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Know Your Rights!

At the Law Offices of Brian Chase, PLLC, we want you to know your rights. If you are taken in for questioning, or interrogated by the police, you should ALWAYS request an attorney. Even if you did nothing and are innocent of the crime(s) being investigated, you should ALWAYS have an attorney present to make sure your rights are protected and treated fairly.


Do Not Speak with Anyone without Consulting an Attorney - Contrary to popular belief, innocent people do go to jail. Regardless if police investigators act friendly or adversely, they are out to solve a crime, and if they believe you are a potential suspect, they will use any device or say anything to coerce incriminating evidence from you. An experienced criminal defense attorney can protect your rights and advise you to answer or refrain from answering questions


Remember, anything you say can and WILL BE used against you. Contact us for a FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION to represent your legal interests and constitutional rights.


Washington state has some of the nation's toughest DUI laws. Once you are arrested for a DUI, you face two completely separate tribunals, the Department of Licensing and the Criminal Court. With few exceptions, what happens in one will not affect the other. For example: If you have your case reduced from DUI to the lesser charge of Negligent Driving in the First Degree, or even if the criminal case is completely dismissed, you will still have to defend yourself at the Department of Licensing hearing in an administrative license suspension proceeding to keep your license from being suspended.


In most cases, the police officer should give you a DOL Hearing Request Form at the time of your release from custody. You must request a DOL hearing by completing and sending the DOL Hearing Request Form to DOL within 30 days of your arrest, along with DOL's required hearing request fee. If you do not, in most cases, your license will be automatically suspended!


If you had a valid license when you were stopped for DUI, you will be able to continue to drive pending the outcome of your DOL hearing or the criminal court, assuming that the necessary steps are taken to defend both of these actions.


Therefore, requesting your DOL hearing needs to be at the top of your list of things to do. Please contact our office for a FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION for details regarding this important step. Strategy is everything!



The DOL hearing will usually be administered over the phone between a Department of Licensing hearing examiner and you and your attorney. Special requests need to be made and approved to obtain an in-person hearing, to subpoena officers and for interpreters or experts if applicable. Live testimony may be given. Your hearing will be held within 60 days of your arrest unless the matter is continued by your attorney. Since the DOL is a creature of the civil end of the law, the burden of proof that they bear is much less than in the criminal court.


Arguments for the defense need to be very compelling to succeed. You can represent yourself, but remember that the DOL hearing examiner on the other end of the phone is usually a trained lawyer who in many cases acts as both the prosecutor and judge.


You will either be given a ruling at the time of the hearing or receive notice by mail at a later date. If your license is suspended by the DOL, do not drive. Driving on a suspended license can have extremely harsh consequences. Contact us for a FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION.






We can help you understand the potential collateral consequences of a misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor conviction. Some individuals with professional certifications and licenses can lose their livelihood depending upon the nature of a conviction. The sentencing scheme for most misdemeanors or gross misdemeanors is typically found in the specific statute defining the crime. Many misdemeanors or gross misdemeanors provide for a minimum punishment. For example, a conviction for Possession of Marijuana Under Forty Grams or Use of Drug Paraphernalia require a minimum of one-day in jail or equivalent alternative to jail. If the crime is defined in the law as a misdemeanor, but fails to mention a specific punishment, then the maximum sentence is 90 days in jail. If the crime is defined as a gross misdemeanor, then the maximum sentence is 365 days in jail. However, often a criminal defense lawyer can convince a judge to not order any jail time, especially for some "first offense" misdemeanors or gross misdemeanors.


Frequently, it is appropriate for a criminal defense lawyer to negotiate a "plea-bargain" or reduction of an offense or compromise on the proposed punishment so as to avoid more serious consequences. Some crimes (such as theft) are known as "wobblers" and can be punished as felonies or misdemeanors.


In some situations, we can have your case dismissed (e.g., shoplifting, assault/battery, trespassing, etc.). For example, a "compromise of misdemeanor" may be possible. This permits a defendant to have a criminal proceeding permanently stayed or dismissed provided the victim of the crime appears before the judge (in person or by declaration) and acknowledges s/he has received full compensation for the "injury" and the court agrees to the compromise.


Some offenses (e.g., crimes caused by a defendant's alcohol or drug addiction, and etc.) may be eligible for "deferred sentence" or "diversion." These provisions permit a defendant who obtains a drug or alcohol evaluation and completes any recommended treatment to have the underlying criminal case dismissed after a period of time. However, if the defendant fails to successfully complete the treatment program or violates other terms of the "deferred sentence" or "diversion agreement", the court can convict the defendant and impose a jail sentence.


