Lake Stevens Criminal Lawyers
Have you, or a loved one been arrested for a crime? Being charged with a crime is a frightening, life-altering experience. It shows up on a background check and can affect your reputation, your family, your job, financial aid, your right to carry a firearm, and most importantly your freedom.
If you’ve been arrested for any crime, you need to understand that you have legal rights. If you fail to protect those rights, you may end up facing repercussions you simply do not deserve. For this reason, we urge you not to talk to any police or prosecutors until you have a qualified Washington criminal law lawyer at your side. Even if the police promise leniency or some other concession, it’s vital that you fully understand your legal rights or you could say something that could be misunderstood or used against you in court.What should I do if I’ve been arrested for a crime? A Washington Lawyer answers
Fortunately, the police, the prosecutor, and the investigators do make mistakes. Sometimes, they fail to follow legal procedures, other times they wrongfully accuse the innocent.
Whatever the case, a criminal defense attorney can examine the details of your case, the charges brought against you and build a defense to get you the best possible outcome given your situation.
But first, you’re probably wondering who we are, what we do, and if we can help you with the charges brought against you. The simple answer is yes. But we first need to understand the details surrounding your arrest and the charges against you.
If you’re facing a criminal charge in Lake Stevens, you and your WA State criminal lawyer should have a detailed conversation about your case. During your free consultation, we’re available to answer questions like,
- I have a warrant for my arrest in Mukilteo, what should I do?
- Can I change lawyers if the court has already provided me with one?
- If I get convicted, will I go back to jail?
- What is a plea bargain?
- Do I have to talk to the police?
The resources on this website attempt to assist in explaining what is at stake and how the legal system in Washington State actually works. However, the information provided on this page is no substitute for an in-depth consultation with qualified legal counsel. Our experienced Washington State criminal lawyers offer a free first consultation so that you can get reliable information about the specifics of your case, right now.Washington State Court Overview
If the State thinks you have committed a crime, the District Attorney’s Office, representing the State, may bring criminal charges against you. Only the State – not another person or agency – can charge you with a criminal violation. So while the police arrest someone for a crime, it is ultimately the prosecutor who decides to pursue the case.
There are 3 different kinds of criminal cases: infractions, misdemeanors, and felonies.
- An infraction is an act that is prohibited by law but is not legally defined as a crime. An infraction is a minor violation. Littering, speeding, and illegal parking are all examples of infractions.
- A misdemeanor is a more serious crime than infractions. Misdemeanors are broken down into two categories
- Simple Misdemeanors- These crimes carry a punishment of up to 90 days in jail and/or up-to a $1,000 fine. Some examples of simple misdemeanors would be trespassing, vandalism, and petty theft.
- Gross Misdemeanors- These crimes carry a punishment of up to 364 days in jail and/or up-to a $5,000 fine. Some examples of gross misdemeanors would be DUI, Physical Control Violations, and Assault in the 4th degree.
- A felony is the most serious kind of crime. If you are found guilty, you can be sent to state prison or receive the death penalty. There are three levels of felonies in Washington state, depending upon the severity of your charge.
- Class A felonies are the most serious charges and are punishable by up to a $50,000 fine and/or up-to life in a state correctional facility.
- Class B felonies are punishable by fines up to $20,000 and/or up-to 10 years in a state correctional facility.
- Class C felonies are punishable up to $10,000 in fines and/or up-to 5 years in a state correctional facility.
Which court you end up in will be determined by the charges against you. Listed below are the three times of criminal courts in Washington.
In municipal court, a judge will hear cases brought by the city prosecutor in which the prosecutor alleges that a city law was broken. Laws vary from one city to another city, what is legal in one city may be illegal in another city. The most serious crimes that can be heard in a municipal court are crimes that are punishable by up to one year in jail. The Marysville Municipal Court serves as the municipal court for both the city of Marysville and Lake Stevens. If you are charged in a municipal court it is best to speak with a Lake Stevens criminal defense lawyer that has extensive experience in that court.
