Washington State Misdemeanor Crimes And Sentences

by ECL Writer
Gross Misdemeanor In Washington State

In the ever-evolving tapestry of American justice, it is imperative to comprehend the nuances and implications of legal matters at both the federal and state levels. Washington State, with its rich history and diverse population, has its own distinct set of laws and regulations, especially when it comes to misdemeanor crimes and the corresponding sentences. From minor infractions to more serious offenses, these legal matters affect the lives of individuals and communities across the state.

In this comprehensive guide, Eastcoastlaws.com will delve into the intricacies of Washington State misdemeanor crimes and sentences. We aim to shed light on the various aspects of misdemeanor offenses, exploring their definitions, classifications, and the penalties that may be imposed upon conviction. Whether you are a resident of the Evergreen State, a legal professional, or simply someone seeking to understand the state’s legal framework, this article will serve as a valuable resource for navigating the complex world of misdemeanor law in Washington.

Washington Misdemeanors

According to Washington Law, crimes can be divided into two broad categories. Both of them are crimes and misdemeanors. The less serious of the two charges is a misdemeanor. Additionally, they might be either simple crimes or serious offenses. Misdemeanor cases in Washington are heard in the District and Municipal Courts, while felonies are heard in Superior Court. To obtain the dependable legal assistance you need if you or someone you know has been accused of a misdemeanor crime, get in touch with a criminal lawyer right away.

Washington Misdemeanors Sentences and Examples

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 be aware that these are the severest punishments. A defendant found guilty of a simple misdemeanor may face the harshest punishments possible or a lesser one. The real punishment a violator endures is determined by things like:

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

Gross Misdemeanors: Sentences And Examples

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.

Please remember that they are the severest punishments. Similar to ordinary crimes, a defendant found guilty of a severe misdemeanor may face the worst punishment possible or a lesser one. The real punishment a violator endures is determined by things like:

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

Maximum Probation for Misdemeanors and Gross Misdemeanors

Probation may be imposed by the court in place of a jail sentence. The notion is that instead of a judge ordering you to go to jail, you are ordered to be on monitored or unmonitored probation for a certain amount of time, depending on what the judge deems appropriate. Monthly costs are paid to the probation department so they can keep an eye on you.

For Domestic Violence cases or for deferred prosecutions related to a drug, alcohol, or mental health problem, the maximum amount of probation you can receive is 5 years. For all other circumstances, a two-year probationary period is the maximum.

The judge has the authority to sentence you to jail for a period of time during your probation period if you violate any of the terms the court set for you at sentencing: 90 days for misdemeanors and 364 days for gross misdemeanors minus credit for any time you have already served.

Restitution As An Alternative To A Misdemeanor Fine

The judge may compel the defendant to pay restitution to the victim in place of a fine in some situations where the offender profited financially from a misdemeanor. Up to twice the defendant’s profit from the crime may be required in restitution. (Wash. Rev. Code § 9A.20.030 (2019).)

Washington State Misdemeanor Status Of Limitations

A criminal statute of limitations establishes when a suspect can be charged with a crime. Gross misdemeanors in Washington cannot be tried more than two years after the actual crime was allegedly committed. For simple offenses, the statute of limitations is one year. (Wash. Rev. Code § 9A.04.080 (2019).)

Hiring A Lawyer

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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