Thurston County Criminal Lawyers
Thurston County is home to over a quarter of a million residents. From tiny Budoca to sprawling Olympia, there is something for everyone in Thurston County.
One thing that can end the good times quickly is getting arrested and charged with a crime.
An arrest can be a terrifying experience, especially if you’ve never run afoul of the law. Not only do you have to deal with the humiliation of being arrested and processed, you potentially face life-altering repercussions that could entirely derail your life. Even a first ever DUI charge could cause you to lose your driver’s license, your job, or even your freedom.
If you or a loved one have been charged with a crime, you need an attorney that is well versed in Washington State laws and knows how the local prosecutors and judges operate. Our team of criminal defense attorneys has over 50 years of combined experience and can help you navigate the labyrinthine waters of the court system.
Our firm has built a reputation for providing strong, aggressive criminal defense. Individuals throughout the state turn to our Thurston County office when they need serious criminal defense representation.
Our Washington State criminal attorneys are smart, sophisticated litigators. Our team is dedicated to providing you with the best legal representation possible. We strive to comprehensively explain your legal matters in order for you to fully understand your rights and options. We’ve stood up to prosecutors long enough to know what it takes to get you the best possible result for your particular situation.Pierce County, Washington Criminal Courts Explained by a Criminal Defense Attorney
Depending on the type and severity of the charges you face, you will probably have to appear in court. Which court you will appear in depends upon what type of law the government of Washington alleges you have broken.
Washington cities may establish municipal courts, which are courts of limited jurisdiction that may not hear civil cases. 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. Thurston County has several municipal courts, including the Yelm Municipal Court and the Olympia Municipal Court.
Each of Washington's 39 counties has a state District Court. The District Court, or “county court” as it is commonly referred to, has limited jurisdiction like municipal courts, however, it can also adjudicate civil cases. District court is responsible for hearing cases that violate state laws, as well as expedited or preliminary felony charges. State law violations can carry with them a wide range of punishments including fines, probation, jail, or prison. The Thurston County District Court is located in the county seat, Olympia.
The next step on the judicial ladder is the state Superior court. Superior courts are trial courts that may consider all civil and criminal matters that occur within a county. They also have exclusive jurisdiction over all felony criminal cases, as well as family law and juvenile proceedings. The superior court may also serve as a court of appeals for cases that were previously adjudicated in either Municipal or District courts. The Thurston County Superior Court is also located in downtown Olympia.
Appearing in court can be intimidating, whether this is your first brush with the law or not. Our Thurston County criminal defense lawyers are ready to stand up for your rights and help you navigate the court process. We have the background and experience necessary to handle complex cases effectively so that you can move on from your legal issues.Our WA State Criminal Law Lawyers Will Fight for You
Our law firm specializes in defending a wide variety of criminal cases, whether they are misdemeanors or felonies.
A conviction for any of these crimes will lead to serious repercussions that may include:
- Jail/Prison sentences
- Heavy Fines
- Suspension/Loss of License
- Community Service
A conviction will mean you have to live with a criminal record, which can make it hard to find a job or even a place to live. Now is not the time to allow worry to prevent you from doing what must be done to ensure you have a prosperous future. Let our team of Thurston County criminal law attorneys work diligently to protect your freedom.Criminal Charges FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
What should you do if you’ve been arrested? We know it’s a scary moment, but it’s important that you remember a few things. First and foremost, don’t answer any questions until you speak with a qualified attorney. Your criminal defense starts the moment you are arrested for any crime, whether you are guilty or not.
Once the initial panic wears off, you will probably have lots of questions, like;
- Why am I being charged?
- Will I still get in trouble even though I didn’t know what I did was illegal?
- Will my case go to trial?
- Do I even need a lawyer?
- I’m innocent. Should I go ahead and talk to the police?
One of the first things you should know is the nature of the charges you’re facing. Here is a quick guide prepared by our legal team to provide you with some basic information.
Every criminal charge is broken down into two categories, misdemeanors, and felonies.
- Simple Misdemeanors- These crimes carry a punishment of up to 90 days in jail and/or up to a $1,000 fine. Some examples of simple misdemeanors would be trespassing, vandalism, and petty theft.
- Gross Misdemeanors- These crimes carry a punishment of up to 364 days in jail and/or up to a $5,000 fine. Some examples of gross misdemeanors would be DUI, Physical Control Violations, and Assault in the 4th degree.
- Felonies- There are three levels of felonies in Washington state, depending upon the severity of your charge.
- 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.
Some examples of felonies would be rape, murder, and armed robbery.
The circumstances of every case are unique, so there is no blanket answer to be found just by searching Google or asking friends. Reach out to a knowledgeable Thurston county criminal lawyer to discuss your situation. We offer a free initial consultation so that you can get to know us while we learn about you and your case.How Our Washington State Criminal Lawyers Can Help You
We offer our clients exceptional advocacy and defense for all types of criminal cases, including:
DUI- Every DUI case is unique. Washington state law decrees that it is against the law to operate or be “in physical control” of a vehicle:
- With a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of .08% or higher
- With a THC concentration of 5 nanograms or more per milliliter of blood
- While the person is under the combined influence of or affected by intoxicating liquor and any drug
While the law itself seems straightforward, there are many circumstances and situations that will require a unique defense for every charge. Under this law, you may still be charged with a DUI even if you didn’t fail a breathalyzer if you appear to still be affected by drugs or alcohol at the time. Whether you are facing your first DUI violation or have other drunk driving convictions on your record, we will move swiftly to defend your driving privileges and challenge blood, breath, or sobriety test results.
