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Criminal Defense FAQs

What happens if I have been arrested?

You may or may not be taken into custody depending on your circumstances. If you have not been arrested and taken into custody then it's likely charges haven't been filed against you. You should contact an attorney immediately to see if you can prevent any charges from being filed as well as protecting you from taking any action that could be self-incriminating. If you have been taken into custody, you will be held until you have a hearing before a judge. The law requires that you have this hearing very quickly so the time you are remanded should be minimal. Retaining an attorney immediately to attend this court appearance can help you get your case dismissed, get you out of jail and protect your rights. This early intervention sets your defense strategy in motion.

Do I need an attorney if charges haven't been filed yet?

Yes. This is a critical time to secure an attorney because the police and prosecutors are likely investigating you, other witnesses and compiling evidence to build a case against you. Retaining an attorney as soon as possible to prepare an effective defense strategy is the wisest approach. Protect yourself as soon as possible.

What happens at my first court date or appearance?

You will appear before a judge who will hear the charges brought against you. At this time the court will determine whether probable cause exists for the charges that are being filed against you. If the court finds probable cause exists then the court will set conditions that you must follow while the case is pending. The court can release you on your promise to appear for future hearings or they may set bail. Having an attorney present is critical to make sure probable cause in established, to argue the conditions of your release and whether you have to post bail and if so how much. Dates for future appearances will be set at this time.

Can I get my case dismissed?

Yes. It is possible to get your case dismissed or negotiated to a lesser charge. This will depend on the nature of the charges, your criminal history and the specific facts of your case. We have successfully secured numerous dismissals for all types of criminal cases.

Will this go on my record?

Your record will only be affected if you are convicted. Successful negotiations with the prosecutor to avoid a conviction will involve arguing your criminal history, the nature of the charges and whether any terms and conditions set by the court have been met.

Here to Help

John Polito has been serving the residents of the greater Puget Sound for 30 years. Practicing in ALL counties of Washington, he is here to help.
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