Washington State Misdemeanor And Felonies

by ECL Writer
Criminal Penalties With Conviction In Washington State

The Revised Code of Washington (RCW) lists all of the crimes that are legal in Washington state. These codes specify what constitutes a crime and, frequently, offer sentencing recommendations for its penalty. Misdemeanors and felonies are the two types of crimes. The less serious crimes known as misdemeanors are further broken down into simple misdemeanors and gross misdemeanors. Courts for district and municipal jurisdictions hear misdemeanor matters. Felonies are divided into classes A, B, or C according to how serious they are. Superior Court hears felony matters.

Washington Misdemeanors

Under Washington Law, offenses fall into one of two broad categories. These are felonies and infractions. Of the two offenses, misdemeanors are the least serious. Additionally, they are divided into two categories: simple crimes and serious misdemeanors. Felony cases in Washington are heard in Superior Court, while minor matters are heard in District and Municipal Courts. Contact a criminal lawyer right now to get the dependable legal assistance you need if you or someone you know has been accused of a misdemeanor crime.

Simple Misdemeanors

For all misdemeanor crimes, simple misdemeanors are the least serious. Some examples of a simple misdemeanor include:

  • Simple drug crimes (e.g., possession of small amounts of marijuana);
  • Petty theft; and,
  • Some traffic offenses.

The maximum penalties for a simple misdemeanor include:

  • Imprisonment for up to 90 days in jail; and/or,
  • A fine of up to $1,000.

Please note that these are the maximum penalties. A defendant guilty of a simple misdemeanor may receive the maximum penalties, or, he may receive a reduced penalty. The actual penalty an offender receives is based upon such factors as:

  • The seriousness of the crime committed;
  • The defendant’s criminal history; and,
  • The involvement of any aggravating circumstances.

Gross Misdemeanors

Gross misdemeanors are more severe crimes than simple misdemeanors. Some examples of a gross misdemeanor include:

The maximum penalties for a gross misdemeanor include:

  • Imprisonment for up to one year in jail; and/or,
  • A fine of up to $5,000.

Again, please note that these are the maximum penalties. As with simple misdemeanors, a defendant guilty of a gross misdemeanor may receive the maximum penalties, or, he may receive a reduced penalty. The actual penalty an offender receives is based upon such factors as:

  • The seriousness of the crime committed;
  • The defendant’s criminal history; and,
  • The involvement of any aggravating circumstances.

Restitution As An Alternative To A Misdemeanor Fine

The judge may impose restitution as an alternative to a fine in some situations where a defendant received financial or material gain from a misdemeanor. Restitution payments could be up to twice as much as the defendant’s profit from the crime. (Wash. Rev. Code § 9A.20.030 (2019).)

Statute Of Limitations For Misdemeanors In Washington

The deadline for filing a criminal complaint against a defendant is known as the statute of limitations. Gross misdemeanors in Washington cannot be punished if the alleged crime has occurred for more than two years. Plain misdemeanors have a one-year statute of limitations. (Wash. Rev. Code § 9A.04.080 (2019).)

Washington State Felonies

Crimes classified as felonies include rape, armed robbery, burglary, and the sale or distribution of illegal narcotics. They are far more dangerous than misdemeanors. Class A felonies, which are the most serious, include maximum fines of $50,000 and jail terms that may include life. Class B offenses are punishable by up to ten years in jail and $20,000 in fines. Class C misdemeanors carry sentences of up to 5 years in jail and penalties of up to $10,000.

According to Washington State’s sentencing guidelines, felonies are further categorized by their magnitude in a convoluted manner. There are fifteen seriousness levels, ranging from Level I to Level XV, and each level has a corresponding range of sentences. Judges frequently request pre-sentencing reports, which are taken into account at sentencing. These reports will include details like victim accounts, psychological evaluations, criminal, familial, and job histories, among other things.

Classification Of Felonies

The sentencing guidelines in Washington State further categorize felonies according to their level of severity. There are at least fifteen different categories of felonies within these rules, depending on their seriousness and other elements.

Knowing how the judicial system functions requires an understanding of the various sorts of crime. Knowing what actions are illegal is essential for avoiding committing crimes. If you do, it’s also crucial to be informed so you can get help right away.

Obtaining Legal Assistance

You should speak with a criminal defense lawyer in Washington about your case if you are accused of any crime, even a misdemeanor. Depending on the relevant law, the circumstances, the judge, and the prosecutor assigned to your case, an expert attorney can predict how your case will likely perform in court. You can perhaps get the best result possible given the circumstances with an attorney’s assistance.

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