers received a call from a “victim” claiming his 2009 Audi was taken and last seen heading north on Swift Avenue South.

When officers responded to the call they found the Audi, with two men inside, at Beacon Avenue South and South Graham Street. They pulled the Audi over and removed the driver and the passenger from the car. After asking several questions, it didn’t take long for the officers to realize that one of the men was actually the registered owner of the car and the same one who called 911, said Detective Jeff Kappel, spokesman for Seattle Police. According to Kappel, the “victim” reported his car stolen because he didn’t want his buddy, who he thought was drunk, to drive his car. After calling 911 to make the report, police say the “victim” got into the car anyways and his buddy started driving them home.

Both men ended up getting arrested. The driver was booked for suspicion of DUI and the “victim”, the owner of the car, was arrested for making a false claim to police. “In the life of a police officer, sometimes reality is stranger than fiction,” said Detective Kappel.

If you or a loved one is faced with a criminal charge in Western Washington, you deserve the assistance of a reputable and qualified Seattle criminal attorney who will relentlessly defend your case. You deserve a Seattle criminal defense lawyer who has an intimate understanding of Washington’s criminal laws and the legal issues that could win your case. You deserve a Seattle criminal lawyer who is not afraid to stand up against the prosecution and aggressively fight for your rights and interests. SQ Attorneys is the right Western Washington 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, April 8, 2012

City of Federal Way has Issues with Seattle Nightlife Proposal

The city of Federal Way sees Seattle - and a specific city proposal there - as a problem citing that a new proposal which may extend the operating hours for Seattle area bars is a public safety issue. A Deputy Chief at Federal Way Police stated, "When you extend the hours (of bars), clearly you're looking at higher levels of potential intoxication."

The proposal before the Washington State Liquor Control Board which, if approved, would give Seattle the option to stagger the closing time of city bars. Right now, state law mandates that bars close by 2 a.m.

This week, the mayor of Federal Way along with the City Council sent a letter to the state, saying that the proposal, if passed, would likely lead to "more drunk drivers on the road during peak early morning commute times," "increases in alcohol related injury and death," and "greater service related demands on the Federal Way Police Department and surrounding jurisdictions."

At Clever Rebel Tattoo on the north end of Federal Way, owner and tattoo artist Joe Meyer was skeptical that the proposal would impact the quality of life in his hometown.

"Just 'cause a bar is open later doesn't mean it's going to get worse," Meyer said, as he applied fresh ink on a customer's arm. "I think I'd be tired. If the bar closed at 3, I'd be tired. I want to go home and sleep."

The state Liquor Control Board hopes to have a decision on the proposal by early May. If enacted, it would allow other cities to extend their hours as well.

If you or a loved one is faced with an alcohol or drug related offense in Western Washington, you deserve nothing less than the very best representation from a reputable and qualified Seattle criminal attorney who will relentlessly defend your case. You deserve a Seattle criminal lawyer who has an intimate understanding of not only Washington’s criminal laws, but also the legal issues that could win your case. You deserve a Seattle criminal lawyer who is not afraid to stand up against the prosecution and aggressively fight for your rights and interests. SQ Attorneys is the right Western Washington criminal 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, April 1, 2012

WA DUI Laws Get Tougher!

More people are killed by drunken drivers in Washington state than by all other criminals combined. That's what state Rep. Roger Goodman, D-Kirkland, told his legislative colleagues while arguing for wide-ranging changes to the state's drinking-and-driving laws.

Drunken drivers kill a surprising number of people in Washington state — 2,042 over the past decade, according to statistics collected from the FBI's Uniform Crime Report. That's more than the 2,028 people who were the victims of an intentional killing during that same 10-year period from 2000 to 2010.

But year-to-year totals for that period show that statement is true half the time. In the remaining years, slayings outpace deaths from drunken drivers. But each year, deaths from both causes are in the triple digits.

