Experience Yields
Successful Criminal Defense

Criminal investigations and charges have serious consequences for you and your family. Whether you are being investigated by local law enforcement or the Federal Government, the potential penalties can be severe. When a criminal investigation begins the police and the prosecutor are already working towards a conviction. Whether you, a family member, or your child is facing criminal charges or is the subject of an investigation, the Law Offices of Michele Shaw has the resources, expertise and compassion to guide you through this difficult process. Without an attorney, you and your family are not protected and you may make crucial mistakes. It is never in your best interest to speak with law enforcement. Michele will protect your rights and work to ensure investigators see all the information about an allegation, not just the information that supports their case.

Criminal Defense

Michele has practiced exclusively as a criminal lawyer during the last twenty-five years. Her experience as both a prosecutor and defense attorney gives her a unique perspective and understanding of how a criminal investigation begins and how to challenge law enforcement and the prosecutor at every stage. Her uncompromising commitment to thorough preparation has resulted in countless victories. Criminal investigations and charges have serious penalties including loss of liberty, housing, employment, custody of children, or deportation. Michele is experienced representing individuals charged with all crimes including: Assault, Child Abuse, Drug Conspiracies, Domestic Violence, Federal Investigations, Homicide, Sex Offenses, Property Crimes, and Vehicle Offenses.

Representation of Individuals from Diverse Backgrounds

Michele has unique experience representing individuals from a wide range of cultural and religious backgrounds. Understanding the personal experience and world view of each individual is a key part of effective representation. Many cultures and religions have different structures and legal viewpoints than that of the United States. Both the State and the Western District of Washington, in particular, are home to people from all over the world. Sometimes cultural misunderstandings or language barriers can lead to criminal charges. Michele always takes the time to get to know each individual client’s perspective and integrate that information into your defense. Michele has represented clients from Afghanistan, Africa, China, Columbia, Europe, India, Indonesia, Laos, Mexico, the Philippines and elsewhere.

Juvenile Defense

There are no “minor” juvenile crimes. What happens at the beginning of a criminal investigation can affect your child’s life for years to come. Engaging a criminal attorney even before your child is charged with a crime can protect your child. Michele will fight for your child’s future. Her unique approach recognizes that your child’s future is dependent not just on the outcome of his or her criminal case, but on resolving core problems. This pro-active approach focuses on early intervention and includes referrals to resources within the community, reaching out to investigating officers and the prosecutor’s office to mitigate charges or prevent the filing of charges, and connecting your child with treatment programs that can positively impact the outcome of his or her case. A good plan can also reduce the likelihood that your child will be taken into custody and held in detention if charges are filed. Michele has represented children under investigation or charged with Sex Offenses, Assault, Graffiti, Arson, Harassment, Theft, and Minor In Possession of Alcohol or Drugs. Michele has also represented children in School Discipline proceedings.

Mental Health, Developmental Disability, or Neurological Disability

A mental health crisis can sometimes trigger an event that results in criminal charges. Michele’s success in advocating for clients with a mental health diagnosis is grounded in her sensitivity and knowledge. Michele specializes in working with many clients who present a mental health diagnosis such as, but not limited to, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Pervasive Developmental Disorder, PTSD, Post-Partum Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Major Depression, Anxiety, ADHD, and Schizoaffective Disorder. Michele understands the unique challenges facing these clients. Her thoughtful approach takes into consideration the client’s treatment needs foremost and mitigating the impact of a criminal charge. Often these two perspectives intersect as prosecutors are more willing to reduce charges when they are assured an individual’s treatment needs are being met. The most important component of representing individuals with mental health issues or any form of disability is conveying to the prosecutor how the mental health issue or disability affect criminal culpability. These issues may also give rise to Competency arguments. Michele has successfully utilized the Insanity defense, the Diminished Capacity defense, and represented individuals in Involuntary Commitment proceedings.

Sex Offenses

Sex offenses are serious allegations that require an immediate response to preserve evidence and obtain statements that support your defense. Waiting until you have been charged with a crime can mean a lost opportunity to defend yourself, along with an arrest. If you know you are the subject of a criminal investigation for a sex offense, it is absolutely in your best interest to engage counsel as soon as possible. Michele has successfully defended many individuals accused of Sex Offenses, by focusing on the details of the allegations and forcing the prosecutor to see mistakes in law enforcement investigations.

Federal Investigations and Charges

The Federal Government investigates and charges individuals with specific crimes outlined in the United States Code. Often, these crimes have more serious consequences than State crimes. Many Federal offenses have mandatory minimum prison terms and result in a lifetime ban from ownership of firearms, deportation and exclusion of Federal benefits amongst other punishments. If you are the subject of a Federal investigation or are a witness in a federal case, contact an attorney immediately. The statements you make at the beginning of an investigation can have severe consequences and quickly change your status from witness to Target. The Federal Government has extensive resources and may spend years building a case against you before you are even aware. Michele has two decades of experience defending individuals who are indicted with Federal offenses.

Port of Seattle Investigations and Charges

The Port of Seattle independently investigates and reports to alleged crimes that occur on Port property including Sea-TacAirport, Ferry Terminals, and other seaport properties. Port Police patrol Port property and respond to security concerns on Port property. Many investigations that occur on Port property may include drug offenses and result in the Forfeiture of property. Contact with Port Police may also lead to Federal criminal investigations. Port investigations may also include Harassment, and Assault or threats made to employees or passengers.

Post-Conviction Relief and Arrest Records

Even a criminal investigation that does not result in the filing of criminal charges can affect your future. Washington State permits anyone to view criminal arrest and conviction records. If you have been the subject of a criminal investigation or convicted of a crime there are ways to limit or prevent the public from viewing your history. Michele’s experience in terminating or limiting the public’s right to view records has helped people who previously could not obtain housing or jobs through Expungement, Vacating, and Sealing of criminal records.