Criminal Defense Attorneys in Seattle, Washington
In Washington State, a person may be facing misdemeanor or felony charges for committing a crime. Once arrested, the defendant would have to go through the state’s criminal justice system to determine whether they’re guilty or not. Unfortunately, the immediate and long-term ramifications of a criminal conviction are often devastating. In fact, it will affect every aspect of your life, including your personal reputation, career, freedom, and future opportunities.
If you have been arrested and charged with a crime in your area, you need to retain an aggressive criminal defense attorney for strong legal assistance. Carney & Marchi, P.S., provides comprehensive representation and personalized legal counsel to clients in their criminal cases. The skilled attorneys at the firm can investigate every detail of your case, strategize a solid defense, and guide you through the Washington State criminal justice system.
Carney & Marchi, P.S., proudly represent clients across Seattle and surrounding areas throughout Washington State.
Criminal Charges in Washington State
A criminal charge is a formal allegation made by a governmental authority, public prosecutor, or law enforcement officer indicating that someone has violated the law or committed a crime. Under Washington State law, there are two major categories of criminal charges – misdemeanors and felonies.
In Washington, misdemeanors are the least severe category of criminal charges that a person can face. Generally, misdemeanor offenses are less severe compared to felonies. Misdemeanors are further categorized into two, including:
Simple Misdemeanor: Punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a maximum fine of $1,000. Examples include:
Simple drug offenses, such as possession of a small amount of marijuana
Some traffic offenses
Gross Misdemeanor: Punishable by up to 364 days (one year) in jail and a maximum fine of $5,000. Examples include:
First DUI offense
Theft of property worth below $750
Theft of subscription TV services
Conversely, felonies are serious offenses that usually attract more devastating punishments. In Washington State, felonies are further categorized into the following:
Class A Felonies: Punishable by up to a $50,000 fine and life in prison. Examples include:
First-degree and second-degree murder
Assault with a deadly weapon
Homicide due to child abuse
Class B Felonies: Punishable by up to ten years in prison and a maximum fine of $20,000. Examples include:
Burglary of a residence
Stalking in violation of a protection order.
Theft of a gun
Possessing a stolen gun
Class C Felonies: Punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000. Examples include:
Theft of property worth between $750 and $1,500
Electronic data theft
If you or someone close to you is under investigation for a misdemeanor or felony offense, you need to reach out to a strategic Washington State criminal defense attorney. Your lawyer can educate you about what to expect from the criminal process and help build your defense.
Washington’s Criminal Court Process
The criminal court process in Washington State involves the following stages:
Arrest: Police officers in Washington can arrest a person for allegedly violating the law or committing a crime.
Notification of Charges: Alternatively, the prosecutor can file formal charges against the defendant. This may be a complaint (misdemeanor) or an indictment (felony).
Arraignment: This is the first court appearance for the accused person. During the arraignment, the judge will read the charges to the defendant, advise them of their rights, and ask them to enter a plea of “not guilty,” “guilty,” or “no contest.”
Pretrial: The pretrial comprises all court processes and hearings that occur prior to a formal court trial. The pretrial procedures may include court appearances, motions, discovery, and negotiating plea bargains. If the case isn’t resolved during the pretrial proceedings, it will move to trial.
Trial: In Washington, a criminal case may either be tried by a judge or jury.
Judge Trial: In a judge trial, the judge will review the evidence presented by both the defense counsel and prosecutor, listen to arguments, and make a final decision.
Jury Trial: A jury consisting of 12 members (in superior courts) or six or fewer persons (in district courts) will hear opening statements and evidence from both sides. After the closing arguments, jury deliberations will occur to determine if the defendant is guilty or not.
Sentencing: If the defendant is found guilty, the judge will decide the appropriate punishment through the determinate sentencing system.
A seasoned Washington criminal defense lawyer can craft an effective defense to fight your charges and represent you intelligently at every stage of the criminal court process.
Fight for Your Rights
Trying to navigate the criminal justice system or defend your charges without skilled representation can expose you to the risks of getting convicted. If convicted, you may face massive fines, lengthy incarceration, a criminal record, and other far-reaching consequences. Therefore, when facing criminal charges, you need to hire a dependable criminal defense attorney for clear guidance and to help build your case.
The attorneys at Carney & Marchi, P.S., have the diligence and resources to protect individuals facing criminal charges from the worst possible situation. As your legal counsel, they can assess your case details, dispute the accusations against you with overwhelming evidence, and help you achieve a favorable outcome. Above all, they will fight aggressively to uphold your freedom and improve your chances of a better tomorrow.
Criminal Defense Attorneys Serving Seattle, Washington
Facing criminal charges can be scary and overwhelming. Don’t face them alone. Contact Carney & Marchi, P.S., today to schedule a simple case evaluation. The trusted lawyers at the firm can offer you the reliable advocacy and vigorous representation you need to fight your criminal allegations. They’re proud to represent clients across Seattle and surrounding areas throughout Washington State.