Monthly Archives: October 2016

Defendant’s Right To Appeal

The right to a trial by jury is the most fundamental constitutional right a criminal defendant is granted. Upon a conviction after a jury trial, a defendant has the right to appeal a finding of guilt. In order for an appellate court to hear an appeal from a lower court the aggrieved party must demonstrate… Continue Reading »

The Dreaded NCO

  As previously discussed in one of our many blog postings, under RCW 10.31.100(2)(c), if the police arrive within four hours of a domestic violence related 911 call, they must arrest at least one person. Thereafter, it is generally a ‘rubberstamp’ that a criminal charge will be filed against the arrested person. At the defendant’s… Continue Reading »

Mental Health and the Law

The American justice system protects those are found to be mentally incompetent, and seeks help for such defendants. Criminal defendants who are found to be legally insane cannot be convicted of charges arising from a particular mental disability. Depending on the jurisdiction, Courts use one of several legal tests to determine whether a defendant actually… Continue Reading »

Pleading Guilty

The majority of criminal cases are resolved through a “plea bargain”, usually well before the case ever reaches trial. Many have heard this term, but only a few have a good understanding of what a plea bargain actually is? In a plea bargain, the defendant agrees to plead guilty, usually to a lesser charge than… Continue Reading »

DUI Mandatory Penalties

Washington DUI sentencing courts are required to impose certain conditions when a person is convicted of a DUI. Some conditions are affirmative (i.e., pay fines, complete an alcohol evaluation, participate in alcohol treatment, and attend DUI victims panel), and others are prohibitive (i.e., don’t commit law violations, don’t consume alcohol, don’t drive without an ignition interlock).… Continue Reading »

Nonpartisan or Partisan?

Did you know that the King County prosecutor has been a Republican since 1948? That is a bit mind-boggling considering that King County is otherwise dominated by Democrats, not Republicans. Heck, Barack Obama won 69 percent of the King County vote in 2012. This ‘fact’ leads to an interesting question – should the King County… Continue Reading »


In most states, first-degree murder is defined as an unlawful killing that is both willful and premeditated, meaning that it was committed after planning or “lying in wait” for the victim. Most states also adhere to a legal concept known as the “felony murder rule,” under which a person commits first-degree murder if any death… Continue Reading »

What Are Property Crimes?

One of the more common crimes that are filed in criminal courts across the United States are property crimes. Property crimes include many common crimes relating to theft or destruction of property. They can range from lower level misdemeanor offenses such as shoplifting or malicious mischief to high-level felonies including armed robbery, arson or burglary.… Continue Reading »