Seattle Traffic, DUI and Criminal Defense Attorney

Available 24/7 – (206) 729-3477
The Best in Traffic, DUI and Criminal Defense

The Seattle DUI and Criminal Defense Blog

Negligent Driving in the 2nd Degree-What it is and what it’s not?

Posted Monday, January 16, 2017 by Andrew Charles Huff

I have represented hundreds of people for various traffic infractions over the years and no violation creates more questions than “negligent driving,” in this case Negligent Driving in the 2nd Degree.

Negligent Driving in the 2nd Degree is a traffic infraction and not a criminal offense. This means there is no jail time, it will not appear on your criminal record and the maximum fine allowed for this infraction is $550.

There are essentially two parts to RCW 46.61.525, the “Negligent Driving in the 2nd Degree” statute. It means driving “in a manner that is both negligent and endangers or is likely to endanger any person or property.” Being “negligent” means the “failure to exercise ordinary care, and is the doing of some act that a reasonably careful person would not do under the same or similar circumstances or the failure to do something that a reasonably careful person would do under the same or similar circumstances.” Additionally, these actions must “endangers/likely to endanger persons or property.” Both elements of the infraction must be proven or the court cannot find the infraction committed.

In my experience, actions alleged to be negligent include excessive speeding in heavy traffic or weaving in and out of traffic or driving extremely fast in the pouring down rain. An officer must articulate what the person did that was outside of reasonable behavior.

Permalink to this entry

Seattle Police Officers Using Body Cameras

Posted Wednesday, January 4, 2017 by Andrew Charles Huff

A small group of Seattle police officers have stepped up to the visual future by adding cameras to their uniforms with an additional 800 more officers outfitted by the end of next year.

The body-cameras, about the size of a pager, will be worn by a dozen members of the West Precinct bike squad. All officers’ duties will be recorded – from crime scenes, to protests to on the street conversations.More than 50 police departments across the state have experimented with body cameras, but only a handful actually use them daily.

As a defense attorney, these cameras are a useful tool to reviewing evidence and verifying the credibility of an officer’s actions versus my client’s explanation of events.

Permalink to this entry

Constitutional right to refuse a breath test? High Court says “Sorry Folks.”

Posted Thursday, December 22, 2016 by Andrew Charles Huff

A person does have certain privacy rights when asked to provide breath or blood from their bodies for testing. This normally occurs when a person is stopped for a DUI and asked to provide a breath or blood test. Some recent case law discussed these issues and just what privacy rights a person holds. Based on this theory, the argument becomes can a prosecutor use this “refusal” evidence at a DUI trial?

In a recent decision, the State Supreme Court held that a driver does not have a constitutional right to refuse a breath test because such a search falls under the search incident to arrest exception to the warrant requirement. Further, the Court found that although the implied consent law gives a driver a statutory right to refuse the test, by exercising the privilege to drive, a driver consents to admitting they refused to take the breath test into evidence in a trial. Therefore, the Court ruled that a driver’s refusal is admissible as evidence of guilt under Washington’s implied consent law.

State v. Baird

Permalink to this entry

Warnings About Marijuana Required in a DUI Arrest

Posted Friday, December 16, 2016 by Andrew Charles Huff

Now that adults can legally light up a joint in our state, did arresting officers in a DUI case have to notify Ms Murray about marijuana when requesting she submit to a breath test? The Washington State Supreme Court recently decided this issue based on a stop that occurred after marijuana became legal but prior to the breath test warnings being updated to reflect the change in the law.

First, a standard breath test machine can determine alcohol concentration in the breath, but it does not test for pot.

After the arrest, Trooper Gerrer read Ms Murray the standard Implied Consent Warnings for Breath at the police station. This incident took place approximately two days after new laws went into effect that set per se limits on THC concentration in blood. Trooper Gerrer did not provide Murray with any warnings about THC concentration in her blood.

The State argued that the trooper was not required to read the entire statutory warning and the trooper provided Murray with an adequate warning to allow her to make a knowing and intelligent decision about taking the breath test.But the Supreme Court found the State was unable to show that the officer gave all the required warnings to Murray, i.e. warnings about THC. Therefore, the breath test evidence in this case was properly suppressed.

State v. Murray

Permalink to this entry

Radar verses…..LIDAR?

Posted Thursday, December 8, 2016 by Andrew Charles Huff

The next time you see a police officer standing along the side of the road pointing a speed measuring device (SMD) at oncoming cars, it might now be a “radar gun.” Instead, the technology has evolved and more of these devices are what is called LIDAR. These newer speed detection devices use pulsed laser light or LIDAR, rather than radio waves. While radar’s radio waves can expand to 85 feet across at 1,000 feet from their source, LIDAR’s light beam diffuses to only about 6 feet, making the beam much harder to detect with any type of detection device some drivers use.

Despite the advent of LIDAR speed detection, radar still remains popular with many police agencies because of its lower price relative to LIDAR equipment and the amount of radar equipment already in service. In addition, in order to use LIDAR the officer must be stationary and cannot be moving at all on account of the need for a very precise aim.

Permalink to this entry

Contact Andrew Today…

47.6057080 -122.3302060