Minor In Possession (MIP)- A charge of MIP means that the accused, being a person under the legal drinking age of 21 years old, has been issued a citation by a police officer for being illegally in possession, ownership, or control of an alcoholic beverage. This means that a minor can be in the proximity of alcohol that belongs to another person, but cannot touch, hold, transport, attempt to purchase, consume or have any contact with alcohol. This is obviously a situation that no parent wants to find themselves in, but the help of an experienced lawyer can pave the way for a favorable outcome.
Physical Control Violations- Physical control violations carry the same punishments as DUI, including jail time and heavy fines, as well as the possibility of suspension or loss of your license. Some examples of Physical Control include:
- Sleeping in your car while intoxicated
- Sitting in the driver's seat of a parked car with the keys in the ignition while intoxicated
- A passenger grabs the steering wheel of a moving vehicle.
Statute RCW 46.61.504 reads as follows:
“Physical control of vehicle under the influence.
(1) A person is guilty of being in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug if the person has actual physical control of a vehicle within this state:
(a) And the person has, within two hours after being in actual physical control of the vehicle, 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”
Unfortunately, any charges related to impairment in a vehicle are harshly litigated, even if you thought you were doing the right thing by sleeping in your car. It is imperative that you obtain legal counsel that is knowledgeable about defending against Washington’s physical control violation charges.
Theft- Were you arrested for a theft crime? Theft crimes are classified as the illegal taking of another person's property without their knowledge or consent. There are many forms of theft crimes and depending on the type of crime that you were accused of and the amount of money taken, you may face a misdemeanor or a felony charge. If force or a deadly weapon was used to obtain the items that were stolen, you may be facing other serious penalties as well.
Consider Statute RCW 9A.56.020
(1) "Theft" means:
(a) To wrongfully obtain or exert unauthorized control over the property or services of another or the value thereof, with intent to deprive him or her of such property or services; or
(b) By color or aid of deception to obtain control over the property or services of another or the value thereof, with intent to deprive him or her of such property or services; or
(c) To appropriate lost or misdelivered property or services of another, or the value thereof, with intent to deprive him or her of such property or services.
As you can see, theft crimes can be quite complex. If you’re facing any criminal charge, you need to talk to a Washington criminal law attorney without delay. Our legal team will help you better understand the charges and immediately begin diving into the details of your case. Fighting a criminal charge takes hard work and dedication but our criminal law attorneys are up to the task.
This list is by no means exhaustive. If you don’t see your charge listed on this website, please reach out to our office for a free initial case evaluation. Taking the action to contact us early will go a long way in ensuring a favorable outcome in your criminal case.Thurston County, More Than Just Olympia
The first thing you should know about Thurston county is that it’s home to more than just Olympia, the capital of Washington state. Of Thurston county’s quarter of a million residents, only approximately 50k call Olympia home. The rest of the residents are scattered throughout the county in cities such as Tumwater, Yelm, Lacey, Tenino, and Rainier.
If you’re looking to spend some time outdoors but want something a little different than hiking or watersports, make sure you visit Wolf Haven International. Located in Tenino, this wildlife sanctuary is home to more than 300 rescued wolves. Visitors can make a reservation to partake in a guided 50-minute walk that offers a once-in-a-lifetime experience seeing wolves up close and personal in a safe environment.
Another popular outdoor activity in Thurston County is the Thurston County Fair. This annual summertime event is held at the fairgrounds in Lacey and has been running since 1871. Locals and visitors alike flock to this summertime extravaganza, which features live music, 4-H competitions, food vendors, local artisans, and carnival rides.
Of course, if you do end up visiting Olympia, we recommend checking out the Capitol Theater. Home to the Olympia Film Society, this 700+ seat theater was built in 1924 and hosts film festivals as well as live music and theater productions.
Facing criminal charges can certainly feel like a huge production. Let us ease your mind and as much of the burden as possible by fiercely representing you throughout the entire process. Our team of experienced Thurston County criminal defense lawyers will communicate your gains and risks transparently so that you understand precisely what is happening.How Do I Select a Competent Criminal Lawyer?
If you are facing a criminal charge, you know that even an accusation can have a terrible impact on your life. From deciding how to handle a call from an investigator to being arrested and navigating the bond process, the process is complicated, confusing, and constantly working against you. Criminal charges can mean pretrial incarceration, missing work for court hearings if you are on bond and constant uncertainty about the outcome of your case. Criminal convictions can result in prison time, probation, fines, fees, community service, and court-ordered classes. The State may restrict your right to vote, possess a weapon, receive federal funding for school, or even drive. Further, a criminal conviction could result in a loss of current employment as well as difficulty finding future employment.
Now is not the time to take chances. When your future hangs in the balance, you need bold, experienced, and aggressive legal representation. If you are facing criminal charges in Olympia or the surrounding cities, let our Thurston county criminal law lawyers put our experience to work for you. We will work tirelessly to build a strong defense on your behalf. We make it our mission to seek out the best results on each and every case our firm handles.
If you have been arrested or are under investigation for suspected criminal activity, we invite you to call our offices to schedule a free, confidential consultation. We want to earn your trust, and our experienced Thurston county criminal defense attorneys believe that you deserve to know your rights before you choose to work with us.