When facing a serious criminal charge, many people want to know what they can expect from the legal process. Here, we have described the basic outline of what one can expect when charged with a drug crime. Your individual legal process may be different depending on your situation and the seriousness of your offense.
Regardless of the specifics of your offense, the first step that anyone should take when accused of any criminal offense is to contact an experienced Seattle defense attorney right away. Attorney Steve Karimi will work hard to help you fight the VUCSA charges you face.
The Legal Process in Seattle
All drug crimes begin the same way, with an arrest. If police believe that you have committed a violation of the Uniform Controlled Substance Act, you will be arrested and taken to jail. In most situations, you will be allowed to leave jail on bond after a few hours. A bond can be paid in cash or by taking out a bond from a broker. At this point you should contact an experienced attorney who can advise you how you should plea.
The next step in the legal process is the Arraignment. During the Arraignment, you must appear before a judge to have your charges formally read to you. You will also have the opportunity to enter your initial plea. If you plead guilty at this time, you will be admitting that you committed the crime and you will be subject to whatever penalties the judge deems appropriate. A sentencing date will then be set. If you plead not guilty, a court date will be set for some time in the future. At this point you will need an attorney to represent you in pretrial motions and hearings including discovering what evidence the prosecution has against you, subpoenaing witnesses and handling any other type of pre-hearing issues.
Most in most circumstances, a defense lawyer will help their clients plead not guilty so that they can have a chance to defend themselves. In addition to preparing for trial, between the time that you plead not guilty and your trial, your legal team will have a chance to work with the prosecution to get your charges reduced dismissed or to get a plea bargain.
A plea bargain is when the prosecution offers what is usually a more lenient sentence than you could otherwise expect in exchange for avoiding a trial and entering a guilty or no contest plea. When you plead no contest, it is essentially the same as pleading guilty only, instead of admitting guilt; you are claiming that you choose not to contest the charges against you. This is a subtle difference but can be important to some people. Attorney Steve Karimi is a former Washington state prosecutor. He knows what District Attorneys look for when considering plea bargains and can help negotiate for the best terms possible.
If a plea bargain is not reached, the final step is to go to trial. Although your defense attorney will work hard to help you get a plea bargain or reduced charges, in order to avoid this step an experienced Seattle drug crimes attorney will never hesitate to reject an unfavorable plea bargain and fight for your innocence in court. Unless you waive your right to a jury, all evidence will be presented in front of a jury of 6 persons and they will decide whether they believe you are guilty or not guilty. If you are convicted in trial, you will be sentenced at a later date.
The final step in the legal process is the appeal. If you are convicted by a jury of a criminal offense and you or your attorney believe that an error was made that substantially affected the outcome of the case, you can apply for an appeal. For more information on appeals, contact at our office.
Seattle VUCSA Defense Lawyer
Anyone who is facing a drug crime charge in Washington should understand what to expect during the court process. Many VUCSA crimes are felonies, but some are misdemeanors which are less serious. Depending on the type of charges you face, the legal the court process may be different. To find out more about what kind of legal process you can expect depending on your specific circumstances, contact a Seattle drug crime defense attorney.
If you have been arrested in Seattle for a VUCSA drug crime, contact The Law Offices of Steve Karimi today. Seattle defense attorney Steve Karimi is dedicated to helping his clients fight their charges and get the best results possible. Even if you think that you will be found guilty regardless of what you say in court, a defense lawyer can still help you get reduced charges or preferential sentencing. To find out more about the legal process and what a Seattle defense lawyer can do for you, call us today for a free consultation.