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Restoring Washington residents' gun rights after weapons charges

Being convicted of a crime is a difficult experience for anyone in Washington or Idaho. Moving forward with one's life can be even more difficult, as a criminal record can prohibit a person from obtaining certain types of employment and even living in certain areas. For people who have been convicted of a felony, all of the above can be extremely challenging as one tries to move on in a positive manner. A Spokane criminal defense attorney experienced in weapons charges can be of assistance.

One of the areas in which many people want to move on in their lives is restoration of gun rights. In Washington, being convicted of certain types of crimes means that a person may lose their right to legally own a firearm. This area of the law is far from simple, though, and an experienced attorney can offer legal advice and explain the statutes that dictate who can and cannot legally own a firearm in Washington State.

Drug distribution to people under 18 in Washington

In Washington State, many different substances fall under the category of "controlled substances" per state law. It may be illegal to produce, sell, buy, manufacture or ingest these controlled substances. If a resident does any of the above, they may be looking at drug charges, time behind bars, stiff fines and other various penalties.

The penalties for drug offenses vary in Washington. Sometimes, a drug diversion program may be available to someone charged with a relatively minor drug offense. In any event, a person charged with a drug crime will likely want an experienced lawyer by their side as they face prosecution. One of the many drug-related offenses that a Spokane resident could be prosecuted for is drug distribution to people under the age of 18.

Anticipatory offense charges could be part of a plea negotiation

When a person has been charged with a crime, his or her defense attorney may explain the possibility of entering into a plea negotiation instead of a criminal trial. During a plea negotiation, one potential outcome is that the defendant will plead guilty, but to a lesser charge with less-severe penalties than the initial charge. At times this lesser charge will involve the following terms: attempt, solicitation and conspiracy. What do these terms mean in the Washington State criminal justice system?

According to RCW 9A.28.020, criminal attempt is defined as taking a "substantial step" towards the commission of a crime. Not surprisingly, it can be difficult to define what exactly a substantial step is, according to the courts. A skilled criminal defense lawyer can explain how the justice system defines such a step and how a defendant's particular situation relates to that definition.

Accused of kidnapping? It may be a federal crime

What most people in Spokane know about the crime of kidnapping probably comes from television and the movies. Fortunately, stranger abductions of children are not common, nor are random abductions of adults. However, the crime of kidnapping does encompass a wide variety of actions, many of which can lead to a person being faced with federal charges.

According to the Offices of the United States Attorneys, kidnapping is an offense that falls under federal jurisdiction in several different circumstances. This includes when the victim of the kidnapping is transported willingly in interstate commerce or foreign commerce. Additional scenarios that make this offense a federal crime include when the victim is a foreign official, federal officer or an internationally protected person. A person accused of kidnapping may end up in federal court if the offense occurs within special maritime or aircraft jurisdiction of the United States.

Washington woman faces second-degree murder charge

Getting arrested is usually a frightening and intimidating experience for anyone. In Spokane, a person facing formal accusations of homicide can face a litany of intimidating factors, from the thought of a lengthy and complex trial to potential police misconduct and more. Regardless of the type of criminal charge, though, a Spokane criminal defense attorney can offer invaluable strategy and advice.

In one incident in the local area, a 60-year-old woman was arrested in connection with the discovery of a body in Deer Park on November 30. The woman's ex-boyfriend, a man the same age, had been reported as missing for about a week when his lifeless form was found beneath a tarp. According to the autopsy performed on the remains, the man had a gunshot wound and had likely been deceased for several days prior to being found.

How an attorney can help after an arrest on drug offenses

In today's job market, it often seems stable employment is tough to find. Many fields have been hit hard by the economy and fewer open positions are available. For job-seekers in Spokane, it's more important than ever to ensure one has the right background for the job.

However, if one has been charged with a drug crime in the past, certain jobs may be out of reach. This is because many employers will reject an applicant based on his or her criminal record, even if it only contains non-violent drug offenses. How can Spokane residents avoid this situation? If one has recently been arrested for a drug crime, it can be extremely helpful to contact an attorney.

How do courts decide a no-contact order should be modified?

Decision-making is not always a swift and easy process. However, many times important decisions need to be made on the spur of the moment. Sometimes, these decisions may later be reviewed and changed. When it comes to interpersonal relationships, this can be especially true. When family or intimate relationships in Spokane become exceptionally strained they may reaching a breaking point and charges of spousal abuse can result. The decisions made during this time can have very serious repercussions for all parties involved.

Sometimes a party will seek a no-contact order against the person after conflict has peaked. However, once a protective order or similar protection is in place, it is not unusual for the person who initially sought the order to desire to change it or even have it terminated. In Washington State, these orders can be modified or even rescinded.

Forging a criminal defense for malicious harassment charges

The current political climate in Washington and across the entire U.S. is such that there are intense feelings and acts that may inevitably lead to criminal charges. For example, a person could be accused of a hate crime. In Washington, this is called malicious harassment. Being convicted of a crime related to malicious harassment can lead to significant penalties. Under the law, it is malicious harassment when a person is the victim of certain acts due to a perception of race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, ancestry or handicaps. Understanding the criteria for these allegations and what the penalties are is an integral part of formulating a strong defense.

If a person who falls into the above categories is injured, has physical destruction to his or her property committed by another person or group or is threatened as part of a group, and that person is left in reasonable fear for his or her safety, it will be constitute the crime of malicious harassment. Words by themselves are not sufficient to be deemed malicious harassment unless they are in a context or circumstance that indicate that they are threatening. If the person uttering the words is not able to carry out the threat, then it is not malicious harassment.

Pair of Spokane women charged with serious drug felonies

During the recent election, the legalization of marijuana was a hot topic in many states. Here in Washington, certain types of recreational and medicinal uses of marijuana have already been legalized, though other substances are still highly illegal to use or sell. In any event, much attention has been paid to the severe penalties associated with drug crimes throughout the United States. Even here in Washington, there are still extremely serious consequences if charged with a drug crime and convicted.

Earlier this month, two middle-aged women were charged with serious drug offenses after being stopped by police in Libby. A 61-year-old and a 43-year-old were stopped on a felony warrant out of Idaho for the driver of a pickup truck. When authorities looked into the driver's information they discovered that she had a warrant for failure to appear; the charge in question was related to methamphetamine. Later, the passenger in the car revealed the driver was in town to sell meth, according to a media report.

Planning a criminal defense strategy against weapons charges

Being convicted of a crime that involves the use of a firearm is a serious offense. However, it is not unthinkable that a law enforcement officer would mistakenly believe a weapon was used in a crime when it wasn't. If this type of situation happens, a defendant who is convicted could face far more severe penalties that they would if they had faced a simple assault charge.

What can a defendant do in this type of situation? Getting more information about planning a criminal defense strategy right away could make a positive difference when facing any type of criminal charges, especially weapons charges. Understandably, prosecutors take weapons charges very seriously. However, mistakes can be made during an investigation, or authorities may act beyond their roles or even the law. A defendant can benefit from not assuming anything about their own case.