When it comes to the practice of criminal law, an experienced defense lawyer’s connections and reputation can sometimes be the difference between winning and losing.  

We recently obtained a dismissal of a felony burglary case for our client in Snohomish County.  The client had come to us with no criminal history and no experience in the justice system.  The case involved a break in to a property in disrepair.  Our client was a young guy, sort of an urban explorer – finding unused, decrepit or abandoned places and investigating/cataloguing his findings.

Only this time, the police were called.  The building our client was in was empty but not abandoned.  Our client fully cooperated with the police and admitted that he had gone into the building without permission in order to explore; he hadn’t taken anything.  The police informed our client that he had committed a burglary and he was under arrest.

The client then came to our office.  At first glance, the case was going to be quite difficult to defend.  The police had literally caught our client in a building owned by another.  That’s part of what it means to commit burglary – the unlawful entry into a building.  But there’s one other important part that the police were missing – that the person in the building has to be there with the intent to commit a crime.

In other words, if you’re in a building unlawfully but you aren’t there to commit a crime (whether that crime is theft, destruction of property or anything else), then you haven’t committed a burglary.  Even though we felt our client was innocent, this would be risky to take in front of a jury, because the jury simply might not accept the client’s story about why he was there.

The biggest challenge for us came in connecting with a prosecutor who would actually take the time to listen to our client’s story.  We had photographs that our client had taken, showing that he was there simply to observe and record.  He wasn’t there with the intent to commit a crime.  There are many prosecutors who would refuse to listen; thankfully we had a good working relationship with the prosecutor assigned to our client’s case and that past relationship told them that we had been honest in our dealings with them.  Because of that prior history, they knew we were telling the truth when we explained our client’s story.

And as a result of that relationship, ultimately the prosecutor agreed to dismiss our client’s case.  Of course our client was overjoyed at the result, but it also served as a good reminder that sometimes our fate depends on the reputation we are known for in the minds of others.  Having a lawyer who is known to have a reputation for integrity will go a long way for a client.  As in this case, sometimes it can make the difference between success or failure.

-Derek

derek@conomlaw.com

Request A Free Consultation

Get in Touch

(425) 774-6747
info@conomlaw.com

Open Hours

Call/Email For Appointments

Our Office

7500 212th St SW #215 Edmonds, WA 98026

Email Us