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New 2016 Criminal Laws – Certificate of Restoration Opportunity created

May 19th, 2016 No comments

House Bill 2ESHB 1153, effective June 9, 2016 created a Certificate of Restoration of Opportunity (CROP) which certifies that a person convicted of a felony has been rehabilitated. It will open the door to obtaining Washington professional licensees required for jobs in teaching, financial services, and health care which are currently closed to those with felony records. No state, county of city licensing agency may now deny professional licenses to CROP applicants solely because of their criminal history. However, exceptions exist for law enforcement, law practice, and working with children, vulnerable adults and the mentally ill. Contact Lynnwood / Shoreline criminal defense attorney Paul Hanson for more details.

Lynnwood Criminal Defense Attorney

Lynnwood Criminal Defense Attorney

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Traffic Questions answered by WSP Trooper

February 29th, 2016 No comments

Click here to go to my facebook page, and check out King 5’s Q&A with WSP Trooper Heather Axtman regarding traffic law. Trooper Axtman answers everything from school zone laws, to carpool violations to slow drivers in the fast lane (that is a $136 ticket FYI). Check out the video, then call Lynnwood / Shoreline Traffic Lawyer Paul G. Hanson.

 

Lynnwood / Shoreline Traffic Attorney

Lynnwood / Shoreline Traffic Attorney

 

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New Texting While Driving Traffic Offense

February 17th, 2016 No comments

House Bill 2574 has been recently introduced in the 2016 Legislative session which would greatly restrict the current texting while driving offense. The proposed bill would bar any use of a mobile phone for data receipt or entry, even while stopped at stop signs or intersections. Only drivers  who pull completely off the roadway and stop would be exempt. Also exempt would be drivers over 18 using a hands free device and GPS devices.

Traffic Lawyers, Lynnwood, WA

Traffic Lawyers, Lynnwood, WA

Call Lynnwood traffic ticket attorney Paul Hanson for more information. (425) 778-7339 

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Washington State Wrongful Conviction Statute

December 30th, 2015 No comments

In 2013 Washington State enacted a wrongful conviction statute. RCW 4.100 streamlines the procedures for those wrongfully convicted to obtain compensation. The statute offers such persons $50,000 per year of incarceration, plus additional benefits, such as a tuition waiver at state colleges for themselves and their minor children. Call Lynnwood / Shoreline criminal defense lawyer Paul Hanson for more information.

Lynnwood Criminal Defense Attorney, Paul Hanson

Lynnwood Criminal Defense Attorney, Paul Hanson

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New Marijuana Laws

October 13th, 2015 No comments

As of September 26th it is illegal to have an open container of Marijuana in your vehicle. Just as an open container of alcohol is. Marijuana must be in its original sealed package and stored in the trunk of your car or behind the backseat. This law also extends to pot-infused edibles, like cookies and candies. Driving with an open container of marijuana is a traffic infraction, with a fine of $136.00.  The Washington Traffic Safety Commission pushed for the change so that the state’s rules governing marijuana would more closely resemble those for alcohol, which already prohibit unsealed or partially consumed containers of alcohol in the passenger cabin of a vehicle. 

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Tolling / HOV lane changes to I-405

August 18th, 2015 No comments

The Washington State Department of Transportation has released an animated video to help understand the new tolling / HOV lanes on I-405 from Lynnwood to Bellevue. As noted in the video it is illegal to change lanes with a double solid line and you can be ticketed. You can only legally change lanes with a dotted line to enter and exit these tolling / HOV lanes.  Attorney Paul Hanson handles HOV traffic violations as well as speeding tickets, improper lane change tickets and other traffic tickets.

 

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Boating Under the Influence “BUI”

July 29th, 2015 No comments

Washington State law has recently increased penalties for a BUI (Boating Under the Influence). A BUI is now a Gross Misdemeanor, and if you are convicted you can face up to $5,000 in fines and up to one year in jail.

Boat operators are held to the same standards as a motorist and can be charged with a BUI if their alcohol concentration is 0.08% or higher. And while there is no license suspension associated with a BUI charge, if the boat operator refuses a breath test, they are subject to a $1,000 civil penalty. A THC concentration (marijuana) of 5.0 or higher can result in a BUI charge as well.

A BUI conviction will count as a prior DUI charge in court.

With SeaFair this weekend, extra BUI and DUI patrols will be out in full force.

Lynnwood DUI Attorney Paul Hanson

Lynnwood DUI Attorney Paul Hanson

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Law Day 2015

June 9th, 2015 No comments

On Friday, June 5, 2015 I helped the local court present its annual Law Day presentation for over 800 fifth graders of the Edmonds School District. This was my 29th year doing this. It is a lot of work, but a labor of love. It has grown from 60 kids in 1987 to over 800+ kids now days. I organize the mock criminal jury trial presentation where the kids play the roles of Judge, Prosecutor, Defense Counsel, Bailiff and Jurors. Each “jury trial” lasts exactly 23 minutes. This year we had 5 Guilty verdicts, 5 Not Guilty verdicts and 2 Hung Juries. It was a lot of fun! And the judges provided free pizza afterwards to me and all the volunteer attorneys. 🙂

Law Day 3

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Proposed Lane Splitting in Washington

January 29th, 2015 No comments

Motorcyclists are pushing House Bill 1515, which would allow “lane splitting”. That would mean a motorcycle could drive in between cars when traffic was congested.

