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Bremerton Criminal Law Blog

If a cop asks you to walk the line, do you have to comply?

Seeing red and blue patrol car lights flashing in your rear view mirror might not be your idea of a nice way to end an evening out with friends. It happens. A key to mitigating your circumstances may lie in your ability to remain calm and follow all instructions the officer gives you when he or she approaches your vehicle.

However, if said instructions include a request to step out of your car and take a field sobriety test, what should you do? As for the getting out of your car part, you must comply. The rest of it is optional though. That's right. You are under no legal obligation to take a field sobriety test. Beyond such information, it is still a good idea to familiarize yourself with these tests and to know your rights, so you can make informed decisions.

Prescription drugs: High risks for addiction and legal problems

At some point in your life, a doctor may have written you a prescription, advising you to take a particular drug to help treat a certain health condition. Perhaps you suffer from a chronic illness that causes constant pain and discomfort. If so, then you may be familiar with drugs like Oxycodone.

The problem is that a doctor's recommendation doesn't guarantee that you will not have any adverse effects from taking prescription medication. In fact, even though doctors typically prescribe some drugs to help with certain conditions, every person's body and the way a body reacts to drugs is unique; therefore, a drug that works well for one person may have adverse effects on another.

Are you facing domestic violence allegations?

The state of Washington, just like every other state, does not take domestic violence lightly. If you are facing domestic violence allegations, you will go to jail -- even if only temporarily -- if the officer responding to the complaint has probable cause to arrest you.

If you're facing a domestic violence charge, you may have a lot of questions, such as: What constitutes domestic violence? What are the potential penalties associated with a DV conviction? Is there any way to fight a DV charge?

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.

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