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Seattle to Vacate All Misdemeanor Marijuana Possession Convictions

February 8th, 2018 No comments

Seattle City Prosecutors will soon request the Seattle Municipal Court to vacate (remove) all misdemeanor marijuana possession convictions prosecuted by the City before marijuana was legalized in Washington State in December, 2012.

During a press conference today (02/08/2018) new Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes will announce the City’s plan to do this. Mayor Durkan believes this action will “bring restorative justice for the communities who have been disproportionately targeted by the criminal justice system and furthers the City’s commitment to eliminate racial disparities,” according to the Mayor’s press release.

Call Lynnwood / Shoreline Criminal Defense Attorney Paul Hanson at (425) 778-7339 for a free first consultation about getting a misdemeanor marijuana conviction vacated.

Lynnwood Criminal Defense Lawyer Paul Hanson

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Snohomish County DUI Case Won

January 16th, 2018 No comments

Recently I won a hard fought DUI trial in the Snohomish County District Court (Everett Division).

My client had become sleepy on his way home at night to Mill Creek after consuming several drinks earlier in Monroe. So he pulled safely of the roadway, parked his car, turned off the engine, and went fast asleep in the driver’s seat with the keys still in the ignition.

About three hours later, a passing sheriff’s deputy noticed the parked car, checked it out, and woke up my sleeping client. He then admitted to drinking earlier and failed the police sobriety tests. He was arrested and charged with DUI.

At trial, I argued successfully that this was really a Physical Control While Under the Influence case, and not a DUI, since there had been no driving for 3 hours. And that the RCW 46.61.504 (2) Physical Control defense of pulling safely off the roadway before being pursued by police, fully applied here. The Judge agreed and found the client Not Guilty of DUI.

Once again, this case shows how important it is to safely pull off the roadway and park whenever a driver starts to feel too intoxicated to drive safely.

Lynnwood DUI Lawyer Paul Hanson Wins DUI case in Snohomish County


Drivers holding a phone behind the wheel will face a $136 ticket

January 4th, 2018 No comments

The grace period for Washington"s distracted driving law ended January 1st. Washington State Patrol (WSP) troopers will now start ticketing all drivers caught talking, texting, or even holding their phones in the car. The first offense will cost drivers $136. A second ticket will cost $234. These offenses are reportable to insurance companies, which could raise rates like any other moving violation.

Plus, another section of the new law also says a person who engages in “any activity not related to the actual operation of a motor vehicle" — like eating or putting on makeup — is subject to pay an additional fine of $99. However it is a secondary offense and only applies if an officer catches a driver being distracted while committing a standard traffic offense, such as running a stop sign because their coffee spilled.

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HOV Violators Being Targeted in Snohomish County

December 12th, 2017 No comments

The Washington State Patrol (WSP) is cracking down on HOV (High Occupancy Vehicle, i.e. Carpool) Lane violations. In just 3 days the WSP pulled over and ticketed 187 drivers in Snohomish County alone. Driving in an HOV lane without a passenger is $124 ticket and can cause your insurance rates to increase. 

Washington State HOV Sign

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Mobile DUI Command Center is Now Assisting The Holiday DUI Emphasis Patrols

November 30th, 2017 No comments


The Impaired Driving Section of the Washington State Patrol (WSP) has deployed its Mobile Impaired Driving Unit (MIDU). This deployment is in support of the DUI emphasis kicking off the holiday season.


The MIDU is a self-contained 36 foot motor home that has been retrofitted as a mobile DUI processing center and incident command post. The MIDU is equipped with three breath testing instruments, two temporary holding cells, three computer work stations, an incident command computer terminal, a dispatcher console with wireless access to WSP dispatch centers and a microwave downlink tower for real time broadcasts from WSP aircraft. This is a full service police station on wheels.


This will allow the WSP and local law enforcement to process DUI defendants much quicker, getting each trooper / officer back out on the road faster.


Additional troopers and other law enforcement agencies will be out on the roads this holiday season looking for impaired drivers.


