Are you or a loved one facing serious criminal charges and a potentially life-altering conviction?
If you've been charged with a crime in Sumner, it makes sense to look at all your defense options. The decision you make for legal counsel can impact the rest of your life. If you are assigned a public defender you will not be able to select one yourself. Your attorney could make or break your case and be the only person standing between you and jail time. There is no substitute for experience when it comes to arguing your case. An experienced Sumner criminal defense attorney has the knowledge, skillset, and legal resources to help you achieve the best possible outcome for your case.
That is why an experienced, trusted legal team is crucial. As our client, we will assist you in dealing with any local, state, or federal law enforcement agency in the course of an investigation. If you are arrested and charged with an offense, we will appear at all court proceedings from the time you are charged until the time your case is completed. Once you have retained us you will no longer be alone. We will bring our knowledge and experience to bear in any situation that presents itself.
We have designed this website to give you some basic knowledge of the criminal court system in Pierce County and provide you with some information on how our firm can help you with your case. If you have been arrested and charged with a crime in Sumner, you probably have questions like
- When should I call a criminal law attorney if I’ve been arrested in Sumner?
- How can a Pierce County criminal defense attorney help with my case?
- Will I have to appear in criminal court in Sumner for my charges?
- What kinds of punishments will I be facing if convicted of a crime in Pierce County?
As a full-service law firm, our Sumner criminal defense attorneys take a collaborative approach in creating a strategic case plan, keeping you informed every step of the way and making sure you understand exactly what is going to happen during each phase of your case.Understanding the Criminal Court Process in Pierce County
If you have been arrested and charged with a crime in Sumner, you will most likely 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.
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. Sumner’s municipal court services operate through the nearby Bonney Lake Municipal Court.
District Courts, or “county courts” as they are commonly referred to, are also courts of limited jurisdiction. While municipal courts deal with violations of city or municipal laws, district courts preside over violations of county laws. This may include
- Anti-harassment orders
- Infractions (traffic, non-traffic, and parking)
- Misdemeanor and gross misdemeanor criminal cases
- Domestic violence protection orders
- Civil Matters
The district court may also hear preliminary felony cases. The Pierce County District Court is located in downtown Tacoma.
The highest criminal court we will discuss is the Washington state Superior Court. 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, and estate and probate issues. Superior courts also act as a court of appeals for cases from District and Municipal Courts. The Pierce County Superior Court is located in Tacoma and operates as the Superior court for all Pierce County cities, including Sumner.
Do not make the mistake of trying to battle the Washington state government on your own. Our team of Sumner defense lawyers has spent hundreds of hours in court and has successfully handled thousands of criminal cases ranging from DUI, drug, and theft cases, to domestic violence and assault cases. In almost every case, our firm was able to significantly change how the case turned out, helping our clients achieve favorable outcomes for their cases.What You Should Know if You’ve Been Arrested for a Crime in Sumner
If you are subject to an arrest for a crime, there are several points you should know.
- You should always request that your criminal defense attorney be present before you speak to the police, as that is your constitutional right under the 6th amendment.
- Never state aloud or sign any kind of confession, as this information can and will be used by the prosecution against you.
- No matter what, always contact a Sumner criminal defense attorney as soon as you are arrested. You need to know your rights and have an attorney present or provide advice during the initial stages of the event as well as during questioning or interrogation.
- Remember, the police and prosecution are not on your side. Even if you feel your case is not defensible, an evaluation is critical because often police, investigators, and witnesses make mistakes that can be used to your advantage.
Understanding your rights and contacting a Sumner criminal defense attorney as soon as you’ve been arrested can play a crucial role in securing a positive outcome for your case.How a Sumner Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help You
It is extremely important to consult with a Sumner defense lawyer as soon as you discover that you are under investigation for a criminal charge in Pierce County.
At our firm, we strive to make a positive difference in our clients’ lives. Even people who have made mistakes are entitled to a fair outcome that won’t ruin the rest of their lives. When you hire our Sumner Criminal Defense Attorneys, we will analyze your case from different angles to determine the best strategy for your specific situation.
