Posts tagged Washington State defense attorney

Weston Cage Tries to Elude Cops but Fails and Gets a DUI

In an attempt to elude police officers, Weston Cage, son of actor Nicolas Cage, managed to drive himself into a lot of trouble which included; running over mailboxes, plowing down a street sign, side swiping a car, and smashing into a tree. All ironically resulting in a police arrest and being charged with a DUI.

Saturday, Feb. 5th actually started off OK for the 26-year-old actor. Weston was driving a new ride in the San Fernando Valley around noon when he got into a minor fender bender. The driver of the other car and Weston exchanged information and all seemed to be fine.  Until, Weston thought the cops were coming to scene of the accident. That’s when Weston decided to take off! And that’s also when his day started to get a lot worse.

a duiWhile trying to escape the clutches of the ghost cops, Weston only made it a mile away until he lost control of his new car. He swerved onto a residential lawn, ran down a row of mail boxes, continued through the yard, plowed down a street sign, and finally came to a halt by running straight into a tree while sideswiping a car at the same time.  WOW, talk about major amount of destruction in a short amount of lawn.

To make matters worse, Weston’s car no longer looked new… the front end was completely smashed, bummer!

Needless to say, the police were called.  And unfortunately for the star of the movies Lord of War (2005) and Rage (2014), police believed Weston was driving under the influence, aka DUI.  He was arrested and taken to the hospital to check for any bodily injuries before being charged with DUI.

Feb. 5th was not the best day for Weston, but hopefully his days thereafter are much better.  And hopefully Weston hire’s a reputable DUI lawyer to defend his DUI charge!

If you have been charged with a DUI in Washington State and need a great lawyer on your side, give David O Defense a call, 206-459-6392.  Our experienced DUI attorneys are happy to help.

 

5 Big Reasons NOT To Talk To Cops

As a Washington State criminal defense attorney, I often meet with clients after they have been arrested and charged with a crime and more often than not, they have said too much to the arresting officer, which in turn can make their case more challenging.  As a defense attorney I am on my clients side and I want my clients to save themselves, thus I always advise my clients to be respectful to police but not to talk to police, keep quiet, and here are the reasons why:

5 Big Reasons NOT To Talk To Cops

1.  Talking to the police will not convince them of your innocence.  Some people think that if they tell the officers they are not guilty of a crime that the officer will believe their story and let them go.  Wrong, that does not happen, the officer already has some reasonable cause for thinking you have committed a crime and sharing your side of the story will only lead to serious risks of saying incriminating statements.  For example; “Officer I’m not drunk, I only had a few drinks with food and that was hours ago, I’m fine, I was driving safely .”  That individual just told the officer that they consumed alcohol and now “I only had a few drinks” will be used against the individual during the prosecution of their DUI charge.  Talking will not set you free!

2.  Remaining silent does not mean you are guilty.  Often people believe that not talking to law enforcement means they are admitting they are guilty.  False, by not talking does not mean you are guilty, it just means you have chosen to exercise your constitutional right to remain silent.  You have the right to remain silent!

3.  There is no benefit from admitting your guilt.  Confessing your guilt of a crime to a police officer has no benefit.  In fact an individual who confesses their crime to an officer will face a longer and harsher sentence than an individual who did not confess guilt and let their criminal defense attorney do the talking for them.   It is much more difficult for a defense attorney to negotiate a plea bargain for an individual that has confessed to an officer of their guilt.  Again, it is in a person’s best interest to remain quiet.

4.  Cops embellish and exaggerate.  Unfortunately, cops don’t write their police reports from an unbiased perspective, they write their reports from their own perspective.  And more often than not, cops will embellish or exaggerate their reports to make themselves and their arrest appear more legitimate, which in turn makes the accused appear more guilty.  For example; if a person arrested for domestic violence tells a cop, “I accidentally knocked over the table lamp.” the cop could embellish that statement in his report by writing “when I walked into the house I observed broken glass all over the floor, of which the outraged perpetrator admitted he smashed the table lamp on the ground” which paints a much more aggressive picture than what was originally said.  In a police report, the cop will look like the good guy and the person charged with a crime will look like the bad guy.  If you don’t talk, a cop cannot exaggerate on your statements.

