So what is the right to a speedy trial? The Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution, provides that “[i]n all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy . . . trial.” The Clause is important because it protects the defendant from delay between the time when they are charged and the beginning of trial. But do you have a right to a speedy trial? Did you waive it? How can you know? And what happens if you are in prison and have other charges pending?
In Washington State, Drug Recognition Experts, also known as DREs are regular law enforcement officer’s who have received additional training to recognize impaired drivers who are under the influence of drugs other than, or in addition to alcohol.
In the 1970’s the Los Angeles Police Department developed the Drug Evaluation and Classification Program (DECP). The purpose of the program was to train officers on how to determine whether a driver is under the influence of drugs, and then to determine the type of drug causing the impairment. Washington State adopted the program in 1996 and currently has approximately 230 active DREs. While individual agency policies can vary on when specifically a DRE will be called, they generally investigate major collisions and when officers suspect drug involvement.
When charged with a crime, people tend to panic. After all, being charged with a serious crime can be a life altering experience. Some men and women may be nervous about the situations that await them because of their charges. For example, people that are charged with a DUI can be arrested and forced to spend time in jail. They may also need to attend DUI rehabilitation classes and may even lose their job because of their poor choice to drink and drive. A teacher who is charged with a sex crime will certainly lose his or her job if convicted. As well, being convicted of a crime comes with social implications. People may lose contact with their loved ones if they are convicted of serious crimes like murder, drug offenses, or theft crimes. People who are charged and convicted of domestic violence may lose the ability to spend time with their children or may be commanded to avoid friends with a restraining order.
The results of being convicted of a crime can be horrific, but you may not need to suffer these horrible difficulties. With the right Seattle criminal defense attorney on your side, you may be able to go up against the prosecution well-equipped. The right attorney will be willing to work through whatever situation you are involved in. In order to get the representation that you need, you will have to choose a compassionate and caring but aggressive and hardworking attorney. That is what you get when you choose to hire an attorney from Blair & Kim. This is a Seattle criminal defense firm that has been in operation since 1995. The firm understands how to get the best results for people in need and to provide clients throughout the state of Washington with the highest degree of client service and representation.
One of the reasons that Blair & Kim stands apart from other firms in the area is because the founding attorney, Mark Blair, used to be a Washington state prosecutor. While working on the other side of criminal law, he got to know the men and women that make up the courts of Washington with a friendly familiarity. He also learned a lot about how the prosecution thinks through cases and he can now anticipate the actions that they are going to take in almost any situation. After spending some time acquiring knowledge as a prosecutor, Attorney Blair decided that he wanted to help those in need by advocating for the accused in court.
When facing criminal charges, choosing the right attorney is one of the most important decisions you make. It can also be one of the most difficult. If you or someone you love has recently been charged for a crime, including driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, working with an experienced and proven lawyer should be your first priority.
At Blair & Kim, PLLC, Seattle Criminal Attorney Mark Blair is a former prosecutor and seasoned defense attorney who has handled more than 15,000 criminal cases. He also has a record of success defending clients charged with DUI and DUI-related crimes. Aside from his proven track record, Attorney Blair continually commits himself to remaining up to date with new laws and expanding his legal skills.
What is continuing legal education?
Just as in any profession, lawyers have the option to continue their education, attend seminars and training, and engage in activities that improve their skills and knowledge of a specific subject. In most states, bar associations will actually require lawyers to complete at least some continuing legal education (CLE) on a regular basis to ensure consumers receive adequate and competent representation from licensed attorneys. For Attorney Blair, continuing legal education has been a pillar of his professional career, and remains an important tool he uses to benefit our firm’s clients.
Attorney Mark Blair is committed to providing Blair & Kim, PLLC’s clients with the best possible legal representation. To achieve this, he regularly attends continuing legal education courses and legal seminars that expand his skills in the areas of DUI law and criminal defense. Although he has already earned a proven record of success defending clients charged for driving under the influence, Attorney Blair chose to familiarize himself with Washington’s newest breath test device – the DRAEGER 9510
In May, Mark attended a seminar conducted by the Washington Foundation for Criminal Justice that focused entirely on the state’s latest breath test machine. The seminar covered all aspects of the device, which law enforcement agencies in Seattle and the entire state will be using to test the blood alcohol content (BAC) of motorists suspected of drunk driving.
The seminar program consisted of an intensive course that trained attendees on the entire operation of the device, including basics of infrared spectroscopy and electrochemical analysis. The seminar also featured discussions comparing old equipment to the new machine, the various physiological aspects that affect breath alcohol monitoring, chemical interferants, and mouth alcohol.
Seattle Criminal Defense Lawyer Mark Blair – co-founder of Blair & Kim – was recently successful in representing one of our firm’s clients who was charged with driving under the influence (DUI). Although the case presented some challenges, particularly because the client refused to submit to a breathalyzer test, Attorney Blair was able to suppress crucial evidence and substantially reduce our client’s charges.
The case in question involved our client’s DUI arrest, during which he refused to submit to a breath test. In the state of Washington, drivers who refuse a breath test may be subject to automatic license suspensions, and evidence of the refusal may be used as evidence against them in court. Given the circumstances surrounding our client’s arrest, however, Attorney Blair pursued a motion to suppress evidence of the breath test refusal.
By bolstering his motion to suppress with clear evidence and support from relevant case law, Attorney Blair was able to establish that using our client’s refusal to submit to a breath test as evidence would be an unconstitutional and unlawful curtailment of his Fourth Amendment Rights. Attorney Blair’s motion focused on establishing that a breath test is a search for constitutional purposes, and that because the breath test was warrantless, it could not be used against our client in court. Ultimately, the court granted the motion to suppress, and our clients charges were reduced from DUI to negligent driving in the first degree.