Ryan Witt

Ryan Witt

May 28, 2019

Federal DUI

DUI arrests that occur on Naval Base Kitsap (which includes Naval Station Bremerton, Naval Submarine Base Bangor, Keyport, Indian Island & Bremerton Naval Hospital) are under the jurisdiction of the United States Government.

If you are a member of the Armed Forces and you are arrested for a DUI on Federal Lands, such as Naval Base Kitsap, your case will go to the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington. This is due to the fact that it occurred on Federal Lands, so it is the Federal Government, and not local County Government, that has jurisdiction. You will be prosecuted by the JAG (Judge Advocate General) attorneys, who represent the United States Government.

Federal Law Borrows From The Washington DUI Statute

Even though the case is prosecuted in Federal Court, the Federal Court uses the Washington State DUI Statute for their DUI prosecution. This is RCW 46.61.502 and all of the caselaw that is derived therefrom. While the Federal Court does use the State Statute for their Prosecution, the application of that law is much different in the Federal Court verses the State Courts. Most often, this is to the advantage of the defendant. For example, the State Courts will keep jurisdiction open for five years after a DUI conviction. In Federal Court, the case file is closed (ending jurisdiction) typically once an individual satisfies the conditions or sanctions imposed by the Court. Fines in the State Court are large due to mandatory sentencing, and they are often much less in Federal Court.

Stops Can Be For "Less Than Probable Cause."

While some of the sanctions can be viewed as more lenient, the flip side is that a stop on a Naval Base does not need to meet the same standard for "cause" as would a stop off of a base. Off of a base, an officer can only stop an individual if they have probable cause to believe that they have committed some crime, or that they have committed a traffic violation or infraction. If an officer stops an individual and arrests the person for a crime, that arrest and prosecution is typically thrown out if it is determined that the stop occurred without probable cause. That does not hold true on a Naval Base. They can stop an individual from less than probable cause or for no cause at all. A Federal Court will not throw out a DUI prosecution if the stop is not based on probable cause.

What If You Are A Civilian On Federal Property?

If you are a civilian and you get a DUI while visiting on a Naval Base, your case will also be prosecuted in the United States District Court. The difference is you will be prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office, and not the JAG. The cases will be treated the same way, meaning both under the Statutes for the State of Washington, but individuals in the Navy will likely receive a higher sanction through impact on their paygrade and or rank. Both members of the Armed Forces and civilians will need to request their DOL hearing so that they can appeal the DOL's suspension. This needs to be done within 7 days of the date of arrest - even if no criminal case is yet pending.

Federal cases are different than the typical DUI. If accused, you need an attorney who has experience in the Federal District Court and understands the differences between the procedures in a State and Federal Court. At the Witt Law Group, we are licensed to practice in the United States District Court and can handle any criminal matter that occurs on Naval Base Kitsap. From experience, we can say contacting us early is advantageous because we can typically resolve a case in the early stages. This can avoid months of pretrial conferences and ultimately a trial. Please contact our office for a free consultation so we can explain to you how we can best mitigate the situation. We have offices in Bremerton, Gig Harbor and Poulsbo Washington and we are always happy to represent members of the Armed Forces.

Nearly all of our DUI defense clients will seek a drug and alcohol assessment. The court may order the evaluation or the client may choose to seek an evaluation to show she is proactive in determining whether substance abuse is an issue. As would be expected, most people are nervous and unsure about how an assessment will be handled. Often, it is the first time most clients have any interaction with the legal system and they will be anxious about being judged by a drug and alcohol counselor. 

Some people feel more at ease if they know what to expect at the evaluation. Not all evaluations are the same but here are some common issues the counselor will be addressing.

Common Issues:

1. The counselor will look at the criminal complaint to determine the nature of your criminal charge. 

2. The counselor will look at your criminal history. Basically, they are trying to verify whether this criminal charge is your one and only legal issue or if there is a pattern of similar behavior. From this history, they may extrapolate whether drugs or alcohol are contributing to this pattern. 

