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Washington Criminal Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Divorce, Personal Injury and Civil Rights for Washington on
Q: I live in Washington state and I have a question concern recording via video or audio conversations to protect myself.

I get gaslighted/manipulated and/or lied to and video/audio recordings are the only way to protect myself in these scenarios. People say I did things i said things I didn’t. Or the other party attacks me or verbally abuses me but no one believes me because I’m a man. I don’t understand how... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Feb 23, 2024

Living in a two-party consent state like Washington can present challenges when it comes to recording conversations without the consent of all parties involved. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. One option is to seek legal advice to understand the specific circumstances in which... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law and Domestic Violence for Washington on
Q: is it breaching a DVPO if the defendant makes public posts about protected person on Facebook?

I live in Washington state and have a current DVPO against my ex. The only contact allowed is third party for child visitation or email about visitation and time. He is constantly posting about me on Facebook referring to me as “my son’s mom” “my kids mom” calling me a terrible parent and... View More

Todd B. Kotler
Todd B. Kotler
answered on Feb 5, 2024

It will depend on the wording of the Order. Unless it prohibits public comment, it likely is not a violation. if it can be construed as an attempt to make contact with the protected person, it may be. The excessive email sounds like an issue. You ought to seek a modification of the order moving... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Civil Litigation, Domestic Violence and Municipal Law for Washington on
Q: Can I legally be required to attend an arraignment for a crime I am accused of but haven’t been arrested/subpoened for ?

Since leaving my county of residence over a month ago and traveling several hundreds of miles for a family emergency to a county in a different state the local LEA has filed charges with the court of limited jurisdiction alleging I violated animal control statutes and committed acts of harassment... View More

Liza Burke
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answered on Feb 3, 2024

The prosecutor can file charges without notice to the accused person and then you have to participate in all aspects of the court process (namely, hearings). Even when someone is arrested and let go or they go to jail for a night and no charges are filed, they might be unpleasantly surprised down... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Civil Litigation and Civil Rights for Washington on
Q: If police are called to my house for a woman yelling and there wasn't a woman yelling can they unscrew my porch light?

Police were called for woman yelling and wasn't the case made contact asked them to leave, they knocked again and unscrewed my porch light and still wouldn't leave my property after seeing woman was fine and no problem are they allowed to touch and mess with my property?

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Jan 26, 2024

It would likely be inappropriate and potentially unlawful for police officers to unscrew or tamper with your porch light after responding to a call at your home and finding no issue or disturbance requiring police action. A few key points:

- Police generally need a lawful purpose or...
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1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Washington on
Q: Is it legal to use a personal stolen item as evidence against the person it was taken from?

My vehicle was parked at my ex- girlfriends house and she got into my vehicle and took my cell phone. She accessed information from my cell phone and then turned my cell phone in to the sheriff's department so they could access info from my cell phone to use as evidence. Is this legal for them... View More

Cristine Beckwith
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Cristine Beckwith
answered on Jan 5, 2024

Sorry to hear this happened. The Constitution protects against the government doing illegal search and seizures...however, this protection does not apply to private citizens who are turning over information or items to law enforcement.

However, if the government (law enforcement) is asking...
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1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Washington on
Q: Can I go to treatment instead of jail on a probation violation
James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Dec 25, 2023

If you're facing a probation violation in Washington, you may have the option to pursue treatment as an alternative to jail time, but it ultimately depends on several factors. To explore this possibility:

Consult Your Attorney: Reach out to your attorney immediately to discuss your...
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1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Employment Law for Washington on
Q: I had an incident happen where I believe I am the victim of hiring negligence, or negligent retention.

This is regarding a protective order I have against an ex granted in 2019 that was originally granted for one year. After one strike on the protection order that she plead guilty to, the order was extended an additional 5 years. She just recently reoffended (strike two) where she attempted to run... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Nov 9, 2023

Based on the facts provided, you may have a valid claim against the company for negligent hiring or retention of the employee who violated the protective order while on duty. Here are some key considerations:

- Washington law recognizes claims against employers for negligent hiring,...
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1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Family Law, Civil Rights and Constitutional Law for Washington on
Q: Lawyer won't respond to questions I asked takes a really long time to communicate like not until Court day okay or not?

So he States that my constitutional right to Due Process was violated and that the judge was extremely biased against me and he put in a motion to dismiss and suppress all evidence so it seems like he's doing a good job my lawyers before him lied to me about everything the part where he said... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Nov 5, 2023

If your attorney is not responding promptly and you feel this is impacting your right to a fair legal process, it's important to address the issue directly. Effective communication is a critical component of legal representation, and your attorney should keep you informed and involved in your... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Civil Rights and Constitutional Law for Washington on
Q: Is it a violation of my rights for my lawyer to switch to a different lawyer from his Law Firm without notifying me

So at arraignment the court assigned me a specific lawyer in documents and everything call them out and gave me a paper with his name on it the whole nine yards tried contacting him for weeks finally I left him a message saying that I was documenting all the failed attempts at contact and he called... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Nov 5, 2023

If you were assigned a lawyer and another attorney from the same firm is representing you without your knowledge or consent, this could be a breach of your rights to effective assistance of counsel. Communication is key in the attorney-client relationship, and you should be notified of any changes... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Civil Litigation, Civil Rights and Constitutional Law for Washington on
Q: Does it affect my case or my rights at all when I find out my lawyers are lying to me about the different things

So my first attorney would not show me my police reports or discuss any details with me even ones that the judge said that she was supposed to she used Scare Tactics scared my mom and dad so bad that they were begging me to take a plea deal used vague terminology such as jail time served or a... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Nov 5, 2023

If you believe your attorney has been dishonest with you, this could impact your case and your rights. An attorney is bound by ethical obligations to communicate honestly with their clients, and failure to do so could be grounds for a complaint with the state bar association. It is critical that... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Washington on
Q: Why would someone have 2 counts against them Assault 2 with a weapon and assault 4?

