Edmonds Criminal Law Lawyers
What happens when you get arrested for a crime? The most important thing you can do after being charged with a crime is to know your rights. Police will do everything in their power to get you to forfeit these rights in hopes that you will incriminate yourself. Do not take the bait.
If you have been charged with a criminal violation, regardless whether the charge is a misdemeanor or felony, your reputation and liberty may be at stake. In many cases, an indictment, not to mention a conviction, could lead to a catastrophic impact on your career and personal life.
Obviously, dealing with the immediate impacts of a criminal arrest can be trying. Whether it’s you who were arrested or a loved one, the repercussions on your entire family can be severe. A conviction could mean prison time, expensive fines, and acquiring a criminal record. Long term effects could include losing your livelihood, the breakup of your marriage, or even losing your kids, depending on the circumstances.
If you or a loved one is facing a criminal charge, you need to act immediately by making sure you have reliable legal counsel ready to help you handle this difficult process.Our Washington State Criminal Lawyers are ready to help you today
When you are facing a serious charge, the legal help that you seek out matters. The representation of our knowledgeable Edmonds criminal law attorneys is crucial in helping you understand what repercussions you are facing and what defense choices are available to you, including negotiating a plea deal or seeking an acquittal at trial.
We know you have countless questions about your situation such as
- Why do I need a lawyer?
- What is a misdemeanor?
- Do I have to appear before a judge?
- How long will this take?
The attorneys at our Edmond criminal defense firm have over 50 years of combined experience in Washington state criminal law and have handled thousands of criminal cases, including
- Sex Crimes
- Domestic Violence
- Criminal Trespassing
- And many more
You need to have confidence in the attorney you hire. You can trust the attorneys on our team to guide you every step of the way and provide you with the best defense possible.
Take a look at the information on this page to get a better understanding of the court, criminal law, and what our WA State lawyers can do for you. When you’re ready, contact our office for a free consultation and make sure your legal rights are fully protected.Will I have to go to Court? An Edmonds Criminal Court Overview
Anyone can be charged with a crime. Even if it was a mistake. If you have been arrested and charged with a crime in Washington state, you will have to appear in criminal court. The state of Washington has two federal district courts, a state supreme court, a state court of appeals, and trial courts. Criminal charges are adjudicated in the trial courts at three different levels, municipal court, district court, and superior court. Which court you will appear in depends upon what type of law the government of Washington alleges you have broken.
The Edmonds Municipal Court is a court of limited jurisdiction located on 5th Ave N in Edmonds, next door to the police department. The court publicly administers justice arising from violations of city ordinances. This includes all simple and gross misdemeanor charges that occur within city limits.
- Simple misdemeanor charges are defined by the punishment of up to 90 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000. An example of a simple misdemeanor is prostitution.
- Gross misdemeanor charges are defined by the punishment of up to 364 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $5,000. An example of a gross misdemeanor is 1st offense DUI.
The Snohomish County District Court is also a court of limited jurisdiction. It is located in Everett, approximately 18 miles away from Edmonds. District Court resolves and adjudicates infractions, criminal traffic, and criminal non-traffic violations. It also processes small claims, civil actions, name changes, anti-harassment orders, and domestic violence protection orders, and violations of state laws and ordinances. The county court, as it is colloquially referred to, may also hear preliminary or expedited felony cases.
The Snohomish County Superior Court is a trial court of general jurisdiction. Washington has 39 superior courts, one for each county in the state. General jurisdiction courts may consider all civil and criminal matters that occur within a county. They also have exclusive jurisdiction over all felony criminal cases, as well as family law and estate and probate cases. The superior court may also serve as a court of appeals for cases that were previously adjudicated in either Municipal or District courts. The Snohomish County superior court is located in Everett and serves all cities in Snohomish county.
If you’re facing criminal charges of any kind, you must fight back with the same ferocity that prosecutors bring to trying criminal cases. Building a strong case, hiring a tough lawyer, and following all the right steps will help to ensure that you get the best end result possible..What Do All of those Legal Terms Mean?
