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Justia Lawyer Rating
AV Preeminent
Avvo Client's Choice Award 2018
Avvo Rating 10 - Top Attorney
BBB Business Accredited
2019 Champion of Justice

About Us

Smith & White, PLLC Team Smith & White, PLLC is an elite criminal defense law firm, with offices in Tacoma and Vashon. When you’re faced with protecting your rights in court, a compassionate advocate with expert advice will ensure the best possible outcome. We have a broad range of experience with any number of criminal cases, including DUI, domestic violence, and drug-related offenses. We are pleased to offer affordable, supportive counsel to our community.

Criminal Defense Attorneys That Stand With You

Being charged with a crime can leave you in shock. But making the decision to call a reputable and reliable law firm can help you move forward to reclaim your life.

As a defendant, you need a chance to tell the most thorough story you can. Smith & White will collect evidence, witnesses and information that will help win or reduce your case. By calling us as early as possible in the process, you can help safeguard that no crucial evidence is lost or forgotten.

Our services are different from those of an overworked public defender, or a firm that doesn’t specialize in the criminal matters you face. We have a full staff that includes a former law enforcement investigator, veteran trial lawyers and certified paralegals. We are solely devoted to guiding you through the often difficult and confusing state and federal court systems. We are completely dedicated to eliminating or reducing your jail time, fine, probation, treatment, or other court obligations.

Criminal Defense Attorneys for the South Sound Region and Beyond

Smith & White, PLLC operates from a main office in Tacoma, while also maintaining an office in Vashon. Our locations offer strategic advantages to those prosecuted in Pierce and Thurston counties. Due to our reputation, we’ve been requested to represent those facing complex felony matters in those areas. Our partners are a daily presence in the Tacoma/Pierce County and Thurston County Courts.

Both partners have held positions in King County courthouses, and are intimately familiar with King County courts. James held a public defender position in Kent before serving in the Seattle courts, while also holding a position at a private DUI defense firm in downtown Seattle. James also has a breadth of experience with Kitsap County courts, and is excited to see that Kitsap has implemented efficient procedures to ensure it’s one of the most progressive courthouses in the state. He’s well-versed in immigration and asylum issues, and has experience defending and working with those living with mental illness.

Derek crafted many of Kent’s current procedures in his time there as a prosecutor, before spending a decade working in Seattle. Due to his stellar work defending a complex case in Thurston County, he is often contacted to handle Olympia and Thurston cases. He has also handled cases in Mason, Kittitas and Benton Counties and is passionate about taking on cases that he feels strongly about, no matter where they are.

Free Initial Consultation

We know that mistakes are made: People make bad decisions. Police make errors. Prosecutors and judges make assumptions. The criminal justice system doesn’t always treat everyone equally. We want to give you every chance to be treated justly. We offer a free initial consultation, no matter what your offenses or history, and offer affordable services to serve a diverse community.

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
Client Reviews
I was represented by James White and have been nothing but satisfied with the outcome. Jame is very efficient and eliminates much of the stress that the judicial system can place on an offender. I am very grateful to have such a great attorney and owe him my gratitude for helping me when times were rough. Not only is he professional, but he is also someone you can talk to on a personal level. I highly recommend James White and would undoubtedly use him again in the future. If you are in search of an attorney, do yourself a favor and have the law offices of Smith & White represent you. Mike D.
I contacted James after my charge for reckless endangerment, and right from the start he was informative and reassuring. James worked hard to get me the best possible outcome, and was always very quick to return a call or text. He was straightforward and honest with me about my case, explaining both the good and the bad in a way that was reassuring without being misleading. Overall, I highly recommend Smith and White to anyone who is looking for the most professional representation in their legal matters. Matthew B.
Attorney James White was a beacon of hope for me at a time when my options appeared limited and the likeness of a satisfactory resolution seemed close to nothing. Not only was he able to defend me in a specific sticky situation in which I hired him for, I felt as though he also went above and beyond in efforts to provide me with the best outcome possible. His calm and professional demeanor offered such a great assurance to myself and those I care about around me. I am completely grateful for his service and I most definitely recommend Mr. White. Leyasha J.
Derek Smith guided us through a troubling legal situation with absolute professionalism. This was my first experience with a trial situation and Mr. Smith was able to address all of my questions and concerns in a way that helped address some of the fear I had regarding the legal system. Mr. Smith was highly effective during the trial and the result ended up in our favor. Legal troubles are scary and it was great knowing we had a fantastic legal team on our side to help navigate the somewhat confusing situation. My wife and I emphatically recommend this law firm. Steve B.
Mr. Smith was wonderful to work with. He was professional, knowledgeable and effective!! He takes the time to listen, which is amazing and can be a hard quality to find! He is informative and straight forward, which I truly appreciate! He was quite helpful on another matter that I asked his advise on. Thank you!!! Melika