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Criminal Defense


Criminal Defense Attorney in Kennewick, Washington

If you have been arrested or are facing a criminal charge, you may feel your entire world has just turned upside down. You may be confused about what will happen and not entirely sure how to respond to the police officers. Being questioned by the police, judge, or prosecutor on your own can be intimidating.

When charged with a crime, understanding how the criminal justice system works will help you to make decisions about how to deal with your situation. In this case, there’s nothing more important than having a credible Washington State criminal defense lawyer on your side to:

  • Help build your legal defense, 
  • Navigate jury selection, 
  • Negotiate a plea bargain, and 
  • Advocate for you at trial or during sentencing.

Why Do I Need a Criminal Defense Attorney in Washington?

Criminal defense and those types of issues call for the attention of a lawyer whose practice focuses on criminal law. I have more than a decade of experience handling cases involving felonies and misdemeanor charges.

I will apply my years of experience and legal knowledge to help you secure a favorable outcome when faced with a serious criminal charge. These charges can range from DUI alcohol related crimes, driving related crimes such as reckless driving or licensing offenses, criminal fish and game offenses, possession of marijuana, use of drug paraphernalia, assaults, disorderly conduct, malicious mischief, domestic violence, and trespass offenses.

I would like to help you fight your criminal case because it’s what I’ve been doing since 1995. I’ve helped hundreds of people who are in similar situations as yours fight their charges, often with successful outcomes, such as outright dismissals, reduction of charges, and acquittals after jury trial. If you are charged with a crime and you need experienced legal counsel then you need the law office of Patrick McBurney.

What Is a Criminal Defense?

criminal defense attorney kennewick, washington Criminal defense refers to a strategic argument that attempts to challenge the sufficiency and validity of the prosecution’s evidence. The prosecution, also called the state, is the party trying to prove the criminal charges against you.

When you are accused of committing a crime, the prosecutor must establish that the defendant is guilty of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. This is called the “burden of proof,” and it is a heavy one. As the defendant, you are entitled to present a defense. Numerous criminal defenses available may allow you to avoid harsh penalties and convictions. The criminal defense you choose will depend on the crime you are charged with and the evidence you have at your disposal. 

Suppose you are charged with committing a crime in Washington. In that case, it is crucial to seek legal advice from a qualified Kennewick criminal defense attorney who can provide a solid and aggressive defense to your criminal charges.

What are the Different Categories of Crimes?

Crimes can be classified as infractions, misdemeanors, or felonies, depending on their nature and the maximum imposable penalties. The state will file most criminal charges, but in some cases, you could face federal charges if you have been accused of violating federal laws. 

As crimes are not easy to define, and each state may categorize crimes differently, it is essential to work with a skilled Kennewick criminal defense lawyer to help you understand the nature of your charge.


An infraction is a petty offense or violation of an ordinance, rule, or law. It is the most minor type of crime. In most cases, no jail time is associated with an infraction, and it will not appear on a criminal record. Payment of a fine will usually be the only punishment. Traffic offenses are the most common form of infraction.


A misdemeanor involves misconduct for which the law prescribes a punishment of no more than one year in prison. Defendants charged with misdemeanors are often entitled to a jury trial. Usually, a misdemeanor offense committed for the second time around becomes a felony.


A felony is the most severe type of crime. It involves grave misconduct that is punishable by imprisonment for more than one year. Most state criminal laws categorize felonies into different classes with varying degrees of punishment.

What are the Common Defenses Against a Criminal Charge?

As soon as you are charged with a crime, it would be best if you begin building a defense. The legal assistance of a competent Kennewick criminal defense attorney can help ensure that you best understand your defenses and seek an outcome that minimizes your risk. Here are some common defenses that criminal defendants raise.


One of the most common defenses to criminal liability is the defense of innocence. This defense is raised when you did not commit the crime. 

All people accused of a crime are legally presumed innocent until proven guilty. This presumption means that the prosecution must convince the jury of your guilt rather than prove your innocence. However, you have the option of offering testimony, documents, and other evidence in support of your integrity.


An alibi defense consists of evidence that you were in another place other than the crime scene at the time it took place. This defense can have witnesses testify and present evidence at trial. If an alibi defense is based on witness testimony, the credibility of the witness can dramatically strengthen or weaken your defense.


When pleading self-defense, you may claim that you killed or caused harm to the victim to protect your own life against the violent threats. This defense is commonly used by those charged with crimes of violence, such as assault, battery, or murder. Self-defense is rooted in the belief that people should be allowed to protect themselves.


To successfully use the insanity defense, you must have had a severe mental disease or defect when the crime was committed. This means you cannot distinguish right from wrong when committing the crime. However, relying on the insanity defense can be risky.

Insanity is rarely raised because, essentially, you admit that you committed a crime. If the jury rejects your insanity defense, it will likely find you guilty. You need a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer in Kennewick, WA, on your side to help you determine whether this defense will work for your particular case.


The entrapment defense may be used if police abuse their authority and induce you to commit a crime, provided that, under ordinary circumstances, you would never have committed the crime. Therefore, you should not be held responsible. However, this type of defense is often challenging to prove.

Under the Influence

If you have committed a crime under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you may argue that your mental functioning was so impaired that you cannot be held accountable for your actions. However, voluntary intoxication does not excuse criminal conduct. Getting deliberately drunk or high and then committing a crime will not stand as a valid defense.

On the other hand, involuntary intoxication is a lack of intent defense. If you were involuntarily intoxicated, this could be a defense to both general and specific intent crimes under the theory that the intoxication prevented you from understanding right and wrong. Although being intoxicated won’t necessarily clear you of most crimes, it can negate some elements of a crime.

Call Our Experienced Kennewick Criminal Defense Attorney Now!

Facing criminal charges is one of the scariest things you’ll ever meet in your life. A conviction can cost you your career, reputation, and freedom. With a lot at stake, you have the right to defend yourself against those charges.

Defending a criminal case can be a complex process. Many aspects of a case must be thoroughly researched and examined, as well as various methods and tactics to build a successful defense. If you’re charged with a crime, having a reputable Kennewick criminal defense attorney by your side will increase your chances of winning your case.

At the Law Office of Patrick McBurney, I can help you explore your rights and options, including which defenses are available and applicable in your case. I have successfully represented clients and helped them navigate the complex Washington criminal justice system. In addition to criminal defense, our law office can assist you in handling bankruptcy, family law, and estate planning cases. Contact us now and schedule an initial consultation.