‘That’s bird poop’: Charges dropped against star quarterback after false test found cocaine on his car hood

Posted by Keith Hall | Aug 09, 2019 | 0 Comments

The Seattle Times recently ran an article from the Washington Post, discussing an arrest for possession of cocaine based on a "field test" performed by police in Saluda County, South Carolina. The article describes an arrest of Shai Werts, the quarterback at Georgia Southern University. Mr. Werts was pulled over for speeding on July 31, 2019 and the officer thought a white powdery substance on his hood was cocaine. He told the officer it was bird poop, but the officer performed "field test" on the powdery substance and it came out positive for cocaine. The quarterback was arrested, he was briefly suspended from his team until he passed a drug test, but he was still in danger of missing the season opener game for his team. On 8/8/2019 the prosecutor's office stated the test did come back and that there was no controlled substance found. This is the latest case in which the reliability of "field tests" for drugs has been questioned. There have been many occasions where an arrest and incarceration resulted from a flawed field test, and it is thought that persons have actually been convicted based on the flawed tests.

New Technology Will Allow Automated Cameras to Issue Tickets for Loud Exhaust

Posted by Keith Hall | May 21, 2019 | 0 Comments

The Kent Police department is seeking to enter a state pilot program that utilizes technology to automatically issue tickets for vehicles with illegal (loud) exhaust systems to deter street racing. The device the department is seeking to use reportedly measures noise that triggers a camera that capture a vehicle’s license plate, similar to red-light cameras and school zone traffic cameras that catch speeding drivers.

What Phone is the Most Secure from Government Search and Seizure?

Posted by Keith Hall | Oct 02, 2018 | 0 Comments

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.

Even Old Accusation Can Haunt You

Posted by Keith Hall | Sep 24, 2018 | 0 Comments

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".

State chips away at daunting backlog of DNA rape evidence — but can’t keep up.

Posted by Keith Hall | Apr 26, 2018 | 0 Comments

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.

Keith Hall Honored by The American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys

Posted by Keith Hall | Apr 02, 2018 | 0 Comments

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.

City of Seattle to Vacate All Marijuana Charges

Posted by Keith Hall | Feb 08, 2018 | 0 Comments

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.

Prosecutor's Can Jail Witnesses for Failing to Testify

Posted by Keith Hall | Jan 17, 2018 | 0 Comments

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...

Why Campus Rape Tribunals Hand Down So Many 'Guilty' Verdicts

Posted by Keith Hall | Dec 26, 2017 | 0 Comments

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.

Newton & Hall to Open Bellevue, WA Law Office in 2018

Posted by Keith Hall | Nov 09, 2017 | 0 Comments

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...

Miranda Rights for Juveniles

Posted by Keith Hall | Sep 28, 2017 | 0 Comments

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....

Bellevue Police Arrest 110 Men for Patronizing a Prostitute

Posted by Keith Hall | Sep 11, 2017 | 0 Comments

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...

Defending College Sex Assault Cases

Posted by Keith Hall | Jul 18, 2017 | 0 Comments

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...

FBI Conspires with Best Buy to Search Customers Computers

Posted by Keith Hall | May 08, 2017 | 0 Comments

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.

Even Very Intelligent People Make Mistakes When Agreeing to Speak to the Police.

Posted by Keith Hall | May 01, 2017 | 0 Comments

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.

Can you film the police while they are pulling you over in Washington?

Posted by Keith Hall | Apr 26, 2017 | 0 Comments

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.

Government Entrapment of Citizens

Posted by Keith Hall | Apr 19, 2017 | 0 Comments

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.

Utah on the verge of the toughest drunk-driving standard in the U.S. – .05%

Posted by Keith Hall | Apr 14, 2017 | 0 Comments

“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.”

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