If you are like many of our clients, being charged with a crime is something you never expected to have happen. You have a family, a job, a life, and this is not who you are. The shock being arrested and facing a criminal charge comes first, followed by the anxiety of what to expect at upcoming court hearings, and the lingering fears about the legal consequences. How will this impact your life? You need answers and a plan. That is where we come in and why you need a criminal defense attorney on your side from day one.
A criminal case is often a marathon, not a sprint. We are more interested in getting you the best possible result as opposed to the fastest or easiest one. At some point after the arrest or citation, you will feel the urge to move quickly, to get this over with. You want to get the case, the threat that it is to your freedom and finances, over with. This is a natural reaction. We are here to protect you from this impulse. Doing what is easiest or fastest is rarely the best result. You have a lifetime ahead of you. A criminal charge does not define you. Let us take the time needed to get you a result that will make this case a bump in the road for you and not a defining event.
Our job is to get the police reports, video, and all evidence that will be used against you. From there, we begin analyzing, investigating, and coming up with a plan to get you the best possible result. We will handle all of this while updating you. You will have the chance to review the evidence and discuss with us, but you will also be able to move on with your life while we handle your case. This will ensure you will get through this process with the most minimal disruption to your life.
MISDEMEANORS VS. FELONIES
In Washington there are misdemeanors and gross misdemeanors. A misdemeanor is often thought of as a minor criminal offense. Misdemeanors, also known as a “simple misdemeanor,” is punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. A gross misdemeanor is a more serious misdemeanor offense with more consequences. Gross misdemeanors are punishable by up to 364 days in jail and a $5,000 fine.
Common simple misdemeanors include Patronizing or Soliciting a prostitute (known as sexual exploitation in Seattle), Disorderly Conduct, Negligent Driving I, and other crimes. Common gross misdemeanors include DUI, Reckless Deriving, Hit & Run Attended, Assault 4, Theft 3, and other crimes.
Misdemeanor and gross misdemeanor charges can have a serious impact on employment, finances, and leave you with a criminal record. It is critical to get help immediately from experienced criminal defense attorneys to get your case on the right track for the best chance at a successful outcome.
In Washington there are Class A, B. and C. Felonies. Regardless of the level of felony, even being charged with a felony is life-changing. All felonies carry with them the possibility of prison time. Unlike misdemeanors, courts are more likely to impose a period of incarceration. There are mandatory sentencing ranges that may apply. Felony fines are much higher. A felony conviction results in the loss of firearm rights, voting rights, and certain government benefits. Finding a job and housing after a felony conviction can be difficult.
Because of how much in on the line and the seriousness of felony charges, often felony cases will be better investigated (more experienced officers given more time and resources for the investigation), better prosecuted (more attention and resources from the Prosecuting Attorney's Office), and will have the Court's full attention. The quality of your attorney and resources will often make a difference in your outcome.
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