When do I have to Show for an SMC Arraignment?

SQ Attorneys

SQ Attorneys

We here at SQ Attorneys are frequently asked when can an arraignment simply be waived in Seattle Municipal Court. The answer lies in the court’s local rules. SMCLR 4.1 reads:

“(i) Arraignments. Arraignments shall be in accordance with CrRLJ 4.1 and 4.2. A lawyer may, pursuant to (e) and SMCLR 8.4.1, enter an appearance on behalf of a client except in cases in which the docket or charging document states that one or more of the charges involves domestic violence, harassment, violation of an anti-harassment order, driving under the influence, physical control, assault, stalking, or firearms offenses as set out in 12A.14.071(discharge of a firearm), 12A.14.075 (unlawful use of weapons to intimidate another) and 12A.14.080 (unlawful use of weapon) whereupon defendant’s presence is mandatory.”

So, the answer is … so long as the charge isn’t one of the charges enumerated above, the arraignment can simply be waived. This means that the Defendant can enter his/her/their plea by paper and get a new court date. On the other hand, if the charge is one of the ones listed above, the Defendant must appear in court to enter his/her/their plea, have conditions of release set and get a new court date.

Other court’s may not require an arraignment appearance for say .. a garden variety assault, or a harassment charge … but Seattle Municipal Court does. There are reasons for this, but the main thing is to check with an attorney to ascertain if actual appearance is required for your arraignment hearing. Hopefully that is ‘clear as mud’, as they say. Have a great Memorial Day weekend everyone!

If you or a loved one is in a bind because of a criminal traffic 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.

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