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Joseph Orry-Leroy Baker

Joseph Baker’s Answers

5 total

  • Will my partners married status prevent being sued as a committed intimate relationship and is my separate bank account at risk?

    I have lived in Washington State with a woman for around five years. We live at my house purchased by me before we started dating and she is living at my house without a lease. All bills are in my name and paid by me except food which she mostly b...

    Joseph’s Answer

    The court considers several factors in determining whether a "committed intimate relationship" existed. These factors include, but are not limited to, the following: continuous cohabitation; relationship duration; relationship purpose; pooling of resources and services for joint projects; and the parties' intent. No one factor is controlling in this analysis.

    With respect to your specific question, courts have held that "remaining married during the relationship is a fact to consider, but it is not determinative." See, e.g., In re Long and Fregeau, 158 Wn.App. 919, 925-26 (2010).

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  • In Washington state, can you be cited for operating a boat under the influence if you are at anchor?

    Annual event, Seafair, is a big party. But if I'm anchored can I be cited?

    Joseph’s Answer

    I generally agree with Ms. Azure's answer, but wanted to write separately to add some additional information.

    RCW 79A.60.010(16) defines "operate" as "to steer, direct, or otherwise have physical control of a vessel that is underway." RCW 79A.60.010(28) defines "underway" as follows: "'Underway' means that a vessel is not at anchor, or made fast to the shore, or aground."

    So, by definition at least, a boat that is "at anchor" is not "underway" for purposes of Washington boating under the influence ("BUI") law.

    By contrast, federal regulations regarding the subject, while not controlling of Washington BUI law, indicate that "an individual is considered to be operating a vessel when: (a) The individual has an essential role in the operation of a recreational vessel underway, including but not limited to navigation of the vessel or control of the vessel's propulsion system. [AND/OR] (b) The individual is a crewmember (including an officer), pilot, or watchstander not a regular member of the crew, of a vessel other than a recreational vessel." See 33 CFR § 95.015.

    I hope this answer helps you create a fun and (most importantly) safe atmosphere in which you and everyone around you can enjoy this weekend's festivities. Please don't drink and drive or operate! Happy boating!

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  • What legal responsibility does a nine year old have in an accident

    My daughter ran over a kitten with her bike and the owner who admitted that cat snuck out of house is trying to get me to pay the vet bill of 525 for kittens broken leg, should I have to pay

    Joseph’s Answer

    There is a state statute on point regarding this situation:

    RCW 4.24.190 provides that "[t]he parent or parents of any minor child under the age of eighteen years who is living with the parent or parents and who shall willfully or maliciously destroy or deface property ... shall be liable to the owner of such property or to the person injured in a civil action at law for damages in an amount not to exceed five thousand dollars."

    The question in your case then becomes whether the injury to the cat was inflicted " willfully or maliciously." For the likely answer to this question, consult a local attorney.

    Good luck!

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  • DUI and deferred prosecution

    How does a deferred prosecution for DUI work? Should I do it for a first-time DUI?

    Joseph’s Answer

    This is a great question. The decision about whether to undertake the job of "deferred prosecution" in Washington is an intensely-personal and (often times) gut-wrenching one. Simply stated, a "deferred prosecution" is a program under which the petitioner agrees to complete a two-year treatment program and comply with certain conditions imposed on him or her by the court (both before and after completing the treatment program) in exchange for dismissal of the charges against him or her. In this sense, prosecution of the individual is "deferred" as successful completion of program will require (at least) a total of five (5) years of the individual's life. An individual is allowed one "deferred prosecution" for DUI in his or her life. Therefore, the individual must carefully analyze every aspect of his of her life to determine whether he or she is capable of making such a huge commitment. In order to be eligible for a DUI "deferred prosecution," the individual must state, under oath, that (1) he or she is an alcoholic or drug addict, (2) he or she is in need of treatment, and (3) the probability of future recurrence of DUI by the individual is "great" unless his or her alcoholism or drug addiction is treated. (The individual must also agree to pay the cost of diagnosis and treatment--if financially able to do so--and must also provide the court with a case history and written assessment prepared by an approved alcoholism treatment program or approved drug program. The treatment facility must agree to provide the court with a statement every three months for the first year--and every six months for the second year--concerning the individual's cooperation with, and progress or failure in, the treatment.) I highly recommend enlisting the services of an experienced attorney during the time in which you are considering the "pros and cons" of "deferred prosecution" because the consequences of failure (and success) are very, very significant.

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  • Dwls 2nd degree

    dwl 2nd degree

    Joseph’s Answer

    Driving while license suspended in the second degree (or "DWLS 2") is a common charge in Washington for individuals who have either been (1) arrested for driving under the influence, or (2) convicted of driving while under the influence.
    In the first instance, these individuals will often have their licenses suspended administratively by D.O.L. because they either blew above the legal limit (0.08 in Washington) or because they "refused" to provide a sample of their breath (or blood in certain situations) after being arrested. You may contest the validity of this suspension, but the law gives you a limited period of time within which to do so (i.e. 30 days after the date of arrest in Washington.)
    In the second example, these individuals will have a license suspension imposed on them by D.O.L which receives notification from the court that a conviction for DUI has been entered. In Washington, the length of this suspension is determined by consideration of a number of factors: whether the individual "refused" the test (see above); whether the individual's BAC was above or below a certain level; and whether the individual has any "prior offenses" under the statute (i.e. not just DUI's.)
    Additionally, those individuals who manage to (1) successfully challenge the "automatic" suspension after being arrested for DUI, and (2) avoid a conviction for DUI may nonetheless also have their licenses suspended IF they plead guilty to another offense which mandates a license suspension. In Washington, a common offense that individuals will plead guilty to (in lieu of DUI) is Reckless Driving. It is important to note that this offense will carry a minimum license suspension of 30 days.
    There are also other ways individuals can be charged with DWLS 2, but the examples above are by far and away the most common.
    - In Washington, it is legal for a police officer to simply run your license plate to check the status of the driver's license of the registered owner; this is true even if you are not breaking any traffic law.
    - DWLS 2 is a gross misdemeanor, and is punishable by up to 1 year in jail and a $5,000.00 fine. A conviction for DWLS 2 also carries with it an additional license suspension of 1 year, which is then added on to the original license suspension.
    - Many individuals can avoid being charged with DWLS 2 by simply applying for and being granted a Occupational or Restricted Driver License (ORL). See your local D.O.L. field office for more information, or visit D.O.L.'s website.

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