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Tacoma Misdemeanor Defense Lawyer

Being arrested and charged with a crime is a shattering experience. You may be taken to jail, photographed, fingerprinted, and often treated as if you are automatically guilty, in spite of the presumption of innocence the Constitution demands. While a misdemeanor is considered by many to be a “minor crime,” and carries lesser weight than the more serious felony, you will still want to hire a Tacoma Misdemeanor Defense Lawyer as it can subject you to jail time, hefty fines, damage to your reputation, inability to obtain certain occupational licenses, and a criminal record.

What Are Misdemeanors in Washington?

Misdemeanors are divided in two categories in Washington state. A misdemeanor can be punished by up to 90 days in jail and a fine of $1000. A gross misdemeanor can bring a sentence of 365 in jail and $5000. in fines. These are some of the crimes that are often charged as misdemeanors or gross misdemeanors in Washington:

  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
    • Drunk drivers killed 1,921 people in Washington state between 2003 and 2012
  • Reckless Driving
    • Driving while distracted or while sleep deprived can be dangerous and lead to a reckless driving charge
  • Hit and Run (unless injury or death)
  • Assault
  • Underage drinking
  • Theft and Shoplifting
  • Domestic Violence
  • Harassment or stalking
  • Disorderly Conduct

While these crimes are usually considered minor, the impact of these charges showing up on a background check in your future can have a huge impact to your life. It is also possible in certain circumstances for a misdemeanor to be bumped up to a felony charge which could be even more detrimental.

Minimize the Negative Impact of a Criminal Charge

Regardless of whether you have been accused of a misdemeanor or a felony, having a criminal record can have an extremely negative effect on your life, on your ability to work and earn a living, and on your family. You need help to minimize the negative impact that comes with a criminal charge, and the best way to do that is to hire an experienced misdemeanor defense attorney in Tacoma to represent you. Once you have been convicted it is not easy to have your record vacated, and even if you are able to the the record will still remain available to the public.

Why You Need a Tacoma Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you think that justice is easy to come by, think again. Justice requires being proactive and fighting for your rights. In many misdemeanor cases there are errors in legal procedure that an experienced defense attorney will uncover in the investigation that can get the charges thrown out. In others, there are mitigating circumstances that need to be made known to the court. Without an experienced Tacoma criminal defense lawyer on your side, these defenses might never be heard.

Whether you’re completely innocent or there were mitigating circumstances that would affect your responsibility for the crime, you are entitled to the presumption of innocence. Despite this important legal presumption, the reality of the legal system is that you are more often than not required to “prove” your innocence. Justice is an ideal that everyone values in theory, but in practice it requires a highly skilled and committed professional to give you the best chance to receive it. Contact The Law Office of Mark S. Treyz for a free initial consultation.