Goodman, who is running for Congress in the First Congressional District, proposed changes to the state's laws for drunken driving after the July death of a Kirkland man who was running an errand when an SUV crashed into his car.

The SUV driver, Patrick Rexroat, had a blood-alcohol level three times the legal limit when he killed Stephen Lacey, a 43-year-old father of two and a Google engineer.

Rexroat pleaded guilty March 9 to vehicular homicide and was sentenced to four years in prison. At the time of his sentencing, that was the maximum allowable for vehicular-homicide DUI.

A bill that Gov. Chris Gregoire is expected to sign would make the penalty for DUI vehicular homicide the same as manslaughter: 6 ½ to 8 ½ years.

In a rare show of bipartisanship, the Legislature on March 8 approved a host of changes to state laws against driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The proposed laws awaiting the governor's signature also would:

• Keep felony DUI-related convictions on record permanently.

• Require drunken drivers who get their licenses reinstated to install in their car an ignition-locking device equipped with a camera. That way, authorities can better determine whether the person breathing into the device to start the car is, in fact, the person behind the wheel.

• Allow prosecutors to bring DUI charges against people who drive impaired after inhaling or huffing chemicals.

Another bill, now in the House rules committee, would allow courts to order drunken drivers to pay child support to the minor children of the people they kill or harm.

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 against the prosecution and 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, March 25, 2012

43 DUI Arrests Over St Patrick's Day

During a 24-hour period over the St. Patrick’s Day weekend, State Patrol troopers say they arrested 43 drunks behind the wheel – and the strangest case was a woman busted for blocking the King County Jail entrance.

Just before 2 a.m. on March 18, a trooper trying to get into the jail entrance saw it was blocked by a Dodge Stratus. Realizing it was not an unmarked police vehicle, the trooper contacted the 26-year-old Des Moines woman driving. The woman said her cell phone dropped and she pulled in the driveway to look for it.

She didn’t realize she was blocking the jail entrance.

The trooper recognized signs of possible intoxication and performed an investigation for DUI eventually placing the driver in custody.

Troopers say drunks had many driving issues on King County roads that weekend, including wrong-way drivers and people who blew through traffic signs.

The State Patrol had an extra emphasis during St. Patrick's day weekend as part of Target Zero, an anti drunken driving effort funded in part by the Washington Traffic Safety Commission.

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 against the prosecution and 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, March 18, 2012

State Patrol Officer Hit by Drunk Driver

A WSP trooper has a close call after an alleged drunk driver nearly ran him over last Saturday.

The trooper had just stopped another alleged DUI driver on the southbound shoulder of SR-101 when a car came barreling down the highway and smashed into his patrol car, according to WSP.

The trooper, who's a three-year veteran, saw the car coming and was able to avoid the impact. Traveling at roughly 60 mph, the car clipped the patrol car's open door and came to a stop roughly 200 yards down the road.

The driver sped off before the trooper could make an arrest.

About a mile away, another trooper was making a DUI stop when he saw a suspicious car backing into a private driveway on a road that runs parallel to SR-101.

After calling in backup, the troopers found the car and its driver, who they quickly identified as the man who hit the trooper moments earlier.

The 37-year-old man was arrested for DUI and hit and run. He told the troopers that he'd been at the Little Creek Casino and was on his way home. He also admitted to having marijuana in the vehicle, but wouldn't give troopers permission to search it. He was booked into Mason County Jail.

After impounding the car and getting a search warrant, troopers found 19 grams of marijuana and a smoking pipe inside.

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 against the prosecution and 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, March 11, 2012

St. Patty's Day Patrol

Pierce County law enforcement agencies will be teaming up next Saturday, March 17th to help keep local roads safe.

Last year, according to Pierce County authorities, a similar patrol resulted in more than 30 arrests.

Following each arrest, law enforcement officers will hit up bars and residences where drunk drivers say they had been drinking at last.

