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James Edmund Oliver
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James Oliver’s Answers

270 total


  • My husband got a speeding ticket on the 2nd to last day of the month (July 30th)

    This is the whole story, no hidden details. My husband was driving & I was in the passenger side. He was flagged for speeding by a motorcycle cop. He pulled over promptly & we put our hands in view. We were cordial & cooperative. The officer ...

    James’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Sorry to hear about your ticket. As you know, you have 15 days to request a contested hearing if you want to fight your ticket. The upside is that even if this ticket is found committed, it is unlikely to impact your insurance rates. If you want to fight the ticket yourself, here are the basics of what the cop's ticket must show:

    1) Vehicle Style must be filled out according to our State's Infraction Rules. However, some judges don't particularly care about that rule.
    2) Officer's declaration must have the ticket number included, or your husbands name. Otherwise, there is a linkage problem.
    3) Speed measuring device info. There has to be evidence that the radar, laser, speedo was accurate and properly used.
    4) Declaration must indicate posted speed limit.
    5) Declaration must be signed and dated in conformance with General Rules and RCW 9A.72.

    There are a lot of other things we look for, but the above are generally where the cops muck things up. In order to find the cop's mistakes, you have to request "Discovery" from the prosecutor's office and the court where you fight your ticket. There are a lot of great traffic attorneys at all price points. I can tell you that Bellevue can be a tougher than average place to fight a ticket as the courts use prosecutors and the judges see the whole infraction mill as a way to raise money. Good luck!

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  • How much money would i get from this case?

    i was in a car accident in march the 20th and my light was green going straight and the other person coming the opposite way was red i was continuing to go as normal before i know it the car tried to quickly turn left infront of me i tried slammin...

    James’s Answer

    If you don't hire an attorney, the insurance company will likely take advantage of you. They may offer to pay you less than your medical bills, and forget about compensation for pain and suffering. Their team of lawyers and medical experts will have their way with you.

    The only way you will be fully compensated is to hire a personal injury attorney. Once your lawyer has gone through your medical records, calculated lost pay, and analyzed how the accident effected your daily life, he can come up with a potential settlement figure.

    We all offer free consultations, and some of us will even come to you for the free meeting. Find an attorney you trust and let them go to work for you. Good luck!

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  • Can the police keep a vehicle seized for drug trafficking if they never charge the owner/driver with a crime?

    The police knocked on my door at home and arrested me, also seizing my car. After spending eight hours in a holding cell I was released. The detective informed me he had me on three felony counts of drug trafficking from over a year ago and that i...

    James’s Answer

    Sorry to hear about your legal issues. Did the cops send you a "Notice of Forfeiture" advising you that they want to keep your personal property? If so, did you respond in writing requesting a hearing to contest the seizure? Have you put anything in writing demanding return of your car and property?

    Without putting too much personal information in these public posts, private message me the facts supporting why the cops think the car was involved in criminal activity. If the car isn't reasonably related to any illegal activity, it's seizure was illegal and the cops have to return your car, and pay for its loss of use. Loss of use is usually the rental car rate for a similar vehicle in your area.

    Seizure issues such as yours raise a lot of questions. Call a criminal defense attorney and schedule a consultation. We all offer free initial meetings at which we can answer all your questions. Good luck.

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  • Is it legal to protect my home with a firearm that is unregistered and have no papers for? Am i allowed to own the firearm?

    My friend wanted to sell me a firearm that he has no information about and has no papers for it. Am i allowed to own it if i only keep it in my home?

    James’s Answer

    As long as the weapon isn't illegal (machine gun, sawed-off shotgun, stolen, etc.), it doesn't need to be registered before it can be possessed. Of course, you personally must also be allowed to possess firearms.

    Persons convicted of a felony, or some domestic violence crimes, may be prohibited from possessing firearms and ammunition until their rights are restored.

    Good luck!

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  • Can I claim damages from an accident I was a passenger in

    I was a passenger & injured in car accident ... Problem is the driver I was riding with had a suspended license... I am only 18 and I didn't know my friends mom license was suspended... Anyway the other driver hit us and gave all insurance informa...

    James’s Answer

    If you were injured, then you are entitled to compensation. First, however, you need to seek medical attention.

    The next thing you should do is contact your own insurance company. Advise them that you have been injured in an accident and ask whether you have Personal Injury Protection, or comprehensive coverage.

