Displaying items by tag: Criminal Defense

The Kitsap County Prosecuting Attorney in many cases asks the Court to ORDER a defendant be "administratively booked." In response to the Prosecution's request, the Judges always order it. So what is administrative booking? 

Administrative Booking Defined

 

Administrative booking in Kitsap County is the process of formally entering a person into a vast database. This allows their arrest and / or charge to be viewed by other courts, law enforcement agencies, etc. The Prosecution believes this to be highly important in DUI cases, and views the administrative booking as the most viable way to make the DUI history known to other law enforcement entities. In essence, they verify your personal information, photograph you and fingerprint you. 

The Steps Required

 

•  The Court must order the person to be administratively booked. If the Jail doesn't see a Court Order requiring booking, they won't do it. So you must bring a copy of the court order or your conditions of release including that condition.

•  Bring a photo ID. Without photo identification, the jail won't book you. 

•  Go to: 614 Division Street, Port Orchard Washington 98366 during business hours. 

Is There A Way To Dodge Booking?

 

Often times, no. This can be an issue if you are out of state and attempting to resolve your pending case. In the new era of Covid, nearly all court functions can be accomplished over ZOOM. Do you really want to fly back to Washington only to be administratively booked? It can be a massive inconvenience for people in this situation. There are ways to work around this requirement, but each case is different. For example, maybe the jail in your local county will do a "courtesy" booking for the Kitsap case. We have spoken with many jails in Washington and elsewhere. Some say yes, some say no. 

 

 

Published in Witt Law Group Blog

Judges, Prosecutors and even defense attorneys struggle to make sense of Washington State Department of Licensing's Abstract of Driving Record, or "ADR." This blog post is intended to provide you with the skills to read and even understand your ADR. 

Skills To Read The ADR

 

Attached below is a 12 page instructional document that was generated by DOL. It is the same material used to teach lawyers and Court staff. To access the document, press click here, immediately below. We hope this will help you unlock the mysteries of your ADR. 

 

CLICK HERE

 

If you need more assistance beyond what is provided in this document, you should call the help line for the Washington State Department of Licensing. That number is (360) 902-3900. 

 

Witt Law Group is a Criminal Defense and Personal Injury Law Firm based in Kitsap County Washington. 

Published in Witt Law Group Blog

Kitsap County is quick to criminally charge people with the crime of Aiming or Discharging a Firearm or Other Dangerous Weapon. But is the charge always justified? 

 

Kitsap County consists of 395 square miles of land, and it is not heavily populated. As such, many families and individuals live on 5 or more acres. One of the draws for many people about Kitsap County is the ability to discharge firearms. However, at least in our office's opinion, that privilege is frowned upon by the County Prosecuting Attorney and by local law enforcement. In light of that information, is is legal to discharge a firearm on your own property? The answer lies in reading the state and local statutes combines. 

 

State Firearms Statute - RCW 46.41.230 Aiming Or Discharging Firearms, Dangerous Weapons

(1) For conduct not amounting to [an assault], any person who:

(a) Aims any firearm, whether loaded or not, at or towards any human being;

(b) Willfully discharges any firearm, air gun, or other weapon, or throws any deadly missile in a public place, or in any place where any person might be endangered thereby. A public place shall not include any location at which firearms are authorized to be lawfully discharged; or

(c) Except as provided in RCW 9.41.185, sets a so-called trap, spring pistol, rifle, or other dangerous weapon,
although no injury results, is guilty of a gross misdemeanor punishable under chapter 9A.20 RCW.

 

In summary of the state statute, a person may not aim a firearm towards any human being, discharge a firearm in a public place, or in any place where a person might be endangered

Kitsap County Statute - 10.25.020(b) Firearms Discharge

(1) The discharge of firearms is prohibited within 500 yards of any shoreline.

(2) The discharge of firearms is [additionally prohibited in certain enumerated locations] - See statute for specifics.

(b) [The discharge of firearms is prohibited] [o]n any parcel of land less than five acres in size.

In summary of the Kitsap statute, a person may not shoot within 500 feet from a shoreline, in certain locations, and if the person's piece of land is less than five acers in size. In other words, If your piece of land is more than five acers, and not by a shore line, you are most likely good. 