In a press release, Deputy Chief Bryan Jeter, from the Puyallup Police Department, said: "We're asking everyone who anticipates driving after drinking to make the right call: secure a designated driver before stepping out, or call a taxi."

To help ensure everyone gets home safe, bartenders and customers will be able to get a "Click It 2 Ride" card with toll-free numbers for local taxi companies.

If someone doesn't have a designated driver, they can scan the cards with a smart phone and it will directly connect them to a cab company.

Holiday DUI patrols started March 9 and will run until the 18th. Last year, during the same time, Pierce County says 161 motorists were arrested for DUI.

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 against the prosecution and 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, March 4, 2012

WA Amongst Worst in DUI Fatalities

Washington has one of the highest DUI fatality rates in the nation, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving. The advocacy group also gives Washington 3 out of 5 stars when it comes to keeping drunk drivers off the roads.

MADD says there were 206 DUI-related traffic deaths in Washington state in 2009, making up about 42 percent of traffic fatalities that year. Only Connecticut, Hawaii and South Carolina had higher death rates from DUI.

In addition, police stopped nearly 20,000 3-time DUI offenders and over 2,100 5-time offenders in Washington that year.

In a new nationwide report card, MADD says Washington is about average when it comes to laws that cut down on the number of drunk drivers.

“Washington has the most comprehensive ignition interlock law in the nation but could take additional steps to help save more lives,” the report says. “The state needs a better child endangerment law, legalization of sobriety checkpoints and utilization of no-refusal activities to further crack down on drunk driving.”

MADD suggests the addition of "no refusal weekends." If a suspected drunk driver were to be pulled over and refused to take a breathalyzer test, judges would be on call around the clock to immediately issue warrants to have officers take a blood draw to determine the driver’s BAC. MADD says BAC refusals often lead to dismissed cases or lesser charges.

The only states to get five stars were Arizona, Kansas, Illinois, Nebraska and Utah.

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 against the prosecution and 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.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Fired Spokane Officer Gets Job Back

A Spokane police officer fired in 2009 after driving drunk while off duty, hitting a pickup with his truck and leaving the scene of the collision is likely to be rehired and get more than two years of back pay - totaling about $275,000.

The Spokesman Review reports that in a settlement mediated by the Washington State Human Rights Commission, Brad Thoma will be rehired March 1 in a demoted position of detective - if the Spokane City Council agrees to the deal on Monday.

Prior to his firing in December 2009, Thoma was a sergeant.
Under the agreement, the city will also pay his attorney $15,000. Thoma's Bob Dunn, argues that job-related stress led Thoma to alcoholism and should be regarded as a disability.

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 against the prosecution and 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.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

State Lawmakers Toughen DUI Laws

State lawmakers are working to increase penalties and fines for those who drive under the influence of alcohol and drugs, or commit vehicular homicide.

Three bills that deal with drunk and reckless driving moved out of the House and are now in the Senate Judiciary Committee for consideration. The bills got their first public hearing in committee Tuesday.

Under current law, first-time offenders convicted of vehicular homicide may face a jail sentence of about 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 years.

House Bill 2216, supported by King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg, would more than double the jail time to 6 1/2 to 8 1/2 years.

Satterberg said that although current jail sentence is set between 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 years, most offenders serve only 20 to 27 months for good behavior.

By increasing jail time for violators, proponents of HB 2216, sponsored by Christopher Hurst, D-Enumclaw, say that they hope to prove to the public that they’re taking drunk driving seriously.

Joan Davis of Port Orchard, said her daughter Jessica Torres was killed by a drunk driver in 2008. She said the driver was going 79 in a 35 mph zone. Although the driver was sentenced to 3 1/2 years in jail, he served less than two years, she said.

Another bill, HB 2302, sponsored by Roger Goodman, D-Kirkland, would provide protection for more children found in a vehicle with a parent or guardian under the influence.

