Sunday, January 29, 2012

Another NFL DUI...


See the best San Francisco 49ers action, or check out your favorite NFL team here.
San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith was charged Saturday with driving under the influence in Miami Beach.

Miami-Dade County jail records show Smith was booked Saturday morning and held on $1,000 bond. Jail records did not show whether Smith was represented by an attorney.

A Miami-Dade County Corrections spokeswoman said Smith was arrested by Miami Beach police. A police spokesman said he had no information immediately available about the arrest.

Smith was drafted as the seventh overall draft pick in 2011. During his first season, he had 14 sacks, a franchise record for a rookie linebacker. He also ranked first in the NFL in sacks among rookies.

The 49ers said in a statement Saturday that they were aware of the arrest.

''We take these issues very seriously, but will reserve further comment at this time, as this is an ongoing legal matter,'' the team said. ''The 49ers will continue to gather the facts and monitor the developments closely.''

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Even Miss USA doesn't get a pass on DUI - always get an attorney!

The Michigan beauty queen who made history two years ago by becoming the first Arab-American crowned Miss USA has since been dealing with some legal woes.

Last year, Rima Fakih faced unflattering headlines when she was arrested for drunk driving in Detroit's Highland Park. And although the brunette beauty had been giving everyone the silent treatment about what the deal was with her DUI charges and upcoming court date, she has now changed her mind and decided to discuss her recent situation with E! News.

MORE: Ex-Miss USA Rima Fakih Gives Silent Treatment at DUI Court Date

"I went out with some old friends and we were having fun. A couple of them were very intoxicated. When I went to leave, I refused to let them drive. So when I got pulled over, I was the driver. The police said that I said I was Miss USA. I don't even tell the TSA at the airport who I am so why would I say that to the police? It was upsetting to me what the police were doing. I do like to have fun [but] I don't need alcohol to have fun," Fakih said.

Fakih said authorities were "nice at first" despite her driving a drunk friend's car. However, when they discovered a bottle in the back of the car, they asked Fakih to step out and get on the sidewalk.

"I have a clean record, always been an honor student," she said. "I was very embarrassed and scared. I told the cops please just make sure that my friend gets home safe. He was highly intoxicated."

MORE: Miss USA + DUI + Missing Tweet = Big Headache for Ex-Beauty Queen Rima Fakih

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Fakih tells us that after the arrest, she did send out a tweet on Twitter saying, "Let's clear things up now. ... I'm NOT in Michigan and I'm NOT in jail! Wrong Fakih." But the tweets were removed soon after.

"I was afraid for my family and that this [the news of the arrest] could get to my family," Fakih said, explaining her false denial at the time. "It's a little tough when you have to think about your family. They're so proud of me, always have my back."

"It was a bad idea but it's too late anyway. It was everywhere in minutes. I apologize for that."

MORE: Miss Michigan Nabs the 2010 Miss USA Crown

According to police reports, on Dec. 3, 2011, Fakih was allegedly driving 60 mph in a 30 mph zone and weaving in and out of traffic before they pulled her over. Officers reportedly found an open bottle of champagne behind the driver's seat of the 2011 Jaguar.

Fakih appeared in court Wednesday in Highland Park to face the drunk driving charge and was told by the judge that a bench trial was set for March 13. She reportedly faces up to 93 days in prison if convicted, as well as court fees and fines.

Following her appearance in court, Rima tweeted, "They say "expect the worse." I say "Expect the best and even better will happen."

"I am ready to get it over with," Fakih said about the trial. "I wanted it to be handled this week but it wasn't. The judge is being extra hard on me, but I understand there are a lot of people looking up to me. I'm the type that doesn't mind challenges but I do want to be treated like a person."

Fakih thanked everyone for being supportive and "for anyone that is upset or sees me as a bad person, don't judge a book by its cover. Look deep inside and see I am a good person and I will always keep making them proud."

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Oral Robert's son arrested on suspicion of DUI

I went to Law School in Tulsa, so this has some relevance to me personally...

