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Alexander Floyd Ransom
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Alexander Ransom’s Answers

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  • How do I resolve a felony left charge if I currently have a warrant for this issue?

    Got arrested at the time of the incident, went before a judge and was released (OR)d with future court date never showed and have been MIA for about a year now....

    Alexander’s Answer

    Please read my Legal Guide titled, "QUASH THE BENCH WARRANT."
    It gives basic advice on doing exactly that.
    Good luck!

    See question 
  • Can you get a dui for anti depressants?

    I take 10 mg nortriptyline nightly for chronic pain

    Alexander’s Answer

    Yes, you can get a DUI for taking anti-depressants. Try your best to avoid this.

    Luckily there are many issues involved in the investigation and prosecution of "Drug DUI's." Some of these issues - in the form of defenses - are as follows: (1) Why did the officer initiate the pullover? (2) Was the officer trained as a Drug Recognition Expert? (3) What is the officer's probable cause for arresting someone for Drug DUI? (4) Was the citizen informed of the Implied Consent Law? (5) What constitutes a Refusal? (6) How did the officer obtain a warrant for a blood test? (7) Did a licensed medical professional draw the blood? (8) Can the Prosecutor establish the chain of custody showing who took the blood, who sealed it, and who tested it? And more, are these individuals available to testify? (9) How does being charged with Drug DUI affect citizens who are licensed to smoke marijuana and/or take prescription drugs; citizens who probably have elevated levels of THC/drugs in their blood anyway? These issues, and more, affect the outcome of your case. Contact a qualified attorney if you're facing Drug DUI charges.

    For your review, I've attached a link to Winek's Drug Chart. It's a very reliable authority used by criminal defense attorneys to gauge their client's level of intoxication from blood tests. Good luck!

    For more information, please read my Legal Guide titled, "DRUG DUI'S: THE BASIC ISSUES." Good luck!

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  • I am being accused of harrasing. She claims when I went to my dr. office where sheworks i threatend to kill her and its on tape

    I am being accused of harrasing my X husbands girl friend. She claims when I went to my dr. office where she started working a few weeks ago that i threatend to kill her. I did not and there were 20 other people there. She also claims when my mom ...

    Alexander’s Answer

    You may face Harassment charges. I've attached the statute. Harassment can be a gross misdemeanor punishable up to 1 year in jail and $5,000.00 fine or a Class C felony punishable up to 5 years jail and a $10,000.00 fine.

    Under the statute, a person is guilty of harassment if:

    (a) Without lawful authority, the person knowingly threatens: (i) To cause bodily injury immediately or in the future to the person threatened or to any other person; or (ii) To cause physical damage to the property of a person other than the actor; or (iii) To subject the person threatened or any other person to physical confinement or restraint; or (iv) Maliciously to do any other act which is intended to substantially harm the person threatened or another with respect to his or her physical or mental health or safety; and

    (b) The person by words or conduct places the person threatened in reasonable fear that the threat will be carried out. "Words or conduct" includes, in addition to any other form of communication or conduct, the sending of an electronic communication.

    Luckily, Harassment is difficult to prove. I've obtained acquittals in the two Felony Harassment charges. Juries often struggle with the question of whether the defendant's threats placed the victim in reasonable fear that the threat will be carried out. Without some pretty egregious conduct from the defendant, true threats to kill are often difficult to prove. People threaten each other all of the time.

    Nevertheless, it's wise to follow my colleague's advice and discontinue any potentially illegal behavior. Good luck!

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  • Some one called the police because I grew med marijuana, they came to investigate. They will not let me obtain the police report

    I was a little over the limit for growing. Most all the plants were dead, I had let them die because I had decided growing was costing to much. The police were kind and very non threatening. They said to take every thing down and call them back th...

    Alexander’s Answer

    This is a Search & Seizure case. Fortunately, there's many legal issues involved in cases like yours. Depending on how officers conducted their investigations, a competent attorney could possibly get evidence suppressed and the case dismissed.

    First, who called the police? And how reliable was the informant? The mere fact that contraband was found at your home is not, by itself, evidence to support the legality of the search. Under the law, the ends do not justify the means. Sometimes, the police unlawfully search a defendant's home on a mere hunch, and engage "fishing expeditions" unsupported by anything beyond their mere suspicions. Here, we know that someone called the police and tipped them that you grew marijuana. Again, who was the informant?