Reading The State And Local Statutes Together

Our understanding is this - a person may not aim a firearm towards any human being, discharge a firearm in a public place, or in any place where a person might be endangered. Additionally, the plot of land on which you are shooting must be larger than five acers in size

The State's Argument - Which Is Unsuccessful

We have seen the Prosecuting attorneys argue that the act of discharging a firearm "potentially" endangers any human being if anyone is even remotely nearby. For example, we have seen them argue to the Court that a person "might be endangered" even if the person discharging the firearm is shooting in the opposite direction. Their argument to the Court fails. The Court recognizes that the State is trying to make a "per-se" argument - basically just the act of discharging a firearm in and of itself is inherently dangerous to anyone nearby. This argument is overly broad and inconsistent with the wording of the controlling statutes. 

If you have been charged with the crime of Aiming or Discharging a Firearm or Other Dangerous Weapon or any other Kitsap County crime, give our office a call. 

 

This, nor any of our blogs, are intended to be legal advice. All situations are different and each require a private discussion with an attorney. Do not misconstrue this blog post for the advice of local, licensed counsel.

 

 

Published in Witt Law Group Blog

Vehicle Prowling In The Second Degree is a Gross Misdemeanor, which means the maximum penalty is up to a year in jail and a $5,000 fine.  Getting an attorney early on, even before the arraignment, can often alter the course of how the criminal charge will ultimately resolve. 

 

Elements Of The Vehicle Prowling Charge

 

The elements of Vehicle Prowling in the Second Degree are as follows: 

•  A person is guilty of vehicle prowling in the second degree if, with intent to commit a crime against a person or property therein, he or she enters or remains unlawfully in a vehicle other than a motor home, as defined in RCW 46.04.305, or a vessel equipped for propulsion by mechanical means or by sail which has a cabin equipped with permanently installed sleeping quarters or cooking facilities.

"Enters Or Remains Unlawfully"

 

To fully understand the charge, one must also understand the definition of "enters or remains unlawfully". The definition is as follows:

•  A person "enters or remains unlawfully" in or upon premises when he or she is not then licensed, invited, or otherwise privileged to so enter or remain.

Based on the elements of Vehicle Prowling in the second degree, one is guilty of the offense even if the entry is for a fleeting moment and even if noting is actually taken from the vehicle. If an individual merely enters a vehicle to snoop around, but doesn't actually take something, that conduct would still meet the elements. However, if a person got into a car accidentally, because the cars looked similar, that would not be a crime because the prosecuting authority would most likely not be able to prove the "intent to commit a crime" element. 

 

Ways To Resolve A Vehicle Prowling Charge

 

There are defenses to Vehicle Prowling but, for the most part, a defense attorney is attacking the element of intent.  Any defense attorney will be exploring if the State can disprove whether the entry was an accident. Additionally, Vehicle Prowling in the Second Degree cases are handled in District and Municipal Courts, as they are gross misdemeanors. Being that they are handled in these “lower” Courts, there are more options regarding how to resolve a Vehicle Prowling case other than going to trial or pleading guilty.

Most jurisdictions have some form of a Pre-Trial Diversion Agreement, or "PDA," which is essentially 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 Vehicle Prowling 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. If you would like to learn more about Pre-Trial Diversion Agreements, see below.

 
More Info On PDA's 

 

If a defendant wishes to not resolve the matter through a Diversion, they always have the right to go to trial. At trial, a defendant can require the Prosecutor to prove every element of the Vehicle Prowling in the Second Degree charge beyond a reasonable doubt. This may be the route you want to go, but make sure to discuss all the risks involved with competent counsel. 

 

We Are Here For You, 24/7

 

Witt Law Group serves individuals who have been charged with the crime of Vehicle Prowling in Kitsap County (including Bremerton, Port Orchard, Silverdale, Kingston, Poulsbo & Seabeck). We have offices in Gig Harbor, Bremerton and Poulsbo for your convenience. We offer free consultations and can be reached at (360) 792-1000 (Bremerton) or (253) 312-3838 (Gig Harbor) or (360) 773-8598 (Poulsbo) or you can text one of our attorneys at (360) 710-0027.

 

If the topic of Vehicle Prowling was interesting to you, please CLICK HERE to read more similar articles in our Blog.

 

Published in Witt Law Group Blog
September 17, 2020

Assault Cases Can Be Confusing

Why did it take so long to charge me with Assault?

 

It is not unusual that we receive calls from clients who had an altercation months ago and are now receiving a summons. At the time of the incident, the client was under the impression that the issue was resolved and there would likely not be any criminal charges. They are often quite surprised to face criminal charges for an argument that occurred so long ago.

