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Suspected weapons crimes and drug offenses often tie together

Most residents of eastern Washington and Idaho probably couldn't name all of the items in their house. If police were to suddenly enter the home of a local living in Spokane, for instance, there's no telling what might be found that could inadvertently implicate someone in some sort of offense. Possession of a weapon, for instance, when one has previously been convicted of a felony crime can mean serious trouble for the person who owns the gun.

Still, when police search a person's home, there are many different procedures, rules and laws that must be followed in order for their investigation to prove sound in a court of law. If authorities do not follow every step according to proper procedure the prosecution's case can become very shaky. Still, certain crimes, such as drug selling or possession of a weapon during the commission of a felony, are not taken lightly by local officials and they will prosecute to the fullest extent of the law.

What is domestic violence?

If you have been accused of domestic violence, it is important to know what domestic violence is. Families impacted by domestic violence may wonder what is considered domestic violence under the law. Domestic violence can have a significant impact on communities such as Spokane, as well as others in the Inland Empire. For individuals accused of domestic violence, it is important to understand what it is and the potential consequences of domestic violence charges.

Domestic violence includes physical violence but also includes behaviors directed at a spouse; partner; girlfriend or boyfriend; or intimate family member with the purpose of gaining power or control over that person. Different types of domestic violence can include physical, emotional, sexual and financial abuse. The use of isolation, children, assault and the domination of resources and finances may all be considered part of domestic violence behaviors.

Drug charges: Don't let one misstep alter your life

Drug possession and possession of drug paraphernalia are extremely common charges in Washington and surrounding states. However, many people believe these offenses are not as harmful as other crimes such as theft or fraud. Nevertheless, even in Washington State, where recreational marijuana is legal under certain circumstances, being charged with a drug crime can involve severe consequences.

Those who are charged with drug crimes may see their legal situation spiral out of control. Simply using or possessing a controlled substance can lead to a jail sentence, expensive fines and a criminal record. Searching for employment and housing with a drug conviction on one's record can be extremely challenging.

Who is prohibited from owning a gun in Washington?

Owning a firearm is a serious responsibility, and gun rights have featured prominently in the news lately due to high-profile shooting tragedies. Here in Washington, there are many different restrictions on gun ownership, as well as safeguards regarding the right to own or possess a weapon. These laws may be difficult to understand in general, but especially if someone has been accused of a weapon-related crime.

In the state of Washington, gun ownership is prohibited for people who have been convicted of a felony, unless gun ownership rights have been restored by the court. Firearms ownership is also prohibited for those who have been convicted of certain types of misdemeanor crimes - again, unless the right to possess firearms has been formally restored through the court system.

Computer crimes and the wide-ranging CFAA

Computer crimes include exploiting children, identity theft, computer fraud and more. These crimes often violate federal law and require a strong criminal defense.

There are many reasons why a resident of Washington State could end up in federal court over alleged computer crimes. For example, a person may be charged with a violation of the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, which addresses fraud committed via computer. The CFAA makes it a federal crime to exceed authorized access to a computer and obtain information deemed by the government to require protection against such unauthorized access.

Accusations of witness tampering for Idaho defendant

When a person is accused of a crime in Washington or Idaho, it can be a confusing and increasingly complicated ordeal. Sometimes a person is charged with a crime and then later additional charges are added or dropped. At times the defendant's relationship with witnesses can also complicate criminal charges and highlight the need for a skilled and thorough criminal defense.

One of the many types of criminal charges that can be added to a person's list of charges is witness tampering. Recently, a 27-year-old Idaho man was charged with just that after - according to police - he went through third parties to attempt to get his girlfriend to tell a different story. The Northern Idaho resident has already been charged with aggravated battery, kidnapping and attempting to strangle his girlfriend.

What can be seized with a warrant in Washington?

Having a warrant out for one's arrest can be an exceptionally stressful situation. Sometimes people charged with a crime don't understand the judicial system, don't have the financial resources to pay fines and fees related to their case, and many others may fear having their rights infringed upon or otherwise being taken advantage of by a system they don't understand. A Spokane criminal defense attorney can assist a person who currently has a warrant out for his or her arrest or who has been recently charged with a drug crime.

In Washington State, a warrant may also be used for the purpose of search and seizure. A search warrant is issued by the court and can be requested by either a prosecutor or a peace officer. However, it can be issued only if there is "probable cause" for the warrant's issuance. In other words, there must be valid evidence supporting the request made by the officer or prosecuting attorney who requested the warrant. This evidence may be in the form of sworn testimony or affidavits.

Washington man faces charges of domestic violence murder

Domestic violence is undoubtedly a serious problem in Spokane and throughout Washington State. When family conflict gets out of hand, many different people can be affected, particularly the youngest members of a family. Whether domestic violence accusations involve romantic partners or children, there are likely to be serious consequences for a person who ends up with a domestic violence conviction. These can involve time behind bars, court-ordered counseling and a criminal record that impedes a person's ability to move forward in life.

Consequently, avoiding a criminal conviction on domestic violence charges is key to re-orienting one's life after a disruptive episode or bad decision. Part of avoiding a conviction is educating oneself regarding one's legal options and opportunities; speaking with a Spokane criminal defense attorney can be an enlightening experience for someone thrust into a very tumultuous situation.

A solid defense against the most serious of felony charges

When a person has been charged with taking the life of another, that person often assumes the worst. This assumption is understandable, as prosecutors in Washington State and Idaho tend to be extremely aggressive in pursuing homicide convictions. However, there are important legal strategies, options and approaches that can turn the tide for a defendant. An individual faced with this most serious charge can avail themselves of the help of a highly-experienced criminal defense attorney.

When people think of the word "homicide," they often equate it with murder - sometimes even linking it automatically to first-degree murder. However, homicide is not synonymous with murder; for example, fatally wounding someone in an act of self-defense is generally not considered murder under the law, nor is accidentally striking someone with a car or other accidental yet fatal actions. An experienced defense attorney can explain how the state defines various charges and what the implications are for a defendant, as well as for the prosecution.

Immediate Restraining Orders in Washington State

When family conflict escalates, it may result in accusations of domestic violence. Allegations of domestic violence are not taken lightly by Washington State authorities, as there are stiff penalties for those who are convicted on charges of domestic violence. In any event, some Spokane residents may find themselves in the situation of having a restraining order taken out against them.