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Spokane Criminal Defense Law Blog

Federal drug arrest stems from heroin overdose death

A criminal charge can ruin a person's life anywhere in the United States, including Washington. And if the charge is linked to a federal crime, Washington residents should be more wary of the potential consequences of the allegation. For one, federal criminal charges are more serious than felonies and misdemeanors. A federal criminal accusation can result in a lengthy prison sentence, hefty fines, probation and other penalties. The amount of evidence used in a federal court is mounting and criminal investigations usually take months.

For example, a federal investigation recently resulted in 13 arrests when, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, 13 people were taken into custody for federal drug charges of possession and distribution of heroin, a controlled substance. The arrests were made after several months of investigations using GPS tracking of cell phones and wiretaps. The investigators served 20 search warrants in five different areas, including one in Washington.

Why is search and seizure significant in drug crimes?

Any kind of criminal charge can be challenging for an individual to face. These difficult times could be even worse if the charges are associated with drug crimes, because Washington is one state that prosecutes drug crimes aggressively. The laws addressing drug possession, drug trafficking and even prescription drug charges can be tougher than many other states because state officials want to protect the public from the dangers of illicit drugs and controlled substances. Limiting illegal drug activities can also reduce other types of crimes.

While it is understandable that the authorities will do everything they can to protect people from drug crimes, they should also be mindful of certain laws that safeguard citizens and defendants including search and seizure laws. According to the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, every American has the right to be free from unreasonable intrusion of the government into their business, homes and property. When it comes to criminal law, an individual has a legitimate right to privacy and the Fourth Amendment protects individuals from certain police searches. The search and seizure law is very significant when a person is accused of drug crimes.

Overcoming Washingtonian challenges of federal criminal charges

Federal criminal charges are among the most serious that Americans, including Washington residents, can face. Federal criminal charges often carry stiffer penalties than their state charge counterparts. A broad range of crimes fall under the federal criminal statutes, including charges of nonviolent and violent crimes, but all are tried in federal courts.

Among nonviolent crimes, healthcare fraud has become a major problem the last few decades and appears to be growing because of the implementation of a federal healthcare law. Computer fraud is another nonviolent crime that is getting a lot of attention from federal prosecutors. Charges of violent crimes that are prosecuted in federal court include kidnapping and child abduction.

Spokane man facing murder charge for alleged homicide

Homicide charges may have dire consequences for any resident of Spokane, Washington. However, what is perceived as homicide is not always a crime. There are situations in which the criminal charge arises from a case of self-defense or the wrong person is charged. Nevertheless, homicide incidents are prosecuted seriously, putting a defendant's freedom on the line.

Take, for example, the recent alleged homicide in Spokane, Washington. According to sources, a 32-year-old man was taken into custody, and is facing murder charges. The accused was initially charged with assault for a physical altercation with a 46-year-old acquaintance. That 46-year-old man was later found dead in his home. At first, the medical examiner stated that the injuries sustained by the victim during the assault could not have caused his death. But, he later concluded that the victim had been strangled, ruling the death a homicide.

How Washington's concealed weapon law works

Firearms and violence are a common problem in some parts of Washington State. As a result, the legislature has enacted various laws regarding weapons possession and provided law enforcement officers with the power to enforce those laws. Many violent crimes, such as robbery, murder and assault, are often committed using firearms. Some people are disturbed enough by the possibility of becoming a victim that they want the freedom to carry a conceal weapons in public.

Washington's laws allow certain citizens to carry concealed weapons if they apply for and are granted a license or permit. Washington's firearms and dangerous weapons laws only allow non-Washington residents to carry concealed weapons in the state, if their concealed weapons permit is from a state with laws that have reciprocity with Washington. To meet the state's reciprocity law, the other state cannot provide concealed weapons licenses to people under age 21, and they must recognize Washington's concealed pistol permit. The other state must also require a background check for an applicant's mental and criminal history through mandatory fingerprinting. Thirteen states have complete reciprocity with Washington, including the neighboring state of Idaho. Many other states do not, including neighboring Oregon.

