Similar to assault, Washington State defines domestic violence as unwanted touching by another person without their permission that cause harm or fear of imminent harm. The difference with domestic violence is that the offender would be a spouse, significant other, or family member. Additionally, actions like stalking, harassment, threats of harm, threats of suicide, physical harm and threats of imminent physical harm can be classified as domestic violence.
I Was Arrested For Domestic Violence In King County. What Charge Am I Facing And What Penalties Can I Face If Convicted?
Domestic violence is not a specific charge, but a designation. For example, you could be involved in a misdemeanor assault with a spouse, significant other, or family member. The classification would be Assault 4 Domestic Violence. Domestic violence is a designation to describe the party’s relationship with one another.
A misdemeanor assault may result in 364 days in jail plus a $5000 fine. A felony assault may result in 365 plus days in jail and/or a $10,000 fine. With the domestic violence designation, in some cases, you could face a longer jail sentence and heftier fines.
Is An Order Of Protection Automatically Put In Place When Someone Is Charged With A Domestic Violence Related Offense In King County Or Pierce County?
No, prosecutors typically request a no-contact or temporary restraining order to be put in place. In most cases, these orders are implemented without objection to the defendant.
An order of protection is civil, which means you would have to seek it on your own. If it is something you feel you need, you will have to argue for it outside of the criminal case proceedings.
If An Alleged Victim Recants Allegations Of Domestic Violence, Will The Charges Be Automatically Dropped In Washington?
This is a common misconception. The charges will NOT automatically be dropped if an alleged victim recants their allegation of domestic violence. Once a police report is filed, the prosecutor will have to determine if there is probable cause to make a charge. It is up to the prosecutor to determine if they will pursue or drop the charges. Without the primary witness, it could be difficult for a prosecutor to prove the case.
What Happens If I Am Convicted Of A Domestic Violence Related Offense In Washington State?
A conviction of domestic violence is made in conjunction with the underlying charge, typically assault. If you have a domestic violence designation, you may be required to take classes or avoid school areas if a child was involved. Additionally, you may be subject to a no-contact or restraining order, limit your visitation rights, and could affect your ability to interact with family members.
For more information on Domestic Violence Charges In Washington, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (425) 276-7390 today.