D omestic Violence assault charges are extremely common in Washington State, due to laws that require very little evidence for an arrest to be made. Often times, false and exaggerated statements are made to the police after a heated domestic dispute.
If there are allegations of any unwanted physical contact, even if there is no injury, an arrest for DV assault will be made. Shortly after the arrest, a No Contact Order will normally be issued by the court.
4th Degree Domestic Assault
A light push can result in an arrest.
Domestic Violence Assault in the 4th degree charges are filed when there are allegations of a minor injury or no injury at all. For example, an allegation of unwanted touching would be enough physical contact for an arrest to be made. The law states that the contact must be considered offensive by a reasonable person. DV Assault 4 is a gross misdemeanor and a conviction can result in up to 364 days of jail time, loss of gun rights, and a $5000 fine.
2nd Degree Domestic Assault
Domestic Violence Assault in the 2nd degree charges are normally filed when a serious but non permanent injury occurs. If the alleged victim has a fractured bone or there is evidence that a weapon was involved, you will likely be charged with felony assault. If there are accusations of choking, no injury needs to occur. DV Assault 2 is a class B felony, which is a strike offense and is punishable by up to 10 years in prison, loss of gun rights, and a $20,000 fine.
Defending DV Assault
Most domestic arrests lack a witness.
In Washington State, you are allowed to use reasonable and necessary force to defend yourself. In some cases, this can be a reasonable defense. In other cases, a lack of physical evidence or witnesses can work in your favor.
If this is the first time you have been charged with a crime, this can be helpful during negotiations. Regardless of the circumstances, you deserve the best possible defense.
At Beckwith DV Law, we can often times get cases dismissed or charges significantly reduced, by convincing the prosecutor that there is not enough evidence to justify a conviction. If we need to go to trial we will, although we can normally negotiate favorable outcomes and avoid the risk of trial.
We defend criminal accusations in Seattle, Bellevue, and other courtrooms in King County, Snohomish County, and Pierce County. Call us any day of the week for a free consultation.