When a person is stopped, cited, arrested and/or charged for allegedly committing a crime in the State of Washington he/ she invariably has a lot of questions. This is so because most people don’t find themselves having to deal with law enforcement and/ or the Washington State court system in any consistent manner. In fact, the vast majority of people contacted for allegedly committing crime in Washington State are good hard working people who have no prior criminal history nor any previous contact with law enforcement or our legal system – besides maybe an occasional jury duty obligation. For some folks the mere contact with police, and/or our judicial system, can be an extremely terrifying experience – that is certainly understandable considering the legal consequences the person may be facing. Below following are a few frequently asked questions and answers (FAQ’s) for individuals potentially facing criminal charges in Washington State:
1) Should a person get a Lawyer when Facing Criminal Allegations?: In short, yes. You can either hire a private practice criminal lawyer, or a criminal attorney will be appointed to you by the court. Although it is true that you are permitted to proceed without an attorney, it is not advisable. Many Washington State criminal cases involve very difficult legal and factual issues which can best be sorted out by a seasoned Washington State criminal attorney who is trained and experienced in handling criminal matters in the Washington State court system. During the period of time a suspect/defendant does not have an attorney, the government continues to build its case without the person having someone to defend his rights and/ or protect his interests. Often times this can have very long-term (and potentially) damaging effects on the criminal case. Because the case involves a person’s personal and professional well-being, emotions are often running high and this can cloud an individual’s judgment and negatively affect his decision making. Law enforcement is well versed in interrogation techniques; they create a great deal of stress and make people feel uncomfortable so as to obtain the results they are seeking. Often a person is not in a good mental state to handle the rigors of the investigation without the assistance of a Seattle criminal defense attorney. A qualified Seattle criminal defense lawyer can possibly prevent the filing of criminal charges, assist with surrender of his client so as to avoid an embarrassing arrest, and maybe even create a situation in-which even if charges are filed, they get reduced.
2) When Should a Person Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney?: When facing criminal charges in Washington State a person should retain a criminal defense lawyer as soon as financially feasible. A Washington State criminal defense attorney will protect his rights and guide him through the criminal process and ensure that he does the things necessary to get the best result possible. Often times in a criminal case time is of the essence because evidence can either get stale or be lost altogether; consulting with a criminal attorney during the early stages of the case can help secure evidence and protect a person’s constitutional and statutory rights.
3) Is it Possible to Settle a Criminal Case Without Going to Trial?: In short, yes. The vast majority of Washington State criminal cases settle before a trial ever takes place. There are a number of reasons for this, ranging from proof problems to court congestion. All criminal cases in Washington State involve negotiations between the government and the defendant and his/her criminal defense attorney.
4) What are the Chances of Winning my Case?: This is a very difficult question to answer. Every case is different – different courts, different prosecutors, and different facts. In other words, no two cases are alike. Until a criminal defense attorney gets involved in the case and has an opportunity to review the report(s) associated with the case, do a thorough investigation and negotiate with the prosecutor it is difficult to say what the chances are at winning any given case. Moreover, a “win” comes in many different forms. What one person may consider a “win”, another may not. It takes a lot of hard work to create just, fair and equitable results. SQ Attorneys is dedicated to, and takes great pride in, creating successful outcomes for each and every one of its clients; they have the track record to prove it.
5) What Should I do to Protect my Rights if I am Being Investigated by Law Enforcement?: In short, assert your right to remain silent, and immediately request the assistance of legal counsel. Do nothing to adversely prejudice your case. Some folks think that they can talk themselves out of anything. SQ Attorneys has found that talking without being represented by counsel can be very harmful to a person’s case. Often statements can be taken out of context or completely misinterpreted altogether. A person can say something meant to mean one thing but is actually taken to mean another. Thus, no statements (written or recorded – audio or video) should be given to law enforcement without first consulting with a qualified Washington State criminal defense attorney.
Because of the significant implications a criminal conviction can have on a person’s personal and professional life, it is imperative that a person stopped, cited arrested and/or charged with a crime in Washington State retain a qualified Seattle criminal defense attorney or a qualified Bellevue criminal defense lawyer in order to best minimize potential legal consequences and protect their rights. The Seattle criminal attorneys that make up the criminal defense team of SQ Attorneys are highly qualified criminal lawyers that are dedicated to providing top notch, aggressive representation for those charged with crimes in Western Washington and all across 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 criminal allegations are considered in creating the fairest, most equitable and just resolution possible.
If you or a loved one is stopped, cited, arrested and/or charged with a crime in King County, Pierce County, Snohomish County, Kitsap County, Thurston County or one of the following cities or towns: Algona, Bellevue, Black Diamond, Bonney Lake, Bothell, Burien, Des Moines, Duvall, Edmonds, Enumclaw, Everett, Federal Way, fife, Hunts Point, Issaquah, Kenmore, Kent, Kirkland, Lake Forest Park, Lake Stevens, Lakewood, Lynnwood, Maple Valley, Marysville, Medina, Mercer Island, Milton, Monroe, Mountlake Terrace, New Castle, Normandy Park, North Bend, Olympia, Puyallup, Redmond, Renton, Sammamish, Sea Tac, Seattle, Shoreline, Snohomish, Sumner, Tacoma, Tukwila, University Place, and/or Woodinville, or any other city or town in Western Washington, call The Criminal Defense Team of SQ Attorneys at (206) 441-0900 for an initial free consultation.