The Snohomish District Court, located in Everett, serves as district court to all cities within Snohomish county. The district court or “county court” as it is commonly referred to, hears two different types of cases, civil cases, and criminal cases. When it comes to criminal cases brought in the district court there are two different types-
- Cases involving violations of State law.
- Cases involving violations of City law that have been appealed from a municipal court. If a defendant chooses to appeal a case that was previously decided in a municipal court the district court will hear the case and is not beholden to the municipal court’s decision.
A superior courthouse is located in each of Washington's 39 counties. Superior courts are trial courts that 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 juvenile proceedings. 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 Superior Court is located in Everett.
When an individual is accused of an alleged crime, it is the job of the court system to demonstrate the evidence that this person perpetrated this action and to establish guilt. You are innocent until proven guilty. As Lake Stevens criminal defense attorneys, our job is to keep you informed of your legal rights. We will provide you with options and guidance at every step along the way.Understanding Your Charges - Answers from a Lake Stevens Defense Attorney
No one expects to get arrested. In fact, most people have never set foot in court and are totally unprepared for the heavy handed machinery of the State’s court system. If you’re unprepared for this process, you will quickly be overcome by the unfeeling gears that grind away on a daily basis. Even telling your version of the events that led to your arrest will be nearly impossible without a qualified Washington criminal lawyer.
Showing up to jail or court can be extremely jarring, and facing the potential consequences of a criminal conviction can be a terrifying experience for anyone. Without qualified legal help, the process and procedures can railroad a defendant into the harshest penalties possible, regardless of justice or fairness. You need a lawyer who will work with you to explore your options, develop your defense, and make sure you are treated fairly and appropriately by the police, the prosecutors, and the court.
In other words - you need a lawyer who cares about you, your case, and the end result.
When facing extreme consequences, it’s important to have knowledgeable, skilled, and determined legal counsel. Our Lake Stevens criminal law attorneys have extensive experience providing strong and effective defense in cases involving:
Criminal Trespassing - In Washington State, criminal trespassing is classified into two degrees.
- Criminal trespassing in the first degree is when a person knowingly enters or remains unlawfully in a building. This is a gross misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail
- Criminal trespassing in the second degree is when a person knowingly enters or remains unlawfully in or upon premises of another under circumstances not constituting criminal trespass in the first degree. This is a simple misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in jail.
DUI - In Washington state, you can be charged with DUI if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is at or above .08%. However, under certain conditions, you may be charged even if you have a lower BAC. If you are driving a commercial vehicle, you can be charged for a BAC at or over .04%, and if you are under the legal drinking age of 21, you can be charged if your BAC reaches .02%. You can be charged even if you only appear to be intoxicated. Penalties for DUI charges are set by Washington state statute. The mandatory minimum penalty for a first offense DUI is
- One to 364 days in jail or electric home monitoring
- License suspension
- Fines up to $5,000
- Ignition Interlocking device installed
A judge always has the discretion to impose more than the mandatory minimum if the judge believes that this is warranted under the particular facts of the case. A good lawyer will work to ensure the case is resolved in the most favorable way for the client. Our Lake Stevens criminal defense attorneys have handled hundreds of DUI cases, let their experience work for you.
Drug Crimes - Many people are under the mistaken impression that just because Washington State has legalized the recreational use of marijuana, this means that laws are more relaxed than in other states. This is not the case. It is possible to get into a lot of trouble because of drugs – even marijuana. Whether you’ve been arrested for possession of illegal drugs or paraphernalia, prescription drug fraud, or distribution, drug crimes in Washington State can carry severe penalties. Usually, first offenses carry lighter sentences, but those subsequent arrests can carry lasting consequences that affect the rest of your life. Having a knowledgeable, experienced attorney to provide you with counsel and representation can be the difference between a not guilty and guilty verdict.
