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I've been charged with malicious mischief 2nd deg-domestic violence with no previous record.

Olympia, WA |

As of now I have a public defender. The charges state that the damage was sole property of my spouse, when it's actually community property. My public defender is hiring an investigator and is seeking a suppression hearing (statement was taken while intoxicated, before I was arrested, but wasn't allowed to leave. I have cops surrounding me) I declined the prosecutors deal to drop to whatever misdemeanor charge they want and go to mental health court. Trial is set for March 25. No one has been in contact with victims advocate (no one was harmed). So I'm really wanting to know if my best bet is to stick with a public defender or hire an attorney. Of course I want everything dismissed, including the no contact order, however not being a felon is above all. It's a risk and I need direction.

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Attorney answers 3


This is a very hard question to answer because you are asking a bunch of professional criminal defense attorneys to take a few lines of what you say "happened" and state what is in your best interest? I change my answer, it is impossible. No attorney can state with what you have said above what you should do except your attorney. Talk over your case with you attorney and make sure he/she understands EVERYTHING. You listen to him/her about what is good and bad and then YOU make a decision on how to proceed. Deal or no Deal? Settle or Trial. If you are not satisfied with your current attorney then you will have to hire one but you are talking about a Class C felony so it will cost you a few thousand dollars to hire one. Good Luck

Patrick Owen Earl

Patrick Owen Earl


Normally I would click on the box and talk to you on the phone but it is 11:30pm and I am going to sleep. Additionally I live in Moses Lake and you are in Olympia which is a long ways away and I assume if you hire an attorney it will be a local one. If you need me contact me!


Private attorneys do not have a magic "dismiss" button that public defenders do not. Attorneys may not communicate with someone who is already represented, even if you initiate the contact. Talk to your public defender.


You need to consult fully with your appointed counsel. It sounds as though your counsel is actively involved in your case. The counsel shoud be able to explain to you the positives and negatives of going to trial and/or accepting a plea offer. Most criminal defense attorneys, whether public or private, have a good handle on the likely outcome of a case if it proceeds to a trial. Notwithstanding, please be aware that even if the property allegedly damaged is community property, the destruction of such prioperty can support the bsis of a Malicious Mischief charge. Community property co-owned and co-possessed by defendant and his wife constituted “property of another,” within the meaning of the second degree malicious mischief statute; defendant's rights in the community property did not include the right to infringe upon his wife's rights to the property. State v. Coria, 146 Wash.2d 631, 48 P.3d 980 (2002).

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