How Washington domestic violence law affects criminal cases?

Every individual in Spokane, Washington, has their own point of view and interpretation of why events happen, and this is particularly true when dealing with an alleged domestic violence incidence. Sometimes, a simple argument may be is misjudged and escalated to a domestic violence accusation. Disagreements and arguments may be part of most personal relationships. However, a simple fight can be easily be misinterpreted as spousal abuse or domestic assault if physical violence is present.

Domestic violence is defined as a violent act committed by a household member or any intimate partner against another. A domestic violence accusation, whether true or false, can damage a person's reputation and future because domestic violence is considered a serious crime against society in Washington. The state provides maximum protection for victims of abuse by pursuing vigorous enforcement of existing laws and pursing more legislation to help protect victims of domestic abuse. The state's domestic violence statutes stress that individuals involved in domestic violence should be punished regardless of whether the victim and the accused are married, living together or just in a relationship.

Protecting the rights of those accused of drug crimes

Drug offenses range from simple possession of controlled substances to serious felony crimes involving drug manufacturing, distribution and the sale of controlled substances such as methamphetamines, cocaine and heroin. The potential consequences for these drug crimes in Washington are serious for those who are convicted. The penalties are typically severe, depending on the nature of the drug charge and the amount and value of the illegal drugs involved. No matter the seriousness of the charges, an alleged drug offender has the right to mount a criminal defense.

Our Spokane law firm is familiar with the impact of drug-related crimes on Washington communities. Our considerable experience in handling drug crime cases has enabled us to understand the challenges associated with drug charges. We understand that prosecutors often approach these cases with more zeal than evidence. Because of this, we know that many people charged with drug crimes are not guilty.

Pasco murder suspects arrested in Spokane

Criminal charges can change a person's life for years, if not forever. The consequences are even greater for felony crimes such as murder. This was the alleged crime that led two Pasco individuals, a man and a woman, to be arrested recently in Spokane.

According to the Spokane Police Department, the 25-year-old man and 26-year-old woman were arrested for the alleged murder of a man in a Pasco apartment complex on December 4. Acting on a tip, Spokane police caught the pair in a parking lot in central Spokane following information from Pasco police. Both suspects were arrested without incident. The male suspect was booked on charges of murder and the female suspect was arrested on charges of obstructing police. Both were booked into the Spokane County Jail. No additional details about the charges have been released by police.

Insurance fraud, types and statistics for Washington residents

Insurance fraud is causing many headaches for Americans. Measuring the amount of insurance fraud can be difficult because no national agency keeps track of such crimes. The following statistics and research are the only ones available that may portray the growing national problem of insurance fraud crime.

Insurance fraud can range from auto insurance schemes to fake healthcare plans. Residents should be mindful of the potential consequences of insurance fraud allegations. A simple accusation can result in serious penalties because insurance fraud charges can be considered a federal crime. The prosecution of insurance fraud has become more stringent since 41 states implemented legislation to combat insurance schemes. Insurance fraud bureaus were also created, resulting in more data available regarding insurance scams. According to the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud, the most common insurance fraud involves auto insurance, with cases where staged accident rings stole billions of dollars a year from auto insurers by claiming insurance for treatment for fake injuries.

How does the Controlled Substances Act affect drug charges?

Over the decades, the U.S. Congress has established a wide array of crimes involving drugs. Whether they come from the production, distribution or consumption of marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamines, opiates or other controlled substances, drug charges have serious consequences for anyone who is convicted. Frequently, however, penalties are lesser when smaller amounts of these substances are involved, but laws that regulate these controlled substances in the United States still apply.

What does U.S. law say about possession? According to Title 21 of the United States Controlled Substances Act, a person who deliberately possesses a controlled substance for personal use can face civil fines of $10,000 for each violation. This means that a small amount of a controlled substance in someone's possession makes them liable for violating the Controlled Substances Act.