With over 50 combined years of experience working criminal law in Washington state, our attorneys have experience with common Pierce County criminal charges that include
DUI- Being charged with a DUI in Washington is a serious matter with serious consequences. If you are convicted, you may lose your driver’s license, have to pay outrageous insurance premiums, and possibly even have to spend time in jail. Fighting back against a DUI arrest can be a daunting prospect, particularly for defendants who have had few or no prior brushes with the law. However, it is often possible to raise a number of viable arguments that undermine the prosecution’s case and secure a much more positive outcome than the accused may have anticipated. When your liberty is on the line, you need a serious attorney to aggressively defend you in court.
Domestic Violence- Allegations of domestic violence are serious matters that Pierce County does not take lightly. Even if the alleged victim declines to press charges, you may still face serious charges in court. Washington law enforces strict punishments on those found guilty of domestic violence crimes. Domestic violence charges can include:
- False imprisonment
- Child abuse
- Violations of a court restraining order
If you are arrested and charged with a domestic violence crime, you might face jail time, a permanent criminal record, and emotional damage to your family and relationships. If you are facing accusations of domestic violence in Sumner, you need an experienced criminal defense lawyer to work on your case to help you clear your name.
Reckless Driving- Washington state statute RCW 46.61.500 states that “(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 wording on this law is vague, as it’s intended to be a “catch-all” charge for purposefully dangerous driving. It’s a serious criminal charge that can result in jail time even if no one gets hurt. Some instances of reckless driving in Sumner that have resulted in criminal charges include
- Drag racing
- Weaving through traffic
- Running red lights or disobeying traffic signals
- Intentionally driving on the shoulder or median
Anyone facing a reckless driving charge in Pierce County has the right to the assistance of a Sumner criminal defense attorney to represent them.
Juvenile Crimes- If your child has been arrested for a criminal act, the situation may feel overwhelming. Young people often lack the maturity and experience to understand the full consequences of their actions. With this in mind, the law treats minors differently than adults. The juvenile system focuses on rehabilitation, whereas the adult system focuses on retribution and punishment. When accused of delinquent acts, minors deserve the same level of legal representation as adults would. Even though the juvenile justice system is geared toward rehabilitation, allegations of a delinquent act can carry harsh penalties and follow a minor through adulthood. Learn how to protect your child’s rights by contacting our Sumner criminal defense attorneys today.
Fish & Wildlife Violations- One thing most people don’t realize is the seriousness of wildlife crimes. They are in fact crimes for which you’ll need an experienced Sumner criminal defense attorney. Some Fish & Wildlife violations commonly seen in Pierce County include
- Fishing or hunting out of season
- Overfishing (taking more than the legal limit)
- Fishing or hunting without a license
- Bag limit violations (hunting)
- Wildlife waste
Many people commit fish and wildlife violations without knowing that what they are doing is illegal. Unfortunately, ignorance is not a viable defense in this situation. If convicted of a fish and wildlife violation in Pierce County, you may face jail time, fines, seizure of assets, as well as having your license revoked.
These are just a small example of the criminal charges in Sumner our firm has handled. If you don’t see your charge listed here, please don’t assume we can’t help you. We offer a no-cost case consultation to all new clients so that you can lay out the details of your charge and we can begin to build a personalized defense.Sumner- A Quiet Agricultural City in the Heart of Pierce County
Settled by European travelers in 1853, the town of Sumner was originally called Stuck Junction until 1883 when it was officially changed to Franklin. Shortly thereafter, in 1891, the name was changed again to Sumner, after abolitionist senator Charles Sumner.
If the history of Sumner is something that interests you, make sure to stop by and visit The Ryan House Museum. Run by the Sumner Historical Society, this house was originally home to Sumner’s first mayor and eventually became the city hall building. Now it serves as a local museum with books, clothes, diaries, and letters as well as other artifacts of the history of Sumner and surrounding areas.
