logo, Kevin P. Donnelly Attorney At Law - Law Firm
270 S Hanford Street, Suite 100, Seattle, WA 98134
Aggressive Criminal Defense
Criminal law matters, no matter how minor, can have serious consequences. When facing criminal charges, you need me, a Seattle, Washington, criminal defense attorney to fight for your rights.
Courtroom Scene - Criminal Defense
Realistic Penalties
In misdemeanors and gross misdemeanors cases, the court has the discretion to impose any penalty up to the maximum. Generally, that decision is based upon the nature of the crime and the defendant's criminal history.
In felonies, the penalties are more concrete. The judge will give a sentence within a range based upon a defendant's criminal history and the classification of the crime.
The Standard Range
For instance, a first offender convicted of Theft in the Second Degree faces a standard range of zero to 60 days. A repeat offender with nine prior felonies faces a standard range for the same crime of 22 to 29 months.
Appeals of Standard Range
A sentence within the standard range cannot be appealed, while a sentence below the standard range can be appealed by the prosecutor and to sentence above the standard range can be appealed by the defendant. The judge has to provide a legitimate, legally sufficient reason in writing if he or she hands out a sentence below or above the standard range.
For certain sex offenses, the standard range is merely the sentence that must be served before an offender is entitled to a parole board hearing. Washington also has a three strikes law. Someone convicted of three qualifying crimes (strikes) will receive life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.
However, the three strikes law is limited to felonies that are violent or serious crimes. Most drug and property crimes do not classify as strikes. Washington has a two strikes law for certain sex offenses.
Changes in Sentencing of Sex Crimes
Washington State uses an indeterminate sentencing system for sex offenses. someone sentenced for certain sex crimes is sentenced to the maximum term for the crime.

After that person has served the sentence imposed by the judge, he still is not released. He must be approved for release by the indeterminate sentence review board. The Department of Corrections will keep an offender in custody until he is approved for release by the indeterminate sentence review board.
Contact me when you're in need of a criminal law attorney to represent you during your criminal defense trial.