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Christopher A Swaby

Christopher Swaby’s Answers

444 total


  • In Pierce County Superior Court and under CASE STATUS, what does it mean when it reads "Open as of(date)"??

    The defendant in this case was booked with 7 charges. 2 counts of forgery, DUI, UPCS, Making a false statement, obstruction & Unlawful use of drug paraphernalia. In what appears to be a plea agreement, defendant plead guilty to 1 count of forgery ...

    Christopher’s Answer

    The case is still an open case until such time as the client is sentenced, at which time the case becomes "closed."

    There are many offenses over which both the state and federal government have jurisdiction. Sometimes a matter that could be charged at the federal level is charged instead at the state level - in my experience that has occurred in cases in which the criminal activity is on a small scale.

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  • As a level 1 sex offender what are my rights I got a notice someone is trying to look at my past record

    My case happend in the county jail in 1977 I did my time and was release in 1995 been on level 1 status working doing good just want to be left alone

    Christopher’s Answer

    Its not clear what you mean when you ask about your rights. Your conviction is public record and anyone can look at public records. If you want to be relieved of your obligation to register as a sex offender, you should speak to an attorney who does that work. My firm, the Meryhew Law Group, specializes in representing people charged and/or convicted of sex offenses. Take a look at our website than give us a call. I spent several years in the TriCities and still take cases there.

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  • Theft 1 and two counts of forgery involving welfare fraud no prior record mitigating circumstsnces gambling husband and autistic

    Child stressful time and needed daycare in order to work no family support at the time with no diversion in king county should I just plea? Great work record and status in community out of character crime . My job also knows because of a random ba...

    Christopher’s Answer

    Please hire an attorney and if that is not possible, ask for a court appointed attorney. You do not want to make any decision about the resolution of your case without speaking first to an attorney experienced in criminal defense. There are many really good private counsel and public defenders in King County. It may be that one such attorney could get a resolution for your case that reduces the charges and allows you to continue working.

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  • Is a public defender as effective as a paid defense attorney? Do they review evidence and interview the defendant as well?

    A friend has been charged with PC664/187(A). Video evidence shows he is innocent and the actual suspects have been arrested. However he is still in jail awaiting court next month. He had a court date this month where he met the public defender t...

    Christopher’s Answer

    Some of the best private criminal defense attorneys in this country started their careers as public defenders. The case loads are large but that doesnt necessarily mean that the public defenders so a bad job. Your friend must continue to make attempts to contact his attorney to share the information regarding his innocence; if you have that same information, perhaps you could contact the attorney. If contact by phone isnt working, use email or certified letter instead ( I like email because it creates an electronic papertrail that can be later used to prove communication took place). If the defender doesnt have the information, s/he cannot properly assess the case or represent your friend, and it may be taht the defender didnt/doesnt yet have the video evidence of which you speak.

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  • How likely is a stipulated order of continuance in felony theft cases?

    The defendant can pay immediate restitution (13K) and is willing to comply with any requirements set out by the court. No prior arrests or convictions. If a SOC isn't offered, what other options are there? Is all hope lost??? If a SOC isn't possi...

    Christopher’s Answer

    You should be addressing your questions to your attorney. It may be that with no criminal history and the ability to pay restitution, the state will offer you a misdemeanor theft. It is unlikely that one gets an SoC on a felony matter - I havent seen it happen - but your attorney can certainly ask the prosecutor for such an outcome.

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  • IF I AM A VICTIM OF ASSAULT, WILL I BE PUNISHED IF I MAKE CONTACT W/THE PERSON BEFORE THE COURT DATE? &, CAN I DROP THE CHARGES?

    THE PROBABLE CAUSE CHARGES ARE 1ST DEGREE ASSAULT, 2ND DEGREE ASSAULT, RECKLESS ENDANGERMENT, AND PROPERTY DAMAGE $500.

    Christopher’s Answer

    You will not be punished for contacting the assailant but s/he could be - there is likely an order outstanding that prohibits that person from contacting you and s/he could face additional charges for the contact, even if you initiate it.

    Once the police have been called, it is generally out of the hands of the people involved. It is the state that makes the decision about charges and going forward with a criminal case, not the victim. You can speak with the prosecutor assigned to your case to let him or her know how you feel about the incident but they wont be obligated to drop the charges.

    You should consider speaking to a counselor in your area who works with the victims of violence. Perhaps with was an isolated incident or there was a misunderstanding that led to the police being called, but if this isnt the first time you have been assaulted by this person, continuing to have contact with him/her may lead to greater harm for you.

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  • Wondering what kind of jail time a friend is looking at

    He currently has a charge of Organized Retail Theft 2 and has an extensive Theft history all in which he plead guilty to. I'm just wondering... Thanks!

    Christopher’s Answer

    Organized Retail Theft 2 has a 5 year maximum sentence. As to what specific sentence one could get for such a conviction, that would depend on how many prior felony convictions you friend has - if all of his priors are misdemeanor thefts, it may be that he only faces 0 to 90 days; if he has several felony theft convictions, he could face up to 43 to 57 months. His attorney will have access to his criminal history and will be able to give your friend the sentencing range applicable to his case.

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  • If I have a warrant in a different state for NSF checks will I be arrested at the WA state DMV when I go to get a new license?

    I found out about the warrant after I left the state due to a domestic violence situation (the threat of which is why I wrote the checks to begin with) It is not a neighboring state.

    Christopher’s Answer

    It may be that the WA Department of Licensing will have record of the outstanding arrest warrant but I have not heard of anyone being arrested on a warrant at a DoL office. That being said, there are often uniformed security officers in those offices so I suppose it could happen.

    Perhaps you could contact an attorney in the other jurisdiction to see if the warrant could be resolved. If you dont get arrested on the warrant at the DoL, you could at the time of even the simplest traffic stop. The warrant could prevent you from getting other services (such as social security payments or welfare). It may be that the warrant can be quashed and a new court date set and you can resolve the whole case at one time. An attorney in that jurisdiction can help you with that matter.

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  • Are they lying and that they ll put it on my record? Should I pay the fine?

    Im 15 I got caught with my friend stealing I didnt she did. She told me to hold the bag so I did and theh caught both of us. I cried a lot they were really nice and they told me they would fine me and I kept asking them if it was going on my recor...

    Christopher’s Answer

    Who is "they?" If it was law enforcement, then it may not be up to them to decide if you will be charged. The police might not have filed a report but if they did, it could be reviewed by the local prosecutor, who could decide that charges are appropriate. If the people who "caught" you were the owners of the stolen property, they might decide not to tell anyone.

    If you are charged, that doesnt mean that you will have anything on your record permanently. You would be charged as a juvenile and after the case is resolved, you can make a request that records of the case be sealed by the court.

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  • Can you get a passport with a bench warrant??

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    Christopher’s Answer

    An outstanding bench warrant can affect a number of services, including social security and welfare payments, so it doesnt seem unreasonable to believe that having one could prevent a passport from being issued. You could contact passport services to ask, of course; you wont have to give a name or contact information.

    You could also resolve the outstanding warrant. You could be held on the warrant at any time, should the authorities locate you or if you are stopped for a driving offense. Anyone who knows you and knows of the warrant could call law enforcement to turn you in. If you contact a lawyer in the jurisdiction in which the warrant was issued, it is possible that the lawyer can get the warrant quashed and you can start to get the matter resolved. That would have to be preferable to always looking over your shoulder.

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