It is no secret that the City of Seattle is having a heck of a time battling crime within its borders. In fact, a recent report commissioned by business associations in Ballard, Sodo and Downtown evidences that now – more than ever – Seattle workers and residents are being harmed by failures of Seattle’s criminal justice system.
According to the report, the Seattle City Attorney’s office takes approximately six months on average to file cases against individuals who were arrested but not booked into custody. Beyond that, the report asserts that 42% of non-traffic misdemeanor cases opened in 2017 had no meaningful resolution as of August 2019. It should go without saying that inconsistent and slow responses by the City Attorney’s Office give the illusion that lawlessness is ‘ok.’ It also demoralizes police and those reporting crime.
The City Attorney’s Office claims the problem is a lack of funding for the office, which is – quite frankly – ridiculous. The Marine Corps says ‘do more with less’. Why can’t the Seattle City Attorney’s Office have that same creed, especially when the safety and well-being of Seattle citizens’ is at stake? After all, the American Bar Association says “the prosecutor serves the public interest and should act with integrity and balanced judgment to increase public safety both by pursuing appropriate criminal charges of appropriate severity, and by exercising discretion to not pursue criminal charges in appropriate circumstances.”
Of course the solution is not simply to ‘convict’ and ‘lock up’ everyone accused and charged with a crime, but surely the solution should encompass efforts to reform the justice system and increase options for treating those with addiction and mental-health issues. Diversion programs, too, could alleviate underlying causes of criminal behavior and reduce crime more effectively than convictions and incarceration. The concern, however, is that these types of ‘reforms’ may not be effective for some perpetual repeat offenders that seem to continuously cycle through the city’s criminal justice system. For the vast majority facing a crime, though, these reforms could very well be appropriate and more importantly – just and fair.
If you or a loved one is cited, charged or arrested for a crime, it is a very smart idea to immediately hire a qualified Seattle Criminal Defense Lawyer. The Seattle Criminal Defense Attorneys that make up the criminal defense team of SQ Attorneys are highly qualified and reputable Seattle Criminal Defense Attorneys 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.