About Us


When you're facing a criminal charge like Driving Under the Influence (DUI), Domestic Violence Assault, or even Murder, you need a compassionate criminal defense attorney that can provide the expert advice that you need. Someone who is passionate about defending and protecting your rights in court. Smith & White, PLLC are some of the best criminal defense attorneys, and one of the elite criminal defense and DUI defense law firms with offices in Tacoma & Vashon.

Criminal Defense Attorneys for Tacoma, Olympia, Kent, Port Orchard and Beyond

With a main office in Tacoma, Smith & White, PLLC provides both Tacoma and Pierce County Criminal Defense. Smith & White have a sterling reputation. Both the city of Tacoma, Pierce county and Thurston county often request that they represent persons with complex felony matters. Thus, the main partners appear in the Tacoma/Pierce County and Thurston County Courthouses almost daily.

In addition, both partners have held positions in the various King County courthouses, the main ones being in Seattle and Kent. James was a public defender in Kent for 4 years before serving 5 years in the Seattle courthouse. His time with a private DUI defense was also also downtown Seattle.   Derek was a prosecutor in Kent and helped create many of the city’s current procedures. He then also worked in Seattle for ten years.

Derek was the only attorney willing to represent an individual in Thurston County who had over 100 criminal charges brought against him. Due to Derek’s stellar performance with that case, Derek is regularly contacted to handle other Thurston and Olympia matters. However, Derek is willing to travel further afield if the case is right. He has handled cases as far as Mason, Kittitas and Benton Counties. Mr. Smith even became a member of the North Dakota Bar and traveled to that state to represent an important client.

James has similarly been drawn to Kitsap County. A former co-worker and friend of James’ prosecuted in Kitsap County and made Mr. White aware of important progress being made in the Kitsap County Courthouse. Kitsap County has implemented new and efficient procedures making it the most progressive courthouse in the State. Electronic records, reduced paper, expedited discovery and hearings, are just a few of the changes that Kitsap County has successfully implemented. Also, it is one of the ferry points to their Vashon office.

Criminal Defense Attorneys for Most Criminal Charges

Senior and founding partners Derek M. Smith and James J. White have negotiated and litigated tens of thousands of criminal defense cases, including:

  • State Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
  • Federal Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
  • Domestic Violence (DV) Assault & other Domestic Violence Crimes
  • Non-DV Assaults from offensive contact to shootings, including self defense
  • State Drug (VUCSA) Charges from Possession to Delivery
  • Federal Drug Charges
  • Murder and Manslaughter
  • Vehicular Homicide
  • Robbery and Burglary
  • Domestic Violence Violation of No Contact Orders
  • Unlawful Carrying of Firearms, Unlawful Display of Weapons, or Unlawful Possession of a Firearm
  • Federal Weapons Charges
  • Juvenile Matters
  • Asset Forfeiture (property confiscation) from Drug and other criminal allegations
  • Expunging or vacating records and Restoring civil rights
Criminal Defense Attorneys that Know Everyone Can Reclaim Their Lives

If you have been charged with a crime then you are probably in shock. You may be hoping that the whole thing could somehow go away. You are facing life changing consequences. Smith & White can help you salvage your good name, protect your family, and redeem yourself. Instead of hoping that somehow the whole thing will go away, call Smith & White to guide you in reclaiming your life.

Criminal Defense Lawyers that Believe Everyone Deserves to Have Their Story Told

Decision making is not always perfect. But we all have our reasons. We do the best we can in the situations we are in. We can help you tell your story. We hear you and then collect the evidence that supports you. Whether it is video evidence or witnesses, we gather now the information that can win or reduce your case. Preserve your best chance to tell your side by calling Smith & White before the witnesses forget or the video gets deleted.

Criminal Defense Attorneys that Stand with You

Police make mistakes. Politicians make bad laws. Prosecutors & Judges jump to false conclusions. The criminal system punishes people unequally. But Smith & White know your rights and stand by you. We have helped thousands of people deal with their arrests and cases. Whether this is the first time you have been arrested or you have been charged with multiple offenses, we offer a free initial consultation.

Criminal Defense Lawyers that Know that Time is Not on Your Side

Every day that goes by is a missed opportunity to collect evidence that could result in dismissal or reduction of the charges. Video evidence may be recorded over. Witnesses who could back up your case may move away or their memories will fade. Months can pass between your arrest and your first court appearance. The State and law enforcement are constructing a case against you. Hire Smith & White now to secure evidence and build a case for your defense.

With Our Criminal Defense Attorneys You Get What You Pay For

Our service can pay for itself. The public defender is overworked and underpaid. Other attorneys do not have full staffs or focus on other areas of the law like bankruptcy or personal injury. Our staff includes a former law enforcement investigator, veteran trial lawyers and certified paralegals. We have helped thousands of people and we can help you. We can help you by: Collecting evidence to challenge the State’s case case against you, Guiding you through the complex State and Federal court systems, Protecting your rights and property, and Reducing the consequences of your criminal charge by getting you no or less jail/prison, no or less probation (and probation costs), no or less fines, and no or less ordered treatment and other obligations to the court.

Hiring The Criminal Defense Attorneys of Smith & White is the Right First Step