Learn the latest changes in DUI law and outcomes of cases around the state.
DUI Conviction Reversed Due to Improper Opinion Evidence
Filed WA State Court of Appeals Division Two October 15, 2019: Appellant Court Reverses Conviction Of DUI Due To Improper Opinion Evidence By Officer And Improper Use Of Preliminary Breath Test (PBT).Read more →
Jonathan Comments on College Admissions Scandal on Global News
Even though I focus my practice on DUI Defense, Criminal Defense is my passion. When contacted by Global News and asked to comment on the systems and cases I was happy to do so.Read more →
Drunken Driver Sentenced to 6 Years for Crash that Killed an Everson Man
A Whatcom County man was sentenced to 6 1/2 years in prison this week for vehicular homicide, but will stay out of prison on bond.Read more →
Whatcom County Vehicular Homicide Case Goes to Deliberation Today
After 6 days of witness testimony including the defendants where he claimed to only have had one beer, jurors will now be deliberating the outcome of this Whatcom County vehicular homicide case.Read more →
You Have The Right To A Lawyer - You Just Do Not Have The Right To A Meaningful Discussion!
The first step in rule interpretation is to read it for its plain meaning. If its susceptible to more than one meaning then the Court will look to what they think it means. That is a pretty obvious approach and it makes sense. As I read the rule it all seems pretty obvious. . .once in custody of police, or in other words once a person is arrested they are to be afforded the opportunity to speak with a lawyer if they want to.Read more →
Riley v. California: The Constitutionality of Cell Phone Searches
Recently there has been a string of cases issued from the Nation's highest court, The United States Supreme Court, all the way to Washington State's Appellant Court. These rulings all revolve around your extremely private affairs. This series of blogs will not only connect the dots of these cases, but also reconnect us as my practice has taken me away from my previous regular posting.Read more →
The Right to Refuse: No Longer can the Exercise of your Right be Used Against You
The Right to Refuse: No Longer can the Exercise of your Right be Used Against YouRead more →
United States Supreme Court Tells Police To “Get A Warrant.”
Recently, April 17, 2013, to be specific, the highest court in the land upheld the 4th Amendment Right of drivers suspected of DUI. The ruling, however, is limited to cases where police are looking to draw blood, and does not affect breath test cases in the same manner. The name of the case is Missouri v. McNeely. The facts of McNeeley were as follows: While on patrol at approximately 2:08 a.m., a Missouri police officer stopped Tyler McNeely’s truck after...Read more →
United State Supreme Court Revisits 6th Amendment Right To Confront Witnesses. There Will Be State Consequences.
Over the past 10 years the Supreme Court has been interpreting the meaning of confronting a witness. The most recent published analyses was the case of New Mexico v. Bullcoming. That case was specifically a DUI case and the absence of a witness who actually analyzed the blood of the defendant. While this case has had some impact on how the State presents witnesses and subsequent evidence, Judges have not been able to apply the concepts for fear of not...Read more →
United States Supreme Court Case Requires The Right To Confront Witnesses Even In DUI Cases.
Last month the United States Supreme Court (USSC) took another anticipated step in preserving one of the most fundamental and important rights that an accused person is afforded under the Constitution of The United States. The recent case issued by the USSC of Bullcoming v. New Mexico followed in the path of Crawford v. Washington, 541 U. S. 36, 59, and Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts, 557 U. S. ___, in clearly defining the right of confrontation, and in so doing, also...Read more →
Washington Supreme Court Settles Question Of Jurisdiction In Whatcom County DUI Case.
Last week the Washington Supreme court issued their ruling in State v. Eriksen, what appears to many to be a simple case of DUI. However, given the location of the stop and arrest, the case contained an important issue and created a question as to whether a Tribal Officer had the authority to go beyond the tribal lands in making the stop and arrest?Read more →
You Have The Right To Remain Silent, But First, Speak Up!
This summer (June) the United States Supreme Court (USSC) issued a ruling contrary to the longstanding belief that, silence by an accused who informed and warned of the right to remain silent was an obvious invocation of the right. The case is BERGHUIS v. THOMPKINS. Traditionally, a person's silence after being informed of their rights, specifically the right to remain silent made it very obvious that they were exercising that right. The new ruling by the USSC has changed that...Read more →
3 Judge Panel Requires Breath Test Evidence To Comply With Scientific Standards.
Yesterday, September 22, 2010, a King County District Court 3-Judge panel found that breath tests, previously held to be inadmissible for any purposes, opened the door to permitting the test once again. However, before they can be admitted the Judges required that uncertainty must be provided in discovery and to the jury or, upon motion, the breath test results will be suppressed.Read more →
Island County Judge Requires Prosecution To Disclose DUI Breath Test “Bias & Uncertainty” Disclosed To Jury.
Recently, Island County Judge, P. Strow found in favor of all DUI defendant’s when he ordered the production of breath testing bias. The order for production came in lieu of a order to suppress the tests which is what the defense originally requested when the prosecution had not provided information and calculations regarding the limitations of breath testing. Furthermore, it was ordered that such information be disclosed also to the jury during a DUI breath test trial. The ruling came in...Read more →
Bad Facts Make Bad Law: Felony DUI And Proof Beyond A Reasonable Doubt Reduced.
This week the Court Of Appeals issued a ruling that appears to lessen the prosecutions burden when it decided the issue of prior offenses for the purposes of the felony DUI statute. The ruling came from Division One of the Appeals Court, State v. Paul 2010 . Division One’s decisions are binding authority on all lower courts (Superior, District, and Municipal) that are geographically located north of Interstate 90 and east to the mountains. The only higher state court is the...Read more →
Washington State Supreme Court Still Focused On Citizen’s Privacy.
Although July 4th is a nationally recognized holiday celebrating the freedom and civil liberties of those within the land, July 1, 2010, the State Supreme court celebrated early. In the recently issued case of, State v. Afana, the State Supreme Court followed the US Supreme Court reasoning in Gant (police may search a vehicle incident to a recent occupant’s arrest only if the arrestee is within reaching distance of the passenger compartment at the time of the search) and then added another...Read more →
Skagit County Judges Require Scientific Standards In DUI Prosecutions.
Recently, Skagit County District Court Judges David Svaren and Warren Gilbert heard testimony from expert witnesses in support and in opposition to a defense challenge to the admissibility of breath tests due to the lack of adherence to scientific principles. Their ruling requires State Prosecutors to provide evidence of uncertainty in DUI prosecutions where a breath test was given. (Skagit Co Uncertainty Ruling) The defense expert witness, Ashley Emerey, a UW professor, testified that the generally accepted principles in the scientific community...Read more →