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Spokane Criminal Defense Law Blog

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.

Establishing a strong defense against weapons charges

The state of Washington recognizes the risks associated with weapons and firearms and they are strictly regulated within the state. Violating the firearm and weapon laws could mean serious penalties and consequences to a defendant.

As you can see on our weapons crimes page, what may seem like a simple weapons charge may lead to more offenses and result in long-term consequences. It can affect your employment opportunities, future endeavors and your entire career. If the defendant is a minor, the arrest would result in a public stigma, which can affect the future of the individual.

Sports league's leaders miss domestic violence hearing

Domestic violence occurs across every social stratum, with the rich and the famous as likely to be affected by domestic violence as anyone else.

According to one report, recent bid to tackle this issue, undertaken by Senate Commerce Committee members, was to focus on instances involving professional sports players through a Congressional hearing. However, none of the commissioners of the National Hockey League, Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association and the National Football League attended the hearing, sparking criticism of their apparent "lack of commitment" on the subject which has affected their players.

Understanding vehicular assault

An assault charge can stem for all kinds of incidents, not just violent fights. This criminal charge may also stem from a motor vehicle accident. According to Washington State law, vehicular assault charges can be filed against any driver in Washington State if the driver causes injury to another due to his or her operation of a vehicle. However, several factors are considered to determine if a driver should be charged with vehicular assault.

The reckless operation of a vehicle is a factor in determining whether vehicular assault charges should be filed. Another factor would be driving under the influence of alcohol, marijuana or any drug, illegal, over the counter or prescribed. A breathalyzer test can be used to identify a driver's blood alcohol content as long as two hours after a driver leaves a car. If the driver's BAC level exceeds the state's legal limit of 0.08, charges can be filed against the impaired driver in addition to vehicular assault. A driver's THC concentration may also determine if the driver is under the influence. Most tests must be performed within two hours of driving, but analyses of breath and blood samples obtained more than two hours after the alleged drunk driving can be used as evidence, depending on the levels identified.

Domestic violence charges against athlete dropped

Domestic violence is an all-too-common form of violent crime in the nation these days, including in Spokane, Washington. Domestic violence charges are punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. If the offense is deemed a gross misdemeanor, the defendant may serve up to 365 days in jail and pay a $5,000 fine. The penalties are higher for a felony offense. However, there is always a possibility that a defendant is just wrongfully accused.

It seems that Ray McDonald, a professional athlete who play in the National Football League, was apparently wrongfully accused of domestic violence. According to a recent report, the domestic violence charges against him were dropped. McDonald was charged with felony domestic violence following an alleged incident involving his fiancé. The charges were dropped after the result of the investigation could not produce enough evidence to proceed with the case. The athlete was reportedly relieved about the prosecutor's decision and hoped that the accusation would not affect his life again. The domestic violence charges put his professional career on the line. McDonald said that the allegation ruined his reputation, even though the incident was still being investigated by the police at the time. It almost destroyed his career following the decision of the NFL to discipline football players convicted of domestic violence.

Fighting federal charges requires complete commitment

Washington residents understand that people accused of crimes can be tried in various jurisdictions, depending on the nature of the crime involved. In general, local charges do not rise above the designation of misdemeanor and merit little more than simple fines. Crimes at the state level involved both misdemeanors and felonies, many of the latter being so serious as to merit the harshest criminal penalties, including many years in prison and even the death penalty in some circumstances. Sometimes, though, some serious crimes merit a federal trial, especially when they involve some sort of potential interstate enterprise such as drug trafficking or child pornography.

Like the most serious felonies in most states, conviction on federal charges brings the prospect of many years in prison. Unfortunately for anyone accused of a federal crime, the U.S. government has more resources and deeper pockets than state governments and can aggressively investigate and prosecute any criminal allegation.