Sex Offenses & Domestic Violence
Mental Health Cases
CPS Investigations & Dependencies
Child Abuse & Assault of a Child
Juvenile Defense Cases
No Contact & Protection Orders
Sex Offenses & Domestic Violence
When someone makes a sexual assault accusation, it sets in motion a series of events that can change the course of your life forever. Sex offenses (including rape, possession of child pornography, and crimes with sexual motivation) are very serious allegations that require a thorough and aggressive defense. That’s because some sex offenses can result in the equivalent of life in prison through Washington’s Indeterminate Sentence law, which imprisons sex offenders until they can prove rehabilitation.
Even if you are innocent, being charged with a sex offense can lead to other consequences. A judge may set a very high bail and issue no contact orders. You may see your profession and livelihood affected and travel restrictions put in place. An allegation of child sexual abuse will almost certainly result in an investigation by Child Protective Services (CPS) and require you to leave your home if you have children.
While many dating apps such as Hinge and Tinder offer ways to meet young, like-minded people, these types of “relationships” have led to sexual assault allegations. These allegations are often lodged against a young person in their 20s or 30s and can forever change the trajectory of someone’s life. It is critical that you have defense counsel who is very experienced with this type of sexual assault allegation and can fiercely advocate for you.
Possession of Child Pornography Cases
These investigations and allegations are very emotionally charged, and carry a great deal of shame for our clients. It is critical that you have counsel with experience in both state and federal court on these cases, as the state has the discretion to have the federal government take over your case. Having experienced counsel represent you if you find yourself the target of this type of investigation is key, given the significance for example to have counsel prepare you for a sexual deviancy evaluation. Michele has represented numerous clients in both state and federal court on these charges, some of which have presented with a chronic mental health diagnosis as well. The sentencing ranges in federal court on this type of offense are very high. It is critical that your lawyer understand not only how to navigate the legal process on your behalf, but also how to humanize you both to the prosecutor and to the court. Michele has had excellent outcomes in these cases.
Special Sex Offender Sentencing Alternative (SSOSA) Cases
Despite its harsh sentencing laws, Washington does have treatment options for individuals who admit to committing a sex offense. For certain individuals, this treatment can be a viable option to avoid a lengthy prison sentence. The first step is obtaining an effective evaluation. Michele has assisted many individuals charged with sex offenses find the right treatment provider. Once you are connected with a treatment provider, Michele will help you prepare for your evaluation, understand the process, and succeed in your treatment program. This alternative is only available for certain offenses. If you have a question about whether you qualify for SSOSA, contact Michele so she can evaluate your case.
Domestic Violence Cases
When a complainant calls 911, and a domestic violence report is made, someone will be arrested. Law enforcement claims they must arrest one of the parties involved. Law enforcement will identify the victim and the suspect. The suspect will be removed from what is often their residence and taken to jail to await a court hearing. It doesn’t matter if the victim doesn’t want the alleged suspect removed, or if neither party called the police – many of these cases start with neighbors calling the police after they hear a loud argument.
If you or a family member is arrested for a domestic violence offense, contact Michele immediately. Having her at your first court appearance can change the course of your entire case. She is often able to convince the court of why some contact is necessary between the parties when parents are involved and there are children in the home. It is impossible to run a home, or often a business, when the parties cannot communicate. She has represented hundreds of clients charged with domestic violence, and many of them never committed an act of physical violence toward their partner, family member, or loved one.
Convictions for domestic violence are viewed very seriously by many employers at this time. It is absolutely critical to have counsel who can zealously represent you on this type of case.