Call our office today at (360) 464-3591 or email us here to speak with our experienced staff about how Baldwin Legal Group can help with your legal issue.
Do you need a Criminal Defense Attorney?
Do you need a Criminal Defense Attorney?
Facing any criminal conviction is difficult. If you've been arrested, the attorneys at Baldwin Legal Group can help you through the complicated legal proceedings ahead of you. Do you feel like the evidence is stacked against you? You don't have to face this challenge alone. With a skilled and experienced legal advocate fighting for your rights, you can have peace of mind that your case is in good hands. If you were arrested for a crime you know that you didn't commit, our attorneys can help!
If convicted, you will face the same penalties as anyone else. Don't risk your freedom, career and your future; contact us today. Our attorneys are passionate about protecting your rights and always strive to reach the highest level of legal professionalism in their work. We have the skills, resources and dedication to take your case to the next level - Contact us today!
Dedicated Representation in All Criminal Matters
The criminal defense attorneys at Baldwin Legal Group provide dedicated representation in all criminal matters. We will be there to represent you at every stage of the process. We will fight to get all of the charges against you reduced or dismissed. However, if your case is brought to trial, we understand how to mount an effective attack against the prosecution's evidence. When your reputation and your future are at stake, you need an experienced and skilled legal advocate.
Stages of a Criminal Case
In addition to aggressive defense in DUI cases, we can also provide comprehensive defense representation to clients facing charges for assault, domestic violence, etc. If you've been arrested in Southwest Washington (Thurston, Pierce, Lewis, Mason, etc.) an experienced lawyer from Baldwin Legal Group can help. After an arrest, you may feel overwhelmed by the thought of going to court. That's why our attorneys are dedicated to giving clients the best representation they can offer and helping them understand the criminal case process. If you're uncertain about the legal proceedings ahead, here are some things that you can expect:
After an arrest, you will usually be taken into custody and booked (processed) at the police department. Sometimes, suspects are given the opportunity to "post bail." In other words, you may be able to pay a specific sum of money in exchange for your release. Generally speaking, you can post bail after processing, but you will only be released if you promise to appear for future court dates. For example, you may agree to appear at your arraignment, preliminary hearing, trial, etc. You do not necessarily have to post bail immediately after your arrest; the judge may allow your release at a future court appearance as well.
Arraignment usually occurs within a few days after your arrest. Generally speaking, arraignment occurs when the suspect pleads guilty. During arraignment, the judge will read your charges, ask if you need an attorney, ask if you plead guilty/not guilty, and announce future court dates. During arraignment, you have the right to hire a legal representation, called the "right of counsel." Without a lawyer present, you may be appointed a public defender.
Generally speaking, a pretrial hearing is an opportunity for the prosecutor and defense attorney to discuss the case and talk about any possible resolutions that are possible. You are required to attend all pretrial hearings unless specifically instructed otherwise by the judge.
Motion hearings are somewhat like a “trial before the trial.” During the hearing, the judge will listen to evidence for and against your case. The prosecutor (a government lawyer) will display evidence against you, and your DUI defense lawyer will have the opportunity to argue in your favor. This might involve witness testimony, cross examinations and other pieces of evidence. Your attorney will bring any questionable evidence to the judge's attention. If the prosecution's case is not based on solid evidence, the judge may dismiss your case. Generally speaking, motion hearings keep unnecessary cases from going to trial.
Many criminal cases are resolved during the arraignment and pretrial hearing process. If your case goes to trial, it will involve six distinct stages: jury selection, opening statements, witness testimony, closing arguments, jury instruction, and jury discussion/verdict. During the trial, the prosecution must be able to demonstrate, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the defendant is guilty. Like the motion hearing, the trial will probably involve witness testimony, cross examinations and other forms of evidence. After the defense and prosecution have presented their cases, a jury will determine whether the defendant is guilty or not guilty.
Assault and Domestic Violence
Assault and domestic violence allegations can destroy your life. You may find yourself legally removed from your home and your family based only on accusations. If you have been charged with a crime of domestic violence, getting help from experienced legal counsel is crucial to improving your chances of a positive legal outcome.
Baldwin Legal Group has extensive experience protecting the rights of individuals who have been accused of domestic violence abuse. We will fight hard to ensure that your rights are protected throughout the criminal process.
DV Allegations Result in Mandatory Arrest
Most people are unaware that their local police departments have a mandatory arrest policy when the police are called to a home for allegations of domestic violence. That means that if a neighbor calls “911” because a husband and wife are screaming at each other and causing a commotion next door, the police will go to that residence intending to arrest the more "culpable" one — however they view that. Sometimes a husband will literally "volunteer" to be arrested so that his wife can remain home with the kids. Other times, the police simply get it wrong.