Current law requires law enforcement officers to notify Child Protective Services if a child under 13 years old is in the vehicle when arresting an individual for DUI. Goodman’s bill would increase the age limit to 16 years.

The bill also would increase the length of time that someone convicted of a DUI-related gross misdemeanor or felony must use a breath alcohol ignition interlock device. Currently, offenders are required to use the device for at least 60 days. The bill would extend the time period to six months.

Goodman is sponsoring another bill, HB 2443, that would require the use of breath alcohol ignition interlock devices for those originally charged with DUI but convicted of reckless driving.

The bill would also amend the term “drug” to include any chemicals that may be inhaled or ingested for intoxicating or hallucinatory effects, such as benzine and nitric oxide.

Additionally, the bill would allow authorities to administer an alcohol breath or blood test on a felony DUI suspect without the suspect’s consent.

Another one of Goodman's bills, HB 2405, would allow a court to order anyone http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifconvicted of vehicular homicide to help financially support the victim's minor children. A hearing on that bill is schedule Wednesday.
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It should go without saying that a DUI arrest can have significant implications on one’s personal and professional life. Thus, it is imperative that a person arrested for DUI in Washington State immediately retain a qualified Seattle DUI lawyer or a qualified Bellevue DUI lawyer. In many instances, a qualified Seattle DUI lawyer can significantly reduce the impact that a DUI charge will have on an individual’s goals and aspirations. The right Seattle DUI attorney will be worthttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifh his/her weight in gold when protecting a person’s rights, freedom and future.

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 against the prosecution and 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, February 12, 2012

WA Supreme Court Throws Out a Man's Conviction for DUI

Washington's Supreme Court has thrown out a man's conviction for drunken driving, saying the state never proved that he was advised in Spanish about his right to an independent blood test.

Jose Matilde Morales caused an accident when he rolled through a stop sign in Lewis County in 2004. At a hospital, a state trooper asked an interpreter to read him his rights in Spanish, including his right to an independent blood test. But at his trial, the interpreter was never called to testify, and the state never proved that Morales actually received and understood the warning. Morales was convicted of hit-and-run, DUI and reckless driving.

He challenged his DUI and reckless driving convictions, saying the state-administered blood test should not have been allowed into evidence. The Supreme Court agreed Thursday in an 8-1 decision. Justice Charles Wiggins wrote for the majority that the right to an independent blood test is an important part of a defendant's ability to defend himself at trial.

In instances involving a DUI arrest it is critical to retain a reputable and qualified Seattle DUI lawyer. The right Seattle DUI attorney will be worth his/her weight in gold when protecting your rights, freedom and future. The Seattle DUI attorneys that make up the litigation team of SQ Attorneys are dedicated to defending those accused of drunk driving. They have the experience, knowledge and resources to successfully defend your case. Unlike other law firms that practice in many areas of the law, SQ Attorneys is focused on criminal defense representation with an emphasis on DUI defense in Western Washington.

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 against the prosecution and 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, January 22, 2012

WA Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Sex Offenders

Taxpayers may be on the hook for an additional $22.5 million a year for experts and lawyers in civil-commitment trials, depending on what the Washington Supreme Court decides.

The case, State v. McCuistion, hinges on how easily sexually violent predators can obtain new trials seeking their freedom.

If the state loses, dozens of sexually violent offenders already committed to McNeil Island may be granted new trials each year.

Currently, state psychologists evaluate the sex offenders every year to see if they meet the criteria for continued confinement. Offenders have a right to hire their own evaluators. State law says an offender has to show progress in treatment or be physically incapacitated to get a new trial.

David McCuistion, a sex offender committed in 2003, sued the state, saying the law violated his constitutional rights because it denied him a hearing to show new evidence. Although he had neither taken treatment nor become physically disabled, McCuistion, armed with his psychologist's report, argued that he no longer met the criteria for commitment.

