Michele has been practicing criminal law exclusively for twenty five years and has been in private practice as a criminal defense attorney for eighteen years. After graduating from the Gonzaga School of Law, Michele began her career as a deputy prosecutor with the King County Prosecutor’s Office. Michele worked in many divisions within that office, earning the position of supervisor of the Juvenile Court Special Assault unit. During her time with the prosecutor’s office Michele handled over 100 criminal trials. After six years Michele recognized the important role defense attorneys play in the lives of their clients. Michele began to understand the many circumstances that contribute to a person being accused of a crime and built a practice around helping people find the right path to resolving this difficult time in their lives.
The years Michele spent working for the prosecutor’s office have been a valuable tool allowing Michele to analyze a case from both sides and anticipate the arguments of law enforcement and prosecutors. This experience has given Michele an advantage in demonstrating to prosecutors, even before charges are filed, why a case should not move forward. With this strategy Michele has saved many clients the embarrassment of formal charges and the cost of a trial. Michele is highly regarded for her meticulous preparation. This attention to detail has resulted in many victories and the unmasking of false allegations.
When charges are filed Michele has the skills and experience to aggressively defend any case from the filing of charges through trial and everything in between. Each case is unique and requires a careful analysis. Michele ensures every client knows every option available and will help you make the right choice in your individual circumstance. Michele has represented individuals through pre-charging investigations, at trial, through plea negotiations, and in non-traditional resolutions such as mediation, drug court, and mental health court. If your case does merit a trial, Michele will prepare an assertive defense utilizing all the tools at her discretion including investigators and experts, to establish the most compelling defense available under each set of facts and circumstances.
Michele is particularly passionate about helping juveniles and individuals with mental health problems. She understands from her years in the prosecutor’s office and subsequent representation that these groups are often over-prosecuted and the potential of these special clients overlooked. Michele has an amazing rapport with these two special client groups and approaches each case with the objective of minimizing the impact of a criminal investigation on her client’s future.
A special component of Michele’s practice is the representation of law enforcement officers. Michele is a PORAC approved attorney and during her time with the prosecutor’s office acted as a resource advisor for various police agencies in King County. Representing police officers presents unique challenges. In our current climate there are no “free passes” for officers and they are subject to higher scrutiny than members of the general population. This means that almost every case involving allegations against a police officer requires an aggressive defense that anticipates the prosecutor’s office will not back down.
Whatever your circumstances, Michele has the expertise to guide you through the criminal process and advise you of all your options. In defending you, Michele will leave no stone unturned whether it is to commence and aggressive investigation or find you the resources you need to solve problems contributing to criminal behavior.