In Washington state crimes are broken down into two main types – misdemeanors (misdemeanors and gross misdemeanors) and felonies (Class A – C). Misdemeanor cases are heard in District and Municipal Courts. Felony cases are heard in Superior Courts.
In Washington, a misdemeanor is generally regarded as a minor criminal offense. Examples of misdemeanors are shoplifting, disorderly conduct, negligent driving and driving while license suspended third degree. A simple misdemeanor carries a penalty of up to 90 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. A gross misdemeanor is a tad more serious offense. Examples of gross misdemeanors are Driving while under the influence of alcohol and / or drugs, Reckless Driving and Assault fourth degree. A gross misdemeanor carries a penalty of up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $5,000. Penalties often depend on the nature of the offense, any aggravating factors involved, and the prior criminal history of the offender.
In Washington, a Felony crime is generally regarded much more serious than a misdemeanor, and include such offenses as rape, armed robbery, burglary, and sales or distribution of illegal drugs. Class A felonies, which are the most serious, are punishable by prison sentences which can include life, as well as fines of up to $50,000. Class B felonies carry penalties of up to 10 years in prison and fines of up to $20,000. Class C felonies are punishable by up to 5 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
Whatever the crime – a misdemeanor, a gross misdemeanor or a felony – a person’s life can be greatly impacted by its ultimate outcome. In light of this, it is imperative to hire a qualified Seattle Criminal Attorney when charged with a crime in Washington State. The Seattle Criminal Defense Attorneys that make up the criminal defense team of SQ Attorneys are highly qualified and reputable Seattle criminal defense lawyers that are dedicated to providing top notch, aggressive representation for those arrested or charged for crime all across Western Washington and the Greater Puget Sound region. The team creates success by working with law enforcement and the prosecuting attorney’s office to ensure that all facts and circumstances related to the allegations are considered in creating the fairest, most equitable and just resolution possible in light of all the surrounding circumstances of the given case. So, whether you are cited with an infraction or arrested and/or charged with misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor or a felony, protect yourself … call SQ Attorneys at (206) 441-0900.