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Some info.... (archive)

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Posted by KBERT on May 20, 2001 at 18:00:22:

In Reply to: questions for those suggesting me that get lawyer. posted by impounded M3 on May 20, 2001 at 14:38:59:

1: You really should try to find a lawyer. Go to martindale.com and search for lawyers in Everett, WA who do criminal defense work. If Portland is nearby, look for lawyers there too. I doubt a Canadian lawyer will be much use, unless you're a diplomat and/or have diplomatic immunity. It's going to be hard for you to find out which lawyers are good/bad in the next couple of days, but you could at a minimum stick to ones that have nice office space in a nice part of town and who seem respectable. Avoid the greasy ones who have a skanky office next to the train tracks. The "free initial consultation" lawyers are generally ones to avoid.

The case probably will be prosecuted by a local county/city attorney. Or will it just be before a judge with no separate prosecutor? In any case, you might be able to call the county/city attorney's office and nicely explain the situation and ask how the hearing will work and what you can do to work out a "plea" of some kind, such as paying a fine. Doing this can only help, as long as you're respectful and sincere

2: You can probably find out the max. penalty by going to the Washington state gov't website and looking for the state statutes. Search for "reckless driving" and see what comes up. (See below websites) That'll help you find out whether you were charged with the right crime (i.e., whether what you were doing fits the state's definition of the crime) and should point you to the max. penalty -- probably something like $5000 and 30+ days in jail. I really doubt a judge would give you any jail time, but you're certainly looking at a big fine and maybe community service.... No way you'd be banned from WA driving, either. Fine reduction is why you should try to get a lawyer.

Other consequence is -- this'll be on your driving record and will affect your insurance down the road as soon as your insurance co. finds out about it.

3: Lawyer will cost $80-150/hour. Probably assume 3-5 hours of prep and court time, minimum.

Start working on your "story" now -- I'd be surprised if the entrapment defense works especially if you didn't even pull over to slow lane to let the cop pass. On the other hand, you could compare your situation to one in which a car pulls up next to you at a stop light, indicates he wants to drag and then pulls you over a mile down the road for reckless driving (as an undercover cop). In any case, you took the bait, similar to a situation involving an undercover cop acting as a prostitute or a drug dealer.

Check out:

This looks like the def'n of "reckless driving" under WA state law:

http://search.leg.wa.gov/pub/textsearch/ViewRoot.asp?Action=Html&Item=8&X=520145652&p=1

excess speed as proof of reckless driving:

http://search.leg.wa.gov/pub/textsearch/ViewRoot.asp?Action=Html&Item=8&X=520145652&p=1

Strangely broad provision, since there's no way ALL speeding can constitute reckless driving....

Also look at:

http://search.leg.wa.gov/pub/textsearch/ViewRoot.asp?Action=Html&Item=0&X=520145652&p=1

http://www.leg.wa.gov/pub/rcw/rcw%20%2046%20%20TITLE/rcw%20%2046%20%20%20TITLE/rcw%20%2046%20%20%20TITLE.htm

GOOD LUCK.


Question 1: I am a Canadian, from Vancouver BC. Does it help if I get a local lawyer or bring one down from BC? Also, how do you determine whether this lawyer is decent or so-so? I have no experience in this field at all.

Question 2: What if I did not get a lawyer and just attend the court myself, what would be the most severe consequence that would result in this case? banned for good driving in WA?

Question 3: how much would it probably cost if I do get a lawyer? again. thanks for you wonderful thoughts.

some friend told me that I could miss the court day and forfiet $1000 bail, but I better not go to WA again. If I ever got caught, no bail out for me next time. I am not planning on doing this, because I wanna learn something from this incident. If I will be given a $500 ticket, I will take it. If I will be put into jail because of this, I will take it with disgrace.

drive safe everyone
Ken





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