The son of late evangelist Oral Roberts and former president of Oral Roberts University was arrested early Tuesday on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol and speeding, authorities said.
Richard Roberts, 63, was stopped by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol just after midnight after a trooper observed him traveling at about 93 mph on a turnpike in his Mercedes-Benz sedan, according to an arrest report. The speed limit on the road is 65 mph, the report said.
The trooper "detected the strong odor of an alcoholic beverage about Roberts' breath and person," the report said, and Roberts failed field sobriety tests.
Roberts consented to a breath test, which showed his blood alcohol level at .11%, higher than the .08% limit for legal intoxication.
He was booked into the Tulsa County Jail. CNN affiliate KOTV in Tulsa said he posted bond and was released a few hours later.
Roberts was president of Oral Roberts University until 2007. Oral Roberts died in 2009.
Roberts appears on the television show "The Place for Miracles: Your Hour of Healing," according to the Oral Roberts Ministries website.
"Our prayers go out to Richard and Lindsay Roberts and their entire family as they face this life challenge," said Jeremy Burton, spokesman for Oral Roberts University. "May God's grace help them as they work toward healing."

Monday, January 23, 2012

Idaho Police Use Spike Strips to Stop Alleged Hit and Run Driver...

MERIDIAN -- A Meridian man is facing felony charges after a hit-and-run accident on Eagle Road Monday led to a police pursuit on Interstate 84, that finally ended when police deployed spike strips to stop the man's truck.
According to Meridian Police, it all started around 9:30 a.m. The driver of a silver 2005 Nissan pickup truck was southbound on Eagle Road near Fairview Avenue, when he crossed the centerline and hit a Chrysler 300 head-on, causing extensive damage to both vehicles.
Police say the driver, later identified as Stephen Sullivan, 54, of Meridian, failed to stop and continued toward the interstate. A Meridian Police officer in an unmarked patrol car spotted the truck heading eastbound on I-84 near Eagle Road. At that point, the officer followed the truck with lights and sirens on. Sullivan failed to stop and his truck drifted into the unmarked patrol car, causing some slight damage to the vehicle.
Boise Police assisted in the pursuit by deploying spike strips at I-84 and Cole Road. Sullivan's truck hit the spikes and then veered into jersey barriers, striking several construction signs. The truck finally came to a stop at I-84 and Orchard Street.
Police arrested Sullivan on felony charges of DUI, leaving the scene of an accident and eluding a police officer. He is believed to have been under the influence of prescription narcotics.
Sullivan was booked into the Ada County Jail.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

100 mph alleged DUI - wrong way driver...

TUMWATER, Wash. -- A woman who troopers say was "highly intoxicated" drove for 17 miles going the wrong way on Interstate 5 before she was finally stopped by troopers using spike strips early Tuesday.

Washington State Patrol Trooper Guy Gill said the 60-year-old woman got on I-5 near Tumwater going north in the southbound lanes.

Troopers followed her from the northbound lanes and tried flashing spotlights at her, but she didn't stop.

"At times she was reaching speeds over 100 mph," Gill said.

Troopers shut down the southbound lanes of I-5 in Tacoma to keep more drivers from heading into the woman's path. They then placed spike strips along the freeway near the main gate of Joint Base Lewis-McChord to bring the woman's car to a stop.

"We had several near-miss head-on collisions," Gill said. "It's amazing that we didn't have a collision at some point. Obviously no one going southbound is going to expect to see a vehicle coming northbound in their lane."

The woman was arrested for investigation of DUI and several other charges.

"She probably had no idea what was going on," Gill said.

Monday, January 9, 2012

This is unfortunate and will inevitably be charged as a Vehicular Homicide.

RIP to a legend!

Criminal defense attorney Tony Savage dead at 81
Well-known and much-respected criminal defense attorney Tony Savage died Tuesday at 81. Among his clients were Gary L. Ridgway, the Green River killer, and David Lewis Rice, murderer of four members of the Goldmark family in 1985.

By Jennifer Sullivan
Seattle Times staff reporter
Anthony "Tony" Savage may have lacked the schmooze of a big-city lawyer and the slick, headline-catching demeanor, but for 56 years the bearded bear of a man strode into courtrooms up and down the West Coast hell bent on giving everything he possibly could to defend mass murderers, rapists and dope smugglers.

In addition to his trial work, where prosecutors considered him a skilled opponent, Mr. Savage was a mentor to defense lawyers across the region. From the day he passed the bar exam in 1955 until recent weeks, when his terminal cancer left him weary and unable to speak, he dedicated his life to practicing law.

