Thursday, December 10, 2015
When one hears about DUI charges, one immediately thinks about individuals who’ve had too much to drink from a party. Unknown to many, a person can also be charged with a DUI if they have been found to drive under the influence of drugs, among them is recreational marijuana. Two and a half years after Washington legalized recreational marijuana, officials found that more DUI cases and fatal car collisions were caused by drivers positive with THC, the component of cannabis said to be affecting brain function. Even more disturbing is the fact that this trend shows no sign of slowing down, according to a DUI attorney.
Wednesday, December 9, 2015
Criminal law is considered a complex body of federal and state legislation, one state having a different set of definitions and corresponding punishments for different crimes, ranging from misdemeanors to felonies. If you’re accused of a crime, then you’ll want to hire a defense attorney as soon as possible. Instead of trying to navigate the legal process on your own, you can let a professional help you with the paperwork, filings, and court sessions. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking at misdemeanor charges or a serious felony, you need to find the right attorney for your particular case.
Tuesday, December 8, 2015
When a person has been arrested for driving while intoxicated in or around the Federal Way, the only sensible choice of action is to hire a DUI attorney as soon as possible. A DUI attorney will provide you with legal assistance that a public defender generally will not provide. They will serve as your advocate and will give you the best chance of avoiding conviction. A DUI Has Serious Consequences and Penalties Over the years, Washington has taken steps to increase the penalties for driving while under the influence. This means that in some cases even first-time offenders could face jail time. There is the definite risk of losing a license and paying excessive fines.
Sunday, December 6, 2015
Being pulled over for a DUI can be a terrifying and nerve-wracking experience. It can mean facing jail time, a loss of your driver’s license, as well as hefty fines and penalties. If it is a person’s first time facing this experience, they may feel lost and worried about what to expect. If a person has been charged with a DUI in the past, they know what to expect and realize that since this is a second or third offense, the fines and charges they will face will be a lot stiffer. In both of these instances, there are good reasons to hire a DUI attorney. The Benefits of Using an Attorney for Your First Offense Some individuals reason that if it is their first DUI, they can simply plead guilty and get a relatively light sentence. However, many are surprised when they realize the consequences that a guilty plea can have on their life, their finances, and their ability to get or maintain employment.
Thursday, November 5, 2015
Marijuana has long been declared legal in Washington, but its effects on potential DUI offenders is raising concerns for safety on the road. Suppose you are also flagged down on suspicion of being under its influence while behind the wheel, you will need help from a Puyallup DUI lawyer such as Kim E. Hunter to get you out of that situation.
Tuesday, November 3, 2015
The home is meant to be a place of love and compassion. When that tranquility is somehow marred by physical abuse one allegedly commits on his partner, the accused party will have to seek representation to prove his innocence. Such a move can carry certain challenges, especially if an alleged abuse involves skills gained through certain training. A skilled Auburn defense attorney such as those from the Law Offices of Kim E Hunter, PLLC will be prepared to take up your case.
Sunday, November 1, 2015
Law enforcement agents in Federal Way and anywhere else in the country cannot just pull you over without reasonable suspicion that you have committed a criminal activity. If you are arrested for driving under the influence, disputing the legality of the DUI stop is one valid defense you can fall back on. If the arrest was not conducted legally, the evidence gathered against you and the case itself can be thrown out altogether. You need help from skilled DUI attorney to prove that the arrest wasn’t done by the book and dismiss the charges against you.
Thursday, October 29, 2015
Most DUI investigations involve testing for a suspect’s blood alcohol content (BAC), either by drawing blood or conducting a breath test. These tests, however, aren’t immune to certain issues. Many believe that once a BAC test is conducted and the results presented, the latter is considered as highly accurate and not subject to be contested. This is a misconception. To understand what it means to challenge a BAC test with a reliable DUI attorney from Kent or elsewhere, it helps to delve deep into the inner workings of the two major testing methods: the Breathalyzer test and the blood draw.