An Alleged Victim Cannot Drop Criminal Charges
Most people are unaware that the alleged victim in a domestic violence case does not have the power to "drop the charges." Once a person is arrested and brought before a court for arraignment, the prosecuting attorney's office takes control of the case. Most prosecutors will never agree to dismiss domestic violence charges at an arraignment. That means that if you are charged with domestic violence assault, or violation of a restraining order, or any other type of domestic violence, you should hire a good attorney to work toward ultimately getting the case dismissed.
A charge of domestic violence or assault puts you at risk of having your private life become public information. An experienced criminal defense attorney will be sensitive to all aspects of your case, both inside and outside the courtroom. Your reputation and your future are at stake. If you are not a U.S. citizen, a domestic violence conviction could affect your immigration status and ultimately lead to deportation.
Simple and Gross Misdemeanor Charges
If you have been charged with a misdemeanor you should seek legal counsel, regardless of the nature of the crime. Even misdemeanor convictions can remain on your record for many years, and can result in fines or even jail time in some cases. Misdemeanors are broken down into two categories:
- Simple Misdemeanors - These include trespassing, attempted thefts, and many traffic matters. Maximum sentence is 90 days in jail, and/or a fine of up to $1,000.
- Gross Misdemeanors - These include DUI, DV assaults and violation of domestic protection orders. Maximum sentence is 364 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $5,000.
While many misdemeanor offenses may not seem serious, any conviction can have lasting effect in your life when seeking credit, employment, driver’s license, or other professional licenses. We can use our experience to seek potential plea bargains or mitigation of charges, especially for first time offenders. We take defense of your misdemeanor charge seriously, and will advocate to have charges dropped or reduced by prosecutors. By retaining Baldwin Legal Group, you can be assured of a dedicated legal defense team that has an in depth knowledge of how prosecutors view these types of offenses.
Paths Exist for Restoration of Gun & Voting Rights
We all understand that people make mistakes and we believe that people deserve a second chance. Baldwin Legal Group can help pave the way for school, employment opportunities, voting, or hunting by working with you to restore Gun Rights, Voting Rights, or Vacating/Expunging a prior conviction.
Washington’s Constitution calls for open records to be available to the public when they contain true and accurate information but that does not mean that your voting and gun rights can’t be restored or that a criminal conviction can’t be vacated on your record. There are processes in place through the courts to allow for this to take place.
Reinstating Voting Rights
For a felony conviction in a Washington state court, the right to vote is provisionally restored as long as the person is not under the authority of the department of corrections. For a felony conviction in a federal court or any state court other than a Washington state court, the right to vote is restored as long as the person is no longer incarcerated. (RCW 29A.08.520)
Restoring Gun Rights
Restoration of the right to own or possess a firearm is more involved. If the court convicts you of a felony or a domestic violence offense, you lose the right to possess a gun. You can request a restoration of your right to possess or own a firearm if you have completed all of the terms of your sentence, you don’t have any pending crimes, and a set number of years have passed since the completion of all terms of your sentence.
Vacating a Criminal Conviction (Felony or Misdemeanor)
Vacating a conviction is the process of taking a previous “Guilty” finding and changing it to a “Not Guilty” on the Defendant’s Criminal record. Many people refer to the process of “vacating” a conviction as “expungement” or “clearing the record” but there are precise rules around what convictions can and cannot be sealed and under what circumstances. Baldwin Legal Group are experts in determining what situations are eligible for a possible vacation of a conviction and will work with you to determine if you meet the qualifications.
We will help you prepare your request, giving you the best possible chance for success. Our criminal defense lawyers have years of experience working in Washington’s criminal justice system, representing clients in court, at hearings, and before judges. A judge will make a final decision on whether to grant the request; even if you meet all the requirements, it is up to a judge to decide the case.
Is a Criminal Record Gone After Vacating?
If your request is successful, you will no longer have that conviction on your record. However, all the proceedings will remain on file including your conviction and its dismissal. In very rare cases, the court does seal some criminal records but that is a separate process from vacating a criminal record.
Seek Skilled Professional Legal Help
A skillful defense lawyer can raise issues that may resolve a case without the necessity of going to trial and without the necessity of admitting to the charge or pleading guilty. The sensitive nature of these cases makes it all the more important that you retain a battle-tested attorney who will fight for you till the end.
Call our office today at (360) 464-3591 or email us here to set up a free initial consultation.