There are two general categories of crimes under Washington Law. These are felonies and misdemeanors. Felonies are by far the more severe of the two categories. They are also categorized into three classes – A, B and C. While Washington misdemeanor cases are heard in District and Municipal Courts, felony cases are heard in Superior Court. If you or a loved one has been charged with a felony, contact Black Law now to get the criminal defense you deserve.
Felonies are more serious that Washington misdemeanors and they include some of the State’s most severe crimes. Examples of felony offenses under Washington criminal law include:
Felony crimes are categorized into three different classes – A, B and C felonies. Class A felonies are the most serious while Class C felonies are the least serious.
Felony Penalties and Sentencing
Each of the three classes of felonies has an associated maximum penalty. For example:
- The maximum penalty for a Class A felony is life in prison and a maximum fine of $50,000.
- The maximum penalty for a Class B felony is up to 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of $20,000.
- The maximum penalty for a Class C felony is up to 5 years in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000.
The above are maximum penalties. The specific penalty for a Washington felony is governed by the Washington State Sentencing Guidelines. These guidelines provide fixed sentencing ranges for most felonies. The seriousness level of a crime and the criminal history of a defendant are used to figure out what sentencing range a crime comes within.
Judges at times can make departures from the Sentencing Guidelines. This means they can increase a recommended sentence (i.e., make a sentence more severe) or decrease a recommended sentence (i.e., make a sentence less severe). If a departure occurs, a judge will consider the facts of a case, and, any aggravating or mitigating factors in determining a final sentence.
The good news is that there are legal defenses an accused can raise if he has been charged with a felony offense. A legal defense basically says a defendant is not guilty because of some reason. If successful, a defense can reduce or even dismiss a charge.
Please note, though, that it takes a skilled and experienced Seattle criminal defense attorney to raise the right defense on your behalf. The goal is to use a defense so that an accused does not have to face the often-complex sentencing process for Washington felonies. Typically, the best defense will be determined by the facts of a criminal case.
The attorneys at Black Law have the skill and knowledge to craft the most effective defense that fits your case. They also have over 20 years of combined experience fighting criminal charges. They know what they’re doing, and they represent every client with determination and passion. Do yourself a favor and contact them today to get true legal help that makes a difference.