Stay Safe on Fourth of July

Fourth of July DUI Consequences in Washington

Fourth of July DUI Consequences in Washington

Celebrating the birth of the United States with friends and family on the Fourth of July is a special occasion for many Americans, but it is also notorious for an increase in driving under the influence (DUI) violations. In this blog post, we will explore the potential consequences of a Fourth of July DUI in Washington and why it is crucial to have legal representation if you find yourself facing such charges during this festive season. The Law Office of Erin Bradley McAleer handles dozens of DUIs every year, giving our attorneys the experience necessary to defend clients effectively.

Increased DUI Patrols Due the DUI Consequences of Fourth of July in Washington

The danger of increased DUIs prompts law enforcement agencies to ramp up their patrols to combat drunk driving during the Fourth of July. DUI patrols are typically heightened, and sobriety checkpoints may be set up in various locations in an effort to prevent alcohol-related incidents. Due to the greater emphasis on DUI enforcement during this time, it is more likely to be pulled over on suspicion of driving under the influence.

DUI laws vary from state to state, but common consequences include hefty fines, license suspension, mandatory alcohol education programs, probation, community service, and even jail time. In the state of Washington, DUIs are classified as Gross Misdemeanors, which can carry up to 364 days in jail and up to $5,000.00 in fines. Additionally, the penalties you may face become more significant with each subsequent DUI charge. The seriousness of these consequences underscores the need for strong legal representation.

Complex Legal Process

Navigating the legal process after a DUI arrest can be overwhelming, especially for individuals who have no legal background. From understanding the paperwork and court procedures to mounting a strong defense, the complexity of the process can quickly become a daunting task. An experienced DUI attorney can guide you through the entire process, ensuring your rights are protected and providing valuable legal advice at every step.

Knowledge of DUI Laws

DUI laws are intricate and constantly evolving. An experienced DUI attorney possesses in-depth knowledge of the applicable laws, including any recent updates or changes. They understand the nuances of field sobriety tests, blood alcohol concentration (BAC) tests, and the admissibility of evidence. Armed with this expertise, an attorney can scrutinize the evidence against you and identify potential weaknesses in the prosecution’s case. They can challenge improper police procedures, faulty testing equipment, or unreliable witnesses to build a solid defense strategy on your behalf.

Protecting Your Rights 

When facing DUI charges, it is vital to have an attorney who will protect your constitutional rights. They will ensure that law enforcement did not violate any of your rights during the arrest, such as conducting an unlawful search or seizure. Additionally, an attorney can negotiate with prosecutors for reduced charges or alternative sentencing options, such as alcohol treatment programs or community service, instead of jail time.

How We Can Help

The Fourth of July festivities should not be overshadowed by the legal consequences of a DUI charge. If you find yourself facing such charges during this holiday season, it is essential to consult with a DUI attorney immediately. Their expertise in DUI laws, the legal process, and protecting your rights can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case. By hiring a skilled attorney, you can ensure that you have the best possible chance to defend yourself and mitigate the potential consequences associated with a DUI conviction. The attorneys at the Law Office of Erin Bradley McAleer have the experience and skill necessary to build strong and effective defenses for our clients, and we will do the same for you.

Call the Law Office of Erin Bradley McAleer today at (360) 334-6277 and schedule a free consultation with one of our highly qualified attorneys.

Drive-By Shootings Surge in Washington State

Drive-By Shootings in Washington

Drive-By Shootings in Washington

In recent years, drive-by shootings have become a prevalent concern across the United States, including the state of Washington. On the evening of May 18th, a man who was traveling westbound on State Route 520 changed lanes at the same time as a white sedan after which he changed back. The man explains that some words were exchanged and then a gunshot went off, he then looked back and saw that the driver was holding a gun. These were one of 3 drive-by shootings that have taken place in a 3-day span, with none of the assailants being identified.

Drive-By Shooting charges can carry serious consequences, and understanding what to do if you are charged with such a crime is imperative to protecting your freedom and future. Hiring an experienced lawyer is going to be the best course of action if you are charged with any crime, as they will help guide you to what your next steps should be. The Law Office of Erin Bradley McAleer has a team of highly skilled attorneys that will defend you to the fullest extent of the law in court, they will work hard to protect your future and freedom.

Understanding Drive-By Shootings

A drive-by shooting refers to the act of discharging a firearm from a moving vehicle with the intent to cause harm or injury to another person or property. This type of crime is often associated with gang-related activity or other criminal enterprises. The prevalence of drive-by shootings raises concerns about public safety, community well-being, and the effectiveness of existing legal frameworks in addressing this menace. 

