From time-to-time, when law enforcement officials feel that certain types of crime are getting out of hand, they initiate crackdowns. The war on drugs is a perfect example of a crackdown that has swept the nation. Yet, local attempts to curtail crime can also be wide-ranging and aggressive, threatening innocent individuals who may have been at the wrong place at the wrong time with criminal charges. Although we all hope that the criminal justice system sets these individuals free, the truth of the matter is that far too many Washington residents are either wrongly convicted of a crime, or are charged with crimes that don't fit the alleged wrongdoing.
Many in Spokane County may be facing this situation now after a local attempt to curtail property crime. The county recently added resources to fight property crime, as one law enforcement official claimed that 98 percent of all property crime is committed by only two percent of the population. With that in mind, local authorities have been aggressively making arrests, including two individuals who have a criminal record.
The 21-year-old and 20-year-old were charged with multiple felonies as a result of their arrests. The charges include theft, possession of stolen property, vehicle prowling, and malicious mischief. If convicted of these crimes, these individuals, and others similarly situated, could be facing significant penalties, including jail time and fines. The additions to their record could also affect their future ability to obtain a job and housing.
The police often seem to look at an individual's criminal record when deciding whether to pursue them. Yet, the law indicates that an individual is innocent until proven guilty. But, many times it takes strong legal arguments to fight back against aggressive prosecutors and remind a judge and jury that guilt must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt before a conviction can be obtained. This is why many Washington residents seek legal counsel when facing criminal charges.
Source: KHQ 6, "Property crime crackdown leads to two significant arrests in Spokane County," Joe McHale, March 23, 2017