Pending Investigations in Washington State

How pending investigations are handled in Pierce County and throughout the Puget Sound area

Criminal defense lawyers assist people who have been contacted by police for questioning. Whether you are the target of an investigation or simply being sought out by police as a source of information, the criminal defense attorney has two roles: first, to manage the contact with the authorities to make certain that the client’s rights are protected, and second, to insure appropriate compliance with the investigation is maintained. If you are contacted by police, we recommend that you do not speak to investigators until you first speak to a Tacoma criminal defense attorney.

As a former prosecutor who has conducted investigations of criminal suspects in all manner of felony and misdemeanor cases in the City of Auburn and Thurston County, criminal defense attorney Douglas N. Woods of The Woods Law Office, PLLC understands how to handle a pending investigation, placing his client in the best possible position even before charges are filed.

Why police investigate

Unless the police actually witness a criminal act, such as observing a robbery in progress or stopping someone for speeding and finding drugs in the car, there is likely to be some sort of investigation before any charges are filed. Even after an arrest is made, the police and prosecution rarely have all the evidence they need to go to court and convict you — and so they continue to try to collect evidence. They do this by interviewing others, conducting searches and interrogating the suspect — you.

A common police or prosecutorial tactic is to appear as though they are helping you out. At the pre-arrest stage, they may want to ask you questions “to help them in their investigation” or simply “to rule you out as a suspect.” After you are arrested, they may tell you that if you cooperate, they will put in a good word for you with the DA or the judge. The truth is that the police already suspect you, and all they are trying to do is gather evidence to use against you. It is rarely in your best interests to submit to police questioning, and it is almost never a good idea to do this without getting advice from your Tacoma criminal defense attorney first.

Seek experienced legal representation

If your case is pending, we may be able to prevent charges from being filed or influence what charges do get filed. If you have been approached by the police for questioning or are involved in a criminal investigation in Tacoma or anywhere in Western Washington, contact us online to schedule a free consultation.

Tacoma Robbery Attorneys Take Every Case Seriously

Our criminal defense attorneys are here to give you the representation you need

When you break into somebody’s house, that is burglary. When you threaten them with violence or point a gun or other weapon at them, that’s robbery — and that is a much more serious crime with much more serious penalties.

At The Woods Law Office, PLLC in Pierce County, it our job to minimize the consequences you face with robbery charges. It is our goal to have you acquitted or have the charges dismissed. And while that is not always possible, you can count on Tacoma theft lawyer Doug Woods to mount an aggressive, smart and strategic defense to obtain the best possible outcome.

Robbery in the First Degree

This is a Class A felony — putting it in the same category as Murder in the First Degree. The Penalties for Robbery in the First Degree include:

  • A maximum of life in prison
  • A fine of up to $50,000

A charge of Robbery in the First Degree stems from possession of a deadly weapon (a gun, a knife or other weapon so categorized) during the commission of a crime or when trying to escape capture, displaying what appears to be a lethal weapon, using a weapon to inflict bodily harm — in other words, you have committed an assault with a deadly weapon. Moreover, robbing a bank or other financial institution is always considered a case of First Degree Robbery. If charged with this crime, you need the strategic legal expertise of a Tacoma robbery attorney.

Robbery in the Second Degree

Robbery in the Second Degree is a Class B felony. In Washington State’s “three strikes” law, it is considered a strike offense. Penalties for a first offense can range from three to nine months in prison. Adults with a previous criminal history could be looking at a prison term of up to 84 months (seven years) for an adult offender.

Contact our Pierce County robbery defense law firm for a free consultation

Doug Woods is not only a robbery attorney in Tacoma but also a former prosecutor with a track record of success in defending clients against robbery charges. To schedule a free, confidential consultation to discuss your situation and your options, please contact us online. We offer weekend and evening appointments and flexible, affordable payment plans.

Experienced Tacoma Traffic Violation Lawyers In Your Corner

Reckless driving and hit and run attorneys in Pierce County help you protect your driving privileges

The State of Washington has gotten tougher on speeders, reckless drivers and others who violate traffic laws since the court rules regarding traffic violations were revised in 2006, you can still fight your ticket. While it may just seem easier to go in, pay the fine and get it over with, there are ramifications. A guilty plea results in an increase in your auto insurance costs and points on your license. Depending on the violation and any problems you had in the past, it may even mean a suspension of your driving privileges.

At The Woods Law Office, PLLC, we are Tacoma traffic violations attorneys who believe in fighting back.

What is the difference between an infraction and a criminal traffic offense?

Traffic violations may be considered infractions, or they may be classified as criminal offenses. There is a big difference between an infraction and a criminal offense. For one thing, imprisonment is a possibility with a criminal traffic offense, but you cannot be jailed for an infraction. In either case, however, having an effective lawyer — one who is knowledgeable about state and local laws — is essential to achieving the best possible outcome. If you are charged with a serious offense such as a hit and run in Tacoma, attorney assistance is critical.

Infractions and criminal violations include:

  • Reckless driving
  • Reckless endangerment
  • Failure to wear a seatbelt
  • Street racing
  • Speeding
  • Illegal maneuvers
  • Fleeing/eluding police vehicles in pursuit
  • Failure to stop at a red light or stop sign
  • Driving with a revoked or suspended license

Some of the most serious traffic violations include drunk driving, hit-and-run and vehicular homicide. Doug Woods is an experienced vehicular homicide attorney and former prosecutor who knows how to build a strategic defense. For more than a decade, we have also helped those who have been charged with drunk driving. Public outcry from MADD and other groups has increased arrests and enforcement of the laws. If you have been stopped, charged or arrested, contact drunk driving attorney Doug Woods immediately.

Why do I need an attorney for a traffic infraction?

The burden of proof for traffic infractions is lower than the burden required for criminal cases. For traffic infractions, the burden is by “preponderance of the evidence” rather than “beyond a reasonable doubt,” as it is in criminal cases. Under a preponderance of the evidence standard, the prosecution only has to show that a fact is more likely true than not true, which is a much easier standard for the government to meet than the requirement in criminal cases to prove the facts beyond a reasonable doubt.

Contact a Tacoma traffic violations law firm for a free consultation
Fighting a traffic ticket may help save your license and your freedom — and a consultation with attorney Doug Woods is free. To learn more or to schedule your consultation with Tacoma reckless driving attorney Doug Woods, please contact us online. We are available to meet on weekends or evenings, and we offer reasonable payment plans.