January 19, 2021

Fire in the Park to support local firefighters

As all of America watches, aghast, as several wildfires rage across Colorado, claiming homes and displacing thousands, many are ever more grateful for this country’s firefighters. This summer, we can show our gratitude by supporting the men and women of the Vancouver Firefighters, local union 452.

The 4th Annual (metaphorically named) Fire in the Park returns to Vancouver this month. The event is the Vancouver Firefighter’s Union Annual Charity. The event will be held on July 21st at Esther Short Park in Vancouver. Fire in the Park is free to attend, but donations are welcome and appreciated.

The annual charity event boasts many entertaining activities and delicious food. Events consist of: [Read more…]

Am I Under Arrest? – Knowing the Difference Between Arrest and Conviction

There is often a great deal of confusion regarding the difference between an arrest and a conviction of a crime.  An arrest is significantly different from a conviction and in both situations a criminal defense lawyer can be particularly helpful in dealing with the issues surrounding an arrest, and the following investigation.

An arrest is defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as “the act of taking or keeping in custody by authority of law.”  Literally an arrest means that a person was taken into police custody because there was probable cause to believe the person committed a crime.  An arrest is not a finding that the person is guilty or any crime, and it is not necessarily proof that the person has done anything wrong at all.  Instead, an arrest is an informal accusation of a criminal offense.

[Read more…]

The DUI Process

Driving under the influence law, commonly known as DUI law, deals with the criminal charges associated with operating a motor vehicle while under the influence or alcohol or drugs.  Driving with a blood alcohol content, or BAC, of .08 or higher is a criminal offense in all 50 states and in Washington D.C.

In Washington State, driving under the influence (RCW 46.61.502 and RCW 46.61.5055) for the first offense will probably result in a gross misdemeanor charge.  According to the State of Washington Administrative Office of the Courts, a driver with a BAC at .14% or lower may face a minimum of 24 hours in jail and a maximum of 365 days. A person with no prior DUI offenses may face a 90-day license suspension or a fine up to $5,000.   A driver with a DUI from the past 7 years can expect additional consequences.  Other factors like the driver’s BAC, criminal history, and age can change the charge.

When a person is stopped for a potential DUI offense, two separate proceedings begin.  The administrative proceeding is conducted through the Department of Licensing and the criminal law process is conducted through the court system.
[Read more…]

Vancouver Urban Growers Market comes back May 25

Vancouver’s Urban Growers Market is coming back for a second year, starting May 25 through Sept. 28. The market will feature produce from backyard and small plot farmers market, crafts and art, a local food court, music and other fun activities.

The market will be at 2315 Main St., next to One World Merchants in Uptown Village. It will take place every second and fourth Friday, from 4 to 8 p.m.

You can find out more, including a list of vendors and sponsors at The Urban Growers Market website.

Search warrants needed for most vehicle searches

Washington recently joined the ranks of states that provide individuals with privacy rights broader than what’s afforded to them via the federal constitution. Mike Carter of the Seattle Times reported on the Washington Supreme Court’s landmark opinion in State v. Sapp, in his article “State Supreme Court Imposes Limits on Vehicle Searches.

The 8-1 ruling made on April 5, 2012, overturned convictions in two consolidated cases where police found drugs after stopping the vehicle and performing a search. The decision establishes that police must obtain a search warrant prior to searching a vehicle regardless of what type of relevant evidence they suspect the vehicle may hold. [Read more…]

Staying in touch with clients

We recently learned two things about George Zimmerman, the accused shooter who was indicted on a murder charge in the Trayvon Martin case in Florida.

One is that his criminal defense lawyers dropped out of the case because they had trouble keeping in contact with their client. The second is that Zimmerman was talking to the media, despite his defense attorney’s best efforts to keep him from doing so.

“One of the things every defense attorney tells his client is don’t talk to the prosecutors, don’t talk to the cops, frankly don’t talk to anybody until we get control of the situation,” said attorney Hall Uhrig. Zimmerman’s second attorney, Craig Sonner said the two were withdrawing because “we’ve lost contact with him.” [Read more…]

Vancouver Walk/Run for Animals benefits the Humane Society

The 21st annual Walk/Run for the Animals is May 5 at Esther Short Park, 301 W 8th St., downtown. It benefits the Humane Society for Southwest Washington, which works to find homes for and take care of vulnerable animals.

There are several events you can participate in on race day: a 5K Fun Run, a 3 mile walk or a 1.5 mile walk. There’s a $25 registration fee, from 9 a.m. to noon,. You can register for the race online and find out more about the organization’s work at the Humane Society for Southwest Washington website.

Zealously defending the client from the start

The U.S. Supreme Court recently recognized the value of a criminal defense attorney in the pre-trial process. Noting that some 94 percent to 97 percent of convictions are the result of guilty pleas, the high court said people have the Constitutional right to an effective criminal defense lawyer during the plea bargaining process.

This is a good thing, most lawyers agree. When 19 out of 20 cases – everything from DUI charges to felony murders – are resolved with plea agreements, it’s essential that effective lawyer action is part of that process from the beginning.
[Read more…]

You can be arrested for calling 911

Calling 911 is for emergencies, but we’ve all probably heard stories of people who have called the number for minor problems. In Washington State anytime police are called to a domestic violence call, if they are able to determine the primary aggressor (from the officer’s perspective) then police will arrest the primary aggressor and take them to the County Jail where they will remain most often until they see a Judge who will very frequently impose a no contact order. I have personally represented individuals arrested for domestic violence when the original 911 caller did not claim any domestic violence. Other examples that should make you think before dialing 911 for non-emergency problems are outlined below.
[Read more…]

Woodland Tulip Festival in April

Food, fun and, of course, flowers are all part of the upcoming Annual Woodland Tulip Festival. The 10th annual festival is at Holland American Bulb Farms, South Pekin Road, Woodland.

Admission is free at the event, which is from April 14-15 and 21-22, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The festival has been expanded this year. So in addition to live gardening and flower arranging demonstrations, expect a larger artisan and farmers market, a 5K and more, the organizers say on their website. [Read more…]