Lynnwood Criminal Lawyers
Have you, or a loved one, been accused of committing a crime in Lynnwood? When you have been accused of a crime, it is normal to feel embarrassed, frustrated, or confused about the situation you are in. Being arrested can be a very stressful, traumatic experience. Our team of Washington state criminal defense attorneys understands that. We can appreciate that the arrest experience is unfamiliar to most people. You will likely have many questions
- What happens after being arrested?
- How long does it take to charge someone with a crime?
- When do I need to go to court?
- Do I need a lawyer?
In this difficult and stressful time, it is important that you work with a criminal defense attorney that can not only answer all of your questions but walk you through the entire process of being charged.You’ve Been Arrested and Charged with a Crime - Now What?
Whether you have been charged with a misdemeanor or felony in Lynnwood, a conviction can lead to harsh penalties such as a lengthy jail or prison sentence, expensive fines, and a permanent criminal record that can ruin your personal life and professional reputation. However, a skilled lawyer can help you avoid these penalties and get your life back on the right track.
Right now at this moment, remember that you have Constitutional rights as a citizen of the United States. If you were arrested unfairly or charged with a crime you didn’t commit, your Washington Criminal attorney will ensure that your side of the story gets told. Even if the case against you has merit, you still have legal rights that protect you from unwarranted punishments. The role of your Washington State criminal law lawyer is to ensure you get fair treatment from the courts, the judge, and the prosecutor. It’s a job we take very seriously because we fully understand the stakes.
With over 50 combined years of experience, our team of Lynnwood criminal law lawyers has amassed a wealth of knowledge concerning the ins-and-outs of the Washington State legal system. Call today for a free initial consultation and put our skills to work for you.Do I Have to go to Court? Washington State Courts Overview
Everyone charged with a crime in Washington must go to court as part of the legal process. There are four levels of court in Washington: the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, the superior courts, and courts of limited jurisdiction, also known as district and municipal courts. This section will focus on the latter three courts (superior, district, and municipal) as they are the three courts that will handle almost all criminal charges in Lynnwood.
Municipal Courts deal with town and/or city code violations. As a court of limited jurisdiction, municipal courts may only adjudicate non-criminal traffic citations, as well as simple misdemeanor and gross misdemeanor crimes that occur within a city's boundary. The Lynnwood Municipal Court is located in the Lynnwood Civic center on 44th Ave W.
District Courts, or “county courts” as they are commonly referred to, are also courts of limited jurisdiction. County court may preside over cases including
- Anti-harassment orders
- Infractions (traffic, non-traffic, and parking)
- Misdemeanor and gross misdemeanor criminal cases
- Domestic violence protection orders
- Civil Matters
The court may also hear preliminary felony cases. In a preliminary felony case, the court will determine bail, or whether the charges will necessitate further proceedings in the state superior court. The Snohomish County District Court-South Division on 68th Ave W serves as the county court for Lynnwood.
The Superior Courts are trial courts of general jurisdiction. This means that they have the authority to consider all civil and criminal matters occurring within a county's boundary, and have exclusive jurisdiction over cases involving felonies, family law (such as divorce or child custody), and estate and probate issues. Superior courts also act as a court of appeals for cases from District and Municipal Courts. This means that a defendant can appeal to the Superior court to re-try their case if they feel that the law was not applied correctly in the trial court. The Snohomish County Superior Court is located in Everett, approximately 13 miles from Lynnwood, and serves all cities in Snohomish county.
Our Lynnwood defense lawyers have handled almost every type of criminal prosecution, from simple misdemeanors to complex felonies, and have represented thousands of individuals from all walks of life. We successfully represent criminal clients in municipal, state, and federal courts. Call us today for a free consultation so we can get to work for you.How our Lynnwood Criminal Defense Attorneys Can Help You
We understand that our clients are often faced with serious legal matters, and these issues can be life-changing or sensitive in nature. You aren’t simply a case number; you are an individual who has been wrongly accused of a criminal offense. No matter how challenging your case may seem, we take the time to get to know you, the details surrounding your arrest, and then explore the best methods to achieve the best end result. We learn about your situation and apply all of our effort, energy, and manpower to developing a strategy that works for your situation.
Our priority is to make sure you understand everything that is happening to you. In the section below we will briefly define some common terms and charges that may apply to your case.
Arraignment - Arraignment is generally the first court appearance you’ll make after you’ve been arrested. During the arraignment, you’ll appear before a judge and they will read the charges filed against you and ask you to enter a plea.
Adjudicate - Adjudication refers to the legal process of resolving a dispute or deciding a case.
Assault - Assault is a criminal charge defined by a harmful or offensive touch or even just the threat of harm being inflicted. This means that, in Washington state, you can still be charged with assault even if you never physically touched another person. Just the implied threat of violence is enough to merit a simple assault charge. Washington state law divides assault into four categories
- Assault in the 1st degree is a class A felony and is commonly referred to as “assault with a deadly weapon.”
- Assault in the 2nd degree is a class B felony unless the crime is considered to have a sexual motivation, which would make it a class A felony.
- Assault in the 3rd degree is a class C felony. It involves assault against a law enforcement officer, peace officer, nurse, physician, judicial officer, court-related employee, firefighter, transit operator, school bus driver, or anyone acting in a professional capacity.
- Assault in the 4th degree, commonly called “simple” assault, is considered a gross misdemeanor. This is the most common assault charge in Washington state.
Obviously, assault in the first degree is the most serious form of assault. Consider this information from the corresponding Statute Assault in the first degree.
- (1) A person is guilty of assault in the first degree if he or she, with intent to inflict great bodily harm:
- (a) Assaults another with a firearm or any deadly weapon or by any force or means likely to produce great bodily harm or death; or
- (b) Transmits HIV to a child or vulnerable adult; or
- (c) Administers, exposes, or transmits to or causes to be taken by another, poison or any other destructive or noxious substance; or
- (d) Assaults another and inflicts great bodily harm.
- (2) Assault in the first degree is a class A felony.
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 abbreviation for driving under the influence. Washington state statute RCW 46.61.502 states that
- (1) A person is guilty of driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, marijuana, or any drug if the person drives a vehicle within this state:
- (a) And the person has, within two hours after driving, an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher as shown by analysis of the person's breath or blood made under RCW 46.61.506; or
- (b) The person has, within two hours after driving, a THC concentration of 5.00 or higher as shown by analysis of the person's blood made under RCW 46.61.506; or
- (c) While the person is under the influence of or affected by intoxicating liquor, marijuana, or any drug; or
- (d) While the person is under the combined influence of or affected by intoxicating liquor, marijuana, and any drug.
The state statute also institutes a penalty schedule, which outlines each mandatory punishment that covers charges ranging from a first DUI offense to DUI charges brought against a minor, and everything in between.
Domestic Violence - Domestic violence (DV) is an umbrella term that can include many different crimes. The crime committed is not domestic violence, rather the victim’s relationship to the alleged perpetrator determines whether or not a crime is DV.
Classified as “family or household crime,” this definition encompasses spouses, former spouses, persons who have a child in common regardless of whether they have been married or have lived together at any time, adult persons related by blood or marriage, adult persons who are presently residing together or who have resided together in the past, persons sixteen years of age or older who are presently residing together or who have resided together in the past and who have or have had a dating relationship, persons sixteen years of age or older with whom a person sixteen years of age or older has or has had a dating relationship, and persons who have a biological or legal parent-child relationship, including stepparents and stepchildren and grandparents and grandchildren.
Felony - Felonies are crimes that may be punishable by time in a state correctional facility, as opposed to county jail. These are the most serious criminal charges in Washington state. 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 - A misdemeanor is regarded as a more minor criminal offense, punishable by less than 12 months in jail. There are two categories of misdemeanors, defined by the punishments applicable to each charge.
- Simple Misdemeanors are punishable by up to 90 days in jail and/or up-to a $1,000 fine. Some simple misdemeanor charges include shoplifting and disorderly conduct.
- Gross Misdemeanors are punishable by up to 364 days in jail and/or up-to a $5,000 fine. Some examples of gross misdemeanor charges include DUI and reckless driving.
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 go forward 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” also known as nolo contendere, 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, which is the basis of a guilty plea
- >“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.
Precedent- a judgment or decision of a court that is cited in a subsequent dispute as an example or analogy to justify deciding a similar case or point of law in the same manner.
These are just a few of the terms you may hear during the court process. And while each case progresses through similar processes, we understand that it does not mean they're all the same. A skilled criminal law lawyer will be able to better explain all of the applicable terms for your unique case. When you reach out to us for legal representation, we'll treat you like an individual and not a case number. We'll work with you to craft a defense tailored for your specific circumstances.Lynnwood, A Shoppers Paradise
Located just 16 miles north of Seattle, Lynnwood is considered a suburban bedroom community to the large metropolis. Prior to being settled in 1889, Lynnwood was the summertime recreational home to the Snohomish tribe, who used the land for hunting, fishing, and berry gathering. In present times, Lynnwood serves as the local area’s retail mecca, with hundreds of shops and restaurants clustered around the crown jewel of Lynnwood commerce, The Alderwood Mall.
Be sure to pick up some walking shoes on your retail excursion, because another popular Lynnwood attraction is Heritage Park. This 2.8-acre parcel of land, rescued by the city during the push to make room for the interstate highway, features several early historical structures. One of those buildings, The Wickers Building, was built in 1919 and relocated to Heritage Park in 2003 and is now home to the Northwest Veterans Museum.
Another popular outdoor activity in Lynnwood is The Fair on 44th. Every fall the city blocks off a part of 44th avenue and sets up vendor booths for the Health & Safety Community Block Party. While a health & safety fair doesn’t sound particularly exciting, the city pulls in many local vendors, and puts on lots of demonstrations and hands-on activities, making this event fun for the whole family.
Freedom is an essential part of getting to enjoy all that Lynnwood has to offer. Contact one of our Washington state criminal defense attorneys now, and let us help you on your path to freedom.How Do I Find a Good Criminal Defense Attorney?
Being charged with a crime can have a life-long impact on your relationships, career, and well-being. Our Lynnwood criminal law team knows that even good people can have momentary lapses in judgment. We believe that if you have been charged, you shouldn’t have to sacrifice your entire life because of one mistake. Regardless of the charge, you have rights that deserve to be protected. Our firm wants to advocate for you and increase your chances of a positive outcome.
When your freedom is on the line, you want an experienced professional managing your criminal case. The most important decision you will make in your own criminal defense is knowing who to hire. Call our Lynnwood criminal defense attorneys today for your free consultation, so we can start you on the path toward freedom.