Juvenile Crime Rates on the Rise in Washington

Juvenile Crime Defense Attorney in Pierce County

Juvenile Crime Defense Attorney in Pierce County, Washington

Juvenile crime rates, particularly in Pierce County, Washington, are on the rise, with younger individuals involved in serious offenses. The increase includes violent crimes and shootings, with victims often being teenagers. Carjackings and stolen cars involving underage individuals, some without licenses, have also become more frequent. Recent incidents involved police chases with stolen cars driven by teenagers as young as 13. In January 2023, the Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office handled 53 juvenile cases, a 56% increase from the previous year. As a response to the growing need for effective legal representation for young offenders, our experienced team at the Law Office of Erin Bradley McAleer stands ready to provide support and guidance as a dedicated Juvenile Crime Defense Attorney in Pierce County, Washington.

The legal complexities and potential long-term consequences make it essential for young individuals facing legal challenges to have proper legal representation. Let’s delve into the profound impact that criminal defense firms such as the Law Office of Erin Bradley McAleer can have on the lives of young offenders.

Protection of Rights and Interests With Juvenile Crime Defense Attorney in Pierce County

Juveniles, by definition, are minors who often lack the maturity and experience to fully comprehend the implications of their actions. In the juvenile justice system, it becomes imperative to ensure that their rights are protected. Attorneys specializing in juvenile cases serve as guardians, ensuring that their clients receive fair treatment and that their rights are upheld throughout the legal process.

The attorney’s role extends beyond simply representing the juvenile in court. They become a trusted advocate who safeguards the interests of their client, protecting them from the potential pitfalls of an unforgiving justice system. Attorneys work diligently to ensure that all aspects of the case are thoroughly analyzed to build a quality defense for the one facing criminal charges.

Navigating Complex Legal Procedures

The legal landscape can be complex and daunting, especially for young individuals who are unfamiliar with its intricacies. Juvenile cases involve a unique set of rules and procedures that differ from those in adult criminal court. Attorneys well-versed in juvenile law possess the necessary expertise to guide their clients through the intricate legal processes. From the initial arrest to court hearings, plea negotiations, and potential sentencing, an attorney provides valuable guidance at every step. They explain the legal options available to the juvenile and their parents/guardians, ensuring that they understand the consequences of each decision.

Access to Personalized Support and Rehabilitation

Unlike adult offenders, juveniles often have a greater potential for reform and rehabilitation. Recognizing this, the juvenile justice system places a significant emphasis on the well-being and future prospects of young offenders. Attorneys specializing in juvenile cases are uniquely positioned to provide tailored support and advocate for rehabilitative measures.

Attorneys strive to uncover the underlying factors contributing to the juvenile’s involvement in criminal behavior. They work closely with the young person, their family, and relevant professionals to address these root causes and recommend appropriate programs or interventions. This personalized approach focuses on guiding juveniles toward positive change, providing them with opportunities for growth and a chance to reintegrate into society successfully.

Mitigation of Long-Term Consequences

A criminal conviction, even in juvenile court, can have long-lasting repercussions on a young person’s future such as limitations on educational opportunities, employment prospects, and personal relationships. By engaging an attorney, juveniles gain access to effective strategies aimed at mitigating the potential negative outcomes of their case. Attorneys work tirelessly to negotiate plea deals and seek alternative sentencing options where possible.

Attorneys work tirelessly to negotiate plea deals, seek alternative sentencing options, or pursue expungement of records where possible. They leverage their knowledge of the juvenile justice system to minimize the impact of a criminal charge on the juvenile’s life. By doing so, attorneys play a pivotal role in safeguarding the future prospects of young individuals and helping them move past their mistakes.

How We Can Help

In the context of juvenile cases, the importance of having an attorney cannot be overstated. Attorneys serve as invaluable guides, safeguarding the rights and interests of young individuals while expertly navigating the complex legal landscape. By providing personalized support, advocating for rehabilitation, and mitigating long-term consequences, attorneys play a crucial role in shaping the lives and futures of their juvenile clients. As a society, we must understand the importance of providing juveniles with legal counsel, ensuring that their views are heard, their rights are safeguarded, and their capacity for growth and change is fully realized. The attorneys at the Law Office of Erin Bradley McAleer strongly believe in the right to a fair trial, operating with a high degree of experience and skill in order to provide excellent defense.

