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Norman Scott Stewart

Norman Stewart’s Answers

7 total

  • What happens when the reckless driving probation term ends?

    Do I need to contact to court and remind them to update my records? Is there any hearing that I need to appear? Do I need to contact DOL?

    Norman’s Answer

    Following a conviction a defendant in Municipal Court is typically sentenced and then placed on probation. The sentence will be either a suspended sentence or a deferred sentence. THe probationary period is usually for 12 to 24 months from the date of the conviction, but can be extended beyond these periods if the defendant fails to appear for any review hearings. During the probationary period the defendant is expected to comply with all conditions set by the court. On a Reckless Driving conviction these might include, amongst others, no further criminal law violations, don't drive without a license and insurance, pay the fine and costs and attend defensive driving school.

    On a suspended sentence if all conditions are met the case is simply closed at the end of the probationary period. A defendant should not have no reason to contact the court to update its records. On a deferred sentence if all conditions are me a defendant may request that the court allow him or her to withdraw the plea of guilty, enter a plea of not guilty, and dismiss the case. R.C.W. 3.66.067. As such, if a defendant was on a deferred sentence he or she will want to contact the court to ensure that its procedures for obtaining a dismissal are properly followed. That being said, a defendant who receives a deferred sentence on a driving offense should be aware that even if the criminal case is dismissed, Department of Licensing will not remove the matter from his or her driving record.

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  • What is the punishment for 4th degree assault in the state of Washington?

    What is the punishment for 4th degree assault in the state of Washington?

    Norman’s Answer

    Assault in the 4th Degree is a gross misdemeanor under Washington State Law with a maximum penalty of up to a year in jail and a $5000 fine. Typically there are additional conditions with any sentence including, but not limited to, anger management, alcohol and/or drug treatment, and order that the defendant have no contact with the victim.

    If the alleged victim is someone with whom the defendant has had a "domestic relationship" as defined by law, the offense can be charged as one of domestic violence. Under these circumstances, a convicted defendant will also lose the right to possess firearms, and will generally be ordered to complete a domestic violence treatment program. It is also likely that the court will issue a No Contact Order, barring the defendant from having contact with the alleged victim. The No Contact Order may even be imposed early in the case, prior to the defendant even being convicted.

    A charge of Assault 4 and/or Assault 4 Domestic Violence (DV) is serious and any person accused of these crimes should consult an experienced criminal defense attroney to more fully be advised of his or her rights and options.

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  • Deffered DV Case---What are my rights now?

    2005 - In Washington State, I was charged with Felony Harassment DV. My attorney negotiated a plea of Misdemeanor Harassment DV, which we accepted. After a 2 year probation period the sentence was deffered (I completed everything and have not be...

    Norman’s Answer

    First, if your felony charge was reduced to a misdemeanor it should not have affected your right to vote. With regard to the deferred sentence, under Washington law a deferred sentence allows a defendant to withdraw a plea of guilty and to enter a plea of not guilty after which the court may dismiss the charge. The manner in which the dismissal is requested and ultimately occurs differs, depending upon the court. You shoud contact an attorney, most likely the one who originally represented you on the charge, to confirm that it has been dismissed. Also note that on a domestic violence charge your right to possess firearms is not automaticaly restored with the dismissal of the charge. You wil need to request the restoration of this right, typically through the Superior Court. Finally, with regard to whether your record is clear, the good news is that a dismissal following a deferred sentence allows a person to say that they have not been convicted of the crime. However,you should be aware that following your plea the law required the court to report your conviction to both the agency initiating the criminal history for that charge and to the Washington State Patrol and this information will likely remain on record with these agencies. See, R.C.W. 10.97.045. For more complete information, and to confirm the status of your record it is important that you speak with a criminal defense attorney.

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  • How to get my suspended license back and cleared from my record?

    I am 17, i got my license suspended and then was informed that i would get it back when i was 18. how do i get it back after i turn 18? and how can i clear it from my record? my apprenticeship job will not hire me if i dont have a clean record. ...