Sunday, September 20, 2015
Kim E. Hunter, a reputable criminal defense and DUI attorney serving Kent and neighboring locations, is honored to have been named a Super Lawyer, after being a Rising Star for the preceding four years. The recognition was bestowed by Super Lawyers, a nationwide rating service of noteworthy practitioners who have achieved high levels of peer recognition and exceptional legal track records. An article about Ms. Hunter’s recent achievement can be found in the latest print edition of Super Lawyer Magazine. The Super Lawyer title is given to attorneys who have shown commendable dedication to their fields of practice. Candidates aren’t merely nominated by peers; they are voted upon. An appointed committee then chooses which nominees will be presented, taking into account factors like special cases, dismissals, and acquittals, as well as the lawyer’s contribution to the community, feedback from clients, and relationships to judges and peers in the criminal justice community.
Saturday, September 19, 2015
Getting arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol means facing license suspension, fines, and possibly even jail time. Many people, however, make matters worse for themselves by believing in common and persistent DUI myths. With most of the American public confused on the subject of drinking and driving, it would help to inform yourself about the truth behind some of these most common myths. Driving Carefully Won’t Get You Caught Some people say that as long as you drive carefully even when drunk, you can avoid DUI charges. Others, meanwhile, believe that they can only be charged with DUI if they were actually caught behind the wheel. Both of these won’t help you elude a DUI charge. First, you could run across sobriety checkpoints that have been put up everywhere, even if you drive carefully. Also, cops can arrest you if they suspect you’re drunk and know you have recently been driving.
Thursday, September 17, 2015
Though there have been efforts to increase awareness on the issue of false domestic violence allegations, people still tend to automatically believe the accuser in most cases. The number of persons who were charged with domestic violence but did not actually commit the crime may surprise you. Nonetheless, these people have to face the significant effects the charges have made on their lives. Victim of False Accusations Such was the case of former NBA player Dante Cunningham. A forward for the Minnesota Timberwolves, Cunningham was involved in a domestic violence case filed last year by his then-girlfriend. The woman claimed that Cunningham kicked down a locked bedroom door, pushed her against the wall, and attempted to choke her. She obtained a restraining order, which she accused Cunningham of violating three days later, causing him to get arrested again.
Integrity, honesty and humility—such qualities in a lawyer are expected, but are hard to embody at all times. This is why when Super Lawyer Ms. Kim Hunter, a reputable DUI attorney serving Federal Way, was asked by the NW Lawyer Magazine to write about the topic “My Most Influential Law Figure”, she chose the character of Atticus Finch. Set in a time when African American discrimination wasn’t considered unjust, Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird remains one the most moving novels about criminal defense that inspires lawyers, young and veteran alike, to dedicate their best in protecting their client’s right. “Not only did he recognize the injustice operating in his small town; he took up the gauntlet and defended Mr. Tom Robinson with a zealously that is rarely seen today”, wrote Ms. Hunter. Atticus Finch stood firm in his belief that everyone deserves the best defense, even in the face of threat against his family.
Monday, August 17, 2015
Imagine this: you’ve had a few drinks at a party, and then you decide to drive your friends home anyway. As you traverse along the highway, you suddenly see blue and red lights on your mirror, and a cop signals you to stop driving and park your car on a corner. Though this may be enough reason for you to panic, remember that field sobriety tests are voluntary and not mandated under Washington law, and you may opt not to perform any of these tests, including a breath test. Should the cops see reason to arrest you, refusing a breath test at the police station is a different matter altogether, which may even lead to a license suspension. To avoid suffering from the repercussions of refusing a breath test, always seek help first from a trusted DUI lawyer who can help you with your case.
Sunday, August 16, 2015
Domestic violence is, undoubtedly, a serious issue. The effects extend beyond the victim to every member of the household. It only follows that the law mandates strict guidelines on all aspects of crimes under this category, especially in terms of punishment. The applicable laws vary from state to state. If the domestic violence incident happened in Auburn, the Washington state laws determine the procedures, punishment, etc. In Washington, domestic violence is an encompassing category of crimes. The Washington State Legislature lists the exact crimes that classify as domestic violence when committed by a household or family member against another, such as assault, shooting, reckless endangerment, and unlawful imprisonment. The category is not limited to those listed, though. In any case, these crimes are given levels depending on severity—simple misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor, and felony. The penalty depends on what level the crime is grouped into.
