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Case Summaries

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Published Appellate & Supreme Court Cases

Holding that, in the context of a sex offense, there is a presumption that DNA testing will be favorable to the defendant.

Holding that the trial court’s selection of a special prosecutor created a conflict of interest.

Suspect’s confession was sufficiently attenuated from illegal arrest to be admissible.

Second Amendment right to bear arms is an important right recognized by both the United States and Washington Constitution.

The Supreme Court held that the Constitution requires the State to prove in a single trial whether the defendant’s offense is a felony or misdemeanor.

Defendant was convicted of possessing a sawed-off shotgun. He claimed that he did not know very much about firearms and did not know the shotgun was illegal. The Supreme Court held that a person cannot be convicted of this offense without knowledge of the characteristics that make the firearm illegal.

The Court unanimously held that the defendant was erroneously sentenced nearly 10 years ago when the trial judge gave him a 20 year sentence by illegally doubling his sentence. The issue of the legality of the defendant’s sentence was resurrected after Mr. Weaver’s win on the same issue in the Court of Appeals in State v. Clark (see below).

11 criminal offenses were reversed, first by the Court of Appeals, and then by a unanimous Supreme Court, because the trial judge erroneously instructed the jury on an essential element of the offense. Prior to the retrial, he pled guilty to one misdemeanor offense with no additional penalty.

The Supreme Court held that an earlier decision, Redmond v. Moore, which held that an administrative hearing is required before the Department of Licensing suspends a person’s driver’s license, does not apply when the suspension is the result of a criminal conviction.

Defendant was a 17-year-old young man who got into a knife fight with another young man. He was tried as an adult, not as a juvenile. The Supreme Court, in a 9-0 decision, held that he should have been tried as a juvenile. The case was eventually dismissed.

Defendant was tried and convicted of DUI. Washington law makes it illegal to have an alcohol concentration of .08 or more “within two hours of driving.” The Supreme Court addressed who should have the burden of proving what the alcohol concentration was at the time of driving when there is evidence that the person consumed alcohol after driving.

After pleading guilty to a drug offense, the defendant tried to withdraw his guilty plea by arguing that he was not properly advised of the probation requirements. The Court ultimately concluded that he was sufficiently advised.

After completing his sentence for a burglary and being released, the prosecutor discovered additional criminal history for the defendant. The trial court resentenced him and sent his back to prison. The Supreme Court, in a 9-0 decision, held that the resentencing was improper because there was no evidence the defendant lied about his criminal history.

The defendant was a Native American charged and convicted in state court of child molestation. On appeal, he argued that the state did not have jurisdiction. The Supreme Court held that jurisdiction was properly in state court.

The defendant, a juvenile, was charged and convicted of multiple offenses. He argued that he should not be sentenced for all of them because they constituted the “same act or omission.” The Supreme Court agreed and reduced his sentence in half.

Holding that petitioner was eligible to restore his firearm rights after he had been in the community for five years without having a disqualifying offense.

The Court of Appeals reviewed whether the defendant’s right to a speedy trial was violated when his trial was held 321 days after arraignment.

The Court determined when a person is properly convicted of using drug paraphernalia.

Although the Court of Appeals agreed that the jury instructions in this sex offense were flawed, the Court held that the flaw was harmless.

Sometimes persistence wins out. It took nearly five years, three Court of Appeal decisions (one of them is unpublished), and one Supreme Court decision, but Mr. Weaver finally convinced the Court of Appeals that Mr. Van Buren’s sentence of ten years for sexual assault was five years more than the law allows.

Defendant was charged with attempting to rape his sister, robbing her of her car keys and stealing her car. He claimed he did not know intend to do it because he was coming down off of a drug binge. The jury convicted. The Court of Appeals ordered a new trial because the judge did not properly admit evidence of his history with drugs.

