Home 2018-02-07T18:04:27+00:00

Our Team

Derek M. Smith
Derek M. Smith

Integrity, Experience, Success

Integrity. Holding to one’s principles. Standing up for what is right. Not being corrupted by the system. Integrity earns one respect. Of one’s peers and one’s adversaries. In the end, Integrity gets the job done.

Experience. The practical ways to work the system. Knowing who the players are and gaining advantage through that knowledge. We’ve seen it before. We’ve done it before. We got this.

Success. The end goal. The result of the values and knowledge and hard work. Being able to sleep at night because we’ve done the right thing. Having a client’s appreciation because they defined what was success for them and we helped them achieve it.

Let Smith & White benefit you with our Integrity, Experience and Success.


Tacoma Criminal Lawyer Blog

Washington Man Gets $500 LFO Thrown Out in Judgment in Assault Case

In criminal cases in Washington, there are several elements against which you must defend if you’re accused of a crime. One of these is the imposition…

Lesser Included Offenses, Jury Instructions, and Getting Your Conviction Overturned in Washington

A recent opinion from the Washington Court of Appeals offers an important reminder about the significance of lesser included offenses in a criminal…

Washington Court Affirms Trial Judge’s Refusal to Issue Self-Defense Instruction in Assault-on-Cop Charge

In criminal law, there are certain issues in which the defendant’s state of mind or knowledge are vitally important matters to determining his level…

Contact Us For A Free Consultation

Tacoma Criminal Defense Lawyer

Pierce County Criminal Defense Attorneys Protecting the Rights of Individuals in Tacoma and Beyond
smith_n_whiteMany people who have been arrested or charged with a criminal offense understandably feel anxious and confused about what will happen. Often, they have never been in the position of consulting an attorney before. At Smith & White, we believe that each individual is entitled to compassionate, capable, and diligent legal representation. With nearly 40 years of combined legal experience, we have handled thousands of criminal cases. Our Tacoma criminal defense lawyers represent people charged with crimes ranging from DUI and drug offenses to homicide, robbery and burglary, assault, domestic violence, and firearms offenses. We also can assist people in proceedings to expunge or vacate a conviction, as well as in juvenile matters and asset forfeiture cases. We strive to provide our clients with bold defense and thorough guidance.

Fighting Charges of Drunk Driving and Other Vehicular Offenses
In Washington, you may be charged with driving under the influence (DUI) if you operate a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs like marijuana. Washington has some of the strictest DUI laws and harshest penalties in the nation, which may include jail time, license suspension, fines, or community service, even for first-time offenders. Deciding to fight a state or federal charge with the assistance of a Tacoma DUI attorney may be a vital decision, since there are many defenses that may be available to lower a charge or dismiss a case. For example, breathalyzer test results often may be challenged, and evidence surrounding your arrest may be excluded from court if it was obtained illegally, or as the result of police misconduct.

Legal Representation for State and Federal Drug Charges
The Violation of the Uniform Controlled Substance Act (VUCSA) provides the Washington laws regarding drugs and other controlled substances. These laws include many criminal offenses, ranging from misdemeanor possession of marijuana or drug paraphernalia to felony charges regarding the manufacture and trafficking of methamphetamine. Penalties can vary widely from a brief jail sentence and fine to many years or even life in prison, depending on the offense and criminal history of the defendant. Both VUCSA and federal drug charges may be contested with a variety of defenses, including lack of knowledge or intent, police misconduct, and illegal search and seizure.

Assistance for Individuals Facing Prosecution for Violent Crimes
Washington provides severe penalties for crimes of violence, which include murder and manslaughter, robbery and burglary, and assaults involving shootings. In many instances, even if an individual committed the alleged act, there may be valid defenses to the crime charged. Self-defense, for example, may be argued if the defendant reasonably believed that he or she needed to use violence to prevent imminent and serious harm. Because of the inherent complexity of these cases, a Tacoma criminal defense lawyer is crucial in protecting your rights and guiding you through the legal proceedings.

Knowledgeable Domestic Violence Defense
Domestic violence is a term designated for certain criminal charges that are committed against family or household members. It generally includes violent or threatening offenses, such as assault, rape, stalking, trespass, violations of no contract orders, and others. Under Washington law, an arrest is mandatory if the police have reason to believe that an act of domestic violence has occurred. The legal consequences upon an arrest or charge of a domestic violence also differ from ordinary criminal charges, and they can be explained more fully by a knowledgeable attorney.

Advocacy for Individuals Charged with Firearms and Weapons Offenses
Firearms laws in Washington limit and restrict the right to carry, possess, or own such weapons. Some weapons are completely illegal to possess, such as short-barreled shotguns and machine guns, while others are illegal to carry, such as certain dangerous weapons or concealed guns without the proper permit. In addition, individuals who have been convicted of certain criminal offenses are generally not legally able to possess a firearm. Depending on the criminal history of the offender, penalties may be significant, including prison time and heavy fines.

Post-Conviction Relief and Other Criminal Matters
Our Tacoma criminal defense lawyers also can assist clients in many other legal matters, particularly those involving juvenile offenses, drug asset forfeiture, record expungement and vacating criminal records, and the restoration of civil rights. At Smith & White, we are prepared to guide our clients throughout the entire process, including post-conviction relief.

Protect Your Rights against the Prosecution by Consulting a Pierce County DUI Lawyer
At Smith & White, we understand that the legal process can be intimidating, so we make every effort to help our clients feel comfortable when seeking our advice. We believe that every client deserves respect, as well as an affordable, dedicated advocate. No matter how serious or complicated the case, we have the skill and resources to provide clients with a defense that is tailored to the details of their circumstances. Our Tacoma criminal defense attorneys have represented people fighting charges of drug crimes, domestic violence, firearms offenses, DUI, homicide, juvenile offenses, and more. We also represent individuals in Kent, Olympia, Port Orchard, Federal Way, Puyallup, and Lakewood, among other areas. Call Attorneys James J. White and Derek M. Smith at (253) 203-1645 or email us directly at James@smithandwhite.com and Derek@smithandwhite.com or contact us online to set up a free consultation. Se Habla Espanol.

Our Practice Areas

DUI Defensed

Domestic Violence


Drug Crimes “VUCSA”

Asset Forfeiture Defense

Felonies & Misdemeanors

Military Personnel Defense

Weapons Charges

Expunging Records