3. The counselor will look at the police narrative, which is the “story” of your arrest. From this, the evaluator can determine how impaired you presented during the event in question. For example, if you appeared to have no impairment and conducted yourself “normally” but your BAC was very high, this might be indicative of long term alcohol consumption in which you become conditioned to functioning with a high level of alcohol in your system. 

4. In the context of a DUI, the counselor will want to see the breath test ticket. Again, this is to look at how much you drank on a particular occasion. The higher the amount, the more likely they are to recommend treatment. 

5. They will perform a UA screen to determine if you have consumed alcohol within 24 hours of your evaluation or have smoked marijuana within the previous 30 days. 

6. The counselor will ask about your frequency of drinking alcohol or using marijuana each week. The more frequently you use, the more likely the counselor will find you have a substance abuse problem. 

7. The counselor will ask you about the number of drinks it takes you to feel affected by alcohol. They are trying to get a baseline of how alcohol impairs you and whether that baseline has changed over time. In other words, does it take you significantly more alcohol to feel impaired than it did in years past? 

8. There will likely be some other preliminary questions regarding family history and whether other members of your family have an issue with substance abuse. This may show a predisposition to a substance abuse disorder. 

9. Work history and personal life will also be discussed. The counselor is assessing whether alcohol or drug use has negatively impacted your professional life or personal relationships. For example, they may ask if you have been “written up” at work for coming in late or being impaired while on the job. Additionally, they may be curious to know whether a loved one has already asked you to seek treatment.

Check With Your Attorney

If you have questions about a drug and alcohol assessment, you should check with your attorney for further information and guidance. It is important to be honest with your evaluator so you can get the help you need but also so that you do not appear deceptive to the Court.

 

 

May 21, 2019

Littering

Littering is prohibited in Washington State by RCW 70.93.060. The unusual thing about littering is that the violation can either be written as an infraction or it can be charged as a crime. With an infraction an individual pays a fine, with a crime there is potential jail time.

Littering Defined

It is a violation of this section to abandon a junk vehicle upon any property. In addition, no person shall throw, drop, deposit, discard, or otherwise dispose of litter upon any public property in the state or upon private property in this state not owned by him or her or in the waters of this state whether from a vehicle or otherwise including but not limited to any public highway, public park, beach, campground, forestland, recreational area, trailer park, highway, road, street, or alley.

The severity of how the littering case is prosecuted is based on volume. The three different levels of severity are listed below.

Civil Infraction

It is a civil infraction if the litter is in an amount less than or equal to one cubic foot.

Misdemeanor

It is a misdemeanor if the litter in an amount greater than one cubic foot but less than one cubic yard. If the person is convicted, a condition of the sentence is typically payment of twice the cost of the cleanup.

Gross Misdemeanor

It is a gross misdemeanor if the litter is in an amount of one cubic yard or more. Again, if there is a sentence, a condition is payment of twice the cost of cleanup.

If you have been accused of littering, there is typically a defense that can be presented. The stakes are large since these matters can be charges as crimes and not just civil infractions. Often times the police reports are entirely hearsay and the investigating officers will have no first hand knowledge, which is required by the rules of evidence. Our lawyers handle all infractions, including littering.

We have offices in Bremerton, Poulsbo and Gig Harbor Washington for your convenience.

April 22, 2019

Summons For A DUI

I received a summons for a DUI.  What should I do? 

Historically, when a person was arrested for DUI, he or she would be taken into custody or, alternatively, directed by the arresting officer to be present in Court the next date Court was in session. The initial appearance or arraignment for the DUI was typically on the Monday following the arrest. This has been the common practice for decades. Rarely, would a defendant be mailed a Summons regarding a DUI charge and, certainly, not six or nine months after the initial arrest. Over the course of the last year, this has all changed.

Why The Change In Practice?

The legalization of marijuana has changed how law enforcement and lawyers handle criminal charges. Following the passage of Initiative I-502, law enforcement and policy makers have been in a constant race to keep ahead of the issues that “legal” marijuana creates.

What is The Change?

For a large portion of DUI arrests, law enforcement is now drawing blood. Since so many citizens partake in the use of marijuana, it logically follows that a DUI suspect might be impaired due to THC. Without a blood draw, there is no definitive way to know if the person has smoked or ingested marijuana.

