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Disclaimer: The criminal driving defense information presented at this site should not be considered formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer or attorney client relationship. Any results set forth here were dependent on the facts of that case and the results will differ from case to case. Please contact a Washington State drunk driving lawyer or attorney for a free initial consultation. This web site is not intended to solicit clients for matters outside of the State of Washington.

My defense law firm serves the following Western Washington communities, among others: Snohomish County, King County, Skagit County, Alderwood, Arlington, Bellingham, Bothell, Brier, Camino Island, Darrington, Edgewood, Edmonds, Everett, Gold Bar, Granite Falls, Index, Lake Stevens, Lynnwood, Marysville, Mill Creek, Monroe, Mountlake Terrace, Tulalip, Mukilteo, Silvana, Smokey Point, Snohomish, Stanwood, Sultan, Woodway, Anacortes, Bow, Burlington, Clearlake, Concrete, Hamilton, La Conner, Lyman, Marbelmount, Mount Vernon, Sedro Wooley, Bellevue, Kirkland, Lake Forest Park, Mercer Island, Redmond, Seattle, Shoreline, Woodinville.

I also serve the following Zip Codes: 98011, 98012, 98020, 98021, 98026, 98033, 98034, 98036, 98037, 98043, 98046, 98052, 98072, 98082, 98087, 98201, 98203, 98204, 98205, 98206, 98207, 98208, 98213, 98223, 98241, 98251, 98252, 98256, 98258, 98259, 98270, 98271, 98272, 98273, 98274, 98275, 98287, 98290, 98291, 98292, 98293, 98294, 98296





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Experienced and Aggressive Criminal Defense
When you first receive notice of a criminal charge, you will be advised of your first Court date.  This can be terrifying if you haven t been through anything like this before.  Once you find out more about the process, however, the stress will drop dramatically.

In District and Municipal courts, you will be told in writing when and where to go.  Most Courts will go alphabetically, so unless your last name begins with an "A" you will be able to see lots of people go before you.  The Judge will tell you where to stand if you are unsure.  The process is tape recorded, so there will be a microphone near you.  These microphones do not amplify the sound, they only record it, so be sure to speak up.

The Judge will officially notify you of what you ve been accused of and ask if you understand the charge against you.  In most cases, you will already know what the charge is but be aware that the Prosecutor can add or alter charges.

An Arraignment is NOT the time to explain your side of the case.  Rather, the Judge wants to know whether you are going to plead Guilty or Not Guilty.  Always plead Not Guilty - even if you think you are guilty.  Entering a Guilty plea up front guarantees that you have a crime conviction on your record.  Contrary to common sense, the Court will not give you a lesser sentence because to confessed up front.  Instead, you may get punished harder than if you fought the charge for awhile and resolved the matter with the Prosecutor via negotiations.  If you plead Not Guilty at Arraignment then later entered a Guilty plea, the Judge will NOT use the fact that you pled Not Guilty up front against you in any way.

Once a Not Guilty plea has been entered, the Judge will ask you if you want to have a lawyer help you and whether you need to apply for a Public Defender.  If you elect to have a Public Defender then later decide to hire a private attorney, don t worry it s extremely common for private attorneys to take over the criminal case.  Neither the Judge nor the Public Defender will be upset about the process.  The Public Defender may even be relieved since it will be one less case for them to handle.

The Judge will have to make a decision about whether or not any conditions will be place on you prior to trial.  Most people are released from Court on their promise to reappear.  This is sometimes referred to as a "PR" or personal recognizance.  If you have priors or a history of failing to appear, the Judge could impose a bail or bond amount.  This is an amount of money that you would have to post (give to the Court) in order to be released from Jail prior to trial.  If a bail or bond amount is imposed, you can post it yourself or go though a bail bonding company.  If you are concerned that the Judge will impose a bail amount, call me - we ll talk it through and see if that is a realistic danger or not.

Finally, the Judge will assign Pre-Trial and Trial dates for you.  You will be given this information in writing by the Court Clerk.  After that, you are free to leave.

The process changes in Superior Court but the areas covered are the same.  Call me if you have a Felony Driving offense and I can walk you through the differences.

What to do at Arraignment


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Arlington, WA 98223

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