Seattle Criminal Law

Dedicated Attorneys Helping Seattle Residents Facing Prosecution

Seattle, the fastest-growing major city in the United States, is located on the coast of Washington state and serves as the county seat for King County. The city's main harbor is Elliot Bay, a part of Puget Sound, and its climate is oceanic and rainy, with warm Mediterranean summers. Over the course of its history, Seattle has been known for logging, jazz, and grunge music, and for hosting technology corporations. Currently, Seattle is a hub for green industry and sustainable development. Like other cities in the United States, its judicial system oversees many criminal cases. Offenses involving sexual or emotional intimacy require particular care from an experienced criminal defense lawyer. This is partly because charges of sex crimes and domestic violence carry a stigma that can change the course of your life in Seattle. If you are facing prosecution, seek advice from Timothy L. Healy in protecting your rights.

Sex Crimes and Domestic Violence

Sex offenses cover a broad range of illegal conduct involving sexual contact or sexual intercourse, including but extending well beyond rape.

Unlike some states, which have a single statutory rape law dealing with sex with minors, in Washington there are three degrees of rape of a child and three degrees of child molestation. Consent is not a defense, in contrast to rape involving adults. First-degree rape of a child occurs when the victim is a minor who is 11 years old or younger, and the perpetrator of sexual intercourse is at least two years older than the victim. As with other types of rape, sexual intercourse is defined as penetration, even to a slight degree, with a body part or object. The punishment for a first-degree rape of a child conviction is up to life in prison, a fine of $50,000, or both. First-degree child molestation happens when there is any sort of sexual contact between a victim who is 11 years old or younger and a perpetrator who is at least three years older. Sexual contact is the touching of another person's intimate parts in order to cause sexual gratification. Like first-degree rape of a child, the punishment is up to life in prison, a fine of up to $50,000, or both of these.

If you are convicted of a serious sex crime, you will not only face jail time and fines, but you will also have to register in the state's sex offender database. This is accessible to the public, including potential employers. You will have prohibitions on where you live and work, and you will have to maintain your registration and let the state of Washington know where you are.

Similarly, if you are accused of a domestic violence felony or misdemeanor, you should be aware that the state takes these charges seriously, and the prosecution may be zealous in pursuing them. In general, domestic violence cases are those that turn on improper conduct, such as stalking, physical assault, or battery within a certain family or household relationship as defined by RCW 10.99.020 and RCW 26.50.010.

If you are convicted of a simple misdemeanor domestic violence charge, you are usually placed on probation for two years and may have to spend up to 90 days in jail or pay a $1,000 fine. Those convicted of gross misdemeanors can be punished with up to one year in jail and a $5,000 fine. A felony domestic violence conviction can result in devastating consequences. At their most serious, these crimes are charged as Class A or B felonies, which can lead to a sentence of life in prison.

Discuss Your Charges with a Seattle Lawyer

Prosecutors may continue to pursue domestic violence or sex crimes claims even when a victim drops the complaint. Both the defendant and his or her family can suffer substantially in these cases. If you are facing prosecution in Seattle, you should retain an experienced sex offenses attorney who understands the dynamics involved in intimate relationships. At the Law Office of Timothy L. Healy, we are aware that these cases often turn on the credibility of witnesses and the ability to raise reasonable doubt and tell your side of the story in a compelling way. For a free and confidential consultation, call (425) 657-3192 or contact us via our online form. Our phone is answered 24/7.