    Second, did police get a warrant to search your home? Usually, in the rare event that officers obtain search warrants, the warrant itself might be supported by probable cause, specific to the contraband they seek, and appropriate under the circumstances. Was the warrant signed by a judge? Did the search warrant particularly state the specific items are the officers searched for? What probable cause led police to believe they'll find contraband? If police served a warrant then they'd give you a receipt of any contraband they confiscated.

    Third, did you consent to the search? If not, did exigent (emergency) circumstances exist for police to search your home? Police don't need to serve search warrants if you consented to the search, and/or one of the other exceptions to search warrant requirements may apply.

    Fourth, did police take photographs and/or confiscate any plants? In order for the charges to stick, they must (1) show actual or constructive possession and (2) gather evidence of the contraband.

    Consult a qualified attorney if you face criminal charges over this. Again, your case - if there is one - could be dismissed. For more information, please read my Legal Guide titled "SEARCH AND SEIZURE: BASIC ISSUES REGARDING THEIR SEARCH FOR WEAPONS, DRUGS AND OTHER CONTRABAND." My Legal Guide hyper-links to my blog reviews of Search & Seizure cases. I recommend you read my blogs on the following recent cases: State v. Hinshaw, State v. Schultz and State v. Westvang. These cases involve the search of homes, give you an idea of how judges treat cases like yours. Competent attorneys research, draft and argue motions to suppress evidence based on recent cases like the ones I've blogged about.

    Finally, I'm a Bellingham attorney who routinely handles cases like yours before the exact same Prosecutors and judges who may work your case. I'm happy to discuss the matter with you if you're charged. Good luck!

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  • I'm being charged w/ display weapon (accused of flashing it, not aiming it at anyone) .My motion to dismiss was denied.

    I am representing myself. I have not hired an attorney because I can't afford one (considering public defender), I Filed a motion to dismiss which was denied. Today I received discovery (even though last appearance, the judge told the prosecutor t...

    Alexander’s Answer

    RCW 9.41.270 is Washington's "Unlawful Display of a Weapon" statute. It's your typical "brandishing" type of offense. The charge is a gross misdemeanor punishable up to 1 year in jail and a $5,000 fine. You also risk losing your concealed weapons permit for 1-2 years if the weapon involved was a firearm.

    Under the statute, "It shall be unlawful for any person to carry, exhibit, display, or draw any firearm, dagger, sword, knife or other cutting or stabbing instrument, club, or any other weapon apparently capable of producing bodily harm, in a manner, under circumstances, and at a time and place that either manifests an intent to intimidate another or that warrants alarm for the safety of other persons."

    Fortunately, there are defenses - they're even written into the statute itself! They defenses state that the charges shall not apply or affect any person (the defendant) if:

    (a) the act was committed by a person while in his or her place of abode or fixed place of business;
    (b) Any person who by virtue of his or her office or public employment is vested by law with a duty to preserve public safety, maintain public order, or to make arrests for offenses, while in the performance of such duty;
    (c) Any person acting for the purpose of protecting himself or herself against the use of presently threatened unlawful force by another, or for the purpose of protecting another against the use of such unlawful force by a third person;
    (d) Any person making or assisting in making a lawful arrest for the commission of a felony; or
    (e) Any person engaged in military activities sponsored by the federal or state governments.

    Do your circumstances merit a defense? In other words, why did you "flash" your weapon? Were you in your home? Did you intend to protect yourself, your property or other people from getting injured or damaged by the aggressor? These circumstances - and more - may form the basis of an effective defense (by the way, say no more on the internet about your case/charges).

    My colleagues are correct in saying, "Hire an attorney!" A competent and effective attorney can help dismiss these charges. There are many ways to obtain dismissals, especially if you have no prior criminal history. Consider persuading the Prosecutor to enter a Deferred Prosecution if they will not dismiss the statute outright. A Deferred Prosecution is an agreement you would enter to ultimately get the case dismissed. Typically, offenders must exhibit law-abiding behavior for a period of 1-2 years, complete some type of class if drugs, alcohol or anger management issues were involved and agree to pay any restitution (property damage) to the victim.

