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Criminal Defense

Based in Tacoma, the Law Office of Thomas A. Balerud provides aggressive criminal defense representation to clients throughout Pierce, King, Thurston, and Kitsap counties. With years of trial practice, we provide our clients with the expertise and experience needed to defend against criminal charges and protect their rights. We will not simply seek the easiest solution or accept a plea in order to avoid litigation; we will work tirelessly to ensure that you are given the best chance possible to defeat the charges against you and move forward with your life.

Aggressive Criminal Defense Representation

Whether you are facing charges for drug possession, drunk driving, or a violent crime, we possess an in-depth understanding of Washington’s criminal system and know how to best serve your interests after an arrest. Although being charged with a crime may seem like an overwhelming experience, it does not have to be. We understand the intricacies of the criminal justice system and can guide you through the process, from initial hearings through trial. Our firm handles both felonies and misdemeanors, including but not limited to:

  • DUI Charges – Driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious offense in Washington. If you have been arrested for a DUI offense, you may be facing large fines, a loss of your driving privileges, probation, and even potential jail time. Our office has helped clients defeat DUI charges, negotiate reduced penalties, and obtain minimum penalties in the event of a conviction.
  • Drug Crimes – We have experience defending clients against a range of drug-related charges, including charges related to the use of medical marijuana. If your vehicle was stopped and searched, resulting in a drug charge, we will fully investigate the police conduct surrounding your detention, arrest, or post-arrest interrogation, and determine the most viable course of legal action to defend you against the charges.
  • Domestic Violence – Washington courts impose strict penalties for crimes involving domestic relationships, often mandating protective orders, fines, and jail time if the conduct was especially violent. If you have been charged with a crime involving domestic violence, we can help you overcome this difficult and stressful situation by offering objective and honest advice, while mounting a vigorous defense on your behalf.
  • Juvenile Matters – Juvenile offenses can have a lasting impact on a child’s life. Therefore, if your child has been charged with a crime or delinquent conduct, it is critical that you seek experienced legal counsel as soon as possible to ensure your child’s rights are protected. We understand how to handle these delicate cases, guiding parents so that they can make informed choices about their child’s defense.

Criminal charges should never be taken lightly, and without an aggressive attorney, a defendant lessens his or her chances of dismissal, acquittal, and reduced penalties. While crimes typically carry both minimum and maximum sentencing requirements, an experienced and well-respected representative can help a defendant obtain the most favorable result possible.


Expungement refers to the process whereby a criminal record is isolated and extracted so that it is no longer publicly available. Once a record is expunged or sealed, you may state on most employment applications, and in other situations, that you have not been arrested or convicted of a crime. A clean record may also allow for the restoration of certain rights, including gun rights. Although attorneys and judges in the criminal courts often advise defendants that the charges to which they plead guilty can be, or will be, expunged, there is no automatic expungement in Washington. At the Law Office of Thomas A. Balerud, we can help you assess your record, determine your eligibility for expungement, and file the necessary petitions on your behalf.

Seek Experienced Legal Counsel

We understand that dealing with the consequences of an arrest can be intimidating and frightening. Without skillful, aggressive representation, you face the threat of incarceration, irreparable damage to your reputation, and the social stigma that can come from a criminal conviction. Our firm possesses the experience and integrity to guide you through this difficult time. If you or a loved one has been arrested or faces criminal charges, please contact the Law Office of Thomas A. Balerud for a free initial consultation


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