Oh how the pendulum swings. It was only a few short years ago an officer’s ability to chase people in vehicles was curtailed. That right was slightly expanded last week when Governor Jay Inslee rolled back some prohibitive requirements for police chases.
Under the new law, police officers no longer need ‘probable cause’ to initiate their pursuit of a motorist. The new standard is ‘reasonable suspicion’. An officer now only needs ‘reasonable suspicion’ that a person is committing a crime in order to give chase. The move gives officers more flexibility to do their job because pursuits can now be undertaken for suspicion of several crimes including violent offenses, sex offenses, domestic violence related offenses, dui’s and escaping arrest offenses, where there is a serious threat of harm to others. This purportedly will make our roads safer, but some fear that police accountability will again be reduced, and rogue officers may abuse this lesser standard for when a motorist can be chased.
If you or a loved one is in a bind because of a criminal traffic 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.