Charges Involving the Government

Obstruction

Obstruction, or obstructing a law enforcement officer, is a gross misdemeanor. The maximum punishment is up to 364 days in jail and up to a $5,000 fine.

In order to be convicted of Obstruction, the prosecuting attorney must prove you must willfully hinder, delay, or obstruct (prevent) a law enforcement officer from performing the officer’s official duties, you must know the law enforcement was engaged in official duties at that time, and this event occurred in Washington.

Obstruction charges are very fact specific and it is crucial to try and locate unbiased evidence (such as audio/video evidence; otherwise, the case will likely become a “he said” v. “he said” type of case.

Resisting Arrest

Resisting arrest is a misdemeanor. The maximum punishment is up to 90 days in jail and up to a $1,000 fine.

In order to be convicted of resisting arrest, the prosecuting attorney must prove you intentionally prevented, or attempted to prevent, a police officer from arresting you; the arrest or attempt to arrest you was lawful, and this event occurred in Washington.

Like Obstruction charges, Resisting Arrest charges are very fact specific. Unbiased evidence can significantly affect your case and the likelihood of a conviction.

False Reporting

False Reporting is a gross misdemeanor. The maximum punishment is up to 364 days in jail and up to a $5,000 fine.

In order for you to be convicted, the prosecuting attorney must prove you made a false report or warning of an impending occurrence (like a fire or a crime or an emergency), that you knew the reporting information was false, that you knew the false report would likely cause a public inconvenience, or alarm, or an evacuation of a building, and this event occurred in Washington.

Escape

Escape charges are divided into 3 separate degrees, with different severity of crimes; anything from a misdemeanor to a Class B Felony.

1) Escape 1st Degree

In order to be convicted of Escape 1st Degree, a prosecuting attorney must prove you escaped custody or a detention facility, you were detained pursuant to a conviction of a felony (or a juvenile offense that is equivalent to a felony), that you know your action would result in leaving custody or the detention facility without permission, and this act occurred in Washington.

Escape 1st degree is a Class B felony that is punishable up to 10 years in jail and up to $20,000 in fines.

2) Escape 2nd Degree

In order to be convicted of Escape 2nd Degree, a prosecuting attorney must prove you escaped a detention facility or, having been charged with a felony, you escaped custody, that you knew your actions would result in leaving or remaining absent from confinement without permission, and this act occurred in the State of Washington.

Escape 2nd degree is a Class C felony that is punishable up to 5 years in jail and up to $10,000 in fines.

3) Escape 3rd Degree

In order to be convicted of Escape 2nd Degree, a prosecuting attorney must prove you escaped a detention facility or, having been charged with a felony, you escaped custody, that you knew your actions would result in leaving or remaining absent from confinement without permission, and this act occurred in the State of Washington.

The punishment for Escape 3rd degree depends upon whether you have any prior escape charges. If you do not have any prior convictions for Escape 3rd Degree, then you will face a misdemeanor with a maximum of 90 days in jail and $1,000 fine. However, if you have a prior Escape 3rd Degree conviction, then your second conviction is a Gross Misdemeanor with a maximum of 364 days in jail and $5,000 fine. Finally, if you have two prior Escape 3rd Degree convictions, then your third conviction will result in a Class C Felony and face up to 5 years in jail and up to $10,000 in fines.

Bail Jumping

In order to be convicted of bail jumping, the prosecuting attorney must prove: (1) you were released on bail with the knowledge that you needed to attend another court date or, if you were convicted of a crime, to surrender to a correctional facility to serve a jail sentence; and (2) you failed to appear at court or to surrender to a correctional facility to serve a sentence. While it is possible to assert that an uncontrollable circumstances prevented you from appearing or surrendering and that you did not contribute to the creation of the circumstances in reckless disregard for the requirement to appear or surrender.

The punishment for bail jumping depends upon the charge or conviction; specifically:

  1. A Class A felony if the person was held for, charged with, or convicted of murder in the first degree;
  2. A Class B felony if the person was held for, charged with, or convicted of a class A felony other than murder in the first degree;
  3. A Class C felony if the person was held for, charged with, or convicted of a class B or class C felony;
  4. A misdemeanor if the person was held for, charged with, or convicted of a gross misdemeanor or misdemeanor.

What Can You Loose From A Criminal Conviction

If you are convicted of a crime, you can suffer several consequences. Below is a list of just a few ways a conviction can negatively affect you:

Harm to your Reputation | Time in prison or jail | Large Fines | Loss of your right to carry or possess a firearm | Loss of your right to vote | Your assets can be seized | Permanent criminal record; and Immigration consequences.