Overview of the Criminal Defense Process
If you have been charged with a crime or think that you will be, a criminal defense attorney at Kitsap Criminal Defense can help you navigate the legal system and protect your rights and best interest. Involvement with the legal system, especially the criminal justice system, is rarely a pleasant experience. If you have been arrested, spent time in jail (even just booking) or otherwise charged with a crime, you may feel embarrassed, scared or even angry. These feelings are certainly understandable, but it is important to remember that these feelings do not define you, nor does a criminal charge. There is a path forward for you and a defense attorney at Kitsap Criminal Defense can help.
The Defense Process is usually triggered by an interaction with law enforcement. You may have been arrested or issued a summons to court. An arrest does not guarantee you will be charged, nor does not being arrested mean you won’t be charged. It is important to note that you may receive a citation of some kind from law enforcement and not receive a summons to court for many months. Waiting to reach out to a defense lawyer simply because you were not arrested may not be in your best interest.
Common Types of Criminal Charges
Some common types for criminal charges include,
Drug Possession other Drug Related Crimes.
Some motor vehicle violations may also result in criminal charges, including:
Driving Without a License and,
Driving while License Suspended or Revoked.
Speeding and minor traffic offenses are typically not considered crimes, rather they are classified as civil infractions.
Criminal charges will be classified as either misdemeanor (simple misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor) or felony (class C felony, class B felony, or class A felony). These classifications are based on the severity of the offense. Felony offenses are the most severe and carry the potential for sentencing of more than a year and heavy fines that may reach from $5000 to $50,000 depending on the level of felony. Misdemeanors like criminal trespassing, theft and assault typically carry potential for sentencing of less than one year and fines up to $5000 depending on the offense.
In order to protect your rights, it is important that you discuss the criminal charges you are or may be facing with NO ONE except your defense attorney. Contact a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible, whether you were arrested or not and even if you were given a citation but not a definitive court date for arraignment.
Arraignment and the Pre-Trial Process
Typically, the first court date related to a criminal case is the Arraignment. During the arraignment hearing, the defendant appears before a judge and charges are formally presented. If a person has been arrested, bail may set, or denied, at this time. The defendant will usually enter a plea during the arraignment hearing. Indigent individuals will be apprised of the opportunity to screen for a public defender if they cannot otherwise afford to hire an attorney.
Following the arraignment there may be a number of pre-trial hearings. How many hearings may vary considerably depending on the specific case and may range from case status hearings to motion hearings.
Plea Deals and Negotiations
In some cases, the prosecuting attorney’s office may offer a plea deal during the pre-trial phase that may reduce a charge or limit sentencing recommendations for a certain plea by the defendant. Pre-trial diversion agreements may also be agreed to in which charges are suspended for a period of time and may be dropped if certain conditions are met by the defendant.
Defense Strategy and Criminal Trials
At Kitsap Criminal Defense, our lead defense attorney also holds a Master’s Degree from the Naval War College. This depth of strategic training and experience is exceptional in any field and enormously valuable in criminal defense. There are often multiple pathways toward resolution of a criminal case. Our best outcome serves our client’s best interest. The easiest, quickest option may do just that, but often that is not the case. We believe the best strategy will minimize avoidable, unnecessary impact on our client’s life and future. In deciding which strategy is best, you will work closely with your attorney to examine each option that becomes available and will be given experienced guidance to help you make the best decisions for yourself.
Criminal trials may be unavoidable in some circumstances. We do not assume at the beginning of a case that it will end in trial, but we do begin to prepare for that possibility immediately. Preparing for trial includes gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, seeking experts who can support your case and other processes. The outcomes of these processes are vital for supporting the pre-trial process as well. Your attorney is supported by an experienced legal team who will help with the preparation processes and you will also work closely with our team as your case progresses. It is important for you to understand that you have the experience, guidance and support you need here at Kitsap Criminal Defense throughout your case.
KITSAP COUNTY DUI LAWYER
Misdemeanor DUI and Felony DUI Lawyer Representation
If you are reading this and you’ve recently been charged with a DUI, there’s a pretty good chance that you recently Googled something like “DUI lawyer near me.” Glad you made it here safely. Getting charged with a DUI, driving under the influence, is serious, but it does not have to be catastrophic. An experienced DUI lawyer at Kitsap Criminal Defense can help. If you have been charged with a DUI call 360.204.5954 today to schedule a free consultation with a DUI lawyer who can help you navigate the legal system.
E-DUI, Distracted Driving, Driving While License Suspended or Revoked (DWLS)?
If you have been charged with an E-DUI, Distracted Driving, Driving While License Suspended or Revoked or other misdemeanor or felony driving offense our Criminal Defense team can help you too. Call us today at 360.204.5954 to schedule a free criminal defense consultation.
Abogado defensor que habla español para Condado de Kitsap, Mason y áreas circundantes. Kitsap Criminal Defense ofrece representación legal para todo tipo de delitos en el Condado de Kitsap y áreas cercanas, como Gig Harbor, Belfair y Shelton.
