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Frequently Asked Questions

If you are pulled over for driving while intoxicated, should you blow into the Breathalyzer?

Absolutely, YOU MUST BLOW INTO THE BREATHALYZER (BAC) AT THE STATION.  DO NOT REFUSE TO BLOW.  Having said that, there are a few qualifying factors. First, though you must blow into the BAC at the station, there is no legal requirement to perform Field Sobriety Tests at the scene, nor is there a requirement to blow into the hand held/portable breath test, at the scene. I recommend that you ask to be transported to the station to blow into the BAC.  Do not perform Field Sobriety Tests, and do not blow into the portable/handheld breath test at the scene.

Further, you have a right to speak with a lawyer prior to blowing into the BAC at the station.  Accordingly, inform law enforcement that you want to blow into the BAC at the station, but request a phone call to your lawyer first.  If you are not able to contact your attorney, law enforcement will connect you with a 24-hour public defender.

If law enforcement asks you to make a statement, should you answer?

Absolutely not. If you are contacted by law enforcement, either as a suspect, target of an investigation, or even as a witness, politely ask to speak to counsel prior to giving a statement. Lay persons are not educated in legal strategies employed by law enforcement.  You may answer a question that you perceive to be unimportant, and it may have devastating consequences to you or others.  I cannot count the number of times my clients have caused irreparable damage to their case, with their own mouth. You always have a right to speak with counsel before speaking with law enforcement.  No matter how innocent or guilty you may be, exercise that right!

If law enforcement tries to search your car, your home, or your person, should you allow this to take place?

Absolutely not.  Similar to the preceding answer, you have an absolute right to counsel before consenting to a search of your car, your home, or your person. If law enforcement suggests they will get a warrant, let them.

What is possession, and can felons possess a firearm?

Possession is a term of art. There are two kinds of possession; actual and constructive. Actual possession is actually holding an item. Constructive possession is being in the proximity to an item, and, being in "dominion and control" of the item. Both kinds of possession can get you in trouble. In particular, constructive possession can be dangerous because you can be alledged to have had possession over an item that you may not even know is there. That is why it is important to have a presence of mind of your environment, in addition to your personal conduct. Accordingly, you can find yourself in a situation where you can be held responsible for your friend's conduct.

A person can unlawfully possess a firearm without the intent to break the law, principally, in two ways. First, a person may be in unwitting (unknowing) possession of a firearm.  Second, a person with a felony conviction may believe they have taken proper steps to reinstate their firearm rights, when in fact, they have not. Bottom line, if you have a felony history, no matter how old it is, you must contact legal counsel to make absolutely certain you are appropriately exercising your right to bear arms.  I assure you, I have seen many instances where there is a very small distinction between legal and illegal conduct in this area.  Seek counsel before you act.

When is the optimal time to hire a lawyer to defend you against a criminal allegation?

Without exception, the earlier a criminal lawyer gets involved in your defense, the more your counsel will be able to do for you.  In determining which lawyer to hire, ask others about the attorney's commitment, experience, and reputation in the community prior to choosing counsel.

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The Samuel Roberts Building, Est. 1883
1105 Tacoma Avenue S Tacoma, WA 98402

Direct Cell - 253.405.4360

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Office - 253.383.5346
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Areas of Practice


  • Car Accidents
  • Wrongful Death
  • Maritime Injury & Death
  • Slip & Fall


  • Murder
  • Manslaughter
  • Death Penalty



  • Rape
  • Indecent Liberties
  • Kidnapping


  • Manufacturing
  • Delivery
  • Possession with Intent
  • Possession
  • Possession of a Firearm


  • Vehicular Homicide
  • Vehicular Assault
  • DUI
  • Driving Misdemeanors


  • Statutory Rape
  • Child Molestation
  • Assault of a Child


  • Assault
  • Harassment



  • General Courts Martial
  • Special Courts Martial
  • Military Appeals