5.  The more times you tell a story, the harder it becomes to tell it the same.  It is nearly impossible to retell a story exactly how you told it the first time, even if it is the truth.  The more times you tell a story the more versions you create.  If you told your story to the arresting officer you better bet the officer wrote down what you said in their police report.  Now imagine your case has gone to trial where you will have to tell your story again, but under stress, in front of an audience, and with a lot of serious consequences on the line, it would be very tough to tell your story exactly how you told the arresting officer.  And once you deviate from your original story, the prosecuting attorney will attack, trying to discredit you and make you look like a liar.  Thus the moral of story telling is save your story for your criminal defense attorney, let your attorney talk for you, and don’t talk to cops!

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This blog was inspired by the November 2014 Issue of Washington Criminal Defense, article entitled, “Top 10 reasons why you should never talk to cops!” written by Wade S. Samuelson and Professor James J. Duane.

The Difference Between A Public Defense Attorney And A Private Defense Attorney – Q&A.

When it comes to finding a defense attorney to work on a DUI case or any other type of criminal case, one of the first major decisions an individual must contemplate is to hire a private defense attorney or to utilize a public defense attorney.  For some individuals the choice is clear, for others the decision may be more difficult.  Here are some commonly asked questions and answers concerning private and public defense attorneys that may aid in the decision to hire an attorney or not.

Q.  Does a public defense attorney cost money, and if so how much?

A.  A public defense attorney does not cost money if that individual qualifies as indigent under Washington State law.  According to RCW 10.101, a person who is indigent:

  • Receives public assistance (temporary assistance for needy families; aged, blind or disabled assistance benefits; medical care services under RCW 74.09.035; pregnant women assistance benefits, poverty-related veterans’ benefits, food stamps or food stamp benefits transferred electronically, refugee resettlement benefits, Medicaid, or supplemental security income); OR
  • Is involuntarily committed to a public mental health facility; OR
  • Receives an annual income, after taxes, of 125 percent or less of the current federally established poverty level (external); OR
  • Is unable to pay the anticipated cost of counsel for the matter before the court because the available funds are insufficient to pay any amount for the retention of counsel.

If an individual does not qualify as indigent but does not have enough money for a private attorney than that individual is considered “able to contribute” and the Department of Public Defense screener will have the individual sign a promissory note to offset the cost of the public defense attorney.

Q.  Does a private attorney cost money, and if so how much?

A.   Yes, a private defense attorney will charge a flat fee or an hourly fee for services rendered.  Fees vary between private attorneys and more experienced attorneys or large law firms often command higher fees.  Here at David O Defense, attorneys offer a free consultation to talk about the criminal allegation.  During the consultation the attorney will be able to determine the legal fee, which is based on the circumstances of the case and criminal history.  A unique feature of David O Defense is the ability to offer tailored payment plans, to fit the financial situations of our clients.

3.  Q.  Does an individual get to choose a public defense attorney of their choice for case representation?

A.  No, the Department of Public Defense will assign an attorney, an individual does not get to choose.

4.  Q.  Does an individual get to choose a private defense attorney of their choice for case representation?

A.  Yes, an individual chooses a private defense attorney that best fits their legal needs.  Here at David O Defense we prefer to meet individuals in person so they can get a better impression of our attorneys and office environment.  We also encourage individuals to meet with other attorneys so they can determine which private attorney will provide the best representation. When visiting other attorneys, David O Defense suggests individuals should observe; 1) attorney mannerisms, 2) how well the attorney articulates legal matters and answers questions, and 3) the organization of the attorney and their office. Additionally, we recommend reading attorney reviews by peers and past clients on reputable websites like Nolo.com,Yelp or Avvo.com.

5.  Q.  Will a public defense attorney or a private defense attorney provide better case resolution and results?

A.  Generally a private defense attorney will work harder for better case resolutions and results.  Generally a private attorney has a smaller case load than a public defense attorney and therefore can dedicate more time and effort into an individuals case.  Also a private attorney has monetary and future referral incentives to work hard on an individual’s case, whereas a public defense attorney will receive a paycheck win or lose a case and they do not depend on referrals for future clients.  Here at David O Defense, our attorneys work very hard to achieve optimal case results for each and every client.

6.  Q.  Do public and private defense attorneys have the same legal education and qualifications for criminal defense work?

A.   Yes, both public and private defense attorneys have completed law school and passed the Washington State Bar exam to become a practicing criminal defense attorney in the State of Washington.  Years of experience, extra curriculum legal involvement, and a passion for criminal law will vary between attorneys.

 

Written by Criminal Defense Attorney, David O

Co-Written by SAO

David O Defense
2211 Elliott Avenue, Suite 200 Seattle, WA 98121
Tel: 206.459.6392
Fax: 888.615.0237
Email: david@davidodefense.com

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