RFLI defend people accused of criminal offenses and people charged with major traffic offenses. I appear almost daily in District Courts, Municipal Courts and Superior Courts throughout Washington State. The information I provide on this website pertains only to cases in the state of Washington, not any other states.  As a former deputy prosecutor and having interned with the public defender, I have the necessary experience to handle your criminal cases from your first appearance in court through trial. Please call me today. You may consult with me at your convenience.

My fees are reasonable. Compare my fees with other legal counsel.

Published case that I successfully litigated: 

 

State v. Yon, 159 Wn.App. 195 (2010) Court of Appeals, Division III  This successful appeal resulted in a major change that Gov. Christine Gregoire signed into law during 2012.

See The Spokesman Review article

 

Information Concerning Criminal Law

  • DUI/DWI
  • Driving While License Suspended
  • Serious Traffic Violations
  • Domestic Violence Offenses
  • Drug Offenses
  • Most Misdemeanors and Gross Misdemeanors

Richard Lee also represent clients throughout Washington State in regard to most misdemeanors, gross misdemeanors, felonies and serious traffic offenses including:

  • Reckless Driving and Racing
  • Reckless Endangerment
  • Negligent Driving First Degree
  • Theft and Shoplifting
  • Possession of Marijuana and Paraphernalia
  • Minor in Possession/Consumption of Alcohol
  • Minor DUI
  • Hit and Run
  • Burglary and Trespass
  • Failing to Obey or Obstructing an Officer or Resisting Arrest
  • Domestic Violence Offenses
  • Assault
  • Sex crimes
  • Hunting and Fishing Violations
  • Violation of No-Contact Orders
  • Malicious Mischief
  • Most other misdemeanors, gross misdemeanors or serious traffic offenses

If you are arrested for any such offenses you should immediately tell the arresting officer that you want to consult with an attorney. You have the right to consult with an attorney of your own choosing before answering any questions. Don't try to lie to an officer, but you certainly do not need to provide more than your name, address and other routine information. You may not be able to roll the clock back and undo whatever has happened, but you do not need to make things worse by admitting a crime or giving an officer incorrect or conflicting information. Exercise your right to remain silent and your right to an attorney.

 

DUI Maximum: 364 days jail and $5000 fine; 2 years license revocation.

Minimum 1st offense penalties:

  • 1 day in jail (or 2 days if breath or blood test is .15 or higher or if you refused BAC or blood test), or in some instances the court may allow 15 or 30 days Electronic Home Monitoring instead of jail.
  • License suspension for 90 days (or 365 days if .15 or higher BAC/blood test or 2 years if test refused). In most cases you will be eligible for an Ignition Interlock License during the time that your regular licenses is suspended, but only if you are licensed at the time of the plea of guilty. You will lose a Commercial Driver's License (CDL) for at least 1 year.
  • High risk insurance for 3 years (may approximately double insurance rates).
  • 1 to 5 years’ probation at approx. $45 to $75 per month. Usually meet with probation officer monthly, at least during the first year or two).
  • Alcohol evaluation required (approx. $75) and compete recommended treatment (at least Alcohol/Drug Information School at a cost of approx. $75.00).
  • Approx. $900 to $1200 fine and court costs.
  • Attend Victim Impact Panel (one evening for approx. 1 ½ hours. Fee is approx. $25-$50).
  • Ignition Interlock: Mandatory for at least 1 year. However, usually vehicles owned by or driven for an employer can be easily exempted from the ignition interlock requirement. Costs approx. $95.00/month.

Pay restitution for the law enforcement officer’s “emergency response,” if any.

 

 

Deferred Prosecution Detail

 

Important: For traffic-related charges a person can do only one Deferred Prosecution in a lifetime.

  • No jail time.
  • No loss of license (as long as the deferred prosecution is entered soon enough to avoid suspension through the separate DOL process). However, in almost all cases, a Deferred Prosecution will not avoid loss of CDL.
  • Usually, no requirement high risk insurance for at least 3 years (may approximately double insurance rates).
  • Probation for 5 years at approximately $45 to $75 a month at least for the first two years. In most jurisdictions defendants meet with a probation officer only once or twice in the 5 years. District Court usually requires the defendant to return to court twice during the 1st year and once at the end of the 2nd year, and again at the end of 5 years.
  • 2 year Program is required:
     - 8 weeks (3 times per week, 3 hours per session) (some programs are 4 times per week, 2 hours per session for 9 weeks; and some are for 6 weeks, 4 times per week, 3 hour sessions).
      - After the first 6 to 9 weeks, weekly meetings for approximately 1 ½ hours during the next 6 months.
      - Monthly meetings during remainder of the two years.
      - AA meetings twice a week for 2 years.
  • No fine, but $275 or more in court costs.
  • Attend Victim Impact Panel (one evening approximately 1 ½ hours. Fee is approximately $25-$50).
  • Ignition Interlock: Mandatory for at least 1 year for all DUI or Physical Control cases. Costs approximately $95.00/month.
  • Pay restitution for the police officer’s “emergency response,” if any.

