Having to deal with a felony charge in Washington can be a complicated, overwhelming, and horrifying experience. Washington is currently a capital punishment state in which a death penalty can be imposed in an aggravated enhanced case. In addition, many criminal offenses can be prosecuted as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending upon the circumstances and the prosecuting attorney’s application of the statutes. A Seattle Criminal Attorney can assist in navigating through the difficult process of being charged with a felony.
A felony is a crime which can be punishable by death or imprisonment for twelve months or more in the state prison. Felony cases are always filed in the state Superior Courts in the respective county in which the crime is alleged to have occurred. Misdemeanors are every other crime or public offense, with the exception of infractions. They are usually handled in lower courts and never go to Superior Court unless a felony has been amended down to a misdemeanor upon plea negotiations.
Felonies are judged to be more serious crimes against the state than misdemeanors. They include murder, rape, burglary, arson, and robbery. In Washington, some misdemeanors can be elevated to felonies. These types of crimes are known as expedited felonies. They are generally treated as lesser felonies that allows for fines or jail time as an alternative to a state prison sentence. There are also felony DUI offenses. A DUI can be charged in felony Superior Court after an individual has been charged with five DUI's in a matter of ten years. In a situation such as this, it is imperative that one contacts a Seattle DUI Attorney as the consequences are extremely serious if convicted of a felony DUI.
Moreover, Washington has a Three Strikes Law. Washington legislature enacted theCthe “Three Strikes and You’re Out” felony law, which requires that repeat offenders face increasingly elevated punishment with each ensuing felony conviction. With a second offense, a convicted felon faces a doubled prison sentence and with his/her third conviction, the defendant is automatically sentenced to 25 years to life in prison without possibility of parole. The Three Strikes Law can also affect a defendant who has been convicted of a prior misdemeanor theft and then faces a felony theft-related crime.
In light of the complexity of Washington felony laws and the severe consequences that can result from a felony conviction, if you or a loved one is facing a felony charge, it is strongly advisable to seek the advice of an experienced Seattle Criminal Attorney. A defendant can retain an attorney at any stage of their case, whether it is during the investigation or the night before court dates.
If you or a loved one is cited for 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; (425) 998-8384 for an initial free consultation.