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Bremerton Criminal Law Blog

Was there valid reason to stop your car before a DUI charge?

Many elements can play important parts in your case if a police officer arrested you on suspicion of DUI. While your first instincts may be to look forward and determine what a conviction could do to your future, it may also prove wise to look back at the traffic stop that led to your arrest.

Every detail of your traffic stop and subsequent arrest could have an impact on your case, especially your defense. If a police officer or other authority involved in your case makes a mistake anywhere from making the arrest to handling evidence, that error could affect whether the evidence is admissible. One important aspect to consider when reviewing your case is to determine whether the officer had reasonable suspicion to stop your car.

Miranda rights violation: Did it happen to you?

Winding down your driver's-side car window with a uniformed police officer standing on the other side of it can be an extremely stressful experience. If the officer asks if you realize how fast you were traveling, what should you say? If he or she asks you to step out of your vehicle, does it mean you're going to jail? There is really no way to predict what the ultimate outcome of such situations might be. It may wind up hinging on the officer's word against yours. 

However, whether you're driving in Washington or some other state, certain traffic laws or criminal laws might vary, but other regulations are the same, such as the fact that a police officer who intends to question you under custody must inform you of your Miranda rights. It's critical that you understand these issues and know where to seek support if a problem arises.  

Do you know what you agreed to when you got your license?

As a licensed driver in the state of Washington, you're obligated to adhere to all traffic and safety regulations set forth throughout the state. All states have traffic laws, but not every state's traffic laws are the same. This is an important fact, especially if you plan to drive in various states. Some laws vary quite a bit between states, such as those pertaining to drunk driving.

When you obtained a license to operate a motor vehicle in Washington, you consented to certain things that could impact your future should a police officer ever suspect you of driving under the influence of alcohol and ask you to take a Breathalyzer test following your arrest. Are you aware of the implied consent laws in this state? It's something you definitely want to know more about if you're faced with deciding whether or not to take a Breathalyzer or other chemical test.

Get the facts on Breathalyzer calibration when facing DUI

If a Washington police officer pulls you over because he or she thinks you have been driving under the influence of alcohol, there are certain things you should know regarding your rights and what the legal implications of a Breathalyzer test might be. Breathalyzer is the brand name of a breath analysis device authorities use to make a preliminary assessment of the amount of alcohol in your system when they suspect you of driving under the influence. Refusing a Breathalyzer or other chemical test can have major repercussions. 

In most states, if you test at .08 blood alcohol content or higher on a Breathalyzer, the law presumes you are intoxicated and therefore prohibited from operating a motor vehicle. However, so much can go wrong with Breathalyzer tests, and if the device the test giver used on you was not properly calibrated, it can skew the test results, which can land you in a heap of legal trouble. It's always good to be prepared to defend yourself by knowing your rights and how to access support in a pinch. 

A DUI puts your CDL in jeopardy

What better way to see the country than driving a big rig! Not only do you get to see the country, but you also receive a paycheck as you do it. Those may have been your thoughts when you decided to earn your commercial driver's license. After getting a job and doing some traveling, you realized you made the right choice.

As you know, the job comes with numerous challenges as well. One of them involves keeping your license and remaining in good standing with regulatory agencies such as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. This means avoiding traffic violations such as a DUI. As a commercial driver, you must meet certain standards, which are higher than those for other drivers.

Don't shoot yourself in the foot concerning Washington gun laws

Whether you've been a firearms enthusiast for years or are a new gun owner in Washington, you are likely aware of many requirements and laws that govern the possession, buying and selling, and use of firearms. Hopefully, you researched both federal and state laws ahead of time to avoid running into any type of legal problem.

The federal government has limited oversight on gun possession. Most laws exist at state level. However, such laws often vary from state to state (and can change as well) so it's crucial that you not only learn the gun laws in Washington but look into regulations in surrounding regions or any state you plan to enter while carrying a gun. Air transportation officials also regulate your ability to fly on planes with firearms or gun components. It's always best to thoroughly research these before you board a flight.

Am I going to lose my license after a drunk driving arrest?

Washington drivers who are facing DUI charges know that there is a lot at stake. In addition to the threat of facing time behind bars, drivers facing drunk driving charges could also lose their right to drive. If you are wondering what will happen to your license or how you can defend yourself when dealing with a DUI, you would be wise to take quick action to protect your interests.

If you lose your license, you will not be able to drive to school, work or even drive your kids from place to place. However, there are options available to you, and it may be possible to restore your driving privileges, even if on a limited basis. Facing a DUI is serious, and you would be wise to seek serious defense help as you work to fight these charges and their potential consequences.

Dealing with false accusations of domestic abuse

There's no denying it — if someone claims a spouse has been abusive, people are going to listen. There have been too many tragic stories of victims of domestic abuse who met violent ends after someone ignored their cries for help. Because of this, authorities generally give the benefit of the doubt to the accuser and assume the worst of the accused.

If your spouse has told authorities that you committed domestic abuse, you may find yourself in a delicate and terrifying situation. The odds are against you, and you may already be seeing the effects of the false accusations. People may be treating you differently, friends may avoid you and your job may be on the line. The worst consequence may be your separation from your children.

Getting a second shot at your gun rights

You may love to hunt. Perhaps your parent or grandparent bought you your first gun, taught you how to shoot and impressed upon you the crucial aspects of safety while carrying a firearm. From your earliest years, you anticipated this time of year when the air turns crisp and, just maybe, you could miss school one day to hunt for elk or Blacktail deer in the Washington forests.

This was your life until the day it all came to an end. Whatever the circumstances that resulted in your felony conviction, among the many penalties you paid (and are likely still paying) was the loss of your right to possess a firearm, possibly for the rest of your life. This ban is in effect even if your conviction was for a non-violent crime. However, it may be possible for you to have your rights restored so you can get back to the sport you love.

When allegations of violence pose a threat to your future

There is a multitude of scenarios in which a domestic dispute can arise, and most may involve little more than a heated argument. However, in some cases, the situation can grow out of hand, and an accusation of physical behavior could leave you facing charges of domestic violence.

Domestic violence is a major issue that carries severe penalties, and a conviction could have a significant impact on your future. You may wish to protect yourself from suffering unnecessary consequences by challenging the charges, but perhaps you are uncertain how to achieve this goal.

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