Domestic violence cases generally involve the same criminal justice process as other types of criminal matters. However, there are some features that are unique to domestic violence criminal charges. As such, if you have been accused of domestic violence, you should hire a King County domestic violence attorney who is an expert in this field of law.Below is a brief overview of the domestic violence court process in Washington State.
Nearly every single domestic violence charge begins with a 911 call. When law enforcement responds to these calls, they will separately interview each party to determine whether there is probable cause of a crime. If the responding officer determines there is probable cause of domestic violence, they will arrest the individual believed to be the aggressor of the crime.
Jail & First Appearance
When an individual is arrested on a suspicion of domestic violence, they will be detained in the local jail without bail until they appear before a judge within 24 to 48 hours of their arrest. After the judge reviews the facts surrounding the arrest and the individual’s prior criminal history at the first appearance, he or she determines whether to release the accused on bail. The judge will also determine it is necessary to impose pretrial conditions, such as a no contact order.
Even though no charges have been officially filed at this stage, it is still in your best interest to at least consult with a King County domestic violence attorney to protect your legal rights with regards to the pretrial conditions.
The government has a maximum of 72 hours to determine whether to file charges. If no charges are filed within this time period, you will be released from jail with the caveat that the government has two years to file charges. If the government does file charges, you should hire a King County domestic violence attorney to prepare for trial.
We Can Help
If you are facing domestic violence charges, you should hire King County domestic violence attorney South King County criminal attorney to protect your legal rights. To schedule a complimentary consultation, please call the South King County criminal attorney at (253) 709-5050.