The majority of my cases involve misdemeanors, gross misdemeanors, and lower-level felonies. More specifically, many of the cases that I handle are DUIs, thefts, domestic violence cases, and drug-related cases.
Many cases I handle have some form of underlying issue that needs to be addressed, such as alcohol, drugs, or mental health issues. For instance, a DUI charge might involve a client who has an underlying alcohol issue. Perhaps the possible issue with alcohol needs to be addressed through an alcohol assessment or evaluation through chemical dependency counselor. I’ve counseled many clients over the years, and sometimes just connecting them to a trained professional can really help them change their life.
What Is The Difference Between A Misdemeanor And Felony Charge And Sentence If Someone Is Convicted In Washington?
A simple misdemeanor carries a maximum penalty of up to 90 days in jail and up to $1000 fine. A gross misdemeanor can carry a maximum penalty of 364 days in jail and up to a $5000 fine. When looking at a conviction for a misdemeanor or a gross misdemeanor, the judge usually has wide discretion in ordering sentence. Oftentimes they can order no jail time. But in some cases, such as a DUI, there are mandatory minimums. Mandatory minimums imply that the legislature has taken discretion out of the judge’s hands, and they are required to give the minimum sentencing.
There are quite a few different classifications of felonies. These can be broken up into A, B, or C felonies and violent or nonviolent felonies. Potential sentencing or punishment for a felony, one has to first look at the classification of crime. For instance, a Class C felony has a maximum penalty of up to five years in prison and up to a $5000 fine, Class B felony can carry maximum up to 10 years and up to $10,000 fine, a Class A felony could carry a maximum of up to 20 years and up to a $20,000 fine. Beyond that, there might be certain aggravating factors that could increase beyond the maximum sentencing.
When dealing with Class A, B, or C felonies, the judge’s discretion can be limited. Washington has sentencing guidelines which the judge must follow. Sentencing guidelines set up a point scale. For instance, someone with no criminal history would have zero points. However, a person with multiple criminal convictions could have two or three points or more. If a person has points already, that would increase the potential punishment.
I Plan To Plead Guilty. Do I Really Need A Tacoma Criminal Defense Attorney?
The criminal process can be daunting, challenging, and time consuming. If you do not know how to navigate the criminal system, you might become easily frustrated and overwhelmed. You may also receive tougher penalties. A good lawyer can help ensure you are getting the best possible resolution to your case. Police may make procedural errors. Evidence can be suppressed, or a case can get dismissed. You will want a good lawyer to assist you in the criminal process.
What Is The Advantage To Hiring Someone As Early On As Possible In A Criminal Case?
Hiring an attorney as early as possible is key to protecting your rights. Whether charges have been filed, you are already under investigation, or police just want to chat with you, speaking with law enforcement alone is never in one’s best interest. You want to ensure that if an investigation is being conducted against you, you ensure your right to remain silent. You do not want to find yourself in a position where you have inadvertently incriminated yourself when speaking to the police.
You will also want to have your own investigation going as soon as possible. Hiring a Criminal Defense Attorney will be able to initiate that process.
What Can Hiring A Tacoma Criminal Defense Attorney Do For Me At Every Stage In My Case?
Hiring a criminal defense attorney ensures your rights are protected and you are treated fairly. The criminal justice process is confusing at times. I strive to educate my clients on how that process works and give them an understanding every step of the way.