Theft in the Third Degree
201609.11
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Theft in the Third Degree

Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to represent many wonderful people in horrible situations, and too many of them I’ve represented multiple times.  When I look back on the criminal history of these frequent flyers, it’s clear to me what criminal conviction turned them from law-abiding persons who made a mistake into life-long criminals….

Charged as a Juvenile
201605.17
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Charged as a Juvenile

The Juvenile Justice System is a strange subspecies of the criminal justice system that – for a variety of reasons – only a fraction of defense attorneys venture to try their hand at.   Being charged as a juvenile means that the short term consequences of a conviction (called an “adjudication” within juvenile court lingo)…

Our son was framed, and Chris Van Vechten proved it
201604.02
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Our son was framed, and Chris Van Vechten proved it

Recently, the Law Office of Chris Van Vechten celebrated its biggest win to date: proving that a 15-year-old defendant accused of bringing a gun to Shelton High School in what the media and local politicians described as a foiled school shooting, was in fact framed by a classmate who initially was hailed as the hero…

DRUG CRIMES
201510.12
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DRUG CRIMES

Despite some highly publicized moves at both the State and Federal Level, the War on Drugs is still very much alive in Pierce, Thurston, Kitsap and King County, particularly for those alleged to be involved in the use and distribution of heroine and methamphetamine.   However, the consequences of even mere possession of any controlled substance…

Smoke Pot?  Own a Car?  You should know about this.
201510.12
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Smoke Pot? Own a Car? You should know about this.

In 2015, the Washington State Legislature expanded its open container law to encompass marijuana.  House Bill 1276, which predominately concerned one of the Legislature’s favorite criminal subjects – DUI – nevertheless made it a traffic infraction for the registered owner of a motor vehicle, or the driver if the registered owner is not then present,…

WHEN IS IT LEGAL TO USE FORCE AGAINST A POLICE OFFICER
201508.10
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WHEN IS IT LEGAL TO USE FORCE AGAINST A POLICE OFFICER

The short answer is practically never. Historically, a suspect had the right to resist an unlawful arrest by a police officer so long as the force applied was proportional to the threat presented. See State v, Rousseau, 40 Wn.2d 92, 94, 241 P.2d 447, 449 (1952). The theory behind this rule was explained – in…

No Contact Orders
201505.19
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No Contact Orders

Because of the likelihood of repeated violence directed at those who have been victims of domestic violence in the past, when any person charged with or arrested for a crime involving domestic violence is released from custody before arraignment or trial on bail or personal recognizance, the court authorizing the release may prohibit that person…

WE’VE MOVED
201504.27
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WE’VE MOVED

The Law Office of Chris Van Vechten has a new location in down-town Tacoma, conveniently located just a few blocks away from the Pierce County Court House. Our new address is 306 S 7th St, Suite 208, Tacoma, WA, 98402.   Look forward to seeing you soon.

HOW EASILY YOU CAN BE CHARGED WITH BURGLARIZING YOUR OWN HOUSE
201503.11
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HOW EASILY YOU CAN BE CHARGED WITH BURGLARIZING YOUR OWN HOUSE

HYPOTHETICAL BASED ON REAL EVENTS One day in January, police officers responded to a house in Pierce County for a domestic disturbance and possible no contact order violation.  It was reported that the Defendant – Jack – was living with his sister – Jill. Deputies subsequently arrived at the aforementioned address and interviewed both Jack and…