Similar to Tacoma Municipal Court, the Fircrest, Gig Harbor, and Ruston Municipal Courts handle adult criminal cases involving misdemeanor and gross misdemeanor offenses occurring in their city limits. Each jurisdiction has a City Attorney who prosecutes the cases. A misdemeanor offense carries a maximum penalty of 90 days in jail and/or a $1,000 fine. A gross misdemeanor offense carries a maximum penalty of 1 year in jail and/or a $5,000 fine.
Fircrest Municipal Court
When a person is arraigned in Fircrest Municipal Court on a criminal charge and indicates to the judge that they are unable to afford an attorney, the judge may appoint the Pierce County Department of Assigned Counsel (DAC) or may refer them to be screened by the Pierce County Clerk to determine financial eligibility for court appointed counsel. The Pierce County Clerk is located at 930 Tacoma Avenue South, Room 108, (253) 798-3781. The hours to apply are Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. only.
Gig Harbor & Ruston Municipal Courts
When a person is arraigned in either Gig Harbor Municipal Court or Ruston Municipal Court on a criminal charge, the judge will determine eligibility for representation by a DAC attorney.
Once DAC is appointed for any of the above courts, a file is opened, an attorney is assigned, and the client is notified by letter who will be representing them.