Law Blog

Driving While License Suspended (DWLS)

By Ember Law  |  September 6, 2019

There are three types of Driving While License Suspended (DWLS): Third Degree Driving While License Suspended in the Third Degree (DWLS-3) is the most common crime of driving while your license is suspended. This is misdemeanor in Washington, meaning it is punishable up to 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine, though it rarely results in jail time.  DWLS-3...

Caution With Electric Scooters

By Ember Law  |  August 27, 2019

We have noticed an increase in calls regarding people who were riding electric scooters who have been hit by motor vehicles. This often happens when the person is riding in a protected bike lane, and the vehicle driver makes a turn. It seems that the drivers simply don’t see the person on the scooter. To make yourself more visible, we...

Negligent Driving

By Ember Law  |  August 20, 2019

Negligent Driving in the First Degree (Neg 1) Negligent Driving in the First Degree is a misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum of 90 days in jail and $1000 fine.  A person is guilty of this offense if they (1) operate a motor vehicle in a manner that is both negligent and endangers or is likely to endanger any person or...

Three Strikes and It’s Life

By Ember Law  |  August 15, 2019

The Washington Supreme Court just recently decided State v. Moretti, which was consolidated with 2 other cases. The cases asked if it was constitutional, under Washington law, for a person to be sentenced to life in prison, without the possibility of parole, if they commit a third “most serious offense” (i.e. a “third strike”) in their 30’s and 40’s, when...

If The Police Ask, Do I Have to Get Out of The Car?

By Ember Law  |  August 10, 2019

In Washington, a police officer may direct a driver (that’s you – probably) to step out of the vehicle, even for an infraction.  The Supreme Court has held that such a request is a “de minimis” violation of your Fourth Amendment rights, and is therefore allowed. However, in order for a request to exit the vehicle to be constitutional, the...

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and “Maximum Medical Improvement”

By Ember Law  |  August 5, 2019

Many Washington drivers have PIP as part of their car insurance coverage.  Generally, PIP pays for medical treatment and lost wages, regardless of whether or not you’re at fault.  Washington law regulates when insurance providers can terminate PIP benefits.  According to WAC 284-30-395(1), an insurer can only deny claims if they are not (1) reasonable, (2) necessary, (3) related, or...

DUI & Physical Control Probation

By Ember Law  |  August 1, 2019

Courts impose a number of mandatory and case-specific conditions on a defendant when ordering probation.  Some require affirmative acts – such as getting a drug and alcohol evaluation, completing recommended treatment, and participating in a victim impact panel.  Other conditions are prohibitive – do not refuse a valid request for breath or blood to determine alcohol concentration, do not drive...

What Information Do I Have to Give to the Police?

By Ember Law  |  July 3, 2019

When a police officer contacts a driver, RCW 46.61.020 requires the driver to cooperate with law enforcement, specifically by giving his or her name, address, and the name and address of the owner of the vehicle.  Drivers must also produce, upon request, the vehicle registration, insurance card, and their driver’s license.  The registration must be signed by the registered owner and in...

Washington Restraining Orders

By Ember Law  |  July 3, 2019

Clients and potential clients frequently have questions about restraining orders, and whether their circumstances entitle them to receive the protection afforded by such an order.  In Washington, courts can issue different types of restraining orders, depending on the circumstances, to prevent contact.  Contact includes not only personal contact, but also phone calls & text messages, emails, social media, or through...

Physical Control – DUI Without the Driving

By Ember Law  |  July 3, 2019

Washington imposes DUI-like penalties when one operates a motor vehicle, even if that person isn’t actively driving.  Defendants are often charged with Physical Control when they alleged to be intoxicated and in a stationary vehicle. What is Physical Control? “Physical Control” is not defined by statute.  Our courts have determined one to be in Physical Control when they are “in...