The proposed law says that traffic as a whole must be going no more than 35 miles per hour and the motorcycle could only go 10 mph over that.

The Washington State Patrol says the idea is dangerous. That the motorcyclist would be riding in an unsafe area that was not clearly marked to drive in. The WSP adds that any motorcycle crash, no matter what the speed, always results in a serious or fatal injury.

However motorcyclists are praising the idea, saying it is actually safer for them. That it will get them out of the back of the line in heavy traffic and potentially becoming the victim of a rear end collision.

 

Below is an image of lane splitting from the LA Times. Lane splitting is currently legal only in the State of California.

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Marijuana: What is legal, what is not

January 20th, 2015 No comments

Recreational Marijuana stores opened last summer all around Washington State. Please remember that while it is legal to purchase and smoke, it is still illegal to drive while intoxicated.
THC levels at greater than or equal to 5 nanograms per milliliter of blood is considered intoxicated and will result in a DUI charge.
Here is a link to the Washington State Liquor Control Board for some frequently asked questions regarding our new marijuana laws.

Below are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding the new Marijuana laws in our state.

Taken from the Washington State Liquor Control Board. 

 

Frequently Asked Questions about Implementing Initiative 502

Licenses

When can I buy marijuana legally?

The initiative allows the Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB) until December 1, 2013 to write the rules, or implementation details, of the new system. Because the WSLCB is building the system from seed to sale, it will likely take the full year to complete the rules.

What is a license? How do I get it? When can I get it

I-502 creates three separate tiers: marijuana producer, marijuana processor, and marijuana retailer. Specific license requirements are detailed in the rules which are available here. Presently the Board is not accepting license applications. The best way to keep up to date on the process is to register for email notifications on the WSLCB websitewww.liq.wa.gov.

How much does a license cost?

I-502 establishes a license application fee at $250 and a $1,000 renewal fee for each of the three licenses; marijuana producer, marijuana processor and marijuana retailer.

Can I hold all three license types?

Having all three licenses is not permitted under I-502. A licensee may hold both a producer and a processor license simultaneously. The initiative does not allow a producer to also be a retailer or a processor to also be a retailer.

How many retail licenses will be issued?

334 retail licenses will be issued. The number of retail locations was determined using a formula that distributes the number of locations proportionate to the most populous cities within each county. Locations not assigned to a specific city will be at large.

How many producer and processor licenses will be issued?

No limit. The LCB opened a 30 day window in November 2013 where anyone could apply, and qualified applicants will receive licenses.

With a limited amount of retail licenses how will you determine who will receive them?

WSLCB conducted a lottery to determine who received the retail licenses in areas that have more applications than available licenses. The lottery was conducted by independent parties, WSLCB staff did not participate.

Can a current farm just convert its crop to marijuana?

Converting a crop to marijuana would require a producer license and the farm would have to meet all of the guidelines set forth in the rules pertaining to outdoor growing.

Can I grow my own marijuana now? Can I sell my homegrown marijuana?

Home grown marijuana for recreational use, as well as sale, remains illegal. Recreational use marijuana must be purchased from a state-licensed retailer.

 

Retail Stores

Are there restrictions on where I can set up a store?

You cannot set up a store within 1000 feet of any elementary or secondary school, playground, recreation center or facility, child care center, public park, public transit center, library, or game arcade that allows minors to enter. Local authorities will also be notified and have an opportunity to object.

Will the retail outlets be run by the state?

Stores will be licensed and regulated by the WSLCB but will be private-sector businesses.

Can I incorporate marijuana sales into my existing business?

No. The initiative is clear that retail outlets may only sell marijuana, marijuana concentrates, marijuana infused products and marijuana paraphernalia.

Can customers consume in a retail store?

No. On-premise consumption is not allowed under Initiative 502.

Are there any restrictions on advertising?

Retailers are limited to one 1,600 square inch sign bearing their business/trade name. They cannot put products on display to the general public such as through window fronts. No licensee can advertise marijuana/infused product in any form or through any medium whatsoever within 1,000 ft. of school grounds, playgrounds, child care, public parks, libraries, or game arcades that allows minors to enter. Also, you can’t advertise on public transit vehicles/shelters or on any publicly owned or operated property.

Will non-Washington residents be able to purchase marijuana?

Yes, but the marijuana products are to be consumed in Washington.

 

Public Safety/Criminal

Note: The WSLCB is a licensing and regulatory agency and does not handle criminal prosecutions

What will the WSLCB do to ensure public safety, especially preventing access by minors?

Public safety is central to the WSLCB mission. As expected by the voters, the rules we create will include minimums for security, preventing minors’ access to marijuana and other provisions. Educating retailers and preventing minors access to alcohol is an important part of our enforcement work today. Something similar for marijuana sales is likely.

What is the DUI provision?

