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Lenell Rae Nussbaum

Lenell Nussbaum’s Answers

406 total


  • Criminal case: Do I lose my right to bring up issues in later appeals if I don't bring it up now at the state appellate level?

    I am told by my appellate attorney in a criminal case not to bring up ineffective assistance of counsel at the state appeal level, even though I have strong merit/grounds. She says that I can bring it up on a Personal Restraint Petition if I lose ...

    Lenell’s Answer

    In most appeals, the record does not contain sufficient evidence to support a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel. You have to provide a reason why your lawyer did or did not do something to demonstrate it was not a strategic decision. On the direct appeal, the appellate court can only consider what is on the record from the trial. In a PRP, you can provide additional evidence with sworn statements. But there are some cases where what counsel did does appear on the record and could not possibly have been for a strategic purpose. In those cases, it can be raised on direct appeal. There also are some situations where if you raise an issue on direct appeal and lose, then try to raise it later in a PRP, it will be considered a claim already argued and lost, and the Court won't consider it again. I can't judge your particular situation, but those are the considerations your lawyer has in advising you.

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  • Can a Juvenile that was sentenced as an adult in 2011 have a chance to appeal?

    If a juvenile was sentenced as an adult in 2011 at age 14, and now is 20, have a chance to appeal? Can they go back to court and ask for a re-sentence, since he was a juvenile and maybe laws have changed in his defense that could possibly lower hi...

    Lenell’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    There is a new statute passed in the last couple of years to allow review of long sentences imposed on people who were juveniles when they committed their crimes. One would have to review the case and the statute to see if it could be applied to his case. Also, if his sentence was the equivalent to a life sentence, e.g., 50 years or more, he may also have the ability to ask the appellate court for relief under a decision from last year called State v. O'Dell. Ideally he should apply for that relief by August 12 of this year if he's taking that route. He should retain a lawyer experienced in Washington State post-conviction relief.

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  • Is it possible to show the court, as a defense, that that incident would never of happened, had he not been intoxicated?

    Someone that I know has been arrested in Washington state for felony harassment. He has problems with drug use but is a very sweet young man. He was under the influence of Xanax, which was obtained without a prescription, for his anxiety. The drug...

    Lenell’s Answer

    It is important to show the effect of the medication on him -- Xanax is not a drug of abuse usually. There are side effects of anti-depressants that can make a person completely different, including aggressive and threatening. It may or may not provide a legal "defense" at trial, depending on the specific charge, but the evidence should be developed with expert witnesses and presented to the prosecutor. If it is clear the person was behaving this way because of medications, but it may persuade the prosecutor to look differently at the case, and it could be key to any sentencing discretion the prosecutor and judge have. The effort, however, is not easy nor inexpensive. The public defender has the ability to request funds from the court to retain an appropriate expert.

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  • Could I be on a sex offender list? Can a lawyer improve my fate? What is the process how much will this cost (appx)

    Very embarrassed! hard to type. 68 yrs old. No criminal record. Inside house after shower without clothes on near windows. was seen, cops called - was arrested for indecent exposure.

    Lenell’s Answer

    You should hire a lawyer as soon as possible who can outline all your options for you. You will want to make well-informed decisions as you face the charge.

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  • Could I still be arrested for dating her?

    So I've been friends with my current girlfriend, Deb since we were kids. She's blind so everyone treats her like a kid or just like a burden but I never did. I'm not sure when it happened but we fell in love with each other. We started dating a fe...

    Lenell’s Answer

    The legal age of consent in Washington is 16. That means someone who is 16 can consent to sexual contact and sexual intercourse with anyone older than they are. It does not permit sharing sexually explicit images, however. So long as you are not in a position of authority (for example an employee of a school she attends), the law does not prevent what you have described.

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  • Is there a limit to "stacking charges" if it's a drug case?

    Is there a law that protects you from "stacking charges"? For example if you can be arrested on three drug charges why would they wait until you have five? How can the law allow someone to continue to break the law just to build a better case? I m...

    Lenell’s Answer

    This issue has been raised in the appellate courts, and I believe they provided some holding that permitted a lower sentence -- but I have not researched the issue in some time. It is an issue that should be researched. I know it is a common practice with the police.

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  • My question is if I get through appeals court do I have to go through Supreme Court as well to exhaust all remedies?

    In order for Federal Court to vacate a State order one has to exhaust all State remedies first. As well as to involve Federal Law.

    Lenell’s Answer

    Yes, in Washington you must ask the Wash. Supreme Court to review your federal constitutional issue in order to "exhaust" your state court remedies for purposes of seeking habeas relief.

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  • Am I in trouble for threatening a person over face book?

    My husband and I are in a long distance relationship and there's this girl who works with him and flirts him really bad and has even stalked my husband in places.She likes all his face book pictures and is all over him at work and she's his boss.M...

    Lenell’s Answer

    Threatening to harm a person, in person or in writing, is a crime of harassment. If one threatens to kill another, it is a felony in Washington. I strongly urge you not to threaten others. If you are being psychologically damaged, please seek assistance from a mental health professional. Leave your husband to deal with his employment situation.

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  • So why would my appeal be denied up front based on deny on the merits?

    Where are the rules on appeals with the Supreme Court and Appeals court? If I pay the filing fee shouldn't my case be heard and not just denied on the merits? Shouldn't we go through the whole process and get to the end then my case is rejected an...

    Lenell’s Answer

    The Washington Court of Appeals has a procedure called a Motion on the Merits that permits the Court to review a case based on the appellant's brief filed and decide whether it is entirely without merit. That may be the procedure used in your case. You can file a Motion to Modify if you want a panel of three judges to review the ruling "on the merits." If you wish to retain counsel to see what your other options may be, I recommend finding an experienced appellate lawyer in this state.

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  • Looking to hire experienced excellent attorney that can help our family and especially help save my brothers life!!! Please..

    My brother is in custody and recently got sentenced to do 1yr in county jail for two Assault 3's . But the entire trial,jury was bias.. so me his sister and our family want an appeal filed along with help figuring out about the new charges that ar...

    Lenell’s Answer

    I am an experienced appellate lawyer and I handle pre-charging investigations as well. Please call my office: 206.728.0996.

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