We understand that being arrested for any crime is traumatic. If you or a loved one is accused of a crime, you have a host of questions you desperately need to answer. Do you need a lawyer to fight a criminal charge? What should you do if you’re arrested? What does it mean to be charged with a crime?
While you may feel crippled by your emotions and the overwhelming amount of new information, now is not the time to delay. You need help from a qualified Washington State criminal defense lawyer immediately. In the meantime, we urge you to do some research on your charges. We have provided some basic information regarding criminal law in Thurston County on this website, and our firm encourages you to read over this information so that you can better understand exactly what is happening to you.
In criminal investigations, time is of the essence. The earlier we can preserve the evidence, review the crime scene, and interview any witnesses, the better for you, as it lessens the chances of important information being forgotten, lost, or destroyed. Our firm’s criminal law experience and knowledge of the local court system provide our clients with the best results-oriented defense against the accusations of the government.Do I Need a Lawyer?
Confronting a criminal law matter can be extremely stressful and unsettling. The decision as to whether or not to hire an attorney, and which attorney to hire, is usually one of the first decisions you will have to make, and can ultimately be one of the most important.
If you decide to pursue legal representation, you will be allowed to petition the court for a public defender. Public defenders are lawyers who work for the government and represent people who cannot reasonably afford to hire a private lawyer to defend themselves at trial. In Washington, the court will determine your eligibility for a public defender through a financial interview. If you qualify, the court will appoint your public defender, meaning you get no choice in who represents you.
Retaining a private attorney, someone who is working as part of a criminal defense legal team and has the time, motivation, and specialized resources to dedicate to your case and thoroughly communicate with you is undeniably the best choice you can make. In almost every criminal matter, hiring one of our Tumwater criminal defense attorneys is the better option. You have the benefit of a team that has the necessary education and skills, experience with the courts, and the time to give your case personal attention.
You should know that you do have the option of representing yourself in court, which is called appearing “pro se.” However, most lawyers and judges would agree that pro se representation is not always the best decision for a defendant facing criminal charges. This is because most people lack the experience and knowledge of Washington State laws to put up the best defense.
You don’t want to hire just any lawyer. You need someone you can feel comfortable with and trust, who will help you achieve the best outcome possible. Regardless of the seriousness of the charges, it’s essential to have a qualified Thurston County defense attorney in your corner who can make sure your rights and interests are protected. Call us today to get started with your free consultation.Tumwater Criminal Court Overview
If you’ve been charged with a crime in Tumwater, you will eventually have to appear in court. Depending upon your charges, there are three different criminal courtrooms you may end up in - municipal court, district court, or superior court. If the government alleges that you broke a city law, you will end up in municipal court. If the government alleges that you broke state law, you will have to appear in district court. And if the government alleges that you broke federal law, you will have to appear in superior court.
Washington cities have the option of establishing municipal courts, however not every city chooses to do so. Municipal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction, which means that they are only allowed to hear certain types of cases. The Tumwater Municipal Court is located at the Tumwater City Hall and hears cases specifically regarding infractions (traffic, parking, and non-criminal violations.)
Each of Washington's 39 counties also has a state District Court. The district court is also a court of limited jurisdiction, and adjudicates on misdemeanors, gross misdemeanors, traffic infractions, civil matters, violations of state law, and will also hear preliminary or expedited felony cases. The Thurston County District Court is located in Olympia, approximately 3 miles from Tumwater.
In addition to the district court, each of Washington’s 39 counties also contains a superior court. The Thurston County Superior Court, also located in Olympia, is a court of general jurisdiction, which means that they can hear all civil and criminal matters occurring within the county. The superior court also has exclusive jurisdiction over family law cases, estate and probate matters, juvenile proceedings, and felonies.
Watching courtroom dramas on television cannot prepare you for how disorienting the court system can be. Showing up to court can be extremely jarring, and facing the potential consequences of a criminal conviction can be a terrifying experience.
You don’t have to try and navigate the Thurston County criminal court system alone. If you are facing criminal charges or allegations, you are worthy of the best representation from a Tumwater criminal defense attorney who will strongly and passionately defend your freedom and attain the best possible outcome. Contact our firm today and let us help you on the path to freedom.What Can a Washington State criminal Attorney Do for You?
To give you an idea of the types of cases we handle and how we handle them, here is some information on 4 of our most common practice areas.
Driving Under the Influence (DUI)- In Washington state, you can be charged with DUI if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is at or above .08%. However, under certain conditions, you may be charged even if you have a lower BAC. If you are driving a commercial vehicle, you can be charged for a BAC at or over .04%, and if you are under the legal drinking age of 21, you can be charged if your BAC reaches .02%. You can also be charged for driving under the influence of drugs. For example, having a concentration of at least five nanograms of THC (the active ingredient of marijuana) constitutes a DUI.
