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Criminal Defense

Shira J. Stefanik will vigorously defend you against criminal accusations.

Free Consultation

Representing people accused of a variety of misdemeanors and felonies in King County and throughout Washington State.

A criminal accusation can cost you your freedom, your reputation and your stability – but it doesn't have to. If you are being investigated for a crime, we can conduct our own investigation, advocate for the prosecutor to decline criminal charges, and work hard to derail a potential problem.

If you received notice of a court date, or you have learned that there is a warrant for your arrest, I will help you quash the warrant and I will accompany you to court; laying the groundwork from day one to vigorously defend your interests.

I have many years of experience in trial and litigating criminal matters, and work with a variety of professionals ready to join our team, to give you the best possible chance at keeping your life intact.

Washington State courts are required to explore the least restrictive means of release before they impose a monetary bail, so contacting a Seattle criminal defense attorney as soon as possible gives you the best chance of ensuring that you can live at home and keep your job while your charges are pending.

Whether your case involves misdemeanors or a serious felony, there is a solution, and we will find it. I have handled hundreds of cases over the years on a variety of criminal charges and obtained overwhelmingly excellent results.

Here are some common issues I have handled and obtained great results for my clients:


Assault in the fourth degree is a gross misdemeanor, but Assault in the Third, Second and First Degree are felony charges. The degree charged depends on the severity of the injury and the type of person who was allegedly assaulted. Because the crime of Assault is a violent crime, there is a greater chance that a person charged with Assault will have to post bail, give up firearms, have No contact with the alleged victim or other witnesses, or be subject to monitoring at the beginning of the case. Convincing a judge to impose the least restrictive conditions at the very beginning of your case is important in preserving your ability to explore every strategy. Contact us right away so we can formulate a plan.


In Washington State, you are allowed to use the force reasonably necessary to protect yourself or others from harm. The police do not always do sufficient investigation or even show a willingness to listen to both sides. Sometimes the aggressor makes the real victim look guilty. In matters involving self-defense, I will thoroughly investigate the circumstances of your case to show your innocence. If you prove self- defense at trial, we can ask that the jury award you attorney's fees and costs, which means you will be able to recoup the cost of your legal fees as well as the costs of you missing work to attend court.


Harassment is one of the easiest false allegations to make and many people are accused of threatening another when someone wants to get someone else in trouble. Harassment is defined as making threats to harm, confine or cause damage to another person or their property, that by their words or conduct causes the other person to reasonably fear that

the threat will be carried out. Simple harassment is a gross misdemeanor, but can be elevated to a felony when the person charged has prior convictions against the alleged victim or their family, or the person charged is alleged to have made a credible threat to kill, or the alleged victim is a criminal justice participant acting in their official capacity. If you are facing untrue

accusations, or if your words have been taken out of context and used to make you look guilty, having an aggressive, experienced trial attorney is of the utmost importance.

Malicious Mischief

This is a legal term for “intentionally damaging stuff”, and the seriousness of the charge depends on the value of the stuff that was damaged. Malicious Mischief is a gross misdemeanor when the property damaged is valued at less than $750 or in many cases of graffiti. Malicious Mischief can be elevated to a felony when the property damaged is valued over $750, or when the person's actions interfere with public services. For charges like Malicious Mischief, a skilled attorney can sometimes come up with technical defenses, can work to minimize the impact, show innocence, or, in some cases, work out non-criminal solutions and remove the issue from the criminal courts. I have years of experience obtaining excellent results for accused clients.

I understand that every case is unique and requires a unique approach – let's start working on yours.