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Prior Conviction Dismissed from Record

Posted Wednesday, August 30, 2017 by Andrew Charles Huff

A great outcome for a client who wanted to have a reduced plea removed from his record after originally being charged with Driving Under the Influence.

After being charged with a DUI, we were able to have it reduced to a Reckless Driving. My client met all conditions of probation and eventually the court ended their jurisdiction and released him of all conditions. Once the three-year waiting period expired under RCW 9.96.060, I filed the appropriate motion with the court and requested the Reckless Driving conviction be vacated and removed from his record, citing the above statute. To the judge’s credit, our motion was granted and now client goes back to having no criminal history.

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Protect Your Driver’s License

Posted Friday, August 18, 2017 by Andrew Charles Huff

Part of my job as a defense attorney is to protect my client’s driver’s license and avoid any sort of suspension the Department of Licensing seeks to impose after a DUI arrest or conviction. There are different ways a license can be suspended : They are 1) administratively, due to a refusal to submit to the test or because the reading exceeded the legal limit, or 2) as part of the criminal penalty due to a conviction of a DUI, which is mandatory.

Once your license suspension period is over, you are still not legal to drive unless you “reinstate” your license. You see, the DOL does not automatically give you your license back after you have served a suspension. There are reinstatement requirements that depend on the type and length of license suspension. So once your suspension period is over, you will need to reinstate the license in order to drive legally. In some cases, simply paying the reinstatement fee is required. In other cases, you might need to obtain an SR-22 insurance policy, an alcohol evaluation and follow-up treatment. In still other cases, you’ll need to take the written and driving exams in addition to other requirements before the license is reinstated. The forms sent by DOL on license suspension are not very helpful when it comes to the requirements for license reinstatement, but the DOL webpage is helpful.

If your license is currently suspended and you wish to have it re-instated, please give me a call at 206-729-3477 and let me help you get reinstated to drive.

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Labor Board to Hear "Body Camera" Challenge

Posted Friday, August 18, 2017 by Andrew Charles Huff

A state labor board has agreed to hear an unfair-labor-practice complaint brought by the Seattle police officers’ union challenging Mayor Ed Murray’s executive order directing the Police Department to equip patrol officers with body cameras. The complaint alleges the city had unilaterally implemented the plan without providing the union an opportunity to bargain over the issue.

In a preliminary ruling issued Wednesday, the state Public Employment Relations Commission found that assuming the alleged facts are true and provable, “it appears that unfair labor practice violations could be found.”

The guild, which represents more than 1,300 officers and sergeants, reiterated that it does not oppose body cameras, but that the city must follow state bargaining laws.Under the executive order, bicycle officers in the West Precinct, which includes the downtown area, were directed to begin using body cameras by July 22.

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Post-Conviction Relief v. Appeal

Posted Friday, August 11, 2017 by Andrew Charles Huff

There are two usual ways to challenge the results of a criminal proceeding: They are appealing to a higher court or initiating a motion for post-conviction relief by the trial court.

An appellate court will only review questions of law. This means you can only use an appeal to argue the trial judge made a legal mistake that resulted in your convictions.Post-conviction relief, on the other hand, can address factual issues that led to your conviction or guilty plea. These may include the appearance of new evidence which was not available during the trial. In some cases, new DNA evidence may surface or a witness may change his or her story.

Ineffective assistance

Ineffective assistance of counsel can also serve as grounds for post-conviction relief. Generally, lawyers have fairly wide latitude in coming up with an appropriate strategy. Usually, a court will not find ineffective assistance simply because you felt your lawyer should have handled matter differently.However, failing to provide material information might fall into this category. For instance, when a defendant considers taking a plea, he or she needs to know the full extent of the ensuing consequences. Among other issues, an attorney must advise the client about potential immigration consequences of pleading guilty. Neglecting to do so can serve as grounds for a claim of ineffective assistance.

Misconduct

Prosecutorial misconduct may also give rise to a motion for post-conviction relief. Sometimes, after the trial or plea process concludes, defendants learn that prosecutors hid information or misrepresented evidence.

A complex area of law

Post-conviction relief can be an intricate process. Even simply getting the court to accept the motion and reopen the case may involve arguing complex legal issues. There are also strict time and procedural requirements, so you need an attorney who is highly experienced in this particular area.

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DUI Probation: High Court Says Random UA’s Okay

Posted Friday, August 11, 2017 by Andrew Charles Huff

Can a court order a person on probation for a DUI submit to a urinalysis tests without violating their privacy interests under our state constitution? This was the question recently facing our State Supreme Court in State v. Olsen.

In this case, the trial Court ordered Ms Olsen not to consume alcohol, marijuana, or nonprescribed drugs and submit to “random urine analysis screens … to ensure compliance with conditions regarding the consumption of alcohol and controlled substances.”

Washington courts have generally held that for ordinary citizens, suspicion less urinalysis testing constitutes a disturbance of their private affairs that, absent authority of law, violates article I, section 7 of the State Constitution. The Supreme Court has consistently held that this nonconsensual removal of bodily fluids implicates privacy interests.

However, State Courts have also upheld blood or urine tests of prisoners, probationers, and parolees without explicitly conducting an analysis under article I, section 7. The Court has held that probationers do not enjoy constitutional privacy protection to the same degree as other citizens and simply have a reduced expectation of privacy. The court reasoned that the random testing in this case is narrowly tailored to monitor compliance with a validly imposed probation condition. Thus, the judgment and sentence constitutes sufficient “authority of law” to require random U.A.’s.

In this case, because the urinalysis was to ensure compliance with a probation condition requiring abstinence, it did not violate the State Constitution and therefore random UAs, under certain circumstances, are a constitutionally permissible form of close scrutiny of DUI probationers.

State v. Olsen, No. 93315-4

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