Our team of Edmonds criminal lawyers has taken on complex and high-level cases, and we understand that the complexities of the laws and legal proceedings can be confusing. That is why we provide top-quality services from the beginning of a case until its conclusion. You'll likely have many questions about your charges, your legal options, and potential outcomes.
Listed below are the definitions of some common terms you may hear during the legal process of your case.
Adjudicate - What is an adjudication? The definition of adjudication under the law is a legal ruling or judgment. It may also refer to the process of settling a case. Normally, an adjudication represents the final judgment or pronouncement in a case that will determine the course of action taken.
BAC - BAC is an acronym for Blood Alcohol Content. This abbreviation is commonly seen in Washington State statute regarding DUI/DWI/BUI/MIP cases.
Criminal Charge - A criminal charge is a formal accusation made by a governmental authority asserting that somebody has committed a crime.
DUI - DUI is an acronym for Driving Under the Influence. It is illegal to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol in the state of Washington. Washington state has strict laws regarding DUI charges. Did you know that you can get pulled over for a DUI even if you aren’t actively driving the car? Washington state calls this “actual physical control” of the vehicle, which means you can be charged if the police officer who pulled you over believes that you are able to turn the key and drive away from wherever you are.
Expunge - The definition for expunging means to “erase or remove completely.” If you hear a lawyer tell you that it’s possible to get charges expunged from your record, that means that they can be removed completely.
Felony - The dictionary defines a felony as a crime for which the punishment in federal law may be death or imprisonment for more than one year. Some examples of felony charges include rape, armed robbery, and murder.
There are three levels of felony charges
- Class A Felony - carries a sentence of up to life in prison and/or fines up to $50,000.
- Class B Felony - carries a sentence of up to 10 years in prison and/or fines of up to $20,000.
- Class C Felony - carries a sentence of up to 5 years in prison and/or fines of up to $10,000.
Misdemeanor - Essentially a misdemeanor is all crime less serious than a felony. The dictionary defines a misdemeanor as minor wrongdoing. Misdemeanor charges are classified as either a simple misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor, depending on the severity of the crime committed. The punishment for misdemeanor crimes can be no greater than 364 days in jail and/or up to a $5,000 fine.
MIP - Is an acronym for Minor In Possession. The legal drinking age in the state of Washington is 21 years old. It is unlawful for any person to sell, give, or otherwise supply liquor to any person under the age of twenty-one years or permit any person under that age to consume liquor on his or her premises. State statute further specifies that
(2)(a) It is unlawful for any person under the age of twenty-one years to possess, consume, or otherwise acquire any liquor. A violation of this subsection is a gross misdemeanor punishable as provided for in chapter 9A.20 RCW.
(b) It is unlawful for a person under the age of twenty-one years to be in a public place, or to be in a motor vehicle in a public place, while exhibiting the effects of having consumed liquor. For purposes of this subsection, exhibiting the effects of having consumed liquor means that a person has the odor of liquor on his or her breath and either: (i) Is in possession of or close proximity to a container that has or recently had liquor in it; or (ii) by speech, manner, appearance, behavior, lack of coordination, or otherwise, exhibits that he or she is under the influence of liquor.
Negligent Driving- In Washington state, Negligent driving is a criminal traffic offense. The term negligent means “failure to exercise ordinary care...or the failure to do something that a reasonably careful person would do under the same or similar circumstances.” Both Negligent Driving 1 and DUI are criminal driving offenses that include alcohol or drugs, but there are significant differences. You may be convicted of Negligent Driving having consumed any amount of alcohol or drugs; it is not dependent on quantity or breath or blood test results.
For reference, consider the following:
Negligent driving—First degree.
(1)(a) A person is guilty of negligent driving in the first degree if he or she operates a motor vehicle in a manner that is both negligent and endangers or is likely to endanger any person or property, and exhibits the effects of having consumed liquor or marijuana or any drug or exhibits the effects of having inhaled or ingested any chemical, whether or not a legal substance, for its intoxicating or hallucinatory effects.