Mr. Savage died Tuesday (Jan. 3); he was 81.

Anthony Savage Jr. was a gigantic presence both in person — he was 6-foot-6 — and inside the courtroom, where he sat with his many infamous clients, among them Green River killer Gary L. Ridgway; David Lewis Rice, who murdered four members of the Goldmark family in 1985; and Charles Campbell, a convicted rapist who escaped from prison and killed both the woman who had testified against him and her 8-year-old daughter. Campbell was executed in 1994.

Mr. Savage vehemently opposed the death penalty and spent a large part of his career fighting it.

"He was just a 100 percent all-around guy. He never said an unkind word about anybody," said Senior U.S. District Court Judge Carolyn Dimmick. In the course of friendship of more than 50 years, Dimmick said, the only skeptical thing she ever heard Mr. Savage say about anyone was about Charles Campbell.

"He said, 'That was the only man who I looked in those eyes, and I didn't feel a thing for,' " she recalled. "He felt sympathy for every other defendant he had."

Bellevue attorney Stephen Hayne said that when he was assigned to handle the defense of Henry Grisby, a man accused of murdering three adults and two children in 1978, he rushed to Mr. Savage for help. Grisby and co-defendant Raymond Frazier had faced the death penalty, but were instead sentenced to life in prison.

"I was a young public defender and in no way qualified to try a death-penalty case. I was in a panic, and I had nowhere to turn, so I showed up in Tony's office and poured my heart out," Hayne recalled. After about a half-hour, Mr. Savage agreed to help try the case. "I don't think Clarence Darrow or F. Lee Bailey could carry Tony's briefcase. Those guys didn't have near the career or credentials of Tony Savage," he said.

In father's footsteps

Mr. Savage proudly followed his father, former U.S. Attorney Anthony Savage Sr., into the world of law. Savage Sr. would sometimes quietly stand in the back of courtrooms and watch his son, then a deputy King County prosecutor.

The Savage family hailed from North Seattle. Anthony Jr. was an Eagle Scout and graduate of Roosevelt High School. He went on to attend Wesleyan University in Connecticut and was a member of the football team, said retired King County District Court Judge Joel Rindal. Mr. Savage then went to law school at the University of Washington.

After getting his law degree from the UW, Mr. Savage worked at a downtown law firm handling civil cases. He joined the King County Prosecutor's Office in 1956, just a few months after Rindal. Within two years, Rindal was the chief criminal deputy prosecutor and Savage his right-hand man.

Though he was very good, Rindal said, prosecutorial work was tough for Mr. Savage because he had to push for the death penalty in several cases.

Judge Dimmick, who also was a deputy prosecutor at the time, said Mr. Savage was never bombastic.

"We used to call him the big Boy Scout because he was so low-key in prosecuting people," she said.

Jim Kempton, a longtime friend, said Mr. Savage was always popular with women because he behaved like a gentleman. He was also a fantastic dancer "who was light on his feet," Kempton said.

"Tony had a great sense of humor," Kempton said. "Nothing went over his head. He saw the light side of everything, he just had a lot of fun."

Private practice

After about six years in the Prosecutor's Office, Mr. Savage went into private practice with Judge Dimmick's husband, at the firm Dimmick, Samson and Savage. Mr. Savage handled mostly criminal defense work.

A few years later, he moved to the firm Kempton shared with attorney Dave Gossard. He was there for more than 20 years, Kempton said.

"He was unable to ask anyone for money; all of his clients were broke. I used to say that if a defendant didn't have the $25 filing fee for the Public Defender's Office, they sent them to Tony Savage," Kempton recalled.

It was as a defense lawyer that Mr. Savage's courtroom skills won renown. He had a gift for catching a liar on the witness stand and was known for keeping juries on the edge of their seats.

"He would, on cross-examination, build a fence around a witness and leave them no room for escape. Tony was just extraordinarily skillful at fencing people in," said Hayne. "He would get up and ask a question and get closer and closer and closer to the witness. The guy was an amazing trial lawyer, he would turn the prosecution's case on its head."

Court of Appeals Judge Anne Ellington said that when she was a young King County Superior Court judge in the 1980s, Mr. Savage paid her a compliment in the press, and she immediately called his office and, as a joke, asked him to marry her. He accepted, and their joke continued; the two often called each other's offices asking for their fiancé.

