“I was going to plead guilty, save myself the embarrassment and costs of a lawyer. I called Sonny because a friend insisted that I sit with him before I just took a deal. I am eternally grateful I did. I have nothing on my record, and Sonny worked in my budget.”

Dyllan M., Bellevue, Washington

CRIMINAL.

Good people sometimes have lapses in judgment. We get it. We fiercely advocate for our clients and ensure they have skilled representation throughout the process. 

AN EXAMPLE OF OUR WORK.

In 2017, Angela called our office after she was arrested following an altercation with her husband. Angela is a mother of three young children. Her husband even agreed that it was simply a bad night. 

We immediately took her case, referred Angela to a counselor, and began working with the prosecutor. The charges were dropped that week. Angela is back home with no criminal record. Her and her husband are working hard and thriving in their marriage able to learn from mistakes and have a stronger marriage. 

“We were lucky to have Sonny. He put me back on the right track. He ensured that one rough night didn’t have permanent consequences.”

– Angela K., Canyon Park, Wa. 

Top Five Mistakes Made When Pulled Over for a DUI

While we handle all sorts of crimes, many clients come to Behrends Law for counsel on DUIs. Here are some helpful hints if you find yourself in that situation.

Talking too much to the officer. Law enforcement is generally a good thing. But when you see those red and blue lights in your rear-view mirror, officers are generally not trying to do you any favors. For example, depending on the circumstances, most officers lead with, “How much have you had to drink tonight?” It is a presumptuous question, wouldn’t you say? Unless there are extenuating circumstances, you are under no obligation to do any field sobriety tests. Do not help the officer do his job.

Doing field sobriety tests. Unless you have a prior offense, you are generally not required to do any field sobriety tests. This means you do not have to take the portable breathalyzer the officer has during the stop. It also means you do not have to do the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (following the light with your eyes), the Walk and Turn (walking heel-to-toe in a straight line for a particular number of steps with your arms at your side), or the One Leg Stand (raising one foot six inches off the ground while keeping both legs straight and counting).

Not calling an attorney. Tell the officer that you are exercising your right to call your attorney. When you call us, we will advise you of your rights and help you determine whether you should take the Breathalyzer tests.

Refusing to blow at the police station. If the officer determines there is probable cause to arrest you, she will arrest you and take you to the police station. Once there, she will ask you to take a Breathalyzer test. While exercising your right to remain silent, you should take the test at the station, in most circumstances. Refusing to take the test at the station triggers Washington’s Implied Consent laws. Those laws explain that a refusal to test at the station will result in suspension of your license for a year or more, depending on your history. Those laws also explain that refusing to take the test may be admissible at trial. We have been successful in suppressing the refusal, as well as the results of the breath test.

Simply trying to “get it over with.” Many clients believe that because they tested over the legal limit, they are doomed to being guilty of DUI. This is not always the case. There are many alternatives to simply pleading guilty. The State must prove their case, and, as noted, we have a lot of success in suppressing improper evidence and negotiating plea deals for our clients.

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