Sentenced to twenty years in prison for drug trafficking, the defendant argued that his sentence exceeded the legally permissible sentence. The Court of Appeals agreed and ordered a new sentence. At his re-sentencing, he received 149 months (12-1/2 years), the least allowed by law.

The Court of Appeals held for the first time that when police execute a search warrant of your house and you are present, you have the right to see a copy of the warrant promptly after the search starts.

The prosecutor agreed to recommend a sentence of 20 years in exchange for the defendant’s guilty plea to multiple sex offenses. But at sentencing, the prosecutor suggested that a sentence of much more was appropriate. The judge imposed 40 years. The Court of Appeals held that the prosecutor breached the plea agreement and ordered a new sentencing hearing. At the new sentencing hearing, the judge imposed the 20 years.

The defendant was charged with breaking into a home and holding up the occupants at gun point. He claimed they had arrested the wrong person. During jury selection, the judge did not allow all the jurors to be questioned. During deliberations, the jury sent the judge a note saying that one of the jurors was not fit to be a juror. This juror was one of the ones not questioned by the lawyers. The jury convicted. The Court of Appeals held that the judge should have allowed more time to question the jurors and ordered a new trial.

Charged with first degree assault for stabbing a man with a sword, the defendant went to trial and argued he was acting in self defense. One of the prosecutor’s key witnesses did not show up to trial but the prosecutor was allowed to introduce his testimony through the police officer. This violated the defendant’s right to cross-examine his accuser. In addition, the judge refused to remove a juror from the jury that should have been removed. Although originally sentence to nearly 8 years, the prosecutor agreed to a 6 month sentence after the Court of Appeals ordered a new trial.

The defendant was seen by a police officer walking with a girlfriend for about 2 to 3 seconds. The girlfriend had tried repeatedly to get the no contact order dismissed but the courts refused. The defendant claimed it was only a brief contact and unintentional. Although the Court agreed that a no contact order violation must be intentional, they held that there was sufficient evidence that the two of them were walking together.

When the defendant got into a fight with his wife, with whom he was living, he was charged with assault in violation of a no contact order, a felony. At trial, he argued that he was only arguing with his wife and there was insufficient evidence of an assault. The jury agreed and found him guilty of the lesser-included offense of misdemeanor violation of a no contact order. On appeal, the Court of Appeals found that the no contact order was not valid at the time of the fight and dismissed the case entirely. I represented the defendant both at the trial and on appeal.

Supreme Court

State v. Crumpton, 181 Wn.2d 252, 332 P.3d. 448 (2014)

Holding that, in the context of a sex offense, there is a presumption that DNA testing will be favorable to the defendant.

State v. Tracer, 173 Wn.2d 708, 272 P.3d 199 (2012)

Holding that the trial court’s selection of a special prosecutor created a conflict of interest.

State v. Eserjose, 171 Wn.2d 907, 259 P.3d 172 (2011)

Suspect’s confession was sufficiently attenuated from illegal arrest to be admissible.

State v. Sieyes, 168 Wn.2d 276, 225 P.3d 995 (2010)

Second Amendment right to bear arms is an important right recognized by both the United States and Washington Constitution.

State v. Roswell, 165 Wn.2d 186, 196 P.3d 705 (2008)

The Supreme Court held that the Constitution requires the State to prove in a single trial whether the defendant’s offense is a felony or misdemeanor.

State v. Williams, 158 Wn.2d 904, 148 P.3d 993 (2006) affirming on other grounds, 125 Wn.App. 335, 103 P.3d 1289 (2005).

Defendant was convicted of possessing a sawed off shotgun. He claimed that he did not know very much about firearms and did not know the shotgun was illegal. The Supreme Court held that a person cannot be convicted of this offense without knowledge of the characteristics that make the firearm illegal.

In re the PRP of Cruz, 157 Wn.2d 83 (2006)

The Court unanimously held that the defendant was erroneously sentenced nearly 10 years ago when the trial judge gave him a 20 year sentence by illegally doubling his sentence. The issue of the legality of the defendant’s sentence was resurrected after Mr. Weaver’s win on the same issue in the Court of Appeals in State v. Clark (see below).

