Baker Lewis FAQs
Baker Lewis FAQs
- I just found out that I am under investigation for a crime. Do I need to hire a lawyer, even though I have not been charged with anything?
- Why do I need a lawyer?
- If I am charged with a crime, will I have a trial by jury?
- What standard is used during a criminal trial to prove a defendant is guilty?
- I have not been charged with a crime before, what should I expect?
- Do I have to give a statement to the police immediately after being arrested?
- Why do I need an attorney?
- Should I plead guilty to my charges?
- Do I need to let police search my home or personal belongings?
- If my driver's license has been suspended for DUI, how do I get to and from work or school?
- Why should I hire an attorney who only does criminal defense cases?
Baker Lewis FAQs
I just found out that I am under investigation for a crime. Do I need to hire a lawyer, even though I have not been charged with anything?
Hiring a lawyer to defend you during the investigation is probably one
of the most important times to have legal counsel. If you are currently
being investigated, a Seattle criminal defense attorney
can help protect your rights by making sure that the investigators do
not illegally obtain evidence against you that may later be used to
incriminate you. You should hire a lawyer the moment you discover you
are being investigated.
Why do I need a lawyer?
A criminal charge means that you could face sanctions including jail
times, fines, probation, potential loss of your driver's license and
other penalties. A skilled criminal defense attorney can guide you
through the court process and advocate your position in order to achieve
the best possible outcome in your case.
If I am charged with a crime, will I have a trial by jury?
The United States Constitution gives any person charged with a crime the
right to a trial by jury. In district or municipal court, the jury
consists of 6 jurors. In superior court, the jury consists of 12 jurors
who are responsible for reaching a verdict in your case.
What standard is used during a criminal trial to prove a defendant is guilty?
In order for a defendant to be found guilty of a crime, the prosecuting
attorney must convince the judge and/or jury that the person is "guilty
beyond a reasonable doubt". This can be difficult standard to meet and a
criminal defense lawyer from our firm will work hard to give the judges
and jurors reason to believe you are innocent.
I have not been charged with a crime before, what should I expect?
Every case is different. However, in all criminal cases in Washington,
you have the right to representation by an attorney. You can expect
mandatory court appearances and all crimes in Washington carry the
possibility of fines or jail time if you are convicted. If you have
questions or concerns about your particular situation, please contact us
and we can advise you based on your specific case.
Do I have to give a statement to the police immediately after being arrested?
The answer to this common question is a simple one. You do not have to
give the police any form of statement about your potential involvement
in a case despite what they may tell you. It is your Fifth Amendment
right to remain silent, especially until you can obtain the help of a
qualified lawyer. Exercising this right is a beneficial way to keep from
incriminating yourself. Law officers may wish to question you and
derive information from you, but we highly recommend that you ascertain
an attorney as soon as possible after any form of criminal charge has
been brought against you. Without such protection, there is a good
possibility that you could give information that greatly harms your
Why do I need an attorney?
While you always have the option of representing yourself in court, many
criminal cases can become hard to navigate and extremely complicated.
This is a matter of your future and it is our desire to help guide you
through an otherwise difficult process so that no mistakes are made. We
understand that while money may be an issue, we will work with you to
create a plan and obtain the best results possible. You need someone
with you to explain the procedures and paperwork so that you do not
accidentally change the course of your future by some simple missteps.
Do not wait until it is too late to configure a solid case against your
criminal accusations. Get in touch with someone at our firm as soon as
possible so that we can discuss with you the best way to handle your
charges. We are prepared to assist you, so please do not wait to contact
Should I plead guilty to my charges?
Once you plead guilty to a charge, you cannot change your plea
afterwards, so it always advised that you talk with a criminal defense
attorney at our firm before you do this. Pleading guilty means that you
are admitting your conduct is punishable by the law and you know the
consequences for your crime. You are also giving up your right to public
counsel, trial by jury, and the right to confront and cross-examine
your accuser. If you are not a US citizen, then you will risk getting
deported for committing a crime. When you plead guilty, your options are
significantly reduced so please let us review your situation and help
you decide on a course of action before you admit to anything.
Do I need to let police search my home or personal belongings?
If a law enforcement official asks to search your property without a
warrant, then you are not required to let them do so. The police are not
required to tell you that you can refuse their request, so they may
consistently ask you and be persuasive so you will allow it. There are
some situations; however, in which police may legally conduct a search.
If a contraband item is in view of the officer, then they do not need a
warrant to seize the property. Police are also allowed to search the
person and the surroundings for evidence if a person is placed under
arrest for a crime. Lastly, law enforcement officials that have a
reasonable fear for the safety of the public may search a premises or
person without a warrant. To find out if you've been a victim of an
illegal search, please talk to a legal representative at our firm
If my driver's license has been suspended for DUI, how do I get to and from work or school?
After you have been arrested for a DUI,
the police officer will probably take your license and you will not be
able to drive until you request a hearing to contest the suspension. You
only have 20 days from your arrest to request this hearing and if you
do not request a hearing or if the hearing examiner doesn't decide in
your favor, your license will be suspended for 90 days to 2 years. Your
driver's license suspension will begin 60 days from the date of your arrest, but you may be able to get a restricted license during this time.
An Ignition Interlock Driver's License allows you to drive a vehicle for
the period of your suspension or revocation if that vehicle has been
equipped with an ignition interlock device. Instead of simply accepting
defeat after you are arrested for DUI, you can fight the possibility of a
driver's license suspension altogether by calling a Seattle DUI lawyer
from Baker, Lewis, Schwisow & Laws, PLLC for help. Our firm knows
how to represent your rights during an administrative hearing so that
you can avoid a driver's license suspension altogether, and we have
helped countless clients in the past fight their DUI charges.
Why should I hire an attorney who only does criminal defense cases?
Sometimes when people are accused of a crime, they begin to search for a "lawyer" or "attorney" in their geographic area without understanding that they should be searching for a certain type of legal representation. In the legal world, the type of attorney who handles criminal cases for a defendant is a "criminal defense lawyer", while the attorney who is representing the jurisdiction where the crime was allegedly committed is called a "prosecuting attorney".
Other than prosecutors, there are other lawyers who are civil attorneys, which means that they handle transactional law claims or class action suits. Here at Baker, Lewis, Schwisow & Laws, PLLC, we practice criminal defense law exclusively in order to provide our clients with the highest quality of representation. After a criminal arrest, you should look for a law firm devoted 100% to criminal defense law instead of settling for a lawyer who practices other specialties as well.
As Seattle criminal defense lawyers, we spend most of our career in courtrooms throughout the state. This has given us an extensive understanding of how court operates and the defense strategies that are effective for various charges. Over the years, we have stayed abreast of local, state and federal changes to criminal laws and we can provide you with up-to-date information about your rights. Call our firm today to learn more about how you will benefit from the legal protection and support that we offer you.
Take the right step after being charged! Call 206.209.0608