Obviously, negligent driving charges are confusing, which is why working with a qualified Washington criminal law lawyer is important no matter the charge.
Plea - A plea is simply an answer made by a defendant to a claim/charge made by the government in court. There are 4 ways a defendant might plead-
- Guilty - Entering a guilty plea means that you admit to being responsible for the crimes you have been charged with. Entering a guilty plea negates the need for a trial, and your case will move on directly to sentencing.
- Not Guilty - Pleading “not guilty” during arraignment means that you are denying having committed the crimes you have been charged with. After pleading “not guilty,” the judge will move forward with setting a date for your trial.
- No Contest - A plea of “no contest” means that you neither admit to nor deny the charges against you. The purpose of entering a no-contest plea is often to avoid being sued civilly for essentially confessing to a crime.
- “Mute” Plea - After the judge has finished reading the charges leveled against you, and asks you how you plead, you have the right to not answer. Refusal to speak or acknowledge the charges brought against you is called a “mute” plea and is treated by the judge as a plea of not guilty.
RCW - The acronym RCW is an abbreviation of the Revised Code Of Washington. The RCW is a compilation of all permanent state laws now on record. Throughout this website and your continuing legal process, you will hear the words “state law” or “state statute” frequently. Those all refer to the same thing, which is the RCW. A full copy of the RCW can be found here.Edmonds, Come for the View, Stay for the Art
Edmonds is located in the southwest corner of Snohomish County and is considered a suburb of Seattle, located 15 miles to the south. Before the 19th century, the Edmonds area was inhabited by the Suquamish tribe, who foraged and fished near the flat beach forming modern-day downtown. Long considered a mill town, Edmonds underwent a drastic overhaul in the late 1980s called “The Main Street Project,” which restored empty storefronts and attracted restaurants to the city. This revitalization has helped turn Edmonds into the cultural arts hub of Snohomish County.
The city has a collection of 35 outdoor art installations, 22 flower pole structures, and maintains several facilities dedicated to various arts, including a dozen galleries. Edmonds is also home to the Cascadia Art Museum, which features seasonal rotating exhibits as well as a permanent exhibit of local Northwestern artists.
In addition to the visual arts, Edmonds has several active performing arts organizations. The Driftwood Players host year-round theatrical performances at the Wade James Theatre. Past productions include To Kill A Mockingbird, The Drowsy Chaperone, and The Wizard of Oz. The city also hosts the annual Edmonds Jazz Connection over Memorial Day weekend in late May, with several school jazz groups and professional performers.
If outdoor activities are more your style, Edmonds has 23 city parks with 189 acres of open and preserved space. Marina Beach Park is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. Featuring a mile of picturesque shoreline on Puget Sound, visitors come hoping to catch a glimpse of Harbor Seals, River Otters, and, if you’re lucky, Orca Whales.
Orca Whales aren’t the only creatures that don’t thrive in captivity. If you want to avoid being stuck in a prison cell, reach out to one of our Washington criminal defense attorneys today. We are ready to help you find a pathway to freedom.Why Do I Need A Criminal Defense Attorney?
Individuals facing criminal charges have immediate, urgent needs. You could be facing arrest or could potentially put yourself in danger by not exercising your right to remain silent. Your criminal charges also carry consequences that can last for years. Even misdemeanors put a mark on your criminal record, setting you up for struggles in obtaining employment and retaining your driver’s license.
Our Washington State criminal law attorneys are dedicated to the vigorous defense of individuals accused of a crime. From the moment of arrest until the resolution of your case, our attorneys and staff will work hard to provide you with thorough and competent representation.
If you have been charged with a crime – from simple theft to more serious charges – the Edmonds criminal law attorneys at our firm are ready to defend you. You have the right to an attorney in Snohomish County criminal court. The State of Washington has the burden of proving your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Obtaining a great result for a client is no accident and is often determined by the knowledge, skill, and experience of your lawyer. Call us today for your free initial consultation.