Barbara A. Bowden

Tacoma, WA DUI Attorney

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Legal Financial Obligation Reconsideration Day


If you are having difficulty paying criminal fines in Pierce County Superior, Pierce County District, or Tacoma Municipal Courts, then we have an event that could help. We invite you to attend the Legal Financial Obligation Reconsideration Day coming up on Wednesday, September 25 at 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

This could be a great opportunity to speak to with a lawyer, see a judge, and request relief from your debt. If you would like to attend, be sure to RSVP today! Reservations are required.

This year’s legal financial obligation reconsideration day is located on the first floor of the County City Building at 930 Tacoma Ave. S., Tacoma, WA 98402. Please be sure to bring proof of income, if at all possible.

RSVP Today

T-Shirt Design Contest


The law firm is revamping our merchandise and seeking new design ideas for our T-Shirts. Who better to trust than the creativity of our long-time clients and friends?! We are looking for THREE fun, witty, professional, and clever designs that revolve around our areas of practice: DUIs and Traffic Tickets.

Here are the different options for submitting your work:

  • Mail the finished product to 5611 76th Street West, Lakewood, WA 98499
  • Post the finished project to Facebook with the hashtag “#BowdenLawDesigns
  • Email the finished product to
  • Drop the finished product off at the office


  • 1st Place Winner: Two T-Shirts and $100 cash
  • 2nd Place Winner: One T-Shirt and $100 cash
  • 3rd Place Winner: One T-Shirt and $50 cash
  • All three winners will receive an additional $50 off any existing bill or applied toward a reduction on any ticket or criminal action received in the year 2019.

Please have all entries submitted no later than March 31, 2019. We will announce the winner on Facebook – so make sure to like our page:

The Law Office of Barbara A. Bowden


New Driving Under the Influence of Electronics Law

Washington State Electronics LawWashington state public-safety officials say there will be no more excuses for drivers. Washington’s newest distracted driving law proclaims: on the road, off the phone. The anti-distraction law took effect on Sunday, July 23rd, and comes with a six-month grace period which will net you a warning and an educational card if you are stopped for using an electronic device—that is, if you are stopped by a Washington State Patrol officer. Some other counties will follow suit by focusing on education in the first few months and fines later on. This is not true for all counties, however.

Kings County Sheriff’s Office intends to give no grace period at all, and will immediately begin treating electronic distractions just like any other traffic infraction. Since the grace period could vary from county to county, the best course of action is to stop the distractions entirely when you are behind the wheel in the state of Washington. Fines for the infraction, should you receive a ticket for using an electronic device while driving, will be $136.

Driver Distraction Costs Lives

In 2016, 156 of the 537 auto accident fatalities in the state of Washington were attributed to driver distraction, as were 572 (one-fourth) of the 2,208 serious injuries which resulted from distracted driving. The new law essentially bans the use of a hand-held device entirely. You may not make or receive phone calls on a handheld device, nor may you read or send a text, type a social media post, take a photograph, or look at data of any type. While some states have a ban on handheld devices except when the driver is stopped at a light or traffic sign, this new law does not allow the use of a handheld device in these situations. [Read more…]

The Dräger DrugTest 5000: A portable marijuana “breathalyzer”

Police who suspect drivers to be under the influence of drugs have a new tool to confirm their suspicions. Rather than relying on highly subjective and easily challengeable officer observations and/or voluntary field sobriety tests to establish probable cause to arrest, officers can now ask a suspect to submit to a mouth swab and run the sample through a portable device that tests for the presence of active THC (which remains in the body for a few hours after ingestion – as opposed to inactive THC, which can stay in the body for weeks). The device also tests for six other drugs, such as cocaine and methamphetamine.

[Read more…]

Is it illegal to talk on my phone while driving?

texting and drivingYes, if you are holding it to your ear. Washington State Law[1] makes it a traffic infraction (which is a civil – not criminal – offense) for a person to “operate a moving motor vehicle while holding a wireless communications device to his or her ear.”

This includes phoning while stopped in gridlock, or at a traffic light – but not if you safely pull to the side of the road first.