"Lawyers have some room for melodrama in cases, and they tend to take advantage of that. But that was never Tony's way," Judge Ellington said. "If Tony rose from behind the counsel table, he had something to say. If he approached the bench, he lumbered up, which was especially the case in recent years."

Mr. Savage's slow movements won him a nickname among judges: "the wounded buffalo," Ellington said.

Judge Dimmick said that when Mr. Savage tried a case in her courtroom, jurors were out for several hours deliberating. One panel later told her that they had no question about the defendant's guilt, but they wanted to stay in the deliberation room because they didn't want to disappoint Mr. Savage.

King County Superior Court Judge William Downing said that Mr. Savage was always "the paragon of integrity"; he exhibited outstanding legal skills and was simply a delight to be around."

"I have been in the court system 35 years and there's nobody for whom I have the admiration and affection that I have for Tony," said Downing, who prosecuted the Goldmark case. "Tony had a unique gift for being able to figure out the vulnerability of a prosecutor's case. I think he must have had a photographic memory. He never gave the impression that he worked hard."

The courtroom consumed every aspect of Mr. Savage's life, until he married his now-deceased wife, Barbara, in the 1980s. The couple lived in Edmonds.

Jail stint

Mr. Savage spent some time on the other side of the jail-cell door when he was sentenced to a month for not paying his taxes. Judge Dimmick said she and other friends tried to get him to pay his taxes, and he promised to get around to it eventually.

"Tony was a great procrastinator, as most lawyers are," Kempton said.

As Mr. Savage grew older and as his friends retired, he remained as dedicated as ever to work. Even ill, he could be found in his office every day until last week.

Colleagues and friends tried to host parties for him and even surprise him with Champagne in his office, but he refused. When a group of King County Superior Court judges, defense lawyers and the Prosecutor's Office tried to coax Savage into court to give him an award honoring his legal career, he refused. The Prosecutor's Office set up a video camera in a conference room, asking people who knew him to say a few nice words for a video to be delivered to him.

Toward the end, he hunkered down at home and told friends they could see him one by one. Though he couldn't talk he remained as funny as ever, writing out statements on pieces of paper complaining about "too much undeserved hoopla and praise."

"I have always thought that I had a pretty good grip over who I was and what I was doing," Mr. Savage wrote in a recent note shared by Hayne. "If everybody wanted to get together, have a few drinks and tell stories about when I went to jail, got my ass kicked by the WSBA (the state Bar Association), etc. That would be enough."

Mr. Savage was preceded in death by his wife. He is survived by a sister, Margaret Savage, of Shaw Island, and a sister-in-law, Margaret Vance Savage, of Edmonds. He is also survived by granddaughter, Adelle Chisholm, of Little Falls, Minn; grandson Quentin Starin, of Crystal, Minn;. and a great-grandson.

At his request, no services are planned.

Jennifer Sullivan: 206-464-8294 or On Twitter @SeattleSullivan.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

This was not smart and thankfully wasn't deadly!

Dad gets DWI after picking up kids at daycare!

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Jan. 3, 2012: Christian Damon Derek Stoner, 40, is charged with third-degree DWI and refusing an alcohol test after he was stopped Tuesday in Minnesota.
A Minnesota father of two has been charged with third-degree DWI after he was stopped on Tuesday after picking his children up from daycare, MyFoxTwinCities reports.
According to the criminal complaint, Christian Damon Derek Stoner, 40, also refused an alcohol test when officers found him sitting in his car, with his 5-year-old son in the passenger seat and his one-year-old daughter in her car seat.
The boy knocked on a neighbor’s door in St. Paul to ask for help after his dad tried driving while extremely drunk, according to criminal charges filed Wednesday. 
The boy said his dad was "pulling over in random places," after picking them up from daycare, MyFoxTwinCities reports.
The criminal complaint said both kids were crying and hungry when police arrived around 6:30 p.m.
Stoner wasn’t wearing shoes and nearly fell down in the road when police took him out of the car. He registered a 0.289 BAC – more than three times the legal limit.
Click here to read more on this story from MyFoxTwinCities.  
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Friday, January 6, 2012

How to pick the right DUI attorney?

