Criminal Defense Lawyer in Washington
The state of Washington is home to a number of professional sports teams such as the Seattle Mariners and the Seattle Seahawks. The state is also home to a number of natural landmarks such as Chinook Point and Mount Rainier. Finally, Washington is the home of the Space Needle, which draws millions of visitors from around the country and the world each year. One landmark that you’ll likely want to avoid seeing is the inside of a county jail. If you have been charged with a crime, an attorney may help to ensure that your stay there is as short as possible.
You Might Go to Jail After Being Taken into Custody
If you are taken into custody for a violent or other type of serious offense, you’ll likely be transported to jail. This is typically because you may be at risk of hurting yourself or others if you are allowed to remain free. For instance, if you are charged with suspicion of drunk driving, you may be taken to a holding facility until you are sober enough to care for yourself properly.
The length of your stay may also depend on the type of crime that you’ve committed. For instance, if you are found to be in possession of a small amount of marijuana, you may be able to leave jail on your own recognizance and given an appearance ticket. This means that you are ordered to appear before a judge to hear the charges against you and enter a plea without the need to remain in custody beforehand or post bail for your release.
There is also a chance that you’ll have your car impounded or have other property confiscated if it may be evidence of the offense that you’ve allegedly committed. It’s also worth noting that prohibited items may be seized even if you are ultimately given a warning as opposed to being charged with an offense.
How an Attorney Might Help During the Legal Process
If you are in custody when you hire an attorney, the first thing that he or she will likely do is attempt to get you out. This may be done by requesting bail or requesting a reduction in the amount that you must pay to secure your freedom. Legal counsel may point to your ties to the community, a lack of a criminal record, or the facts of your current case themselves as reasons why you should be free pending the outcome of your case.
The attorneys at The Criminal Defense Law Firm are former federal agents or prosecutors, which means that they understand how the government thinks. This means that they may be ideally positioned to help secure your release or take steps to make your life easier while your case is ongoing.
An attorney may also make sure that you are not subject to an interrogation or other interactions with government officials without counsel present. This may reduce the risk that you say or do something that might harm your case. For instance, without counsel present, a detective or prosecutor may suggest that you could earn your freedom by talking about what you did or what you saw others do.
However, the truth is that there is no guarantee that you’ll actually be allowed to go free no matter what you tell authorities. There is also no guarantee that your words won’t be used against you or used to potentially put someone else away without giving you anything in return for your help.
Finally, a Washington criminal defense attorney may be able to get evidence suppressed before or during a trial. This may weaken the state’s case enough that charges are dropped or it becomes impossible for a jury to return a guilty verdict.
Types of Cases Our Firm Handles
Our Washington criminal defense firm handles almost any type of criminal offense that the state might charge someone with. For instance, if you are charged with traffic offenses such as drunk or reckless driving, we will likely be able to create a defense in your case. The same is typically true if you are charged with sexual offenses, offenses involving children, or violent crimes such as murder or domestic violence. Other common charges include drug possession, theft, and assault.
Drunk driving is treated as a criminal offense despite the fact that it occurs while operating a motor vehicle. In most cases, it will be treated as a misdemeanor unless there are aggravating factors that elevate it to a felony. Aggravating factors may include a blood alcohol content above .15%, death or injury to another person, or a history of DUI convictions.
Offenses Involving Minors
If you use drugs or engage in other risky behaviors around a child, you could be charged with endangering the welfare of a minor. If you engage or attempt to engage in sexual activity with a minor, it is a crime even if the victim consents. This is referred to as statutory rape or child molestation as those under the age of 16 have no legal right to make certain decisions about their bodies. It’s also worth noting that minors generally cannot enter into contracts or work more than a few hours a week during the school year.
If you are charged with possession of a controlled substance, you may face a fine, probation, or jail time. However, if you are charged with possession with intent to deliver, you may face up to 10 years in prison if convicted. The state will use a number of factors to determine if you should face an upgraded charge such as the quantity of drugs found on your person. They may also look at whether you have scales, baggies, or other items typically used to distribute controlled substances to dealers or other parties.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the potential penalties if convicted?
If you are found guilty of a crime, you may spend time in jail or prison, pay a fine, or spend time on probation. It may also be necessary to wear an electronic monitoring device or to otherwise remain in a specific area while on probation or parole. It’s possible that you will be required to relinquish your professional licenses or your driver’s license as part of your sentence. Other penalties may also be applied if you are found guilty of a charge or agree to a plea deal.
What if I never intended to commit a crime?
A criminal charge may be dropped if it can be shown that you were tricked into transporting drugs in your vehicle or were entrapped by the police. Entrapment occurs when an officer coerces you into committing an act that you wouldn’t have engaged in otherwise. Finally, there have been stories of people being charged with drug crimes who have had charges dropped after it was discovered that they were actually in possession of sugar or other legal substances. Broadly speaking, you can’t be convicted of a crime unless you knowingly and willfully did something illegal.
Can you guarantee a particular outcome in my case?
No, we cannot guarantee that there will be any sort of outcome in your case. The only way to know for sure what will happen in your proceeding is to wait until the judge moves to drop a charge or a jury chooses to convict. While past results do not guarantee outcomes in future cases, they may be used to get an idea of what might happen to you.
What happens if I'm released on bail?
If you are released on bail, you will leave state custody for the duration of your proceeding. However, there will likely be conditions placed on your bail such as promising to appear in court whenever you are requested to do so. You may also be required to submit to drug and alcohol testing and maintain employment. There is also a chance that you will be asked to refrain from using a cellphone or from staying out past a certain hour.
Contact The Criminal Defense Firm Today for Help in Washington
If you are in need of a Washington criminal defense attorney, call The Criminal Defense Firm through our nationwide intake hotline at 866-603-4540. Finally, feel free to make use of the live chat feature on our website that is typically available during normal business hours, or use the contact form and we’ll get back to you quickly.