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ISSAQUAH LAW GROUP

Issaquah Law Group: Experienced Counsel; Client Focus

PHILOSOPHY: Formed in 2014, Issaquah Law Group is a law firm with one focus: providing businesses and insurers with high quality legal representation with the responsiveness of a smaller firm. ILG was founded on the principle that strong client relationships are the key to successful legal representation and strong relationships are built upon clear and consistent communication. 

LITIGATION: We work closely with our clients to fully and accurately understand their goals, work collaboratively to formulate specific legal strategies, and execute the agreed plan of action utilizing methods most likely to result in the efficient and effective resolution of the matter. ILG attorneys have a broad base of litigation experience to draw on in all Federal and State courts from on-the-ground investigations to Supreme Court appeals in the areas of personal injury and wrongful death, product liability, commercial general liability, labor & employment, construction litigation, and catastrophic losses due to fire and explosion.

BUSINESS LAW: Rarely is the path from point A to point B a straight line, so our role in a business law practice is to find alternatives, devise workable strategies, and keep your business ideas, goals and objectives moving toward realization. ILG’s business attorneys help clients achieve their goals with respect to business formation, intellectual property, labor and employment, CAN-SPAM, copyright and trademark

COMMUNITY: In addition, the Lawyers at Issaquah Law Group remain active in the legal and civic community. A core commitment of our Issaquah Attorneys is community service. Our attorneys' civic involvement includes the King County Civil Rights Commission; the City of Issaquah Planning Policy Commission; the Northwest Screenwriters Guild, service as a pro tem judge. We live and work in the Pacific Northwest, and we aim to make it a better place.

In addition, through The Amateur Law Professor Blog and LinkedIn postings, we share pertinent opinions and decisions of the Washington State Supreme Court, as well as the pertinent opinions and decisions of the Washington State Courts of Appeal so that our clients can be as update to date on cutting legal issues as we are.

WA Legal Roundup

One new opinion out of the Supreme Court. It was a 9-0. This is a fairly big case for DUI Defense attorneys.

State v. Nguyen

In an opinion that shouldn't really come as a shock to anyone, the Washington Supreme Court held that physical control under the influence is a lesser included offense of driving under the influence. Nguyen was charged with DUI. She had partially pulled off the side of the road and had been drinking and using a stimulant (search incident to arrest revealed cocoaine). The State argued during trial that physical control was a lesser included.

The court first gave the test for determining lesser included:

First, each of the elements of the lesser offense must be a necessary element of the offense charged. Second, the evidence in the case must support an inference that the lesser crime was committed."  [State v. Workman, 90 Wn.2d 443, 447-48, 584 P.2d 382 (1978)].  As a threshold determination apart from the Workman test, the included offense must arise from the same act or transaction supporting the greater offense that is charged.  State v. Porter, 150 Wn.2d 732, 738-40, 82 P.3d 234 (2004).

Nguyen conceded that factually and legally it was included, but attempted to add a new prong: that the lesser included offense have a lesser penalty than the crime charged, a position adopted by other state. Physical Control and DUI both potentially carry the same penalties as gross misdemeanors. The court noted that, statutorily, RCW 10.61.006 provides only the legal and factual prongs, but not a lesser penalty prong. In addition, a treatise noted that states that adopted Washington's way of doing things were listed in a separate category from those that adopted the lesser penalty rationale.

The full holding is as follows:

There is no requirement under Washington law that an offense carry a potential penalty that is less than the charged crime in order to be an included offense for which a defendant may be convicted, even if not charged. We hold that being in physical control of a vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug in violation of RCW 46.61.504 is an included offense of DUI. We affirm the Court of Appeals and uphold Ms. Nguyen's conviction for this crime.

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