Unfortunately, when a DUI suspect has their blood drawn, the result is not available immediately, as it is with a BAC machine measuring alcohol. Consequently, the arresting officer will simply file a report, submit the blood to the toxicology lab, and then forward that information to the Prosecutor’s office. Despite the fact that the suspect is technically “under arrest” during the process, he or she is not booked into jail and does not remain in custody. Furthermore, the suspect will not be directed to appear in Court. The reason for the change in protocol is twofold.

The primary reason for the change in protocol is simply logistics. It takes several months for law enforcement to receive the result from the blood draw. The blood samples must be sent to the Washington State Crime Lab, which is providing those results in approximately four months. We have seen results come back eight months later!

The second reason for the change is that the delay in blood results creates a subsequent legal challenge. The Court and the Prosecutor must comply with a suspect’s speedy trial rights, which is 90 days following the arraignment. If the Prosecutor’s office charges a case immediately following the arrest, this means they must be ready to take the case to trial within the 90 day window. Clearly, with their evidence at the toxicology lab for four or more months, this wouldn’t work. The Prosecutor would lose all of these cases based on the legal challenge from any competent defense attorney. Therefore, it is imperative that the Prosecutor delay the arraignment.

Community Safety

Once upon a time, the Prosecution believed in the importance of getting a DUI suspect into Court quickly, so that they could set “conditions of release.” In other words, cases were prioritized to ensure community safety. Historically, on a Monday following a DUI arrest, the Prosecutor would request that the Court order a defendant to consume no alcohol or non-prescribed drugs. After I-502, the priority of community safety has changed. Without a faster turn around time from the toxicology lab, the Prosecution must alter strategy to comply with the rights of the accused. Simply put, the State cannot charge a person without evidence ready to take to trial.

Real World Consequences

Hypothetically, a person can be arrested in January and wait in limbo for many months to know whether their recreational marijuana use met the 5 ng/ml standard for a DUI. After several months pass, most people think their blood sample was fine. Since the suspect is released the night of the blood draw with no instruction on when (if at all) to go to Court, he or she believes life can go on as normal.

In May, a job opportunity arises out of state that the individual can’t pass up. The person moves on with life and that means a new address. Since many months have passed, the person does not think to leave a forwarding address or contact Washington Department of Licensing. Six months later, when the DUI is charged, a Summons is mailed to the last known address. Not surprisingly, the person misses the court date listed on the Summons. Now, a Bench Warrant is issued for their arrest. Additionally, the individual also fails to receive the information regarding the 7 day window to request a Department of Licensing Hearing to challenge their license suspension and, therefore, is now driving on a suspended license.

As you can see, there are many frustrating challenges that flow from the delay in blood results. Unfortunately, this “hypothetical” is actually happening to many Washington citizens everyday.

What Should I Do?

First and foremost, keep your address up to date with the Department of Licensing. Once your case is charged, the Prosecutor will give the information to the Court Clerk’s Office and they send out the Summons. They send the Summons to the last known address provided to DOL.

Second, get ahead of the DUI charge. When we are hired for a DUI and there is no date set, we typically advise our clients to take some proactive steps. We will consider whether, in a particular case, an alcohol evaluation or a DUI Victims Impact panel might be beneficial to complete before the arraignment date. Additionally, we keep in regular contact with the Prosecutor’s Office so we know as soon as the case has been charged. There are strategies that we employ that can make the arraignment – and the remainder of the case – go much more smoothly.

There are too many pitfalls to go through this process alone. If you have received a Summons for a DUI, or you were arrested and have not yet received a Summons, give our office a call for a free, confidential consultation.

April 20, 2019

Marijuana DUI

When Washington State added marijuana per se limits to the DUI statute, they unintentionally created a legal paradox. While an alcohol-related DUI is based on science, the marijuana DUI standards are based on fear. The marijuana standard of 5 ng/ml is simply an arbitrary number based on no clear understanding of THC on impairment.

When the marijuana DUI law was created, it was generally agreed upon that the 5 ng/ml standard did not truly measure impairment. Attempted measurement of impairment is too subjective based on many physiological factors that differ from person to person. The origin of the 5 ng/ml standard is not impressive. Rather than a basis in agreed upon science, it is the result of clamoring from multiple special interest groups.