 

Unfortunately, assault charges can be tricky. Where the assault does not involve a domestic violence incident, there is no mandatory arrest requirement. Therefore, an officer can take statements and do a follow up investigation rather than immediately make a determination whether a crime has been committed. The investigation can take many months and the report is then forwarded to a prosecutor. It is also not uncommon for a detective’s report to sit “on hold” at the prosecutor’s office for many months before a criminal charging decision is made. Hence, we then see criminal charges filed based on a fight that occurred months or even a year earlier.

 

If I didn't get charged for 6 months, does that mean the Prosecutor has a weak case?

 

From the defense stand point, time does not often benefit the alleged perpetrator. The criminal charges are based on the officer’s report and the victim’s version of events—seemingly credible sources. If there were other witnesses who might refute the victim’s version of events, they are often no longer available or do not remember the incident clearly. However, that does not mean assault cases are easy for a prosecutor to prove. When it comes down to it, these cases are often “he said vs. he said” with no clear evidence. Basically, without an unbiased witness, the jury has to decide who is most credible.

 

If you are facing an assault charge, that reality might make you rather uncomfortable. Can you trust a jury to see the truth? For that reason, some people would rather find a resolution short of trial. In most circumstances, there are options for resolving an assault case without taking the risk at trial, which often means the prosecutor will add additional “hold back” charges and/or seek longer jail time. The route you should take greatly depends on the facts of your case. Those facts are primarily determined by the discovery your defense attorney receives, which will include the officer’s reports as well as witnesses statements. It is hard to advise anyone without seeing those documents.

 

What does the domestic violence "tag" or weapons enhancement mean for my charge?

 

If you’re curious about the potential outcome of your charge, the primary concerns occur where you are charged with a special allegation of domestic violence and/or whether a weapons enhancement is added to your assault charge. These “extra” allegations mean significantly more negative outcomes and they are often hard for lay people to understand. The terms are often applied broadly and the RCW allows prosecutors to add these “extras” based on the circumstances or relationships involved.

 

For example, a domestic violence allegation can be added to your underlying assault charge simply because the you and the victim had previously been roommates. The term “domestic” does not mean that you are or have been in a romantic relationship with the victim. It is a very broad term that encompasses a wide array of relationships. The biggest consequence of being found guilty of any crime that includes a domestic violence “tag” is that you will likely lose your gun rights—even if the underlying charge is a misdemeanor offense. And, for a weapons enhancement, you will likely face a longer jail or prison sentence. Again, the term “deadly weapon” can be as confusing as the term “domestic” because prosecutors have been known to consider many types of objects (broom, butter knife, etc.) as a potential deadly weapon. Essentially, if the object has the capacity to inflict death in the manner in which it was used, it can be considered a deadly weapon for enhancement purposes.

 

How can it be Assault if I never touched the victim?

 

Perhaps the most confusing assault charge occurs when the accused did not believe he did anything that could have amounted to an assault because there was no touching of the victim. This charge can occur because the accused put the victim in a position of apprehension of harm. This means the victim was scared enough by the perpetrator’s actions or words to believe the defendant was going to cause physical harm. Therefore, no actual touching has to take place for the person to be charged with a crime. While you can be charged with assault despite no touching, this charge does present more challenges for the prosecutor. The threat or fear of harm must still be reasonable under the circumstances. And, quite frequently, these situations occur without witnesses so it is still an issue of credibility before the jury.

 

Don't delay

 

If you or a loved one have been accused of assault or believe assault charges could be filed, it is very important to speak with a defense attorney immediately. As noted above, it is important to locate witnesses, take statements, and, in some cases, contact the prosecutor prior to the case being charged. If you are unsure about this process or need counsel, please contact our office early in the process. The delay can easily impact the outcome of an assault case. If you would like to learn more about assault charges, click the button below. 

 

CLICK HERE to learn more about Assault charges

Published in Witt Law Group Blog

Online court is fairly common with the new Covid regulations. For some criminal charges, certain counties are requiring defendants to appear at the courthouse but, most counties, are still wanting a zoom hearing. Better yet, there are many circumstances in which we can have Arraignment waived completely if we are hired early in the case.

 

If you are not required to appear in person, be aware that virtual court is still court. You want to look neatly groomed, dressed appropriately, and address the Judge as “Your Honor.” For most people, the following list of “don’t do” will be obvious. Since we have actually witnessed most of the following over the past few months, we decided some folks might need clarification.