Prosecution and Penalties

Drive-by shootings are taken seriously by law enforcement and prosecutors in Washington state. Conviction for this offense can result in severe consequences for the defendant. The penalties imposed will vary depending on several factors, including the severity of injuries caused, the defendant’s criminal history, and any related charges. Let’s examine potential penalties:

Drive-By Shooting: Drive-by shootings are classified as class B felonies. Upon conviction, individuals may face imprisonment for a term up to 10 years, fines up to $20,000.00, or both. The court may also impose additional conditions, such as probation, community service, or mandatory counseling.

Collateral Consequences: In addition to criminal penalties, individuals convicted of drive-by shootings may face long-lasting collateral consequences. These can include restrictions on firearm possession, limited employment opportunities, and damage to personal and professional reputation.

Additional Charges

Washington state has enacted comprehensive legislation to combat drive-by shootings and hold perpetrators accountable for their actions. However under Washington law, drive-by shootings are typically prosecuted with accompanying offenses, depending on the circumstances. Let’s explore some key aspects of the legal framework:

Assault and Homicide Laws: Drive-by shootings often result in injuries or fatalities. In such cases, the perpetrators may face charges under Washington’s assault and homicide laws, depending on the severity of the harm caused. These charges can also carry severe penalties in addition to the Drive-By Shooting crime.

Felony Firearm Possession: Drive-by shooters are likely to possess firearms during the commission of the crime. If a defendant has prior felony convictions or is otherwise prohibited from possessing firearms, they may face additional charges related to illegal firearm possession.

How We Can Help You

Drive-by shootings represent a serious threat to public safety in Washington state. By understanding the legal framework and penalties associated with this crime, we can reinforce the message that such acts are prosecuted harshly by the state. We also want to underline that everyone has a right to an attorney, no matter the circumstances. The Law Office of Erin Bradley McAleer offers quality defense and service, guiding you every step of the way.

Call the Law Office of Erin Bradley McAleer at (360) 334-6277 today and schedule a free and confidential consultation with one of our highly qualified attorneys.

Don’t Do What I Did – Secure Your Load Before Driving Away

Unsecured Load Incidents and RCW 46.61.655 in Washington

Unsecured Load Incidents and RCW 46.61.655: Lessons from a Rainy Day in Washington

It was a nasty Sunday afternoon where it rained non-stop which followed up with some hail to boot. This was the perfect opportunity after attending church with my family to go and grab lunch at the Old Spaghetti Factory, and do some shopping at Costco since playing outside was clearly out of the question.

Lunch was great with the family and off we headed to Costco in east Vancouver. We happened upon an outdoor table that my wife fancied for her patio and we were in luck they still had several in stock. We bought the table and three Costco employees and myself spent the next 20 minutes loading three giant boxes in the back of my Chevy Silverado. We tried several different arrangements, however, each arrangement left something to be desired as to how it sit or hung out the back or side of the truck. Eventually we settled on a configuration, but it still wasn’t ideal. Having left my straps at home I chatted with the 3 employees who all thought it would be fine if I drove slow as the lightest box was over 60 lbs.

I set out toward home and took it easy down 192nd and took Highway 14 toward my home in Salmon Creek. I stayed in the left lane and drove no faster than 50 mph. Just prior to the 205 interchange I saw the 60 lb. box on top catch air and fly out the back of my truck onto the highway. Luckily traffic wasn’t heavy and the box didn’t hit any vehicles. I stopped and put my flashers and called 911 for help as I didn’t want anyone to hit the box and damage their car, or worse get hit. Traffic seemed to slow and began going around my box on the freeway when another motorist stopped and helped me push the box over the construction jersey barrier. I then cleared the scene and exited the highway to attempt to try and loop back down a side street to retrieve the box.

A Trooper called me and told me he was going to attempt to locate the box. He called me back and directed me on how to get back to the area safely and even helped me load the box back into my truck. When we left the scene, I was able to re-enter traffic safely with his help and get to a place where I could buy a strap and secure the load. This fun family trip quickly turned into a stressful afternoon that could have been avoided.

Unsecured Load Hazards and incidents in Washington

RCW 46.61.655 states that No vehicle shall be driven or moved on any public highway unless such vehicle is construction or loaded as to prevent any of its load from dropping, sifting or leaking, or otherwise escaping therefrom. When researching this blog post, I was shocked to find that in 2019, Washington State Patrol reported 154 collisions caused by unsecure loads, and that troopers had made more than 7,386 stops involving unsecured loads. An unsecured load could merit a fine of $136.00, but if someone is injured a person could be charged with a gross misdemeanor or worse.