In September 2010, the Supreme Court ruled 5-to-4 in McCuistion's favor. State officials responded in panic.

The King County Prosecutor's Office said that sex offenders now would be able "to obtain expensive annual recommitment trials for the price of an expert report, which is paid for at public expense." Offenders would only need a psychologist to opine they no longer met criteria, for any reason.

Each new trial could cost from $300,000 to $450,000, according to the Office of Financial Management.

The Supreme Court granted a request by the Attorney General's Office to reconsider its decision. The court withdrew its previous decision and heard arguments in May.

That action put on hold about 35 cases of sexually violent predators who were making arguments similar to McCuistion's.

The Supreme Court's decision is expected later this year.

Because of the significant consequences one faces when arrested for a crime in Seattle, it is imperative that one retain a qualified Seattle criminal 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 criminal lawyers that are dedicated to providing top notch, aggressive representation for those charged with committing crime 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 criminal allegations are considered in creating the fairest, most equitable and just resolution possible.

If you or a loved one is arrested for allegedly committing 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.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Senators Defend Washington Traffic Camera Law

Seven years ago, Democratic Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen of Camano Island pushed for a bill that paved the way for use of red-light cameras in Washington.

And she doesn't regret it, even as doubts about their effectiveness grow, cities' dependence on the revenues they produce deepens and voters' rejection of them spreads.

Voters in Mukilteo, Monroe, Bellingham and Longview apparently don't share that view and lined up solidly against the cameras. Yet Haugen is working to clean up the 2005 law she authored, which laid out rules for cities and counties to deploy cameras that automatically snap photos of license plates of vehicles allegedly running red lights, speeding in school zones and hurrying through railroad crossings.

Under Senate Bill 5188, fines would be uniform and communities with cameras must prepare annual reports on how many crashes occur in intersections where they are deployed and how many infractions are issued per camera.

Sen. Randi Becker, R-Eatonville, sponsored the bill, which also would standardize the length of yellow lights to ensure they aren't so short in length that motorists get trapped and ticketed by a camera.

"You never pass anything that's perfect the first time. I think this bill improves what was done originally," Haugen said. "When you put something in place you should have the ability to fix it, and this goes a long ways to try and fix the problems that I think are legitimate."

Not so says initiative promoter Tim Eyman of Mukilteo, the emergent voice of anti-red-light camera forces statewide.

Eyman didn't attend last week's hearing on the bill by the Senate Transportation Committee, which Haugen leads. He said he wasn't aware of the meeting.

"Even if we had known about it, why go?" he asked. "Their clean-up bill is, `We're going to uniformly shaft everyone in the state.' "

He's submitted language for an initiative requiring every enforcement camera to be removed unless, or until, voters approve their deployment. He said Monday he's unsure whether he'll pursue it this year.

He wants the Legislature to rewrite the 2005 law to include a requirement for voter approval and reduction in the amount of the fine to "remove the profit motive" of cities and red-light camera companies.

Haugen said she'd fight against language requiring a vote before cameras can be used.

"I don't agree with that," she said. "Elections cost a lot of money. This isn't something that local elected officials do lightly. I have a hard time going to a vote of the people for every political decision. If that were the route that we were going to go, then we would just have committees to put things on ballots."

As for the issue of money, she said, the bill makes the amount of the fine the same as it would be if the red-light ticket had been issued by a police officer - $124.

"We didn't realize some cities would collect more" than that, she said. "I do know that some red-light camera people make a lot of money. That's neither here nor there. I'm for free enterprise."

Haugen stressed in an interview she's motivated by her belief the presence of cameras enhance public safety.

"Truly red-light cameras save lives," she said. "Yes, there are more fender benders. The truth of the matter is there are fewer people killed and fewer serious accidents."

When told a preponderance of studies reviewed by The Herald didn't reach those same conclusions, Haugen said: "I've seen your stuff, and I don't necessarily agree with it."

Becker said she used to think cash was a reason cities wanted cameras.

