Criminal Law

Information on this page is generic and not intended as a substitute for professional legal advice. The content listed is for informational purposes only, and viewing this subject matter does not constitute, initiate, or indicate an attorney/client relationship.

Our practice in criminal law includes:

Felony and Misdemeanor:

Felony Crimes:
Felony Crimes involve drug and narcotics charges, arson, burglary, armed robbery, murder and/or attempted murder, rape and/or sexual assault, kidnapping and aggravated assault and battery. A felony conviction is a serious matter that can result in a substantial state prison sentence and the potential loss of certain privileges and Constitutional rights of U.S. citizenship, such as the right to possess a firearm or the right to vote.

Misdemeanors are more serious than petty offenses, but much less serious than felonies. Misdemeanors typically result in imposition of such punishments as a fine or a jail sentence not exceeding a year. If a jail sentence is imposed, it is served at a local, city or county jail rather than a state or federal prison (penitentiary). In many jurisdictions and in certain types of cases defendants who can’t afford an attorney are not entitled to a court-appointed attorney in a misdemeanor case. Unlike felonies, misdemeanors are usually handled by special courts with abbreviated procedures, such as a city court or municipal court.

Driving Under the Influence (DUI) / Driving While Intoxicated (DWI):
Overview of the Crime of Drunk Driving:
Each US state has its own set of drunk-driving laws, but there are certain concepts and features common to most states’ drunk-driving jurisprudence. Basically, as we all know, it is illegal and a crime for a person to operate a motor vehicle after consuming alcohol and/or drugs to a degree that impairs his or her safe driving ability and judgment. In WA state, a person with a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of over 0.8 is considered legally intoxicated. Both criminal and civil penalties for drunk driving can be harsh and often include:

  • Loss or suspension of license
  • Large fines
  • Substance-abuse treatment
  • Jail or prison time
  • Community service
  • Restitution
  • Criminal record
  • Restrictive probationary license programs, including ignition interlock devices and Cinderella licenses

In addition, the social stigma and effect on your career may have lifelong negative consequences.

If you have been stopped for, arrested for or charged with drunk driving, it is in your best interest to discuss your options and rights as soon as possible with an experienced criminal-defense attorney. Drunk-driving law is complex and the guidance of a skilled and knowledgeable lawyer can make a significant difference in a defendant’s experience and in the outcome of his or her case.

DOL Hearings:

If you have been arrested for a Washington State DUI, you will also be facing a license suspension or revocation. Washington State has an “implied consent law”. This means that if you drive in Washington State you are making two promises to the government. First, that you will not refuse to take a breath test if lawfully asked. Second, that if you take a breath test, your alcohol level will not be .08 or higher. If you break either of these promises, it gives the Washington State Department of Licensing authority to suspend or revoke your license. You have a right to challenge this suspension, but the burden is on you to request a hearing. You have 30 days from the date of your arrest to request this hearing. It is crucial that you do not miss this deadline.

Note, the confusing thing for many drivers is that this license suspension happens whether or not you have been charged in court with a Washington State DUI. This means your license may be taken away from you by the Washington State Department of Licensing even if you are never charged with a DUI. While this may not seem fair, courts have repeatedly upheld this law.

You may be wondering if it is worth bothering with this hearing. We say absolutely. It is impossible to tell ahead of time who will win these hearings and who will not. While they are difficult to win and it feels like the deck is stacked against the drivers, many people do win these hearings. The benefits of winning a hearing far outweigh the costs of having a hearing.

Traffic Crimes:

Traffic crimes are specifically addressed in state statutes. The complex body of law that regulates the operation of motor vehicles on the streets and highways can be difficult to interpret and apply. Examples of traffic crimes include reckless driving, aggressive driving, drag racing, and driving with a suspended license. It is important to mitigate the long-term effects of these offenses with representation.

Domestic Violence:

Domestic violence can be classified as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the severity of the crime. Assault (in any degree), harassment, and malicious mischief committed by a family or household member against another can be considered domestic violence. Violence against someone with whom you have a "dating relationship" can also constitute domestic violence.

In regards to domestic violence calls, Washington law requires police officers to make an arrest if there is cause to believe there was a crime. Even if there are no visible injuries, the crime appears relatively minor, or accusations are just another person’s word against yours, officers are required to make an arrest.

If you've been charged with domestic violence, you could face jail time, fines, court costs, limitations on your right to visit your children, loss of your right to possess a firearm, and probation time. The court may also issue a no-contact order against you, and you may not be able to reside in your home, visit your children, or access your property. A no-contact order will probably be issued and upheld even if the other party does not want it.


Many times a fight is just a fight. But try telling that to the police. As soon as police are dispatched to a physical altercation, someone is almost always going to jail, and that person is likely to face one or more assaultive charges in court such as: assault causes bodily injury, aggravated assault causes serious bodily injury, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, assault on a public servant, family violence, or domestic violence.


By definition, a violent crime is a behavior by persons, against persons or property that intentionally threatens, attempts or actually inflicts physical harm. The seriousness of the injuries to the victim(s), whether or not guns or other weapons were used and/or whether or not the alleged perpetrator has a criminal record will determine the seriousness of the charge. Most violent crimes are considered felonies and are subject to be considered a "strike" in a state that has adopted three strikes laws. Violent criminal charges can include: aggravated assault, arson, assault and battery, domestic violence, hate crimes, homicide, larceny, rape, manslaughter, mayhem and murder.

One of the most serious areas of violent crime is homicide – killing a person, whether lawfully or unlawfully. Justifiable homicide and excusable homicide are lawful homicides, while criminal homicide, negligent homicide, reckless homicide and vehicular homicide are unlawful homicides. Unlawful homicide comprises the two crimes of murder and manslaughter.

Drug Crimes:

Drug charges may range from federal felony charges at their most severe to state misdemeanor charges. Whether you have been charged with a federal felony or a state misdemeanor offense, drug possession and trafficking charges must be taken seriously. At their most severe, drug charges can result in lengthy prison time, heavy financial penalties, and a long-lasting criminal record. It is important to hire a competent attorney as soon as you realize that you are under investigation or immediately after you have been charged with a drug crime. One of the most effective defense strategies is to aggressively investigate the prosecution’s case against you and to file the right legal motions to suppress illegal evidence.

We are here to help. Please, call us at (509)325-4828 or Contact Us to schedule an appointment.
Criminal Defense Lawyers

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