I can imagine it was much more difficult for police detectives to convict criminals prior to the invention of cell phones. They actually had to get search warrants to tap suspected criminal's home phones, or even tougher to tap public phone booths. That sure has changed today, as most officers know that all of our lives are contained in our cell phones. Our phones keep track of where we go through GPS, all of our conversations are documented in the form of phone calls, text messages, emails, or chat apps.
The news has been filled lately with accusations of sexual misconduct. They have derailed CEOs, politicians, artists, actors, and other figures. These are only the accusations we read about in the media. Imagine how many people have lost their careers and stature in the community, from allegations that we never hear about. Most of the cases we handle at our law firm are not publicized, although occasionally we handle high profile "media cases".
One of the ways that the police and prosecution use to gather evidence of sexual assaults are DNA tests. The Seattle Times recently had an article (click here to read) on the backlog of DNA testing from sexual assault examinations, the article stated that there are more than 6000 kits waiting to be tested. It appears that many of these tests are not expedited, due to the perceived lesser need for DNA in those cases. The most common reason being, that the alleged perpetrator was known to the victim, and therefore there is no need to identify them.
The Kent Reporter recently had an article about Keith Hall, of the Newton & Hall Law Office. Keith was recently honored by the prestigious American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys, with their for his second year as one of the "10 Best Criminal Law Attorneys for Client Satisfaction". Keith, and all of the attorneys at Newton & Hall look forward to continuing to bring client satisfaction to all of those persons represented by our office.
The Seattle Times recently publicized a plan by the state legislature to decriminalize driving on a suspended license in the third degree. Many of those who are charged with this crime do not have a license for financial reasons, rather than any safety related reason.
Jenny Durkan, the City of Seattle Mayor, announced today that her office and that of City Attorney Pete Holmes, would be asking Seattle Municipal Court to vacate convictions and dismiss charges for marijuana possession cases prosecuted before pot was legalized statewide.
Many times people ask me what will happen if a witness in a criminal case does not want to testify, or offers differing testimony from what the police allege in their own reports. Sometimes people just dont want to get involved in a criminal case, although they initially called police or made a...
I have similarly observed that schools investigators and decision makers are choosing to always believe accusers, in spite of often time overwhelming or at least equal evidence to the contrary. I believe that the "me too" movement, along with political pressure, and junk science is making it extremely difficult for an accused student to get a fair hearing regarding these issues. I hope that eventually the pendulum will swing back to allow for fairness to those that are accused of sexual wrongdoing, but at this time it is very hard to get a fair trial or hearing on these accusations.
King 5 Headline: NEW TASK FORCE SEIZES GUNS FROM ACCUSED DOMESTIC ABUSERS
We are very excited to announce that we are planning to open a second office, to serve our eastside clients. This office will be located in downtown Bellevue on 108th Street. This office will be convenient for meeting with our local clients, and will be in close proximity to the: Kirkland Muni...
Recently the King County Prosecuting Attorneys office began a process often times called restorative justice. This is program where youthful offenders are offered counseling, and spend time discussing their offense, and how it affected others. It may involve meeting with the family of the vi...
The Kent police are at it again, using their usual online advertisements to lead Johns to the Howard Johnson hotel. Kent Reporter Article
Weve all heard the Miranda Rights read off by police officers on TV shows or in Hollywood movies. They usually read them off when they are arresting the criminal, and they sound like this: 1. You have the right to remain silent. 2. Anything you say can be used against you in a court of law....
The city of Bellevue recently launched an internet sting where they placed Backpage.com advertisements and arrested 110 men who showed up to an apartment complex in Bellevue. You can read about the operation in this recent Seattle Times article. If you were arrested in this sting operation, o...
Does our criminal justice system truly guarantee JUSTICE FOR ALL? Not if you don't have the money to hire your own top-notch attorney, it doesn't. (CBS News)
Many think that on college campuses, sex assault cases occur more frequently than in other areas of society. RAINN (Rape, Abuse amp; Incest National Network), estimates that 11.2% of college and graduate students will experience rape or sexual assault through physical force, violence, or incapac...
Technicians for Best Buy’s “Geek Squad City” computer repair facility had a long, close relationship with the FBI in “a joint venture to ferret out child porn,” according to claims in new federal court documents, which also note that Best Buy’s management “was aware that its supervisory personnel were being paid by the FBI” and that its technicians were developing a program to find child pornography with the FBI’s guidance.
Never meet with law enforcement, state agencies, or any investigators of any kind without speaking to your attorney first. If you are pressured to make a decision immediately, politely decline. This is the best policy even if it does result in you being taken to jail, since often times they would have taken you to jail anyways, but if you cooperated, you would have given them more evidence to convict you at trial later on. Many times, I will allow my clients to meet with law enforcement and various investigating agencies, but I will never do that without being present and usually without setting ground rules such as: what questions will be asked; and whether we will be recording the interview.
I often times have clients that wish they had filmed their interactions with the police. Many police agencies do not have in-car or body mounted cameras or audio recording equipment, and when there is no recording, it is possible that there will be differences in what people remember or perceive happened. On the other hand, a recording can make it perfectly clear what happened. I have had cases dismissed or won at trial because of a recording. I have also had clients who were shocked to see how they behaved in a recording. The recording may not have been perfectly filed or recorded, but it is at least unbiased.
The lawyers at Newton & Hall can assist you in determining if an entrapment defense is applicable in your case. RCW 9A.16.070 defines entrapment as: (1) In any prosecution for a crime, it is a defense that: (a) The criminal design originated in the mind of law enforcement officials, or any person acting under their direction, and (b) The actor was lured or induced to commit a crime which the actor had not otherwise intended to commit. (2) The defense of entrapment is not established by a showing only that law enforcement officials merely afforded the actor an opportunity to commit a crime.
“It’s a terrible law,” said Michele T. Corigliano, of the Salt Lake Area Restaurant Association, which represents more than 100 establishments. The executive director, is lobbying Governor Herbert to veto the measure. “We feel that because .05% is so low it’s going to put a lot people in jail who should not be in jail. It’s an extremely low-level … people who use too much mouthwash could be targeted.”
A criminal defense lawyer has not been part of the United States Supreme Court in over 25 years. This is problematic, since many of the cases are ones that concern criminal cases, yet there is no one on the bench to discuss represent those who provide a defense in those cases. The court has two ex-prosecutors currently, and if President Trump gets his appointment of Neil Gorsuch confirmed, the court will have a total of three, making up 1/3 of the justices.
It is important to ensure that any criminal case is handled with the assistance of knowledgeable criminal attorney, like those at Newton & Hall, who regularly work with immigration attorneys to ensure that our client's criminal problems, don't become immigration problems.
Our state is following the lead of other states and looking at lowering the legal limit for alcohol while driving a motor vehicle from its current legal level of 0.08 to a lesser level of 0.05. This could make it significantly easier to be arrested and convicted for DUI or Physical Control in Washington state.
How a person is identified by witnesses or victims of a crime can taint their memory, and lead to wrongful convictions in a court of law.