    Although, you indicated that your friend's mom was not licensed, I would still contact her insurance company. If she was insured, that would be another source of coverage for your injuries.

    Your best bet, however, is to simply contact a personal injury attorney who would take care of everything for you. I'm in Seattle several times a week if you wanted to meet for a free consultation.

    Good luck!

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  • A 6 year old neighbor kid is accusing my 14 year old son of touching his "junk". Should we allow the detective interview?

    My son was watching this 6 YO and his 10 YO brother at my house. The story is suspect as a recorded session of his parents asking him about it is called a "story" by them and they coax it out of him. A report was filed and the 6 YO was interview...

    James’s Answer

    Do not let your son speak with detectives. The only reason the detectives want to speak with him is because they don't have enough evidence to have him charged with child molestation yet. I will almost guarantee that after they speak with your son they will have enough evidence.

    What our firm typically does in a situation like this is call the police up and offer an interview. But, I tell Detective, before we give an interview, I will need to see all of the detective's notes and alleged victim statements. Detectives never provide these materials, and we never provide the client.

    I have successfully used this tactic approximately a dozen times over the last 13 years. You need to consult immediately with a skilled criminal defense attorney. There are quite a few in this area, and we all offer free consultations. Good luck!

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  • Is theft 1 and forgery considered wobblers ?

    What makes a crime qualify as a wobbler?

    James’s Answer

    "Wobbler" is a California criminal law term. It refers to a crime which can be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor. The nice thing about California's wobblers is that a wobbler felony automatically reduces to a misdemeanor after a period of time and compliance with conditions set out in the judgment and sentence. Nothing in Washington operates like a California wobbler.

    Theft 1 and Forgery are felonies in the State of Washington and will cost you your voting and firearms rights. Start interviewing experienced criminal defense attorneys today and hire the best one you can afford. Good luck.

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  • I was injured in an accident, other party accepted liability. Should I pursue this?

    I retained an attorney after an accident 9/22/2011. After 2 years and the medical review from my auto ins my attorney stopped representing me. The other party accepted liability and is now trying to get me to settle. I've had 2 surgeries and anot...

    James’s Answer

    Nothing chums the waters for lawyers like your quote "A top vascular surgeon in Seattle said my injuries are a result of the accident."

    Here is my general approach to assessing a personal injury claim: I'll take any case in which the answer the following three questions is yes: 1) were there damages; 2) is there clear liability; and, 3) is there sufficient insurance.

    Everyone here takes the same basic approach, and is going to give you the same basic answer: hire an attorney. That's solid advice. Shop around and find the lawyer whose experience and approach to your case resonates with you. Retain him and let him do the heavy lifting. You'll sleep better, and walk with more money.

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  • Are there any criminal defense attorneys that will allow small payment upfront and the rest on a payment plan?

    I am looking for a criminal defense attorney and am having trouble finding someone that will accept payments from me? Why is this, and how can I get represented when I am on a strict budget?

    James’s Answer

    Our office has excellent attorneys and the most convenient payment plans in Western Washington. Call for a free consultation.

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  • Traffic accident ticket no other cars involved...

    My mother had lost control of her vehicle on a curve in a middle of one of the interstate ramps. It had just started raining and she probably didnt realise how slippery the road was. There was no other vehicles near by (thank God) and she ended up...

    James’s Answer

    A traffic lawyer would be your best bet for beating this ticket. If you want to do it yourself, you must do the following:
    1) in writing, prepare a request for copies of the infraction, accident report, officers declaration and any other written reports, video, or audio;
    2) deliver copies of your request to the court and the prosecutor at least two weeks before your hearing;
    3) verify with court that you want a contested hearing and not a mitigation hearing;
    4) review officer's declaration for evidence of speed. If the cop wrote that your mom admitted exceeding the speed limit, many courts will find the speeding committed.
    5) your mom will have to do the arguing; you can't argue for her. The judge will ask you if you have any motions. Your first motion should be to exclude any evidence of speed as the officer wasn't there and doesn't have first-hand knowledge of your mom's speed. If there's some evidence of speed (mom's admission), then argue that there's no credible foundation (accurate speedo, etc.). If the judge grants any of your motions, ask for a motion to dismiss the speeding count.

    Do all of the above things. Feel free to call me with any further questions. Good luck!

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