FAQ

It is my job to ensure that my clients have a clear understanding of what to expect when facing any type of criminal charges. I am dedicated to answering any questions that you might have. The following is a brief list of commonly asked questions. Please call my office at (360) 493-2600 for more information regarding any charges that you might be facing or questions regarding my services.

“Will my case go to trial?”

I get asked this a lot, often in my first contact with clients. The answer is, “possibly,” and every case is different. For starters, you have a constitutional right to trial, in other words, to force the state to prove the charges against you. The decision to go or not go to trial though, should be made only after hearing the advice of an experienced trial lawyer who has evaluated your case. Obviously, efforts to dismiss the case or secure a favorable plea bargain should be undertaken first according to what is acceptable to you. Each client has individualized needs and their attorney needs to keep those needs at the forefront during representation.

“Since my breath test was less than .08, I can’t be prosecuted for DUI, right?”

Actually, you still could be. Washington, as with most states, makes it illegal to drive, “under the influence.” This is a legal standard of impairment that is independent of the .08 law.

“If the witness doesn’t show up for trial, I can’t be found guilty, right?”

Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Lawyers look at this more broadly. When we look at witness availability, the real question is what evidence can still be presented despite witness unavailability? Sometimes critical evidence can come in from other sources and the case goes forward. Sometimes, however, the prosecution’s case or the defense case is severely effected by an absent witness and it’s a case breaker. It just depends on the case. Please avoid the temptation to influence someone to either testify or not testify at court, you will likely be breaking the law if you do that.

“Do I still have to go to court even if I have a lawyer?”

Yes, unlike civil cases where your lawyer can be at court alone, a defendant in a criminal case or, “respondent,” in a juvenile case is required to attend court unless the court has given permission in advance to not attend.

“What happens if I fail to appear in court?”

If the court believes you have received sufficient notice of the hearing, you run the risk of having a warrant issued for your arrest. If your case is in Superior Court, the prosecutor may charge you with the crime of, “bail jumping,” if you missed court after bailing out or you were released on your personal recognizance ( “PR”). “Bail jumping” is usually an additional felony charge on top of whatever is already charged. This can have serious consequences to your overall case.

Call the Law Office of David Lousteau at (360) 493-2600 to speak with a proven and dedicated criminal defense lawyer regarding your case.

The Law Office of David Lousteau

The Law Office of David Lousteau