Spokane Criminal Defense Lawyer

We have been representing clients in criminal defense matters across Washington state for almost 30 years. These include many domestic violence cases. I have been representing clients as a Spokane Criminal Defense lawyer for the last five years. There are many criminal defense lawyers. So why should you retain the Law Office of Mark Knapp PLLC to represent you?

Initial Consultation. When you make an appointment, you will pay $150.00 for the Initial Consultation. We apply the Consultation Fee as a credit toward the flat-fee retainer when you retain us. The reason we charge a consultation fee is so that we can spend the time that it takes to listen to what you need to tell us and answer all your questions. A criminal defense lawyer, Mark S. Knapp, will answer all your phone calls immediately. That means you will be talking to the attorney, not a receptionist. In most cases that are not felonies, we charge a flat-fee retainer of $1500.00-$2,000.00 to appear which includes attending the Arraignment and the Pretrial Conferences. If trial preparation becomes necessary, there will also be an additional Trial Retainer. Felonies can be more expensive.

Arraignment. If you retain a criminal defense lawyer before the Arraignment, we can often waive arraignment so that you will not need to attend. If you must go to the Arraignment without representation, you will normally plead not guilty and bail is often discussed. Even if you have already been released on personal recognizance or have already posted bail, there are situations where the judge might order a new bail bond.  This situation results from a violation of your terms of release. Examples are getting a new DUI right after you are released from jail on another DUI. Or attempting to contact a victim where there is a No Contact Order.

Pretrial Conference. A number of things happen at a Pretrial Conference and at the Omnibus Hearing in a felony case. The Defense Attorney will try to discuss your case with the Prosecutor. The courtroom deputy often knows nothing about your case and has not even read the police reports in many cases. Some courtrooms have negotiators in another room that will meet with you attorney and become familiar with your case. They can offer to reduce the charges or even dismiss the charges in some cases. This process may take several meetings and/or telephone conversations. Thus, there may be more than one Pretrial Conference or Omnibus.

Discovery. During the time your defense attorney and the prosecutors discuss the case, information is exchanged in a process called discovery. It starts about the time of the first Pretrial Conference when the Prosecutor’s Office provides police reports, photographs, witness statements and other evidence such as videos and 911 tapes to the defense lawyer. We carefully review these documents and other evidence to determine whether there are facts providing probable cause. In Washington, there is no Grand Jury or Preliminary Hearing to protect against prosecutors that overcharge. The Pretrial Conference is also an opportunity to schedule Motions and get the judge involved in the process of gathering any evidence that might help exonerate the person charged with a crime.

Prosecutorial Misconduct. It has recently become more common for prosecutors to withhold important evidence. many prosecutors are young and see the criminal justice system like a game that is played to be won. There are often no consequences for withholding evidence and they are so busy that they delegate the discovery demands to lower level assistants who just mechanically provide the documents that are received from the arresting officers. Some judges have been dismissing the most flagrant cases due to lies and other prosecutorial misconduct.

Guilty Plea. Most cases don’t get dismissed, however. The prosecutor may dismiss one charge in return for a plea of guilty to another or reduce a felony charge to a misdemeanor. This means the defense attorney still needs to be prepared to go to trial at least up until the time the Plea Agreement is accepted by the court. Whether there is a Plea Agreement or a trial, the jail time is determined by the standard range in a felony case. This depends on how many prior offenses you have on your record and the seriousness level of the current offenses. Many misdemeanor and gross  misdemeanors result in no jail time. Some cases like DUIs have mandatory minimum penalties that require time in jail.

Preparing for Trial. Trial preparation includes interviewing witnesses, preparing jury instructions and developing strategies for cross-examining the State’s witnesses. Police Officers deal with criminal defense lawyers and courtroom tactics on a fairly regular basis and know what to say to  persuade the jury that they have been very diligent in their investigations. We will be ready to ask questions about every aspect of the case in order to show that there are reasons to doubt the State’s witnesses.


Conclusions. Careful research and investigation means that the Law Office of Mark Knapp will be prepared starting right from the first phone call and Initial Consultation through the trial. Call 509) 237-5464.


Washington State Firearms Attorney In Spokane

Several years ago, we were in Federal Way, Washington. Our law practice focused on firearms related issues in Washington state. The concept of a firearms attorney in Washington state was fairly new. The Federal Way Mirror asked me to write a column in the local newspaper. The Mirror published Firearms lawyer column for four years. The column was about local law enforcement and current legal issues of concern to gun owners. We also wrote about firearms training and why seeing more of our neighbors trained and carrying guns is a good thing for public safety, families and neighborhoods.