    Also, a competent attorney can review the case and the evidence. Are there witnesses? Is the victim credible? Does the victim want to testify? Do they have impeachable prior criminal convictions? What do you personally know about the person who you "flashed" your weapon to? All of these issues go to credibility, evidence and self-defense.

    If the facts support a defense, then a competent attorney could argue a Knapstad motion to dismiss. Sometimes, judges dismiss cases by reviewing the facts contained in the police reports. Consequently, the judge decides whether the Prosecutor can prove the different elements of the criminal charges. A Knapstad Motion is pretrial procedure seeking dismissal for lack of proof on the elements. You might get lucky.

    For more information on Knapstad motions, please read my Legal Guide titled, "DISMISSING CASES THROUGH KNAPSTAD MOTIONS." For more information on how self-defense applies, please read my Legal Guide titled "SELF-DEFENSE." For more information on Deferred Prosecutions, please read the attached Deferred Prosecution statute.

    Good luck!

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  • Is it possible to get a DUI ticket reduced to a lesser charge when I blew .079?

    I was pulled over speeding, officer had me complete field tests that I passed, asked me to breathe and I declined. I felt trapped as though the officer was trying to find a reason to take me in. I was arrested and agreed to blow at the station whe...

    Alexander’s Answer

    Yes, it's possible to get the charges reduced.

    In all likelihood, your DUI would be reduced to Negligent Driving first Degree under RCW 46.61.5249. This crime is a simple misdemeanor punishable up to 90 days jail and a $1,000.00 fine. In comparison, DUI is a gross misdemeanor punishable up to 1 year jail and a $5,000.00 fine.

    A person is guilty of Negligent Driving in the First Degree if he or she operates a motor vehicle in a manner that is both negligent and endangers or is likely to endanger any person or property, and exhibits the effects of having consumed liquor or marijuana or any drug or exhibits the effects of having inhaled or ingested any chemical, whether or not a legal substance, for its intoxicating or hallucinatory effects.

    I attached the statute for your review.

    In all likelihood, the Prosecutor would amend the charges to Negligent Driving if you sought trial on the DUI. I've had this happen before. Negligent Driving is a lower and easier standard for the Prosecutor to prove. You might consider resolving the case and working toward a Negligent Driving amendment. While your case is pending, consider obtaining an alcohol evaluation and following the recommended treatment plan. This shows the Prosecutor you are taking accountability.

    If you want to review the recent caselaw regarding vehicle pullovers, suppression of evidence, DUI Investigations, BAC tests, and DUI defenses then please read my Legal Guides titled, "DRUG DUI'S: THE BASIC ISSUES," and "ALCOHOL DUI'S: THE BASIC ISSUES." Good luck!

    Good luck!

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  • Can you get charged with dui for prescription medication?

    I have chronic pain from an auto accident and take medication sometimes so I can work and not be on welfare!

    Alexander’s Answer

    I agree with my colleagues: under the DUI statute RCW 46.61.502, it is unlawful to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

    The harder issue is whether the Prosecutor can prove the charges.

    Here, if you are driving while under the influence of prescription medications (PX) drugs), the officer must prove that you were, in fact under the influence of the PX Drugs. Since you don't smell of intoxicants, and since portable breath tests and/or blood/alcohol test won't indicate alcohol consumption, the officer must prove you were intoxicated by either (1) having you submit to a blood test or (2) saying that you were exhibiting the effects of having consumed an intoxicating drug.

    This type of analysis takes special training. Typically, only Drug-Recognition Experts (DRE) can deduce with any authority whether you were under the influence of PX drugs. However, this argument assumes your driving was mostly legal (no serving, accidents, drifting, etc).

    There are also issues regarding search warrants for blood. Today, Washington caselaw favors suppressing evidence of a search warrant for blood if the arresting officer did not state with particularity the reasons for the stop/pullover. The officer must also describe what behaviors they observed which led them to believe you were under the influence.

    My advice? Don't drive under the influence of prescription drugs. these types of DUI cases - often called "Drug DUI" cases - are very difficult to fight. This is especially true if the arresting officer lawfully obtained a warrant for your blood, and the ToX Law indicates high levels and/or a dangerous combination of PX drugs in your blood.

    For more information, please read my Legal Guide titled, "DRUG DUI'S: THE BASIC ISSUES." Good luck!

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  • Does it hurt my husbands defence if i take help from victims assistance?

