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James Egan

James Egan’s Answers

25 total

  • Saturday night I was pulled by WSP for DUI and blew a .16 at best .18 worst so how do I get started?

    After watching the fights at a local sports bar. I was driving home when an officer turned on her lights and pulled me over. I was taken out of my car and arrested my truck was towed and impounded. I denied the field sobriety test and blew on arri...

    James’s Answer

    Get the most experienced DUI defense lawyer you can for the right price that sits with you.

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  • King County set the DUI arraignment before the blood test results are in. Is this normal or of concern?

    Husband was arrested for DUI on the Dec 28th, he refused the field sobriety test and breathalyzer. The police got a search warrant and drew blood at the hospital. They said results would take 4-6 weeks, but we just got the arraignment in the mail ...

    James’s Answer

    I have seen this even recently on another case. Either the State rushed the blood test results (sometimes happens on felony vehicle assault/homicide cases) or they are confident the results will show impairment and feel the rush to prosecute because of community safety concerns. You need a lawyer who is experienced in this area of law. Fortunately, Avvo is a good place to start. Feel free to contact me as our firm has done tons of DUI defenses in King County.

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  • DOL hearing/suspension? Blew 0.00 then taken for blood test. Said could take 4 months for toxicology results.

    Pulled over for minor infraction, officer perceived speech as slurred. Gave me field sobriety test, then asked me to blow. I blew a 0.00 then was taken for a blood test, which i of course complied with. I was then arrested and booked on DUI. I am ...

    James’s Answer

    Officer sounds way too over-zealous. I have had clients who had a speech impediment be misconstrued as DUI. The fact you were taken for a blood test and then booked is peculiar because unlike a breath test at the station, the blood results are not immediate. It sounds like the officer is extremely confident you were DUI. Perhaps this is based on something you said or something the officer found in the car? Or is it based on an improper consideration of prior criminal history?
    Regardless, the Department of Licensing in WA can now only suspend your license if you (1) refuse a test, (2) have a blood alcohol level over .08 or (3) have a blood THC level over 5 ng/ML. What you would expect is that the officer, upon return of the blood results, would recognize that (2) or (3) above existed and then may send the DOL notice of that breach of the implied consent law. However, if (as it seems) these were not the case, there would be no license suspension. What this means is, even if someone is completely high on cocaine, meth or some other substance, there is no administrative action. Nonetheless, you can expect a criminal charge if any other drug was in your system. So I highly recommend you consult with lawyers to obtain and preserve evidence as you can easily early on.

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  • 1 case 7 charges - 5 of them DUI Property Damage/Injury, 6th is DUI Blood Alcohol Above 0.2, 7th Driving Under The Influence.

    Hello! More than 2 years ago (February 2011) my husband got into the accident with 5 cars involved, it was his fault after all (no serious injuries). My husband passed out, they took him to the hospital, check his blood and found an alcohol (he ha...

    James’s Answer

    I'm assuming this is Florida, but the laws are similar around the country. However, the stacked charges are unusual. My suspicion is that notice of the court date was sent to the wrong address or otherwise lost in the mail. Frankly, that's all courts need to do to establish constructive "notice" was given -- that the address most recently used by the DMV or Department of Licensing received notice. Regardless, even if the court was in error, this does not eliminate the charges. This sounds like a serious situation. I would hire local counsel who can tell you exactly who is the prosecutor they are dealing with and discuss prior good outcomes with that person. Typically, the license suspension you referred to is an administrative procedure and thus has no bearing on the criminal case.

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  • My stepdaughter is being threatened with a year in jail for interlock device criminal violation. Please help!

    She used to live in WA until 4/2013, when she moved to FL. On vacation in WA today, she was pulled over. She had an interlock device on her car there for a year. In 4/2012, she was notified that the IDL expired, took it to the company, showed the ...

    James’s Answer

    Threats to jail people for a year routinely come with gross misdemeanor charges. The reality is that folks on first offenses of DUI have that threat too, but at worst find themselves serving a day or two of jail in most cases. I think the threat serves merely to scare the crap out of the charged public citizen. At any rate, the prosecutor is trying to work with her. She should be entitled to a public defender. My suspicion is if you do what the prosecutor says -- get the device on the car -- the prosecutor will drop it to a ticket because it is not worth taking to jury trial.

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  • Can i sue a nurse for taking my blood after the search warrant has expired?

    I did not give them my permission to take my blood

    James’s Answer

    The nurse took the blood at the direction of the cop. The cop may have misrepresented the scope of the search warrant. Before contemplating a civil suit, you have to consider (1) liability and (2) damages. If the cop misled the nurse (intentionally or inadvertently) then that would tend to undermine (1) liability. Unless the taking of the blood resulted in you getting a panic attack or hypothetically a communicable disease, I don't know what the damages would be. I think your best use of this fact -- if true -- is exclusion of the blood test in the criminal case.