Currently home to over 10,000 residents, Sumner is located at the northern tip of Pierce County, and produces some of the country’s finest daffodils, in addition to hops, berries, and rhubarb. As a matter of fact, Sumner is officially known as the Rhubarb Pie Capital of the World. Every summer for the past 10 years, Sumner has hosted a festival called Rhubarb Days, where visitors and locals can enjoy a crafts market, pie-eating contest, rhubarb bake-off, and more events.
Sumner also lies on the parade route for The Daffodil Festival. The Daffodil Festival originated in 1934 as a celebration of the agriculture industry in the Puyallup and Sumner areas. Originally only a parade of decorated floats in neighboring city Puyallup, today the Grand Floral Street Parade travels through four Pierce County communities, Tacoma, Puyallup, Sumner, and Orting.
If you or a loved one has been arrested in Sumner for Domestic Violence, DUI, Theft, Assault, or any other crime, and are looking for a Pierce County criminal lawyer, contact our firm today.Why You Need a Sumner Criminal Defense Attorney
What do Pierce County criminal defense attorneys do? We zealously represent our clients at each stage of the case so that they can obtain the best possible result in their case. If you are the subject of criminal charges, you deserve to be represented by experienced attorneys who are passionate advocates for defendants in the criminal courts of Pierce County. With over 50 combined years of experience in the field of criminal law, our firm is committed to providing the best possible defense under the most difficult of circumstances.
It is crucial to contact and consult with a Pierce County criminal defense attorney as soon as you know you have been accused of a serious crime in Sumner. Our team of experienced legal professionals is available to you for a free consultation if you need help with a grave legal matter. Contact us today for a free case consultation, and we will do all that we can to help you build a solid defensive strategy.Sumner Criminal Defense Attorney
Have you or a loved one been charged with a crime in Sumner?
Are you fearful of spending years in prison, having your family finances drained by fines, and carrying around a criminal record as a felon? Make no mistake, the stakes couldn’t be higher and you have every right to be worried. However, you can’t let the dramatic nature of your situation prevent you from being proactive and taking steps to ensure your legal rights are protected.
In the darkest days of your life, it’s important to have somebody on your side. Choosing the right defense attorney is one of the most important decisions you can make when facing criminal allegations. The choices you make right now could have a dramatic impact on the rest of your life.
You may be asking, “What should I do if I’ve been arrested for a crime?” The answer is to contact a qualified Washington State criminal law attorney immediately. In the meantime, do not talk to anyone in law enforcement until your Sumner criminal lawyer is at your side offering you reliable counsel based on Washington law.
Each client and case are unique, but all criminal matters are a stressful and difficult situation. Thus, the need to be a strong communicator and compassionate listener are key components in the role of the criminal defense attorney, as such qualities are required to help each client navigate the legal system to receive the best possible outcome for their particular case and situation.Our Washington Criminal Law Lawyers Fight for You
At our criminal defense law firm, it is not about if you should fight, what matters is how you fight. Our experienced Sumner criminal defense attorneys are ready to put together a strong case to help when you have been charged with a crime. With over 50 combined years of experience, our team has tried hundreds of different cases on every level of the Washington state criminal court system.
Furthermore, we know that the more knowledge you have on your side the better the chances are for you to be able to get the best result for your case. That is why we make sure our criminal defense attorneys are available to answer any questions you have about the charges against you or the legal process.
We offer a free initial consultation so that both lawyer and client can speak and decide if they want to form a lawyer-client relationship. During that consultation, our team would be happy to answer any questions you may have, such as
- What do my charges mean?
- Will I have to appear in court?
- Is a DUI a felony in Washington?
- Do I even need a lawyer?
We can also go over the specifics of your case and discuss our past experiences defending charges like yours. You aren’t expected to know the fundamentals of Washington state law. At our firm, we aid you in understanding your rights, knowing where your case stands, and recognizing your chances for dismissal or potentially accepting a plea bargain.
This website is designed to be used as a tool for prospective clients to learn about our practice and how we can help you. We are here to serve as a resource as well as a legal defense.Pierce County Criminal Courts, Explained by a Sumner Criminal Law Lawyer
When you are handling legal matters of any kind it can be a confusing experience, but trying to navigate the complex and serpentine waters of the Washington state criminal court system can be particularly challenging.