Thursday, August 13, 2015
Most people mistakenly think that a car accident case ends once it is proven who was at fault. While this logic may apply to most common road accidents, circumstances are not always the same. An experienced DUI defense lawyer knows that there are hundreds of ways a case may shift. The tiniest details and the smallest evidences can all be used to prove someone’s guilt or innocence, this is why it is extremely important to remember these tips if you are accused of DUI: Recall how the accident happened – Yes this is already asked of you, but when recalling important situations, do not just dwell on the major picture, but try to recall the tiniest details.
Last April, 2015, Washington State Patrol troopers arrested a man for driving under the influence near Interstate 5 and Highway 2. He was “running stop signs, hitting the curb and driving on a roundabout” among other dangerous or questionable behaviors. He was also driving a van with elderly folks from the Snohomish Senior Center as his passengers, who were just going to the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival. Later on, it was discovered that the driver volunteered to drive the seniors to their field trip destination but had taken prescription medications that may have impaired his driving skills. The passengers became uncomfortable and even alarmed because of his actions to the point that they demanded him to pull over.
Sunday, July 12, 2015
"There might actually be a way to eliminate drunk driving on America’s roads—perhaps, even the world. A new technology is being developed that will allow vehicles to detect the level of alcohol in the bloodstream of drivers. If the driver’s blood alcohol concentration has exceeded the legal limit, he or she won’t be able to start the car. The technology will employ either a passive set of breath sensors or touch-sensitive contact points on a starter button or gear shift. According to federal officials, the technology could start appearing in cars in as little as five years. “The message today is not ‘Can we do this?’ but ‘How soon can we do this?’ ”—said administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Mark Rosekind. “It is a huge step forward,” he adds."
Friday, July 10, 2015
"A crime is defined as any act or omission of an act that goes against a public law that forbids or commands it. All crimes feature four particular elements, namely, mental state (mens rea), conduct (actus reus), concurrence (mens rea and actus reus, occurring at the same time), and causation (occurrence of actual harm). Two categories of crimes Crimes are generally classified into two categories: misdemeanors and felonies. Misdemeanors are considered lesser crimes, and offenders may only be required to pay a fine or endure a few days in prison, examples of which are drug possession and traffic violations. A felony, on the other hand, is considered a serious crime and is liable to be punished by imprisonment of no less than one year. Examples of felonies are theft, assault, battery, rape, and murder. "
Wednesday, July 8, 2015
"If you are stopped on the road, and suspected of alcohol DUI in Washington, you will be required to take a breath test. The state follows the ‘implied consent’ principle which rules that if an officer stops you with probable cause to believe that you’ve been driving under the influence, then you must comply to take a breath test to gauge your blood alcohol content (BAC). An exception to this compliance would be when you feel that the evidentiary breath or blood test would damage your heath due to a pre-existing medical condition, or due to an injury at the accident scene."
Monday, July 6, 2015
Everybody knows it’s illegal to drive while drunk in Kent, and anywhere else in the U.S. However, not many are aware that they can be criminally prosecuted for getting on the road while under the influence of drugs as well. Clearly, driving while under the influence of illegal drugs, like ecstasy, heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamines, among others, puts an individual at greater risk of accident. But what does the law say about legal over-the-counter (OTC) and doctor-prescribed medications? As any DUI attorney will remind you, anyone can be equally prosecuted for DUI when found impaired by legally prescribed, OTC, or illicit drugs. In Washington, as long as these drugs impair your ability to drive safely, you can be arrested and/or convicted for drug DUI, and depending on the extent of damage you caused, be penalized in virtually the same way as a regular DUI conviction.
Monday, June 22, 2015
The summer season also means parties and celebrations everywhere, and the temptation to drink and drive might be too strong to ignore. No matter what people might tell you, however, drinking and driving is never a good mix, their combination often ending badly with disastrous results. Moreover, once you get caught driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you’ll be subjected to the strictest anti-DUI laws in the nation. If, by unfortunate circumstance, you do get charged with DUI, it’s possible for you to try and have it lowered by making a plea bargain for wet reckless, particularly if you weren’t involved in a road accident. Before preparing to plead down a DUI charge to a wet reckless, however, legal experts recommend seeking the help of an experienced Puyallup DUI attorney first.
