Skip to main content
No photo

Lance Fitzjarrald’s Answers

3 total

  • If someone is saying you trespassed on there road, is that enough for a conviction of second degree trespass?

    I was served a ticket to appear in court for second degree trespass by a county sheriff. No statement was taken. I chose to remain silent! I was not arrested!

    Lance’s Answer

    Yes you "could" be convicted based on one person's testimony that you were trespassing. RCW is below with statutory defenses listed as well.

    "A person is guilty of criminal trespass in the second degree if he or she knowingly enters or remains unlawfully in or upon premises of another ..."

    Defenses (typical) -- (2) The premises were at the time open to members of the public and the actor complied with all lawful conditions imposed on access to or remaining in the premises; or

    (3) The actor reasonably believed that the owner of the premises, or other person empowered to license access thereto, would have licensed him or her to enter or remain; or ...

    This charge is very common in Klickitat County especially once "burn bans" go into effect or once hunting season begins.

    See question 
  • What kind of plea bargain's are usually given to people accused of being a driver under 21 consuming alcohol. (minor DUI)?

    I was arrested for a minor DUI and accused at arraignment. I do have a Minor in posession charge from two years ago but i abided by all the requirements to have it taken off my record. Since a minor DUI is a simple misdemeanor I'm worried the pros...

    Lance’s Answer

    Keep in mind that two processes are taking place at the same time when you are accused of DUI. 1. A civil law process involves DOL deciding whether to suspend your privilege to drive. 2. A criminal law process wherein the City/State tries to convict you for a crime.

    A minor DUI or "baby DUI" does not automatically count like an "adult" DUI in terms of increasing your exposure to getting increased "mandatory minimum" jail/fine sentences in you are unfortunate enough to get convicted of DUI again as an adult. Certainly having anything on your record is to be avoided, however.

    Depending on the facts, often prosecuting attorneys are open to amending the baby DUI to a Minor in Possession of Alcohol (MIP) or Negligent Driving (Neg). All three are misdemeanors (90 day max jail, $1000 max fine).

    MIP is most advantageous if you were 18+ years of age when incident allegedly occurred because it will not suspend license as a result of the criminal judgment. If you are a juvenile at the time of the offense then DOL will be notified by Court of MIP conviction and suspend your license.

    Neg also will not suspend license as a result of criminal judgment but has stigma of being an alcohol/driving related crime.

    Remember that DOL may suspend your license administratively through DOL's own internal hearing process that is civil rather than criminal-law based. If you are suspended for the typical 90-day period then it makes a reduction to MIP or Neg one more of form than substance. You have 20 days to request a DOL hearing from incident date.

    Contact an attorney in your area. There are pitfalls to be avoided for sure. You may be eligible for a court appointed attorney and that may save you money.

    See question 
  • At the time of my arrest the public defender in my case worked in the prosecutor for the states office.

    The public defender I was given at the begining of my case abrupetly quit so I was given a new public defender,one that was appointed by the state.My current public defender was working in the prosecutors office when I was arrested.Although he did...

    Lance’s Answer

    I was a deputy prosecuting attorney before accepting court appointments for indigent defense in Washington. I try to always disclose my prior work to new clients. Believe me, I do not feel that I owe my former employer any favors (if that is your preeminent concern).

    While the prosecutor's office in your case may feel threatened by one of their past employees now representing you, I do not believe that you should be automatically be concerned. I would recommend that you contact your new attorney and have a frank discussion about your concerns. Any of the parties (you, your attorney, or the State) may approach the judge and express concerns about a potential conflict of interest.

    Since your attorney has experience with the internal workings of the prosecutor's office they may be able to spin that knowledge to your advantage.

    Good luck.

    See question