Call the Law Office of Erin Bradley McAleer today at (360) 334-6277 to schedule a free consultation with one of our highly qualified attorneys and see how they can assist you.

What Are the Three Types of Theft in the State of Washington? (And How We Can Defend You)

Theft Charges in Washington

Theft Charges in Washington

Theft is defined in the Revised Code of Washington as the act of “wrongfully obtaining or exerting unauthorized control over the property or services of another or the value thereof, with intent to deprive him or her of such property or services.” Very commonly the term “shoplifting” is used interchangeably with “theft” but it is important to note that the State of Washington does not have any shoplifting statues. In Washington, shoplifting falls under the umbrella of theft. Understanding what a theft charge is, the different levels of a theft charge, what potential defenses are available, and your next steps are crucial to ensuring the protection of your freedom. Theft charges can have a serious impact on a person’s future because they are viewed by others as crimes of moral turpitude, or bad character crimes, which may not ultimately fit the facts of the alleged crime. This blog explores the most common types of theft charged in Washington. In a future post we will discuss other forms of theft such as organized retail theft, fraud, mail theft, and identify theft.

What are the consequences of Theft Charges or convictions in Washington?

In Washington, the consequences for theft can range from a gross misdemeanor to a class B felony carrying penalty from 0-364 days up to 10 years in prison depending on the type and severity of the theft, if proven.

Theft 3rd Degree (Third Degree): Petty theft or theft in the third degree is the most common type of theft and is generally defined as theft of an amount not exceeding $750. Anything stolen under that amount is considered Theft in the Third Degree. Theft in the Third Degree carries a penalty of up to a year in jail and a $5,000.00 fine on a first offense.

Theft 2nd Degree (Second Degree): Theft in the Second degree involves depriving another of their property or money in an amount between $750.00 and $5,000.00. Money, property, services, or goods below $750.00 can also be elevated to a Theft in the Second Degree if the item alleged in the theft is public record or access device. Unauthorized use or using a stolen credit or debit card would be one example of an access device. For example: if you took your ex-boyfriends credit card and charged a pizza too it and it cost $10.00 without his permission you could be charged with Theft in the Second Degree based solely on the unauthorized use of an access device. Other acts which elevate an otherwise petty or misdemeanor theft include theft of commercial metal property, nonferrous metal property, and private metal, such as the theft of a catalytic converter. Theft in the Second Degree is a class C felony and carries a penalty of up to 5 years in prison and a $10,000.00 fine.

Theft 1st Degree (First Degree): Theft in the First Degree involves depriving another of their property or money in an amount over $5,000.00. Much like the Theft in the Second-Degree statute, certain types of thefts can be elevated to this most serious version of theft such as the theft of a search and rescue dog while it is on duty. Theft in the First Degree is a class B felony and carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison and a $20,000.00 fine.

What should I do if I am charged?

Hiring a lawyer is going to be your optimal choice in protecting your record and your freedom. Theft is a complicated area of law requiring a lot of research and gathering of evidence in order to defend your case. Theft often turns on a person’s an intent and the surrounding circumstances. No two cases are the same. In theft cases, the outcome of the case often is determined by the offender’s ability to build a defense, or to pay restitution to the aggrieved party, because often the most important thing to both prosecutors and victims is getting their property or money returned and being restored to their rightful position prior to the alleged act of theft. When this happens even some of the most serious cases can be reduced to misdemeanors, diverted away from the criminal justice system or dismissed. In the case of Theft 3 and other gross misdemeanors the law allows the alleged thief and the victim to work out a private settlement called a civil compromise in exchange for the charges being dismissed.

At the Law Office of Erin Bradley McAleer we are highly qualified and experienced in this area and defend our clients to the fullest extent of the law. The Law Office of Erin Bradley McAleer strongly believes in obtaining justice for our clients, and enforce our clients right to a fair and speedy trial. When you hire the Law Office of Erin Bradley McAleer you can expect that we work diligently to provide the best possible outcome for our clients.

Contact the Law Office of Erin Bradley McAleer and schedule a free consultation to see what our attorneys can do for you.