The current political climate in Washington and across the entire U.S. is such that there are intense feelings and acts that may inevitably lead to criminal charges. For example, a person could be accused of a hate crime. In Washington, this is called malicious harassment. Being convicted of a crime related to malicious harassment can lead to significant penalties. Under the law, it is malicious harassment when a person is the victim of certain acts due to a perception of race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, ancestry or handicaps. Understanding the criteria for these allegations and what the penalties are is an integral part of formulating a strong defense.
November 2016 Archives
During the recent election, the legalization of marijuana was a hot topic in many states. Here in Washington, certain types of recreational and medicinal uses of marijuana have already been legalized, though other substances are still highly illegal to use or sell. In any event, much attention has been paid to the severe penalties associated with drug crimes throughout the United States. Even here in Washington, there are still extremely serious consequences if charged with a drug crime and convicted.
Being convicted of a crime that involves the use of a firearm is a serious offense. However, it is not unthinkable that a law enforcement officer would mistakenly believe a weapon was used in a crime when it wasn't. If this type of situation happens, a defendant who is convicted could face far more severe penalties that they would if they had faced a simple assault charge.
Intimate relationships can often be tumultuous, and at times accusations of violence may erupt between those in such relationships. Recently in Spokane, local news reports focused on a 32-year-old man who has been accused of homicide in the death of a 2-year-old girl, the daughter of his girlfriend. When defendants are facing such serious charges as second degree murder, as in this case, they are often in need of a strong criminal defense.