"I thought it was all about the money. I thought it was all about the greed of the cities wanting additional revenue," she said.

She said her views changed after state transportation officials showed her studies that they said showed declines in severe accidents at intersections with cameras.

In 2011, she set about to put "sideboards" on the existing law to ensure consistency in rules from city to city. She focused on standardizing the interval of yellow lights and adding the new reporting requirements.

"If those annual reports show they are actually reducing accidents then that's a good thing," she said. "If they don't and they are just a money generator than we need to revisit it."

Because of the significant consequences one faces when arrested for a crime inhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif Seattle, it is imperative that one retain a qualified Seattle criminal 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 criminal lawyers that are dedicated to providing top notch, aggressive representation for those charged with committing crime 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 criminal allegations are considered in creating the fairest, most equitable and just resolution possible.

If you or a loved one is arrested for allegedly committing a crime or a traffic infraction 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.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Officer Charged With DUI

The Lakewood Police Department has launched an internal investigation after one of its officers was charged in October with drunken driving.

The Tacoma News Tribune reports that 30-year-old Shawn Noble has pleaded not guilty in a Thurston County court to drunken driving charges.

The department says Noble, a seven-year veteran, was pulled over in his personal car by a Washington State Patrol trooper after being spotted speeding and making an improper lane change.

The trooper arrested Noble on suspicion of drunken driving. He submitted to a breath test and reportedly blew 0.099 and 0.098. The legal driving limit is 0.08.

No restrictions were placed on Noble's police duties or his driving status. His trial is set for March 1.

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 against the prosecution and 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.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Stiffer Penalties for Vehicular Homicide

Current penalties for drivers who kill — due to alcohol or drug impairment, reckless driving, or driving with disregard for the safety of others — aren't sufficient given that the loss of life is both predictable and preventable, said King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg.

He noted that with time off for good behavior, most defendants convicted of vehicular homicide see their prison sentences reduced by a third.

At a Wednesday news conference to announce proposed changes to state law that would increase the punishments for vehicular homicide and vehicular assault, Satterberg was joined by Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Lindquist; state Rep. Christopher Hurst, D-Enumclaw; Nabila Lacey; and other families who've lost loved ones to drunken and impaired drivers.

The public officials and grieving relatives timed their announcement to precede New Year's Eve, which Satterberg called "an alcohol-themed holiday."

Noting that 170 people were killed by impaired drivers in 2010, compared with 154 slaying victims, Satterberg said: "We know by Monday, more Washington state residents will join that statistic."

Hurst, a retired police officer and the chairman of the House public-safety and emergency-preparedness committee, is sponsoring legislation in the upcoming legislative session that would make the punishment for driving drunk and killing someone equal to the punishment for manslaughter.

Under the proposed law, those convicted of vehicular homicide while driving under the influence would face prison terms of 6 to 8 ½ years, more than double the current penalties of 2 ½ to almost 3 ½ years.

He recalled rolling up on his first fatal DUI crash as a young patrol officer in Ravensdale in 1981. A woman, her daughter, and her sister were killed by a drunken driver. The woman's husband, worried because his wife and daughter were late returning home, came across the crash scene before police arrived.

"I will never forget the screams, the terror, the trauma, of this father who came across his wife and daughter in that car," said Hurst.

He said at the time that local politicians and community leaders warned that Hurst would end up dead in a ditch if he continued going after drunken drivers.

Busting drunks "was not popular in 1981," and while laws and attitudes have undergone a sea change, Hurst said, stiffer penalties represent "one of the last chapters in something that started several decades ago."

"A couple years in jail is not appropriate for the devastation that you cause," Hurst said.

Lindquist, who hopes the tougher penalties will serve as a deterrent, said the toughest thing prosecutors have to do "is explain to a family why a sentence doesn't feel like justice. ... It feels like a slap on the wrist."

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 against the prosecution and 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.