No Correlation Between Per Se Standard and Impairment

Marijuana does not have a steady burn off rate in our bodies like alcohol does. After an individual uses marijuana, even long after they are no longer “high,” the THC is stored in fat cells and slowly released over days or weeks. The “high,” or impairment, may only lasts a short period, but the measurable amount THC remains for a much longer period.

The Marijuana DUI Statute

The statute that is used to criminalize marijuana and driving is simply a modified version of the decades old DUI statute. RCW 46.61.502 was modified in the following ways to regulate marijuana:

RCW 46.61.502

(1) A person is guilty of driving while under the influence of … marijuana … if the person drives a vehicle within this state:
(b) The person has, within two hours after driving, a THC concentration of 5.00 or higher as shown by analysis of the person's blood made under RCW 46.61.506; or
(c) While the person is under the influence of … marijuana; or
(d) While the person is under the combined influence of or affected by intoxicating liquor, marijuana, and any drug.
(2) The fact that a person charged with a violation of this section is or has been entitled to use a drug under the laws of this state shall not constitute a defense against a charge of violating this section.

Similarities

The marijuana DUI is a gross misdemeanor, just like the alcohol DUI. The requirements upon sentencing are similar as well. An individual convicted of a marijuana DUI will also need to obtain an alcohol and drug evaluation, follow through with treatment, and complete a DUI Victim’s Impact Panel.

Differences

Difference 1 is the timeline. The timeline is much different with a marijuana DUI. With an alcohol DUI, an individual typically goes to Court for a first appearance on the next judicial day. The criminal process starts immediately. With a marijuana DUI, the Court process may not start for 4 to 8 months. Long enough where the individual can forget about it – and then they receive a summons in the mail. The reason for this long delay is that the arresting officer will send a suspect’s blood sample off to the Washington State Crime Lab. The Crime Lab doesn’t turn the result around for many months. Then, once the result is received by the arresting officer, it is finally sent off to the local prosecuting attorney’s office, who will ultimately charge the case.

Difference 2 is the presence of a warrant. In the great majority of marijuana DUI cases, the root of the blood result is a warrant. For law enforcement, obtaining a warrant is a specialized process fraught with pitfalls where law enforcement is prone to make errors. If an error can be exposed in any part of the warrant application process, then the result of the warrant (the blood result) can be thrown out.

Marijuana DUI cases are defensible. If you have been charged with a marijuana DUI case, you need to contact an experienced DUI defense attorney right away. You do not want to wait the 4 or 8 months until the case is charged. Within the first several days there are strategic decisions that need to be made (should you go obtain your own independent test?) and timelines that need to be recognized (do I need to request a DOL hearing within 7 days?). These decisions are critical and can not be revisited once it is too late. 

If you have a question about a marijuana DUI case, call our office for a free, confidential consultation.

Once or twice a year a client or friend (or both) will call our office and explain that one of their parents received a “Parking in a Handicapped Zone” ticket. They will further explain that their parent has a valid handicapped placard, but the one that was displayed in the vehicle was expired. Hence, their fixed income parent received a whopping $450 dollar ticket. In this scenario, people are cited under the “unauthorized use” subsection, which is listed below.

Elements for a Handicapped Placard Violation - RCW 46.19.050

Unauthorized use. Any unauthorized use of the parking placard, special license plate, special year tab, or identification card issued under this chapter is a parking infraction with a monetary penalty of two hundred fifty dollars. In addition to any penalty or fine imposed under this subsection, two hundred dollars must be assessed. For the purpose of this subsection, "unauthorized use" includes (a) any use of a parking placard, special license plate, special year tab, or identification card that is expired, inactivated, faked, forged, or counterfeited, (b) any use of a parking placard, special license plate, special year tab, or identification card of another holder if the initial holder is no longer eligible to use or receive it, and (c) any use of a parking placard, special license plate, special year tab, or identification card of another holder even if permitted to do so by the holder.

