Seattle Criminal Defense Attorney

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Posts made in January, 2014

By on Jan 17, 2014 in Court, Criminal, Procedure, Sentencing/Penalties | 1 comment

 As a Seattle criminal defense attorney, I represent people charged with crimes. Although there are defendants in both criminal and civil lawsuits, the two types of proceedings play out very differently. The biggest difference between someone charged with a crime or defending a civil lawsuit is the penalty. In a civil case, generally, a defendant is facing the possibility of losing money. In criminal cases, the defendant’s liberty is at stake. Criminal defendants are risking jail time if they lose their case. But how much jail time? Those potential sentences vary dramatically. I’ve written before about how convictions affect employment, the ability to travel, and more. But those are collateral consequences. The direct consequence of a criminal conviction is often time spent in custody in a jail or prison. Defendants want to know how much time they might be facing. When a defendant is deciding whether to take a plea or go to trial, one part of the decision is the likelihood of prevailing in front of a jury. The other part is determining what the consequences are if you don’t prevail. The only way to make an informed decision about such an important matter is to have all of the information. For misdemeanors or gross misdemeanors the potential sentence is fairly straightforward. The maximum potential custody for a misdemeanor is 90 days in jail. For a gross misdemeanor, it’s 364 days. For felonies, the most serious crimes, potential custody gets more complicated. How complicated? In Washington, to figure out how much time a defendant charged with a felony is facing we must first go to The Sentencing Grid If it’s been a while since you’ve seen a pile of numbers, definitely click on that link. But it’s not as complex as it looks. (In fact, I think the design is needlessly complicated). The columns refer to the seriousness level of the crime. The rankings range from one to 16 but there are actually felonies that are “unranked.” A felony is unranked when it’s so rarely charged that the legislature hasn’t gotten around to assigning a seriousness level to it. To determine the seriousness level of most felonies, we can refer to another table. For example, according to the...

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The facts and circumstances of your case may differ from the matters in which results and testimonials have been provided. Every case is different, and each client’s case must be evaluated and handled on its own merits.