- All Juvenile Offenses
- Youthful Offender Mitigation
- Adult and Child Sexual Assault
- Registration Removal
- Domestic Violence
- Criminal and CPS Investigations
- Other Complex Cases in Washington State and Federal Courts
Attorney Jennifer Atwood has spent her career representing those accused of crimes in Western Washington. While she has represented adult clients on a wide range of felony and misdemeanor charges, and has achieved dismissals, reductions, and not guilty verdicts in many complex cases, in recent years, Jennifer's practice has focused on juvenile representation. Jennifer previously served as a Senior Attorney with the King County Department of Public Defense in their juvenile division. Jennifer spent many years in and out of court every day representing kids and only kids, which gave her a wide range of experience that she brings to each of her juvenile cases. Jennifer values understanding her young clients and their needs. She has experience working with youths on the autism spectrum or who have mental illnesses, developmental delays, substance abuse disorders, ADD, ADHD, and youths who struggle with their sexual behavior. Jennifer takes a special interest in the emerging research related to juvenile brain development, the impact of trauma on future behavior, and the importance of non-incarceration approaches especially for youthful offenders. Her knowledge and skill in these areas have yielded exceptional outcomes for her young clients.
Jennifer is an equally impressive adult felony attorney. She has attained not guilty verdicts following challenging trials for cases including Assault of a Child; Child Molestation; Rape; Unlawful Imprisonment with Sexual Motivation; Domestic Violence Felony Harassment; and Domestic Violence Court Order Violation. Jennifer's years of experience, superb courtroom skills, and dedication to her clients make her an excellent fit for complex cases and for clients who have complex needs.
Jennifer is a 2001 graduate of Seattle University School of Law, holds a B.A. in English from Seattle University, and is licensed to practice in the State of Washington, the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Jennifer's practice focuses on the following areas:
• All Juvenile Offenses
• Adult and Child Sexual Assault
• Domestic Violence Offenses
• Violent Crimes
Because of a better understanding of adolescent and juvenile brain development, courts are now required to consider the role that a young adult’s youthfulness played in the offense conduct. Jennifer and our team take a particular interest in those cases and are skilled in working with experts to develop mitigation for clients aged 18-25, roughly, who are accused of these offenses.
Representative Case Results For Juveniles
- First-degree child molestation charges reduced to non-sex offense: Thirteen-year-old client was caught by a family member inappropriately touching another young family member. Client's ADHD had been unmedicated and he needed education around his sexual acting out. By coordinating with the client's extended family, a mentor, school, juvenile probation counselor, and therapist, Jennifer was able to convince the prosecution that a reduction to a non-sex offense was appropriate, and later convince the court to grant a deferred disposition, which would permit dismissal of the case after 24 months of compliance.
- Avoided imposition of lengthy sentence for burglary, assault 4 with sexual motivation, violation of court order charges: Client was diagnosed with high-functioning autism, anxiety, and depression late in adolescence. Client was facing revocation of a previously imposed suspended sentence totaling 129 weeks. Jennifer successfully argued that one of the client's sentences was unlawful based on a recent Washington Supreme Court case. The client made significant strides in the two years that passed since the original sentence was imposed, and through Jennifer's advocacy, the juvenile probation counselor no longer supported revoking his suspended sentence. Instead of being sent to a juvenile confinement facility, Jennifer convinced the court and probation that the facility could not meet the client's needs, and was able to secure a sentence of electronic home monitoring that would allow for the client to attend sessions with his mental health providers. The client will also be able to seal his record.
- First-degree child rape and child molestation: SSODA and registration relief: This case represents one of Jennifer's proudest case resolutions. Jennifer represented a client who was also a victim. A police investigation revealed that the client had also engaged in sexual behavior with a relative, much like how she had been abused by her family member. Jennifer also represented her in that charge. Jennifer convinced the state that her client should not face detention. This quiet child who looked at the floor and spoke softly, is now an advocate and a strong voice for others. Everyone who worked with her as a youth - the probation counselor, the therapist, and the court - were all impressed with the incredible work she is doing in her community. Jennifer particularly enjoyed helping her client years later when she advocated to have her removed from the sex offender registry, seal her file, and close that chapter of her life.
- Sexual Assault Protection Order Denied, Denied again when Petitioner file for Revision to Superior Court, and KCPAO declined to file Rape charge: Our client was out with a group of friends and ended the night with a female friend in the group. Everyone had been drinking, dancing and having a good time. After it was clear our client did not wish to pursue a relationship with his female friend there was an argument that eventually morphed into her accusation that their night together was not consensual. The criminal investigation and SAPO were based on whether she had the capacity to consent due to intoxication. After compiling all of the conversations between the parties, analyzing the case law and arguing the facts at the hearing, the Court denied the petition. The petitioner sought to challenge the court’s denial of the order and another hearing was held. Again, the petition was denied.
- Seattle University School of Law, Seattle, Washington
- Seattle University
- Major: English
- U.S. District Court Western District of Washington
- U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit
- King County Department of Public Defense, Senior Attorney
- Crawford McGilliard, Yelish & Dixon, Associate Attorney, Port Orchard, WA, 2002-2007