Sunday, June 21, 2015
Last year, the nation was shocked by the story of Dante Cunningham, the former forward for the Minnesota Timberwolves, who was falsely accused by his girlfriend of domestic violence. Though the court has ultimately been able to prove that not only the charges were baseless, but the accuser took measures to frame Cunningham by presenting false evidence, this charge had forever changed his life, with his contract with the Timberwolves not renewed. According to his agent, Joel Bell, Cunningham could’ve earned more than $4 million had it not been for the domestic violence charges.
Saturday, June 20, 2015
When you’re in trouble with the law because of driving under the influence, it’s best to call up a DUI attorney in Federal Way to help you resolve the issue. Being convicted of DUI in Washington State can be quite troubling. Your first conviction alone has some heavy penalties: jail from a day to a year, license suspension for a month, and a fine of up to $5,000. You’ll want to fight the charges against you and legal help is exactly what you need. There are two things that a prosecutor needs to prove beyond reasonable doubt: 1) that you were the person driving the vehicle; and 2) that you were under the influence of alcohol. You can’t contest about being the driver, but a good lawyer could be able to put in doubt the issue of whether you were under the influence; this is done by contesting the evidence brought by the prosecution or making them inadmissible.
Friday, June 19, 2015
When you’re being charged with driving under the influence (DUI), you should immediately contact a reliable Kent DUI attorney who is well-versed with Washington’s DUI laws. This is especially important if this is your second or third time being arrested for DUI, especially since there are severe penalties for being convicted of DUI in the state.
Thursday, June 18, 2015
It’s not just the laws getting tough against DUI. Even the judges think enough is enough. Last March, 2015, Pierce County Superior Court judge Jerry Costello refused a DUI offender’s plea for a reduced sentence and went with the maximum possible jail time of nine months. The repeat offender still carries a DUI record from back in 2012, where he had been given the privilege to serve a reduced sentence upon completing a program.
Wednesday, June 17, 2015
Some people charged with a crime would be quick to enter a guilty plea in hopes of serving less time in jail. Defense attorneys like “Super Lawyer” Kim E. Hunter advise against this, as the client doesn’t consider his or her other legal options. If the evidence in favor of the defense is strong but the defendant pleads guilty, there’s not much attorneys can do at that point. That said, there is a second plea you might not know about: the Alford plea.
Tuesday, June 16, 2015
Americans appreciate a good joke that’s delivered in good taste. Seahawks linebacker Bruce Irvin thought of a good joke for April Fools, but it was anything but good taste. On his Twitter, Irvin “apologized” to his fans and team for making “a terrible decision b driving [sic].” Shortly after, he detailed in another tweet that he had a few drinks. Just before 9:00 p.m., he tweeted again, claiming that his previous tweets were all a joke.
Monday, June 15, 2015
Senate Bill 5105, which was earlier reported to make Washington’s DUI laws much tougher, has made headway along the legislative process. During the regular session on April 3, the Senate unanimously passed the bill 49-0. A follow-up session on April 29 also saw the bill being passed unanimously at 44-0 (5 excused). All that’s left now is the House’s approval. However, lawmakers are optimistic seeing that the House has passed its own legislation to toughen up DUI laws.
Tuesday, May 5, 2015
Imagine this: you have a few drinks with friends, though definitely not enough to be impaired. As you drive home, you notice the reflection of blue and red lights flashing in the rear view mirror. The moment you hear the distinct wail of a police car siren, your heart begins to race. The last thing you want is to be arrested on suspicion of DUI. A DUI charge is no fun. The consequences for DUI charges range from 24 hours to 1 year in jail, $865.50 to $5,000, and 90 days to 1 year suspension of your driver’s license—and that’s only for first time offenders. This is why you’ll want to avoid being charged with DUI in the first place.
Monday, May 4, 2015
A King County jury recently found a 49-year-old woman from Auburn guilty of abusing the family that had been staying at her home for three years. According to the Auburn Reporter, “The jury found Maria Esquivel guilty of first-degree assault-domestic violence, second-degree rape DV and three counts of second-degree assault DV.” It was also found that Esquivel had a history of domestic violence, which further hurt her case. She is now looking at a minimum sentence of 17 years and a maximum of life in prison. While Esquivel is going to prison for good, her case is more severe as she also faces other charges. In terms of domestic violence alone, the state of Washington punishes those who are convicted of domestic violence depending on the seriousness of the offense as well as any previous cases.