The Remedy

If the individual does have a valid placard at the time of the citation, most courts will dismiss the ticket for no fee. Our office has even been able to email proof of the current placard to Kitsap County District Court and they have dismissed the citations with no further court action and no fee. Additionally, Witt Law group charges no fee to assist with these handicap placard citations.

Witt Law Group is a criminal defense and infraction defense law firm with offices in Gig Harbor and Bremeron Washington.

Most people are aware of the DUI laws in the State of Washington. However, not everyone is aware of the laws that criminalize being under the influence while operating a boat. The traditional DUI laws are found in Title 46 of the Revised Code of Washington, which has to do with motor vehicles. The watercraft DUI laws are buried in Title 79A, which has to do with public recreational lands. While this law is obscure and not as newsworthy as a normal DUI, the watercraft BUI is cited heavily in the summer months. The amount of BUI charges are disproportionately high in costal towns like Gig Harbor.

Do You Have A BUI Charge? Click Here And We Will Contact You Within 15 Minutes

RCW Title 79A contains regulations on random things like state horse parks and commercial skiing activities, but if you do a little digging in Title 79A, you will find RCW 79A.60.040. This is the statute that criminalizes operating a vessel while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Operation of vessel in a reckless manner - Operation of a vessel under the influence of intoxicating liquor, marijuana, or any drug—Consent to breath or blood test—Penalty.

The elements are as follows:

(1) It is unlawful for any person to operate a vessel in a reckless manner.

(2) It is unlawful for a person to operate a vessel while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, marijuana, or any drug. A person is considered to be under the influence of intoxicating liquor, marijuana, or any drug if, within two hours of operating a vessel:

(a) The person has an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher as shown by analysis of the person's breath or blood made under RCW 46.61.506; or

(b) The person has a THC concentration of 5.00 or higher as shown by analysis of the person's blood made under RCW46.61.506; or

(c) The person is under the influence of or affected by intoxicating liquor, marijuana, or any drug; or

(d) The person is under the combined influence of or affected by intoxicating liquor, marijuana, and any drug.

DUI v. BUI - Similarities and Differences

Just like in a normal DUI, an officer may administer field sobriety tests when the officer has probable cause to believe that the vessel operator is under the influence of alcohol or a drug. Further, a breath test may be administered pursuant to RCW 46.20.308. However, if a boat operator refuses the test, the consequence is much less severe than in a motor vehicle as shown below:

Refusal in a motor vehicle DUI – (1) a license suspension is imposed for not les than a year, (2) longer mandatory minimum jail time, (3) higher mandatory minimum fine, and, (4) the refusal can be argued in a future criminal trial.

Refusal in a vessel DUI - The officer warns the operator that if they refuse the breath test, the person will be issued a class 1 civil infraction under RCW 7.80.120. In other words, the consequence of refusing is just a small civil penalty. This is different (and less severe) than a motor vehicle DUI.

Lastly, a Washington BUI is a gross misdemeanor and carries a maximum penalty of 364 days in jail and a $5,000 fine. Unlike a traditional DUI, there are no mandatory minimum penalties for a BUI. Washington BUI charges are handled in District and Municipal Courts, which provide some favorable options for how to resolve the charge.

Favorable Resolutions To The BUI Charge

Most jurisdictions have some form of a Pre-Trial Diversion Agreement (or PDA), which is a contract between the Defendant and the Prosecuting Authority. With this type of Diversion Agreement, the Court does not sentence a defendant, the Court merely approves the contract between the parties (the Defendant and the Prosecutor). If the defendant abides by the terms of the contract, the BUI charge is typically dismissed at the end of the agreed upon term. Procedurally, the case goes onto a long continuance and then ends in a dismissal – there is never a conviction if all the terms are met.

CLICK HERE for more information on a PDA

Witt Law Group is a DUI and BUI criminal defense law firm with offices in Gig Harbor and Bremerton Washington. If you have been cited with BUI or any other crime, give one of our offices a call for a free consultation.

 

March 22, 2019

Malicious Mischief

Malicious Mischief charges can occur when an individual damages the property of another. The owner of the damaged property generally initiates the investigation – usually with a 911 call – but the criminal charge of Malicious Mischief is brought against a defendant by the State of Washington (or a city, if the act occurred within city limits). Generally, law enforcement responds and makes an arrest but, on some occasions, a person doesn’t know they have been charged with the crime until they receive a summons in the mail.

