Have you (or someone you love) been charged with a criminal offense? Being better prepared by understanding your situation, your rights and your options on approaching this case will be vital on how your attorney handles this case.
A criminal conviction can carry grave consequences such as jail time, fines, loss of privileges and/or a permanent mark on your future reputation. However, this does not have to be the case. An experienced and skilled Seattle criminal defense lawyer can help you eliminate these penalties. Below you will find some general information about crimes in Seattle and a guide to what an attorney can do for you.
So You’ve Been Charged With A Crime…
Being charged with a criminal offense can leave you wondering many things. Thought such as:
- Am I going to go to jail?
- Am I going to be able to drive a car?
- Am I going to lose my job?
- What is a good Seattle DUI lawyer going to cost?
- What are my friends and family going to think?
Although these questions might seem daunting and the future uncertain, the good news is that with the help of a criminal defense attorney in Seattle, the majority of these questions can be addressed.
The Criminal Justice Process
After being charged or accused of a crime in Seattle, it is very important to be knowledgeable and prepared for the procedures to come. Although you can go at it alone, having a trusted Seattle criminal defense attorney to guide you through the process is highly recommended. With the help of a lawyer you can feel confident in tackling every step of the way and achieving the best possible outcome for your case. Below is the simplified process following a criminal arrest. Of course there could be more steps in between. There is no substitution for an experienced criminal defense lawyer when defending your case.
Immediately or soon after being arrested, the court has a few decisions to make. They need to decide if you are a flight risk, in which case there would be no bail. The more serious the crime, the higher the price of bail. For very minor crimes, you might be released without bail after a certain period of time.
There are many things an attorney can do prior to the trial. This can include gather evidence in your defense, speaking to the prosecution about a deal, finding out what evidence the prosecution will be using and developing defenses against that evidence. The sooner preparations for your case are made the more likely a positive outcome will be achieved.
A criminal trial can be a an extensive and complex procedure, even more so when you are unfamiliar with the justice system. There are many steps including the selection of a jury, opening statements, presenting of evidence, ending with sentencing. Take advantage of the experience of a lawyer that’s gone through this process countless times.
Types of Crimes
To learn more about the various types of crimes and to understand how a Seattle criminal defense attorney can better assist you, please review the information below related to your specific case. By clicking on the headings, you will be directed to additional pages with more details about a specific crime.
Felonies vs. Misdemeanors
Felonies and Misdemeanors have their most significant differences characterized by the severity of the crime. However, both convictions can bare grave consequences and can result in jail or time in prison. All of the below broad categories of crimes can be both felonies and misdemeanors depends on the specifics of the case.
- DUI: A DUI or DWI can result in many kinds of consequence ranging from jail time, loss of driving privileges, heavy financial penalties, mandatory use of an ignition interlock device and possibly treatment for drug and alcohol abuse. This is a serious offense and is not to be taken lightly.
- Infraction Defense: Infraction Defense includes charges such as being pulled over for a traffic offense, speeding, reckless driving, or some other moving violation. These charges can bring heavy fines and can also increase your auto insurance rates. Paying these fines means that you are pleading guilty to one of these charges. Consider that a Seattle criminal defense attorney may be cheaper overall before you pay the fine.
- Theft Crimes: Theft is a broad category that includes shoplifting, embezzlement, possession of stolen property, burglary, robbery, and theft in the first, second, and third degree. These charges bring forth a multitude of consequences, so it is crucial that you do not waste any time without a defense attorney whose has experience in dealing with theses kinds of charges.
- Drug Charges: Drug offenses are also broad and can range from a simple marijuana possession to more serious charges such as the selling and distributing of controlled substances. These include but are not limited to cocaine, heroin, meth, and unauthorized prescription drugs. Conviction of a drug offense could result in jail time, heavy fines, loss of federal funding benefits and more.
- Sex Crimes: Sex crimes are one of the most serious and life-altering convictions that an individual could be charged with. These crimes include but are not limited to sexual assault and battery, child pornography, forcible rape, luring minors, and etc. Crimes such as these will usually result in severe penalties.
- Violent Crimes: Violent crimes are usually some of the most severe crimes in terms of punishments. The government does not want people who they suspect are capable of hurting other citizens physically to walk around the unsupervised. This is why those convicted of a violent crime are most like to face jail time or supervised probations.
- White Collar Crimes: With white collar crimes it is not directly visible who is hurt by the crime. There is nobody who gets directly physically or emotionally hurt. White collar crimes have to do with money and include crimes such as, fraud, embezzlement, or money laundering. However, the government really goes after white collar criminals because they are usually avoiding paying taxes, which the government despises. The more severe the crime (the larger the amount of money involved) the higher like likelihood of prison time and heavy fines.
Get a Free Case Evaluation With a Seattle Criminal Defense Lawyer
In any case where an individual has been charged with a criminal offense, hiring the right defense attorney is crucial. An experienced and capable attorney can guide you to the best outcome for your case. We encourage you to highly evaluate the attorney you choose to make sure they are competent and understand your case, your legal options and proceed without haste. In many cases, your legal representation could be the key to winning a trial and bettering your future.