What can happen if I am being stationed out of Washington state and I do not know yet if I am being charged criminally in a civilian court?
This situation is very similar to being deployed while under investigation. The answer is quite simple. You need to hire a criminal defense attorney in the area where you are potentially facing the criminal charge. The attorney can monitor the case for charging and keep you updated.
Theoretically, if you notified the Court and the Department of Licensing of your new address, you should be notified by mail of any upcoming court dates. Unfortunately, that is not always the case and, more often than not, we get calls from service members who did not receive notice and now have a warrant. Typically, the military catches the pending criminal charge and warrant, which leads to very negative consequences on the military side. For obvious reasons, your command will not think fondly of a member of the team who has allowed a criminal charge to go unnoticed or ignored.
If you hire Witt Law Group to monitor your case, we will take a fee to do so but it will not be the entire legal defense fee. This allows us to keep track of the situation and give updates without charging you the cost of defense. This way, if no criminal charges come from the investigation, you only spent a fraction of what it would cost to hire a lawyer for the entire case.
Additionally, if we find out you are going to be charged, we can quickly work out a payment arrangement with you or a family member. Payment arrangements are rarely an option in any criminal defense firm but, in our experience, we have never been burned by a military member failing to take care of an outstanding bill. Therefore, if we are monitoring your case and a criminal charge develops, we can work with you to manage the financial challenge.
If you or a loved one who is serving in the military in the Kitsap or Pierce county area and facing a criminal charge, please contact our office at (360) 792-1000. If you are unsure if you are being charged in Kitsap, Pierce, or Thurston counties or the cities in that area, you can contact our office for guidance on that issue.