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  1. #1

    Default Accused of Blowing Up a Mailbox

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: Washington

    I am being accused with blowing up a mailbox with an IED in the state of Washington. They say that they have a confession from one of the defendants that says I was with him, however I have two witnesses that can confirm that i wasn't there.

    What kind of charges could I be looking at, and do they have enough evidence to try and build a case against me?

    Could I use the Aranda Bruton Rule for this?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    19,668

    Default Re: Accused of Blowing Up a Mailbox

    You can't use Bruton, at least not yet. That says they can't use statements your codefendants made outside of court against you (for example the confession). However, if they testify against you in court, they Bruton doesn't apply.

    They can get you for anything from simple vandalism up to felony violations of the state explosives act.
    Keep your mouth shut until you have a lawyer.
    This is likely serious.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    9,096

    Default Re: Accused of Blowing Up a Mailbox

    Quote Quoting flyingron
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    You can't use Bruton, at least not yet. That says they can't use statements your codefendants made outside of court against you (for example the confession). However, if they testify against you in court, they Bruton doesn't apply.

    They can get you for anything from simple vandalism up to felony violations of the state explosives act.
    Keep your mouth shut until you have a lawyer.
    This is likely serious.
    Don't forget "making a terroristic threat". Most people would find explosives used on their property as a terroristic act.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Accused of Blowing Up a Mailbox

    Quote Quoting flyingron
    View Post
    You can't use Bruton, at least not yet. That says they can't use statements your codefendants made outside of court against you (for example the confession). However, if they testify against you in court, they Bruton doesn't apply.

    They can get you for anything from simple vandalism up to felony violations of the state explosives act.
    Keep your mouth shut until you have a lawyer.
    This is likely serious.
    If the person who confessed won't testify in court, do they have any grounds to prosecute me?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    28,906

    Default Re: Accused of Blowing Up a Mailbox

    We have no way of knowing what evidence they have of your involvement.

    Beyond that, they absolutely can charge you and prosecute you based upon the statement of the admitted perp, and leave you to hope that he in fact doesn't show up to testify at trial. If they're planning to use his testimony, they may include the requirement that he testify in any plea deal they make with him; that can be used to attack his credibility at trial, but can also be used by them to toss him in prison if he doesn't appear to testify.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Accused of Blowing Up a Mailbox

    Quote Quoting aaron
    View Post
    We have no way of knowing what evidence they have of your involvement.

    Beyond that, they absolutely can charge you and prosecute you based upon the statement of the admitted perp, and leave you to hope that he in fact doesn't show up to testify at trial. If they're planning to use his testimony, they may include the requirement that he testify in any plea deal they make with him; that can be used to attack his credibility at trial, but can also be used by them to toss him in prison if he doesn't appear to testify.
    So if the perp refuses to testify in court they can use that to put him in prison?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    19,668

    Default Re: Accused of Blowing Up a Mailbox

    Quote Quoting cyjeff
    View Post
    Don't forget "making a terroristic threat". Most people would find explosives used on their property as a terroristic act.
    Terrorism via explosvive device is covered in the state explosives act.

    Bruton says they can't use the extrajudicial (outside of court) statements of another charged person against you. Even if he was just a witness, generally the hearsay rules bar the use of those sort of statements in court. It mostly revolves aroundt he right to crossexamine witnesses.

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