Readers in Spokane, Washington, know that different criminal charges may fall into different categories of severity. A person who has committed an offense may face a misdemeanor charge, or if the crimes are deemed serious, he or she is likely to face federal charges. The latter type of criminal charge is handled by federal investigators, gathering substantial evidence before they press charges against the suspect. Federal courts use different sentencing guidelines compared to state courts. Negotiation, which is one way to reduce the charges, may appear less likely inside a federal court.
Spokane Criminal Defense Law Blog
Unless they have serious criminal records, Americans can usually own as many guns as they want. Many Washington residents use guns for hunting, recreation and self-defense. However, depending on the circumstances mishandling such weapons can lead to criminal charges. A Spokane Valley man recently had this lesson presented the hard way after a party prank he pulled led to felony charges.
Intimate relationships are often put to the test through numerous problems that can escalate into heated arguments if left unresolved. Spokane, Washington, residents are familiar with domestic violence cases that can occur between married spouses. A simple misunderstanding can result in one person hitting their partner, resulting in injury in some cases.
Spokane Police officers are very strict when following Washington State law to maintain peace and order. When someone is arrested on criminal charges, it means that they have broken the law and police have substantial evidence to press charges against them. Once arrested, the criminal charges against the accused can vary. They can range from simple misdemeanors to more serious charges, including felonies. Depending on the gravity of the offense, a suspect can likely face prison sentence and other serious consequences.
The Spokane Police Department is tasked with enforcing the laws of the state of Washington as well as regulations and ordinances specific to the community. When individuals in the city are suspected of violating federal laws, local authorities are known to work with other departments and agencies to coordinate their efforts for catching alleged criminals.
A recent drug sting demonstrates just how this coordination happens. Local Spokane authorities worked with the Federal Bureau of Investigation as well as authorities located in several other states to apprehend 29 individuals suspected of making and selling opiates in an alleged drug ring.
The Washington legislature recently passed a bill that could allow courts to order individuals charged with domestic violence to surrender all of their firearms if a restraining order has been filed against them. The bill - House Bill 1840 - requires courts to provide individuals with a hearing before confiscating their weapons.
The bill further specifies that courts may only confiscate weapons if a clear preponderance of evidence suggests that the accused poses a significant physical threat to an intimate partner or that partner's child. It would also make it possible for the courts to forbid individuals found to pose credible threats to their intimate partners' families to own or possess firearms or dangerous weapons or a concealed pistol license in the future. The Washington state senate voted unanimously in favor of the bill last month. The bill will be sent to the governor to be signed or vetoed.
Washington residents may remember the 22-year-old man arrested for bringing a Dodge Ram with two weapons and six Molotov cocktails into Seattle's University District on July 3, 2013. University of Washington security personnel discovered him sleeping in a truck with Montana plates that day. After police discovered that the truck had been reported stolen in Montana, they took the man into custody and searched the truck, finding the weapons and body armor.
The man had left for Seattle to talk about politics, according to a note he left in Montana. When authorities looked for his activity online, they described him as posting "fringe opinions." The body armor and guns were the property of the same man who owned the truck. This caused concern among authorities that he could have been planning an attack of some kind on Seattle. Prosecutors now say that there is no evidence of a plot or planned attack and that the man is mentally ill.
Two Washington residents, a 29-year-old man and a 24-year-old woman, were taken into police custody on Feb. 23 after they were charged with involvement in a methamphetamine distribution ring. A third person, a 47-year-old woman, was also thought to be involved but police had not taken her into custody at the time the report was released.
Police and federal authorities, including the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Agency and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, had reportedly been investigating the three individuals since February 2012. It was stated that each individual sold methamphetamine to an undercover officer at least once. Additionally, the man was allegedly observed meeting with other individuals who were known to be narcotics dealers.
Seattle police allege that the 44-year-old man they detained after observing him put on a mask, enter a Key Bank and emerge with a large sum of money is responsible for 30 area bank robberies. The robberies were originally believed to be the work of two different people due to the use of two different masks. One mask was tight-fitting and looked metallic while the other was simply cloth with holes cut in it.
However, investigators began to believe that all of the crimes were perpetrated by the same person due to a number of similarities between each of the cases. First, no weapon was used in any of the robberies. In addition, the individual who was robbing the banks was always wearing latex gloves. Finally, all the alleged robberies occurred in the same two-county area.
A 16-year-old Washington girl was taken into custody by the Seattle Police Department on Feb. 6. She is facing criminal charges for her alleged connection with a series of robberies in the city that began in December 2013.
Sources say a woman told police that she was approached by a teen girl at about 6 p.m. as she walked in Seattle's Beacon Hill neighborhood on Jan. 8. The woman claimed that the teen shoved her and used pepper spray in an attempt to take her purse. The alleged attack occurred after the woman had refused to allow the teen to borrow her cell phone. The teen is said to have then left in a nearby car.