Do you know which court your case will be adjudicated in? Will there be a bench trial or a jury trial? How many times will you have to appear in court?
These are all valid questions that a Sumner criminal law attorney can answer for you during your free consultation. However it’s never a bad idea to arm yourself with some basic knowledge, so we have laid out below an overview of the criminal courts in Pierce county.
The majority of criminal cases in Pierce County will be tried in either the Municipal, District, or Superior Court. The location of each trial is determined by whether a city, state, or federal law has allegedly been broken.
Municipal courts hear violations of municipal or city ordinances. They have exclusive jurisdiction over traffic infractions arising under city ordinances, as well as misdemeanor criminal charges within the city. A misdemeanor is a crime 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.
Sumner’s court services operate through Bonney Lake Municipal Court. If you’re charged with speeding or a misdemeanor, you will deal with this court.
The Pierce County District Court, or county court as it is commonly referred to, is located in Tacoma and adjudicates on cases that deal with violations of state law. The district court hears two different types of cases, civil cases, and criminal cases. As a court of limited jurisdiction, the District Court is responsible for the following types of matters:
- Anti-harassment orders
- Infractions (traffic, non-traffic, and parking)
- Misdemeanor and gross misdemeanor criminal cases
- Domestic violence protection orders
The court may also hear preliminary or expedited 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. State law violations can carry with them a wide range of punishments including fines, probation, jail, or prison.
Washington has 32 Superior Courts, serving all of Washington's 39 counties. The Pierce County Superior Court is located in Tacoma, approximately 12 miles northwest of Sumner. Superior courts are trial courts of general jurisdiction, which means that they have the authority to adjudicate cases of all kinds, not just criminal but civil, family, and probate as well. The Superior court has exclusive jurisdiction over felony cases. A felony is a far more serious charge than a misdemeanor and can carry the most severe consequences. Within the umbrella of felony charges, there are 3 levels or tiers, Felony class A, B, and C.
- Class A felonies are the most serious offenses. A conviction for a class A felony could result in a sentence of life imprisonment, a fine of up to $50,000, or both.
- Class B felonies are less serious, but still very serious offenses, including manslaughter, theft of large amounts of money, and certain sexual offenses. A conviction can lead to imprisonment of up to ten years and/or a $20,000 fine.
- Class C felonies include theft of lesser amounts, drug offenses, driving under the influence, and possession of stolen property. A person convicted of a Class C felony could face five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
When your freedom is at stake, nothing matters more than your civil rights. A criminal conviction, no matter how minor, can have a significant effect on every aspect of your life – including your job, your relationships, your reputation, and your future. You may face financial penalties, probation, or incarceration.
Whether you’ve recently been charged or learned you’re under investigation, don’t risk your freedom by going through this alone. Our Washington criminal defense attorneys step in at the beginning and fight hard for you until the end. Call us today.Experienced Pierce County Criminal Defense Attorneys
The attorney you choose has a direct impact on the outcome of your case. It’s crucial to work with an experienced Sumner criminal defense lawyer who has a thorough and complete understanding of the charges and consequences you may be facing, and – more importantly – the familiarity of the jurisdiction where your case will be heard.
With over 50 years of combined experience practicing criminal defense in western Washington, our team is capable and eager to help guide you through the complex Washington criminal court process. Our Sumner criminal defense attorneys work with clients on a wide array of criminal charges, from misdemeanors and felonies to more complex matters. These include:
DUI - Otherwise known as Driving Under the Influence, this is a serious criminal offense in Washington and one that the local police department and the District Attorneys’ office take very seriously. The law doesn’t care if you’re out on the highway or a block from home – a DUI charge is a much more serious offense than a simple traffic ticket.
Driving under the influence is a criminal charge that can have consequences like a loss of license, financial penalties, probation, increased insurance premiums, and even jail time. It can also affect certain job opportunities, as well as your reputation. If you’re facing DUI charges in Sumner, you want an experienced attorney who has handled hundreds of DUI cases in Pierce County.
