Domestic Violence: An Overview of the Washington State Statutes

Washington State law broadly defines domestic violence as any criminal act committed by one member of a household against another. Being charged with domestic violence can significantly impact all aspects of your life. If you believe you were wrongfully charged, you should immediately hire a King County domestic violence attorney to help defend you against these charges.

Definition of Domestic Violence

King County domestic violence attorney

There is no single state statute in Washington that defines domestic violence. Instead, there are multiple codes that contain aspects of a broad definition of domestic violence. Thus, domestic violence in Washington State may include a wide range of criminal offenses, including:

  • Assault
  • Harassment
  • Reckless conduct and endangerment of another person’s life
  • Violation of a protection order

In order to be charged with domestic violence, both the defendant and the victim must be considered members of the same family or household. Any one of the following individuals can be charged with domestic violence under Washington State law:

  • Divorced individuals
  • Individuals 16 years or older who were previously in a dating relationship
  • Individuals who have a child together
  • Anyone sharing blood relations
  • Common spouses

Domestic Violence Penalties

Domestic violence convictions carry harsh penalties. Depending on the nature of the underlying crime, the domestic violence offense may be charged as a misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor, or felony. It is important for your King County domestic violence attorney to do everything possible to reduce the charges against you. Each charge will have a different severity of penalty.

  • A misdemeanor domestic violence conviction is punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.
  • A gross misdemeanor domestic violence conviction is punishable by up to one year in state prison and a $5,000 fine.
  • A felony misdemeanor domestic violence conviction can carry a prison sentence in excess of one year, depending on the underlying circumstances.

We Can Help

Washington State law enforcement agencies take domestic violence allegations very seriously. If you have been arrested for a domestic violence charge, it is imperative to hire an attorney immediately.

To schedule a complimentary initial consultation with King County domestic violence attorney South King County criminal attorney , please call (253) 709-5050.

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