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Charged with Assault and Harassment in WA, I am from Canada and it is my first offense, what do I do?

Seattle, WA |

I was at a hotel in Seattle, and the front desk staff and I were involved in a verbal argument, they pushed me out of the building and tackled me to the ground and pinned me until cops arrived. I was then handcuffed and yelled at by several officers. I was escorted to a holding cell, transported to King County Jail and then released on bail by a friend. I have returned to Canada and want to know how to get off the charges. I have never had any criminal penalties and have never been in any legal trouble.... What do I do???

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Attorney answers 2


Given your citizenship in another country, and the pending charges, I suggest you get a lawyer involved who can cut down on the number of trips you will need to take into the US during the preliminary stages of the proceedings. This can be accomplished by you providing the lawyer with an affidavit authorizing him to act on your behalf due to the travel distances and expenses involved. The lawyer will be able to assess the State's case and evaluate the potential dispositions including both the direct sentencing consequences (fine, jail); and, the collateral consequences (how long each type of disposition will stay on your record before you can get it removed) that can be involved with each disposition. You can then make an intelligent decision as to how you want to proceed with this matter. Good luck.

Disclaimer: The above answer does not constitute legal advice, attorney advertising, or establish an attorney-client privilege; and, is offered for the limited purpose of educating the requester as to the potential legal issues they need to discuss with a lawyer in their State. I strongly recommend you discuss this situation with an experienced criminal defense lawyer admitted to practice law in your State before you make any decisions as to how to proceed. Do not presume that any legal analysis that may apply in NJ where I practice would apply in your State or under the facts and circumstances of your case, unless an attorney admitted in your State advises you that it applies to you and your case.


With all do respect to Mr. Bailey, the Seattle Municipal Court will make you appear in person for your court dates. We can occasionally get a court date moved to accommodate out-of-state or country defendants. The good news is that Seattle for the most part is fairly reasonable with people with good records. I have had a fair amount of success on these type of cases in Seattle as the reports are usually quite short. Contact a Washington attorney who frequents that court and let them handle it from there

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