Competency to be Determined in Seven Days

Judge Pechman’s order is in response to an ACLU lawsuit. The lawsuit alleged Washington defendants are being held unconstitutionally when detained for more than the seven days authorized by the legislature.

By Lance Hester, July 2015

Conditions of Release

As we all know, the first formal step in representing an individual is the arraignment and bail hearing. Recently, Division II Court of Appeals focused on CrR 3.2 to assist trial courts in determining what can and cannot be imposed on the accused.

By Brett Purtzer, November 2008

Corpus Delicti Rule Revisited

Recently, Division II Court of Appeals re-addressed the corpus delicti rule in State v. Hen- drickson, 2007 WL 2774332 (Wn.App. Div. II). There, Mr. Hendrickson was charged with driv- ing while under the influence after his vehicle was found at the bottom of a ravine.

By Brett Purtzer, December 2007

Crafford's Next Impact - the Lab

The confrontation clause became a little more meaningful when the Supreme Court handed down its recent opinion in Bullcoming v. New Mexico, 131 S. Ct. 2705 (2011).

By Lance Hester, January 2011

Crawford and 911 Tapes!

In State v. Davis, 2005 WL 1115865 (May 12, 2005), the Supreme Court decided the is- sue of whether evidence of 911 calls violated a defendant’s Sixth Amendment right to confrontation under the Supreme Court’s decision in Crawford v. Washington, 541 U.S. 36 (2004).

By Brett Purtzer, July 2005

Davis Update

A year ago Brett Purtzer wrote about State v. Davis in the pages of this publication. See, Just News, July 2005. Since writing that article, the US Supreme Court has accepted certiorari and has published its opinion affirming our state supreme court. This is an important opinion in the post-Crawford era dealing with the confrontation clause and witnesses who fail to show for trial.

By Lance M. Hester, July 2006

Deadly Weapon Enhancement Shot Down!

As reported in State v. Gurske, filed August 25, 2005, No. 75156-1, a deadly weapon sen- tence enhancement was found to be improper and the matter was remanded for resentencing.

By Monte Hester, October 2005

Decline Hearing, After Trial

My client was arraigned in Snohomish County Juvenile Court on June 1, 2007, for the crime of Controlled Substances Homicide. There was no request for a declination hearing and the case was retained in juvenile court. A fact finding hearing was set for October 2, 2007, and, since my client was about to turn 18 years old, juvenile jurisdiction was extended through De- cember 31, 2007.

By Wayne Fricke, November 2008

Do You Know the Differences Between a Misdemeanor and a Felony in Washington state?

Maybe you’ve been charged with a crime, maybe you’ve been offered to have your charge reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor, or maybe you’re just curious – what are the differences between misdemeanors and felonies? There are major differences depending on the specific...

April 2018

Do you know the Three Strike Rule in Washington?

In the state of Washington, as well as many other states, there is a rule known as the “Three Strike” rule that can result in an individual being sentenced to life in prison. While you should take any felony charge seriously, it’s even more...

November 2018

Don't Come Knocking with a Civil Arrest Warrent

State v. Thompson, Supreme Court of Washington, Docket No. 72997-2, June 24, 2004, is a great case regarding statutory construction and reality in assessing a detectives actions and prosecutor’s assertions.

By Monte Hester, July 2004

Don't Waive or it's Bye Bye

The appearance of a potential language difficulty requires the court to make a record of the defendant’s level of English proficiency.

By Monte Hester, October 2003

DUI’s and State v. Shaffer

State v. Shaffer, 113 Wn.App. 812, 55 P.3d 668 (2002), held RCW 46.61.505(11)(a)(v) un- constitutional as it violated due process.

By Brett Purtzer, January 2003

Exceptional Sentences Unconstitutional

The tandem cases of Blakely v. Washington, 124 S.Ct. 2531, 159 L.Ed. 2d 403 (2004) and Ap- prendi v. New Jersey, 530 U.S. 466, 120 S.Ct. 2348, 147 L.Ed. 2d 435 (2000), have rendered the SRAs unconstitutional to the extent that the SRAs authorize a court to grant an exceptional

By Brett Purtzer, November 2004

Expanded Use of ER 608 (b) Evidence

ER 608(b) governs the admission of specific act evidence, and if a witness is crucial to the state’s case, and the alleged misconduct constitutes the only available impeachment evi- dence, a trial court abuses its discretion if the defense is not allowed to inquire about said evidence. State v. McSorley, ____ Wn.App. _____, 116 P.3d 431 (2005).

By Brett Purtzer, October 2005


Watch out for sneak attacks by fact witnesses. Not uncommonly, a prosecutor will call a police fact witness and will, along the way, begin questioning him about his “training and experience” and ultimately, will attempt to elicit various conclusions he made while investigating the case based on his training and experience.

By Lance M. Hester, December 2006

Experts Love This One

Hats off to the Supremes. Our Honorable Supreme Court unanimously held in State v. Rodin Punsalan, Washington Supreme Court Docket No. 77490-1 filed May 4, 2006, that the state is obliged to fund the expense of expert assistance to an indigent defendant even though his defense counsel is a privately retained attorney.

By Monte Hester, May 2006

False Reporting

I am involved in some research that led me to an article entitled “Unfounded Cases and False Allegations, ” which is a report/study done for the FBI. This article contains an appendix authored by C.P. McDowell and N.S. Hibler.

By Monte Hester, May 2007

Federal Crimes: Is Statute of Limitations a Viable Defense?

A statute of limitations can be a defense for certain criminal charges. In federal court, it may or may not apply to your case. If you’ve been charged with a crime that occurred a long time ago, be sure to mention that to your...

August 2018

Federal Drug Trafficking - What to Expect

Drug trafficking cases are more common than you may think. In fact, almost a third of federal criminal cases involve drug trafficking. The most commonly trafficked drug, according to the United States Sentencing Commission is Meth. Being charged with drug trafficking can be scary...

August 2018

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