Fireworks: Fun While it Lasted

Fireworks

Fireworks offenses are a criminal charge. These come with the possibility of monetary penalties and time spent in jail.

The most common fireworks offenses are unlawful possession of fireworks and the unlawful discharge or use of fireworks.  

Possession Fireworks

The local fireworks retailers usually carry fireworks that are classified as “Consumer Fireworks”.  The list of consumer fireworks is published yearly by the State Fire Marshall. You will find It posted at the sales stands. 

Officers will use the quantity of fireworks in your possession, as the measurement that determines if you have violated the law. 

You may be charged with a misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor.  A misdemeanor conviction comes with a 90 days maximum penalty in jail and a $1000.00 fine.  A gross misdemeanor conviction comes with a 364 days maximum penalty in jail and a $500.00 fine.

Illegal Fireworks

Include Firecrackers, rockets, M-80’s, dynamite, Sky Lanterns and all homemade fireworks and others that do not follow the definition of “Consumer Fireworks”

Unlawful Discharge or Use of Fireworks

It is illegal for anyone to discharge or use fireworks that creates a substantial risk of death or serious physical injury to someone or damage to someone else’s property.  This violation is a gross misdemeanor.

Discharge of fireworks have approved dates, times and locations. Maps and instructions are available on the County Websites. You will want to verify that you will be lighting your fireworks in an approved location. You can look at the local rules at the following links.

Click Here To Learn More About Criminal Defense

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Criminal Cases in Court

Criminal Cases in Court-The Process.

The court legal system can be very intimidating and even scary if you are not familiar with how the court system conducts business.  

The criminal court process may begin within a few days or many months after the date of arrest.  

The criminal court for your case begins when:

  • The arresting officer provides you with a court date and time 
  • A notice of hearing mailed to you from the court.

Arraignment

 An arraignment is the first hearing.  The reason for an arraignment is for you to understand what you are being charged with. The arraignment is where you would enter your plea of “not guilty”.    

A Private Attorney can enter your plea and waive your appearance for the arraignment if you are charged with a misdemeanor.

However a waiver of arraignment is not allowed and you are required to attend the hearing if you are charged with:

  • DUI 
  • Physical Control
  • Domestic Violence.

When the plea is entered the judge will determine if you can be released .

The judge will consider:

  • Your criminal history.
  • Flight risk.
  • Your alleged breath alcohol level at the time of arrest if charged with DUI.
  • If you have made an effort to show the court that you are not a danger to the community. 
  • If you have failed to appear for other cases.

The judge may impose conditions of release or have bail set for your release.  

If you are being charged with a DUI the judge might release you with conditions that may include:  

  • Electronic home monitoring (EHM), 
  • Restrictions on consumption of alcohol, 
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device (IIL) 
  • Alcohol monitoring ankle bracelet also known as a SCRAM bracelet. 

If you are being charged with a Domestic Violence crime the judge may impose:

  • A no contact order  
  • No possession of firearms.  

Pre-Trial Hearing or Readiness Hearing

The  Pre-Trial or readiness hearing is where the prosecution and the defense inform the court of their progress, negotiations, or if the case is ready for trial.  

Your case may be continued for additional readiness hearings based on:

courtroom availability,

additional evidence discovery,

continued negotiation, or

witness availability issues.  

Resolutions are possible at readiness hearings, depending on the negotiation with the prosecutor.

Motion Hearings   

Motion hearings are an opportunity for Legal motions to be presented. These motions may be to prevent your case from going to trial or relate to other needs.

Trial

If a resolution is not reached between the prosecutor and your attorney, then your case will be set for trial.  

You may choose between a bench trial or a jury trial.  

A bench trial allows the judge to be the sole person deciding if you are guilty or not guilty of the charges.  

A jury trial will consist of 6 people (if charged with a misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor) or 12 people (if charged with a felony).  

These people are randomly selected from the community, and will make the decision if you are guilty or not guilty of the charges.  

Sentencing

Sentencing is addressed after a finding of guilt has been decided for your case.  

Your attorney negotiates with the prosecutor regarding a sentence recommendation 

Often times both parties will have reached an agreed sentence recommendation that the prosecutor will present to the judge.

The judge has the authority to impose the sentence that he or she believes is appropriate for the crime.

This sentence may include fines, jail, restitution, evaluation, treatment, probation or other steps.

There are many ways an experienced attorney can fight for you.