A deferred prosecution is, essentially, recognition by the legislature that a person who commits an offense such as a DUI because he or she suffers from alcoholism, drug dependency or mental illness should be treated medically, rather than criminally. In order to qualify for a deferred prosecution a person must get an evaluation and be diagnosed as alcoholic, drug dependent or suffering from a mental illness. In cases involving alcoholism the person has to agree to complete an intensive two-year alcohol program and is not allowed to consume or possess alcohol or illegal drugs during that time.

The benefits, though, are tremendous. First, the person receives needed help and treatment. Second, if the person successfully completes the program, the criminal charges are dismissed at the end of five years. The person does not plead guilty, nor is he ever found guilty. He does not do any jail time, he does not pay a fine, he does not lose his license (although in almost all cases he will lose a CDL), and usually he will not have to pay for high risk insurance (SR22).

However, a deferred prosecution should not be thought of as the easy way out. It is a stringent program that requires a real desire and effort on the part of all participants. It is also important to consider that a person is allowed only one such deferred prosecution in a lifetime in the state of Washington. Therefore, we rarely recommend it for a first offense DUI.

If you would like more information concerning the requirements of a deferred prosecution and whether you might qualify, you are welcome to contact me. Emergency calls and initial consultations are free. My fees for representing clients in their cases are reasonable; and I will usually work out payment plans with clients. Feel free to call at (509) 536-0986.

 

Maximum: 365 days jail and $5000 fine.

Penalties:

  • No mandatory minimum jail time (often all jail time suspended or, possibly, serve a day or so in jail).
  • Lose license for 30 days (but an occupational Driver's License is permitted during that time if you are licensed in Washington at the time of the plea).
  • High risk insurance for 3 years (may approximately double insurance rates).
  • No mandatory minimum probation (usually 1 to 2 years at approximately $45 to $75/month, but often terminates early once other conditions are met).
  • If the Reckless Driving charge is a reduction from a DUI courts usually require an alcohol evaluation and that you complete recommended treatment and a Victim Impact Panel.
  • Usually approx. $500 to $900 fine.
  • Court can order Ignition Interlock, but it would be very unusual.
  • Often payment for the police officer’s “emergency response time," is part of a settlement agreement.

Important: If a Reckless Driving or Negligent Driving 1° is a reduction from a DUI or Physical Control charge, it will count against you as a prior offense (the same as a DUI conviction would have), if you are convicted in the future of a subsequent DUI or other serious alcohol-related or drug-related driving offense.

Also, if the initial charge was DUI or Physical Control, the Department of Licensing in separate proceedings will try to suspend your license for at least 90 days. If that happens, you will be required to have SR 22 high risk insurance for 3 years. However, you may sooner qualify for an Ignition Interlock License, but you cannot operate on a CDL during that time.

 

The risk of losing a license has been greatly increased by recent DUI legislation. Now if you are arrested for a DUI or Physical Control and gave a breath or blood sample of .08% or higher, the Department of Licensing will attempt to suspend your license for at least 90 days, apart from any license suspension that would result from a court conviction. In most instances, though, you must request a hearing with the Department of Licensing and send $200.00 for the hearing within 20 days of the date of arrest. The rules are different if you are under 21. You face a minimum of 90 days license suspension if you have an alcohol level of .02% or higher. Again, you can request a hearing to fight the license suspension.

Also, if a person of any age is arrested for DUI or Physical Control and refuses to properly complete a breath test, or in some instances to give a blood sample, his license will be revoked for at least one year. However, if you are facing such a loss of license, you may be eligible for an Ignition Interlock License. You should discuss it with your attorney.

A person is also subject to license suspension for reckless driving, hit and run attended, eluding a police officer, vehicular assault and vehicular homicide, as well as for certain convictions for driving while a license is suspended or revoked. Worse yet, if a person accumulates three or more of certain kinds of driving offenses within a five-year period, he will be declared to be an Habitual Traffic Offender and will lose his license or driving privilege for seven years.

If you have a Commercial Drivers License (CDL) you are at particular risk. Even if you were driving a personal vehicle at the time of an arrest for DUI or physical control, a conviction will remit in at least a 1-year loss of CDL. Also, the Department of License will initiate a separate process to take away your CDL for at least 1 year, regardless of what happens in the court case. In most instances you have only 20 days from the date of arrest to request a DOL hearing to fight the CDL suspension.

Initial consultations on license suspensions, DUIs, criminal offenses and serious traffic offenses are free. My fees for representing clients in their cases are reasonable, and I will usually work out payment plans with clients.

In cases of emergency feel free to call me at (509) 536-0986.

 

 

 

 

Maximum: 90 days jail and $1000 fine.

Penalties:

  • No mandatory minimum jail time. Often all jail time is suspended, or possibly spend a day or so in jail.
  • No loss of license.
  • No high risk insurance (may affect insurance rates, but no more than for any other Negligent Driving offense).
  • sually require alcohol evaluation and completion of recommended treatment and a Victim Impact Panel.
  • Courts usually require $500 to $900 fine.
  • Often payment for the officer’s “emergency response time,” is part of a settlement agreement.

Important: If a Reckless Driving or Negligent Driving 1° is a reduction from a DUI or Physical Control charge, it will count against you as a prior offense (the same as a DUI conviction would have), if you are convicted in the future of a subsequent DUI or other serious alcohol-related or drug-related driving offense.

Also, if the initial charge was DUI or Physical Control, the Department of Licensing in separate proceedings will try to suspend your license for at least 90 days. If that happens, you will be required to have SR 22 high risk insurance for 3 years. However, you may sooner qualify for an Ignition Interlock License, but you cannot operate on a CDL during that time.

 
  • If you are stopped or contacted by an officer for any criminal traffic offense, such as DUI or Physical Control, be courteous to the officer and be prepared to furnish your license, vehicle registration, and proof of insurance. However, you should not answer other questions, particularly questions that are designed to find out whether or not you have consumed any alcohol or drugs or even prescription medicines.

  • You should not lie to the officer in any regard, but politely refuse to answer until you have had a chance to consult with an attorney. You should ask to speak with an attorney before answering questions, and in the case of a DUI or Physical Control, before submitting to field tests, such as eye tests, balance tests and walking a line. You cannot be required to perform those tests nor to answer questions other than routine identification information.

  • In cases such as DUI and Physical Control, you may be asked to submit to a portable breath alcohol test that may be offered roadside. You do not need to take it. However, if you are arrested you will likely be asked to submit to a BAC test (a breath alcohol test on a larger breath machine at a jail or at some other DUI processing location), or you may be asked to take a blood alcohol test under certain circumstances. If you refuse to give a breath alcohol or blood test, you will lose your license or privilege to drive for at least one year, and you cannot even have an occupational license for at least the first 90 days of that time. Therefore, in most instances I recommend to clients that they take the breath test, but there are some very important exceptions. Therefore, you should always ask for the opportunity to speak with an attorney, if possible, before making that decision.

  • However, you do not have the right to have an attorney present for the purpose of breath or blood tests, nor do you have an absolute right to speak with an attorney before deciding whether or not to take the test. Under our law, the officer must give you a reasonable opportunity to contact an attorney by telephone, but the officer does not have to wait very long.

  • If you are arrested for a DUI or any other criminal offense or serious traffic offense, feel free to call at day or night at 509-536-0986. In such emergency situations, even after hours our answering service will put you in touch with an experienced attorney who can give you the advice you need, when you need it.

  • New DUI and Physical Control laws in the State of Washington have changed the penalties for a first time offense in several important respects. If you are convicted of a first offense within seven years, you can expect a minimum of one or two days in jail, approximately $900.00 to $1,200.00 minimum fine and costs, and usually 90 days to one year license suspension. However, in most cases you may obtain an Ignition Interlock drivers license durring the time of suspension. An Ignition Interlock must be installed in your car for at least a year, (although vehicles owned by or operated for an employer may be easily exempted from the ignition interlock requirement), and high risk insurance is required for the next three years. You would likely be placed on probation for one to five years, and you would also be required to obtain an alcohol evaluation and complete any recommended alcohol program. Information on what to do when you are first arrested for a DUI or Physical Control is contained under a separate heading.

Further, if you are convicted of a DUI or Physical Control charge and you had a prior DUI or Physical Control offense within seven years (even one that was reduced to Reckless Driving or Negligent Driving 1°), you are looking at a minimum of 30 or 45 days in jail plus 60 or 90 days of home detention, a much greater fine, and at least two or two and a half years of license revocation. However, in most cases you could obtain an Ignition Interlock driver’s license during the time of license revocation

In addition, the legislature has now enacted a process for issuing temporary licenses, probationary licenses, and in many circumstances, suspending or revoking a person's license through a separate Department of Licensing process, usually regardless of the outcome of your case in court. However, again, there are a number of opportunities for defense.

If you are charged with DUI or Physical Control or any other criminal offense or a serious traffic offense, it is critical that you have the best legal representation possible. Emergency calls and first initial consultations on DUIs and other criminal offenses are free; my fees are reasonable and I will usually work out payment plans with clients.