Over 5,000 Distracted Drivers Stopped Since New Laws Began

November 21st, 2017 No comments

Since last July 2017 when Washington State started enforcing stricter distracted driving laws, WSP Troopers have stopped 5,083 drivers for operating a vehicle and holding an electronic device at the same time. That is just over 43 drivers per day. Of these 5,083 distracted drivers, only 770 received citations, with most only receiving a warning. However a WSP spokesman says the grace period of only getting a warning is almost up. WSP will soon ticket ALL distracted drivers. Fines start at $136 and can affect your car insurance rates.

New Illegal School Bus Passing Tickets

September 26th, 2017 No comments

On Monday October 2, 2017, the King County Sheriff’s Office will being issuing $419.00 tickets for illegally passing an unloading school bus. Exterior cameras have been put on 120 Seattle Public School buses. These cameras, similar to the school zone cameras, will get video of the illegally passing vehicle and its license plate. The vehicle’s registered owner will then get the ticket who may or may not be the actual driver.


Call Lynnwood / Shoreline traffic lawyer Paul Hanson for more information. 425-778-7339


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Tickets for Not Stopping for School Buses

September 5th, 2017 No comments

When do you stop for a school bus? Get it wrong and you could get a $430 ticket in Washington State. Many drivers get it wrong on two lane roads. If you"re driving on a two lane road, cars coming from both directions must stop when the school bus puts out its stop signal or has red lights flashing.

If you"re on a road with three or more lanes, you need to stop if you"re traveling in the same direction as the bus. If you"re traveling in the opposite direction, you can keep going.

If you are on a road with a turn lane in the middle, cars going in the same direction should stop. Cars going the opposite direction do not need to stop.

If there is a median or an island between the opposing directions, traffic going the same direction as the bus needs to stop. Opposing traffic does not.

You are not allowed to resume driving until the red lights stop flashing and the stop bar is retracted.

Remember that some school buses now have cameras that will catch you in the act. 

Call Lynnwood / Shoreline traffic ticket lawyer, Attorney Paul Hanson, for more information. Call (425) 778-7339



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Drunk, Drugs or High: It"s a DUI

August 29th, 2017 No comments

Extra DUI police patrols will hit King and Snohomish County roads starting Friday September 1st  to target those who get behind the wheel after having a few drinks or smoking too much marijuana.

This DUI emphasis patrol is aimed at encouraging everyone to get a safe ride, especially if alcohol, prescription or over-the-counter medicine, or other drug use might be causing any impairment. They will last throughout the Labor Day holiday weekend.

During the 2015 Labor Day weekend, the WSP made 146 DUI arrests and stopped 4,859 drivers for speeding. During the same time period, troopers responded to 277 collisions.

These extra DUI patrols are part of the Target Zero Task Force which strives to end all traffic deaths and serious injuries in Washington by 2030. For more information, visit


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Other New State Laws Starting Sunday, July 23rd

July 22nd, 2017 No comments

Other new laws that take effect Sunday:

—Prosecutors will be able to file felony charges if a person gets a fourth DUI within 10 years. Under the new law, offenders would be sent to prison for 13 to 17 months, rather than serve shorter sentences in county jails.

—Courts will be allowed to issue permanent protection orders for victims of sexual assault. Currently, victims of sexual assault can only be granted a protection order for up to two years, which means they must reappear in court to repetition for a new order. Under the new law, those orders can now be made permanent. In cases where a permanent order isn"t issued, under this new measure the courts will grant a renewal of the order unless perpetrators can prove they are no longer a threat to the victim.

—Creation of a new crime of theft involving a vulnerable adult any person 18 years or older who is clearly mentally or physically unable to care for himself or herself or suffers from a cognitive impairment. The new statute ranks the crime at a higher seriousness level of theft.

—Expansion of education program for inmates. A new law authorizes the state Department of Corrections to partner with community and technical colleges to provide associate degree programs, expanding existing programs at the state"s prisons that provide basic education and job training. Priority for the programs would be given to inmates within five years of release. Those serving sentences of life without parole, or who are on death row, are ineligible.

—It will be illegal for a person to leave a dog tethered for a reckless period of time without providing him or her with adequate access to food, water and shelter. Dogs must also be placed in a safe and sanitary area that protects them from excessive heat or cold.

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