If the police are called certain situations will require an arrest
A police officer shall arrest a person without a warrant if someone who is sixteen years or older within four hours has assaulted a family or household member and the officer believes:
- A felony assault has occurred;
- An assault has caused bodily injury to the victim (doesn’t matter if the officer saw it happened or not);
- A physical action occurred that was intended to cause another person reasonably to fear imminent serious bodily injury or death.
The officer will arrest the person whom the officer believes is the primary aggressor. Body injury is defined as: physical pain, illness, or an impairment of physical condition.
The judge will likely order a no contact order
The Washington State Legislature has decided that any person charged with or arrest for a crime involving Washington State domestic violence is released from custody before arraignment or trial on bail or personal recognizance, that person may be prohibit from having any contact with the alleged victim.
Washington State no contact domestic violence no contact orders are determined an arraignment. If the judge finds probable cause, the judge may issue a no contact order. The no contact order is terminated upon acquittal or dismissal.
Often in Washington Assault IV domestic violence cases the alleged victim will request the no contact order to no be issued or lifted. However, judges are no bound by the victim’s wish and often will disregard the alleged victim’s desire and still enter the order. It is wise to consent with a domestic violence attorney to help remove or stop the issuance of a no-contact order.
You may not be able to return to your home
If you reside with the alleged victim the no contact order, may not allow you to return to you home. A civil standby order could remedy that situation. Set up usually through the Sheriff’s office, it allows you to return to your home with law enforcement to gather your belongings. Usually you will have 15-20 minutes.
The state or city can still go forward
Once the police are involved the Washington Domestic Violence reports are sent to the prosecution, the City or State will take over the case. It will be the City vs. you or the State vs. You. The prosecution will decide if they are moving forward with the charges or not – even if the alleged victim doesn’t want to press charges.
There are defense to domestic violence
Just because you are charged does mean you are guilty. There are many possible defenses to a Washington Domestic violence assault case. Examples:
- “Victim” made it up, lying;
- Self-inflicted injuries;
- Accident; not intentional;
- Can’t prove beyond a reasonable doubt, “he said, she said”
- Many case specific others
You might be ordered to do a Washington Domestic Violence treatment program
Domestic violence treatment programs are a 52 week program with the first 26 weeks being weekly meeting. It can be fairly intense and costly. You may or may not have to complete this program; it all depends on many factors. You and your attorney may be able to negotiate a reductions, stipulated or to continue (SOC), dismissal or acquittal, where the program would not be necessary. However, often the program me be a condition of a SOC or reduction.
You don’ t necessarily need to win a trial to beat your DV charge
If you go to trial and are found not guilty, your Washington DV case will be done, and you should have no further consequences. However, short of trial there are ways to protected you from a DV conviction. One way is a stipulated order of continuance (SOC). And SOC is a contract between you and the prosecutor that you will complete certain conditions and the Washington domestic violence case will be dismissed or reduced if those conditions are complied with, within a specific amount of time. The conditions can range from simply, no new offenses to completing a domestic violence treatment program. The conditions also can be creative to fit case specific situations. SOC are a very common way Washington domestic violence cases are handled for first offenses.
There may be immigration consequences
If you are not a US citizen it is very important how your domestic violence case is handled. Moreover, entering into an SOC can be devastating if the contract is not drafted correctly to avoid immigration consequences. You will need to speak with a Washington domestic violence attorney and it would also be wise to consult with an experienced immigration attorney as well.
There are general consequences to a DV conviction beyond fines and jail.
Example of possible of additional consequences
- Immigration issues
- Loss of firearm rights
- Loss of employment and/or the ability to be employed.
- Difficulty in renting an apartment
- No contact orders
- Inability to see children
- And others…
Most Washington State Domestic violence attorneys offer free consultations
You should really meet with an attorney. The consultation is generally free and is always confidential. The attorney will be able to assess your situation and help you determine your best course of action.