 

Witt Law Group’s “What to know about Zoom court” list:

 

1.  Do not appear from your bed.
2.  Wear a shirt.
3.  Do not simultaneously play video games.
4.  Do not use the screen as your mirror (i.e. do not check your hair and makeup on the zoom screen).
5.  Do not have a pot leaf on your shirt or as your background.
6.  Do not appear via your phone while you are driving.
7.  Do not have someone in the bathroom in your background.
8.  Mute your television or radio.
9.  Do not smoke any substance.
10.  Do not eat or drink.

 

While appearing in court on your computer or phone is still a bit strange for most of us, there are some obvious benefits. You can still go to work. This allows people to avoid taking the day off and commuting. It is very efficient. You can still speak with your lawyer in a “chat room” so there is no risk of being without counsel. And, anecdotally, it seems that there are fewer sentences that require in-custody jail time.

 

If you have any questions about Zoom court or how to log into your court hearing, please give our office a call.

 

Published in Witt Law Group Blog
August 17, 2020

What Is A Motion To Revoke?

This is a document filed by the Prosecutor because you violated the terms of your agreement (perhaps a Pretrial Diversion Agreement) or Judgment and Sentence. The most common reasons are:

1) Failure to pay your fines within the allotted time.
2) Failure to pay the court or victims.
3) Failure to report to probation.
4) Failure to report to electric home monitoring (EHM).
5) Failure to complete or provide proof of your DUI victim’s impact panel.
6) Failure to obtain or provide proof of your alcohol and drug evaluation.
7) Failure to complete treatment or classes that were ordered.
8) You have been a accused of a new crime.
9) You have tested positive for alcohol or drugs and this violated the terms of your agreement.

 

Can you go to jail for failing to do these things?

Yes. If you fail to complete your requirements, you have effectively broken your contract with the State or you have violated the terms of your J&S. Typically, people enter into a PDA because they want to avoid jail. However, the State holds the jail time as a punishment should you not comply with your end of the deal. Therefore, jail is always a possibility.

How do these hearings usually go?

In most cases, if the reason for not completing your requirements is that you need a bit more time or you forgot to file the documents with Probation, we can almost always get you a bit more time. If you have been charged with a new crime, that gets a bit trickier. However, we have come onboard on the new charge as well as the Motion to Revoke to coordinate a positive outcome. The goal is to get the new charge resolved in a way that it doesn’t revoke you on your previous deal. We want to keep first “deal” in place and avoid serving jail time.

What if I can not get my conditions met due to COVID?

If you need to find a treatment provider, classes, or DUI Victim’s Impact Panel, let us know. There are facilities that are open with restrictions. It may also be possible to get an extension on time for paying fines. But, do not ignore this issue. Ignoring a Motion to Revoke makes it a lot worse.

What if my new criminal charge has a hearing date that is months away?

Do not ignore the Motion to Revoke because you think the Court or Prosecutor won’t know about the new charge or you haven’t addressed it yet. Once you are charged (not yet convicted), it is possible that you have already violated the terms of your PDA. Get legal advice about this quickly. An experienced defense attorney can help navigate this issue and, with enough time, work a resolution so you do not end up with a conviction or jail time. However, this is very time sensitive so do not delay!

If you have any other questions about a Motion to Revoke, contact our office for a consultation. No two cases or hearings are alike. To really understand how your issue could resolve, you need to spell out the details of your case to an experienced criminal defense lawyer. It’s important that you also speak with someone who is local and understands how the prosecution and courts respond to these motions. You will learn that Gig Harbor, Bremerton, Poulsbo, and Port Orchard municipal courts may not deal with the issues the way that Kitsap District Court will respond. Get specific feedback from an attorney who practices in all of these courts. We do and we can help.

Published in Witt Law Group Blog

Have you received something that looks like the document below, in which it appears you have been ordered to use a Public Defender?

We have been receiving calls by confused defendants about this document that has been sent to people who have received Summons or have been released from jail. Judge Jahns created this document that automatically assigns defendants to a Public Defender even when the defendant did not want a Public Defender and would not qualify for one due to income.

So what do I do now?

Nearly every private attorney in the Kitsap County is confused so we aren’t surprised that defendants are so perplexed. We even had a client receive correspondence to contact his “Provisional” attorney after we had filed our Notice of Appearance—thereby interfering and confusing legal communication with our client. This troubles us on many levels and calls into questions the ethics of this communication.

Another private attorney had a client, who makes $120,000 a year, ask if she was required to use the Provisional attorney against her wishes. She saw that Judge Jahns ORDERED that public defense is representing her. She wanted to use this private attorney and, in particular, needed him to handle the Department of Licensing hearing (something public defense does not do). She was pretty upset when she thought her Constitutional right to counsel of her choosing was being infringed upon.

