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Does a defendant have to testify at trial in Washington to win on self-defense?

Posted by Brian C. Zuanich | Jun 17, 2019 | 0 Comments

The American criminal justice system can be dizzyingly complex but a few simple rules underpin the whole system. The biggest one: a criminal defendant is presumed innocent and the government has to prove the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. This means that the defendant does not have to prove innocence. The defendant could literally—and sometimes does literally—nothing the whole trial, and still wins Of course, most defendants do something in their own defense, but it may not involve testifying.

Is Electronic Home Monitoring in Washington Punishment?

Posted by Brian C. Zuanich | Jun 17, 2019 | 0 Comments

Tell someone you’re on house arrest, and it sounds like a strict punishment. Tell someone you have to wear an ankle bracelet, but that it doesn’t prevent you from going to work, going to the store, and attending treatment, then it sounds less restrictive and oppressive, doesn’t it? If you’re on electronic home monitoring (EHM) in Washington, however, you fit in both categories.

When does a DUI become a felony in Washington?

Posted by Brian C. Zuanich | Jun 08, 2019 | 0 Comments

1. A felony DUI trial is a two-part trial In Washington, a DUI is normally a gross misdemeanor, punishable up to 364 days in jail and a $5,000 fine. If you have 3 or more prior DUI-related offenses within a 10 year period, however, the State can charge you with felony DUI, a class B felony punishable up to 10 years in state prison.

Can you be convicted of DV assault in Washington even if you don't live with the victim?

Posted by Brian C. Zuanich | Jun 08, 2019 | 0 Comments

When we think of domestic violence, we generally think of close family members or dating relationships. Husband punches wife. Girlfriend kicks boyfriend. Father slaps child. Under the law, however, the definition of DV is much broader. In Washington, you can be convicted of domestic violence if you assault anyone who is a “family or household member.”

When can you legally drive in the left lane in Washington?

Posted by Brian C. Zuanich | Jun 03, 2019 | 1 Comment

By law, you are not supposed to drive continuously in the left hand lane. As you probably first learned in your driver's ed course, the right lane is the “travel lane,” and the left lane is the “passing lane.” Of course, in the real world, that isn't always the case, and on large portions of I-5 during rush hour traffic in downtown Seattle, that's rarely the case.

Who is eligible for a residential DOSA in Washington?

Posted by Brian C. Zuanich | Jun 03, 2019 | 0 Comments

To quickly summarize a large body of sociological research and opinions about punishment: Prison may not be the answer for criminal defendants who suffer from substance abuse problems. Prison may be the answer, however, for those defendants who commit serious felonies as opposed to minor misdemeanors. What about defendants who suffer from substance abuse but who also commit felonies? Enter the DOSA.

Can your Washington car insurance company change your policy by email?

Posted by Brian C. Zuanich | Feb 22, 2019 | 0 Comments

The Paperless Revolution Many businesses and consumers are in the midst of the paperless revolution, and I'm definitely drinking the Kool-Aid. I hate mail. I opt into every electronic delivery notification service I can—bills, accounting statements, military documents, legal bar association notices, everything. The first thing I do when a lawsuit starts is ask opposing attorneys whether they'll agree to exchange all documents by email. In the perfect world, I would never receive a single piece of mail ever again.

How Can An Insurance Company Deny You PIP Coverage in Washington? A Case Study

Posted by Brian C. Zuanich | Feb 18, 2019 | 0 Comments

The phrase “winning on a technicality” is generally a short-hand way of expressing disgust at lawyers and the entire legal profession in general. Hearing that someone won his or her case “on technicality” basically means that the lawyer found some creatively underhanded way of stretching the law to win the case even though the client was clearly morally wrong. And when insurance companies win on technicalities, people feel even more strongly, because many people don't like insurance companies to begin with.

Understanding your Washington contingency fee agreement: 5 things to know before you sign?

Posted by Brian C. Zuanich | Apr 21, 2018 | 0 Comments

You're in an accident and you go see an attorney. He gives you a copy of his fee agreement to sign. It looks longer than you thought it would be. You don't know much about the law, but from what you've heard and seen, in a personal injury case you don't pay unless you win money. “We don't collect unless you get paid,” you've seen in hundreds of TV ads. So is that true?

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