Nuestro abogado defensor principal, el Licenciado Eric McDonald, es un abogado de habla hispana nativa con más de 25 años de experiencia en derecho penal.
Si usted ha sido arrestado y/o acusado de un delito o cree que podría serlo, comuníquese con el abogado Eric McDonald al 360.204.5604 para una consulta legal gratuita de 30 minutos. (I have also added:) ¡Uste tiene ese derecho, no deje que nadie te lo quite!
No hable con nadie sobre su asunto legal y llame a un abogado perito en Derecho Penal.
Clases de Delitos
En el Estado de Washington existen dos clases de delitos: grave y menos graves. Un ejemplo de un delito grave seria robo o agresión agravada. Un ejemplo de un delito menos grave lo es: conducta desordenada, o conducir un vehículo de motor bajo el estado de embriagues (en algunos casos).
Una infraccion de la ley de transito usualment no se considera como un delito. ¡Recuede que usted tiene el derecho de permanecer callado, ejercer ese derecho y llame imediatament a un abogado.
Asistencia Legal Adicional
Es importante reconocer que exiten otras consequiencias legales que no son penal y que el Licenciado McDonald podra ayudalo a resolver, tal como protejiendo su estatus imigratorio, o como obtener una orden de protecion judicial.
Por eso es importate llamar ahora si usted tiene algun asunto legal iresoluto.
Consulta gratuita confidencial con el Licenciado McDonald
llame a nuestra oficina al 360.204.5954 para una consulta confidencial con el Licenciado McDonald.
The truth, and nothing but the truth, about what it means to win in a Criminal Defense case?
At Kitsap Criminal Defense, our purpose is to advocate for and achieve the best possible outcome for each client. It is important for us that our clients understand the seriousness of their situation and the truth about possible outcomes. It is NOT in your best interest for your attorney to play hot shot and make impossible guarantees about your case. At Kitsap Criminal Defense we provide, honest, straight-forward, reality-based defense and you will find no grand standing.
Understanding the evidence is key to a winning defense.
At Kitsap Criminal Defense, your attorney has extensive experience in developing defense cases. We will thoroughly review and investigate the facts of your case including the details you provide, the circumstances surrounding the incident, law enforcement reports, witnesses and expert evidence. Your attorney will explore the facts to ensure that your rights were respected and that required criminal procedures were followed. Based on the information available about your case, a strategy is formulated to achieve the most optimal outcome.
Wrongly Accused or Your Rights were Violated
If you have been wrongly accused, the evidence is clear, and we will aggressively advocate that charges be dismissed. If your rights were violated, our firm will take every possible step to ensure those responsible are held fully accountable. The justice system, including law enforcement, must be accountable to the laws it upholds in order to achieve and maintain vital integrity. When charges are dropped and our client’s rights are protected, that is definitely a WIN.
Criminal Law Trials
In other cases, an outright dismissal of charges is neither likely nor possible. In these cases, the evidence presented may not provide a clear picture of the circumstances and may even be willfully misconstrued by witnesses or others. The best strategy in your case may be to take the matter to trial, presenting evidence to a jury and making it clear that the prosecution’s case against you has no merit. An acquittal through a jury trial is a significant WIN for our client.
Here is the reality, Trials involve a jury full of people that were not present when a crime was committed, they may hold personal biases they are blind to or even fully aware of, and they may have no understanding of the laws related to your case or anything else. They are people and their opinion may not be swayed in your favor. Trial is a solution that must be very carefully considered long before a verdict is even an option.
Trial may not be the best strategy for you. In many cases, pre-trial agreements can be reached that can resolve a defense case without the need for trial, provided certain stipulations are adhered to. Pre-Trial Diversion Agreements and other plea agreements may be offered, or requested, leading to a dismissal of charges at a later date, or acceptance of a lesser charge that carry fewer penalties. Many people consider it a win to pay a fine and avoid jail time. Because criminal convictions of any kind can have long-term consequences, including limiting access to housing and employment options, your attorney will make sure you fully understand the implications of the decisions you will need to make.
Protecting your Best Interest is the Win
With your best interest in mind, your Kitsap Criminal Defense attorney will help you navigate the criminal defense procedures and the justice system. At each step, you will receive experienced advice and guidance. Your attorney will explain each option as it is presented and help you weigh the pro’s and con’s related to the outcomes of each decision. A winning strategy may not absolve our clients from taking responsibility for their actions, but it does often mean responsibly considering alternatives to extensive fines and jail time which may not be possible to avoid otherwise. A winning strategy also does not mean taking the first plea option offered and agreeing to a crime you have not committed.
At Kitsap Criminal Defense, protecting our clients and advocating for their rights and freedom are our top priorities. We want to help you to make responsible, well informed choices and ensure that the justice system does not prey on your fears. We are your advocate and your best interest is our entire purpose.