Some drug crimes are unusual but no less serious. Consider the following statute titled RCW 9.47A.020
It is unlawful for any person to intentionally smell or inhale the fumes of any type of substance as defined in RCW 9.47A.010 or to induce any other person to do so, for the purpose of causing a condition of, or inducing symptoms of intoxication, elation, euphoria, dizziness, excitement, irrational behavior, exhilaration, paralysis, stupefaction, or dulling of the senses of the nervous system, or for the purpose of, in any manner, changing, distorting, or disturbing the audio, visual, or mental processes. This section does not apply to the inhalation of any anesthesia for medical or dental purposes.
Harassment - Criminal charges in Washington state of harassment are typically laden with high emotions due to the relationships involved. In Washington state, a person is guilty of harassment if:
- (a) Without lawful authority, the person knowingly threatens:
- (i) To cause bodily injury immediately or in the future to the person threatened or to any other person; or
- (ii) To cause physical damage to the property of a person other than the actor; or
- (iii) To subject the person threatened or any other person to physical confinement or restraint; or
- (iv) Maliciously to do any other act which is intended to substantially harm the person threatened or another with respect to his or her physical or mental health or safety; and
- (b) The person by words or conduct places the person threatened in reasonable fear that the threat will be carried out. "Words or conduct" includes, in addition to any other form of communication or conduct, the sending of an electronic communication.
Did you know that harassment can be charged even if there was only a threat of violence and no actual physical contact? Even if you had no intention of causing actual physical harm, you can still be charged with harassment. The right criminal defense lawyer can be critical to getting the best outcome in court. Contact us today for a free consultation on your harassment charge in Washington.
Each case is unique. If you don’t see your charge listed above, don’t hesitate to call our Lake Stevens criminal defense firm for a free consultation. We’d be happy to discuss the specifics of your case, and how we can help you mount the best possible defense against your criminal charge.Lake Stevens- “One Community, Around the Lake”
Lake Stevens is a city in Snohomish County named for the lake that it surrounds. It is located 6 miles east of Everett and borders the cities of Marysville to the northwest and Snohomish to the south. Lake Stevens was named in 1859 for territorial governor Isaac Stevens and was originally listed as "Stevens Lake" on early maps.
The city has been through several periods of renaissance, starting in the early 1900s as a mill town, it was redeveloped as a lake-side resort town in the 1920s, a suburban commuter town in the ’60s, to its current iteration as an urban destination away from the bustle of larger cities like Everett and Seattle.
Because Lake Stevens is built around its namesake water source, aquatic activities are very popular for both locals and tourists visiting the city. Several city parks are located along the shore of Lake Stevens, providing beaches with swimming areas and fishing docks, including Lundeen Park and Davies Beach. Outdoorspeople can indulge in fishing, paddle boarding, picnicking, or just relaxing and enjoying the view.
Summertime in Lake Stevens sees the return of the beloved local festival Aquafest. Held at North Cove Park in downtown Lake Stevens over a three-day weekend in late July, it was founded in 1960 and includes a boat parade, carnival rides, a car show, and a circus. An annual Ironman 70.3 triathlon was added to Aquafest in the 2000s and features a 70-mile course with swimming, cycling, and running segments.
If you have been charged with a crime, don’t delay. Swim, cycle, or run to your phone and call our Lake Stevens criminal defense attorneys today to begin your free consultation.
The Benefit of Working with our Experienced Washington Legal Team
Being arrested and dealing with the criminal justice system without a dedicated advocate by your side can be overwhelming. Just a few of the serious repercussions you may face, if convicted, include:
- Loss of licenses
- A tarnished reputation
To avoid these unwanted end results, it is crucial to have bold and aggressive legal representation.
Our Lake Stevens criminal law firm has an experienced, aggressive legal team that can help you with misdemeanor and felony offenses. When you face criminal charges, how you choose to handle the adversity can have a significant impact on your future and your family. It’s our goal as your criminal lawyers to investigate your case thoroughly and present the strongest defense possible on your behalf. We can help you when you’re facing criminal charges. Reach out to our Lake Stevens criminal defense attorneys and set your mind at ease.