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.