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  • WA State: Clarity on Vacating Charges

    Almost 20 years ago I had a successful deferred prosecution on a misdemeanor around the same time as a DUI plead down to Neg Driving (1?). I don't live in the state anymore, and it's so long ago I don't recall the chronology, but just had to do a ...

    James’s Answer

    DUI matters, to include Deferred Prosecutions, are typically not vacatable. Even DUI's which are deferred sentences (a rare circumstance anyway) are not completely wiped from court records as there is the sense that future courts should be aware this isn't your first time around. The NCIC national database makes it virtually impossible to delete the record of a DUI.

    Nonetheless, it may be possible to get a court to order deletion of criminal history. This requires a petition and a compelling need not overcome by state purposes. If your prosecutor will agree, you have a chance at getting the court to vacate any charge. I have been able to do this successfully on theft or shoplifting matters some time ago, where the youthful mistake threatens careers. I would contact lawyers to get their opinion.

    Negligent Driving alone can be vacated, but if coupled with a DUI, I am not sure the point. Good luck.

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  • Is there no way around the minimum 48 hrs jail time for blowing a .19 that the law states in Louisiana? This is my first offense

    Louisiana law states you have to serve a minimum 48 hours in jail if you blow above .15, do you think I'm safe and won't have to serve that time as long as I have a lawyer and I'm willing to take longer probation and more community service???

    James’s Answer

    The law actually will say the mandatory time is if you are convicted at that level. There are varying degrees of DUI in most states including enhanced penalties for over .15 bac which you are. But if your lawyer excludes the BAC for various reasons, the enhancement is gone. If other factors threaten the legality of the stop you may negotiate for a reckless driving. In that situation you would not do jail, or if the jail is converted to community service hours or home monitoring.

    Get a good lawyer. 5-10 years experience with actual knowledge of the court and prosecutor and possibly the cop.

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  • Police officer lied to me during field sobriety test, anything I can do?

    A state patrol officer asked me to use the field breathalyzer. He said "this test is strictly voluntary, and cannot be used against you in court." I took this to mean that it would not show up in my initial hearing, and was surprised to hear whe...

    James’s Answer

    The Portable Breath Test can't be used against you before a jury, period. Its only purpose is to decide if there is probable cause to arrest you. So in that respect, while it is misleading perhaps to say it can't be used against you in court, this is actually an acceptable representation to most courts. The reality is, most courts tend to ignore the result of the portable breath test or to factor it in a small way in determining whether probable cause existed.

    A good lawyer should challenge your understanding of its use in court, and ask the court to disregard it if there is a probable cause motion. You can expect it will not be told to a jury, nor that one even occurred, because it would tend to mislead a jury into thinking it reflected a very accurate breath test.

    The machine at the station is admissible in court. That it was just under .08 is not a defense to DUI, but merely prevents the State from arguing you were by law ("per se") DUI. The State would say you were driving "while your ability to do so was appreciably affected by alcohol," and may seek to introduce the .078 to show that alcohol was a factor and not something like fatigue.

    The BAC Datamasters in Washington assume your breath temperature is 34 degrees celsius +/- .2. If your actual breath temperature was higher than this, it is true that your breath results would correspondingly be higher than your actual alcohol level.

    This is information for a good local Spokane attorney to bring to the State prosecutor. You cannot represent yourself, but you can find a good lawyer to appreciate the information you have researched, compile it plus other arguments, and use that to mitigate the State's action against you. Good luck.

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  • What charges if any would I have being the one who did the hit and run?

    A car parked directly behind me over a "no parking" sign while I was in the emergency room. He was next to a curb,10 feet behind my SUV. I went to leave,and backed into the vehicle. I barely tapped it,and didn't think anything of it. I am now bein...

    James’s Answer

    The issue is not whether there was damage to your own car, but whether there was damage to another car. Hit and Run is one of those charges where statutory or legal duties are conferred on you after an accident involving damage or injury -- you must then stop and provide your insurance information, etc. If you fail to do this, the crime is allegedly committed.

    You do need an attorney. The fact that the other vehicle was parked illegally is a good mitigating factor, but does not necessarily get the case dismissed. The Hit and Run Statute does not include issues of liability, at all. So, hypothetically if two people are involved in an accident with each other and both cars are damaged, but for whatever reason (maybe they are illegal aliens) they both drive away from the scene, arguably they have BOTH committed the crime of Hit and Run.

    This is a low level crime, as it is a simple misdemeanor. The proper goal would be to have your attorney establish that insurance covered whatever minimal damage there was, and then have your attorney seek a misdemeanor compromise. That would result in dismissal of the charge altogether, but it is by no means guaranteed.

    The lawyer could cost you between $2K or more. Unfortunately, its required since jail is a possibility. Feel free to call us and we'll give you a free consultation and discount on services. James Egan, 206-749-0333.

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