Minors charged with DUI face even more serious repercussions. Consider the following Washington Statute, RCW 46.61.503:
Driver under twenty-one consuming alcohol or marijuana—Penalties.
(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of this title, a person is guilty of driving or being in physical control of a motor vehicle after consuming alcohol or marijuana if the person operates or is in physical control of a motor vehicle within this state and the person:
(a) Is under the age of twenty-one; and
(b) Has, within two hours after operating or being in physical control of the motor vehicle, either:
(i) An alcohol concentration of at least 0.02 but less than the concentration specified in RCW 46.61.502, as shown by analysis of the person's breath or blood made under RCW 46.61.506
What does this mean? It means that a teenager can have one beer and face the prospect of acquiring a criminal record that may very likely haunt them for the rest of their life. If your child is charged with a Minor DUI, we will aggressively fight to protect their interests.
Domestic Violence (DV) - Washington state has a mandatory arrest law for cases relating to domestic violence, which means that if the police are called to a DV disturbance, they must make an arrest if there is probable cause.
Did you know that Washington state law defines domestic violence as almost any criminal act committed by a "family or household member?” That vague wording allows for charges to be brought, not just against spouses or domestic partners, but also grandparents, adult children, cousins, partners, ex-lovers, or roommates. Washington state prosecutors and judges tend to prosecute DV to the fullest extent of the law, so if you’ve been charged with domestic violence, you need an experienced Sammamish criminal defense lawyer on your side.
Theft- Did you know that theft, robbery, and burglary are all different charges in Washington state?
- Theft is defined as someone taking unauthorized control over the property or services of another with the intent to deprive the owner. Stealing someone’s credit card numbers and racking up a massive bill would be an example of theft.
- Robbery is defined as when a person unlawfully takes someone else's personal property directly from their person. A masked stranger demanding your cash and cell phone would be an example of robbery.
- Burglary is charged when someone enters a building, dwelling, or vehicle with criminal intent. No actual stealing has to occur to be charged with burglary, simply entering somebody else’s home with criminal intent will get a charge of burglary.
- Theft is the most common of these charges that are filed in Washington state. Our Thurston County criminal defense attorneys have defended numerous theft, burglary, and robbery charges and can help you resolve your case.
Reckless Driving- Statute RCW 46.61.500 is defined as follows:
Reckless driving—Penalty. (Effective until January 1, 2022.)
(1) Any person who drives any vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving. Violation of the provisions of this section is a gross misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for up to three hundred sixty-four days and by a fine of not more than five thousand dollars.
(2)(a) Subject to (b) of this subsection, the license or permit to drive or any nonresident privilege of any person convicted of reckless driving shall be suspended by the department for not less than thirty days.
The term ‘willful’ is a synonym for intentionally, knowingly, and purposely. ‘Wanton’ means that the accused drove the vehicle with a conscious and intentional indifference to consequences and with the knowledge that damage was likely to be done to persons or property. Reckless driving can also be charged when someone was erratically driving while sober or for street racing. A qualified attorney can explain how the law applies to the facts of your case and help you decide on how best to handle your situation.
This is, by far, not an exhaustive list. If you don’t see your charges listed here and want to know if we cover them, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team for a free consultation.Tumwater, Home of Tumwater Falls
The City of Tumwater is located at the base of the Deschutes River, in the heart of Thurston County. Originally named “New Market” by settlers, Tumwater’s current name is derived from the Chinook word meaning “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 park’s 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 supersized beer pong or putt-putt golf.
Here is another fun 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 Thurston County criminal law lawyers today.Let Us Help You - Contact Us Today
Criminal charges can jeopardize everything you have worked so hard to build in your life: your career, your reputation, and your personal and professional relationships. A conviction could threaten your freedom and future. With everything on the line, there is no option but to retain the services of our powerful, proven team of Tumwater criminal defense attorneys.
We are a criminal defense law firm in Thurston County that utilizes our unique experience and knowledge of the criminal defense legal system to help all those in need. An outstanding attorney is especially vital when facing criminal charges that could result in prison time and/or expensive fines. Our team is committed to providing excellent service to our clients, ensuring we listen to their case, their circumstances, and their needs before determining a proper legal defense on their behalf.
Don’t wait until it is too late. With your future hanging in the balance, you need bold, experienced, and aggressive legal representation. You need a criminal defense attorney ready to hit the ground running and who will stand by your side for as long as it takes to get the best outcome the facts of your case allow. If you are facing criminal charges in Thurston County, let our Tumwater criminal defense lawyers ensure your rights are protected and your best defenses are preserved.Tumwater Criminal Defense Lawyer
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.