Should folks facing lower-level criminal convictions be sentenced to alternatives (i.e. mental health or substance abuse treatment) other than jail time? One lawmaker is making the case that the answer to that question is – ‘yes’. House Bill 1994, if passed, would permit judges to set conditions in lower-level cases (like minor drug possession and criminal tresspass) that won’t include jail but instead would allow for treatment and possible dismissal if the person substantially complied with the terms of the program. The thought is that by doing this, we are getting at the root cause of the problem and not just punishing a person ostensibly over and over again for something they can’t really control; in essence, get out of the cycle of crime by treating the problem causing the criminal act to occur in the first place. Some prosecutors are worried that to enact such a law invades the province and powers of the prosecution. In short, it ties their hands. It will be interesting to see where the debate ends on HB 1994. Stay tuned.
If you or a loved one is in a bind as a result of a criminal charge, immediately contact a Seattle Criminal Attorney. A Criminal lawyer is not going to judge you and understands that everyone makes mistakes. Hiring a Seattle Criminal Lawyer to help can – at a minimum – reduce penalties and can help direct people on how to best deal with their criminal charge, and many times even get them dismissed. So, it should go without saying that someone cited for a misdemeanor or felony should hire a qualified Seattle Criminal Lawyer as soon as possible. Criminal charges can cause havoc on a person’s personal and professional life. Anyone charged with a crime in Washington State should immediately seek the assistance of a seasoned Seattle Criminal Lawyer. SQ Attorneys can be reached at (425) 359-3791 and/or (206) 441-0900.