    Norman’s Answer

    In the stateof Washington a driver's license can be suspended for a number of reasons, and the reason for the suspension will impact the steps that you will need to take in order to get it back. Sometimes it is just a matter of paying a fee, but more often it is necessary to resolve an outstanding issue such as, amongst others, unpaid tickets, an uninsured accident, child support or a required alcoholdrug/ evaluation. You will also likely need to get SR-22 insurance. You should contact an attorney that practices in this area, there are a number of these attorneys in South King County. The Department of Licensing also has a Driver's Responsibility Division that may be abel to answer many questions regarding getting your license.

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  • Sloppy police work for DUI

    I got a DUI and blew over the limit. Yes, I was drunk, but the cops were really sloppy about it and I don't think they followed the right procedures in booking me or running the breath test. Can I get off on a technicality?

    Norman’s Answer

    In a limited number of cases mistakes by law enforcement can result in dismissal of the charge. [such as where the officer lacked probable cause to stop the vehicle]. More often, an officer's actions can result in the suppression of evidence. In a DUI case the prosecution has certain types of evidence available including, amongst others, the defendant's driving, the officer's initial observations (bloodshot eyes, odor of intoxication, slurred speech, etc.), the defendant's performance on the field tests, the defendant's statements and the breath or blood tests. A good defense attorney will review the evidence available to the prosecution with an eye toward spotting legal issues that provide a legal basis for asking the court to suppress [exclude] some portion of the evidence available to the proseuction [such as the breath/blood test, field sobriety tests, or statements]. The more damaging evidence that is suppressed, the weaker the prosecution's case and the more likely that a favorable plea disposition will be available. Where an acceptable plea disposition can not be reached, a weak prosecution case is, obviously, more likely to result in a not guily verdict.

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  • Shoplifting charges

    I got caught shoplifting 5 shirts at a value of $50 each from a department store. I am just wondering what I am looking forward to as far as court fees, and charges. I have never been in trouble before and I was very cooperative with security.

    Norman’s Answer

    In the state of Washington the theft of property valued at less than $250.00 is Theft in the Third Degree, a Gross Misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and a $5,000.00 fine. These are, obviously, maximum penalties. The actual penalty imposed by a court as a result of a conviction for Theft 3 will depend upon a number of factors including the defendant's prior criminal history. Typically the court will impose the maximum sentence with some portion suspended on the condition that the defendant comply with the terms of his or her sentence. These terms can include no criminal law violations, stay away from the victim store, community service, drug/alcohol treatment, etc. Another option available on a Theft 3 charge is a compromise of misdemeanor under R.C.W. 10.22, this statute allows a case to be dismissed where there is a civil remedy for the charge and the victim has been compensated. It is important that anyone accused of a theft / shoplifting charge speak with an attorney as soon as possible so that he or she can explain all available opitions and provide complte advice on the case.

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  • Shoplifting

    I got caught shoplifting at the university bookstore today. I know it was a stupid thing to do but i was desperate. I needed that book so i can do my homework, which was due the next day. My dad usually pays for my books but he said he will pay ne...

    Norman’s Answer

    It is important that you speak with an attorney as soon as possible so that he or she can protect your rights. Under Washington law the theft of an item worth less than $250.00 is considered theft in the third degree, a gross misdemeanor, and is punishable by up to one year in jail and a $5,000.00 fine. An attorney will be able to ascertain the strengths and weaknesses of the government's evidence. He or she will also be able to determine whether the police violated any of your rights. For instance, was your police statement the result of custodial interrogation and, if so, were you properly advised of your Miranda rights. Significantly, even if you feel that you are guilty of the crime, there may be options available to you to keep a Theft 3 off your criminal record. These include tools such as the Compromise of Misdemeanor statute and, in some jurisdictions, a deferred sentence or stipulated order of continuance. While such options are not always available, an attorney who practices criminal defense in the area will be in the best position to advise you as to the best action on the facts of your individual case. Good luck.

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