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Bremerton Criminal Law Blog

Remain calm and polite when pulled over by a police officer

Nothing can ruin a person's day quite like getting pulled over by a police officer. This ordeal can happen to anyone for a variety of reasons, but in some cases, a simple traffic stop for going slightly over the speed limit could result in an investigation into other suspected activity. Police officers often attempt to determine whether a driver may have drugs in the vehicle, been drinking alcohol or been participating in other illegal activities.

If you find yourself pulled over by police, you certainly want the situation over with as quickly as possible. As a result, you may want to put yourself in the position of handling the traffic stop as well as you can. One way to do that is to know your rights and how best to act when interacting with an officer after he or she pulls you over.

Do eyewitnesses make for an open and shut case?

If the police have charged you with a crime, you understandably have concerns about how the charges will affect your future. Despite being in handcuffs, you maintain your innocence and want to defend against the allegations as well as possible. However, officers may have made it seem as if they have an open and shut case against you due to having eyewitness testimony.

Before you start to panic or wonder who would say you did something you did not do, it is important to remember that information provided by a witness does not mean assurance of your guilt. In fact, problems can exist with using witness testimony as evidence.

Is it possible for officers to make an illegal arrest?

Getting arrested is often the first step in a long and difficult journey of maintaining one's innocence. You undoubtedly did not expect to find yourself in handcuffs, but now that it has happened, you likely have an uncountable number of questions about what happened and what is going to happen.

After your arrest, the officer likely transported you to a local jail. Hopefully, your stay was short, even though you likely have a court date set for the near future. Nonetheless, rather than waiting for the day before your court date to prepare, you may want to write down as much as you can remember about the circumstances of your arrest as soon as possible. Every detail you can remember could go a long way in determining whether the arrest was legal.

Details to remember after a DUI arrest

If a police officer pulled you over one night, you may have suspected that you had a taillight out or maybe drove a little over the speed limit without realizing it. When the officer approached your vehicle, you likely remained calm and did your best to treat the ordeal with a respectful manner. Though it may have caught you off guard when the officer asked if you had been drinking, you may have promptly responded with a resounding "no."

Unfortunately, your answer did not fully dampen the officer's suspicions. He or she may have continued asking questions, and you may have felt more and more uncomfortable. When asked to step out of the vehicle, you complied, but because you know your rights and the law, you did not choose to participate in field sobriety tests. However, the officer may have then requested a breath test, and you knew you could not refuse under Washington state law.

Many factors make it hard to pass the one-leg stand test

Like every other Port Orchard resident police pull over on suspicion of drunk driving, you will most likely have an important decision to make -- whether to participate in field sobriety tests. You know that your blood alcohol concentration can't be over the legal limit of 0.08% since you either had just one or two drinks, it has been hours since you had those drinks, or you had no drinks at all.

You want to prove that you aren't impaired, so when the officer asks you to participate in field sobriety tests, you consider doing it in order to prove you aren't drunk. However, you should probably think twice about doing so since numerous factors could make it difficult for you to pass those tests, especially the one-leg stand test. If you take the tests and fail them, you could end up under arrest for DUI or DWI. By the time you prove you aren't under the influence, you already have an arrest on your record.

What to expect following allegations of domestic abuse

If you are in a volatile relationship, chances are you have had your share of explosive arguments. You may not be proud of the way you behave as the situation gets out of your control. Perhaps your words become hurtful and even threatening. You may even lash out in frustration or anger.

You may have no intention of harming your partner, and you may not even have laid a hand on him or her. However, if your partner calls the police and accuses you of domestic violence, your life is about to change very quickly. Domestic violence allegations are among those that police respond to rapidly and take seriously. If you are facing these charges, you would be wise to have a focused and aggressive criminal defense strategy in place as quickly as possible.

Can the 'I didn't do it' approach work for criminal defense?

Facing criminal charges is never an easy situation to find yourself in. Even though you may know that you are innocent, simply stating that fact does not always prevent formal charges from coming against you. As a result, you will likely still end up in court having to defend against the allegations.

Of course, you do have the option of maintaining your innocence during your criminal trial, and it is up to the prosecution to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty of the charges. Though the burden of proof lies with the prosecution, you may not want to simply sit back and allow them to attempt to prove you guilty. Instead, you will want to proactively combat their strategies with your own criminal defense presentation.

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.

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