How To Handle Misdemeanor Charge In Washington State

by ECL Writer
Gross Misdemeanor In Washington State

The majority of infractions are considered misdemeanors in the state of Washington. You may learn more about the potential consequences of a misdemeanor on this page, as well as what you can do to get your sentence reduced. Simple and severe misdemeanors are additional categories for misdemeanors.

Simple misdemeanors: Crimes including minor theft, disorderly behavior, trespassing, vandalism, and carrying more than an ounce (but less than 40 grams) of marijuana can all result in a misdemeanor charge. The maximum jail time for these offenses is 90 days, and the maximum fine is $1,000.

Gross misdemeanors: If it is a first offense, driving while intoxicated (DUI) may be charged as a gross misdemeanor rather than a felony. Domestic assault and careless driving are other serious offenses. Gross misdemeanor offenses are punishable by a $5,000 fine and up to 364 days in prison.

These maximums are not set as a certainty of punishment, but rather as a range for sentencing. The particular punishments you receive will depend on how serious the offense is and your criminal background.

Other Penalties And Restrictions

If you are found guilty of any misdemeanor classification, you may also be sentenced to probation, which comes with a number of lifestyle limitations such as being unable to drive, consume alcohol, own a firearm, or interact with other people who were engaged in the crime. Probation for misdemeanors can occasionally last for two years.

How To Reduce Your Sentence

If you take proactive steps to address the problems that contributed to the crime when you are facing a misdemeanor charge, the judge may be impressed and may decrease your sentence. This can entail requesting a diagnosis and therapy. In any case, if your accusation involves drugs or alcohol, this may be a requirement of your sentence.

Evaluations and Treatment Programs

Most DUI offenders are required to have a professional examination. By doing this before consulting with the judge, you will demonstrate to him or her your seriousness about the situation. Regardless of whether the evaluation’s recommendations call for an eight-hour class or two years of rigorous therapy, we often advise readers to act upon them right away. Before being sentenced, you can prevent receiving a heavy punishment and possibly avoid paying thousands of dollars in probation fees by beginning and completing the suggested treatment.

If you are found guilty of a domestic offense (such as assault on a spouse or endangering a child), you will probably be required to enroll in and finish a batterer’s treatment program. Getting a domestic abuse evaluation and starting the required treatment at a young stage in your situation can have several benefits.

Community Service

The court may substitute community service in place of a jail sentence or fines for certain crimes. Most of the time, the punishment is changed to one day in jail or 8–20 hours of community service, and fines are commonly changed to one hour of community service for every $10 in fines. The court will need official agency letterhead as proof of your community service hours. It needs to be signed by a manager, list the hours worked, and, if feasible, describe the task that was completed.

Character References And Your Personal Statement

At the sentencing hearing, your attorney will often speak on your behalf, but you do have the chance to discuss your case with the judge. This ought to be sincere and succinct, demonstrating that you accept responsibility for your actions without contesting the accusations or arguing over the case’s facts. It may also be suitable at times to give the judge a character reference or recommendation letter that was written by a friend or family member. In either situation, we will assist you in coming up with sentences that paint a favorable picture of your life and circumstances.

Taking these actions to demonstrate to the judge your regret and commitment to avoiding additional charges will be a huge asset in your case, as would having the right legal representation. Be sure to consult with a lawyer about your goals and the measures that will follow before performing any of the aforementioned actions, particularly before presenting any of the actions taken before a judge. An experienced lawyer can give you the required advice regarding what preventative measures to take while your case is pending.

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