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Charged with Homicide in Washington – What to Do Now

On Behalf of | Dec 16, 2015 | Firm News

Homicide is one of the most serious and scary crimes to be investigated for or to be accused of. It has the most severe penalties of any crime in the state of Washington. These penalties can include life in prison or even death. So, the minute you are under investigation for murder you need to consult a defense attorney. They know the potential price; they also know the law. You probably feel hopeless and without a voice. That’s why a defense attorney is so crucial – they give you that hope and that voice.

Of course murder is serious business. It won’t be minimized but it will be defended. You have your story and it needs to be told and heard.

Think about your case. Can self-defense be claimed? If you claim the death was forced due to circumstances in which you had to defend yourself, it is the prosecution’s job to prove that to be false.

Is there anyone else who might have done the murder? Realize that the prosecution has to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable. If it can be shown that it is just as likely that someone else may have committed the crime than that can help create reasonable doubt. Notice they do not have to prove the other person’s guilt – the other person as a possibility simply shows that there is reasonable doubt as to your guilt. It that can be done you may hear the wonderful words – not guilty.

All evidence against you will be investigated to see if there are any holes or anything to suggest that possibly the evidence could point to a different person. Once again if this can be shown it creates a reasonable doubt in the minds of the jury and that can lead to a not guilty verdict.

You will want to remember to discuss with your defense attorney any and all actions you know of by the police as well as anything you have said. It is most advisable not to say anything until you’re represented by counsel. But if you have talked with them you will want to let them know what was said. First that helps erase surprises and that can only help your defense. Second it makes it possible to examine any mistakes the police may have made. There are two possible kinds of mistakes. They could be looking at the right evidence but adding it up to the wrong person. In other words – you’re completely innocent, you know this but the police are convinced otherwise. If this is the case you may want to discuss with your attorney why the evidence points to you and how the police are making the mistake. Also they can make procedural mistakes. They have rules to follow when gathering evidence and when getting statements. If these were not followed then the ensuing evidence or statement can be suppressed. If the prosecution has no evidence they have no case and they have to dismiss.

Also, keep in mind that in Washington there are five levels of homicide. These are: aggravated first-degree murder, murder in the first degree, murder in the second degree, manslaughter in the first degree, and manslaughter in the second degree. The first listed is the one that is punishable by death, though that is not a guarantee. Each level has lesser penalties as you read along the list. There are two possibilities for you. Because of this five tiered approach of the law, it gives our attorneys options which they will use. If the prosecution can’t prove that the crime was committed at the level they’re charging you with, our defense team will show that to the jury. This can result in a verdict of not guilty. Barring this, because of the levelled approach of the law they will seek a lessening of the charge and that will result in a lessening of the penalties. Imagine the happiness and relief that will cause.

Of course this charge is serious. Smith & White, PLLC know this; they know the stakes involved and passionately care about getting you the best result possible. As the potential cost is so high, you need to know you have an advocate on your side. You need to know that your story will be listened to. You need to know that your rights will be fought for. You need a Seattle Tacoma criminal defense attorney. You find all these needs at the law office of Smith and White, PLLC. Please call – the first consultation is free.