Violent Crimes

Violent crimes, particularly when a weapon is alleged to have been involved, carry some of the stiffest penalties available under Washington law.  Seattle criminal defense attorney David Hammerstad has successfully defended assault, robbery, and murder charges.


  • Not Guilty. Burglary in the First Degree, Interfering with Domestic Violence Reporting.
    State of Washington v. W.S.  I persuaded the jury that there was insufficient evidence that my client intended to commit a crime when he entered his ex-girlfriend’s house, and that police officer’s testimony that he was assaulted by client was not credible.  Client was also acquitted of a second charge of Interfering with Domestic Violence Reporting, and convicted of the lesser misdemeanor charge of criminal trespass. 
  • Not Guilty.  Robbery in the First Degree.
    State of Washington v. C.W. With the help of expert testimony on memory and identification I persuaded a jury that the robbery victim misidentified my client.
  • Dismissal.  Robbery in the First Degree and Robbery in the Second Degree.
    State of Washington v. A.R.  Through pretrial investigation and litigation of discovery motions I pressured the State into dismissing all charges against my client, who had been misidentified in part because of faulty identification procedures.
  • Dismissal.  Robbery in the First Degree.
    State of Washington v. O.A.  I persuaded the State of my client’s innocence and the case was dismissed shortly after the commencement of trial.
  • Misdemeanor Reduction.  Assault in the First Degree.
    State of WA v. P.L.   Through investigation and witness interviews we were able to persuade the prosecution that alleged victim provoked confrontation and client acted primarily in defense of others. 
  • Not Guilty. Assault in the Second Degree, Felony Harassment
    State of Washington v. D.C.  I was able to persuade the jury that the objective evidence was inconsistent with alleged victim’s claim of strangulation. A second count of Felony Harassment resulted in a hung jury.  On retrial the jury acquitted my client of Felony Harassment and convicted of the lesser-included offense of misdemeanor harassment.  He was sentenced to time served.
  • Not Guilty. Assault in the Second Degree.
    State of Washington v. AH.  I was able to persuade the jury that the alleged victim’s story was inconsistent with the objective evidence and was likely motivated by a race to the police station after a mutual conflict.  A second count of Assault in the Fourth Degree ended in a hung jury and the State dismissed that charge rather than retry the case.
  • Misdemeanor Reduction.  Burglary First Degree.
    State of WA v. N.D.   Through pretrial motions I was able to exclude testimony from a key state witness and bolster defense that client had privilege to enter residence, forcing favorable eve-of-trial settlement. 
  • Not Guilty.  Unlawful Possession of a Firearm in the First Degree.
    State of Washington v. J.S.  I was able to persuade the jury that client had no knowledge of gun and that police testimony that client admitted to knowledge of gun was not credible.
  • Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity.  Second Degree Murder.
    State of N.H. v. V.K.  By carefully selecting an expert witness we were able to persuade the State and its evaluator that our client was not responsible for his actions.  Our investigation obtained out-of-state psychiatric records to substantiate defense.

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