State v. Jackman, 156 Wn.2d 736, 132 P.3d 136 (2006), affirming, 125 Wn.App.
552, 104 P.3d 686 (2004)

11 criminal offenses were reversed, first by the Court of Appeals, and then by a unanimous Supreme Court, because the trial judge erroneously instructed the jury on an essential element of the offense. Prior to the retrial, he pled guilty to one misdemeanor offense with no additional penalty.

Bremerton v. Hawkins, 155 Wn.2d 107, 117 P.3d 1132 (2005)

The Supreme Court held that an earlier decision, Redmond v. Moore, which held that an administrative hearing is required before the Department of Licensing suspends a person’s driver’s license, does not apply when the suspension is the result of a criminal conviction.

State v. Mora, 138 Wn.2d 43, 977 P.2d 564 (1999)

Defendant was a 17-year-old young man who got into a knife fight with another young man. He was tried as an adult, not as a juvenile. The Supreme Court, in a 9-0 decision, held that he should have been tried as a juvenile. The case was eventually dismissed.

State v. Robbins, 138 Wn.2d 486, 980 P.2d 725 (1999)

Defendant was tried and convicted of DUI. Washington law makes it illegal to have an alcohol concentration of .08 or more “within two hours of driving.” The Supreme Court addressed who should have the burden of proving what the alcohol concentration was at the time of driving when there is evidence that the person consumed alcohol after driving.

State v. Acevedo, 137 Wn.2d 179, 970 P.2d 299 (1999) reversing, 88 Wn.App. 232, 945 P.2d 225 (1997)

After pleading guilty to a drug offense, the defendant tried to withdraw his guilty plea by arguing that he was not properly advised of the probation requirements. The Court ultimately concluded that he was sufficiently advised.

State v. Hardesty, 129 Wn.2d 303, 915 P.2d 1080 (1996), affirming on other grounds, 78 Wn.App. 593, 897 P.2d 1282 (1995)

After completing his sentence for a burglary and being released, the prosecutor discovered additional criminal history for the defendant. The trial court resentenced him and sent his back to prison. The Supreme Court, in a 9-0 decision, held that the resentencing was improper because there was no evidence the defendant lied about his criminal history.

State v. L.J.M., 129 Wn.2d 386, 918 P.2d 898 (1996), reversing, 79 Wn.App. 133, 900 P.2d 1119 (1995)

The defendant was a Native American charged and convicted in state court of child molestation. On appeal, he argued that the state did not have jurisdiction. The Supreme Court held that jurisdiction was properly in state court.

State v. Contreras, 124 Wn.2d 741, 880 P.2d 1000 (1994)

The defendant, a juvenile, was charged and convicted of multiple offenses. He argued that he should not be sentenced for all of them because they constituted the “same act or omission.” The Supreme Court agreed and reduced his sentence in half.

Court of Appeals

Payseno v. Kitsap County, 186 Wn.App. 465, 346 P.3d 784 (2015)

Holding that petitioner was eligible to restore his firearm rights after he had been in the community for five years without having a disqualifying offense.

State v. Lackey, 153 Wn.App. 791, 223 P.3d 1215 (2009)

The Court of Appeals reviewed whether the defendant’s right to a speedy trial was violated when his trial was held 321 days after arraignment.

State v. O’Meara, 143 Wn.App. 638, 180 P.3d 196 (2008)

The Court determined when a person is properly convicted of using drug paraphernalia.

State v. Zimmerman, 135 Wn. App. 970, 146 P.3d 1224 (2007), affirming on other grounds, 130 Wn.App. 170, 121 P.3d 1216 (2005)

Although the Court of Appeals agreed that the jury instructions in this sex offense were flawed, the Court held that the flaw was harmless.