If someone is convicted of a misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor, the court will likely order a term of probation. If probation is ordered, it generally lasts for 1 to 2 years. However, for the offense of DUI, probation will last 5 years from date of your conviction. The court, in its discretion, could even order that any jail time be served on Electronic Home Monitoring, work crew, work release, or community service. And if the court imposes a fine, it can provide for an alternative sentence consisting of community service hours in lieu of a fine.



We can represent you if you want to petition a court to vacate and dismiss a conviction from a defendant's criminal history. This is called "expungment" or vacation of criminal conviction. In such cases, the defendant must have successfully completed the terms and conditions of the sentence and probation, paid all court imposed financial obligations, and the case must be closed for three years. The defendant must also establish that s/he has no other subsequent criminal convictions. Contact us for a FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION.


Felonies are the most serious offenses and require a vigorous criminal defense attorney to represent your interests in the Washington State court system. Washington state has three categories of felonies: Class C felonies, Class B felonies, and Class A felonies (Class A being the most serious and Class C being the least serious). An offender's score is calculated based on the defendant's past criminal history and is used to tabulate a defendant's sentencing range. While a judge is not bound to follow a prosecutor's recommendation as to sentencing, it is assumed the standard sentence range is an appropriate sentence, unless the judge makes a finding there are exceptional reasons to sentence a defendant outside the standard range. It is imperative to have an experienced Washington state criminal defense lawyer help navigate the accused through this legal maze. Unless specifically precluded by a statute (depending on the type of crime), a judge will order probation for a convicted felon. Among other things, the court may require the defendant, as a term and condition of probation, to serve local jail time, pay court ordered financial obligations, complete community service (if any), and pay restitution.


Unless specifically precluded by a statute (depending on the type of crime), a judge can sentence a convicted felon to a grant of probation. Among other things, the court may require the defendant, as a term and condition of probation, to serve local jail time, pay fines, complete community service and pay restitution.


If a defendant is sentenced to confinement on a felony, he or she may be sent to State Prison (if sentenced to more than 1 year) or to county jail (if sentenced to 1 year or less). In some limited situations, a defendant may be sentenced to a Drug Rehabilitation Center if the offender is addicted to drugs. A felony arrest and conviction can have extremely serious consequences in addition to just jail time. That's why it is important to choose a criminal defense lawyer with a proven record of handling these issues in Washington State. Contact us for a FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION.


Theft, Shoplifting & Burglary are Serious Offenses

Any criminal defense lawyer will tell you that theft related offenses in Washington State are called by many names. These names include theft, burglary, possession of stolen property, taking of a motor vehicle without permission, unlawful issuance of bank checks, embezzlement, extortion, fraud, etc. However, each of these offenses relates to conduct involving the "unauthorized control of another's property". Some of the offenses are charged depending upon the value of the items taken: (Theft 3 is less than $250.00); their location (e.g., residential burglary); how the theft is accomplished (e.g., extortion or forgery); the manner of theft (e.g., robbery); by relationship to the victim (e.g., embezzlement); or to the type of item stolen (e.g., vehicular theft, etc.).


At times an arrest will be made for theft when there was never any intent to steal. It may be that someone has their hands full and simply places an item in a pocket with every intention of paying for it. But, unfortunately, they simply forget to pay for the item and are arrested for shoplifting (i.e., theft). Theft is a crime of "moral turpitude" which may have far reaching ramifications, including denial of both employment and professional licenses, and immigration/deportation issues.


Also, one may be charged with theft without doing the actual taking of property, under "accomplice liability." Under "accomplice liability," prosecutors may charge each individual associated with a criminal act. We have been quite successful in these matters. In the appropriate circumstances, a "civil compromise" may be reached whereby the merchant will agree to drop all charges. Contact us for a FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION.


To preserve your right to beat the traffic ticket, you must request a contested hearing within a certain number of days from the date you were issued the ticket. Requesting a contested hearing will preserve all of your rights. Attorney Brian Chase offers a very high success rate in earning dismissals for clients who received a speeding ticket, failure to stop at a stop sign ticket, and many other types of traffic tickets.


Under Washington state law, every traffic ticket you get has the potential to affect your driver's license adversely. Each traffic ticket places you at greater risk of losing your driving privileges (e.g., habitual traffic offender). Contact us to hire a lawyer who will work hard for you and will pursue the best possible outcome.


Traffic Violation and Speeding Ticket Defense

You have the right to challenge the validity of a traffic ticket. By examining factors like the accuracy of radar detector readings and the officer's report, Brian Chase will thoroughly analyze each part of the case against you. If you received a speeding ticket, you need an experienced traffic violation and speeding ticket attorney to stand up for your rights. You can beat a traffic ticket. Most times, the prosecution is unable to meet its burden of proof. We have obtained dismissals for people pulled over for traffic violations throughout Central Washington, including speeding on I-90, Highway 2, Highway 97, Highway 28, Highway 17, Highway 281, and throughout the counties of Grant, Kittitas, Chelan, Douglas, and Adams.