Kylin Landry
Kylin Landry
2021-10-04
Trustindex verifies that the original source of the review is Google.
Gotten many tickets dropped or the charge reduced to a non moving violation. Yes it would be great if they all could be dropped but at the end of the day my insurance is still affordable. Anyone leaving bad reviews about the Merrill's not getting a charge totally dismissed did not listen or read well enough when entering the contact as they make it very clear that both are a possibility.
Doza m
Doza m
2021-09-23
Trustindex verifies that the original source of the review is Google.
Took care of it just like Rick said he would. Will definitely use him again in the future if needed.
Bri Adams
Bri Adams
2021-09-15
Trustindex verifies that the original source of the review is Google.
Rick Merrill was very responsive and easy to work with, handled my case perfectly and got me the result I was after. Definitely recommend him for any of your needs.
Roman Empire
Roman Empire
2021-09-15
Trustindex verifies that the original source of the review is Google.
Kind and professional people. Will definitely be coming back!
Abraham Tewldeberham
Abraham Tewldeberham
2021-09-12
Trustindex verifies that the original source of the review is Google.
I want to start off by saying they have helped my family out tremendously. Their professionalism, efficiency and outstanding communication skills made our case a whole lot easier to understand and deal with.
Sylvia Magnusson
Sylvia Magnusson
2021-09-09
Trustindex verifies that the original source of the review is Google.
Very Nice team to work with. Professional and compassionate. Will definitely recommend to anyone in need.

Call us now

To ask additional questions or to hire an experienced attorney who has deep connections with the local legal system.

(425) 259 4972

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What you need to know about Bail

What you need to know about Bail

What you need to know about Bail is that when you are charged with a Crime, the Judge will set conditions for your release.

These may include that you appear at future court hearings, do not get charged with another crime, as well as an assortment of other limitations.

To help ensure that you are inclined to follow the directions, they will often set an amount of money that you need to pay the court for your release. This is called Bail.

There are two ways that you can make your bail payment.

  • You can pay the entire amount to the Court. All of your bail money returned to you if you complete all the conditions and attend all of the hearings as required.
  • You can pay a fee of 10 percent of the total bail amount to a Bail Bonds company. At the completion of your case, your collateral will be returned. The bail bonds company will keep the fee.

What you need to know about Bail to get your money back.

Be aware that if you do not appear at your court hearings, or meet all of your conditions, you will forfeit your Bail money.

We know that this can be a life changing event but it isn’t the end of the world.  

There are many ways an experienced attorney can fight for you.

Kylin Landry
Kylin Landry
2021-10-04
Trustindex verifies that the original source of the review is Google.
Gotten many tickets dropped or the charge reduced to a non moving violation. Yes it would be great if they all could be dropped but at the end of the day my insurance is still affordable. Anyone leaving bad reviews about the Merrill's not getting a charge totally dismissed did not listen or read well enough when entering the contact as they make it very clear that both are a possibility.
Doza m
Doza m
2021-09-23
Trustindex verifies that the original source of the review is Google.
Took care of it just like Rick said he would. Will definitely use him again in the future if needed.
Bri Adams
Bri Adams
2021-09-15
Trustindex verifies that the original source of the review is Google.
Rick Merrill was very responsive and easy to work with, handled my case perfectly and got me the result I was after. Definitely recommend him for any of your needs.
Roman Empire
Roman Empire
2021-09-15
Trustindex verifies that the original source of the review is Google.
Kind and professional people. Will definitely be coming back!
Abraham Tewldeberham
Abraham Tewldeberham
2021-09-12
Trustindex verifies that the original source of the review is Google.
I want to start off by saying they have helped my family out tremendously. Their professionalism, efficiency and outstanding communication skills made our case a whole lot easier to understand and deal with.
Sylvia Magnusson
Sylvia Magnusson
2021-09-09
Trustindex verifies that the original source of the review is Google.
Very Nice team to work with. Professional and compassionate. Will definitely recommend to anyone in need.

Call us now

To ask additional questions or to hire an experienced attorney who has deep connections with the local legal system.

(425) 259 4972

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Probation

What is Probation?

Probation is a specified period of time where jail and fines are usually suspended.

The court will sentence you after you are convicted of a crime. That may include payments and jail time.

The Judge may grant you probation. There are conditions that you are required to follow throughout the probation period.

Possible Probation Conditions may include:

  • Alcohol evaluation.
  • Drug or alcohol treatment. 
  • SCRAM bracelet.
  • Regular urinalysis drug tests. 
  • Community service hours. 
  • Meetings with your assigned probation officer.
  • No new infractions or criminal charges.  

At the Sentencing hearing you will: 

  • Be provided a written copy of the probation conditions.  
  • Be required to sign the statement that you acknowledge and understand the required terms of release. 

Understanding the terms of your probation.

The Judge has granted you this probation and violating any of the conditions can result in jail time or additional fines being imposed.

What is a Probation Violation?

Violating the conditions is a serious offense.  Your probation officer or court representative will be notified immediately.

A court hearing will be scheduled regarding the violation.

The purpose of this hearing is for you to state to the court the reasons why you violated your probation.

