Snohomish County Criminal Lawyers
We all make mistakes.
But when your mistake leads to a criminal charge, there’s a lot at stake-
- Your freedom.
- Your finances.
- Your relationships.
- Your future.
Don’t let one mistake ruin your life. When you or someone you love is facing a criminal charge, we know it can be a frightening and bewildering experience that can make you feel helpless. The Washington State Justice System can be complex and confusing if you do not know what to expect.
The first thing we want you to know is that you are not alone. Our team of Washington State criminal law attorneys understand the stress and anxiety you’re feeling. Most people we represent are honest, hard-working people that have never been in trouble with the law. When you work with our WA State criminal lawyers, you are represented by a team of seasoned professionals who will fight diligently on your behalf. Our track record is extensive and proven.
Facing criminal charges in Snohomish County is no small thing. The penalties for even minor infractions, such as disorderly conduct or shoplifting, can have far-reaching consequences. You need a professional legal team on your side who has the experience and knowledge to take on the Washington state legal system. Our experienced Snohomish County County criminal defense attorneys are here to make sure your rights are fully protected.
With over 50 years of combined experience, our team knows the ins and outs of Washington state law, so you don’t have to. With every client, we make sure to:
- Answer your questions and return your calls
- Protect your rights throughout the investigation
- Thoroughly explain your charges and possible defenses
- Fight for you in the courtroom (if necessary)
- Minimize your punishment however possible
We believe that one of the most important jobs of an attorney is to make sure our clients understand every step of the criminal process. We’ve found that it helps our clients alleviate some of the anxiety and emotional distress that criminal charges can bring around. Common wisdom is that the more you know about a subject, the less cause you have to fear it. In this vein, we have laid out some of the basics surrounding the criminal court process on this website. While these key terms can help you begin to make sense of Washington state law, this information does not take the place of hiring an experienced Snohomish County criminal defense attorney.
Even though we’ve handled thousands of cases over the years, our team knows that your case is unique and we will give you personalized attention and care. Let our Snohomish County criminal defense attorneys use our legal knowledge to craft a specific defense tailored to the specifics of your case.Understanding the Criminal Court Process in Thurston County
Depending on what criminal charge you are facing in Thurston County, there are three different locations that your case may be heard. Each of these courts has limited jurisdiction and can only hear certain cases. Occasionally the jurisdiction will overlap, and your case may be able to be heard in multiple courts. If that seems confusing, don’t feel unsettled, most people without law degrees don’t understand how the judicial branch operates.
The information below is a basic overview of criminal courts in Washington state. If you have any specific questions about the courts, please contact our Thurston county criminal defense attorneys. During your no-cost initial consultation, we would be happy to provide you with more detailed information on the court system.
Municipal Court is a court of limited jurisdiction. The municipal court judge is sanctioned by the state of Washington to officiate cases involving criminal misdemeanors, gross misdemeanors, and traffic citations that occur within the city's boundaries. A municipal court's authority over these ordinance violations is similar to the authority that district courts have over state law violations. Almost all cities in Thurston County have their own municipal courts, including Everett, Marysville, and Lynnwood.
The Snohomish County District Court is located in the county seat of Everett. Like the municipal court, the “county court” as it is commonly referred to, can hear misdemeanor and gross misdemeanor charges. District court is also responsible for hearing civil cases, and cases that involve violations of state laws. Preliminary hearings for felony cases are also within the jurisdiction of the district courts. The preliminary hearings serve to determine whether the charges require further proceedings in the state superior court.
The Snohomish County Superior Court is the state trial court and hears any case, civil or criminal, not specifically designated to another court. The Superior court also has exclusive jurisdiction over felony cases, as well as family law cases, and estate and probate matters. In addition, the superior court will hear the appealed cases from municipal or district courts. The Snohomish County Superior court is also located in Everett.
In every Washington state court of law, you are presumed to be innocent of your charges. You have rights, including competent counsel. Our team of Snohomish County criminal law attorneys works with our clients and their families to assess the circumstances of your case and prepare the best defense available to you. Contact us today, you do not have to face the complicated Washington court system alone.How a Snohomish County Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help You
Our firm believes that one of our most important jobs is that you understand every step of the legal process, starting with the charges leveled against you. Here is a quick guide to better understand some of the charges that we have helped people fight.
The first step to understanding your charges is figuring out which category your specific charge falls under. In Washington state, all criminal charges are either misdemeanors or felonies. Each category is defined by its maximum punishments, which are laid out below.
- Misdemeanors- also called a “simple misdemeanor,” these crimes carry a maximum of up to 90 days in jail and/or up-to a $1,000 fine.
- Gross Misdemeanors- one step up from simple misdemeanors, gross misdemeanors carry a maximum of up to 364 days in jail and/or up to a $5,000 fine.
- Felonies- felony crimes are much more serious than misdemeanors. There are three levels of felonies in Washington state
- 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.
Now that you understand that, we can dig into more specific charges. Each of these criminal charges listed below are some of the most common cases our attorneys have handled throughout Snohomish County.
