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Spokane Criminal Defense Law Blog

Spokane police charge local man with domestic violence assault

When a person in Spokane goes missing, there are usually a host of legal questions that arise. Sometimes there is suspicion of illegal activity surrounding a person's disappearance; the longer a person goes missing, the more likely those suspicions may involve the possibility of foul play. Fortunately, many missing individuals are located, but this does not always clear up the legal issues surrounding their disappearance.

Recently in Spokane, a witness reported a man carrying an unresponsive woman out to a vehicle. After the police received the witness account, they began searching for the man and his girlfriend, as well as for the pair's two children. Authorities located the four individuals the following morning; the children were not harmed but the woman reportedly went to a hospital for treatment. The man now faces charges of domestic violence - specifically, domestic violence assault in the second degree.

How the Constitution protects Washington defendants

A Washington criminal investigation against an individual can be distressful and challenging. A criminal charge can lead to public stigma and alienation from family members, friends and the entire community. Even though an accused individual is not convicted, yet, the criminal arrest and allegation can ruin their reputation, employment records and eligibility to receive financial welfare from the government. However, people facing criminal allegations should remember that criminal defense law can protect them.

For starters, criminal defense law provides legal protection for those who are suspected of committing a crime. This law strikes a balance between the power and authority of the judicial system and the constitutional rights given to defendants. Our Washington-based law firm knows these rights well. Our firm strives to use a defendant's rights and give them an advantage in a criminal case.

What is the difference between aggravated and simple assault?

In Washington a simple assault against a person may result in an arrest and criminal charges. The outcome of such situations will depend upon the circumstances surrounding the attack, and the actual action that took place.

In Washington state, attacking someone physically is a crime. In most states physical attacks or even threats of attack can be considered an assault. A person who commits an assault may face charges that result in serious penalties upon conviction, depending on the severity of the assault. Assault has two categories: simple assault and aggravated assault. Use of a weapon plays a big factor in classifying an assault crime. A physical attack against an individual may be charged as a simple assault if it is committed without the use of a weapon and does not lead to serious injuries.

Domestic violence and Washington State's official response

Domestic violence may be considered the basest form of a violent crime. Because of its nature, it may take some time before a victim is aware that the person is in a domestic violence situation. Typically, domestic abuse begins with a heated argument. The situation may turn into a domestic dispute, as one person gradually becomes more violent. Such abuse may come in various forms. However, there are instances in which a simple fight is misinterpreted as abuse.

To help many Washington State residents recognize domestic violence, the state has enforced certain laws that address domestic problems. Under Washington State law, domestic violence is not just a family issue but it is also a crime that endangers the lives of many people. It may be associated with crimes such as assault in the first or second degree, drive-by shooting, coercion, malicious mischief, kidnapping and unlawful imprisonment.

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.