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Criminal Law Archives


In an important new criminal law decision, The Court of Appeals of Washington reversed a conviction in a vehicular homicide case in State v. Imokawa. The court held that the jury instructions did not make it reasonably clear that the state had to disprove alternate causation of the accident which led to the fatal injury. I was co-counsel on appeal with the trial lawyer who tried the case.

Washington Supreme Court allows prosecution of 17 year old for Sexting

The Washington State Supreme Court recently filed an important criminal law decision (decided 6-3) which upheld the conviction of an autistic 17 year old who sent an unwanted "selfie" photo of his genitalia to a woman he was apparently trying to impress.

Washington Supreme Court Clarifies Criminal Law Burden of Proof

The Washington Supreme Court  decided State v. W.R. on October 30, 2014 and clarified the burden of proof in rape cases. The juvenile defendant  (W.R.) was charged with second degree rape. In a bench trial, since jury trials are not allowed in juvenile  court under Washington criminal law, the trial judge found W.R guilty of second degree rape. The defense had argued that the sexual intercourse between W. R. and another juvenile had been consensual. The trial court ruled that the defendant had not proven consent and that he had the burden to do so.