- DUI- It is illegal to operate a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Under Washington state law, first-time offenders with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) under .15% are charged with a gross misdemeanor. In addition to fines and/or jail time, the offender may also be asked to attend a sobriety program as well as adding an ignition interlock device to their vehicle. Punishment for DUI significantly increases if it’s the second or third violation. Our legal team is well versed in the intricacies of Washington State DUI laws and is standing by to help you understand your charge.
- Domestic Violence- Washington State statute RCW 10.99.020 states, "Domestic or family violence" includes, but is not limited to, conduct when committed by one family member against another.”
There is a lot of nuance to this crime and almost any crime can be charged as a Domestic Violence crime. While the crime itself is not Domestic Violence, it’s the victim’s relationship to the alleged perpetrator that determines whether it’s considered to be domestic violence or not. That same statute lays out some of the charges that can fall under the DV umbrella
- Assault in the first degree
- Assault in the second degree
- Assault in the third degree
- Assault in the fourth degree
- Drive-by shooting
- Reckless endangerment
- Burglary in the first degree
- Burglary in the second degree
- Criminal trespass in the first degree
- Criminal trespass in the second degree
- Malicious mischief in the first degree
- Malicious mischief in the second degree
- Malicious mischief in the third degree
- Kidnapping in the first degree
- Kidnapping in the second degree
- Unlawful imprisonment
- Violation of the provisions of a restraining order, no-contact order, or protection order restraining or enjoining the person or restraining the person from going onto the grounds of or entering a residence, workplace, school, or day care, or prohibiting the person from knowingly coming within, or knowingly remaining within, a specified distance of a location
- Reckless Driving- This is what WA State Statute RCW 46.61.500 has to say about reckless driving:
(1) Any person who drives any vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving.The important phrase in this definition is “willful or wanton disregard.” That means that the arresting officer feels that you knew what you were doing (i.e. speeding or drag racing) was dangerous, but you did it anyway. Reckless driving is charged as a gross misdemeanor, similar to DUI. It can also be bundled as an accompanying charge to a DUI. On top of the punishments typically handed out for gross misdemeanors, a charge of reckless driving will also require you to carry high-risk (SR-22) auto insurance for three years, which means your premiums will increase exponentially.
- Assault- Assault involves violence or a threat of violence. Because of the nature of the charge, an assault charge is taken very seriously. An assault charge can be filed as a misdemeanor or a felony if a weapon or serious bodily injury is involved. As you know, we live in the age of social media and the last thing you need is to have a crime of violence on your record. When you are arrested, your fingerprints are taken and you will then have an arrest record for assault. It is just a matter of time before all of this information is made public.
This is by no means a comprehensive list of the charges our Snohomish county criminal defense attorneys have worked on. If you do not see your criminal charges listed somewhere on this website, we implore you to reach out to our office. We offer a no-cost initial consultation solely so that we can help you understand the specifics of your case, and can begin to build a defense that will best serve your unique circumstances. Contact us today to begin a step towards peace of mind.Snohomish County, the County With Many Names
Carved out of Island County in 1861, Snohomish County lies along the northern border of King County, which is the most populous county in Washington state. Home to over 800,000 people, Snohomish County is the third-most populous county in the state. While many residents enjoy living in Snohomish because of its proximity to Seattle, there is still plenty to do and enjoy in Thurston County without having to venture down south.
If you’re interested in wildlife, there are plenty of trails and hikes throughout Thurston county where you can view native fauna in its natural habitat. But if you’re looking for something outside of the norm, there are a few Thurston County places that might be right up your alley.
The Outback Kangaroo Farm in Arlington is home to many species from halfway around the world such as wallabies, lemurs, emus, and of course kangaroos. If fuzzy mammals aren’t your style, you may enjoy The Reptile Zoo in Monroe. Home to the most extensive reptile collection in the PNW, this zoo is home to exotic species like Gila monsters and black mamba snakes.
If you’re looking for something a bit more fantastical, perhaps you should look into joining the BFRO. While not a local organization, these field researchers often plan trips throughout many parks and other locations throughout Snohomish County, hoping to catch a glimpse of the elusive Bigfoot.
Unfortunately, blaming Bigfoot is not a legally applicable defense in Snohomish County. So if you’ve been arrested and charged with a crime in Everett or one of the surrounding cities, you need the help of a qualified Washington state criminal defense attorney.Why Do I Need a Snohomish County Criminal Defense Lawyer?
Being accused of a crime can be an unsettling experience, but the prosecution bears a high burden in criminal cases. Under both Washington state and federal law, the prosecution must establish a criminal defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. That means that the defendant doesn’t need to prove their innocence, and they can defeat a charge by showing that the prosecution cannot prove one or more of the elements of the crime.
The easiest way to get through this ordeal is to have a talented and powerful attorney to protect your interests. You have constitutional rights and the criminal justice system offers numerous protections, but you will not experience these to the fullest extent unless you have a skilled Snohomish County criminal law attorney in your corner. Contact our office today to schedule a free case evaluation. We can help you get your life back on track.