Have you or a loved one been arrested and charged with a crime? Getting arrested is one of the most frightening things that will ever happen to you. Almost worse than getting arrested is the anxious anticipation after you have been arrested as you wait to find out what will happen. You will probably have a million questions like
- Where is the best place to learn about the charges I face?
- Will I have to appear in court?
- How can I fight these charges against me?
- Do I need a lawyer right away?
- If I am innocent of the charges, should I go ahead and talk to the police?
The anxiety and fear we feel tends to get exaggerated in our minds, and this can be the worst part of the entire process. If you call our experienced Tumwater criminal defense lawyers, we can help you put your situation into perspective and better understand your options. Our team will work with you to develop effective defense strategies for your case. An attorney who is familiar with the Washington State criminal courts, agencies, procedures, and various legal defenses can help protect your rights and make sure that your case has the best possible outcome.
Accusations of criminal conduct can upend your life, affecting everything from your finances to freedoms. Whether you have never previously been accused of a crime, have numerous prior convictions, or are facing serious criminal charges, our Tumwater criminal defense team is committed to helping you obtain a favorable outcome.
Our WA State criminal lawyers all offer a no-cost initial consultation for every client. We would be happy to discuss the particulars of your case, and how we can help you. Call us today and let us help you lift the weight off of your shoulders and put it on ours.Our Washington State Criminal Attorneys Explain Common Court Terms
Several steps occur between the time a crime is reported to law enforcement and when the case is concluded in the courts. These steps take time so it’s important to work with a Washington criminal law lawyer who has experience with every part of the process.
When a crime is initially reported to law enforcement, an officer is sent to the crime scene to find out what happened. An arrest may be made at that time. The officer will gather evidence and write a report that will be sent to the district attorney's office with a type of charge indicated on the report. If the State thinks you have committed a crime, the District Attorney’s Office, representing the State, may bring criminal charges against you. Only the State – not another person or agency – can charge you with a criminal violation.
It’s important to remember that if you’re charged with a crime, you should never talk to the police or a prosecutor until you have a qualified lawyer at your side. When they say, “anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law,” they mean it. Anything you say could be misconstrued or twisted in a way to make you appear guilty, even if you’re not. Remember: You have rights and our lawyers will protect them.
Once you have been charged with a crime, you will need to appear in court. It is up to the state to prove its case against you, and you have the right to have an attorney mount a strong case in your defense. You now need proper guidance and must explore how to move forward by understanding the charges alleged, and comprehending what steps need to be taken next. An experienced Lacey criminal defense attorney will be able to walk you through every detail of both the specifics of your case and the Washington state court process.
The resources below attempt to assist you in gaining some preliminary knowledge of the Washington court system. It is, however, no substitute for consultation with legal counsel. We encourage you to read through this website and then contact our firm immediately for a free consultation on your case.
Appeal- A challenge to a previous legal determination. An appeal is directed towards a legal power higher than the power making the challenged determination. For example, if you are found guilty of a simple misdemeanor in municipal court, you may appeal your case in the District Court.
Arraignment- The first step in a criminal proceeding where the accused is brought in front of the court to hear the charges and enter a plea.
Discovery- Procedures by which one party to a lawsuit may obtain information relevant to the case which is held or known by the other party. Discovery enables the parties to know before the trial begins what evidence may be presented.
District Court- Deals with city and state code violations. Thurston County District Court, located in Olympia, hears all misdemeanor and gross misdemeanor criminal cases including criminal traffic citations within the city limits.
Felony- A felony is a far more serious charge than a misdemeanor. The severity of the offense may determine the type of felony charged. Washington uses three different classes to categorize felony offenses;
- Class A Felony is the most severe felony charge. It is punishable by up to life in a state correctional facility and/or up-to a $50,000 fine. An example of a Class A felony would be first-degree murder.
- Class B Felony is punishable by up to 10 years in a state correctional facility and/or up-to a $20,000 fine. An example of a Class B felony would be second-degree manslaughter.
- Class C Felony is punishable by up to 5 years in a state correctional facility and/or up-to a $10,000 fine. An example of a Class C felony would be third-degree assault.
Misdemeanor- 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.
Municipal Court- Deals with town and/or city code violations. As a court of limited jurisdiction, Tumwater Municipal Court may only adjudicate non-criminal parking tickets, traffic, and non-traffic infractions. It is located in the Tumwater City Hall building.
Omnibus Trial- A hearing for the prosecuting attorney and the defense attorney to discuss pretrial matters pertaining to the case, including the admissibility of evidence obtained at the time of arrest.
Plea- Statement made by the defendant either as to his guilt or innocence to the charge made against him.
Readiness Hearing- A hearing set shortly before trial to determine whether the case is ready for trial.
Sentencing- The judgment formally pronounced by the judge upon the defendant after his conviction in a criminal prosecution, setting the punishment for the offense.
Superior Court- A Superior Court may consider all civil and criminal matters occurring within a county's boundary, and has exclusive jurisdiction over cases involving felonies, family law, and estate issues. Superior courts also act as a court of appeals for cases from District and Municipal Courts. The Thurston County Superior Court is located in Olympia, approximately 3 miles from Tumwater.