Facing a Driving Under the Influence (DUI) charge in Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Lynnwood, Tacoma, Everett or anywhere in Washington State is an extremely intimidating and fearful proposition. DUI arrests in Washington are increasingly prevalent and numerous persons are even being charged with DUI when their Breath Alcohol Concentration (BAC) is below .08. Many municipalities have even instituted police patrols labeled "DUI Squads" to address drinking and driving within their communities.

If you have been arrested for DUI in Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Lynnwood, Redmond or anywhere in Washington State, it is important that you retain knowledgeable, skilled, and experienced representation. That being said, one of the most difficult challenges you initially face is the prospect of locating and selecting a "DUI" attorney from within the gamut of websites and phone book solicitations. It may be uncomfortable to candidly ask for assistance from family and friends in your efforts to locate a skilled DUI attorney and you may feel it is necessary to initiate a search on your own using the internet or many phone book advertisements. Keep in mind, however, if you have been referred to an attorney who primarily practices DUI law, that may be a highly significant factor in assessing the skill, experience, and reputation of the particular attorney or firm and is something you should take into consideration when deciding who to retain.

Of course, one of the many pieces of information you want to gather from the attorney or firm is the number of DUI cases they have handled and their familiarity with the numerous statutes and administrative codes in Washington State. Another highly crucial piece of information you need to obtain is the attorney's knowledge of the BAC DataMaster (the "breathalyzer" used in Washington State) if you submitted to a test. You would also want to know that if you refused (or were alleged to have refused) a breath test how that would affect your liberty and driving privileges.

If you choose to search through websites and phone book ads regarding DUI representation in Washington State, it may be helpful to know that all lawyers are bound by a strict set of Rules of Professional Conduct (RPC) which govern appropriate advertising campaigns and limits. For example: RPC 7.1 states:

"A lawyer shall not make a false or misleading communication about the lawyer or the lawyer's services. A communication is false or misleading if it contains a material misrepresentation of fact or law, or omits a fact necessary to make the statement considered as a whole not materially misleading."

Furthermore, RPC 7.3 (a) states: A lawyer shall not directly or through a third person, by in-person, live telephone, or real-time electronic contact solicit professional employment from a prospective client when a significant motive for the lawyer's doing so is the lawyer's pecuniary gain...

So, certainly direct phone calls and email contact offering representation on your DUI charge is a violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct. Undoubtedly you may be concerned with the cost of DUI representation in Washington State, but take to heart these facts to put your hiring decision in perspective and keep these helpful tips in mind:

a) The lowest quoted fee/bid may not necessarily be in your best interest: the DataMaster ("breathalyzer" you may have blown in to) when originally introduced in Washington State was selected because its original manufacturer, Verax, underbid the competition by thirty percent even though the State Patrol's own research showed that another machine "performed superior to the rest." So, consider that the experience, skill, and knowledge of DUI laws and cases in Washington are how the attorney bases his or her fee.

b) A DUI conviction cannot be expunged in Washington (i.e. it will remain on your record).

c) You will be denied entry into Canada if you have a DUI conviction and will not be eligible to even apply for "rehabilitation" for entry into Canada until after 5 years have elapsed since all sentences related to the charge have been satisfied.

d) Reputation is key: prosecutors, judges and even Washington State Troopers and Police Officers who respect an attorney or firm can go a long way when deciding on whom to hire. So ask a judge, police officer or other attorney what they think of the DUI attorney you are considering retaining; who better to ask for a referral.

This is your decision, your life and liberty at stake and you need to take the time to consider the many factors which can affect your choice. If you have questions about a DUI arrest, feel free to contact Nathan Webb for a consultation.

Lakewood Officer Arrested for DUI - DUI can happen to anyone!

The Washington State Patrol in Thurston County arrested Lakewood Police Officer Shawn Noble for suspicion of driving while under the influence on Oct. 22 at 12:57 a.m., said Lakewood Police Lt. Chris Lawler. A Lakewood Police internal investigation has been launched into the criminal case where Noble, 30, was stopped for speeding and an improper lane change while off duty driving his personal vehicle. Noble was given a breath test and the results were a sample of .099 and .098. The legal limit in Washington state is .08. There are no restrictions, Lawler said, currently on Officer Noble's driving status that prevents him from performing his duties as a Lakewood Police Officer.