Tag: Criminal law

Criminal Case Roundup: You Don’t Need Cash to Get Out on Bail and the Supreme Court Wants to Know Whether “Child Luring” is Criminal or Just Disgusting

In State v. Barton, the Washington Supreme Court examined the mandate found in Article I, section 20 of the Washington State Constitution that criminal defendants “shall be bailable by sufficient sureties.”  The Court interpreted the phrase to mean that a criminal defendant has the right to make bail by using a surety, i.e., a third … Continue Reading

Washington Supreme Court Declines to Blame Gun Owner for Injuries Caused When a Child Took the Loaded Gun to School

In the denouement of a much-publicized case, the Washington Supreme Court ordered a trial court to dismiss charges against Douglas Bauer, a man who left a loaded gun accessible to his girlfriend’s six year old child.  The child took the gun to school, where it discharged and seriously injured a classmate.  Bauer was charged with … Continue Reading

Lying Isn’t Nice, But It’s Not Necessarily a Crime

Article by Manmeet Dhami, Summer Associate and law student at University of Washington School of Law [Learn more about Stoel Rives’ summer program here] According to a recent Washington Supreme Court decision, providing false information to a Sound Transit fare enforcement officer (FEO) is not punishable under Washington law. Typically, making a false or misleading statement … Continue Reading

State v. Franklin – State Supreme Court Divided Over Discretion

In State v. Andre Luis Franklin, five State Supreme Court justices reversed a defendant’s convictions after concluding the trial court erred in excluding evidence to further the defendant’s “other suspect” defense.  The defendant, Franklin, was in pseudo-relationships with two different women, Hibbler and Fuerte, and the women had a history of jealousy with one another.  … Continue Reading

The Court Assumes that Husbands Know It’s Illegal to Hold their Wives Captive for 3 Days

In State v. Johnson, the Washington Supreme Court provided two rulings.  First, it unanimously held that a charging document does not need to provide legal definitions of all the concepts within it to provide constitutionally sufficient notice to the defendant. Second, it ruled 7-2 that a jury must only be given a general criminal law … Continue Reading

Discretion Prevails: Trial Courts May Rule on Jury Instructions When Asked…or Not

In a unanimous decision, the Washington Supreme Court clarified Washington’s Criminal Court Rules by holding that it is within the trial court’s discretion to provide preliminary rulings on jury instructions during trial. The Court then affirmed Ronald Mendes’s second degree murder conviction after rejecting his argument that he was “compelled” to testify in his defense.… Continue Reading

State v. Garcia, Jr. – Not Enough Evidence for First Degree Kidnapping Conviction

In State v. Garcia, Jr., No. 88020-4, the State Supreme Court unanimously reversed the defendant’s first degree kidnapping and second-degree kidnapping convictions and remanded for a new trial of those convictions, but affirmed the defendant’s criminal trespass conviction. The defendant, Phillip Garcia, Jr., believed he was involved in a car chase after hearing gun shots … Continue Reading

These Walls Shouldn’t Have Ears: State Supreme Court “Appalled” by the Need to Remind State that It May Not Eavesdrop on Private Conversations Between a Defendant and His/Her Counsel

In State v. Pena Fuentes, the State Supreme Court again condemned “the odious practice of eavesdropping on privileged communication between attorney and client” in criminal matters, as it had previously done in State v. Cory, 62 Wn.2d 371, 382 P.2d 1019 (1963).  Though the Cory court held that such misconduct is presumably prejudicial, in Pena … Continue Reading

WASHINGTON SUPREME COURT REQUIRES INDIVIDUALS TO BE FOUND DANGEROUS BEFORE THEY CAN BE INVOLUNTARILY COMMITTED, EVEN IF THEY HAVE BEEN FOUND NOT GUILTY BY REASON OF INSANITY

State of Washington v. Bao Dinh Dang [Wash. Sup. Ct. No. 87726-2] The Washington Supreme Court issued a unanimous opinion that held that persons acquitted of a crime by reason of insanity and granted conditional release under medical supervision may only have their conditional release terminated if the court determines they are dangerous.  Without a … Continue Reading

A Purse Is Part of a Person, Even When the Person is Locked in a Police Car and the Purse is Not

At issue in State vs. Byrd is whether a police officer violated federal and state privacy rights by searching a defendant’s purse incident to arrest after the defendant was secured in a police car and the purse was left on the ground outside the vehicle.  The Washington Supreme Court determined that the search did not violate either … Continue Reading
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