State v. Van Buren, 136 Wn. App. 577, 150 P.3d 597 (2007), on remand from 154 Wn.2d 1032 (2005), reversing 123 Wn.App. 634, 98 P.3d 1235 (2004)

Sometimes persistence wins out. It took nearly five years, three Court of Appeal decisions (one of them is unpublished), and one Supreme Court decision, but Mr. Weaver finally convinced the Court of Appeals that Mr. Van Buren’s sentence of ten years for sexual assault was five years more than the law allows.

State v. Acosta, 123 Wn.App. 424, 98 P.3d 503 (2004)

Defendant was charged with attempting to rape his sister, robbing her of her car keys and stealing her car. He claimed he did not know intend to do it because he was coming down off of a drug binge. The jury convicted. The Court of Appeals ordered a new trial because the judge did not properly admit evidence of his history with drugs.

State v. Clark, 121 Wn.App. 1075, 94 P.3d 335 (2004)

Sentenced to twenty years in prison for drug trafficking, the defendant argued that his sentence exceeded the legally permissible sentence. The Court of Appeals agreed and ordered a new sentence. At his re-sentencing, he received 149 months (12-1/2 years), the least allowed by law.

State v. Aase, 121 Wn.App. 558, 89 P.3d 721 (2004)

The Court of Appeals held for the first time that when police execute a search warrant of your house and you are present, you have the right to see a copy of the warrant promptly after the search starts.

State v. Xavier, 117 Wn.App. 196, 69 P.3d 901 (2003)

The prosecutor agreed to recommend a sentence of 20 years in exchange for the defendant’s guilty plea to multiple sex offenses. But at sentencing, the prosecutor suggested that a sentence of much more was appropriate. The judge imposed 40 years. The Court of Appeals held that the prosecutor breached the plea agreement and ordered a new sentencing hearing. At the new sentencing hearing, the judge imposed the 20 years.

State v. Brady, 116 Wn.App. 143, 64 P.3d 1258 (2003)

The defendant was charged with breaking into a home and holding up the occupants at gun point. He claimed they had arrested the wrong person. During jury selection, the judge did not allow all the jurors to be questioned. During deliberations, the jury sent the judge a note saying that one of the jurors was not fit to be a juror. This juror was one of the ones not questioned by the lawyers. The jury convicted. The Court of Appeals held that the judge should have allowed more time to question the jurors and ordered a new trial.

State v. Bird, 136 Wn. App. 127, 148 P.3d 1058 (2006)

Charged with first degree assault for stabbing a man with a sword, the defendant went to trial and argued he was acting in self defense. One of the prosecutor’s key witnesses did not show up to trial but the prosecutor was allowed to introduce his testimony through the police officer. This violated the defendant’s right to cross-examine his accuser. In addition, the judge refused to remove a juror from the jury that should have been removed. Although originally sentence to nearly 8 years, the prosecutor agreed to a 6 month sentence after the Court of Appeals ordered a new trial.

State v. Sisemore, 114 Wn.App. 75, 55 P.3d 1178 (2002)

The defendant was seen by a police officer walking with a girlfriend for about 2 to 3 seconds. The girlfriend had tried repeatedly to get the no contact order dismissed but the courts refused. The defendant claimed it was only a brief contact and unintentional. Although the Court agreed that a no contact order violation must be intentional, they held that there was sufficient evidence that the two of them were walking together.

State v. Marking, 100 Wn.App. 506, review denied, 141 Wn.2d 1026 (2000)

When the defendant got into a fight with his wife, with whom he was living, he was charged with assault in violation of a no contact order, a felony. At trial, he argued that he was only arguing with his wife and there was insufficient evidence of an assault. The jury agreed and found him guilty of the lesser-included offense of misdemeanor violation of a no contact order. On appeal, the Court of Appeals found that the no contact order was not valid at the time of the fight and dismissed the case entirely. I represented the defendant both at the trial and on appeal.