Maria’s Law: A Reminder of the Stakes About Unsecured load incidents in Washington

In 2005 Maria’s law went into effect making it a crime in Washington if your unsecure load injuries or kills someone. In 2004 Maria Federici left her shift at work in Kirkland, Washington when suddenly a piece of particle board flew off the back of a U-Haul and hit Maria’s car resulting in severe brain damage. In March, 2012 an unsecure mattress threw off a vehicle on I-5 near King County causing a collision which killed a young woman. To make matters worse the driver of the vehicle fled the scene.

Needless to say, I didn’t think a box weighing 60 lbs. or more would just fly out of my truck going at a relatively low speed. I also didn’t contemplate how dire of a situation this really could have been. As a criminal defense attorney and an attorney who has represented hundreds of clients issued traffic infractions, I should have known better and taken better precaution because I do try and drive in a reasonable and prudent manner.

Lessons Learned and Gratitude for Law Enforcement

I was definitely could have been issued an infraction for failing to secure my load. I was lucky this time and I plan to take it to heart be more prepared next time. I was also lucky to have a Trooper out on the road looking after my safety and my lost property. I have had the privilege in my law practice to work with many great Troopers who seek first to help those in need, and second to enforce traffic laws. Next time you see a State Trooper be sure to thank them for their service, and don’t be like me – secure your load and be safe on the roads.

Charged With Hit and Run. Now What?

Consequences of Hit and Run in Washington

Consequences of Hit and Run in Washington

Being engaged in a Hit and Run may be stressful and have a long-term impact on your criminal record. It is generally the result of an accident, but it can have significant implications, such as jail time. There can be several reasons for your Hit and Run such as getting stressed when hitting the vehicle you hit and you fleeing the scene. Being drunk, injured, confused, or any form of incapacitation may also be reasons for the Hit and Run. Ultimately, regardless of the reason, you failed to submit the essential information when you damaged another person’s property or car, and as a result you may now face a Hit and Run prosecution as a result. The attorneys at the Law Office of Erin Bradley McAleer understand that there may be extraneous circumstances leading to the Hit and Run, and we are devoted to presenting and defending you in a court of law. If you find yourself facing Consequences of Hit and Run in Washington, our experienced team will stand by your side throughout the legal process.

What are the different Types of Hit and Run Charges and Consequences in Washington?

Hit and Run Unattended:

Hit and Run in the State of Washington is defined as when a driver or an operator of a vehicle crashes into another vehicle, and then proceeds to flee the scene. If you crash into an unattended vehicle, such as a parked car, you are required by law to locate its owner or leave a note with your contact information and address. If you leave the damaged vehicle without your due diligence, it is considered a misdemeanor in the State of Washington. Misdemeanors are punishable by a maximum of 90 days in jail, and a $1,000 fine.

Hit and Run Attended:

When you crash into an attended or occupied vehicle, you are also required to locate the owner and provide him with pertinent information such as name, address, driver’s license information, and insurance. Fleeing from the scene without stopping and giving your information to the other driver will result in a gross misdemeanor Hit and Run charge. A gross misdemeanor’s maximum sentencing is 1 year in jail and a $5,000 fine.

Hit and Run Property Damage:

Damaging someone else’s property with your vehicle and fleeing may also result in a Hit and Run charge. You are still responsible for providing the damaged property’s owner with your information, failure to do so will also result in a misdemeanor Hit and Run.

Hit and Run Death or Injury:

A Hit and Run resulting in someone else’s injury or death is typically the most serious Hit and Run charge. Fleeing the scene and failing to contact or wait for authorities will result in a felony charge, and the severity of the felony depends on if the person was injured or killed in the accident. An accident resulting in an injury is a class C felony, which carries a maximum of 5 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Death as a result of the accident in a Hit and Run is a class B felony with a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.

Being involved in a Hit and Run can have serious legal and personal consequences. Having the right attorneys representing you can have a massive impact on how your case turns out. The Law Office of Erin Bradley McAleer is equipped with the right expertise to handle your case.

What am I required to do when I am in an accident?

To keep yourself safe in any circumstance when you are involved in an accident there are several crucial steps one must take care to complete. Stop immediately as close as possible to the scene of impact or crash, contact authorities and DO NOT LEAVE THE SCENE. Find the owner of the damaged property. If you cannot locate the owner, a written note in a conspicuous place is required by law. The information that you should give the owner or write on the note is as follows:

  • Full name
  • Address
  • Insurance company
  • Insurance policy number
  • Vehicle license number
  • Driver’s license must be written down or shown to the victim

How can it be resolved?

