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Bremerton Criminal Law Blog

How can you tell if a drug is addictive?

Addiction is a generic term that medical professionals define as being dependent on something or habituated toward. Sometimes people use the word loosely to mean something good rather than in the negative sense as it's generally accepted. For instance, someone might say they're addicted to Washington sunrises and other beautiful scenes. This of course evokes a far different sensation than saying someone is addicted to drugs or alcohol.

Either way, if you believe you get pleasure from or need something so badly you may act in certain ways you would otherwise not act just to have it, there might be a problem. This often happens to people who use some of the most highly addictive substances on earth. Sometimes, thefts, assaults or other crimes occur that are somehow connected to a person or group of people's addictions.

Was your firearm purchase delayed?

Many Washington residents adamantly support Second Amendment rights to bear arms. Whether you're a hunter or target shooting enthusiast, or possess firearms for the purpose of self-protection and defense, you likely studied all applicable state and federal laws on buying and selling guns before purchasing any. Perhaps yours was one of many firearm purchases flagged and delayed in the state.

If you plan to buy a gun from a shop, the owner must be a licensed firearms dealer. In certain situations, you may be part-way through the buying process when you suddenly learn your purchase is a delayed one.

When driving a cold away drives you toward trouble with the law

We've all been there. You're expected at an important business meeting or final exams at a Washington college, and you can barely think straight because your head is pounding, nose is stuffy and eyes are a watery mess. Rescheduling is not an option, so you try to think of ways to alleviate your symptoms in order to forge ahead, muddle through and fulfill your obligations. What you'd really like is a warm blanket, cup of steaming hot tea and sleep; however, in times like these, something stronger is often necessary.

You go to your medicine cabinet and take a dose of cough syrup and decongestant. You choose what usually works best for you, then finish getting ready, grab your keys and head out the door. The problem is that you never expected the medicine you took before leaving your house or apartment would lead to possible criminal charges.

I was arrested for DUI! What do I do now?

First, do not panic. Just because a police officer arrested you on suspicion of drunk driving does not mean that you will face charges or end up with a conviction on your record. Before you talk to anyone or take any other action regarding your arrest, be sure to understand your legal rights.

Know your rights before you buy or sell a gun

The Second Amendment of the Constitution protects the right to bear arms. In recent years, discussions have remained ongoing regarding this often controversial topic. If you've purchased or sold a gun in the past, you likely agree with those who believe we should protect our Second Amendment rights at all costs.

Protective orders are frequently misused

Things may not have been going well between you and your spouse, and you may have anticipated a long and combative divorce. However, when police arrived to enforce a protective order against you, you were probably shocked and confused.

A protective order may have a profound impact on your life. Judges issue such rulings with justification in cases involving domestic violence. Unfortunately, the nature of protective orders allows people to abuse and misuse them.

That breath test you were given might not be accurate

Were you pulled over and arrested on suspicion of drunk driving? Like law enforcement officials in most states, Washington police officers more than likely carry a portable breath testing (PBT) machine to help them determine whether your blood alcohol level was above the legal level of .08 percent.

Police probably based your arrest, at least in part, on the results of that test. However, research has shown that this is not a particularly accurate way to test for impairment. Only a blood test, which requires a clinical setting, provides truly accurate results. Therefore, even if the PBT indicates that you were driving above the legal limit, this might not be the end of the story.

How can you have your gun rights restored in Washington?

If you lost your constitutional right to bear arms due to being convicted of a crime, you may be wondering if, and when, you can legally own a gun again. The answer depends on the type of crime for which you were convicted and the time that has passed since your conviction; there may also be issues associated with mental health conditions that may preclude you from owning a gun. The following information should help you determine if you are eligible to have your gun rights restored in Washington.

It was self-defense! You can still get charged with domestic violence

Many people fear the moment when an argument gets out of control and their partner suddenly becomes violent. They might try to hurt you or use a weapon and the only way to stop them is to use self-defense. Even if you acted out of self-defense you can still get charged with domestic violence.

It seems unfair but it's not uncommon to get charged with domestic violence for self-defense. Technically under Washington law you are allowed to use force to protect yourself, but only just enough that is necessary. If the officer did not witness the scene then that factor would be hard to determine. It is important to know your rights and what to do if you are arrested.

Sitting in a parked car can result in a drugged driving DUI

Think twice about getting in your car while under the influence of drugs because you can get a drugged driving charge by simply sitting in the front seat. Driving under the influence of drugs is punishable with a DUI; but did you know that you can get a DUI without driving the car? This type of charge is called an actual physical control DUI and it is more common than you think.

An actual control DUI charge is defined as a person who has the capability of operating a motor vehicle within two hours of being under the influence of any drug. The law sounds vague but the reasoning is that the driver can turn the vehicle on and operate it while impaired. This can include someone sitting or even sleeping in their front seat.

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