    He was charged with assult in the 2nd dv i believe he is not guily because he is a mental health patient and had been out of his meds for 2 months.Now with that being said when he got arrested i lost half my income my place to live not to mention ...

    Alexander’s Answer

    There are many defenses to Domestic Violence charges. Who witnessed the incident? Was it intentional? Are the witnesses credible? Is there a 911 Call? Are there injuries? If so, were the injuries photographed by the victim and/or police? Were the parties consuming alcohol and/or drugs? Was the defendant undergoing severe mental health issues during the incident? Who started the conflict? Why did it start? Why did it escalate? Was the combat mutual? Was the issue about discipline of child, and not assault? The answers to these questions could form the basis for an appropriate defense. Accidents, false accusations, lack of intent, self-defense & defense of others, diminished capacity, voluntary intoxication, alibi, insanity, lack of probable cause, mistake of fact, necessity, and a parent's right to discipline a child are some of the defenses to domestic violence charges. A competent defense attorney will review the evidence in search of the appropriate defense.

    Please read my Legal Guide titled, "DEFENDING AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CHARGES." Good luck!

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  • Was arrested for a felony DUI, drugs were found, why are they not charging me with the drug possession with intent yet?

    I was pulled over and charged with a felony DUI, it is my second, the first being vehicular assault about 8 years ago. While I was being arrest they searched my car and found two ounces of meth and a scale. I have two cases now, one for the DUI a...

    Alexander’s Answer

    The Prosecutor is probably waiting for the WA Tox Lab to determine whether the contraband was, in fact, meth. It takes about 4-6 weeks for the ToX Lab to return results. The prosecutor will make their decision based on what the substance actually is.

    In addition - and although it's a longshot - perhaps the reason why Prosecutor is not charging for drugs is because the investigation, search, seizure and detainment of your person/vehicle was actually unlawful. A competent defense attorney can possibly suppress the evidence and get charges dismissed. Many legal issues surround cases like yours. Can officers search a motorist for drugs after contacting them for mere traffic infractions? Is the search unlawfully pretextual? How intrusive was the search under the circumstances? What constitutes a search? What constitutes consent to a search? Was the possession of the contraband actual or constructive? If there is no consent to the search, do exigent circumstances exist to justify the search? Can a police officer search motorists and passengers if the officer sees/smells evidence of drugs? Can officers obtain warrants to search vehicles incident to arresting the motorist?

    For more information on these topics, please read my legal Guide titled, "SEARCH AND SEIZURE: BASIC ISSUES REGARDING THEIR SEARCH FOR WEAPONS, DRUGS AND OTHER CONTRABAND." Good luck!

    See question 
  • Feedback on assault 4 being raised to assault 3 after two courtdates. Possible?

    I am dealing with an assault 4 in Seattle. The public defender says he received a disc with pictures of the victim. It has been already stated that the victim has a laceration but the public defender is saying that they could possibly raise it to ...

    Alexander’s Answer

    Yes, the Prosecutor can amend the charges if sufficient probable cause supports the amendment. In fact, Prosecutors often threaten to amend upward if defendants do not plead guilty to pending charges.

    Consider hiring a private attorney. How strong is the Prosecutor's evidence? Are there independent witnesses? Surveillance videos? 911 calls? Did you respond in self-defense? For more information on self-defense, please read my Legal Guide titled, "SELF DEFENSE." The guide provides additional information on lateral defenses which may help you.

    Additionally, consider whether you want to testify given your criminal history. Generally speaking, prior crimes of dishonesty and felony convictions within the past 10 years are admissible under Evidence Rule 609. I've attached a link to this court rule.

    Also, consider attacking the credibility of the victim should the case go to trial. In most criminal trials, Jury instruction #1 gives jurors a complete "laundry list" of factors they may consider in questioning the credibility of witnesses. I've attached a link to the Washington Pattern Jury Instructions, too.

    Finally, consider obtaining the victim's criminal history. Similar to you, their credibility may be impeached if they have priors. if the Prosecutor is slow to provide the information, consider arguing a Motion to Compel. For more information on these pretrial motions, please read my Legal Guide titled, "MAKE THE PROSECUTOR COOPERATE! ARGUING MOTIONS TO COMPEL PRETRIAL DISCOVERY."

    Good luck!

    Good luck!

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