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Bremerton Criminal Law Blog

What is going to happen after getting a DUI?

You know that a DUI is a serious criminal offense in Washington and that it can result in various penalties that can alter the course of your life. From your ability to drive yourself to work to your employment opportunities, an arrest for drunk driving can have lasting effects. Thankfully, it is possible to confront these charges with an effective defense strategy.

One of the things that may prove helpful is to know what to expect in the aftermath of your arrest. This can help you protect your rights and start working on your defense strategy as soon as possible. Your future interests and personal freedoms are worth protecting, starting from the moment police pull you over in a suspected DUI traffic stop.

Protecting yourself against domestic violence accusations

Facing accusations of any type of criminal or violent behavior can be overwhelming, especially if you know they are not true. Even if there is no validity to the claims made about you, it is important not to underestimate the potential impact that allegations of domestic violence can have on your life. If you are in this position, it is in your interests to know how to fight back and protect yourself.

Domestic violence and abuse can come in various forms, and it is a serious criminal offense. Not only is your personal reputation and other important things on the line, you are also facing the very real possibility of ending up behind bars. You will want to develop a strong defense strategy as soon as possible and take other steps that will help you preserve your interests.

Keep your alcohol consumption in check at holiday parties

With Christmas just around the corner, you may have a number of social events you are planning to attend. Like many other Washington residents, you may have work-related events to go to, family gatherings and activities with friends. At some, if not all, of those events, you may have the option of consuming alcoholic beverages.

Many people drink at holiday parties, and as long as you consume alcoholic drinks responsibly, you should not have a problem. Of course, with so many parties close together, you may have concerns about the empty calories you could consume or the chance of drinking too much at any one event.

Washington assault charges come in varying degrees

Getting into a physical altercation or otherwise heated fight with another person can be a stressful situation. You likely did not start your evening with the intention of winding up in such a predicament, and when the situation began to escalate, you may have felt fearful and likely did not know what would happen next.

At some point during the altercation, someone called the police. As a result, officers arrived on the scene, and though they may not have had all the information, they took you into custody on suspicion of assault. You may have wanted to immediately start defending yourself, but it is likely that the officers were not hearing it.

How will you know if you are getting a fair trial?

After your arrest for drug offenses, violent crimes, theft or other charges, you may have had many questions about the criminal process you were about to face. Whether your charges came from the prosecutor's recommendation or a grand jury indictment, you may now be facing a criminal trial that could determine the course of your life for the foreseeable future.

You may understand that you have the right to a fair trial, but do you understand what that means? The Constitution does not explicitly name a fair trial as a right. In fact, the elements of a fair trial have evolved throughout the history of the criminal justice system. This is why it is wise to have a skilled and knowledgeable attorney on your side to ensure your trial proceeds without the violation of your rights.

Washington bail reform may offer hope to those facing charges

Following someone's arrest, it is not uncommon for that person to spend some time in jail before making a first appearance before a judge. This hearing, called an arraignment, is when the accused hears the charges prosecutors are filing and has the chance to enter a plea. The judge may then set bail.

Bail is money or valuables those facing criminal charges pay to the court as an assurance that they will return for trial. If they show up, they get their money back. If they do not, they lose their money and may face additional charges. However, you may be among the many who feel that the cash bail system in Washington is unfair. In some areas of the state, court systems are trying other methods.

DUI laws continue to evolve and get tougher

When you were taking classes to get your driver's license, you may have had to sit through hours of lectures and videos about the dangers of drunk driving. This part of the driving school curriculum is relatively new and just one example of the efforts from special interest groups and lawmakers who are striving to reduce the number of drunk driving tragedies.

While this is a noble effort, if police arrest you for drunk driving, you still have rights. Even a first offense DUI can carry stiff penalties, and you would benefit from a thorough understanding of your rights and guidance in choosing the most appropriate course of action to protect your future.

Did the police officer have probable cause to arrest you?

Perhaps you were driving to your destination minding your own business when the patrol car behind you turned on its lights and sirens warning you to pull over. You knew that you often drive mindlessly since you know the roads well, so you aren't sure what you did. Maybe you were speeding or forgot to signal as you changed lanes.

In any case, your thoughts then turned to the couple of drinks you had with friends before heading home. You never thought you weren't capable of driving safely, but you know that may not matter if the officer smells alcohol on your breath.

Did a police investigation result in you being a suspect?

Facing accusations of a crime can throw anyone's life off balance. You may wonder how you ended up in this situation and how authorities obtained supposed evidence that linked you with the crime. Typically, this information comes about during police investigations.

Though investigations are important in getting to the bottom of serious incidents, they are not perfect procedures. It is not uncommon for authorities to believe that evidence found at or near crime scenes points to one suspect, when it could actually have another meaning. Unfortunately, after finding a suspect, investigators do not always dig deeper.

Your future with a domestic violence charge

Your relationship with your spouse or partner has likely been tense for a while. Maybe you are even discussing divorce or accusations of infidelity have come up in one of your many arguments. Perhaps it was during one of those arguments that things got particularly heated. A neighbor called police, or your spouse, in a moment of vengeance, dialed 911 and reported that you were being abusive.

This one phone call set in motion a process that you may feel was quickly out of your control. When police arrived, you may have found yourself in handcuffs before you could get in a word of explanation. Your spouse may have even pleaded with the officers that it was a misunderstanding, but before you knew it, you were at a police station where an officer took your photo and fingerprints.

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