Our lawyers concentrate on developing successful defenses for people charged with a variety of driving offenses like: 

  • Speeding tickets

  • Reckless driving (criminal)

  • Driving While License Suspended (criminal)

  • Operating without proof of insurance 

  • Failure to stop

  • Failure to yield

  • Illegal turn

  • All moving or non-moving violations


With years of experience, our firm will protect your driving privileges against suspension and revocation. If you have questions about traffic ticket defense, contact us for answers during a FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION. We defend people against traffic tickets throughout Grant, Kittitas, Chelan, Douglas, and Adams counties.


The criminal court process involves:


Arraignment: The arraignment hearing is mandatory in the State of Washington for all criminal cases. However, an arraignment may be waived only if you are charged with a misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor in district court, one of the charges is not a DUI or domestic violence crime, AND you hire an attorney before your arraignment date. If charged with a non-felony offense, your arraignment date will generally be given to you at the time of arrest on your citation or sent later by mail in the form of a summons. The arraignment hearing is held to advise accused persons of the charge(s) against them, their rights, to enter the defendant's plea, and to set any conditions of release pending the outcome of the proceedings. In most cases involving DUI's, it is important to retain counsel at the earliest possible opportunity. The attorney will be able to advise you prior to the arraignment about what to expect and how to avoid or reduce cumbersome conditions of release, which may include the imposition of bail. Also, your next court appearance date (the pretrial conference) will be set.


Pre-trial Conference: After your arraignment, you will then have one or more pretrial hearings. The time before and between pretrial hearings are when your attorney will investigate and gather information and evidence regarding your case. He will also present and discuss your case with the prosecutor. This is where the negotiations happen. Your attorney will negotiate the best resolution possible for you by pointing out any flaws in the State's case and presenting likely arguments that may be raised later through motions or at trial. If the parties can come to a favorable resolution, this is the time when cases are often resolved. If no resolution can be found, it is at the pretrial conference that motions will be filed and motion hearings scheduled, and dates for trial will be set.


Motions Hearing: If your attorney and the prosecutor cannot resolve your case at the pre-trial conference, your attorney may file motions to suppress evidence and/or to dismiss the case. Success or failure in a DUI and other criminal cases often depends on the motions briefed and filed by defense counsel. An effective motions practice is the cornerstone to every successful criminal defense attorney. A motion hearing usually takes place between 3 and 6 months from the commencement of your case.


Readiness Hearing: In some jurisdictions in the State of Washington, the readiness hearing and pretrial hearings are one-in-the-same. In most jurisdictions, the readiness hearing is held after the pretrial conference but shortly before trial. The readiness hearing is the last point at which negotiations may occur and the two parties have to answer whether or not they are ready to proceed to trial. Often, deals are struck and pleas negotiated right up to this point in the process.


Trial: You have the absolute right to a jury trial for all criminal cases. However, you also have the right to "waive" your right to a jury trial and have your case decided by a judge without a jury, unless the prosecutor has likewise filed a written request for jury trial. Both sides have the right to a jury trial in the State of Washington. A jury trial will usually last 1 to 3 days. A jury for misdemeanor and gross misdemeanor cases, like a DUI, will consist of 6 jurors. A jury for felony charges will consist of 12 jurors.


Plea: If you reach an agreement with the prosecutor, you will enter a plea of guilty to whatever more favorable reduced charge that your attorney was able to negotiate.


Sentencing: If you enter into a plea of guilty or are found guilty after a trial, the judge will impose a sentence. This sentence will vary depending upon the plea bargain, recommendations from the prosecutor, prior convictions and so on. The penalties can include: jail or prison time, electronic home monitoring, ignition interlock device, community service, fines and fees, restitution, treatment for substance abuse, and more. Your attorney can fully explain the likelihood of any of these penalties with regard to your particular case. Please contact our office for a FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION.


Learn More: Criminal Law


Contact an Experienced Criminal Law Defense Lawyer

For more information about your rights, the criminal process, or to schedule a FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION to discuss your criminal charges with an experienced criminal defense attorney, please call us at (509) 787-9000 or e-mail us. We always fight hard for you!


Quality Washington Family Law and Criminal Defense Representation

Law Offices of Brian Chase, PLLC

7 E Street SE (Quincy Valley Business Center)

Quincy, Washington 98848

Phone: (509) 787-9000 Fax: (509) 787-9040


DISCLAIMER: This site and any information contained herein is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter