Monroe Criminal Defense Lawyers
Getting arrested and facing a criminal charge is one of the most anxiety-inducing experiences a person can face. If you or a loved one was arrested and charged with a crime, you are undoubtedly wondering what you should do next. Make no mistake, you need to act swiftly and make sure you do everything in your power to avoid the full repercussions of a conviction.
The criminal justice system in Washington State is an uncaring machine that often processes the accused without mercy. If you don’t protect your legal rights, who will? Protecting your rights starts by working with a lawyer who understands the stakes and treats your case as if it were their own.
Don’t let the anxiety associated with a criminal charge prevent you from taking the next logical step. Contact our law office today for a free consultation, get the facts, and find out more about how our team of Washington State criminal lawyers can help you.Our Washington criminal attorneys will answer your questions about the law
If you’ve been arrested then you may be facing steep fines or worse yet, jail time. You probably have a few questions that may include:
- Do I need a lawyer if I’m arrested in Monroe?
- What are common defenses in a criminal trial?
- When should I hire an attorney?
- Can I get my record sealed?
Our team of Washington state criminal law attorneys is here to help you. Being charged with a crime can be 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.
At times, the police, the prosecutor, and investigators do make mistakes. Sometimes, they fail to follow legal procedures, other times they wrongfully accuse the innocent. In fact, mistakes happen far more often than many people realize. Sometimes this leads to unfair accusations and punishments that result in lifelong headaches and unwarranted prison sentences.
Whatever the nature of your case, a criminal defense attorney can examine the details and the charges brought against you to build a defense designed 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 fight the charges brought against you. In most cases, we can. If you’re facing a criminal charge in Monroe, then we should at least have a conversation about your case.
Our team of Monroe defense attorneys has over 50 combined years of experience providing personalized, tailored legal strategies for every client’s unique goals. Throughout the process, you will work directly with our team, receiving one-on-one contact and consistent communication regarding your case. We offer a free initial consultation so that you can get to know us and ask us any questions you may have regarding your case or Washington state law.The Role of the Judiciary - The Washington Court System Explained
The Judiciary is another word for the court system. It is one of 3 branches of our government. The other two are the Legislative and Executive branches. The Judiciary’s role is to:
- give everyone fair access to the courts to solve legal problems fairly and efficiently.
- decide justly the guilt or innocence of anyone charged with a crime, and
- interpret the laws and protect the rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitutions of Washington and the United States.
If you have been arrested and charged with a crime, you will have to appear before a judge in one of the three courts in Washington that adjudicates criminal cases; the Municipal court, District court, or Superior Court. Which court you are required to appear in depends upon what kind of crime the state alleges you have broken - city, state, or federal.
The word municipal is defined as “relating to a city or town or its governing body;” therefore, if you have broken a city law, you will appear in municipal court. The Monroe Municipal Court is located downtown in the city hall building. A Municipal Court may only consider and has exclusive jurisdiction over non-criminal traffic citations, as well as misdemeanor and gross misdemeanor crimes that occur within a city's boundary.
The Snohomish District Court, or “county court” as it is colloquially referred to, is located in Everett. Most cases that involve violation of state laws are tried in district courts. These are courts of limited jurisdiction that hear traffic infractions, criminal traffic citations, misdemeanors, and gross misdemeanors, civil cases with an amount in controversy less than $100,000, and small claims suits. District courts may also hear preliminary felony trials. Each county in Washington state has at least one district court, and larger counties, like King and Snohomish, have multiple branches of the district court to serve larger populations.
A superior court is "superior" in relation to a court with limited jurisdiction (Municipal and District Courts), and is a court of general jurisdiction. A Superior Court may consider all civil and criminal matters occurring within a county's boundary. The Superior Court also has exclusive jurisdiction over civil matters in which the amount in controversy is more than $75,000, felony cases, estate and probate matters, juvenile cases, and family law cases (including divorce). Washington state has 39 superior courts, one superior court in each county. The Snohomish Superior Court is located in Everett, approximately 15 miles from Monroe.
As soon as you are charged with a crime, it’s a good idea to contact an experienced Washington state criminal defense lawyer. This will allow your attorney to be present for questioning, understand the options that you have available to you, and in some cases reduce your bail amounts. The right defense attorney will also be able to help you negotiate favorable outcomes for your case before it reaches trial, through plea bargains or dismissal in the pretrial.
We not only provide you with a complete understanding of the legal minutiae of relevant Washington State laws, but also years of hands-on experience defending cases just like yours in local Monroe courtrooms. Peace of mind is only one phone call away. Contact one of our WA State criminal law lawyers for your free initial consultation.How a Monroe Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help You
To give you an idea of the types of cases we handle and how we handle them, here is some information on 5 of our most common practice areas, but this is not at all an exhaustive list.
Assault - Washington state law doesn’t define “assault” in its criminal code, so state courts rely on common law, which defines assault as intentionally inflicting unwanted physical harm. Battery is the bodily contact of assault. It’s when an individual makes both a threat of unwanted contact and then acts upon that threat. There are 4 different degrees of Assault;
- 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.
Domestic Violence- Family crimes are on the rise in Snohomish county. The law requires a police officer responding to a domestic violence call to make an arrest if the officer has probable cause to believe that a domestic violence offense was committed. Washington state statute defines DV as-
- (1) "Domestic or family violence" includes, but is not limited to, conduct when committed by one family member against another that is classified in the jurisdiction where the conduct occurred as a domestic violence crime or a crime committed in another jurisdiction that under the laws of this state would be classified as domestic violence under RCW 10.99.020.
Pay special attention to this section as it holds valuable information for anyone accused of domestic violence by a family member.
- (2) "Family or household members" means 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.
DV charges can impact more than just your freedom. If your reputation is on the line, you need to speak with a qualified Washington criminal law lawyer right away.
DUI - Washington state law states that a person is guilty of driving while under the influence of liquor, marijuana, or any drug if the person is driving a vehicle and:
- Has an alcohol concentration of .08 or higher, as shown by breath or blood, within two hours after driving;
- Has a THC concentration of 5 or higher, as shown by blood;
- Is under the influence of or affected by liquor, marijuana, or any drug
Washington State DUI laws are some of the most strict in the nation. State law has written mandatory minimum punishments for DUI whether it’s your first offense or your fourth. The penalties for your DUI charge can also depend on how high your blood alcohol content (BAC) level is at the time of the arrest. Even if your BAC is under the legal limit, you may still be arrested for a DUI-related charge if the arresting law enforcement officer believes your ability to drive was appreciably affected by alcohol or drugs. If you have been charged with a DUI in Snohomish county, contact our Monroe criminal defense attorneys for a free initial consultation.
Physical Control Violations - Even if you’re not driving a vehicle, you can be charged with this crime in Washington State. Prosecutors will charge you with this crime if they believe you could turn the key and drive away from wherever you are. This means that even if you are in the back seat or passenger seat if you have access to the keys, you can be charged with this violation. A Washington State physical control charge is identical in punishment to a DUI charge. A skilled criminal defense attorney may be able to argue a defense called “Safety on the Roadway,” if it applies to your situation. Our team knows the intricacies of this law and its defenses and will fight to reduce the sentence or get the charges dropped altogether.
Theft - Theft is committed in the state of Washington when someone wrongfully takes or obtains property (or services) with the intent to deprive the rightful owner of that property (or of the value of those services). Shoplifting and petty theft tend to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, so it’s best to have someone qualified in your corner that knows the ins and outs of the system and can help guide you in the best direction for your particular case.
Our organization of Monroe criminal defense attorneys is honored to deliver superior legal representation and services to people throughout Snohomish County. We are confident that our deep bench of legal experience will be able to assist your criminal defense needs. Call us today so that a qualified Monroe criminal lawyer can start working with your case immediately.Monroe, Come to See the Rivers, Stay to See the Animals
Monroe was originally founded in 1864 as the town of Park Place and renamed Monroe in 1890 to honor U.S. President James Monroe. Located at the foothills of the Cascades, 30 miles north of Seattle, Monroe sits at the confluence of three rivers, the Skykomish River, Snohomish River, and Snoqualmie River.
The city is home to the annual Evergreen State Fair, a county fair that takes place in late August and early September at a fairground located northwest of downtown Monroe. It is the second-largest fair in Washington state and attracts over a quarter of a million visitors over its 12-day run. Featuring live concerts, food vendors, carnival rides, and livestock shows, the fair attracts visitors young and old from all over the state. The fairgrounds also include the Evergreen Speedway, a racetrack that hosted the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series from 1995 to 2000.
Animal enthusiasts will find a happy home in Monroe. In addition to the livestock shows at the state fair, Monroe is also home to The Reptile Zoo. Housing the most extensive collection of reptiles on display in the Pacific Northwest, this zoo features some exotic species like Black Mambas, Gila Monsters, and albino alligators.
Snakes and frogs should be the only things locked up. Call our Monroe criminal defense lawyers today so we can help keep you out from behind bars.What Makes Us Different?
Whether you think that you are innocent or guilty of the crime for which you are charged, hiring a defense lawyer is the most important thing you can do right now. Explaining your innocence and establishing your innocence with the court systems and law enforcement isn’t always as easy as it appears on television. In fact, it is far more difficult and requires an intimate knowledge of both the law, and the courts.
In a perfect world, the court system in Snohomish county would never wrongfully convict anyone. Unfortunately, the justice system isn’t always perfect and wrongful convictions happen every day. If you are guilty of the crime that you are charged with, this doesn’t mean you don’t have the right to a fair trial. In fact, in situations like these, your defense is even more critical. For example, sometimes people who committed a misdemeanor are charged with a felony. Understanding your rights can be the difference between years in prison or simply paying a fine. It’s our job to ensure you are treated fairly by the courts.
You’re already facing charges that could devastate your future. Our Monroe criminal defense team fully understands the negative impact such penalties can have on your life. In addition to fines and possible jail or prison time, you may face the lasting criticism and judgment of your friends, family, peers, and colleagues. You may have difficulty obtaining employment, as you will have to disclose your criminal conviction on employment applications.
Because of this, few people accused of criminal offenses want to go to court without experience on their side. Call our Washington State criminal law attorneys today to start your free consultation.