Legal Questions About Criminal Offenses
Under Washington law, there are provisions and consequences for all types of violent crimes including assault, battery, robber, varying degrees of homicides, sexual assault, and more. Other more modern thefts are also included, such as identity theft, fraud, and computer crimes. Bellingham Criminal Defense Lawyer can help you understand where your charges fall in the criminal law category.
No, not all criminal offenses are felonies. Under Washington law, you can be charged with either a felony or a misdemeanor depending on the crime committed. Felonies are punishable with extensive time spent in state prison, but misdemeanors receive considerably less severe penalties. The maximum time in the county jail for a misdemeanor is less than a year.
Most likely you will not have to serve jail time on your first DUI, but each situation is different. Washington is well known for giving the most severe DUI penalties in the nation, and typically charge DUIs as gross misdemeanors with a maximum penalty of 364 days in jail and $5000 in fines. A reputable lawyer will give you the best chance!
You do not. You can respectfully decline to answer any immediate questions or decline to take the field sobriety test, but you do not have the legal right to have an attorney present in order to take the field sobriety test. Nobody has the right to legal counsel until they are formally placed under arrest.
Under Washington law, there are several crimes that fall under the domestic violence category, including rape, assault, criminal trespassing, malicious mischief, violation of protective orders, and more. These crimes are considered domestic violence when they are committed against another individual, particularly when the victim and offender are in a specified domestic relationship.
In Washington, there are no specific crimes defined as sexual assault; rather, crimes are classified as sexual offense. These crimes include rape, child molestation, sexual misconduct, indecent liberties, and more. Any of these actions are considered a crime when they are committed against an individual who does not consent, or is not capable of giving consent.
A crime becomes considered a federal crime when it violates United States federal legal codes, or when the individual carries the crime across state lines, such as drug trafficking or kidnapping. Federal crimes are prosecuted by assistant US Attorneys and investigated by federal officers, while state crimes are investigated by county sheriffs and prosecuted by city attorneys.
Yes, you can be charged with a criminal offense without being arrested, and it is even possible to be charged with a criminal offense without ever even speaking to law enforcement. If you are facing allegations of criminal activity, your best move is to contact a reputable, knowledgeable lawyer right away to discuss your situation.
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