Do You Have A Malicious Mischief Charge? Click Here And We Will Contact You Within 15 Minutes

There are three degrees of Malicious Mischief in Washington. Third Degree is a misdemeanor. Second and First Degree are felonies. The elements of the charges are as follows:

RCW 9A.48.090
Malicious Mischief in the Third Degree (Gross Misdemeanor)

(1) A person is guilty of malicious mischief in the third degree if he or she:
(a) Knowingly and maliciously causes physical damage to the property of another, under circumstances not amounting to malicious mischief in the first or second degree; or
(b) Writes, paints, or draws any inscription, figure, or mark of any type on any public or private building or other structure or any real or personal property owned by any other person [unless the person has obtained permission].

RCW 9A.48.080
Malicious Mischief in the Second Degree (Felony – Class C)

(1) A person is guilty of malicious mischief in the second degree if he or she knowingly and maliciously:
(a) Causes physical damage to the property of another in an amount exceeding seven hundred fifty dollars;
(b) Creates a substantial risk of interruption or impairment of service rendered to the public, by physically damaging or tampering with an emergency vehicle or property of the state, a political subdivision thereof, or a public utility or mode of public transportation, power, or communication; or
(c) Creates a substantial risk of interruption or impairment of service rendered to the public by, without lawful authority, physically damaging, destroying, or removing an official ballot deposit box or ballot drop box or, without lawful authority, damaging, destroying, removing, or tampering with the contents thereof.

RCW 9A.48.070
Malicious Mischief in the First Degree (Felony – Class B)

(1) A person is guilty of malicious mischief in the first degree if he or she knowingly and maliciously:
(a) Causes physical damage to the property of another in an amount exceeding five thousand dollars;
(b) Causes an interruption or impairment of service rendered to the public by physically damaging or tampering with an emergency vehicle or property of the state, a political subdivision thereof, or a public utility or mode of public transportation, power, or communication;
(c) Causes an impairment of the safety, efficiency, or operation of an aircraft by physically damaging or tampering with the aircraft or aircraft equipment, fuel, lubricant, or parts; or
(d) Causes an interruption or impairment of service rendered to the public by, without lawful authority, physically damaging, destroying, or removing an official ballot deposit box or ballot drop box or, without lawful authority, damaging, destroying, removing, or tampering with the contents thereof.

There Are Multiple Ways To Resolve Malicious Mischief Charges

Malicious Mischief cases are handled in District, Municipal, and Superior Courts. Malicious Mischief in the Third Degree charges are handled in the District and Municipal Courts. These “lower” Courts offer more options regarding how to resolve a Malicious Mischief case rather than going to trial or pleading guilty. Malicious Mischief in the Second and First Degree charges are handled in Superior Court. 

At the Misdemeanor Level

Most jurisdictions have some form of a Pre-Trial Diversion Agreement (or PDA), which is a contract between the Defendant and the Prosecuting Authority. With this type of Diversion Agreement, the Court does not sentence a defendant, the Court merely approves the contract between the parties (the Defendant and the Prosecutor). If the defendant abides by the terms of the contract, the Malicious Mischief in the Third Degree case is typically dismissed at the end of the agreed upon term. Procedurally, the case goes onto a long continuance and then ends in a dismissal – there is never a conviction if all the terms are met.

CLICK HERE for more information on a PDA

A second option at the Misdemeanor level is entering into a Compromise of Misdemeanor. This happens when the defense attorney for the defendant obtains a signature from the property owner on a document that asserts that the property owner is waiving future civil litigation against the defendant and wishes that the defendant not be prosecuted. This is typically the quickest and least expensive way to have a Malicious Mischief case be dismissed.

CLICK HERE for more information on a Compromise of Misdemeanor

If a defendant wishes to not resolve the Malicious Mischief through a Diversion (PDA) or a Compromise, they always have the right to go to trial. At trial, a defendant can require the Prosecutor to prove every element of the Malicious Mischief charge beyond a reasonable doubt.

