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To Play the Race Card or Not to Play the Race Card? That is the Question.

The Race Card - Seattle Criminal Lawyer Blog

This again?

I had not planned on talking more about this issue but after being asked some really interesting questions I couldn’t stop thinking about it. It gets so complicated. The best question was whether it is EVER possible to “play the race card”? Of course it is. The problem is that for every time someone “plays the race card” you have twenty people accusing them of playing the race card without justification. Which is the entire problem.

Quite frankly, I personally believe that most people who accuse someone of playing the race card are probably racist at some level, if not overtly, then subconsciously. At the very least, they do not have a very nuanced worldview.

However, since playing the race card has come to mean falsely accusing someone of being a racist, then saying someone is “playing the race card” when they are calling an actual racist a racist is to falsely accuse someone of falsely accusing someone of being racist. Everything turns into this crazy fuzzy pretzel logic where you have people falsely accusing people of falsely accusing people of things, which ties in nicely with my experience practicing criminal law, since that is the world I live in every day.

False accusations. Or not, as the case may be.

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Evolution of Search and Seizure Law: Blood Draws in DUI (Part 1)

search and seizure - blood drawsAny warrantless search or seizure is presumed unlawful aside from a few jealously guarded exceptions. Traditional exceptions include but are not limited to (1) consent; (2) incident to arrest; (3) hot pursuit; and (4) exigent circumstances.

Exigent circumstances concern situations where there is an emergency where obtaining a warrant is impossible or impracticable. Exigent circumstances may exist where there is a risk of immediate destruction of evidence or imminent danger of substantial injury where police must act quickly and have no time to get a warrant.

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Another False Accusation Bites the Dust

false accusation - Conor OberstWell, go figure. I really did not intend to focus so much on sex crimes right now, but things happen. Like the woman who has been defaming and falsely accusing one of my favorite young musician/songwriters, Conor Oberst (aka Bright Eyes), suddenly retracting her previous lies about the poor guy. (BTW, notice how the aka makes him sound like a criminal if you don’t know him? This is why prosecutors love to pile on the AKA’s when they file charges. It just sounds bad.)

Turns out, the woman was making stuff up. In her retraction, Joan Elizabeth Harris aka Joanie Faircloth states that she fabricated on-line accusations of being sexually assaulted by the musician ten years ago. The false accusation had been published in the comments section of an XO Jane article in December of 2013, where they quickly spread on Tumblr. But not before the lies had damaged his career.

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What if you are Accused of Committing a Sex Crime?

Accused of a Sex Crime

What if I am Accused of a Sex Crime?

First of all, take the Fifth.* Remain silent and get a lawyer.

Second, understand this: sex crimes are tough. Sex crimes are simultaneously the most heinous crimes to be accused of committing, the hardest crimes to disprove once you are accused, but also the easiest crimes to falsely accuse (and convict) an innocent person of committing.

This article is my follow up to previous posts where I said that it does not matter whether or not you committed a crime when I represent you, with two possible exceptions: Sex crimes and crimes involving substance abuse.

There are several reasons that it matters whether you are guilty of a sex crime when you are confronting the legal system in Washington State. The two primary reasons have to do with proof and sentence options. Let me explain.

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Legal Marijuana in Seattle

Marijuana

I’m kind of in a state of shock.

Not because only legal pot store in Seattle, Cannabis City, on its Opening Day. No. I’m in a state of shock because the local Pete Holmes, being fourth in line when the store opened at noon Tuesday.

We’ve come a long way, baby.

You see, it doesn’t really matter where you stand on the legalization of marijuana issue. Some say it’s like D Day. To others it’s more like Pearl Harbor. It matters not. The fact is that, legally speaking, this was an historic day in the history of Washington State.

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