When facing a misdemeanor charge in Washington State, the defendant needs to understand under what classification their crime falls. Misdemeanors fall into the categories of simple misdemeanors and gross misdemeanors. Below is a comparative guide for a simple misdemeanor vs. gross misdemeanor in Washington State.

Misdemeanor Cases in General

The Revised Code of Washington (RCW) enumerates all crimes and the sentencing guidelines. Misdemeanors in Washington State are crimes that do not rise to the classification of a felony. They carry potential jail sentences of a year or less, and courts of limited jurisdiction such as district courts and municipal courts hear these cases. Misdemeanor violations range from traffic violations to drug and theft offenses, among others.

Simple Misdemeanors

Simple misdemeanors are violations under the misdemeanor classification punishable with a maximum of 90 days in jail and up to a $1,000 fine. They include offenses such as trespassing, vandalism, disorderly conduct, and possession of marijuana (more than one ounce but less than 40 grams).

Gross Misdemeanors

Gross misdemeanors are more serious offenses that still fall under the misdemeanor classification in Chapter 9A of the RCW. These violations carry a penalty of up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $5,000. Some of the common gross misdemeanors in the Washington State include a first offense DUI, domestic assault, theft of property worth no more than $750, reckless driving, and stalking. For some misdemeanors, there’s a mandatory sentencing as defined by the RCW.

Dealing With Misdemeanor Cases in Washington State

The penalties for both simple and gross misdemeanors depend on the nature of the crime, prior criminal history of the offender, and aggravating factors involved. When facing these charges, the issue of bail will come up, and a judge will look at multiple factors to determine the bail terms. The defendant may be released on their own recognizance, cash or property bond, or using a bail bond agent.

For both simple and gross misdemeanors, defendants are often eligible for bail. A-Affordable Bail Bonds is a trusted bail bonds company serving clients across all of Washington. Our commitment is to get clients back to their families as soon as possible through trustworthy bail bonds services. Contact one of our closest agents depending on your court’s location today by calling 1-888-695-8950 for the fastest and most reliable bail bond services in the area.


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