Harassment- 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. In Washington state, a person is guilty of harassment if:
- Without lawful authority, the person knowingly threatens:
- To cause bodily injury immediately or in the future to the person threatened or to any other person; or
- To cause physical damage to the property of a person other than the actor; or
- To subject the person threatened or any other person to physical confinement or restraint; or
- 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
- 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.
Juvenile Crimes - As a parent, you do everything you can to prepare your child to make good decisions and choices. Sometimes, however, your child makes mistakes. And when they do, you want to ensure they get the help and resources they need to ensure they don’t make those mistakes again – and that a youthful mistake doesn’t follow them around for the rest of their life. A skilled attorney can help. Let us help you navigate the complicated court system and protect your child’s valuable rights.
Assault- If you have been arrested for assault, your freedom and rights are in serious jeopardy. Depending on the severity of your charges, you could be facing the possibility of jail time, incarceration in a state or federal prison, loss of your right to own a firearm, probation, court-ordered counseling or treatment, and significant court fines. Our Sumner criminal defense lawyers have the knowledge to handle a wide range of criminal cases, including assault charges. You can count on us to put our experience and skill to work in your case, as we are not afraid to fight aggressively for you.
If the matter that you are charged with or are being investigated for is not listed in this practice area feel free to contact us for a no-cost consultation to discuss the specifics of your case. We handle every sort of criminal law case in the State of Washington and we are ready to help you throughout the process. We will aggressively fight to protect your freedom and treat you with the dedication and respect you deserve.Sumner, the Rhubarb Pie Capital of the World
Settled by European travelers in 1853, the town of Sumner was originally called Stuck Junction until 1883 when it was officially changed to Franklin. Shortly thereafter, in 1891, the name was changed again to Sumner, after abolitionist senator Charles Sumner. Known for its agricultural trade, Sumner produces daffodils, rhubarb, hops, and berries, and is officially known as the Rhubarb Pie Capital of the World.
Sumner’s bountiful agriculture trade is due to its mild oceanic climate. This means residents and visitors can enjoy mild summers, cool but not cold winters, and a relatively narrow annual temperature range. Because Sumner is in the heart of the Pacific Northwest, they do average more rainfall than the rest of the country, with a median of around 49 inches per year.
Sumner also lies on the parade route for The Daffodil Festival. The Daffodil Festival originated in 1934 as a celebration of the agriculture industry in the Puyallup and Sumner area. Originally only a parade of decorated floats in neighboring city Puyallup, today the Grand Floral Street Parade travels through four Pierce County communities, Tacoma, Puyallup, Sumner, and Orting.
If you’re interested in learning more about the history of Sumner, make sure to stop by and visit The Ryan House Museum. Run by the Sumner Historical Society, this house was originally home to Sumner’s first mayor and eventually became the city hall building. Now it houses books, letters, diaries, photos, clothing, and other artifacts of the history of Sumner and surrounding areas.
If you have been arrested and charged with a crime in Sumner, let our Pierce County criminal law attorneys set your mind at rest with a free initial consultation. There are many beautiful and wondrous things to see and do in Sumner, let us help you keep the freedom to enjoy them.Why Should I Hire a Sumner Criminal Defense Attorney?
Criminal charges can result in a loss of liberty, fines ranging from thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars, and long-term consequences for your life. If you have been accused of a crime, you have a right to an attorney to help defend yourself.
If you need qualified and expert legal representation, then call on lawyers that focus their practice on criminal defense. Our firm is equipped to handle ALL types of criminal charges including all felonies and misdemeanors.
Often when people are charged with a crime, they believe that they can handle the criminal justice system on their own. This is almost always folly because the judicial system is a merciless machine with no patience for ignorance of the law.
Our firm is concerned with protecting your rights and we have decades of experience to back it up. In a lot of cases, a client might not even know what their rights are. You deserve an attorney that will explain your rights, and fight to protect them. If your car breaks down, you call a professional to fix it. Is your car more important than your freedom? If not, contact one of our WA State criminal law lawyers today.
When you’re facing a legal battle of any size and need an experienced and qualified attorney, please contact our Sumner criminal law lawyers for a confidential, no-cost initial consultation.