The exception to the rule is if you are calling 9-1-1, or otherwise using your phone to prevent injury to a person or property.

It is not illegal to use your phone “hands-free” (i.e. using the speaker phone function, or a headset/earpiece) while driving. [Read more…]

Malos consejos de un Notario Público hacen que rechacen la aplicación de inmigración a una familia local

Click here to read this in English.

Es posible que los notarios públicos sean abogados con licencia en algunos lugares de América Latina, pero no lo son en los Estados Unidos. Ellos solo tienen la autoridad para actuar como testigos al firmar y verificar documentos importantes, no han sido capacitados ni tienen experiencia legal.

Una familia que desea permanecer en el anonimato, aprendió esta lección de la peor manera después de pagarle a Ismael Delgado (quien se anunciaba como notario) para que les ayudara a presentar una solicitud de inmigración. Esta aplicación fue negada, potencialmente anulando sus posibilidades de obtener una residencia. [Read more…]

Bad advice from “Notario Publico” results in denial of local family’s immigration application

Notarios Publicos may be licensed attorneys in Latin America, but Notaries Public are not attorneys in the United States. Notaries Public only have the authority to act as an independent witness in the signing and verification of important documents. They have no legal training or legal expertise.

One family (which understandably prefers to remain unidentified in these uncertain times) recently learned this fact the hard way, when they paid Ismael Delgado, who advertised himself as a “Notario Publico”, to help them submit an immigration application. Their application was denied – potentially jeopardizing their future efforts to successfully immigrate.

[Read more…]

“Dreamer” with DUI arrested by ICE in Portland

A man who was brought to the United States at the age of five, and who was given Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals protected status in 2013, was arrested in the middle of the night by Federal agents and taken to the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, Washington, where he awaits deportation proceedings.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) did not have a warrant, and were not given permission to enter the residence, but they kept on beating on the door until a family member eventually produced their suspect.

Francisco Rodriguez Dominguez was born in Michoacan, Mexico, but that has not been his home since he was a young boy. The longtime Portland resident who is active in his church and coordinates a food pantry program for the poor made one mistake: he picked up a DUI, which got him on ICE’s radar. [Read more…]

Chief Justice of the Washington State Supreme Court asks ICE to stop prowling courthouses

In a March 22 letter to the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Honorable Mary Fairhurst expressed her concern about the increased presence of Federal agents in and around local courthouses, stating that fear of apprehension by immigration authorities erodes immigrants’ trust in the judicial system, “impede[s] the fundamental mission of courts, which is to ensure due process and access to justice for everyone,” and undermines courts’ ability to function.

Not just criminal defendants, but also those who are witnesses to or victims of crimes, might understandably choose not to voluntarily attend judicial proceedings given the risk of being snatched up and placed in deportation proceedings. Even legal residents seeking protection orders, for example, might think that is too risky, given ICE’s disturbing tactic of sweeping up collateral bystanders they suspect “may” be subject to removal.[1] [Read more…]

DUI most common conviction targeted by recent ICE raids

84 people were taken into federal custody as a result of a 3 day operation in Washington, Oregon and Alaska this week.[1] 60 had criminal records; 24 did not. 19 arrestees had a DUI as their only, or their most serious, conviction – DUI was by far the most common conviction targeted.

According to a news release by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) “This operation highlights our commitment to promoting public safety through the pursuit of targeted criminals residing in the U.S. illegally.”[2]

One of the arrestees does have a pending child rape charge, and prior convictions for assault and domestic violence. ICE made sure to spotlight him in the first line of its press release, and to mention that he was recently released from custody by local authorities despite a federal immigration “detainer” request. Although attorney general Jeff Sessions has characterized local jurisdictions’ refusals to comply with such requests a violation of federal law, a federal court in Oregon ruled in 2014 that it’s in fact unconstitutional to detain people without a warrant after they would have otherwise been released. ICE detainer requests are not warrants because they are not signed by a neutral magistrate who has found probable cause to arrest. Thus, restricting the liberty of anyone present in the United States (whether or not he or she has permission to be here) per such a detainer request would constitute an illegal seizure under the Fourth Amendment.

[Read more…]