When you’re arrested and accused of a crime, anything that you say to other individuals can be used against you in court. This includes statements to investigators, your employer, friends, family members, or police. When you are arrested, every attempt to gain information from you will be made on behalf of the authorities, which is why it’s essential to retain a Washington state criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
In addition to providing a comprehensive defense for your case, you’ll also be provided with the knowledge of what to expect through every step of the criminal court process. Not all cases go to trial, but those that do can lead to critical consequences for you. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that all attorneys are the same. Contact our Lacey criminal defense lawyers today to get started on your free consultation.“How Can a Tumwater Criminal Law Attorney Help Me?”
When you’re notified that you are the focus of an investigation or when charges of a crime are lodged against you, the most critical choice you make is deciding which criminal defense lawyer should be chosen to represent your interests and defend your rights.
Some of the charges our team of experienced Washington State criminal law attorneys has handled include-
Assault- Washington state law doesn’t define “assault” in its criminal code, so state courts rely on common law, which defines it as intentionally inflicting unwanted physical harm. Did you know that harm (for the purposes of the legal definition) doesn’t mean actual physical injury to the victim? It does, however, require that the action caused the victim to fear actual harm. If you’ve been accused of assault, it’s imperative to seek immediate counsel from a qualified Tumwater criminal defense attorney.
DUI- Driving Under the Influence charges are persecuted to the fullest extent of the law in Washington state. Washington state statute RCW 46.61.502 states that
- A person is guilty of driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, marijuana, or any drug if the person drives a vehicle within this state:
- And the person has, within two hours after driving, 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; or
- The person has, within two hours after driving, a THC concentration of 5.00 or higher as shown by analysis of the person's blood made under RCW 46.61.506; or
- While the person is under the influence of or affected by intoxicating liquor, marijuana, or any drug; or
- (While the person is under the combined influence of or affected by intoxicating liquor, marijuana, and any drug.
The state statute also institutes a penalty schedule, which outlines each mandatory punishment that covers charges ranging from a first DUI offense to DUI charges brought against a minor, and everything in between. Our team of qualified lawyers has handled hundreds of DUI cases in Thurston County, let our experience work for you.
Reckless Driving- What constitutes Reckless Driving in Washington state? State statute defines Reckless Driving as “any person who drives any vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.” Depending on the circumstances, even speeding can be charged as Reckless Driving. A conviction for Reckless Driving carries a mandatory 30-day suspension of your driver’s license in addition to any other penalties like fines or jail, that a judge may sentence if you are found guilty.
Juvenile Cases- Some people assume that juvenile law is the same as laws that apply to adults. It’s essential to understand some key differences in the juvenile justice process that can make these cases difficult if you do not have experience as an attorney. Issues can include the likelihood of the case being heard in criminal court instead of the juvenile court and whether the charge will be included in your child’s criminal record.
These are just a few of the criminal charges our experienced team of Tumwater criminal defense lawyers has handled. With over 50 combined years of experience, there are very few charges our team hasn’t overseen for clients just like you. Contact our office today for a free, confidential consultation.Tumwater, Home of Tumwater Falls
The City of Tumwater is located at the base of the Deschutes River, where the water cascades to its final destination at the southern tip of Puget Sound. Tumwater was originally called "New Market" by American settlers but was later renamed Tumwater, which is derived from the Chinook word for waterfall. The city also has the designation of being the oldest American settlement on Puget Sound.
Tumwater is perhaps best known as the home to the former Olympia Brewery. Although the brewery closed in 2003, the historic Old Brewhouse stands as Tumwater’s most important architectural landmark. Tours are currently closed while the Brewery undergoes needed revitalization.
Another popular attraction is Brewery Park at Tumwater Falls. There, visitors can stroll the parks 15-acres and marvel at the reflecting pools, cascading waterfalls, and rock formations.
In August the city hosts its annual Tumwater Artesian Brewfest. This single-day event allows visitors and locals the chance to taste over 100 craft beers native to the Pacific Northwest. Attendees can also sample local food, or play putt-putt golf.
One thing seems certain, the good people of Tumwater love their beer. The only way to enjoy a frosty cold one is by staying out of jail. If you or a loved one is facing criminal prosecution, contact our law office now for a free consultation.
Here is another fact: Did you know that the Washington State Department of Corrections has its headquarters in Tumwater? If you are being questioned by police, facing a police investigation, or if you have been charged with a crime, contact our Lacey criminal law lawyers today.When Should You Hire a Tumwater Criminal Defense Attorney?
Although the answer may seem obvious, in virtually every case, the sooner you hire a criminal defense attorney after being charged with a crime—or even when you think you are the subject of a criminal investigation—the better. When a criminal defense attorney is on board right from the beginning, even from the point of suspicion or investigation, they will be better able to build a solid defense on your behalf.
It is important that you seek consultation from an experienced Washington State criminal attorney early on in the process for many reasons. One of the most important being, the State Attorney’s Office, not the arresting police agency, will have discretion as to what charges may be filed against you. This early representation by a skilled Lacey criminal law lawyer may have the benefit of having your charges dropped completely or having the charges reduced to a lesser offense.
Our Washington State criminal law attorneys take great pride in offering resolute defense for clients who have run afoul of the law. With more than 50 years of combined experience working to protect your freedom, you know you’re in good hands. You do not have to deal with this situation alone. Get answers to your most pressing questions today and take charge of your situation.
Any criminal charge you’ve been arrested for requires the skilled services of a criminal defense attorney who’s intimately familiar with Washington state laws pertaining to a wide variety of crimes, their potential defenses, and their penalties. Contact our Lacey criminal defense lawyers today to protect your rights in court.