  • Your appearance in court is required. 
  • If you fail to appear for the probation violation, a warrant may be issued.  
  • The judge has the ability to revoke your probation and impose jail time.

There are many ways an experienced Criminal Defense attorney can fight for you.

Call us now

To ask additional questions or to hire an experienced attorney who has deep connections with the local legal system.

(425) 259 4972

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Your Driving Record

What is a Driving Record?

According to the Washington State Department of Licensing, a driving record (also called a motor vehicle record or driver abstract) is “a history of violations, convictions, collisions, and departmental actions incurred by a driver over a period of time.”  Your driving record contains detailed information about your driving history and status.

Types of Driving Records in Washington

There are several different types of driving records available from the Washington State Department of Licensing, depending on who is requesting the record and for what purpose. 

Complete Driving Record

A complete record contains the full history including:

  • Convictions
  • Violations
  • Collisions
  • Suspensions
  • Revocations
  • Disqualifications
  • Deferred prosecutions
  • Failures to appear

The following parties are allowed to obtain a complete driving record:

  • The individual named on the record
  • Attorneys
  • Law enforcement and government agencies

Insurance Abstract

An insurance abstract shows the past 3 years of both commercial and non-commercial driving events such as:

  • Convictions
  • Violations
  • Collisions
  • Failures to appear

Insurance companies and agents can obtain insurance abstracts when creating or renewing auto insurance policies for an individual.

Employment Record

Employment driving records include:

  • Convictions
  • Violations
  • Collisions
  • Suspensions
  • Revocations
  • Disqualifications
  • Deferred prosecutions
  • Failures to appear

Current and prospective employers are able to get employment records when hiring drivers or individuals who will operate a vehicle for work purposes.

Alcohol/Drug Assessment Record

Chemical dependency assessment agencies can obtain a record showing any alcohol or drug-related incidents within the last 10 years.

How to Get a Copy of Your Washington Driving Record

There are three main ways for individuals to request a copy of their own driving record in Washington state:

  1. Visit any local Washington State Department of Licensing in person and request it, providing:
    • Photo identification
    • $15 fee payment
  2. Order a copy online by providing:
    • Washington driver’s license number
    • Social security number
    • Credit/debit card for $15 fee
  3. Mail in a request form along with:
    • $15 check or money order
    • Completed driving records request form

No matter which method you choose, be prepared to verify your identity and pay the $15 record fee to the Department of Licensing. 

Why You May Need Your Driving Record

There are several common reasons why an individual may need to obtain a copy of their official driving record: Employment Purposes – Many employers, especially those hiring drivers, delivery personnel, or roles that require operating a vehicle, will want to view your driving record as part of the screening process. Insurance Rates – Your driving record factors into the calculation of your auto insurance rates. Insurers use the record to assess risk and determine appropriate pricing. Correcting Errors – Driving records can sometimes contain incorrect information. Obtaining an official copy allows you to identify and dispute any errors or inaccuracies. Court Cases – If you are involved in a traffic violation case or other legal matter, the court may require a copy of your driving transcript.

By understanding the different types of driving records available and how to obtain your own report, you can be prepared whenever the need arises for employment, insurance, legal matters, or simply maintaining accurate driving credentials in Washington state.

There are many ways an experienced traffic attorney can fight your ticket for you.

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Negligent Driving 1st or 2nd Degree

Negligent Driving 1st Degree is a criminal misdemeanor charge.

According to the RCW 46.61.5249: A person is guilty of negligent driving in the first degree if he or she operates a motor vehicle in a manner that is both negligent and endangers or is likely to endanger any person or property, and exhibits the effects of having consumed liquor or marijuana or any drug or exhibits the effects of having inhaled or ingested any chemical, whether or not a legal substance, for its intoxicating or hallucinatory effects.

If convicted, a negligent driving in the 1st degree has a maximum penalty of:

  • 90 days in jail
  • $1000 penalty

A conviction of Negligent Driving 1st degree does not have a negative impact on the driver’s license and does not require a SR-22 filing.

There may be additional requirements, if there are prior convictions, including a conviction of DUI.

Ignition interlock license may be required by the Washington State Department of Licensing which include a requirement for an SR-22 filing.

Ignition interlock device may be required to be installed in your vehicle

Negligent Driving 2nd degree is a traffic infraction

It is considered a moving violation. It will have negative insurance consequences. This infraction is subject to a penalty of $550.00

According to RCW 46.61.525: A person is guilty of negligent driving in the second degree if, under circumstances not constituting negligent driving in the first degree, he or she operates a motor vehicle in a manner that is both negligent and endangers or is likely to endanger any person or property.

There are many ways an experienced traffic attorney can fight your ticket for you.

Call us now

To ask additional questions or to hire an experienced attorney who has deep connections with the local legal system.

(425) 259 4972

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