Washington State Firearms Attorney. We have been in business for almost 30 years. Our firm focuses on firearms rights- our primary focus for over 12 years. The Law Office of Mark Knapp PLLC has been operating in the Spokane area for five years. We handle most criminal defense cases, including domestic violence cases, and restore gun rights across the state of Washington. Many states restore the right to possess by expunging the record of conviction.

We can represent you to vacate a conviction. Vacating a conviction, however, only makes your conviction unavailable to the public via your Washington State Patrol WATCH criminal history. To get your gun rights restored, we will need to file a Petition to Restore the Right to Possess Firearms. The Petition is the way we will normally proceed if your felony or domestic violence conviction is in Washington state.

We cannot help with federal convictions because the process for dealing with federal convictions has never been funded by Congress. You should talk to an attorney in the state where your conviction was entered if your conviction was entered in another state.


Please call (253) 202-2081 or (509) 237-5464 for a confidential phone consultation regarding any question.


Implementing the the Law Enforcement Officer’s Safety Act



The following opinion answers questions related to questions raised by the WASPC as to whether a municipal law enforcement agency exposes itself to additional liability by certifying retired law enforcement officers as having met Criminal Justice Training Commission standards for firearms qualification. The purpose of the LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS’ SAFETY ACT OF 2004 (18 U.S.C. Sec. 926B and 926C) is to supplement active law enforcement personnel in order to deter crime and prevent terrorist activity. The federal law accomplishes this by anticipating that additional armed law enforcement personnel that have already been trained will be present within each jurisdiction as officers travel from one jurisdiction to another while on business, vacationing or for any other reason. Read more

Criminal Defense Team Sends Message to Spokane County

Gerlach Acquittal and the Right to Carry

Gail Gerlach Acquitted of First Degree Manslaughter

Gerlach’s Acquittal Sends Strong Message on self-defense

Criminal defense lawyers in Spokane paid close attention when Gail Gerlach was acquitted of first-degree manslaughter charges. Defense lawyers, Richard Lee and David Stevens, sent a clear message to prosecutors when the Spokane-area resident was acquitted of First Degree Manslaughter for shooting 25 year old Brendon Kaluza-Graham on March 25, 2013. The shot killed Kaluza-Graham who was driving away in Gerlach’s vehicle. Gerlach left the vehicle running while getting ready to take his wife to work.  Read more

Armed Defense Training Association

Gun News – ADTA Article

The Washington Arms Collectors featured the Armed Defense Training Association in the October, 2016 edition of the GunNews.  We asked the author, Ed Streit, the current ADTA President and a founding member of the citizen self-defense group, to send us the article.  The Action Training Group, Inc. in Eastern Washington and North Idaho follows the model created several years ago when the ADTA founders, including Spokane-area criminal defense lawyer, Mark Knapp, first started exploring ways to create a gun range in Federal Way, Washington.  The following is the complete article from the GunNews.

Read more

Expungement of Convictions, Gun Rights & Criminal Defense in Spokane, Washington

Criminal Defense. As a Spokane Criminal Defense attorney, Mark Knapp often gets calls regarding restoration of gun rights, expungement and the right to possess firearms under Washington state law. In Washington state, expungement does not restore the right to possess firearms. A Petition to Restore the Right to Possess Firearms is the procedure that is required pursuant to RCW 9.41.040.

Washington State Firearms Attorney. There are many pitfalls and potential problems that arise in the process of restoring gun rights. Although some situations seem simple, it is best to have an attorney handling your case that focuses on firearms issues and restoration of gun rights. Read more

The Beef in Your Marketing Arsenal?

The LAW OFFICE OF MARK KNAPP provides NFA Gun Trusts, protects the gun rights of individuals and represents those who are charged with crimes in the State of Washington; i.e., criminal defense work. We have also been very involved in forming and promoting the Action Training Group in North Idaho and the greater Spokane area.

Attorney Mark Knapp, who is running for Federal Way Municipal Court judge, enjoys a coffee in the Commons Mall parking lot while taking a client’s call on his Blackberry. Photo by Seth Bynum

I just finished reading Chapter 3 of Guerilla Marketing, by Jay Conrad Levinson. I am not done reading the book but was invited to talk about the 16 Secrets of Guerilla Marketing at a meeting of Heart of Business in Coeur d’Alene. Read more

BATF & Poorly Written NFA Gun Trust

David Goldman attended the NRA Firearms Law Seminar in Nashville. David pioneered the NFA Gun Trust. He tells us that BATF ‘s attorney, William Ryan, made some interesting comments about the ATF, NFA, Gun Control Act and Gun Trusts: Read more