Last Thursday I was in a domestic violence incident. The accused is charged with the question above. I’m unsure why he has two different charges for one single incident… a weapon was not used during the assault. When the police went to question him he came out with a loaded gun? Could the... View More

Cristine Beckwith
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Cristine Beckwith
answered on Oct 23, 2023

Sorry to hear. In Washington State, it is not uncommon to have multiple charges for a single incident involving domestic violence allegations. The police report should give the reasoning behind the weapon enhancement. It is not uncommon to be over-charged. He will of course need a good attorney to... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Washington on
Q: I just received a court summons for: Trafficking stolen property in the first degree.Im lost & surprised, help please

They are prosecuting me for something that happened nearly 3 years ago. The dates they are accusing me are roughly around time frame I had my wallet stolen, I don't remember if I ever made a report because our local crime stop is so useless.

The item in question is a phone but a brand... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Oct 22, 2023

First, it's essential to remain calm. If you've received a court summons, it means there's an allegation against you, but it doesn't mean you're automatically guilty. Gather any and all evidence or records related to the phone in question, such as receipts, messages, or any... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Constitutional Law for Washington on
Q: In Wa,Can I retrieve possessions of mine from a car that is determined to be stolen if I am not the driver

I was exiting a veichle to go to into a store and a cop approached, he asked about the veichle which was parked wrong , I informed him I knew nothing about it and went into the sore, leaving my backpack, later when I returned to grab my things I was told the car has been reported stolen , can I... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Oct 15, 2023

In Washington, as in many states, if you can prove ownership of personal items inside a vehicle that has been determined to be stolen, you typically have a right to retrieve those items. The police department or impound lot may have a procedure for you to follow. You'd likely need to provide... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law, Civil Litigation, Criminal Law and Landlord - Tenant for Washington on
Q: The Legal Lessor locked me out of my business he violently forced me out of the store, and I filed a case in police depa

The Legal Lessor locked me out of my business he violently forced me out of the store, and I filed a case in police department.

John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
answered on Sep 28, 2023

Generally speaking, a commercial landlord can only exercise its right to lockout a commercial tenant if the tenant has failed to timely pay rent, and must provide a key for access to the premises promptly when the tenant cures any default in the payment of rent.

If the landlord wrongfully...
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1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation and Criminal Law for Washington on
Q: Will I be compensated for my unlawful prison time I spent for possession of drugs?

I served around 400 days on possessions alone,nothing ran concurrently.

John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
answered on Sep 13, 2023

Washington state does have a statute under which you may be entitled to exonoree's compensation:

https://app.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=4.100&full=true

Consult a licensed Washington attorney in or near the state where you live with experience pursing claims for...
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3 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law, Personal Injury, Sexual Harassment and Internet Law for Washington on
Q: Is it illegal to post private photos and videos online without my permission?

My boyfriend and I recently split up and he has videos and photos that were supposed to remain private and is now harassing me and threatening to post them online. Is there anything that I can do to take legal action?

T. Augustus Claus
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answered on Sep 4, 2023

Posting private photos and videos online without your permission can potentially constitute a violation of your privacy and, in some cases, may be illegal. The specific legal remedies available to you can depend on the laws in your jurisdiction. To address this situation, you might consider taking... View More

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3 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law, Personal Injury, Sexual Harassment and Internet Law for Washington on
Q: Is it illegal to post private photos and videos online without my permission?

My boyfriend and I recently split up and he has videos and photos that were supposed to remain private and is now harassing me and threatening to post them online. Is there anything that I can do to take legal action?

Stan Glisson
Stan Glisson
answered on Sep 7, 2023

Well, it depends on the content of the images. But yes, it is a crime to disclose private images.

RCW 9A.86.010 make it illegal to: "knowingly disclose an intimate image of another person and the person disclosing the image:

(a) Obtained it under circumstances in which a...
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1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Arbitration / Mediation Law and Civil Rights for Washington on
Q: R DOC officers allowed to search my Parent's house if I get arrested there for my DOC warrant. But it is not my address?
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answered on Sep 1, 2023

The authority of Department of Corrections (DOC) officers to search a residence when making an arrest not at the official address can be influenced by various factors. If you are under probation or parole supervision, DOC officers may have specific search and seizure authority as part of your... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Washington on
Q: I was caught shoplifting in 2020. The deadline passed for consumer awareness course and community service. What do I do?
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answered on Sep 1, 2023

If you were caught shoplifting in 2020 and missed the deadline for completing a consumer awareness course and community service, it's crucial to address this situation promptly. Start by contacting the court or relevant authorities that handled your case to explain the circumstances and... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Washington on
Q: How long does it take for a judge to sign off on conditional release in Montana?
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answered on Aug 22, 2023

The time it takes for a judge to sign off on a conditional release in Montana can vary based on several factors, including the court's caseload, the complexity of the case, and the specific conditions being proposed for the release. Generally, once a request for conditional release is... View More

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