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Video – Attorney Spencer Freeman Explains How Washington State Prosecutors Get Two Gun Convictions From The Same Crime?

Video – Attorney Spencer Freeman Explains How Washington State Prosecutors Get Two Gun Convictions From The Same Crime?

Spencer Freeman – Criminal Defense Attorney – Pierce County, WA

“In the State of Washington, if you are charged with assault with a firearm, and that’s an actual specific subset of an assault first-degree, is an assault with a firearm, you can also be charged with the firearm enhancement. So, even though the firearm is an inherent part of the underlying crime, there’s an enhancement on top of it for committing the crime with the firearm.”

Ray Hrdlicka – Host – Attorneys.Media

“Isn’t it like, getting it both ways? The prosecutors getting it both ways?”

Spencer Freeman – Criminal Defense Attorney – Pierce County, WA

“It is. And it feels like it’s wrong. Unfortunately, the Washington State Supreme Court has said, that as these statutes are written, it’s constitutional. But is does feel like it’s double dipping. So, if somebody who’s involved in a drive-by shooting, or somebody that’s involved in a shooting at all, they are likely going to be charged with assault in the first degree, unless of course, they’ve killed somebody, and then they’re charged with murder. But they will also be charged with the sentencing enhancement. And that changes the landscape of the case significantly when you are talking about potential sentencing.”

Ray Hrdlicka – Host – Attorneys.Media

“Right. So, as we’ve talked about before, that the Washington DOC, the department of corrections, cannot give good time on that firearm enhancement.”

Spencer Freeman – Criminal Defense Attorney – Pierce County, WA

“Right. And it’s important, especially if you’re in a scenario where you’ve drawn your weapon in self-defense, and you have discharged it, and your belief is ‘self-defense’, but the prosecutors don’t think it was self-defense, and you’re going to go to trial, you’re looking at not only the assault first-degree as a potential, but also the firearm enhancement. I’ve had clients where, all of a sudden, they’re looking at 13 years, in a specific situation, where the gun was pulled in ‘self-defense’. The jury found against him, my client, with regards to the ‘self-defense’, and now they’re serving 13 years. Didn’t hit anybody.”

Ray Hrdlicka – Host – Attorneys.Media

“In this particular case, it was simply because the jury didn’t believe it was, obviously, drawn and discharged in ‘self-defense’?”

Spencer Freeman – Criminal Defense Attorney – Pierce County, WA

“That’s correct.”

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