In November 2022, one of Washington’s Court of Appeals dropped a weapons surrender order on a Kitsap County second degree assault case involving a no contact order finding that it violated not only the defendant’s Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights against unreasonable searches and seizures but also forced him to incriminate himself. This is so because turning in his weapon(s) would mean he had to admit that he had firearms that he wasn’t legally allowed to have under the no-contact order. The result of the finding created uncertainty over a law intended to protect domestic violence survivors from gun violence in Washington. Many judicial officers – including all of those in Pierce and Cowlitz County Superior Courts – stopped enforcing Washington’s firearm surrender laws in civil protection order cases. The ruling essentially caused a patch work of rulings from judge to judge, county to county on whether a respondent had surrender their gun(s) when dealing with a civil protection order. State legislators attempted to fix the confusion and uncertainty in recently passed legislation, but it will be a while before it is determined how the ‘fix’ is received by the courts, as the new law just took effect this month. As is with any new law, and its impact, time will tell.
If you or a loved one is in a bind as a result of a criminal charge, immediately contact a Seattle Criminal Attorney. A Criminal lawyer is not going to judge you and understands that everyone makes mistakes. Hiring a Seattle Criminal Lawyer to help can – at a minimum – reduce penalties and can help direct people on how to best deal with their criminal charge, and many times even get them dismissed. So, it should go without saying that someone cited for a misdemeanor or felony should hire a qualified Seattle Criminal Lawyer as soon as possible. Criminal charges can cause havoc on a person’s personal and professional life. Anyone charged with a crime in Washington State should immediately seek the assistance of a seasoned Seattle Criminal Lawyer. SQ Attorneys can be reached at (425) 359-3791 and/or (206) 441-0900.