The initiative sets a per se DUI limit of “delta-9” THC levels at greater than or equal to 5 nanograms per milliliter of blood (5 ng/mL). State and local law enforcement agencies are tasked with enforcing the DUI limit.

Since it’s legal to possess marijuana Dec. 6, 2012, but there will not be licensed retailers from which to purchase it until 2014 can I still be arrested for possession?

I-502 decriminalizes marijuana possession and use in Washington State for those age 21 and older and who possess any combination of: one ounce of marijuana, 16 ounces of marijuana in solid form or 72 ounces in liquid form. The Seattle Police Department wrote an FAQ document that addresses how its officers will be handling marijuana possession going forward. Each jurisdiction may be handling it differently so it’s important to check with local law enforcement on how to proceed.

Can I still be drug tested now that marijuana is legal

I-502 does not address the topic of drug testing but it is our understanding that employers may still conduct drug testing at their discretion. Since marijuana is illegal under federal law institutions that receive federal funds will still be subject to mandated testing. Organizations such as the NFL and NBA have issued statements that marijuana consumption is a violation of their conduct policy and they intend to continue testing for it.

The initiative says I cannot consume marijuana in public. What is the definition of “in public?”

Initiative 502 states that it is unlawful to open/consume a package of marijuana or marijuana infused product in view of the general public.

Can marijuana purchased legally in Washington be transported to other states?

No. Marijuana and marijuana products are to be consumed in Washington State.

 

Federal Government

What is the federal government going to do?

On August 29, 2013 Attorney General Eric Holder called both Governors Jay Inslee and John Hickenlooper (Colorado) to outline the federal government’s guidance on legalized marijuana. That guidance was also outlined in a memo which focuses on eight points of federal emphasis such as youth access and public safety which the LCB’s proposed rules address. I-502’s regulatory system, and the rules written by the Board appears to meet those eight points. The memo does not change federal law. Governor Inslee’s office is maintaining an open dialogue with the federal government and the WSLCB is moving forward to carry out the expectations of the agency under the new law.

Since marijuana is legal in Washington can the federal government still prosecute me?

Yes. I-502 does not preempt federal law. Presently Washington State residents involved in marijuana production /retailing could still be subject to prosecution if the federal government chooses to do so.

Can the federal government confiscate my assets?

Yes. Confiscation of assets is one of the enforcement tactics available to federal authorities.

What about industrial hemp? Does this create a new market for hemp products?

No. I-502 is focused on legalizing the recreational use of marijuana. I-502 modifies the definition of “marijuana” to include only cannabis greater than 0.3 percent THC concentration. Cannabis under this limit – industrial hemp – is not treated as recreational “marijuana.”

 

WSLCB Hiring

How can I apply for a job with WSLCB?

All job openings will be posted in the careers section of our website. The actual application process is done throughCareers.wa.gov. Visit their website and fill out your profile in advance so you are ready when opportunities become available.

Does the WSLCB drug test new employees?

The WSLB does not drug test administrative staff at the time of hiring. However, we do test potential enforcement staff for drugs, including marijuana. The WSLCB is a drug-free workplace. All employees are expected to not be impaired at work. Should a reasonable suspicion arise that an employee is impaired, that person may be tested.

I’m an expert in the field of marijuana how can I be involved in the process?

Our rule-making system is a public process so we will be engaging citizens along the way. Like hiring, the best way to keep up to date on the process is to register for email notifications. We will be sending out timelines and requests for public comment using email.

 

Financial

How much tax revenue will I-502 generate?

Estimates range anywhere between $0 and $2 billion dollars during the first five years. Without knowing what the market will look like or what the federal reaction will be, it is not presently possible to accurately gauge the total amount of revenue produced.

How is it going to be taxed?

The initiative applies a 25% excise tax on each level of the system: producer to a processor, processor to a retailer, and retailer to the customer. In addition, B&O taxes on the production and local retail sales taxes apply.

I-502 tax rates are too high, can you lower them?

The tax structure for I-502 is prescriptive in the initiative and has become law with its passing. WSLCB officials do not have the authority to change the taxes that were voted for by the public. A change to the tax structure would have to come from the legislature. During the first two years a change to the initiative would require a two thirds majority.
 

Medical Marijuana

Note: I-502 does not address medical marijuana. The state does not currently license or regulate medical marijuana outlets. I-502 does not change how or where they operate.

Can medical marijuana patients continue to cooperatively grow?

I-502 is silent on medical marijuana.

Is it true that the WSLCB is just going to license current medical marijuana outlets to retail marijuana?

No. Retail licenses will be issued to qualified applicants who meet the licensing criteria. A medical marijuana outlet that wants to convert to a recreational outlet will have to go through the same application process as any other potential applicant. If they were to obtain a retail license they would only be allowed to sell marijuana purchased from the recreational system, they would not be allowed to comingle medical and recreational marijuana.

Where can I learn more about medical marijuana?

The Washington State Department of Health has information about medical marijuana on its website here.

Will the Washington State Liquor Control Board be changing its name?

Presently there are no plans to change the agency’s name. Any change would have to come from the state Legislature and that is a low priority at the moment.

 

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