Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Seattle DUI arrest after Packers football game

Last night was a big day for the City of Seattle.  The "Clink" hosted the Monday night football game between the Seattle Seahawks and the Greenbay Packers.  Every time there is a big event like this.  Whether it is a big football game involving either the Huskies or the Seahawks there will be increased DUI Patrols in downtown Seattle as well as the main freeways including I-90, I-5, and SR520.

If you were arrested last night it is important to contact a Seattle DUI Lawyer ASAP to first ensure your constitutional rights are protected, but to also discuss your options and what may likely happen to you.  Like all professions there are bad ones and good ones out there.  Here are a couple of things to look for when deciding who to NOT contact.  Any attorney who sends you a solicitation in the mail is probably not the right fit for you.  Any attorney who doesn't practice exclusively in the area of Seattle DUI Defense is probably not going to help you much.  And lastly any attorney who hasn't litigated more than 25 DUI trials in the career tells you all the do is plead people guilty and not fight on behalf of their clients.

The best bet to look for his a referral from family, friends, or other attorneys.  Usually an attorney that is recommended from someone else shows that attorney did good work, and was able to get the kind of result where someone would say "hey hire this guy he got my Seattle DUI Dismissed."  Likewise if an attorney recommends another attorney, that is a good sign of quality work.

If you were arrested for a DUI last night in Seattle after the Packers game you might have an arraignment in the next day or so.  Try not to stress out about this, and call a DUI lawyer.  They will be able to help calm your fears, but more importantly discuss all your options and likely outcomes in your case.

Matthew A. Leyba is a Seattle DUI Lawyer.  His practice focuses exclusively on DUI defense in Western WA.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

New Thermal Imaging System Could Help Detect Drunk People

I recently ran across an article that discusses a new use for old technology when it comes to alcohol, people, and DUI arrests.  In a paper that was published by Greek scientists it may be possible in the near future where thermal imaging may be able to detect individuals have has consumed alcohol.

How does this work you ask?  Well pretty interesting.  Apparently these scientists are in the process of developing new algorithms that will gather date about the blood vessels in an individuals face.  You see when a person consumes alcohol often times their face will become flushed, or rosy, or even red faced.  The reason this occurs is because the blood vessels in their face are becoming dilated due to the increased alcohol intake through the blood.

What these scientists hope to do is capitalize on these increased blood vessels because this will cause the individuals face to increase in temperature.  And thus thermal imaging can detect that increased temperature that is different or higher than the body temperature.

This paper then goes on the describe how this process can be used by police departments.  It is silent on exactly what would the police use this for.  But as a Seattle DUI Attorney I can only imagine the problems with this.  Imaging going to a bar or restaurant.  Having a single drink or perhaps even two.  Keeping mind it is not illegal to consume alcohol and drive.  It is only illegal if your ability to drive is lessened in any appreciable degree or if you are over the legal limit.  Then imagine police positioned on street corners shooting these thermal imaging guns at individuals.  Seeing the increased temperature in their face.  Assuming they are drunk and then pulling people over to investigate for DUI and other alcohol related offenses.

I dont think I need to harp on the potential 4th amendment violations that would occur from these.  Here in Washington state, the 4th amendment is afforded greater protections than the federal constitution.  So I doubt this would ever occur here, since we don't even allow checkpoint stops by the police.  But it is scary to think this type of technology can be used.  Again as a Seattle DUI Attorney, I hope it doesn't come to this.  We have enough issues with unlawful 4th amendment seizures due to overzealous police investigations.

Matthew A. Leyba is a Seattle DUI Attorney in Western WA.  His practice focuses exclusively on representing those accused of DUI and other serious traffic offenses.  

Friday, September 14, 2012

The importance of hiring a DUI Attorney when charged with a DUI

This may seem pretty self explanatory.  If you're charged with a DUI, then you want to hire an attorney that specifically and exclusively practices DUI defense.  I mean if you needed open heart surgery you wouldn't go to a general practitioner would you?  The same thinking applies here.

The reason I bring this up is because I have met 2 clients or potential clients I guess looking for representation on a DUI case.  When I met with them, both of these individuals were completely misinformed about DUI laws, and specifically what their options are.  As a Seattle DUI lawyer I practice exclusively in the area of DUI defense, so it is pretty easy for me to explain what your options are, Im up to date on the recent law changes, and Im familiar with individual courts, and prosecutors and I can probably give you a reasonable idea of what may happen with you case.  If you're not a DUI lawyer than you probably cant do that.  Just like I cant tell you would the recent laws are on environmental litigation.

Now going back to these two individuals.  One person met with a family law attorney.  This was a first offense, the individual was under 21.  The family law attorney told the client about a deferred prosecution, told them that is what they should do, and then completely misinformed them about how to do it.  If you know me, or read this blog at all you will know that I rarely recommend a deferred prosecution, but especially in this circumstance.  As a general rule you never have someone do a deferred on a first offense, but you never do one when you're that young.  You only get one per lifetime, you have to be found to be alcohol or drug dependence, and you have to agree to complete a 2 year alcohol and drug treatment program and be monitored by probation for 5 years.

The other individual I met with had previously met with a general practitioner attorney.  Someone that does a little bit of everything I guess.  In this case the client had actually blown under the legal limit, so there would be no need for a DOL hearing.  However this attorney told them they had to have a DOL hearing, and tried telling the client it would be easy to win because they were under the legal limit.  Im not sure if this was some kind of scam to overcharge the client, or if the attorney honestly thought a DOL hearing was necessary.  But again, this was completely wrong advice.  Nothing bad would have happened had the client paid the $200 and sent in the hearing request form, but if this attorney makes mistakes on something so simple, imagine what would happen when more complicated issues arose.

Now Im not trying to bag on these attorneys.  These most likely were honest mistakes.  I mean if someone came to me wanted me to draft a will, or sue some major corporation I wouldnt try it.  To be honest I would screw something like that up.  Even though Im a lawyer and I went to law school, I just dont know anything about these areas of the law.  My philosophy on a lawyer practicing in every area of the law is that is just not feasible.  There is no way that a lawyer can know everything about every area and facet of the law to be competent.  It is simply impossible.  This is why doctors commonly refer patients to specialists or other physicians in certain areas of medicine.  Nobody knows everything, and the same things applies in Seattle DUI Defense.

Matthew Leyba is a Seattle DUI lawyer in Western WA.  His practice focuses exclusively on representing those accused of DUI and other serious traffic offenses.  If you have been arrested for a DUI contact our office for a free no hassle 1 hour consultation.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

WWLD......What would legal minds do?

Instead of "what would Jesus do," how about "what would legal minds do."  I find it interesting that individuals that get arrested for a DUI here in Washington State that have a background in the legal system.  Whether it is a law enforcement officer, or whether it is a Judge.  What do they all have in common.  When they are being investigated for a DUI they decline to answer any questions.  They decline the field sobriety tests.  And in some cases they decline the breath test at the station.

Why is that?  They must know something the rest of society doesn't.  Perhaps it can be that the field sobriety tests are junk science only designed for a person to fail.  Or perhaps it can be that the breath test at the police station is a piece of junk and that is neither accurate nor reliable, despite what the Prosecutors and the Washington State Patrol Toxicology Lab say.

Now Im not here to violate these individuals privacy, even thou their arrest is public record.  Im not trying to embarrass anyone, or poke fun at their mistakes.  Obviously they are human, just like the people they arrest, and the people they preside over.  But what I want to point out is what a knowledgable individual does when they are being investigated for a DUI.  As you may know Im a Seattle DUI lawyer.  Many of my blogs here say the same thing over and over.  Decline the field sobriety tests, don't answer any questions without talking with a lawyer, and don't take the breath test without asking for a lawyer.

But sometimes I get the feeling people aren't listening because Im a DUI lawyer and somehow I have a dog in the fight.  This is why I bring up the Sargent with the Seattle Police Department who was arrested, and the Judge who was recently arrested.  Obviously they are familiar with the legal system, and in particular DUI cases.  They declined, and if that doesn't tell you how flawed everything is in a DUI investigation, I don't know what else will.  

Matthew A. Leyba is a Seattle DUI lawyer located in downtown Seattle.  His practice focuses exclusively on representing those accused of DUI and other serious traffic offenses.  If you have been arrested for a DUI feel free to contact our office for a free 60 minute consultation that is completely confidential.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Football season is here....Increased DUI arrests

As a Seattle DUI Attorney I represent people who have been arrested and then subsequently charged with a DUI offense here in Seattle or Western Washington.  In my opinion a bulk of the cases I represent come through my office starting when Football seasons begins, and ends after the New Years.

Why is this you might ask?  Well here in Seattle we have two major sports teams that compete in Football.  We have the University of Washington and the Seattle Seahawks.  Typically I see more people arrested after Seahawks games just because alcohol is served there.  But this year the University of Washington is upgrading and doing a major remodel with Husky Stadium, or whatever it is going to be called now.  So what does this mean.  All Husky games are going to be played at Century Link field, meaning alcohol will be served and it is downtown where all the bars and tailgating will occur.

If you attend a UW game, or a Seahawk game keep in mind increased DUI emphasis patrols will be occurring in downtown Seattle, and along the main corridors of I5, 520, and I90.  These increased patrols will be occurring after the games, or a prior to the games.  People tailgating or pre-funking will be driving to the game, and these will be easy pickens for the Washington State Patrol and the Seattle Police Department.

I know I say this all the time and write it about it pretty extensively.  But please keep in mind these simple rules if you find yourself being investigated for a Seattle DUI.  Remember to decline to do any and all field sobriety tests, ask to speak with a Seattle DUI lawyer prior to answering any questions, and make sure you ask to speak with that attorney prior to agreeing to take a breath or blood test.

Matthew Leyba is a Seattle DUI lawyer located in downtown Seattle.  His practice focuses in representing those accused of DUI and other serious traffic offenses.