Legal Guidance in Seattle for Criminal Defense and Family Law Matters
Whether you are dealing with the sensitive issues that arise during a divorce, or you have been charged with a crime, you should seek assistance from an experienced lawyer. Blair & Kim, PLLC offers knowledgeable and cost-efficient representation for Seattle residents and others who are involved in criminal defense, family law, or personal injury matters. Our attorneys have provided thorough insight and dedicated client service for more than 25 years.
Asserting Your Rights against the Prosecution
Crimes in Washington are either felonies or misdemeanors. There are three classes of felonies, with Class A being the most serious type of felony and Class C being the least serious. With a Class A felony conviction, you may face more than 20 years in prison. With a Class C nonviolent felony conviction, you may have to pay a fine and spend months in jail. The specific punishment imposed depends on what type of crime you were convicted of and any prior criminal record. The two types of misdemeanors are gross misdemeanors and misdemeanors. The former can be punished by up to one year in jail, a $5,000 fine, or both.
Attorney Mark Blair handles our office's criminal cases. One of the most common offenses with which he assists clients is driving under the influence (DUI). In the state of Washington, the legal limit for blood alcohol content is .08%. For a first offense, a judge can sentence a defendant to up to one year in jail and a fine of $5,000. During sentencing, the judge may consider whether there were passengers in the car. In some cases, judges may impose a 15-day electronic home detention in exchange for not serving a day of jail.
Domestic violence charges also common. These may arise from offenses such as domestic assault, reckless endangerment, coercion, burglary, criminal trespass, or kidnapping. There are different degrees of domestic assault, for example. A perpetrator may be charged with this offense in the second degree, a Class B felony, if the victim sustains serious but non-permanent injuries. This crime may be punished by up to 10 years of imprisonment, a $20,000 fine, and the loss of gun rights. However, if the victim sustains fractures or a weapon was used, felony assault, which is associated with even greater penalties, may be charged. In some cases, enlisting a capable attorney can mean the difference between being charged with felony assault in the first degree, a Class A felony that comes with substantial penalties, and assault in the fourth degree, which is a gross misdemeanor.
Protecting Your Interests when Dissolving a Marriage
Attorney Sara Kim, who handles our family law cases, has guided clients through many complex situations over the past 20 years. Although she emphasizes collaborative resolutions to conflicts, she can aggressively assert your rights in court if needed. Washington is a no-fault divorce state, which means that to file for divorce you need only show that the marriage is irretrievably broken. At least one of the spouses must be a resident of the state in order to file for divorce here.
Many of the most contentious disputes between partners who are divorcing involve money and children. The state follows the doctrine of community property. This means that any property that was acquired during the marriage—except gifts and inheritance received as separate property—will be divided equally between the spouses at divorce.
Either party can request spousal support, which is also known as alimony. The court can decide whether to grant alimony based on numerous factors, including each party's income, the standard of living during the marriage, each spouse's physical and emotional condition, and how much time and training it would take for a spouse requesting alimony to become self-sufficient.
Child support is mostly governed by objective state guidelines that look at the parents' income and resources, as well as the number of children who need support. However, child custody disputes may get heated. The primary goal of the court is to make parenting and custody decisions that are in the best interests of the child.
When possible, our office tries to reach a collaborative settlement that accounts for all relevant factors. However, when parents cannot agree, the court may need to get involved. In that case, we will zealously advocate for a parenting plan in which your ideas about your children's best interests are thoroughly voiced. At the end of the process, the parenting plan will include information about each parent's responsibilities and obligations to the children, where the child will live, and how parents will settle any disagreements about the children.
Advice on Seeking Compensation after an Accident
Our office also can assist injured individuals with asserting their rights against any party that may have harmed them. Most of these cases, whether they involve a car accident or a slip and fall, arise because of someone's negligence. This generally means that a victim must prove the four elements of duty, breach, causation, and damages to assert the right to compensation. For example, each of us owes an ordinary duty of care to act in a way that avoids posing foreseeable risks to people who could be affected by our conduct.
If you are able to prove the elements of a negligence claim, you may be able to recover compensatory damages that address both economic and non-economic forms of harm. Some common types of compensation that may be available include lost wages, medical expenses, property damage, and pain and suffering.
Consult a Seattle Attorney to Fight Your Charges or Navigate a Divorce
It can be crucial to retain an experienced Seattle lawyer who can mount a strong criminal defense on your behalf or articulate your needs and wishes during a divorce. The decisions made by a court in these areas can affect your personal and professional lives for years to come. Our attorneys have a combined 40 years of experience protecting your rights, your freedom, and your future. We represent clients in Bellevue, Redmond, and Kirkland, as well as cities across Kings County. Call us at (206) 622-6562 or contact us via our online form for a free consultation.
We serve the following localities: King County including Auburn, Bellevue, Federal Way, Kent, Redmond, Renton, and Seattle; Pierce County including Gig Harbor, Lakewood, Puyallup, South Hill, Sumner, and Tacoma; and Snohomish County including Bothell, Edmonds, Everett, North Creek, and Snohomish.