There are several defenses that are used for Hit and Run accidents. Defenses are highly contingent on the person’s intent and the facts and circumstances that are involved in your particular case. You may have just not realized that you damaged it by accident and you left the scene without knowledge of the damage. Maybe you realized that you damaged the vehicle or property and left a note but the note was misplaced by the owner or the note was blown away by the wind. Even if you did leave the scene and didn’t comply with the strict requirements of the law, a skilled attorney may be able to resolve your case without a conviction through a process known as a civil compromise which involves paying for the damage caused or getting your insurance to pay for it, or entering into a diversionary program among other ways to resolve the case.

In any case it is highly recommended that you have an attorney representing you, since every case is unique. The attorneys at the Law Office of Erin Bradley McAleer are ready and willing to represent and defend you in a court of law. Give us a call today to schedule a free consultation.

I Was Charged With a DUI, What Are My Options?

Expert DUI Lawyers in Washington | Defending Your Rights & Driving Privileges

DUI Lawyers in Washington

Getting stopped by a police officer and receiving a Driving Under the Influence (DUI) charge in Washington has the potential to seriously affect your daily life. Consequences can include a fine, jail time, the suspension of your driver’s license, treatment, and ignition interlock in your car. DUI charges can also be quite stressful and overwhelming. Understanding what consequences of a DUI charge is critical, and our skillful DUI Lawyers in Washington will help you navigate the legal process and assist you in understanding your options in this difficult time. The defenses for DUIs tend to be technical in nature, which require detailed knowledge and experience. This is why it’s important to hire an attorney with that knowledge and experience, which our DUI attorneys have.

What do DUI cases look like?

DUI cases can be quite complex and often have a lot of moving parts. such as additional charges or collateral consequences. A personal criminal background, prior DUI history, or out of state convictions can play a major role in the outcome of the case. Common charges that often coincide with DUI charges could include Hit & Run, Reckless Driving, Reckless endangerment, and eluding the police. A DUI conviction may have negative consequences on your future. The Law Office of Erin Bradley McAleer understands these various issues and do our very best to ensure the best possible outcome for your situation.

Supervised release violations

When released from jail on a DUI, the court will often place conditions on your release pending the outcome of your case. This may include sobriety or alcohol monitoring or check-ins with a supervised released officer. If you fail to abide by these conditions, the court can revoke your release and force you to go back into custody, making your case harder to resolve. This can often be the case on DUIs or other such cases that involve substance use disorders as the draw to use those substances can be strong. Unfortunately, often, the resolution of your case can also be better depending on your ability to do treatment and how amenable one is to it.

Probation violations and DUI Lawyers in Washington

If convicted of a DUI, you will have probation for several years afterwards. The court will place certain conditions and guidelines for you to follow over a certain period and if you fail to follow those conditions, such as treatment, meetings, good conduct, no new law violations, or other such conditions; it will result in additional punishment. If you have already been convicted of a prior DUI and are charged with a new DUI, the new probation violation will often trigger a mandatory 30-day sentence, depending on the conduct alleged. This is another example of how DUI cases can get very complicated very quickly so having our experienced attorneys at the Law Office of Erin Bradley McAleer will be incredibly beneficial to the outcome of your case.

What can we do for you?

The first step our attorneys will take is gathering the necessary information and evidence that is helpful to your case. These documents generally include the police reports, witness statements, breathalyzer results, blood tests, and probable cause statements. Our attorneys will carefully examine all the evidence and documents provided to set up the best possible defense for your circumstance.

We can also help you navigate through the complex minefield of collateral requirements and consequences, which includes the evaluation and treatment process, SR22 insurance, ignition interlock requirement, license suspension, CDL license impact, victim impact panel, and a potential reduction in fines and fees.

Your license may also be restricted when you receive a DUI by the Department of Licensing which has its own set of laws regarding DUIs. The Department of Licensing has its own set process regarding the reinstatement of your license, and our lawyers will not only help with your defense but also with getting your ability to drive back as well taking the necessary precautions and connecting you with the resources you need.

Our attorneys will take all necessary steps to continue to build the defense aiming for the best possible outcome. One of the ways we do this is by challenging the validity of the evidence brought against you in court. We may challenge the validity of the stop itself, challenging the validity of the breath test machine, and/or challenging the validity of the field sobriety test as well. Negotiating with the prosecuting attorney will also be a step we take in order to bring the charges down.

Don’t hesitate. Contact us now to see what we can do for you at the Law Office of Erin Bradley McAleer.