A DUI on record carries some serious implications, whether you’re the driver or passenger. For one, you can be denied entry into Canada. According to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), Canadian border officials can block any person with a DUI charge or other crimes under the Criminal Code of Canada from entering the country. Even if you’re just a passenger, Consul Harkiran Rajasansi at the Canadian Consulate in Seattle says passengers are no exemption.
Some DUI victims, or their families, are saying that Washington isn’t taking DUI seriously enough. While it follows the federally-mandated blood alcohol content (BAC) limit of 0.08, the state has a 0.04 limit for commercial drivers and 0.02 limit for minors. By comparison, the anti-DUI North Carolina has a near-zero tolerance for commercial and minor drivers. In response to this widespread criticisms, state lawmakers have started making strides to take DUI more seriously, starting with Senate Bill 5105. Under this bill, a fourth DUI offense incurred within ten years of the last one would be a Class-C felony. Families of victims of DUI accidents support the call for stricter state DUI laws. As of April, the bill is scheduled for a Third Reading.
Monday, March 23, 2015
Similar to New York and other states, a DUI offense in Washington may also be pleaded down or reduced to the lesser charge of Reckless Driving in an arrangement called “wet reckless”. Reckless Driving and similar charges warrant lesser fines and penalties than a DUI offense. A DUI Defense Attorney like one from the Law Offices of Kim E Hunter, PLLC can help those charged receive a “wet reckless”, instead of the stiffer DUI conviction. A DUI lawyer attorney in Puyallup will look into the details of an arrest, such as the reasons why their client was stopped, the reliability of test devices, and compliance to police protocols, to see if any of these have violated their clients’ rights. If they find grounds to question their client’s arrest or conviction, they can petition to drop the charges.
Saturday, March 21, 2015
All suspected offenders are presumed innocent until conviction in criminal courts. It is up to a criminal defense lawyer in Auburn to prove that presumption with the defendant by means of presenting credible witnesses and conclusive evidence to convince the jury. Another way to prove innocence is through an effective alibi, which puts the accused in another place at the time of the crime, giving them no possible means to commit it. An alibi defense requires witnesses who can corroborate the whereabouts of the accused, and other possible evidence like movie tickets or receipts.
Thursday, March 19, 2015
DUI offenses would depend on the blood alcohol content (BAC) of the person. The minimal level is .08 and anything higher can result in more serious penalties and fines. In addition, any uncontestable evidence that the person was, in fact, drunk can lead to conviction. This is where having a DUI lawyer in Federal Way becomes valuable. Those who are facing a DUI charge should hire experienced attorneys, such as those from the Law Offices of Kim E Hunter, who can work to have the charges dropped or, at the very least, lessen the offense by way of a plea bargain.
Wednesday, March 18, 2015
If this is not possible, a DUI defense lawyer in Kent can help the client plead to the lesser offense of Reckless Driving or Reckless Endangerment. In Washington, these plea bargains are often obtained for first-time offenses where the BAC is just above or below .08, and no damage to property or personal injury resulted from the incident. Given strong public opinion against DUI offenses, drivers charged of the offense would have a better chance of arriving at a plea agreement with the help of a DUI attorney like one from the Law Offices of Kim E. Hunter, who has the necessary experience and knowledge in handling such cases.
Sunday, January 25, 2015
Washington State drunk driving laws are some of the harshest in the country, something a diligent Kent DUI attorney like the law offices of Kim E. Hunter would welcome. Lawmakers have been steadily stiffening penalties for driving under the influence for more than a decade now. Seattle Times correspondent Brian Rosenthal discusses how state legislation is slowly but surely bringing down the number of DUI incidents.
Friday, January 23, 2015
The holidays have come and gone, but don’t count on law enforcement agencies being more lax about drunk driving. Over the recent celebrations where there was alcohol aplenty, there were naturally more checkpoints and more patrolmen on the lookout for intoxicated drivers. However, that doesn’t mean they get any less stringent once the most festive time of the year is over. This means you have to be cautious and avoid drinking if you’re planning on driving (and vice versa). The consequences of a drunk driving offense can be quite costly – not only in terms of money.
Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Being convicted of DUI can lead to negative consequences. For instance, Washington locals with a DUI conviction can expect to pay about $466.80 annually for insurance. This means they will owe about $2,334 of increases in five years’ time. Sadly, increased insurance premiums are not the only adverse effects of a DUI conviction. These people can also face severe penalties under state laws. As such, it’s recommended that they contact a respected Federal Way DUI attorney to defend their rights.
Monday, January 19, 2015
The above will certainly concern motorists right in Washington State. The state already allows the sale of the plant for recreational use, but still rules it illegal to drive under the influence of the drug. Considering that the state legislature recently passed tougher DUI laws and state police report an average of 40,000 arrests every year, the danger of being falsely accused of such charges is still high, warranting the services of a criminal lawyer from Tacoma like Ms. Kim. E. Hunter, attorney-at-law. The NHTSA report acknowledged that all states imposed a blood alcohol count level of 0.08 grams per deciliter but saw vagueness in the imposition of thresholds for other drugs. Things get complicated when you consider the passage of a Washington statute in 2013 that considers it unlawful to drive when a blood draw/analysis reveals at least five parts per billion of tetrohydrocannabinol (THC).
Tuesday, January 13, 2015
In another instance in 2012 in San Francisco, numerous drunk driving cases had to be reviewed and amended after discovering that the police had not tested their breathalyzers. Other courts in states, such as Ohio discredited the use of breathalyzers, saying that these machines have been scientifically unreliable, due to the fact that its results can be easily altered by heat and humidity. Even the National Motorists Association has discredited breathalyzers, saying that the instrument’s results do not actually represent the blood alcohol content and has a 50% margin of error. What happened in Jefferson County, however, was an example of how even breathalyzer operators can tamper with the results for the sake of continuing the case, even when the accused is likely to be innocent.
Sunday, January 11, 2015
DUI or sobriety checkpoints have been the subject of scrutiny among dissenters in many states, as they feel that they are too intrusive, even suggesting that it violates the people’s basic constitutional rights, particularly the Fourth Amendment. This amendment states that it is one of the people’s rights to secure their properties and personal belongings, including their cars, against unreasonable searches and seizures. Keep in mind, however, that police will only search your vehicle if they can provide probable cause in doing so, or you can make things easier by complying with them. Should you refuse the breathalyzer or field sobriety exercises, the officer will either let you go or arrest you, especially if they have a probable cause. Charging you with DUI, however, would be difficult because they don’t have the substantial evidence, such as the results of the breathalyzer, to convict you.
Friday, January 9, 2015
When you see the flashing lights of the police car behind you and you think you have a good chance of being charged for DUI in Washington State, there’s no need to panic. If you keep your wits, the odds are good you can fight your case with the help of a skilled DUI attorney for Federal Way residents. You may be able to reduce the charges or even have it completely dropped. Take note that a technicality in your arrest may result in your charges being dropped. A police officer would need to have probable cause for stopping you. This can mean erratic behavior on the road or speeding. If an officer stops you because of a hunch, then any evidence he might gather on the arrest could be inadmissible. You will be read your Miranda rights to ensure that you know them. If he missed on that basic rule, then a knowledgeable Federal Way DUI lawyer, such as from the Law Offices of Kim E Hunter, PLLC, can exclude the evidence the officer will present for the trial.
Wednesday, January 7, 2015
What someone needs, such as a resident who lives around the major cities of Tacoma and Des Moines and who may have suffered a similar case as Mr. Goodman, is a skilled Tacoma criminal attorney, such as from the Law Offices of Kim E Hunter, PLLC. It’s important that people charged with a criminal offense be represented by an attorney who understands the legal process of their case. Without proper representation, some technicalities that might occur may contribute to a negative turn during the procedure. Having a lawyer ensures that your rights are protected from the start. Everyone is entitled to his or her constitutional rights—from the right to remain silent to the right to post bail. With an attorney, one can at least feel assured that he or she is free to put forth the best possible defense that could be prepared.