Types of Misdemeanors
In Washington, misdemeanors are divided into two categories: simple and gross. A simple misdemeanor is punishable by up to 90 days in county jail, or both. Some examples of simple misdemeanors include:
- Negligent driving
- Fishing and hunting violations
- Public urination
- Disorderly conduct
- Driving with a suspended license
Gross misdemeanors are more serious. The court may sentence convicted plaintiffs to up to 364 days in county jail, or both. One of the most common gross misdemeanors is a first offense for driving under the influence (DUI). Other common examples include:
- Reckless driving
- Domestic violence
- Minor in possession of alcohol
- Possession of drugs or drug paraphernalia
- Telephone harassment
- Hit and run of an occupied vehicle
- Malicious mischief
The penalties associated with your case will likely depend on the nature of the offense, any aggravating factors, and your prior criminal record.
Reductions and Dismissals
Depending on the severity of your case and your previous history, you may be eligible for a dismissal or a reduction in charges. In some cases, county supervision or probation is an option that can help you avoid jail time. While on probation, you are must pay certain fines, attend classes or community service, and avoid breaking any further laws.
“Knowing your options is the key to obtaining the best resolution.”
For certain types of charges, such as a DUI or domestic crime, you can often reduce your charges by attending a treatment program. This indicates that you are taking the incident seriously and are proactively seeking help. Alternatively, the judge or prosecution may amend the charge to a traffic violation or other lesser offense, so you can avoid mandatory penalties and consequences.
Why Hire An Attorney?
Knowing your options is the key to obtaining the best resolution. If you have been arrested for a misdemeanor, you may feel overwhelmed and worried about how it will affect you and your family. With the help of a criminal defense attorney who understands the legal process, you may be able to avoid a more serious sentence or have your case dismissed entirely before it affects your record and your quality of life. When you trust your case to attorney Jeremiah Styles, you can rest assured that you will receive personalized attention and strong representation.