No, you are definitely not ORDERED to use a Public Defender

If you are also confused, NO JUDGE CAN ORDER YOU TO USE PUBLIC DEFENSE rather than an attorney of your choosing. And, be aware, if you choose a Public Defender:

1) They do not handle any Department of Licensing hearings regarding suspension of your license. Since you only have 7 days to request the hearing following an arrest for DUI, minor DUI, or Physical Control, be very careful about reliance on public defense for legal representation (i.e. this Order). If you are accustomed to private counsel, you may incorrectly believe that a Public Defender is supposed to handle all administrative matters along with criminal matters. This is not so.

2) If you have criminal history or open cases in other counties that will be impacted by your Kitsap County case, be very careful about using a Public Defender. The public defense dollars are assigned to attorneys in Kitsap. If you have a deal in Pierce that might be revoked or need to resolve cases in a certain order to avoid serving consecutive sentences (rather than concurrent), it is not your Kitsap Public Defender’s job to handle those details. They can not and will not appear to assist with you Pierce County case or any other county, for that matter.

3) You may be limited in resolutions. Creative resolutions can take time. A Public Defender will be assigned 100’s of cases during the year. A private attorney likely has no more than 20-40 active cases at any one time.

Of the 39 counties that receive funding from Washington State Office of Defense, we have yet to find one that is bypassing private counsel in this manner. The argument for the Provisional Appointment (free lawyers for everyone) is that they can’t screen defendants for indigency without a face-to-face meeting in the Clerk’s office. Yet, we can find no other city or county in the state that is essentially using tax payer dollars to fund ALL criminal defense (over 3500 misdemeanor cases in Kitsap District Court each year). In fact, in the state’s largest county, King, they have switched to doing screenings over the phone. And, Bainbridge Island allows you to mail, fax, or phone in your form for requesting a public defender.

Considering how the state responded to people who were inappropriately filing for unemployment benefits (forced to repay those benefits and some were criminally charged), this reeks of trouble to us. When the fall comes and so many are out of work, teachers are furloughed, bus drivers are unemployed, parks are closed, and Kitsap County Commissioners are explaining there are not enough funds to support Kitsap citizens’ needs, I would not want to be a person who made $70,000 a year and used free defense that was intended (by law) for those who are at or below poverty level. In the court of public opinion, this looks pretty bad.

If in doubt of whether you qualify for indigency, you can probably call any other court in the state and have your qualification determined. If you don’t want to be one of those folks explaining yourself later, it’s probably best to use the same standard that everyone else is using in the State of Washington.

 

 

KITSAP COUNTY DISTRICT COURT
STATE OF WASHINGTON

STATE OF WASHINGTON,                              No. XXX 
                                                     Plaintiff,
                                                                             PROVISIONAL APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL

JOHN DOE
                                                     Defendant.


__________________________________________________________________
APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL

               Effective “legal representation must be provided for indigent persons and persons who are indigent and able to contribute, consistent with the constitutional requirements of fairness, equal protection, and due process in all cases where the right to counsel attaches.” RCW 10.101.005.

               A court shall appoint counsel for all persons "wishing the appointment of counsel” in criminal cases upon a determination of indigency. RCW 10.101.020.

               This Court is unable to make a determination of indigency before the time when the first services are to be rendered.” In such a situation, a court “shall appoint an attorney on a provisional basis.”

               The Defendant wishes the appointment of counsel. Accordingly, it is hereby -

               ORDERED that the Kitsap County Office of Public Defense is appointed to represent the Defendant on a provisional basis.

DATED AND FILED - July 17, 2020

                                                                                                                                                                  /s/ Signed Electronically
                                                                                                                                                                 JEFFREY J. JAHNS Presiding Judge

INSTRUCTIONS TO DEFENDANT


Your case has been assigned to the Kitsap County Office of Public Defense, which may assign your case to one of the OPD contract attorneys.

Please make sure that you have completed OPD's gold client information sheet and given it to your arraignment counsel. If you have not done this, please contact OPD following your arraignment by either going to room 103 of the courthouse or by calling (360) 337-7015 and let them know that you wish to complete the gold client information sheet.

Your attorney contact information will be mailed to you within three business days of today's order. If you do not receive anything from OPD within one week from today, please contact OPD at (360) 337-7015.

