Compassionate Counsel Passionate Defense

group photo of attorneys and staff
Group photo of staff at Law Offices Of Smith & White PLLC
  1. Home
  2.  – 
  3. Firm News
  4.  – “Tacoma Felony Attorneys: Navigating the High-Stakes World of Felony Charges in Pierce County”

“Tacoma Felony Attorneys: Navigating the High-Stakes World of Felony Charges in Pierce County”

by | May 6, 2024 | Firm News

“Tacoma Felony Attorneys: Navigating the High-Stakes World of Felony Charges in Pierce County”

Felony charges, whether it’s your first time encountering the law or not, can upend your world in an instant. More severe than misdemeanors, felonies leave a long shadow over one’s life, carrying penalties that could include extended prison time and crushing fines. Let’s journey through the nuances of felony law and how Tacoma attorneys navigate the specifics of Pierce County’s justice system.

What Separates Felonies from Misdemeanors?
Felonies are characterized by their gravity. While misdemeanors typically result in less than a year in jail and lighter fines, felonies can impose years-long prison sentences and fines that may exceed tens of thousands of dollars. The types of crimes that usually result in felony charges include:

Violent Crimes: Murder, assault by strangulation, robbery with or without a weapon.
Drug Offenses: Manufacturing, distributing, or trafficking significant quantities of illegal substances.
Property Crimes: Arson, burglary, identity theft.

The Pierce County Courts:
Tacoma felony cases primarily play out at the Pierce County Superior Court, known for its historic grandeur and labyrinthine corridors at 930 Tacoma Avenue South. Here’s what to know about how these cases progress:

Arraignment: A defendant’s first official encounter with the charges against them. It’s where the accused will hear the indictment read and have their opportunity to enter a plea.
Omnibus Hearings: These involve a series of legal dances where negotiations happen, motions are filed and evidence is examined. Here, defense attorneys work to challenge evidence and set the stage for a favorable outcome.
Trial: For felonies, trials typically involve a jury of peers. Evidence, expert witness testimonies, and persuasive arguments form the heart of a defense attorney’s strategy.
Sentencing: The stakes loom largest here. The sentencing phase is determined by the severity of the crime and the defendant’s past record, often resulting in life-altering consequences.

An interesting aspect of Pierce County Superior Court proceedings is that it can be difficult for observers to know if and when a proceeding is taking place.  Many of the “hearings” do not appear in court and are handled off the record.  This is very efficient to processing cases but can be confusing and un-informative for onlookers.  The best way to know what happened with a case and whether there will actually be an in courtroom hearing or not is to ask the defense attorney on the matter.

How Tacoma Felony Attorneys Make a Difference:
For one, as mentioned above, they can keep you informed as to what is happening with a case.  Beyond that, Pierce County attorneys defending against felony charges understand the unique dance of the courtroom. Their role isn’t just legal; they become strategists, mentors, and tacticians in the high-stakes game of defense. They dig into the specifics of each felony case to:

Craft Defenses: Whether it’s uncovering prosecutorial overreach or dissecting evidence flaws, building a robust strategy is essential.
Navigate Pierce County’s Court System: Familiarity with judges, prosecutors, and the local legal landscape makes all the difference when understanding relationships and making effective arguments.
Mitigate Sentences: Even in cases where a conviction seems inevitable, a felony attorney can negotiate for alternative sentencing options or reduced penalties.
Facing felony charges in Tacoma means stepping into a legal arena where the stakes are incredibly high. However, by understanding the specific nature of the charges and leveraging the local expertise of seasoned Tacoma felony attorneys, one can confidently navigate the labyrinthine halls of Pierce County courts.

Final Thoughts:
Felony charges are not just legal matters—they are personal battles that affect every facet of life. Engage with a defense attorney who understands Tacoma’s courts and who can craft a thoughtful, compelling defense that’s rooted in your story.