At the Felony Level

While options are slightly more restrictive than at the Misdemeanor level, Felonies can also be resolved through some type of alternative disposition. Often the best resolution at this level is through Felony Diversion. In a nutshell, Felony Diversion is where the defendant enters into a contract with the Prosecuting attorney where they agree to pay restitution, do some community service, and remain crime free.

CLICK HERE for more information on Felony Diversion

If a drug addiction was a contributing factor to the criminal behavior, Drug Court may be an option that results in a dismissal of the charges.

CLICK HERE for more information on Drug Court

If mental health issues were a contributing factor that led to the crime being committed, Behavioral Health Court may be an option. Successful completion of BHC will also lead to the charge being dismissed.

CLICK HERE for more information of Behavioral Health Court

Lastly, a good defense attorney may be able to convince the Prosecuting Attorney to reduce the Felony Level Malicious Mischief to a Misdemeanor Level Malicious Mischief in exchange for a plea.

If none of these options are a fit, then a defendant always has the ability to set the matter for trial and force the Prosecuting Attorney to prove all the elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. 

Witt Law Group is a criminal defense law firm that serves individuals who have been charged with the crime of Malicious Mischief in Kitsap County and in the City of Gig Harbor. We also handle cases in nearly all the cities within those Counties. We have offices in Gig Harbor and Bremerton for your convenience. We offer free consultations and can be reached at (360) 792-1000 (Bremerton) or (253) 312-3838 (Gig Harbor) or you can text one of our attorneys at (360) 710-0027.

As spring approaches, it is important to do a refresher on the rules of the road that apply to bicycles. People flock to the roadsides and trails in hoards once we get a few consecutive days of sun in Western Washington. There are many rules that apply to bicycles, but here are the main ones that apply to all bicycle riders.

Riding on roadways and bicycle paths.

RCW 46.61.770 states that every person operating a bicycle upon a roadway at a rate of speed less than the normal flow of traffic … shall ride as near to the right side … as is safe except as may be appropriate … while making turning movements, or while overtaking and passing another bicycle or vehicle proceeding in the same direction. A person operating a bicycle upon a roadway may use the shoulder of the roadway or any specially designated bicycle lane if such exists.

Obedience to and required traffic control devices.

RCW 46.61.050 states every bicyclist shall obey the instructions of any official traffic control device applicable thereto placed in accordance with the provisions of this chapter, unless otherwise directed by a traffic or police officer.

You may be ticketed

Keep in mind that you may receive a ticket on your bicycle just as you would in your car. It is important to adhere to the rules of the road. If you slip up (like we all do) and roll through a stop sign, we would be glad to represent you in Court on the infraction. We have even successfully represented people on skateboards!

Witt Law Group is a criminal defense and infraction defense law firm with attorneys in Bremerton, Poulsbo and Gig Harbor, Washington. If you have received a ticket on your bike, even for not wearing a helmet, we would be glad to represent you.

 

Typically most resolutions of a DUI charge require a chemical dependency assessment. Below is a list of treatment providers most commonly used by our clients. These providers can be quite busy and it may take several weeks to get your assessment so please don’t delay in making your appointment.

 

Action Counseling

729 Prospect Street, Suite 200

Port Orchard, WA

P: 360-895-1307

F: 360-895-4805

 

Peninsula Counseling

3214 50th St. Ct. NW, Suite D305

Gig Harbor, WA 98335

P: 253-851-4600

F: 253-851-4602

 

Suquamish Tribe Wellness Program

18490 Suquamish Way, Suite 107

Suquamish, WA

P: 360-394-8558

F: 360-598-1724

 

The Right Choice Counseling

1740 NE Riddell Road, Suite 170

Bremerton, WA

P: 360-373-4077

F: 360-792-0362

 

You are free to use any treatment provider approved by the Court. It is important that the provider you choose is reliable as far as processing reports and communicates in a timely way with our office. If you have questions about a specific treatment agency or need to use an agency outside of this list, feel free to contact our office.

 

Please remember that we would prefer 7 days advance notice and possibly more if you have an out of area assessment provider.

 

If you click on the links provided, you will find the current list of all approved treatment agencies by Kitsap County and Pierce County.