1 Emergency Administrative Order No. 2020-22 (District Court Phase 2 Operations) (June 9, 2020), $19 at pages 15-16.
2 RCW 10.101.020(4)
3 Hereafter “OPD.”

 

Published in Witt Law Group Blog

In our office, we field this question on a weekly basis. “If there was no violence, why am I charged with domestic violence.” For a hypothetical, assume these facts:


A guy is living as a temporary roommate with some guy friends. One day, their Nintendo goes missing. The other roommates do some investigation and believe the bad actor is the new guy. After they assemble their evidence, they call the police. After the police are involved, the prosecutor’s office charges the roommate with “Theft 3 – Domestic Violence.”


As you are reading this, most people will have the same question, “we understand the Theft Charge, but why D.V.?”


Special Allegation

 

First of all, Domestic Violence is not a charge. It is what is called a “Special Allegation” that is attached to an underlying charge. Anything can have a DV Special Allegation. If a person siphons gas out of an ex-girlfriend’s car, it would be Theft – DV. If a daughter spray paints her parent’s fence, it would be Malicious Mischief – DV. The DV Tag can be attached to nearly any underlying charge.


Why Can Every Charge Be D.V.?

 

The reason nearly every charge can have a DV tag is based upon a statute. Revised Code Of Washington (or RCW) 10.99.020 contains the definition of Domestic Violence. This is an excerpt from a charging document from Kitsap County.

 

DV Tag Cropped

 As you see, the definition captures nearly all relationship where people know each other. Here are some examples of how distant a relationship can be, yet they State can still add the special allegation.


“Adult persons … previously residing together.” Think of all the people who were your roommates in college.


“Persons sixteen years of age or older … with whom [they] had a dating relationship” Should it be DV if you dated someone when you were 17 and you are now in your 40’s?

 

Ramifications

 

The ramifications of this Special Allegation are enormous.


•  The No Contact Orders are more restrictive and have more teeth if you were to violate an Order.


•  Domestic Violence treatment could be suggested by the Prosecuting Attorney.


•  Courts will typically require a firearms prohibition.


•  The Special Allegation also drastically cuts into the options that are available to resolve your case.

 

Can You Challenge The D.V. Tag?

 

Yes, in certain circumstance you can challenge the Prosecutor’s addition of the Special Allegation. As listed above, there are many beneficial reasons to do so. While the definition above is broad, Prosecutors misapply the definition from time to time and the Courts will strike down the Special Allegation.

Published in Witt Law Group Blog

One of the most important considerations right now is how coronavirus is impacting criminal
charges. We wrote a past blog about how dates are being impacted but it’s important to also
understand how this unique time might improve the results of your case.


Get A “To Do” List From Your Attorney


First, use your “free time” wisely. If you have been charged with a DUI or another alcohol-related
offense, there are productive things you can do while you are waiting for your next court date.
We ask our clients to have a drug and alcohol assessment done as well as a victims’ impact
panel. Believe or not, there are agencies who are still making it happen! These appointments
are not easy to schedule during normal times so you will really have a leg up getting that done.


Get Ahead Of The Criminal Charge


Second, even if you haven’t been charged with a crime yet, call our office. We can talk to the
Prosecutor’s Office and challenge the investigation. If there are serious legal challenges to the
potential charge, we may be able to convince the Prosecutor to decline filing the charges.


Exculpatory Evidence


Third, since you are not in-custody, you can assist your attorney with investigating your case
early to ensure potential exculpatory evidence is not destroyed. For example, you can help us
understand the scene of where or how you had contact with law enforcement. We may want
residential security camera footage, security footage from a business, or traffic camera footage.
Often, those videos are destroyed within 7-14 days so time is of the essence.


DOL…DOL…DOL…Don’t Forget!


Finally, DO NOT WAIT ON YOUR DOL HEARING REQUEST! If you had “contact” with a police
officer for a potential DUI or Physical Control charge (if you were not arrested but they may be
forwarding your information to the Prosecutor’s Office), your 7 day window to request the
hearing will likely start from the date you had that contact with law enforcement. It only 50% of
our cases do the officers give the suspect the actual DOL request form. It is up to you to know
that you need to request that hearing within 7 days even if you were never given the form. You
have no other recourse if you wait beyond the 7 days.


If you have any questions about your DUI arrest, stop, investigation, or the DOL hearing request
process, do not delay in contacting our office. We are available 24/7. If this post was relevant to you, CLICK HERE for many similar posts. 

Published in Witt Law Group Blog
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